"My boss sent me to a seminar to evaluate a hot technology that
might prove useful: voice recognition. Kurzweil, a pioneer in the
black art, conducted the seminar. I concluded voice recognition was
nifty and gave impressive demo, but getting reliable,
speaker-independent, continuous-speech recognition was beyond the
ken of current technology. That was in 1980. It's still a fair
"For some people, the promise of voice recognition is a siren
call heard above the noise of reality. The desire to produce text
from the spoken word remains strong. A friend of mine, we'll call
him Robert, recently asked me to help him get IBM's ViaVoice
Dictation working on his Red Hat 7.3 desktop. Robert was on a quest
for a friend of his, who for physical reasons finds it difficult to
type, making school papers harder to create than they should be.
Dictating her papers would make her life much easier.
"A year or so ago I tinkered briefly with ViaVoice Dictation
while using either Mandrake 8.0 or the SuSE distributions that had
included it, but evidently my microphone was not adequate. I
thought IBM pulled the Linux version off the market, but Robert
said he found it for sale on the IBM Web site. Not only that, but
the boxed version included its own microphone..."