By Nerino Petro at 16 May, 2007, 1:33 pm
For those of you who have been considering trying speech recognition on your computer, now is the time to figuratively "dip your toes in the water".
Nuance, the maker of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, is offering a $100 discount on its Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred 9 through May 31, 2007. Normally selling at $199, Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred 9, it is on sale for $99 through the end of May by going here and using the following source code: PPRFRD8-PRFRD9_VISTA. It even includes a headset that will plug into your sound card (although I recommend a USB headset) as well as a 30 day moneyback guarantee from the date of purchase.
I would caution you that if you're going to try Dragon, you pay careful attention to the minimum system requirements which Nuance now states are:
* Intel® Pentium® / 1 GHz processor (for example, Pentium® M, Pentium® 4), or equivalent AMD® processor – Faster processors will yield faster performance
* 1 GB RAM
* 2.5 GB free hard disk space
* Microsoft® Windows® XP (SP1 or higher) Home and Professional, 2000 (SP4 or higher)
* Creative® Labs Sound Blaster® 16 or equivalent sound card supporting 16-bit recording
* Microsoft® Internet Explorer 5 or higher (free download available at www.microsoft.com)
* CD-ROM drive (required for installation)
* Nuance-approved noise-canceling headset microphone (included)
* Speakers (required for playback of recorded speech and text to speech features)
* A web connection is required for activation
* For Bluetooth wireless microphone support, please visit http://support.nuance.com/compatibility/
You need to pay careful attention to the amount of memory, as this is a memory intensive application. I also strongly recommend that you have a faster processor than what they recommend as this will benefit software performance and minimize the impact on your system resources.
If you like this product, then you can decide whether you want to upgrade to the Professional version which gives you more features at a considerably higher price; however, I've found that the Preferred version meets the majority of my needs on a daily basis.