KnowBrainer Speech Recognition
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Topic Title: Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!
Topic Summary: Thanks for making your software available to the disabled community!
Created On: 10/16/2010 01:33 AM
Status: Post and Reply
Linear : Threading : Single : Branch
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Ron Len - 10/16/2010 01:33 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - weelz - 10/16/2010 11:51 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - rvsw - 08/20/2017 03:20 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Ron Len - 10/16/2010 12:06 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Lunis Orcutt - 10/16/2010 11:50 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Louise - 10/17/2010 12:32 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - MDH - 10/17/2010 01:23 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - WreckedWrists - 10/17/2010 02:58 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Lunis Orcutt - 10/17/2010 10:32 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Ron Len - 10/19/2010 02:32 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - onebigfish - 10/19/2010 10:19 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Alan_Stancliff - 10/20/2010 05:03 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - MDH - 10/20/2010 09:45 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - R. Wilke - 10/20/2010 09:48 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - MDH - 10/20/2010 10:02 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Ron Len - 10/20/2010 10:28 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Ron Len - 10/20/2010 10:18 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - R. Wilke - 10/20/2010 10:40 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Lunis Orcutt - 10/20/2010 02:29 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Tiger Feet - 10/20/2010 03:51 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - MDH - 10/20/2010 04:17 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Ron Len - 10/20/2010 04:32 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - R. Wilke - 10/20/2010 05:00 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Ron Len - 10/20/2010 05:34 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - R. Wilke - 10/20/2010 05:52 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - bmac - 10/20/2010 05:55 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - MDH - 10/20/2010 06:56 PM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - mtszorf - 08/19/2017 09:41 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - mtszorf - 08/19/2017 09:43 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - Jomark - 10/21/2010 02:25 AM  
 Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!   - onebigfish - 10/21/2010 10:24 AM  
Keyword
 10/16/2010 01:33 AM
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Ron Len
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Lunis,

I just wanted to post an open letter to you to say how much I have appreciated your generosity over the years of making the Knowbrainer software freely available to me and other disabled users of Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

 

From my personal experience, I have reached a point where I could probably write a lot of the commands that you have in your package. However, it is not practical and would in fact be reinventing the wheel.

 

I just know that I have come to depend on the software throughout the day and whenever I do not have it loaded, my productivity is greatly diminished. Needless to say, I load the software as quickly as I can and move forward.

 

So, I just want to say thank you once again for your kindness and the big hearted gesture that you have extended to so many in this user group. It is something that you did not have to do, but chose to do and for that, we certainly appreciate it and will be forever grateful!

 

Regards --

 

Ron Wycoff

 
 10/16/2010 11:51 AM
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weelz
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Dear Ron, I am disabled too, and have been using Dragon for years, although you couldn't necessarily tell from meeting me (!) It's good to hear of a fellow user...

My question is (inevitably am afraid) . Free? As I get more disabled, money is tighter and tighter, it would be much appreciated if you could tell me more about this.

Best regards, Dinah



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 08/20/2017 03:20 AM
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rvsw
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Hello

I would like to add my gratitude to lunis for providing me a free copy of knowbrainer. It has opened up the possibility for me to look for a job and hopefully at some point of time I would be able to at least pay some part of my living expenses.

It is difficult to put in words how critical is being independent for me and I think for probably any disabled patient.

I'm still at the learning stage but I would be happy to assist with any tasks on knowbrainer if required.

Thank you again

-------------------------

Using Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium version 13 with knowbrainer 2017 on Windows 7 machine with Microsoft Office version 2010

 10/16/2010 12:06 PM
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Ron Len
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In answer to your question of whether it is "free" to people with a disability, the answer is, "yes." However, you are required to fill out a form and you can contact Lunis for more details. Hopefully, he will jump in and provide you with additional information needed.

As I say, making the software available to people such as you and I is something that he does not have to do as a businessman, but he does it anyway.

I am just grateful for his magnanimous gesture!

 10/16/2010 11:50 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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In the early 90s, I was unaware that my struggling song writing/recording career was about to come to an abrupt end. Shortly after I began by using DragonDictate (incremental dictation) in 1993 to mix tracks in my little home recording studio, I met a lady in her mid-60s who was working as a cashier at a Goodwill store because she had lost her typing job from severe RSI and her husband had traded her in for a trophy wife. When I met her, she was barely scraping by but her story would eventually be the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

It was my wife who 1st pointed out that the same software I was using to control the studio mixing board would work just as well for hands-free computing. In the beginning, I decided to placate her by contacting DragonSystems and attempting to donate my current 5000 commands. I was basically told that they appreciated the offer but the new commands would require more technical support and they weren't interested. DragonSystem’s shortsightedness infuriated me but a few months later they gave me an advance copy of NaturallySpeaking, which would be released to the public 6 months later. In the beginning, I had to use a command that would link DragonDictate to NaturallySpeaking so that we could switch from Command Mode to Dictation Mode but by the time NaturallySpeaking Ver. 2 was released, it included a Command Browser that would allow me to construct commands from within the application. For the next few years, I tried to convince the manufacturer to include an option so that end-users could create their own commands and use our command collection but that suggestion didn't fly with the manufacturers which left me with no choice but to eventually hire a programmer who could make KnowBrainer a separate application that could be used in the consumer versions of NaturallySpeaking.

KnowBrainer doesn't quite cover its own development costs but it was the physically disabled community, my wife and the lady at the Goodwill store who got me into the speech recognition business and I have no regrets. I never anticipated the success of this forum or for that matter, even making a living. As much as I appreciate your response, I think you got it backwards. It's me who needs to thank all of you for the forum contributions, ideas and the business. My work is extremely rewarding, pays the bills and allows me to play with new toys (microphones, recorders etc.). Frankly, I just don't think it could get much better

Anyone who is physically disabled can qualify for an NFR copy of KnowBrainer by filling out a short form at the bottom of page one in our
What is KnowBrainer PDF file. We'll take care of the rest…


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 10/17/2010 12:32 AM
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Louise
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just a small addition to this – I purchase software and hardware from Knowbrainer because he donates and does what he can for people less fortunate than myself.

Louise

 10/17/2010 01:23 PM
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MDH
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Lunis,

Your story is very interesting--thanks for sharing. But two questions if I may ask:

1. How did you first teach yourself/know how to write (5000) commands  to mix your sound tracks?

2. Why was it that your "struggling song writing/recording career was about to come to an abrupt end."

Don't mean to be nosy, but I find this all fascinating.

MDH



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 10/17/2010 02:58 PM
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WreckedWrists
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Yes, Lunis, please tell us more about your musical career!  And thanks for this great website.

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 10/17/2010 10:32 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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The public probably isn't generally aware of this but only a handful of artists comfortably make it. Most songwriters/artists spend an eternity trying to get signed and auditioning for gigs but getting signed or even having a hit isn't nearly as glamorous as it might seem. Most “signed” artists wind up touring coffeehouses (especially if you sound a lot like Gordon Lightfoot) and I wasn't even a signed artist although I did get to tour the college/coffeehouse circuit. I also knew Paul Stukey who was Peter in Peter, Paul and Mary in the mid 70s and made my 1st recording in his 8 track studio in a small coastal Maine town.

I wasn't overly fond of the music business but spent the late 60s through the early 90s as a songwriter. I wrote and recorded 2 albums that never made it but I certainly loved the trade. I was basically a self-taught Mac computer geek but my wife eventually weaned me off the Mac and got me into the PC because she thought it was the future. I guess trial and error (or trial by fire if you prefer) was how I learned. My 1st command was a simple
Punch in
macro for a music recording application that I can't even remember the name of. I started with some free voice command software that was included with my Sound Blaster card and later graduated to DragonDictate but realized that I didn't have time to write 5000 commands so I created verbal commands that could do most of the heavy lifting but I had to keep it simple because I'm wasn't and I'm still not a programmer. At the time, I had no idea that I was slowly getting into a new line of business. I actually had the audacity to complain about not being more successful in the music business which, now that I think about it, was really childish at the time. The previously mentioned Goodwill lady, who was forced to eat cat food because she could barely punch the keys on a Cash register really put my silly attitude into perspective! I knew I could go on writing music and I might even get to the point where I could open for another act. I had some success, knew some of the right people and was a former CMA member but I doubt it would've gone much further than that or… I could do something that might actually make a difference. Thanks to the Goodwill lady and my wife, that decision turned out to be much easier than you might think. I haven't played an acoustic guitar or keyboard since 1993 but considering how everything worked out, I have no complaints.

I guess that's basically my story and I apologize if I over shared. I may be a little over passionate about speech recognition.


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 10/19/2010 02:32 AM
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Ron Len
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Lunis,

Thanks for sharing the information about your journey to where you are today. We thank you for traveling the road that you have traveled, because you have benefited so many people along the way.

I am thankful that you got banned from the old ScanSoft forum and decided to create your own website. So many people have learned from the people who frequent this website and who are willing to share of their time and efforts.

Thanks for all that you have done to promote this software and to make it the tremendous tool that it is. People like yourself, Chuck, Lindsay, Rudiger and many other regulars have influenced so many of us to expand our horizons to make this tool a greater benefit to us than what it is.

However, with that all being said, a lot of it would not be possible without this website! So, thanks once again for making the choices that you have made!

Ron

 10/19/2010 10:19 AM
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onebigfish
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Lunis, that's a very interesting story. It is amazing how we get led in life and I am glad that you have chosen to bless people with your talents.


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"Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid."


 


 


 


John Wayne


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

 10/20/2010 05:03 AM
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Alan_Stancliff
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Hello all,

This quote is often attributed to Hunter Thompson, who may or may not have said it:

The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.

One of my lifelong passions has been making music. I never did make it really good living at it. I studied and taught classic guitar for a good many years. It reminds me of the old joke, "What do you call a guitar player without a girlfriend or wife? -- Homeless."

Here is a tune I composed called Kim's Fading Tears. There is a bit of the story behind the title of that I won't go into that here.

And here is a set of variations I composed on the old Spanish folk song Romance de Amor. The original is traditionally played on a solo guitar, but I use a sitar and vibraphone in it, as well as some other instruments.

I hope this message and musical interlude are not inappropriate in this forum.
Regards,

Alan Stancliff



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Alan: DNS 15.30 Ind Pro, Win 10 Pro 64-bit, 16 Gb RAM

 10/20/2010 09:45 AM
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MDH
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Alan,

Great post--thanks for sharing--very much enjoyed it. Lunis, how about posting a couple selections from your albums please.

MDH



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 10/20/2010 09:48 AM
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R. Wilke
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Quote:
Lunis, how about posting a couple selections from your albums please.

Mark,

I am sure that Lunis would be happy to do that, but then it isn't possible because there were no recording machines around at that time.

Rüdiger

 



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 10/20/2010 10:02 AM
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MDH
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Rudiger,

HeardWord "open", "mouth"

Wait .2

HeardWord "pucker", "lips"

Wait .2 

SendDragonKeys"{Whistle}"

 

MDH



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 10/20/2010 10:28 AM
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Ron Len
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Mark,

The only problem is, if Rudiger whistled in German, would we non-German-speaking people be able to understand it? Just wondering.

Ron

 10/20/2010 10:18 AM
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Ron Len
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Rudiger,

How did they say in German, "that comment cut to the bone"? <grin>

Ron

 10/20/2010 10:40 AM
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R. Wilke
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Quote:
Rudiger, How did they say in German, "that comment cut to the bone"? Ron

Sorry, Ron, I have no idea. I must have been missing when we did that in school.

Rüdiger

 



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 10/20/2010 02:29 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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Unfortunately, all of my recordings are still on VHS or DAT and although I have the media, I no longer have the playback devices which would be necessary to transfer them to a hard drive.

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 10/20/2010 03:51 PM
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Tiger Feet
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Lunis,

I have just realised this thread. I thoroughly concur and applaud all the posters and agree with everything that has been said.

I am a quadriplegic but before that, I suppose like most people who have now got a disability, I was a very active person.

I had my accident in 2004 and in rehabilitation, they tried to train me and many others with DNS then. Unfortunately and I'm sure that Lunis will agree with me, it wasn't any good then and very very frustrating and I and many people gave up on it at that point.

It was only by chance and a glancing mention that I was advised to try it in 2009 when I was chatting in the Microsoft news groups. I managed to fund raise for a computer and DNS software. I could not believe how much it had improved since those early days in hospital for me. Also from the news groups, I was directed to this Website and the rest is history.

I, like all the others Lunis, want to thank you for the free KnowBrainer software as it gives people like myself a window to the rest of the world. You truly are a generous man.

I live in the UK and openly say hands across the water for such an ingenious piece of work.

I would also like to say thank you to the rest of the hierarchy here (and you know who you are) and anybody else who gives good advice. There are some pretty knowledgeable people in here. Having said all that, the more you use the software, the more you learn yourself.

I was just thinking Lunis, now that you are successful with KnowBrainer, have you ever thought about putting some of your old albums in the KnowBrainer shop?

You never know, you might just get a fan base from this Website ;-)

Cheers



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Tiger Feet

| DPG 15.7.1 | KnowBrainer 2020 | Windows 10 Professional /64 Bit | Intel® Core™ i9 Ten-Core Processor i9-10900K (3.7GHz) 20MB Cache |  32GB RAM. | 250GB SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2, PCIe NVMe SSD (up to 3500MB/R, 2300MB/W) Boot Drive | 1TB SAMSUNG 970 EVO PLUS M.2, PCIe NVMe SSD (up to 3500MB/R, 3300MB/W) Storage Drive | Sennheiser D10 USB Wireless Microphone

 10/20/2010 04:17 PM
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MDH
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IF Lunis is interested, anyone who has has the playback devices to transfer his albums from DAT and VHS formatted media to hard drive? (We are not going to so easily let Lunis off the hook with this measly excuse!)

MDH



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 10/20/2010 04:32 PM
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Ron Len
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Mark,

In poker, is that referred to as making him, "show his hand"?

Really, I think that would be very nice if someone was able to do that for Lunis. That is part of his history and should be something that he carries forward. You would hate to think of the possibility of losing it. There are people (family and friends) that would enjoy being able to connect to that side of his life.

I hope somebody steps forward and offers to help.

Ron

 10/20/2010 05:00 PM
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R. Wilke
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Quote:
In poker, is that referred to as making him, "show his hand"?

Likely so, and let's hope he wasn't playing with loaded dice.

Rüdiger



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 10/20/2010 05:34 PM
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Ron Len
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Rudiger,

you just never know. You do have to be careful about those people from Tennessee, when engaging them in these endeavors. After playing cards with them, you need to count the number of cards in the deck. If there are more than 52, you have a problem. Also, watch for magic markers up the sleeves. Otherwise, they are good people! <grin>

Ron

 10/20/2010 05:52 PM
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R. Wilke
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Ron,

I have no doubt in my mind that Lunis always has an ace up his sleeve. Metaphorically, of course. Or am I wrong about it?

Rüdiger

 



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 10/20/2010 05:55 PM
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bmac
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While I have a VHS machine, which is collecting dust in my audio cabinet, I do not have the software to transfer the files to the PC.  But in thinking about this, I know that in this area there are stores that will transfer VHS tapes to other media.  Even the backwoods of Tennessee must have one of the stores.  In order to make it easy on Lunis to do this, we should all contribute by buying shares.

The share purchase would actually be protective for us, because there is a chance that by posting his old music library online, we could lose Lunis to a more lucrative career.  If that happened to be the case, we would be rewarded financially by his action of forsaking his old supporters in favor of some new short-term financial gains.



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Bill
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 10/20/2010 06:56 PM
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MDH
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You gotta check out this "Star Trek" interview with Lunis!!!

MDH

September 10, 1998   Old Archives» Columns: Stories 

Speaking freely 

'Star Trek' not such a fantasyby James Hanback Jr. 

Imagine you’re standing on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, ready to take orders from your captain. (Kirk or Picard—who cares? It’s a television show.) At this particular moment, the ship is faced with decoding a strange encrypted message that was traveling through subspace. Suddenly remembering your 19th- and 20th-century history, you immediately recognize the code and realize that you only need a key reference to decipher it.“Computer,” you say. “Display Morse Code key.” And so you decipher the message and save humanity, or something like that. And you did it without ever having to touch a computer keyboard.Voice commands have been the dream of computer scientists since the Altair, regarded as the first “personal” computer. (Developed in the 1970s, it was named by the inventor’s daughter, who was watching—what else?—Star Trek at the time.) Now a Nashville man says he’s bringing the world one step closer to a keyboardless society.“The easiest way to explain it is to say I’ve invented the Star Trek computer,” says Lunis Orcutt, owner of KnowBrainer Voice Commands. “I’ve been working on it for nearly two years. On this computer, you should be able to say any command and never touch the keyboard or mouse.”Orcutt’s computer is actually an Intel-based machine running Windows ’95 and DragonDictate, the latter an award-winning voice-recognition program developed by Dragon Systems. Dragon’s software analyzes the vocal input and transforms it into words and phrases. Orcutt further expands on the command input, creating literally thousands of voice-activated commands that do everything from opening a file to shutting down the computer.The seeds of the project were planted when Orcutt moved to Nashville a decade ago to break into the music business. “At that time, I found myself alone in a recording studio a lot, with nobody on the other side of the glass to press the buttons,” he explains. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could just say a word and start or stop recording?’ ”Despite the difficulties of developing just such a program, software makers have found a way through the use of voice-activated macros. A “macro” is a small computer program designed to automate repetitive tasks. They’re mainly used in word processor and spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Corel WordPerfect. Users are allowed to create their own menu items and keyboard shortcuts to accomplish tasks that would ordinarily take dozens of keystrokes.For instance, Orcutt says he uses the Dragon software and his thousands of command macros to do everyday tasks like dictating e-mail on his notebook computer while driving. The voice commands free his hands to do other things—like control the steering wheel.When voice commands become widespread, they could eliminate repetitive-stress injuries that result from typing. Orcutt says the program could also be a good way to introduce blind people, or those missing hands or limbs, to the world of computing.“Bring up Word,” he tells the machine, which then searches for and launches the Microsoft Word application. In contact management programs like Microsoft Outlook, Orcutt has programmed commands that will automatically search for and dial telephone numbers, notifying the user by voice when to pick up the receiver. Anyone who knows how to program macros could do what Orcutt has done, but so far, he says, he’s the only one doing it on a large scale. “There’s one other person that’s coding voice commands, but he hasn’t done quite as much as I have yet.”In fact, Orcutt already has some big-name international businesses interested in his product combined with DragonDictate. But don’t expect your keyboard or mouse to be disappearing anytime soon. At nearly $800, the software is a little too expensive for the average consumer right now. “The costs will come down eventually,” Orcutt says. “I think in three years or so we’re going to be seeing fewer keyboards.”The software still has its quirks, as any software does. During a demonstration, the computer’s microphone at one point refused to “wake-up” for input. (You can put it in “sleep” mode so that you can talk without activating commands.) Orcutt was forced to press a button to wake up the device.“Bad computer,” he said, once the microphone was working.“Sorry,” it replied.The 1970s Altair, a small box with 256 bytes of memory and a series of switches on its front panel, was programmed by endlessly flipping switches on and off. It was the computer that inspired Microsoft cofounders Bill Gates and Paul Allen to design the first BASIC programming language for personal computers. Modern computers have come a long way since then. Now they use keyboards, mice, and trackpads for input. But by the time Microsoft’s Windows NT 5.0 and Office 2000 software come out commercially, Orcutt says humanity will be well on its way to speaking commands rather than typing them.

 



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 08/19/2017 09:41 AM
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mtszorf
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I have a combination VHS / DVD machine that allows me to copy from VHS to DVD or CD. Is that of any help? I could convert any material to DVD and send the file online.

 

 08/19/2017 09:43 AM
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mtszorf
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Sorry, just saw how old this thread is! However, if my comment is still relevant, I'd be glad to help.

 10/21/2010 02:25 AM
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Jomark
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Quote:
the playback devices to transfer his albums from DAT and VHS formatted media to hard drive

I saw such a self-contained machine for transferring VHS tapes directly to disk in Costco about a year ago as well as a machine from vynyl to disk



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Jomark


 


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 10/21/2010 10:24 AM
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onebigfish
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I ordered a USB audio/video capture device from eBay, almost identical to the one below, for converting old VHS movies to DVD. It works pretty well.

 http://cgi.ebay.ca/USB-2-0-Easycap-Video-TV-DVD-VHS-Audio-Capture-Adapter-/260562953510?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3caac32526  



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"Life's hard. It's even harder when you're stupid."


 


 


 


John Wayne


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 

KnowBrainer Speech Recognition » Dragon Speech Recognition » Open Letter To Lunis Orcutt!

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