Dragon Dictate Tech Support: “Backup Profiles? You can’t.”

Gentlebeings, tech idiocy heads up (the particular example is Dragon Dictation software, but if one company is doing this it may be happening elsewhere). User profile files (the thing you train with your data) cannot be backed up. The file you are happily relying on in your time machine (or other backup) has no info in it. If you think this is nothing, please note that moving to a new computer will mean starting from scratch to train your vocabulary. Work around below:

Vocabulary, user commands, etc, have to be manually exported to produce a file that can be copied, and if/when the software crashes or you move to a new machine, this exported file can then be reimported.

There is no autosave option for this export process; it has to be done by hand. Apparently some part of this software was designed c. 1970. Even MS Word does autosave.

Also note, the basic profile itself, i.e. whatever it builds after you read into it, tell it what type of accent you have, etc., cannot be exported, and cannot be backed up at all. If you lose it, you start over, retrain the application, import the vocabulary files…

So, the heads-up is, check any complex programs you’re running that depend on user defined data input and make sure you have a way not to lose that information.

Dragon tech support seems to think it’s funny that anyone would be bothered by not being able to restore from backup or autosave. So, 4 mice for the dictation part, and minus 1.5 mice from that for this nonsense.

Most other applications (every other app I’ve used) do in fact allow backup of user profiles, so this comes as an unpleasant shock if found out after one has lost data. Forewarned is forearmed.

One final note: users with specialized vocabulary words very similar to words in the standard dictionary recommend (it’s all over the forums) that the standard vocabulary word be deleted. E.g. I use the Indian name ‘Nalini’. To get this to work, I deleted ‘Melanie’ from the built-in vocabulary. If you crash and lose the profile somehow, these deletions have to repeated one by one, by hand, no automation possible.

“Have a nice day. Thank you for calling Nuance tech support.”

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