Monthly Archives: March 2009

Must-have Twitter Apps

I love Twitter (not Tweeter). It’s simple, easy-to-use and you get to read other people’s views on various issues. You also get tips and resources on most anything under the sun.

The only problem is I can’t stay the whole day in the Twitter site. So I use a couple of apps to keep me abreast.

One is TweetDeck. It’s a desktop app that monitors your Twitter account. They have downloads for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. I use Linux (Ubuntu Intrepid Ibex). TweetDeck gives a little bird sound whenever someone updates.

The other app is TweetLater. This is a web-based app that automates Twitter activities. For example, before using this app, I used to manually write thank you notes to those who follow me. TweetLater now does that for me. The app also automatically follows those who follow me and then "unfollows" those who "unfollow" me.

TweetLater also can schedule my Twitter updates, although I still have to find a reason why I should do this.

So, if you’re into Twitter, get these apps. To say that they’re cool is an understatement.

Free Speech-to-Text Software

Because of this site’s name, many people come here looking for free speech-to-text or speech recognition software. Actually, this site talks about free or open source software, especially in relation to online marketing.

Truth be told, however, I’m also in the lookout for speech recognition open source software. When I was using Windows XP, I used Dragon Naturally Speaking, which was a good software. I’m not a fast typist and I find it easier to use speech recognition software.

Since I switched to Linux/Ubuntu, I’ve been missing Dragon Naturally Speaking. Alas, the only good speech recognition software are the commercial ones. Indeed, there are open source software such as CMU Sphinx, Julius, and two or three others, but you need to be a bit geeky to install them since you need to install them through the command line. And, when you want to activate it, you still have to do it through the command line. No GUIs yet.

For instance, I tried installing Sphinx 4, but I gave up because it requires packages within packages. If one package doesn’t get installed, the application just won’t work.

The best I was able to do was install Gnome Voice Control, which is a simple voice command app. It’s pretty decent, but at times it was faster using my mouse.

So, I have to wait until someone comes up with a simpler way to install and use speech recognition software for Linux. I heard the Ubuntu people are working on one. I guess there isn’t much demand for this kind of software or there’s some difficulty developing one.

This doesn’t deter me though from continuing to use Ubuntu. The benefits of using Linux far outweigh the inconveniences.