Dragon Systems' Dragon NaturallySpeaking is my software favorite because it, like other items on my list, changes the way I use my computer. I decided that I would try voice-recognition software to assist me in writing articles for Windows NT Magazine and SQL Server Magazine. For its price, the software gave me impressive results. I needed to spend time training the software, and I felt a little odd reading my computer a story, but the accuracy of the recognition surprised me: It was fairly high, even for the technical terminology you see in this magazine.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking does make errors, but so do I when I type. However, when the software recognizes a word, it spells it correctly and does not transpose letters. I am almost a touch typist, but the different response times between my left and right hands causes some transposed letters. This problem does not occur with voice-recognition software, so I can probably dictate an article about as fast as I can type it.

Another benefit of this software centers on how I construct an article. Sometimes I type on one computer while I step through a process on another computer. With voice-recognition software, I can step through the process and describe the steps without having to jump back and forth between keyboards. I should note that I speak to Dragon NaturallySpeaking in a deliberate manner. However, this program seems to do as well when I talk naturally.

Voice recognition still seems doubtful in a noisy office, and Dragon NaturallySpeaking seems to encounter problems with certain voices, but overall, it is worth my investment. I do not use it all the time, but I do use it when I am on the road. So if someone in the hotel room next to you keeps you awake talking about NT, you'll know why.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred Edition 3.0
Contact: Dragon Systems * 617-965-5200
Web: http://www.naturallyspeaking.com