Technology Woes

I had the most fun this past Thursday and Friday doing something odd on my computer.

As you know if you’ve read the blog for any length of time I dictate the first draft of every book. It helps me get the words out of my brain and onto the page. Plus it saves my wrists. I occasionally get carpal tunnel pain and I don’t want it to increase.

I’ve used Dragon NaturallySpeaking since it first came out. I’ve also used ViaVoice and every other speech to text program there is. I’ve always come back to Dragon because I think it’s the best. Right now, they are the only company that makes a speech to text program for Mac. 

Well, in late October they announced that they were no longer going to support Dragon for Mac. That means that they aren’t going to continue to generate new versions, either. I think, from what I’ve read, that the problem begins at Apple, not Nuance – who makes Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Something about Apple limiting developer access to certain functions on the Mac, etc.

I’ve always thought that Dragon for Mac was a poor substitute compared to Dragon for Windows. I absolutely adored Dragon for Windows because it was simple, easy to correct mistakes, and the voice recognition ability was superb. Dragon for Mac is like a wagon next to a Jaguar. It’s pretty much a pain. I’ve been thinking of getting a Windows laptop strictly to run Dragon for Windows, but then the other day I thought about installing Parallels again.

Parallels is a program that you put on Mac that allows you to run the Windows operating system. When I first used it years ago it was a disaster. I couldn’t get it to work. I don’t know what the problem was. Last year when I bought this iMac I went whole hog, if you’ll pardon the expression. I bought a super loaded machine. I have a 2 TB fusion hard drive and RAM out the wazoo. It has one of the best video and sound cards you can buy. In other words, it was probably overkill. However, if any machine can handle a virtual operating system, this one can.

I am thrilled to report that I installed Parallels, then Windows 10, then an antivirus software program, and then Dragon for Windows. Everything works. Everything works beautifully. Maybe it was the new, improved Mac operating system, Mojave. Maybe I just figured out how to install it correctly. Maybe it was just luck. I don’t care what it is – it works!

Anyway, pardon me for being technical, or pseudo-technical. I’m just happy I got everything to work. It was an absolute pleasure working on Friday and I just kept dictating and dictating. I’m dictating 6000 words a day and if I can find the software that makes it easier, I’m all for it.

Right now I’m bopping between the two operating systems because I can dictate directly into Scrivener from Dragon for Mac. However, I am ready for the next update to Mac’s operating system to cause problems with Dragon. That’s the way it normally happens.

Oh, if you’ve never used Dragon Anywhere I highly recommend it. It allows me to dictate on my phone and that really helps when I am in the backyard or having to wait in my car for some reason. Like all Dragon products it’s not cheap, but it’s really worth it. 

Have you ever used Parallels or Dragon for Mac or Windows? Are you a Windows person or a Mac person? 

4 thoughts on “Technology Woes”

  1. I use both. I would say I’m a Mac person but I’m proficient on Windows too for work. I tried Parallels too, back in 2006 when it first came out. Was that the name of it back then too? That was a tricky system to get configured if you didn’t know what you were doing. I used it for a while but I felt like a cheater on Apple so I deinstalled it. I was really only using it on the Windows side because I wanted to be able to access Sabre like we have at work. I do have a windows laptop now but I stopped using it because trying to keep up with the bugs on it was crazy.

    • I had huge problems when I first installed Parallels. It just didn’t work. This version works perfectly. It might be the machine or Mojave or something.

      I didn’t want to spend more money buying a machine I’d only use for one program. Now I have a virtual operating system that only runs one program. 🙂


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