2018: Day 23 the one where I tested all kinds of voice typing options
Word count 57,312 + 2,725 or 60,037 of 1,000,000
Today did not start out with a vignette. That was a mistake on my part. Those pleasant blog post openings tend to eat up a good chunk of word count. Today we are just going to jump in and do some testing. Today is the day that we are going to test a ton of Google Docs voice typing options. Yesterday I discovered that under the tools sections of the Google Docs menu an option exists for voice typing. That option deserved some consideration. It deserved a deeper look. A deep look is exactly what happened today. Today 3 different tests are going to occur. First, I’m going to run a test using my microphones set up on my standard Windows 10 box. That computer might be mining cryptocurrency right now, but that does not mean that the microphones are occupied. Second, I’m going to open up Google Docs on my android based smartphone the Pixel 2 XL and test the voice typing feature. Third, it would be prudent at this juncture to test out the voice typing feature within Google Docs on my ASUS Chromebook Flip C101P.
Let the testing begin…
—– Voice Typing Windows 10 Test —–
I tried out the voice typing feature today on my Windows 10 Storm Stryker computer. Today we are going to close in on writing 60,000 words for the year. It looks like the voice typing feature can keep up with pace that I talk. I’m not sure exactly how to manage grammar when using the voice typing feature. It seems to be able to pick up pauses and stop and start. This is something that will take a little bit of time to get used to. It does not seem to really support just talking at a regular cadence. I’m also getting some weird capitalization throughout this process. Maybe it will work better on my Chromebook versus this multiple microphone setup.
—– End Test ——
That Windows 10 Google Doc voice typing feature is going to present some problems for this whole writing journey. My written words are generally on track enough when typing that I do not need to back through and proofread them before allowing them to be published. Sure a few grammatical issues sneak into my posts, but the frequency is much lower than what happened in the above voice typing effort. Just going back to clean up all the random capitalizations was a lot of work in and of itself. Sure I could just roll with it and publish the voice typing text as is. I don’t think using voice typing on my Windows 10 box will be my primary writing use case. Today I went back over the text and editing things to be reasonable. Some of it was pretty rough.
—– Voice Typing Pixel 2 XL Test —–
The talk-to-text feature on the phone for Google Docs appears just to be the regular microphone button. This does appear to do better with capitalizing the first word of a sentence and with continuing after a short pause.
—– End Test ——
Voice typing is something that works well enough my Android based Pixel 2 XL phone. I have been using that feature since they inserted that special microphone icon within the Android operating system. It works well enough and I have used it from time to time to take notes using Google Keep. Writing long form prose using a dictation software is not something that has been a part of my routine for years.
—– Voice Typing ASUS Flip Test —–
Okay here we go this time we are using the voice typing feature of the Google Chromebook. this voice typing feature appears to work a lot better than the Windows 10 voice typing feature with about 3 microphones turned on. I’m not amused that my sentences are not being capitalize properly. this thing does seem to be able to pause and pick back up when I’m talking again. I’m not sure if this is something that I would do on a regular basis.
Things around the house are never really that quiet. This whole voice typing thing requires a little bit of peace and quiet. I like that it pauses and waits for me to talk again. That is a nice feature. The Voice typing feature seems to work well enough. I am working on some pausing and some stops and starts. overall this feels like a better experience than using my Android phone. maybe I will spend the next 5 or 10 minutes trying to just write this way to see how it goes. you can pause for pretty long period of time and it still waits for the next thing you will say. I could see using this to write if that was the only way. This does not feel like a natural way to write to me.
—– End Test ——
Ok —- all three of the voice typing methods have been tested. None of those options really stood out as an option for writing. Maybe it was not the best idea. Writing takes time. Voice typing seems like a great idea. Maybe the actual practice of writing by voice is a real challenge. Writing is going to happen. It is going to happen at a clip of 3,000 words per day. None of the methods that got tested really worked well enough that I wanted to say a stardate and phrase, “Captain’s log.” Oddly enough that was the entire purpose of the test. I wanted to start talking to my computer like Jean Luc Picard. The dream is real. The execution was just not there today. Maybe technology will catch up with fiction soon enough.
Topic One: Watching Almost Famous
I’m watching this movie that was released in the year 2000. I had completely forgotten or ignored that it was rated R. Maybe the last time I watched it was on a network broadcast. That track Fever Dog is pretty decent song. I only made it through the first 15 minutes of the movie. I’m going to try to listen to the soundtrack album for Almost Famous tonight. That seems like a great idea for the evening. My writing for the day is woefully behind. For some reason this morning I completely spaced on stringing together a writing session. That was probably due to the late start John Paul had for school today. They started school a couple hours late and that completely disrupted my routines for the day. Even something small like that can have a huge impact on my ability to write for the day. That means that right now this is 3,000 word epic writing sprint to close out the blog post for the day. These things take time and a little bit of time is what we have.
Topic 2: Cut and paste just started working again…
This might not seem like a very big deal, but cut and paste from Google Docs to my weblog post just worked for the first time in days. It was a super exciting moment. I copied all the text from this Google Doc and pasted it into a blog post. It worked. The formatting all stayed together correctly for carriage returns. This is a gift of like 10 minutes back per day. I’m pretty happy about it if you cannot tell by the extreme chipperness of the prose in this paragraph. It was a banner moment to have the full copy and paste function working again. I’m hopeful that it is back for good and that it was just a coding glitch that it went away.
Topic 3: Hunting down graphics cards
I really need to spend less time surfing the internet for graphics cards. Today was one of those days where I just looked on Newegg and other places including eBay for decent deals on graphics cards. It is not like I’m going to pull the trigger for just any deal. Buying another graphics cards is a real investment and something that may have to wait until NVIDIA releases the next batch of volta graphics cards to replace the current pascal architecture. That release is probably going to happen at some time this year and it is something that a lot of people are waiting to see happen. It will change the graphics cards market.
…so I started looking at building another computer this week. The Corsair Air 740 case looks pretty good. I think I can manage to get a 4 GPU build into that case. Various build options have been on my mind. It is something that probably does not deserve as much consideration as it is getting. Right now is not the greatest time ever to build a new computer. GPU prices and RAM prices are out of control. The GPU shortage is real and pretty much every mining hobbyist on the planet is buying, over paying, or reselling all the GPU cards within the market.
We are only half way through the post for today and I’m already checking the word count after every paragraph. That is a bad sign. Kaylee is almost asleep and now is the time to kick into gear and close out this day on a high note. The day did start out with some promising voice typing testing. That turned out to be a major waste of time. I guess it is better to know what voice typing is not something that I’m really interested in doing. We are just barely down the path toward writing 1,000,000 words this year. That journey will probably take all types of writing sessions and some of it may be done via voice typing. Who knows what will play out at this point. I might even try using a stylist and writing out one of these posts by hand.
Writing now I’m standing in the kitchen writing on the counter waiting for Captain Pickles to finish up doing whatever it is that dog does in the backyard. Right now the answer is probably eating snow. That sounds about right. Eating snow has been one of the dogs go to moves for the last two days. For some reason I ended up looking at motherboards in the middle of that last sentence. My interest in building a new computer has started to take up more and more time.
Topic 4: This ongoing narrative
Writing for day 23 is getting closer and closer to coming to an end. Maybe day 25 will feel more impressive. At this point the process of writing 3,000 words per days is just about getting the Google Docs instance open and moving from start to finish. This ongoing narrative from day to day is in part auto-biographical mixed with a little bit of other prose. I thought a lot more short stories would have made it into my writing sessions so far. This journey will have to include a few days of writing fiction style prose before the end. I was hoping to have a few chapters and maybe even an entire novel hiding within this 1,000,000 word journey. It has been awhile since I hammered out a whole novel. Most of the time those types of efforts happen in rapid fire of the course of a day or two. I’m curious to see if throughout this year writing 3,000 words per day will constrain my normal bouts of productivity that principly sneeze into existence 40 or 50 thousand words.
That type of writing normally happens without interruption and even a small thing can disrupt it. Taking advantage of that type of raw creativity may not happen again. The days of my having a day or two to devote to one thing may be long gone. That just might be the nature of things as we move forward. Scraping together an hour or two to work on something is a challenge. Scraping together a day or two to work on something just is not going to happen. Writing in a measured consistent way will have to be the path forward. Right now all I can think about is getting some really good chips and salsa. Seriously, my mind just wondered from thinking about how to squeeze out a good 50,000 word writing session to acquiring chips and salsa. I’m thinking about fresh thick chips and salsa just spicy enough to be awesome, but not so hot to require constant beverage intervention. Right now making that happen would require visiting two different places and hoping for the best.
Part of this journey is about an inquiry into quality and understanding the world around us. Maybe some of my writing efforts should move more into a philosophical based discussion. All of my writing is generally geared toward entertaining the mind. Perhaps some of that will translate into a modern chautauqua. Any movement geared toward adult education has my support. We live in any amazing time where the intersection of technology and modernity is about to change the world around us. YouTube and other content creation based platforms have the chance to truly open the door to sharing information and knowledge. Some of that may very well build a path toward education that helps people learn, grow, and develop. That journey is a part of this journey and my march toward writing 3,000 words per day for an entire year.
I was able to get haircut right before picking up the kids today. My new haircut might not be helping me write, but it did make me happier. Wearing my glasses and having hair fall over my ears was annoying me. That needed to get resolved. It was taken care of and now it is resolved. My specific food hunger for rock solid chips and salsa however has not been resolved. Just think —- if this blog post has started with a proper vignette we would be way over 3,000 words and I would not be trying to round out the final 500 words for the night. On the brighter side of things the copy and paste feature is still working. Carriage returns for all. They make things much easier to read. Formatting does wonders for the written word.
Topic 5: The 3,000 word per day challenge
Consider for a moment that you wanted to start a 3,000 word per day writing challenge. Maybe it would be as easy as just accepting the challenge and writing 3,000 words per day. That would meet the basic mechanics of the request. It really is a challenge that anybody who is a competent writer could try to undertake. The longevity of the challenge would be the real questionable part. Writing 3,000 words per day is like a real and true writing marathon. You would have to commit to it and push forward. The real question would be about how many many days you would want to persevere through. One day should be easy. Two days a little harder, but manageable. Getting to a week might make things challenging if you are not used to writing every day. Taking on 365 days in a row just might be beyond the pale of acceptable challenges. That is what makes it so interesting and unique.
Topic 6: the thumbnail for today
I’m not entirely sure why the thumbnail for today should be of two stingrays swimming around at the Denver Downtown Aquarium. They were interesting to watch. I kind of like the way the picture turned out. Now it is a thumbnail and attached to this blog post for perpetuity. Things could be worse. My pictures could just be of Peppercorn the dog. That would make for an interesting Twitter feed I guess. 365 days of Peppercorn the dog.
Dr. Nels Lindahl
Written on my Storm Stryker custom build PC and my ASUS Flip Chromebook C101P using Google Docs
Upcoming 2018 Writing Topics:
— Some thoughts on my sports trading card collection
— A complete ranking of the hot sauces that I have tried
— A post about my top ten favorite science fiction television shows
— Recap of all the video camera equipment I have owned
— All the promise and failures of my first Sony camcorder
— That one with a roadtrip to Florida
— Applied AI: A use case based exploration
— My ode to minor league hockey
— Progress within general AI vs. specialized use cases
— My review of the ASUS C101P Chromebook
— On leadership and the modern workplace
— The best way to archive digital content
Feel free to leave topic suggestions in the comment section.