One of my concerns not being able to use my left hand has been how I’m going to be able to continue coding.

As my job entails a lot of coding, this has been a major worry. While I have yet to figure out how to use Dragon for JavaScript – I’m not sure at all what you would use for the less than symbol to tell Dragon to type it – and that’s just one example.

However, SAS was a whole different story. Working on my paper for the Western Users of SAS Software conference, I had to run some analyses just to verify what I was saying in the paper. I’m a little obsessive like that. I may have run a procedure 500 times but before I write about it in the paper I will still run some analysis just to be 100% sure that the binomial option does exactly what I think it does.

Also, it is very helpful for an audience particularly if seeing a technique for the first time to see the output that is created. Because SAS is a very natural language, especially when using the statistical procedures rather than say, macro programming, it was actually quite easy to run a PROC FREQ with pretty much every known option. Even a data step that included data lines and entering the data was a piece of cake.

Lately, I’ve been moving away from SAS and using other languages like JavaScript and PHP just because of the nature of the projects I have been working on. Given my current situation though, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be going back to using sounds a lot more.

Now of course most programs are going to be a lot more complicated than a proc freq with a data step, but still I can see how I could easily do a lot of SAS programming using Dragon.

I have seen that it is possible to hack the software in many ways from inserting your own dictionaries to custom commands and I expect that I will eventually end up doing that to use Dragon or something similar with JavaScript and other languages. That is going to take quite some time and be a relatively steep learning curve I am sure. With SAS, I could pretty much do it right out of the box.
Once I figure out a few of the mathematical symbols, I should be able to do just about anything with SAS,

I think this is a pretty important point because if you have a physical disability that makes it difficult for you to use a keyboard you might want to consider learning SAS as a valuable career skill. If you put that knowledge to gather with knowledge in the content area, for example, a degree in statistics you would be very marketable.

This was on my mind because I just returned from a site visit at a vocational rehabilitation project where their goal is to find jobs for people with disabilities.

I wasn’t thinking of going to anymore SAS conferences for a while after the one in September just because my schedule is very very packed. However, I think I might make an exception in a year or two and demonstrate how one could use Dragon to write SAS programs using only their voice.

Actually, Dragon worked better with SAS than it did with this blogging software. Yes, I am now only writing my blogs using voice input software as I saving any typing I do for actual programming.

 

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SCHOOL IS STARTING ! DONATE 7 GENERATION GAMES TO A STUDENT, CLASSROOM OR SCHOOL under $20 for all three games,

Fish lake woman
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So this is attempt number two with voice recognition software. Now that I have my new custom splint on and I look something like Darth Vader with the robot arm I thought I had better not just keep doing the same thing that caused this problem in the first place.

my darth vader arm

The arthritis in my hands has just been getting worse to the point where I just had my left thumb, reconstructed. I know from other sports injuries that what happens when you injure one part is that other body parts get stressed and start to get injured. For example if you injure your right knee you start putting so much weight on your left knee to compensate that your left knee soon is giving you problems as well.

The Dragon software that I have only works on Windows although the Mac version is coming out very soon. So far it seems to work better than read and write the Google Chrome extension I have used.

What I like about this software so far is that it can do more than just type. It will open a web browser you can correct and underline words and do other formatting.

It’s going to be kind of weird to get use to dictating instead of typing. I’m sure it’s going to take me a while after all I’ve been typing for probably 40 years. I’m certain though that this will help the problems I have with my hands a lot. I’m not sure I’ll be able to do a lot of coding with this, though who knows.

I don’t think it will really work on planes and airports where I spend an inordinate amount of my time. Maybe it will though, I have a friend who is visually impaired and she talks into her phone all the time giving it messages and commands so I’m sure it’s just a matter of getting used to it.

Well I currently have about 900 unanswered e-mail messages, I also have an IRB application to complete and loads of documentation to write. I expect just like learning to use a word processor for the first time this will be a bit of a time-consuming learning process but well worth it in the end.

You’d think that talking to your computer would feel more natural and it would be easier to write but I can’t say that’s the case at all. Obviously I’m much more used to typing.

We’ll see as time passes if this gets easier. I presume it does.

Do you use voice recognition software to type? If so, how long was it before you felt comfortable doing it?

 

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SCHOOL IS STARTING ! DONATE 7 GENERATION GAMES TO A STUDENT, CLASSROOM OR SCHOOL under $20 for all three games,

Fish lake woman
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you can make anything into an opportunity.

For example today I had this very unpleasant operation on my phone actually that was my thumb not my phone. as you may have guessed comma I am now writing using a piece of voice recognition software.

me wearing cast inside giant foam pillow on arm

It’s a Google Chrome extension. this makes me happy for two reasons. the pain pills are not one of them.

the first reason is that I have been wanting to experiment more with Google Chrome extensions.  

At some point we are planning on using Chrome extensions 4  for our game making camp. this is a great opportunity for me to start learning more about how extensions work.

The second reason this is a great opportunity is that I have wondered for some time what I’m going to do when I get old.

I’m just not sitting around knitting type of person. my hand has been bothering me for quite some time. it’s only a matter of time until my other hand starts to bother me as well. So I’ve been wondering about this comma what could I do if I didn’t work.

Now all kinds of people including all of my relatives most of my friends tell me all of the time that I should not work so much. I mention that I did not ask any of these people their opinion? You see the issue isn’t that I can’t think of things to do instead of work. the point is that I like to work and the thought that I couldn’t do it anymore is a bit depressing.

 

There are a few drawbacks of  read and write for Google Chrome which you may have already detected. One is that it has a rather random view of capitalization.  I’m sure that if you read this post closely you can identify other drawbacks. for example like Siri it often misinterpret your words. I left most of the errors here so that you could see. I did fix a few where the sentence made absolutely no sense.

I found it works better if you speak more slowly.

 

So far  it hasn’t been too bad. it was super easy to install and I figured out how to use the speech to text by watching 2 minute YouTube video.

 

On the other hand haha  that’s a joke since I only have one hand –  it seems like the only way to get the premium features is to be at a school that licenses those at the school or maybe classroom level.  right now I’m using the 30 day trial version.

 

The other problem I have found is that sometimes the microphone just randomly quits working.  toggle it off and on to fix Problem.

 

2 move 2A new line All you need to do is say those words which ironically since I wanted actually those words in the sentence I had to take them otherwise it would have gone to a well you know.

 

now if you read this you can see it kind of makes me look like a cross between a teenager using text-speak and someone with a very poor grasp of grammar and spelling. however I think that much of that could be improved with practice and getting 2 no the software better. we’ll see if with practice the voice recognition can be accurate at a faster speed because this slow pace is pretty annoying. the invisible developer just told me that I  sound like a bit from Find old radio show called the slow talkers of America.

New line I also think it would be really really difficult to write code using this with all of the special characters required like  square brackets and curly brackets parentheses etcetera etcetera.

 

After a few weeks tough trying this out I’m going to check out dragon I have a friend who is visually impaired who uses that so I’m going to ask her 2 show me because I’m sure she knows all of the special features as I believe she even used it to write her thesis.. You’re line

If you have any other suggestions either 4 Chrome extensions in general or on using Speech-to-Text software please post it and the comments.

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SCHOOL IS STARTING ! DONATE 7 GENERATION GAMES TO A STUDENT, CLASSROOM OR SCHOOL under $20 for all three games,

Fish lake woman

A picture says 1,000 words – especially if you are talking to a non-technical audience. Take the example below.

We wanted to know whether the students who played our game Fish Lake at least through the first math problem and the students who gave up at the first sight of math differed in achievement. Maybe the kids who played the games were the higher achieving students and that would explain why they did better on the post-test.

You can see from the chart below this is not the case. The distribution of pretest scores is pretty similar for the kids who quit playing (the top) and those who persisted.

Graphs produced by ODSBeneath the graphs, you can see the box and whisker plots. The persistent group has fewer students at the very low end and we actually know why that is – students with special needs in the fourth- and fifth-grade, for example, those who were non-readers, could not really play the game and either quit on their own very soon or were given alternative assignments by the teacher.

The median (the line inside the box), the mean (the diamond) and 25th percentile (the bottom of the box) are all slightly higher for the persisting group – for the same reason, the students with the lowest scores quit right away.

These data tell us  that the group that continued playing and the group that quit were pretty similar except for not having the very lowest achieving students.

So, if academic achievement wasn’t a big factor in determining which students continued playing the games, what was?

That’s another chart for another day, but first, try to guess what it was.

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Would you like to play one of our games? Check them out here – all games run on Mac and Windows.

trail

What about Chromebooks?  Check out Forgotten Trail.

characters traveling on map

Hey, boys and girls, it’s that time again, for another episode of Mama AnnMaria’s Guide on How not to Get Your Sorry Ass Fired.

Lately, I’ve run into a few people who think they are getting away with something because they are SO smart. (Hint: You’re not. I wrote about this months ago. You should have been paying attention.) Let’s call the three of them Bozo 1, Bozo 2 and Bozo 3 (not their real names). There will be a quiz at the end, so pay attention.

Bozo 1 started at as a good employee, so good, in fact, that she received perks like her own office and telecommuting three days a week. Since no one ever questioned the hours she put on her time card, she concluded that no one would know the difference whether she worked 40 hours a week or 38, which was probably true. Gradually, though, she dropped to 30 hours, then 25. She’s still charging for 40, of course. Bozo 1 thinks she’s getting away with it. In fact, her boss let her slide at first because she had been a good employee and the boss figured maybe B1 was just having some personal or health issues.  Fed up as the situation has deteriorated, her employer, is starting to put together documentation to fire Bozo 1.

Here is the CRAZY objection someone made the other day:

That’s not fair! The boss should give her some kind of warning that the company is on to her!

To which I could only reply:

Are you fucking kidding me? She is LYING to her employer, basically stealing money in that she is getting paid for work she did not do, and you think that the employer owes HER? Her boss doesn’t owe her squat. She is getting fired and she’s too arrogant to see it coming.

On to Bozo 2: He is very good at his job and made the company a pile of money. He also got the corner office, name your own hours, work from Bali if you want to. The problem is B2 became too impressed with his own success. When his staff told him that the new project was not bringing in as many sales with him in Bali, that he needed to get out there and talk to the customers, he told them to quit bothering him, he knew what he was doing, and go get him coffee because his great brain needs caffeine. One particular sales person insisted to him that the personal approach was NECESSARY, that sales were going DOWN.  B2 didn’t want to hear it and fired the sales guy saying, ‘I don’t need negativity in my life.’  Bozo 2 still has lots of money coming into the company as a result of work he did a year or two ago. As soon as that money dries up, he’s gone and no one will miss him because he’s been a pompous, inconsiderate jerk to everyone.

The same self-righteous young person objected to this, too.

He has made a LOT of money for the company.

This is true, and  they rewarded him for that money he made with a lot of money and nice benefits. Now he isn’t making money and he is treating everyone like they are dirt beneath his feet. He’s going to get his sorry ass fired.

Bozo 3 is EVERYWHERE, even on The Simpsons, which The Invisible Developer will be delighted to hear me paraphrase,

“You don’t go on strike if you hate your job. You just go in every day and do it half-ass. That’s the American Way.”

I’ve dealt with a lot of people lately who have that attitude. They believe they cannot get fired because their organization is too big to fail and they have seniority. You see this from employees in big banks to universities to government. If you have to wait in line for two hours, they lost your paperwork, they failed to comply with some government regulation, they shrug it off because their organization is untouchable – and so are they, by association.

One advantage of being old is that you get a long-term view. I’ve seen plenty of organizations that hadn’t had layoffs in their entire history close entire departments or plants or institute widespread layoffs. No one is untouchable. Eventually it catches up to you, and who do you think is going to speak up when your budget gets cut? Not John Q. Public you couldn’t be bothered to care about.

So, what did we learn today, children? No matter who you are, where you work or how good you think you are, do your job and don’t be a jerk, because no one gets away with it forever.

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CRAZY ! Our ecommerce site went out of business last night with zero days notice. So …

You can download our Mac and Windows games from Amazon here :

Fish lake woman———–

Or you can play Making Camp for free because it is still under development and we’re awesome like that.

buffalo in the snow

We should have our online store back online tomorrow.