May, 2005

WWW.KCCATLANTA.COM

Vol. 2, Issue 5

In this Issue…
Top Story of the Month – Voice Command your PC Customer Appreciation/Housewarming/Holiday Party??? Refer Your Neighbor Program heats up Spiritual Word of the Month – Communicating with others builds businesses! Customer of the Month – Bruce Dreyfus Tips of the Month – Seeing through your applications!

Top Story of the Month
Voice Command: Tell Your Computer Where to Go
We might not admit it, but most of us have been talking to our computers for a long time. Put a hidden microphone at every PC and I suspect you'd hear all sorts of oneway conversations. Who hasn't, at one time or another, begged the system ("No, no, no, don't freeze up now, pleeeaaassse") or, when that doesn't work, thrown a few choice words its way ("Darn you to heck, you lousy, stupid machine" - or something like that)? Wouldn't it be nice, though, if your PC actually responded to your verbal input? Well, we don't really want it to talk back when we curse at it (imagine the police coming out in response to your neighbor's complaints about someone fighting next door, only to find you having a "domestic dispute" with a piece of hardware). But there are times when it would be more convenient to, instead of tapping on the keyboard or clicking a mouse, just ask nicely for what we want and have the computer do it. In the Star Trek world, you can say, "Computer, end program" and entire holographic rooms full of people disappear - and heaven knows I've been in a few rooms full of people that I'd love to make disappear. We aren't quite that advanced yet, but voice recognition technology has come a long way in the last few years. We're getting there.

Voice software from Dragon and IBM have been around for a long time. Instead of typing your documents, you can dictate them into your computer's microphone (or even a portable digital voice recorder) and the software will transcribe your spoken words into printed ones - more or less accurately. And if you use Microsoft Office XP or Office 2003, you don't have to buy extra software; speech-to-text voice recognition is built in. You have to spend some time (ranging from a little to a lot) "training" the voice recognition system to understand your speech. If you have the standard news anchor's "non-accent," it might not take long. If you have a heavy regional or foreign accent, it can take quite a while. In theory, eventually the system will be able to translate your speech to text correctly. In practice, voice recognition technology isn't in wider use because, for most people, it just doesn't work well enough to make it worthwhile. If you have to go back through the document and make corrections to every other line, you may find you can just type the text faster in the first place. And you'll have to learn to dictate; it's not just like talking naturally. For one thing, you have to dictate punctuation ("Do you hear me question mark Shut up exclamation point"). Another voice recognition feature that's separate from (but related to) speech-totext is voice command. This is also included in Office XP/2003. In VC mode, instead of transcribing your words into a document, the computer does what you ask it to. For instance, if you say "Save," it saves your file. In general, voice command works better than speech-to-text because it's simpler; the computer only has to recognize short, standardized words or phrases. I have Microsoft's Voice Command for Pocket PC installed on my iPAQ 4155. It's neat to be able to ask the PDA "What are my appointments today?" and have it reply with whatever's on my Outlook calendar. There are drawbacks to voice recognition technology, of course. It doesn't work well in a crowded room or office with multiple computers. If you have several people issuing commands or dictating to their computers, not only will it be distracting to the people, but the computers may also get confused and respond to commands that weren't intended for them. If you forget to turn the microphone off when you're finished using the voice features, the computer will keep trying to transcribe or respond to everything it "hears." This can make for some pretty strange behavior if you don't know what's going on. Personally, I like the voice command feature for the handheld PC. It's more convenient in some situations than using the stylus and faster than the on-screen keyboard. For my primary workstation, I haven't found much value in using voice. My Texas accent seems to displease the software and I can type much faster than it can transcribe my voice. It could come in very handy, though, for someone who's physically unable to type (broken arm, carpel tunnel syndrome, arthritis) or just doesn't know how.

PLAN YOUR HOLIDAY PARTY NOW
We will be having a customer appreciation party that will also be a holiday party and a housewarming party (Because we are moving) on Saturday, December 10th at 7pm. Location is to be determined (we don’t know where we are moving to yet!) Please stay tuned here in the coming months as we fill in the details.

The Refer Your Neighbor Program continues…
We are continuing a great promotion to help spread the word of great KCC service. This only requires you to talk to 2 people- your neighbor on your left…and your neighbor on your right. If you choose to participate in the program, you will receive 2 FREE ANALYSIS coupons to be given to each neighbor. These coupons will have no expiration date so you don’t have to rush them to use them. When they do redeem them, your name should be on the coupon as validation. That means you will receive a coupon yourself for 15% off your next service call! If you do the math you can receive up to 30% off your next service calls. The 15% coupons WILL have a 60 day window to be redeemed from the date you earn it so don’t let them go to waste. If you enjoy our service then tell your neighbor. And this time you will be rewarded for it. (Hint…I wont verify if they are your next door neighbors or not!). To sign up for this great referral program, just send an email to info@kccatlanta.com with the subject RNP. Include your address so we can mail you the coupons so you can get started.

Spiritual Word of the Month

Lesson from a Honey Bee
Read: 2 Kings 7:1-11 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. —Psalm 107:2 Bible In One Year: Psalm 25-27

Years ago I set out a honeycomb to feed some bees that had a hive a short distance away. To start the process I captured one bee in a cup, placed it over the honeycomb, and waited until the bee discovered the treasure. When it was filled and satisfied, it flew directly to the hive. After a moment the bee returned with a dozen others. These in turn brought many more, until finally a swarm of bees covered the comb and soon had carried all the honey into the hive. What a lesson for us! Are we telling others about the One we have found? Christ has committed to us the proclamation of the "good news." Shall we who have found honey in the Rock—Christ Jesus—be less considerate of others than the bees are?

The four lepers who sat just outside the gate of Samaria, after they had found food in the tents of the Syrians who had fled in the night, passed on the good news. They said one to another, "We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. . . . Let us go and tell the king's household" (2 Kings 7:9). The child of God who knows the good tidings of the gospel does not do right if he fails to pass it on to others. Tell a hungry soul about Christ today. —M. R. De Haan, M.D. Close to your door may be someone in sin, O tell him the story true Of Him who died his lost soul for to win— O bring the one next to you! —Forsythe Once you've tasted the Bread of Life, you'll want to share it. FOR FURTHER STUDY How Can I Share My Faith Without An Argument?

Customer of the Month
This month we would like to congratulate Bruce Dreyfus as the May KCC Customer of the month!

He is both an author of many books dealing with job placement, and a excellent job recruiter specializing is placing IT professionals. And now YOU can help him grow his business! He is looking for professional salesmen looking for a new career, and for you to go out and get his new book, Personal Marketing Strategy Program for Transition Candidates©., which is on sale now here.

We provide Candidates, not merely Resumes!
Phone : (770) 579-6050 Website : http://www.dcghire.com/ Email : bdreyfus@dcghire.com

Tips of the month
Make Menus and Windows Transparent
If you've ever played with OS X on a Macintosh computer, you know that it has a really neat graphical interface, such as the "genie" effect that shrinks program windows down "into the bottle" when you minimize them. Another cool effect is

window transparency; you can control the level of opaqueness so that you can see through one application's window into whatever is behind it (another window, or the desktop). AlphaXP is a free utility that gives you similar transparency effects on Windows XP. You can control the opaqueness levels for individual windows, for menus, tool tips and even the taskbar. You can also set windows to fade in and out, although in my testing this would only work for some windows. It was sort of neat, though, seeing one message in the Outlook preview pane fade out as the next one faded in when I clicked to move to a new message.

No AOL needed for broadband If you recently upgraded to a cable modem or DSL, you no longer have to open AOL to access the internet. In fact, unless you need AOL for your email only, you don’t even need to have AOL period. To access the internet just click on the blue “E” on your desktop or by clicking the start menu. The internet web browser will open up and you are on the net, no AOL needed! If you still need AOL for email, or if you like it that much, AOL has LOWERED their prices to $9.99 a month if you access AOL through your broadband connection. Go to www.aol.com for more details on this new plan.