The Little Dictator

A digital device can translate your voice into type. But first you have to learn how to talk to it

My computer didn't understand me. I tried talking to it reasonably, but it was fruitless. When I said, "You say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to; you say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to," it heard, "Using potato vice, the auto use a tomato." While the idea of potato vice intrigued me, I was getting discouraged by my machine's tin ear. I spent a week with Dragon Naturally-Speaking Mobile ($250), a 4-oz. tape recorder that holds 40 minutes of speech and fits in the palm of my hand. It's designed to take dictation.

I talked into it "naturally," then plugged it into the serial port...

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