Category Archives: News

Urgent Dragon Alert: automatic check glitch can prevent Dragon from opening

By Kimberly Patch

[2-27-13 Update: We’ve gotten word that the issue with the Dragon update service has been fixed. It’s safe to turn on automatic updates if you wish.

In addition, there is a service pack available for Dragon 12. We strongly recommend downloading and installing this update.

A version of Utter Command that is compatible with this update is scheduled for release next week.]

Dragon Naturallyspeaking maker Nuance is having technical issues with its check for update service.

The bottom line: don’t let Dragon automatically check for updates until this is fixed. The software checks periodically unless the “Check for Product Updates at Startup” feature is turned off. This feature is turned on by default.

Trouble is, if your software checks for updates and runs into this issue, Dragon will then not open, making it difficult to turn off the “Check for Product Updates at Startup” feature.

To protect yourself from this potential problem turn off the “Check for Product Updates at Startup” feature: go to Dragon Options\Tools\Administrative Settings\Miscellaneous and Uncheck “Check for Product Updates at Startup”.

If you’ve already run into this problem and Dragon won’t open, there’s a more elaborate fix posted in the Dragon forum: http://nuance.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/15105

It’s fairly obvious from the trouble that Nuance is getting ready to release an update. Once Nuance solves the update issues, you’ll want to download the update. The update is fully compatible with Utter Command.

Check back here periodically – we’ll let you know when you can turn the update service back on.

Watch for Dragon 11.5

It looks like a new point release of Dragon NaturallySpeaking – 11.5 – will be available for free download for Dragon 11 customers within a few weeks.

Articles about the point release tout its new-found ability to use the iPhone as a wireless microphone for Dragon over wifi. The point release also has some new commands for a couple of very popular websites: Twitter and Facebook.

There have been some more subtle changes as well, including bug fixes aimed at making things run smoother. We weren’t recommending that our customers jump to 11, partly because version 10 was still a little faster, but 11.5 is probably worth the change.

This is the first time since NaturallySpeaking 3.5 that Dragon has done a mid-point release. That one was free as well, only back then Dragon had to send CDs out to everyone.

Here’s where to watch for the free download for Dragon 11 customers:

http://www.nuance.com/dragon/whats-new-upgrade/index.htm

http://www.nuance.com/for-business/by-product/dragon/product-resources/whats-new-version-11/index.htm

Redstart Systems will also have an announcement within a couple of weeks — watch this space.

We're live


After working with Beta testers and presales customers for the past year, today we’ve announced the general release of Utter Command.

 

It’s been a long time coming. It started 15 years ago when I got repetitive strain injuries in my hands. I first used the Kurzweil speech engine, and then, when it came out, the first Windows version of DragonDictate, the precursor to Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

 

After several years of writing macros that were similar to everyone else’s — and that I often forgot — I started thinking about the way the brain works with language and started working on a more consistent system. Sometime after that we decided to make a general product out of it. We were thinking it would take six months. It’s taken five years.

 

One of the reasons it took so long is we’ve produced thorough, cross-referenced documentation. Every command is explained. Many thanks to our beta testers, trainers, and presales customers for using and commenting on the UC command system, applets and documentation as we were developing and refining them. Special thanks to Laurie, our VP of QA, and Bill theTrainer for many reads through the documentation and many trips through the self-guided tours.

 

And special thanks to Wren, a programmer who worked with us in the early days. The bird that appears in our logo is the Painted Redstart (we’d already named the company when Wren, also named for a bird, joined us). 

 

Note to presales customers: you should have received your general release copy of Utter Command. Contact us via the support email or Make a Comment contact form if you haven’t.

We’re live


After working with Beta testers and presales customers for the past year, today we’ve announced the general release of Utter Command.

 

It’s been a long time coming. It started 15 years ago when I got repetitive strain injuries in my hands. I first used the Kurzweil speech engine, and then, when it came out, the first Windows version of DragonDictate, the precursor to Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

 

After several years of writing macros that were similar to everyone else’s — and that I often forgot — I started thinking about the way the brain works with language and started working on a more consistent system. Sometime after that we decided to make a general product out of it. We were thinking it would take six months. It’s taken five years.

 

One of the reasons it took so long is we’ve produced thorough, cross-referenced documentation. Every command is explained. Many thanks to our beta testers, trainers, and presales customers for using and commenting on the UC command system, applets and documentation as we were developing and refining them. Special thanks to Laurie, our VP of QA, and Bill theTrainer for many reads through the documentation and many trips through the self-guided tours.

 

And special thanks to Wren, a programmer who worked with us in the early days. The bird that appears in our logo is the Painted Redstart (we’d already named the company when Wren, also named for a bird, joined us). 

 

Note to presales customers: you should have received your general release copy of Utter Command. Contact us via the support email or Make a Comment contact form if you haven’t.

New Videos: Commandline and quick Perl


We have a couple of new demo videos up.

Utter Command: Commandline by Speech shows how you can use the UC List Enter facility to speed up the commandline interface.

Utter Command: Writing a Perl Script by Speech shows how you can use UC’s combined keyboard commands to speed up writing code. Note that for this demo we don’t use any custom coding commands, just standard commands that work the same in any program.

You may recognize this Perl script from a YouTube video of a Microsoft speech demonstration. The big difference between the videos is with UC I had fewer commands to say and therefore fewer potential points of failure. There were a couple of other differences as well. I’m using the ideal speech set up: the NaturallySpeaking Pro speech engine running on XP with a Sennheiser ME3 Microphone and a buddy USB pod. I also wasn’t in front of an audience. I suspect the computer hardware is similar. My laptop is a two-year old Intel Core duo 2.16 with 2GB of memory.

ATIA and training


The Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) 2009 Orlando show starts this week. We’ll be doing a poster session at the show (come see us Thursday, 3:30 to 5:30 in the Front Hall).

 

As part of ATIA we’re offering free Utter Command training sessions to the first 50 people who buy Utter Command during the show, which ends Saturday. UC training includes an assessment, custom lesson plan and remote training session. We use GoToMeeting for the remote training session. GoToMeeting lets you share what’s on your computer screen over the Internet, so we can see your screen and you can see ours.

Welcome to the Redstart Systems Blog

Redstart Systems makes speech interface software that speeds computer use. We’ve just launched a pre-release version of Utter Command for NaturallySpeaking Professional.

Utter Command is the culmination of more than a decade of using and thinking about the speech interface. Utter Command is based on Human-Machine Grammar, a system of words and rules that follows the way the brain works. UC commands are concise, consistent and combinable, which makes for powerful, easy-to-use speech software.

There’s lots more to think about, as technological improvements to speech engine software and microphones, faster computers, smaller computers, and new technologies like portable projectors and electronic paper make it more and more practical to use speech to control machines.

In this blog I’ll explore all aspects of using speech to control a computer.