Re: [NTLK] [OT] Speech Recognition & wrist stress

From: Ryan Vetter <>
Date: Thu May 21 2009 - 21:08:15 EDT

Thanks James.

You are right, speech recognition on the Mac was a bit of trouble....

But now that we have the DNS engine, it is yards better. I would urge anyone to try out MacSpeech Dictate (latest edition). No, I am in no way affiliated with them, I am just totally blown away by how functional speech recognition finally is.

If you are not impressed, I would really be surprised.

----- Original Message ----
From: James Fraser <>
Sent: Thursday, May 21, 2009 4:40:19 PM
Subject: Re: [NTLK] [OT] Speech Recognition & wrist stress


--- On Thu, 5/21/09, Ryan Vetter <> wrote:

> Think of your tendons and bones/joints being bent and
> twisted in a fixed position for long periods of time. The
> muscles, tendons and joints will strain as a result:
> inflammation will set in for starters.

Ah, I see now what I was overlooking: the human hand consists of more than just muscles. Those muscles have to be linked to other things in order for the hand to perform tasks and that's where tendons, joints, etc. come in.

> bodybuilders, for example, do not do isometric contractions of one muscle >group all day long: they do it for about 10-20 seconds in sets on
> different muscle groups during their workout, that is, if
> they even do isometric contractions in their workouts.

Right. And that confirms something I've only ever vaguely thought about: your hands can only take so much and they're not really "designed" to type constantly for extended periods any more than your abdominal muscles could tolerate eight hours worth of sit-ups day after day.

Devices like ergonomic chairs and keyboards can help to reduce the strain on your body to some extent, but the point is that there *is* strain being placed on it, and that strain can only be alleviated so much. Sooner or later, that strain catches up with you.

> Recognizing all of this, and having to do something about
> my now aching hands, I have adopted speech and,
> surprisingly, my production has gone up because it is faster
> than typing.

It's nice to see that speech recognition software has finally gotten to that point. Looking around a bit, it looks like truly useful speech recognition for the Mac has only been with us for the past year or so. Not to say that there wasn't speech recognition software before, just that, for the most part, it always seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. That no longer seems to be the case.

I appreciate you taking the time to explain the difference between what a typist does and what a bodybuilder does. Computers are so much a part of our lives now that the cumulative effects of working with them day after day aren't always though of until it's too late. And your post helps to illustrate that gritting your teeth and "working through the pain" only works for so long.


James Fraser

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Received on Thu May 21 21:08:23 2009

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