I previously commented about the Dragon speech recognition software and was reasonably favorable. But lately I am much less happy due to all the crashes.
Short answer – use Dragon for more than a few minutes with MSWord 2010 and it will crash, unexpectedly, with no clear pattern as to what functions being used trigger the crash. Thus it is very difficult to avoid the crash. I do have the feeling, without decisive proof, that crashes are worse if you use the vocabulary editor while doing dictation. Often using the vocabulary editor is the only way to get some critical training done and thus acceptable dictation quality, so it’s hard to avoid this feature.
But worse than just all the crashes of Dragon itself, frequently its crashes means Word crashes or is now braindead and non-functioning. Which means, of course, you can’t save your work.
So knowing this I save very very often. However, the problem then is in conjunction with Word’s auto-recovery if you’re just doing saves (instead of save as to a different file with each save, thus filling up with many slightly different files) there is a good chance that your already saved file will get corrupted and you might even lose all of it, worst case, but usually you lose more than the last time you saved.
Thus you do have to do Save As frequently so you have many files and thus only the one currently open in Word gets corrupted when Dragon crashes.
AND DRAGON WILL CRASH – I GUARANTEE IT
AND YOU WILL LOSE DATA – I GUARANTEE IT
Even if you do enough saving in Word that your dictated text is intact (mostly) after the inevitable crash, now all the changes (like training) you’ve done in Dragon itself are lost in its crash.
So I find myself:
- doing save every 60-120 seconds
- doing save as to a different file every 3-5 minutes
- quitting both Word and Dragon about every 10-15 minutes
In short, this is a major drag on productivity and almost undoes any value of having Dragon to enter text instead of just typing.
It’s unfortunate that otherwise useful software is so horribly unreliable!