Several people suggested using a dictation program to write blog entries while my hand is healing. So this is an attempt to do just that.
I cranked up Apple’s Siri voice software this afternoon to see whether it can handle this kind of situation. This is the first time I’ve used Siri for anything other than making a phone call or other very simple task. So let’s see how it works.
First an update.
Yesterday I was back at Queen’s to see a doctor who specializes in hands. He removed the large coffee ["coffee"?? That is a Siri-ism, a nonsense word appearing out of Siri;s brow==what was it supposed to be? I think maybe I said "puffy".] I called the “lobster claw” bandage that was put on in the emergency room on Friday which had fully wrapped up all three fingers and the various other bites, scrapes, and bruises.
The first photo shows that emergency room bandage before it was removed.
He examined the wounds and pronounced that I will indeed live. He said my finger with the missing part should not require additional surgery, so that was good news, but it will take “a while” to heal. I didn’t ask what “a while” translates to. I guess I didn’t want the answer.
The big puffy bandage was replaced with small dressings on the injured fingertips, which seems like a major advance. I am supposed to change these dressings a couple of times a day, at least until the healing process progresses. The smaller bandages make it a little easier to type, even while avoiding use of the injured fingers. Perhaps there’s hope after all.
Which gets back to Siri. The voice recognition actually worked better than I expected. It’s a little cumbersome, and if I speak too fast it loses track and can’t follow, or just makes more mistakes. I don’t know if it can be trained to insert formatting commands such as to insert a photo or indent a block of text. I’ll have to research whether it recognizes sufficient commands to to that sort of thing.
About half of this text was written via Siri. Some paragraphs had few errors. Some sentences became garbled nonsense. And it all had to be edited and corrected. Still, for the first experiment, I would call it a qualified success.
But the blogging issue isn’t just technical. Before I could rely on Siri, I would have to retrain my brain to think out loud instead of sending a train of thought directly to my fingers and the keyboard, which is what I’m used to. Going to verbal input seems to require using a different neural network. I’m sure it’s a transition that could be made, but would take some real work. Like learning to sign my name or button my shirt with my left hand. Job retraining.
The other problem is also mental. Since Friday morning’s injuries, my attention has been focused inward. Getting through each day has pretty much absorbed my available energy. Routine tasks take more time and, more importantly, attention. Nothing can be taken for granted. So I have just had trouble getting into a blogging mindset the past few days. Hopefully that will begin to change soon.
Thanks for sticking around during the process.