Saturday, April 12, 2014

I Speak On A Meteorite

It is almost 7 PM Pacific time. I'm sitting in the living room with the golden sun at my back casting parallel lines on the kitchen wall. It's quite beautiful. I'm writing this entry in Dragon, the commercial voice recognition software. I've been using it for about a year with the Logitech headset and microphone. Periodically while I've been using it the wrong word would drop in. Sometimes not just the wrong word but in entirely strange sentence.

I've also taken to using Siri on the iPhone. Something that happened on the iPhone prompted me to take a different approach to Dragon on the computer. I noticed on the iPhone when I was using the voice-recognition software that it was dependent upon the quality of the Bluetooth that I was using. That led me to wonder if Dragon on the computer was dependent on the quality of the microphone.

The answer is yes. I invested about $40 in a meteorite microphone. It's a small relatively high quality microphone. The difference in Dragon, in Dragon's ability to accurately type what I'm saying, is remarkable. In this entire paragraph Dragon has only made one mistake and that wasn't really a mistake but an antonym. Most voice-recognition software struggles with them and generally takes a best guess based on context. If you have a tendency to write in short sentences, or to talk in clipped phrases, it can often miss them. So if you are using Dragon or a similar voice-recognition software I would highly recommend investing a bit of money in a microphone. Though there is probably an upper limit a good microphone seems to make quite a difference.

Let me fill you in on the rest of the day because it was pretty busy. I slept in a bit then drove up to Fremont to meet Tony for breakfast. Tony had to take his new car into the dealership give vacuum valve replaced. So I met him at his apartment and then followed them over to the Ford dealership there in Fremont. We drop the car off and headed over to the Black Bear diner for breakfast.

After breakfast we wandered Fremont a bit. I don't know Fremont very well so when I do drive up there I like to take the side streets and just kind of see where they go. This gives me a better feel for the city. This is how I learned that Tony gives crap directions. The standard set of directions he gives people to get to his apartment take them about 2 miles out of the way.

Anyway, after a bit of driving we swung over to the Fry's electronics there in Fremont, on Osgood, and just walked about the store that. Were both technical geeks so there are plenty of things we can simply look at and dream about when we are in an electronics store. I picked up some odds and ends there while we killed time. We weren't there very long, maybe 45 min., when the dealership called and told Tony his car was ready.

So, I drove him over, dropped him off and then headed south. I stopped at McCarthy Ranch, at a men's clothing store there and bought some new sport coats at a two-for-one sale. I already had a nice selection of sport coats, but they tended toward business casual, that is black or gray or navy. I wanted to pick up some lighter colored sport coats for a little more casual look. I got some very nice ones and am looking forward to wearing them.

From there I went over to the great Mall and met Don for lunch at outback steakhouse. I've been doing really good with my diet the last two weeks so I treated myself to a steak lunch. It was as good as I imagined it would be.

After lunch Don I took a walk through the great Mall just to stretch our legs. That place is always an amazing zoo. The press of humanity is something to see. From there I headed back over to McCarthy Ranch and stopped the Best Buy and it was at the Best Buy that I bought this new microphone.

After the Best Buy I went up to Baylands Park and took a long walk. It was a beautiful day for it that's for sure. After the park I came home with a stop at the drugstore to pick up some odds and ends for next weekend's trip. Then back to the house and a simple dinner of homemade vegetable barley soup. It was outstanding. I have a fairly good recipe and I'll have to post it here online. Right now I am watching the clock tick off the minutes and I am hoping to talk with TR tonight. They are out to a movie so I'm not sure what time they wrap will wrap up.

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