Installing Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 on Ubuntu 12.04 (Using PlayOnLinux)

After having very much difficulty installing Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 on Ubuntu 12.04 with the latest version of WINE (WINE 1.5.20) I decided to look again at the AppDB.  I found that Dragon Naturally Speaking had a Platinum rating for WINE 1.4, so I decided to give that version of WINE a try with PlayOnLinux, which I believe is a very effective tool for managing different WINE versions and profiles.

Obviously, PlayOnLinux is not a requirement for having WINE 1.4 installed on your machine.  You could install WINE yourself and obtain this version, but for the scope of this tutorial, we will be using PlayOnLinux to manage the installation.

Install PlayOnLinux
It will be to your benefit to grab the latest version of PlayOnLinux from their repository, as this will probably be more recent than the version in your distro’s repository.  This step is optional, but if you ignore it, you might not get the version of PlayOnLinux described in this procedure, and you might be missing new bugfixes and improvements.

Now, let’s install PlayOnLinux!

Install WINE 1.4 Inside PlayOnLinux
Go to the Tools menu, and select Manage WINE Versions.

1-PlayOnLinux

Select WINE 1.4, and press the Right Arrow to install the version.

2-PlayOnLinux

PlayOnLinux will download and install WINE 1.4 for you.

3-PlayOnLinux

Once it’s installed, it will appear to the right.

4-PlayOnLinux

 

Close out of the WINE installation screen.  Next, you’ll want to press the Install button in the PlayOnLinux window, to start installing a new Windows program.

5-PlayOnLinux

Select “Install a new program in a new virtual drive.”

6-PlayOnLinux

You can name your drive whatever you want.  I called mine “DragonNaturallySpeaking12”.

7-PlayOnLinux

Go ahead and check “Use another version of WINE” and hit Next.  This will allow us to manually select which version of WINE we want to use.

8-PlayOnLinux

If you have used PlayOnLinux for other things, you may have more than one version of WINE installed, and that’s OK.  We want to select 1.4.  If you don’t have this option, please go back to the beginning of the tutorial and make sure you’ve installed WINE 1.4 using the “Manage WINE Versions” option on the Tools menu.

9-PlayOnLinux

Now, PlayOnLinux will set up your virtual drive for you.

10-PlayOnLinux

Assuming you have the Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 DVD, which I did, you want to select “CD-ROM” as the place to install your program from.  As shown here.  Then, hit Next.

11-PlayOnLinux

PlayOnLinux will do some steps to prepare for the installation.

12-PlayOnLinux

After a moment or two, the Dragon Naturally Speaking installer will start.  As with any normal installer, click Next to begin.

13-PlayOnLinux

Read the license agreement.  (Hah!)  Then check “I accept the terms in the license agreement” and press Next.

14-PlayOnLinux

In the next window, you’ll want to substitute my filler information with your own.  The serial number for my Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 installation was on the back of the paper DVD holder that contained my installation disk.  Yours will probably be there as well.  Once you’ve filled in your information, go ahead and hit Next.

15-PlayOnLinux

I chose to do a Typical/Complete installation.  I chose to leave the default location.  The location will not interfere with any other WINE programs, unless you didn’t create a brand new virtual drive.  If you did, then the default location should work just fine for you.  If you have no idea, just leave this screen how it is, and press Next.  (That will be fine for most cases.)

17-PlayOnLinux

The installer will now copy some files.

I got this error message.  I ignored it and pressed OK.

18-PlayOnLinux(Error)

 

I decided I didn’t want to have Dragon Naturally Speaking check for updates on its own, as I have no idea how those will be installed… and I am using my Dragon Naturally Speaking in a professional installation where I will not be the user.  I don’t want to put my end-user through a hostile upgrade experience later, I just assume update it myself down the road if necessary.

Once you’ve decided whether you want to risk the automated updates, hit Finish.

19-PlayOnLinux(Finished)

The installer created a .lnk file on my Ubuntu desktop, but I found that shortcut did not work, so I deleted it.  I created my shortcut using the PlayOnLinux shortcut maker.  You can find this by pressing the Configure button on top of your PlayOnLinux screen.

Select your virtual drive, and click the “Make a new shortcut from this virtual drive” button.

1-Shortcut-FromVdrive

Find “natspeak.exe” and press Next.

2-Shortcut-NatSpeak.exe

Obviously, you can name your shortcut whatever you want.   I chose to name mine “Dragon Naturally Speaking 12”.

3-Shortcut-TypeName

Close out of the shortcut maker when it’s finished, and you should now have a shortcut on your desktop to launch Dragon Naturally Speaking.  Go ahead and launch it.

On first run, I had to activate Dragon Naturally Speaking.  This process worked fine for me, so just press Activate Now.

 

 

1-Dragon-1strun-activation

 

Then, Dragon Naturally Speaking will fire up.  Everything looks like it’s working well so far.

2-Dragon-1strun-Splash

 

I did encounter some minor issues with Dragon Naturally Speaking, but all in all, it worked well enough that I am comfortable deploying it.

 

Some Issues I Had:

The Sidebar.  I disabled the sidebar, because it seemed like every other time it launched, it caused the application to crash.

Where You Can Dictate.  It seemed like dictation into Linux programs didn’t work.  I could only dictate into DragonPad and Dragon Naturally Speaking itself.  Even other WINE programs, like Notepad, seemed out of reach of Dragon’s dictation power.

 

I was quite surprised that some of the features like “Search Google for ____” actually worked, and actually launched my native Mozilla Firefox application.   I did not have a huge amount of time to test the installation, but it will be going into production, so I’m sure if there are any other issues, I will find out about them.  If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments, and I will answer what I can.  Keep in mind, I did not install Dragon Naturally Speaking on my own laptop, and my work only had a single license.

The reason I created this tutorial was not as a comprehensive guide, but so that someone who is searching Google for these instructions can find something.  I was very disappointed at how little information I found on Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 with WINE.   I am by no means an expert, just someone who spent a little too much time trying to get this working (see my other two blog posts here and here)… I hope someone found this useful and that I saved someone some time!

Installing Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 Does Not Work With WINE 1.5.20

NOTE: This is NOT a how-to.  This was an effort to document the problems I ran into during installation.  This blog post did not end in a successful installation of Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 in WINE 1.5.20.

This post, like my previous one, also started as a How-to, until it didn’t work…  I did eventually get Dragon Naturally Speaking working, and that post will be coming shortly.  This post does not have instructions which work, but I will publish it anyway in the hopes that someone will find it on Google, and something I’ve written will be useful.

My Installation Experiences

After failing to get Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 working on Ubuntu 10.04, I decided to try it in Ubuntu 12.04 where I would have access to a more recent version of WINE.  I decided to grab the latest version of WINE from the PPA.

Install WINE 1.5 from the PPA

Install Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 (Winetricks)

I was asked to download a file from Mediafire and put it in a location. Follow all on-screen instructions.

Dragon - 3 - Dotnet Error

The .NET Framework installer failed and produced error code HRESULT 0x80070643.  I found this bug report which led me to these other Winetricks.

When installing the other Winetricks, pay attention to their instructions, as some of them will have you download and run other scripts.  This is supposed to satisfy the missing .NET Framework requirements.

Create a 32-bit WINE Prefix As described from this thread, I followed these steps.

Run Dragon Naturally Speaking Installer

Dragon - 1 - Install Starting

Dragon - 2 - License Agreement

 

I still got an error when executing the MSI installer…

Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 Does Not Work On Ubuntu 10.04

NOTE: This is NOT a how-to.  This was an effort to document the problems I ran into during installation.  This blog post did not end in a successful installation of Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 on Ubuntu 10.04.

In spite of being a failure, this post may be useful to save someone else some time if they find it on Google.

I was recently asked to get Dragon Naturally Speaking (version 12) running on a Ubuntu 10.04 laptop at work.  I thought I would write up on this for my own consultation, and at the same time, I figured it would be worthwhile to publish it, in case this helps anyone else.  I realize Ubuntu 10.04 is on its way out, but nevertheless, this might be helpful to someone.  This article started as a how-to, until I realized that it wasn’t worth getting working with these software versions.

Tested Software Versions:
Ubuntu Linux 10.04, WINE 1.2.2, Dragon Naturally Speaking 12.

My Installation Experiences: (WINE 1.2.2) (Did not successfully install.)
Because I am dealing with some very old hardware (a laptop that lacks a DVD drive), I copied the contents of the DVD to a folder on the hard drive, using the network.

Since the application already had a rather high rating (Silver\Platinum) on the WINE database, I attempted an installation using WINE.

I started the Setup.exe program in WINE, and everything looked like it was going well.

Dragon Naturally Speaking informed me that it would require additional dependencies, but it started their installers for me automatically.

Dragon - 1 - Install .NET Framework 4.0

Dragon - 2 - MSXML 4.0 Parser Setup

The MSXML 4.0 setup program ran and successfully installed.  Then, it tried to install .NET Framework 4.0.

Dragon - 3 - Program Error

The .NET Framework 4.0 installer failed…

Dragon - 4 - .NET Failed To Install

So, I used Winetricks to install the Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0.   At the time of this writing, you can get Winetricks here.

While following the instructions to install .NET Framework 4.0, I was asked to download a file (gacutil-net40.tar.bz2) from MediaFire and put it in my home folder in the .cache/winetricks/dotnet40 folder.

After downloading and placing this file in that location, I ran the Winetricks .NET Framework 4.0 installer command again.

The installation took a few minutes, and I got an error message…

Dragon - 5 - Program Error Again (.NET Framework)

I decided I would use the WINE PPA and get a more recent version of WINE installed.

Installing WINE 1.4 from the PPA

Installing on WINE 1.4 (Also did not successfully install.)

I went right ahead and tried using Winetricks to install the .NET Framework 4.0, anticipating that this would be a problem.

The installation ran for a few minutes, but this time it did not crash.  The upgrade to WINE 1.4 must have resolved the issue with the .NET Framework 4.0 installer.

Dragon - 6 - .NET Framework Installer Working 1

I thought it was interesting that my download size would be 0MB, but maybe it still had some files it had downloaded on my previous attempt…

I decided Microsoft didn’t need to know about my setup experiences.

Dragon - 7 - .NET Framework Installer Working 2

It looked like it was going to work, until it failed.

Dragon - 8 - .NET Framework Failed To Install

As suggested by the setup wizard, I took a look at the log file.

After I pressed “Finish”, more terminal output occurred, and it looked like the setup was continuing to make registry entries.

I decided to give the installer a shot anyway, since it looks like part of the .NET Framework 4.0 installation might have succeeded.  It got further than before.

Dragon - 9 - Dragon Setup Partially Working

But it threw some errors, and failed…

Dragon - 10 - Error 1

Dragon - 11 - Error 2

Dragon - 12 - Failed To Install DNS

I did some Googling, and I came across this bug and this bug.  Based upon that, I decided to install a few more Winetricks to see if that would help.

I had some difficulties installing MFC42 because of a 404 error within Winetricks… but it looked like this Winetrick might fix the missing files.

After running these Winetricks and going through their installers, I tried the setup again.  I had the same results.

I looked for dd10hook.dll, and I found it in the correct location on the hard drive.  So, this seems to be an issue only with using\running the DLL.  The file is where it’s supposed to be.

I decided I would need to consult the forums on this one, so I turned on some WINE debugging options.

This was my debug output when running the installer.

I will attempt the installation on a newer version of Ubuntu with a more recent version of WINE, because it sounds like Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 might work in WINE 1.5 based on this bug report.

I will keep everyone apprised on my progress!

Affordable Wireless Bridge with Unlicensed Frequencies

I am a big advocate of not using wireless whenever possible for many reasons; security, interference, reliability, scale-ability, etc.  However the alternative can be extremely pricey, and just out of the question.  Our work has a building about 1400 Ft away from our primary building.  Its current network usage is nonexistent and although some feel our usage will be minimal.  I believe once we have Internet access out there we will see a much larger demand.  I am one who believes in doing it right the first time so it doesn’t have to be done again. Overbuilding is the key for longevity.  I am a big fan of Cisco equipment but in this build-out we will not be using Cisco.  They do offer some enterprise grade bridges but their cost is a little out of our budget on this project.

I played around with how to get the most amount of throughput on this, considered building two Linux boxes with directional antenna’s, priced out equipment, and came the conclusion that if we wanted a reliable connection we should go with equipment designed for what we are trying to do.  Kirk referred me to Ubiquiti We ended up purchasing the Ubiquiti Powerbridge M5 for $250 a radio (or $500 a pair).  This provides a 100Mb link on the 5.8 GHz spectrum which provides 23 non-overlapping channels compared to 2.4 GHz which only has 3.  These specific antennas are also ISP/carrier grade with a supposed distance of 20 kilometer range (don’t worry we turn the transmit power down 😛 ).

Once they arrived I went back to maintenance and grabbed some black pipe and a some scrap 3/4 In plywood.  In no time I whipped together a quick stand for testing.  I wanted something heavy on the bottom, the right size to screw into rafters when we finalized our testing, and cheap.  I also wanted to design it so I could set it on my counter top and not have to worry about scratching it up.  I was happy with the results, and the price… FREE

2013-01-01 14.22.21-scaled 2013-01-01 14.22.39-scaled

We did some testing and found what we had predicted.  These antennas were WAY OVERKILL when it comes to range and current needed throughput… and that means that they were perfect!

They come with a built in spectrum analyzer to detect interference.  Due to our location we did not have any issues with that.  Kirk or I will post some more on the ubiquiti spectrum analyzer software at a later time.  My only complaint with that software is that it only runs on windows… and Linux is my primary OS…

Screenshot-[Concession-Bridge-MCHS] - Main - Chromium

Here is a screenshot of our current setup.  SSID, MAC Addresses, IP’s are all blacked out for obvious reasons.  This is the current link seen below.  This link is about 1400 feet.

Screenshot-Google Earth

2012-10-12 15.14.53-scaled

2012-10-12 15.15.13-scaled

These are outdoor rated antennas however I feel much safer having them under the protective roof.  I know that under an asphalt roof such as this that we will have greater signal loss, that partially why we purchased the antennas we did, to help compensate for that.

Since we have done this we are now streaming video games live to the Internet.  Our usage will be growing more and more with the quality of the video being sent to the Internet.  More and more people will want access, which is why we went with something like this rather than a 54Mb 802.11g connection.

The cost to pull this off with Cisco Aironet devises would have easily been closer to 3 times the cost.  We get a Cisco AP for about $600.  We would need 2 AP’s, plus cables, plus antennas.  We pulled this off at about $500, with a faster link.  Reliability will be determined later.  Currently we have been up for 60 days without problems.

With the success of this link and demand growing to all edges of our sports fields, we plan on building a redundant wireless network of our outbuildings for a minimal cost.

Screenshot-Google Earth-1

We will be putting Cisco AP’s out there to provide edge security/connectivity.

And just because they are rated for 20 kilometer does not mean you can shoot them through trees….  I couldn’t get them do go .5 mile through some trees.

NOTE:  Awesome Android app to help aim this equipment is “true bearing”.  With my minimal experience with some of the longer range equipment this could be very helpful IMHO.

Lazy Spammers…

There was once a time when reading my spam folder was actually entertaining.  I got to sift through wild stories about Nigerian royalty, deceased relatives I never knew I had, and relatives claiming to be stranded in faraway lands like Spain and England, mugged, and without their passports.

But lately, I’ve been looking for humorous spam emails like these, and I’ve been very disappointed by the lack of effort put forth by today’s spammers.

airline-spam

Interesting… I can’t say that I remember scheduling a flight into New York, but who am I to argue with a legitimate airline like Badoo?

 

hp-scanner-spam

This might be more convincing if I actually knew VERNELL, or had an HP scanner.  It’s kind of amusing that they originated the email from my own domain name.

 

linkedin-spam

Thank you very much BERYL for my LinkedIn invoice…

 

unfamiliar-bill-spam

I have no idea who you are, JENELLE MOSELEY, but I will certainly do everything in my power to help you with this bill.  Were you recently hired in at my company as a book keeper and I wasn’t told?

 

twitter-online-banking-spam

I am always relieved to know that my Twitter Online Banking account is secure.  I would certainly want to look into this…

 

hello-user-me-sales-spam

You’re right, every day is a gift, so I shouldn’t waste it reading your poorly worded spam…

 

myspace-changelog-slade-spamchangelog-stoner-spamchangelog-walls-spam

I don’t know why everyone thinks I want changelogs.  Thank you Mr. Walls, Mr. Slade, and Mr. uh, Stoner…

 

In my entire Junk folder, the only email I found with any effort put forth was this fake order confirmation from Intuit.

intuit-spam

Sometimes, I yearn for the days of Nigerian royalty.