Wednesday 7 March 2012

Something new and very funky

Before I start, if there are any errors in this post I'm going to leave them uncorrected. You will soon see why.

I originally started knitting following a sports injury that left me unable to do most of the sports I did at the time and in fact barely able to walk. Forced to sit still, I took up knitting as a way of soothing my very active self with a new kind of continuous movement. It seems that no matter what movements I'm doing, there will be injury as I'm now having to work out how to deal with RSI. I suspect I am naturally tense person and in my head I excuse this as being something of a 'creature', the kind that doesn't stay still and is constantly bustling about!

I have learned to position myself more ergonomically, take regular breaks and pay attention to where I hold my stress. This has really helped a recent change from teaching to freelance writing and editing means that 70% of my day can now be spent on my laptop be it as work or in my own time when I'm blog reading etc. I edit audio andvisual, format documents, write blog posts for myself and others, proofread and generally spend a lot of time clicking away at my desk. So while I have managed to overcome wrist pain from knitting, the constant use of my laptop was not going to work.

So I thought I would share with you my new solution -- dictation software! I have to admit I saw very strange chatting to myself but look, a whole blog post, complete with (over) punctuation and no pain! Also, as an added bonus I can break into 'Vogue' thanks to my nifty headset.I felt I just had to share as I know many of you out there suffer from RSI either due to your crafting the kind of lifestyle we all lead which involves heavy workload on a laptop or computer.

It is not cheap option and involves a large amount patience in order to train it to your voice and learn how to use it to manipulate different software programs. However, it now means that when I finish my working day I can sit and knit rather than stare sadly at my needles and mutter, "soon friends, soon". my next plan is to invest in a RSI friendly mouse because that investment now will hopefully save me from pain for years to come. Do any of you use different support for RSI? I would be very interested to hear about it.

The hardest thing is going to be resisting the urge to knit with my now free hands which would kind of defeat the whole point, don't you think? Also, if anyone knows how to get a similar software that will make my appliances respond and do things like all my laundry and cooked me dinner without my having to lift a finger, do let me know.


PixelatedMushroom said...

Fascinating ~ the level of accuracy is great (obviously after much work on your part training it).

In terms of the podcast this could be a pretty amazing tool in the future too if you were ever interested in producing transcripts or text alternatives :)

All the best with the RSI, I've had the same this year and it's super frustrating (no need to reply to this comment :p)

Miss Elle said...

The New iPad has dictation software as part of it!

Ellen said...

I'm also chained to my computer as a writer and I often have to limit my knitting so that I can keep working (have to put food on the table!). I've thought about dictation software. I'd be interested to know which program you're using. I'm so glad to know it's working for you!

behind the ivy said...

My old job relied heavily on dictation software. It's amazing how accurate it can be, but training it is bit of a pain! Did you have to read hours of JFK speeches and Alice in Wonderland too? :)