Lots of Memory Goodness and Dragon Dictate

I have been wanting to like Dragon Dictate for some time now. But, there’s always been some friction when I used this program on my 2009 iMac. My initial problems started with interference from the Airport extreme and the usb headset. The multiple crashes and spinning beach balls of death were eliminated once I moved the Airport extreme away from the main computer. I hated to think that I spent so much money on a piece of junk software.

But, things still seem slowly. I played around with the accuracy versus speed slider and that helped a little bit. But, using DragonDictate was never a smooth experience. It was a lot faster than typing, if I were using everyday English words. But, the words never seemed to flow across the screen. The time between speaking and seeing the words appear was long enough to break my train of thought. I was afraid to keep talking and talking as the manual had recommended, because I did not want to see my words disappear into a spinning beach ball of interpretation.

I recently upgraded my Mac to 16 MB of memory because I wanted to use Aperture and Nix software’s Color Efex Pro 4 full work more effectively. since upgrading to a Nikon D 7000, I found the computer slower. The factory default of 4gb was no longer sufficient to allow Color Efex Pro and aperture to work well. These programs are memory hogs. There is still lag between making my changes in Color Efex Pro and having the changes finally saved to the photo. But, it’s tolerable and significantly faster than the same procedure with 4 times less memory.

What I did not expect, was at Dragon Dictate operated much faster and more smoothly. I no longer seem to have to wait for the computer to “think”. When I’m dictating I’m no longer hesitating, and wondering if what I speak is being completely lost.

When I had used Dragon Dictate before I did not have any other programs open. I was trying to give Dragon Dictate to access as much system memory as possible. Nuance requires a minimum of 2 GB of RAM to use DragonDictate, they recommend at least 4 GB of RAM. I think that 8 GB of RAM, should be the minimum needed to run this program smoothly, effectively and without hiccups.

I have read a lot of posts from frustrated readers on the Dragon Dictate forum. I think many of these problems could be corrected if there was sufficient memory. However, I do not see too many people buying the program if the minimum (frustration free )requirements were 8 GB. But, I think either Nuance has got to upgrade the requirements or program more efficiently. Also having a newer Mac(<2 years old) may reduce the memory requirement.

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