Testimonials from Utter Command/Dragon users

Adam Lowry, Attorney, Portland Oregon:

"I am an attorney. I recently completed the Oregon bar exam and, before that, law school. All of this I have done without being able to use my arms to operate my computer. Utter command is a major reason why I have been able to do so much despite my disability.

"I do not have enough room to list all of the many ways UC has improved my life, so I will focus on my top three. First, it makes surfing and searching the internet a snap. I do a lot of legal research on-line. Before UC, on-line legal research was horribly painstaking and inefficient. With UC, it's quicker than using a mouse.

"Second, the documentation that comes along with the software provides a wealth of easy-to-understand information about how to use both UC and Dragon. Just focusing on the basics provided by UC will give you a far better roadmap for using voice software than anything provided by the makers of Dragon.

"Third, UC makes using voice software much easier on your voice. I noticed this from day one.

"There are many other reasons to purchase the software – it greatly improves your ability to edit documents, add vocabulary, access files, etc. – but they all boil down to one huge benefit: unbelievable improvements in efficiency. Overall, I estimate that UC has improved my computer efficiency by 60 to 70%. And I'm still learning the software!"

Sheridan Smith, MD:

"The Redstart Report Method makes dictating reports faster and more accurate. It's a lot safer. It's fun. You look forward to doing it because there's something magical about it.

"The biggest advantage is that it takes a lot of the anxiety of speech recognition away -- you are confident that it will not stick something in there that doesn't belong. In addition, you don't have to think about how to word something. You set up the wording for your reports ahead of time in a relaxed way. Then when you dictate you say a few words and it puts your wording in.  You know it's grammatically correct and it makes sense. It allows you to have more time to think."

Kevin, bioinformatician:

"I have been systematically going through the various UC Lessons (skipping the 'going faster' sections for now), and found the documentation to be outstanding.

"This has been much easier for me to grasp, and far more useful to me, than the Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional system that I was using alone for the previous four months. With the hints and suggestions that you have in your intro, and the various lessons and tours (plus appendices), I have gained a much better appreciation for how DNS learns (I was training at all wrong before), and I can actually see how I might be productive again hands-free.

"This has been a lifesaver, and I am very much appreciative for the effort that you and your team have put into it!

"I almost never use my hands at the computer anymore. This is a pretty tall feat, given that my occupation (Bioinformaticist) requires that I sit in front of my computer most of the day.

"I must commend you on an outstanding program, and an ever-so-helpful suite of documentation."

Carolyn Boriss-Krimsky, visual artist, arts writer and playwright, New York and Cambridge, MA:

“Utter command is amazing. Not only because of the technology, but because of the intelligence, expertise and sensitivity of Kim Patch. Her training is phenomenal. While working with this wonderful program, I have written books, articles and plays, and can’t imagine working any other way."

Prof. of Education, Midwest:

"I would like to recommend Redstart Systems' Utter Command because of the excellence of the voice activation software but also because of the excellence of the personal service I've received in learning to use it.

"Kim understands how to transition the user into the commands needed to gain total control of the mouse in all the programs that are part of a working system. After a month or two of practice, it all becomes second nature! I'm so grateful to her for developing this wrist saving software, and for having the expertise to work so well with a variety of clients. She has made my professional life not only more doable but also more enjoyable."

Eric Oddleifson, Occupational Therapist/Assistive Technology Specialist at Easter Seals Massachusetts:

"As a Dragon instructor for many years, it has been frustrating for me and my clients who need to be truly hands free to not be able to move the mouse naturally and control programs such as iTunes, Windows Media Player, and Thunderbird easily. With the advent of Utter Command, these difficulties no longer exist.

"This expertly crafted program makes controlling the mouse more natural than Dragon Naturally Speaking and fully supports popular open source programs and other Windows applications. For anyone needing to be hands free on a computer, Utter Command offers the solution."

Don Dalton, President, Assistive Technologies, Inc.:

"My company is the first company ever put on by Jim and Janet Baker, founders of Dragon Systems, as a reseller of Dragon speech recognition products some 20 years ago. As you can well imagine, I have seen a great deal of water over the proverbial dam when it comes to speech recognition improvements.

"Also, because I am a quadriplegic, I rely on speech recognition as my only access to the keyboard and mouse of my computers.

"Recently, a mutual friend introduced me to Kim at Redstart Systems and to her wonderful product. I'm here to tell you that I have truly never seen an upgrade to NaturallySpeaking that afforded me such a logarithmic increase in the speed at which I can now operate my computers. I really feel that I can now access my systems faster than users using keyboard and mouse. Yes, it's that good!

"Utter Command is nothing short of amazing. It is exhaustively indexed and documented. This allows quick access when I have questions. I especially like the pages that cross Dragon commands to Utter Command commands. The time I spent getting used to this program was worth its weight in gold.

"I strongly recommend this program to anyone that wants to make their computer fly like an Eagle."

Daniel, writer, New York City:

"When I suffered a repetitive strain injury a decade ago, severely compromising my ability to control my computer with my hands, I was faced with a terrifying prospect. As a copy editor and a writer, how would I make a living now?

"I looked into the possibilities offered by voice software. But while the standard offerings at the time intrigued me, they had many shortcomings.

"I never dreamed that one day someone would develop software enabling me to access my favorite Web sites just by saying their names; to launch my email program, address an email, and write a greeting line-all by saying two words; and to move the mouse and click anywhere on the screen by simply naming the coordinates (as in the old game Battleship). Yet this is exactly what Utter Command lets me do. And if that was all it offered, UC would be well worth the price.

"But that’s just a starting point. Thanks to its well-tailored commands, this great program also lets me edit extremely efficiently, navigating through, selecting, and correcting text faster than possible by hand (even for the uninjured).

"Eventually, I hope to get back to writing, and I’m sure Utter Command will also play a big role in making that possible."

John Dean, speech pathologist, Denver:

"Utter Command has combined a lot of unique features with solutions to issues that have been long-term problems with speech recognition software. If you've been using Dragon for any period of time, you begin to see some serious limitations of the software. Utter Command has found a way around many of the problems inherent in the technology.

"If you're looking for a truly hands-free solution that has the added benefit of speeding up your workflow and improving your productivity, this is by far the best thing on the market. Even if you don't necessarily need a hands-free solution all the time, it offers the flexibility to integrate into your work style seamlessly.

"I can barely remember what things were like before this software was available. I spent a lot of time writing custom commands (many of which I promptly forgot) in order to find ways to automate my work. Invariably, these solutions were too narrowly focused on solving a tiny little problem or automating one repetitive task; using the custom command in a different environment meant going back to the code and making modifications by hand.

"Utter Command provides a solid framework that allows you to really navigate the computer by voice and make effective use of different applications completely by voice.

"One additional note, speaking as a speech language pathologist... the design of the command structure is vastly superior to other techniques when it comes to vocal health. Many command names have been chosen for their ease of production and the ability to combine multiple commands is much healthier for the human voice. By maintaining a more natural flow of language and avoiding the choppy, one word at a time dictation style (remember Dragon dictate?), the muscles associated with vocal production aren't subject to the "static loading" associated with earlier versions of the software (i.e. "discrete" dictation versus "natural language")."

Jill, journalist:

"Utter Command is nothing short of brilliant.

"If you have long been frustrated by Dragon's shortcomings, and thought to yourself "there has got to be a way to make this easier," you will fall to your knees in gratitude that somebody has finally done so!

"Utter Command does take time to learn, but it is time well spent-- time that will come back to you exponentially when cumbersome tasks requiring multiple voice commands are made simple by Utter Command's elegant solutions.

"Most user questions are answered in the extensive documentation, and Redstart Systems is a pleasure to work with. At last, somebody out there wants to make voice software easier for those of us who need it!"

T.K., mental health clinician

"I work in a fast-paced mental health clinic with high volumes of paperwork. Kim created innovative, customized macros that enabled me to fill out complex forms in a third of the time, virtually hands-free.

"Kim was extremely helpful throughout the process, giving insightful advice whenever needed. Her enthusiasm, generosity of spirit and genuine helpfulness was much appreciated."

What people are saying: Selections from around the Web