…I am experiencing technical difficulties.
Nothing serious, I’ve just been trying to attach a headset microphone to my computer. I spent a good six hours yesterday with a stupid headset mic trying to make it record my voice.
Quick back story: A publisher recommended setting up a workstation so that you could “speak your book.” I’ve never used a dictation program before, but I figured it would be great for me, since I do most of my writing long hand in a composition book. Not always, but a lot. For example, I am typing this directly on my computer, since I happen to be sitting here, battling the evil forces of broken technology and have an important update which I am getting to. The downside is, that when I type directly on my computer my thoughts tend to derail easily and I’ll go off on a tangent and have to make an abrupt direction change which can jar the reader. Like the talking dog in the Pixar movie “Up” that would every once in a while stop in the middle of doing something and yell “Squirrel!”
(scroll back to see what I was talking about before I “squirreled”)
…then I transcribe what I wrote to my computer later. Dictation seems like a great way to speed up the second part of that process. It would also help me to work on my pronunciation and diction, because after listening to my radio interview I realized I could stand to clean up my speaking skills.
Which began the Battle of the Microphone. I have a love-hate relationship with technology. I love it when it works, and hate it the rest of the time. Windows 7 is friendly enough to tech-laggards like myself. But sometimes it’s so idiot proof that it will not allow you to explore additional options. The troubleshooter kept telling me the device is working normally then would shut itself off. “How could you possibly know that without actually trying to record something you pompous adding machine? You are not working!”
Drivers were updated. Reboot. Microphone not muted, change default audio recording device, make sure the levels are okay, try Windows forums to see if anyone else is having the same problem. Obviously, not a software problem. So, the microphone itself must be broken. I took it to a friend of mine, who plugged it in to his laptop and in under 30 seconds handed it back to me and said it’s working.
Still refuses to work on my computer.
So I tossed it.
I have an old webcam that’s been sitting in a drawer for a few years which has a microphone built into it. I plugged it in and it worked in under 30 seconds, like modern technology is supposed to. Even managed to record myself saying “Voice check, testing one-two, testing one-two, alpha, bravo, charlie…” and play it back!
All of this prose is just a quick update to explain that my next post will be dictated to my computer. I really meant this to be about a three or four sentence post, but I just kind of… squirreled.