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Who Is Writing This Technical Documentation?

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A friend recently purchased a copy of Dragon Naturally Speaking and was having issues with getting it to run.

Issue 1: Hardware compatibility: turns out the only sound card/device for this machine was the integrated one, so an "actual" card was required.

Issue 2: Library problems: speech.dll issues were being thrown on start up. Turns out this stems from not having the most recent/appropriate Microsoft Speech to Text components installed.

Issue one wasn't really an issue [easily remedied] and certainly isn't on Nuance, but number two? Come on now. If your software requires X to run, you had better bundle X with your application or provide a tool that will download and install if it isn't found. Non computer savvy people aren't going to go dig through three year old forum threads to find out what's going on.


Issue 3: Microphone recording: at first glance it appeared that the microphone headset provided by Nuance with Dragon did not function. Upon testing on a second computer, the microphone wasn't the issue.

Turns out, that on the sound card, the microphone jack is shared with Line-In. Now, you might call this a poor assumption, but I had read that and got the notion that the card would auto detect accordingly. Fat chance. This wouldn't have been a problem if the manual had mentioned this. It is unintuitive to dig through the sound card's properties to change which setting the particular jack is on.

In summary, it is hard to recommend RTFM when the manual provides inaccurate or not enough information. Who exactly is writing this technical documentation?

6 Comments On This Entry

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moopet Icon

04 December 2010 - 07:39 AM
You know, I had exactly the same experience last year with Dragon.
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gregwhitworth Icon

04 December 2010 - 05:30 PM
Wow this is not what I thought this thread would be about at all. Sorry for your frustrations. :(
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KYA Icon

05 December 2010 - 09:34 AM
What came to your mind from the title?
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CodeGrappler Icon

06 December 2010 - 09:13 AM
I'm with Greg. I assumed it would be a rant about some horrible API documentation or something. (Probably what he thought as well). However I was not disappointed, sounds like they need to get their act together.
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Blueline Icon

21 December 2010 - 11:43 AM
I don't know who is writing that particular doc but I do know alot of doc today is outsourced just like most of the rest of IT. Basically you have people who don't know anything about anything but who can write English at a kindergarten level bullshitting their way through life by "documenting" products for doc companies. It's sad, it's bad, it's the way of the future.
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AnandVVN Icon

29 June 2011 - 02:33 AM
Document review and testing is also important. Document testing involves checking the accuracy of the written content with the product in question. I guess all the bad documnets that come out don't have a process for review, or the review is done badly.
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