Yes, I know I have been missing in action for well over a month.. The reason for my absence is that I have been too busy having fun. I hope you all do not grudge me having fun. So, what specifically have I been doing that has been so much fun?
Right around Thanksgiving I got my computer working again after quite a while of it being out of commission. It turns out that there was nothing wrong with my hard drive other than it needed a good cleaning. The computer repair person got it nice and clean for me and then installed a fresh copy of Windows 10. He also installed a new graphics card, one that allows me to use a 47 inch flatscreen high definition television as my computer monitor. Using that with a lower resolution enlarges things so much that I can read most text while wearing only a pair of over-the-counter reading glasses. With the very large monitor I am able to once again play my favorite computer games by myself, without having someone do much of the mechanical stuff like I have had to in recent times. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last month – playing on my computer for hours and hours at a time… We even got it set up now where Michael and I can do multiplayer on one of my favorite games: Neverwinter Nights!
After getting the hard drive clean, the graphics card installed, windows installed, I was going to install Dragon NaturallySpeaking using the same disc I used a year ago, when we put it on Michael’s computer. After doing the installation on Michael’s computer, I put the disc away in a safe place. Trouble is, a year later I could not remember where that safe place was. Michael and I literally ransacked the house looking for those discs to know what they’ll. I got lucky though: Nuance, the company that makes Dragon NaturallySpeaking, had a Black Friday sale and I could get a brand-new copy of the -professional- edition at half-price – about the same price I paid for the home edition earlier. The neat thing is that the new edition came with a DVD that teaches you how to train your Dragon. I am totally overwhelmed by what Dragon NaturallySpeaking can do simply using that. For someone who is legally blind like me, that is a real blessing, even if it is a rather overwhelming task.
I started watching the training video and realized that I needed to get one more program in order to take full advantage of the capabilities of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I needed Microsoft Word. I am not really a huge fan of Microsoft or its product. Four years I have used an open-source software, which Microsoft products most certainly are not… In fact, Microsoft is very reluctant to share its code with the open source community, unlike many other computer program manufacturers. So, knowing that I really needed Microsoft office created a bit of moral dilemma for me, as I prefer to support open source programming whenever possible. In the end, however, I finally broke down and bought Microsoft office. I am dictating this post using Dragon NaturallySpeaking and Microsoft Word. It’s kind of neat how the two work together so well. It almost actually makes me want to like Microsoft. Not really!!
It obviously is going to take me a while to learn how to do all the neat things that I can do on my computer using Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Please bear with me… At this point I still need Michael to edit my posts for me because I had not yet learned the proper editing commands. I am working on that and hope to have them learned soon. I intend to be much more active on my blogs now that I have at least learned the basics of how to use Dragon speaking naturally. I think I may even be able to do some more extensive research on various subjects now that I have my computer set up the way I wanted it to be.
Finally, a belated happy holidays to all of you! Hopefully 2017 will turn out to be a much better year than 2016. I have my doubts though. Donald J. Trump as our soon-to-be president is not something that causes me to be very hopeful. We will see.