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OSX_May13_CAlmost annually, Apple releases an update to their popular desktop Operating System – OS X. Many of these releases implement new features, or improve upon existing ones. One example of this is the dictation feature which is presented in all new versions of OS X. This can be a useful feature for slow typers and business people who are referencing many materials or find it easier to speak their thoughts.

About Enhanced Dictation

Last year, when Apple released the latest version of OS X – Mavericks, they also introduced improvements to their dictation feature. By enabling this, you can dictate your thoughts on a number of different apps. For example, you can dictate a memo on your word processor, or dictate search terms on your browser. In older versions of OS X, you needed to have an Internet connection in order to use this feature, but with the new update you can now use it offline too.

Through its offline availability, Enhanced Dictation becomes a partner in accessing your desktop and going through files on your Mac device. This assures you that wherever you are you can still be efficient even if you are offline. Below are some guidelines on how to enable and use continuous dictation on Mavericks.

Turning Enhanced Dictation on

Go to your Mac’s System Preferences, then to the Dictation and Speech section. The dialog box will show you several preferences, tick On and check Use Enhanced Dictation to utilize offline services and continuous dictation. You have to be connected to the Internet in order to enable this feature because you will need to download the application first.

Language and disk space requirements

The required disk space for the content download depends on the language you choose to use. This feature supports several languages. Depending on the frequency of usage, Enhanced Dictation adjusts to your accent and trains itself to understand your voice better through its character. To eliminate confusion with accents, you can choose among several dialects from the Language drop-down list. Some languages, such as English, have several dialects to choose from.

Continuous dictation advantages

Continuous dictation allows your system to show the words you utter live on your display window. This does not have a specific time limit like its predecessor, but stops automatically once you hit Done, press the function key or switch to another window.

Using dictation in other Mavericks applications

To be able to use dictation with other applications, click on a text field and press the function (fn) key twice for the dictation shortcut. You can also choose Edit, followed by Start Dictation and speak the commands you want it to input in the text field.

Using microphones

Your device has a built-in microphone but you can opt to choose a supported external microphone should you prefer to be heard clearer even in a softer tone. With this option, you have to go to the Dictation and Speech section of your Systems Preferences and change the input device to microphone.

Text commands

Another feature of the Enhanced Dictation system is its ability to understand several text-related commands, such as punctuation marks, emoticons, typography, currency, capitalization and word commands, including new paragraphs and tabs, among others.

With the continuous advancement of Apple’s programs and services more businesses are opting for high-performing Mac devices than other device in the market.

If you are looking to learn more about OS X and how it can fit into your organization, contact us today.

5 tips to better online presentations

hardware_may12_C-Behind every successful business lies strong back-end support. Having the right people in your business is vital, and being equipped with high quality hardware sets the stage for smooth operations. If you’re not sure which hardware is essential for your business, not to worry, we’ll take a look at five essential pieces of hardware that could improve your business productivity without compromising ease of use.

The desktop or laptop computer

The computer has quickly become the workhorse of almost every business, without which most modern businesses would likely not be able to operate. Whether operating a multi-user workstation, laptop or a desktop, investing in a reliable computer will surely save you from stress and sweat.

When looking for a computer for your business, You’re likely going to use a computer for your business for at least three to five years, so go for one that requires low maintenance. Many businesses opt for a reputable choice, like a Mac, or a PC running Windows. Many of the bigger name brands are known for their friendly user interface and minimal upkeep. For those looking for one with portability, try a laptop or ultrabook.

Regardless which system you choose, you need to ensure your new computer is compatible with your existing software and systems. The last thing you want is to invest in us a brand new machine and have to spend even more on new software or hardware updates.

Mobile devices

If you’re constantly on-the-go, having a trusty mobile device can be like having a personal assistant. Think tablets, e-book readers or even smartphones. Not only are these devices easy to carry around, but a lot of them are equipped with useful work applications and specifications that are capable of performing tasks you would usually accomplish using a computer. Many business owners find that the versatility of a mobile device compensates for its cost.

When it comes to mobile devices, there are three main systems businesses have to choose from:

  • Android – Owned by Google, you will find a wide variety of devices suitable for any need.
  • iOS – Owned by Apple, offers reliable products and a wide number of apps for your business.
  • Windows Phone – Owned by Microsoft, these devices are most suitable for offices that utilize Microsoft’s other services. This is largely due in part to the deep integration between systems.

Laserjet printers

Not every business uses a printer but even if your business is one that encourages a paperless work space; investing in a durable laser-jet printer can save time and energy. At some point you will need to print, whether that is a contract, documents or image files.Some laserjet printers are also equipped with a scanner, photocopy and fax function. With a price tag starting from approximately USD$100, having one in-house beats needing one any day.

Wireless routers

Broadband modems are an integral part of any Internet-connected business, but get your hands on a wireless router and you won’t look back at cables again. Not only does a wireless router keep your office connected to the Internet without cables, it also acts as an Internet splitter, meaning all your devices can be connected from anywhere within router range. Not only that, but most modern wireless routers come with built-in firewalls as well as the ability to limit a network to computers you trust, which means more safety for your computer.

Network servers

While personal computers are capable of acting as a network server, a dedicated server will give you the advantages of faster CPU (Central Processing Unit), high-performance memory and increased storage capacity. A good network server solution can effectively support your database, email applications and other files, as well as provide comprehensive security and backup options.

We recommend talking to a specialist to make sure you are buying the right package for both current and future needs. An IT partner like us can be a huge help in selecting, implementing and managing a comprehensive network solution.

Hardware is available in every market and the sheer amount can make choosing the right solutions difficult. However, once equipped hardware can enhance workflow as well as results.

Looking to learn more about hardware and network server solutions? Contact us today.

Published on 2nd April 2014 by Jeanne DeWitt.

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