Echo Pen – Update

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I have written another blog post with the echo pen. Again I used the recognizing handwriting feature via Myscript. This time I wrote on every other line of the page and it looks like the recognition is better. On the last test loops from letters like g and y crossed into the writing in the lines below. The software does not appear to have the ability to separate this level of detail.

I keep a written journal of novels that I have read and I used the echo pen to rewrite the entry form the journal. I might consider a dedicated Livescribe note book for these reviews.

I still haven’t played with a pencast as I haven’t a real need for this as yet.

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Technology Overload

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WordPress has just hit version 3.4 it’s called Green. It is named after a jazz guitarist. The site does seem to load faster which is one of the many documented improvements.

I was hoping that this update would fix the issues that I am having with the WordPress iOS application. Still have memory problems when I upgrade. I resolve this by disabling plugins during the upgrade process. The positive side of this is that I am using less plugins.

Still really like WordPress but the little things often make the ride less pleasant.

Fatal Memory

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Having problems with a “fatal memory allocation” error. Haven’t been able to access the blog for several weeks. The culprit seems to be a plugin called WPTouch. This hasn’t been a problem up to now with this plugin. Although the error has occurred before when upgrading WordPress.

There doesn’t seem to bea definitive answer to the problem

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The logo of the blogging software WordPress. Deutsch: WordPress Logo ??: WordPress Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

although PHP and or the hosting service usually get the blame.

I tried to upload the post from iPhone but this failed as well.  So a cut and paste, an  email and another cut paste and here we are.

Another frustration maybe I can get back to my usual run of posts.

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More Windows 8

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More windows 8 testing. I have used the new operating system for a few more hours. The system has not crashed and seems to run well., A cold start seems much slower than a similar start on Windows 7. There is the much publicised lack of the start button! This had me confused as I had set the machine as dual-boot on my laptop, I thought that I had lost the windows 7 install. Anyway a quick Google search and I found a way to create a desktop shortcut and a new tile on the start page.

I still haven’t been marvelled by the new system. I am using IE 10 for this post and that seems ok as well. At the moment I can’t really see a compelling reason to upgrade. However time will tell.

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The system called for an optimization utility to run. Now the system is more responsive.

Win 8 Consumer Preview – first impressions

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I couldn’t help myself when it came to the consumer preview of Win 8. I had decided to leave it alone and keep using Win 7 and wait. I am writing this on Win 8 CP (64 Bit) and using IE 10. I partitioned the hard drive on my laptop creating a 100GB drive and installed Win 8 there, all default settings.  The installation was a breeze, the first windows install that I  did was from a pile of floppy disks about 16 as I recall. This time it all done from a USB stick.

Now I have a dual booting system Win7 and 8 both 64bit versions. Win7 is the default system but its was enough to access Win8. There are already several how to guides on the net. I found the on Latopmag’s blog really helpful.

The operating system is harder to assess after only a few hours of use, no crashes. Office 2007 has installed happily, Google Chrome is humming along nicely. Haven’t found where I can set Google as the default search yet in IE10. I didn’t like the absence of a start/shutdown key, but those trusty people in the interwebs already have a work around for that and now I have a shortcut on the desktop and the start page.

This is a nice place to mention the Start page part of the new Metro interface. I am not really sure that I like it or dislike for that matter. It does like many things seem like a good idea but it is different. IT is not unlike the home page in an iPad or the launch pad on OSX Lion, but not exactly the same. I have started deleting tiles that I wouldn’t use. Office 2007 installed a range of tiles including a VBA certificate!

The gestures aren’t really that good as my laptop has a relatively small track pad. I do like pointing to the corners for stuff, top left to switch between apps and top left to access “charms”. The charms allow access to settings, search and start page quickly and easily.

The opinion so far.  Vista was awful, Win7 was great, Win 8 not sure. So far I haven’t been overwhelmed, but not disappointed either, only time will tell.

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Office 2010

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I have just downloaded and installed Office 2010. On first impression Word 2010 seems faster and more responsive than the 2007 version that I have just upgraded from. Everything is in the same place and I am one of those who liked the ribbon from the start. I do however like the ability to easily hide the ribbon which frees some screen real estate. This post is being typed in Word 2010. The other feature on first use that is nice is the new file tab which gives access to all the things that you would expect in a file menu. This replaces the big button that was a feature of the previous version word.

Anyway I have managed this without resort to the instructions and all of my setting and document history have been upgraded without any problems. I also use Endnote X4 and this translated across without problems. The only thing is that I have changed my version of word in the middle of a major project. Time will tell if this has been a risky strategy.


I have noted that Word 2010 loads in a different manner and on the first load after a reboot and this seems to take longer. But once loaded hums along nicely. I might add that this is being run on a Win7 64bit notebook with an Intel core i5 2.54ghz processor.

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Internet Explorer version 9

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Well here we go Internet Explorer 9. I must say it’s the prettiest version of this software i have used. It certainly noticeably quicker than the previous version and am almost reluctant to say this but a bit smoother than my current favourite browser chrome version 10. I’m not quite ready to abandon my favourite yet but I’m very happy so far with this new version of Internet Explorer having just installed the RTM version. I dabbled with the beta release and the release candidate version and had not experienced any problems with either.

So it looks good performs well I got the dashboard of my blog open hammering away with Dragon NaturallySpeaking all is good.

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More video

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Another video with the iPhone in landscape mode. This time I was offered an option of which orientation I wanted, portrait or landscape. The software detected that I had turned the phone.

Your browser does not support the video tag

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Another update of the WP iPhone App

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Seems as though there are a lot of unhappy bunnies out there as far as this app goes. This version promises to fix lots of bugs. I had problems a few version ago when I couldn’t publish anything from the iPhone. I have never been able to upload a video from the phone so that’s what I will try to do here.

“Your browser does not support the video tag” this message was added on the iPhone. The video has been rotated 90 degrees dont know why. May be the iphone app thinks this is the way to go.

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More testing of Word Recognition Software

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It would almost seem that I’m having a bit of a feast of posting on the blog. It’s not that I’m trying to enter a novel writing competition but rather I am testing Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 11. This is my third post in two days. The two previous posts were both done using the admin pages of my WordPress blog but this one I’m writing within Word 2007 and publishing from within Word. I can add at this point that Dragon NaturallySpeaking correctly added WordPress in its camel case. In fact trying to use the word font made the font dialogue highlight that’s probably because I paused before using the word. But otherwise I must say that the trial is going quite well.

I can certainly pump out quite a few words very quickly using this software. It does seem strange sitting in the study by myself talking to the computer but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to type as fast as I’m writing this. There is always the danger when using this sort of software that you write as you speak.  If you are not watching the screen and reading could go a long and get  some very strange  or misspelt words. And there’s absolutely nothing stopping you having run-on sentences.

Setting up the software didn’t take very long at all, a matter of about 20 min. The program seems to be able to localise to some of the more common versions of English including United Kingdom United States, Australia and New Zealand. I’m not sure whether it would cope will that Irish or Scottish accent but since I don’t have one of those I guess I will never find out. After each use the program takes some time to shut down and this might be to do with the program updating an individual’s profile. The program is certainly built around individual profiles so I imagine several users would be able to access the software on one computer.

Thinking about your writing certainly helps; I’m writing this as I go. This means that I have to  halt think and then proceed. However I have now written about 400 words in the space of about 7 or 8 minutes. I think this would take me quite a great deal of time if I were actually typing. My typing is certainly beyond the hunt and peck method of using two fingers, but my typing is certainly does not have any sort of secretarial speed. I think it would be difficult using this software in an open office or even in a shared office. But working alone as I am now it seems to work quite well. There is some background noise I can hear but the microphone obviously isn’t picking this up so there is not any interference. I can report that Dragon NaturallySpeaking didn’t try to type the sad lamenting meow of our cat.

So here I am nearly up to 500 words the accuracy is quite good it does misunderstand some words but if I speak like a radio announcer and I mean  a proper radio announcer like those found on public radio there is no problem. I haven’t mastered all the complex commands that come with this program  it is possible to change words, delete things, highlight things and even control the computer with this program however my main reason for using it is to speed up my typing. Inevitably this may lead to more blog posts.

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