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Showing posts from September, 2016

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Quick Tips: Learn the Military Alphabet

Sometimes while using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, you may need to spell out a word or may need to dictate an abbreviation

 In those cases, you will need to spell out the letters after switching Dragon into the spell mode. Since speech recognition programs often understand the spoken word from the surrounding context, their accuracy reduces when the user is spelling out the letters separately. Additionally, Dragon may find it difficult to interpret similar sounding letters. For example, for me, 'P' and 'T' are not properly interpreted. So instead of just saying the letters, I say the military equivalent  (i.e. the NATO alphabetwhich is 'Papa' for P and 'Tango' for 'T'

Memorising the military alphabet will greatly improve your productivity. At the very least, you should learn the military alphabet equivalent of similar sounding letters.You can draw a list of the letters that you have trouble making Dragon recognise and then learn the military eq…

Dragon NaturallySpeaking tip: what to do when Dragon fails to understand your command repeatedly

Sometimes you may see that Dragon continues to display the response "please say that again" whenever you say something to it.

This is for Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium version 13 that I'm using at the moment. To solve this, either of the following two actions may work:

check to see if the focus is on a window where dictation of command cannot be given. For example, in Google Chrome sometimes, the focus is not in the main window and rather on one of the extensions or add-on icons at the top right-hand corner. Sometimes it is visibly difficult to see where the focus is on so I usually say the command "Alt + D" to bring the focus back to the address barpossible bug in Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium 13. For that, I turn of Dragon NaturallySpeaking using a hotkey and then make it to listen again.If you have experienced similar bugs and have any other workarounds please suggest in the comments below.

RSI issues: How I reduced my chronic neck pain?

About 2 years ago, I had successive bouts of flu in a matter of 3 months. Each episode would leave me weaker and the body pains would continue for a longer period. At the end of the 4th episode, I had persistent neck pain and I went to physiotherapist to get it checked out. He seems to have accidentally claimed my shoulder and that seems to start a cycle of chronic myofascial pain that was severe enough to prevent from opening doors,taps and even hold a spoon to eat. Of course in hindsight, the flu episodes were probably precipitated the problem of poor posture and weak neck muscles.

It has taken quite a while for me to be able to even look in a particular direction continuously including of course the computer screen. Though the treatment was long and still continues, here are few of the points that help

Have a good physiotherapist who can gently reduce the myofascial trigger points. One of the side-effects of myofascial therapy for me was inflammation and it took some time to find a p…

Dragon NaturallySpeaking: how to start numbering in Microsoft Outlook 2010

There are times when I'm composing an email message that I want to number the various lines. I could not find any instruction on the Internet to do this. In Word, one has to say click numbering in order to start numbering and so far I was composing such content on Microsoft Word and then copying it into Outlook.

Today I realised that if the message tab is highlighted while the email is being composed, then you can say "click numbering" and Outlook will start the numbering for you. The trick is to ensure that the message tab is highlighted. Sometimes, for example, I attach a file and then start composing a message. In such a case, the insert tab is highlighted and therefore one has to first go to the message tab by saying "click message".

Here is a YouTube video that demonstrates this

Dragon NaturallySpeaking: how to search for a file in Windows Explorer

One of the most common operations that I usually do is to look up a file in a particular folder in Windows Explorer. Unfortunately, Dragon NaturallySpeaking does not provide any quick way to achieve this and therefore I had to rely on the fallback mechanism of using Windows shortcuts and then experimenting with tabs to cycle between the various panes. So this is how I search for a file.

Say start Windows Explorer to launch the application.Then go to the particular folder where you want the file to be searched. If the folder is visible, you can try saying the name of the folder. This does not work well if there are multiple folders which shares some part of their names with each other. I have not yet found a workaround for this.Then say Ctrl + E which is the shortcut to go to the search box in Windows ExplorerThen type the name or part of the name of the file that you want to search foronce the search is completed and it shows a list of results, you can get to the list by saying tab 3. …

Problems with paying property tax for the first time with BBMP

Even though BBMP has provided the ability to pay property tax online, it still requires the taxpayer to was at BBMP office, get a challan and pay the money in person when paying for the first time.

As expected, I could not find any clear instructions on how to pay the property tax. So I thought I would post my experience here. Please note that this process was done from August to September 2016 and it may change based on BBMP whims

First there was a problem in identifying which BBMP office holds the jurisdiction over the area where my residence is. I call the BBMP office but they could not provide any details .The builder was not of much help either. And my neighbours had not paid property taxes until now so I was kind of a guinea pig for this process.

I took a copy of my registered sales deed to the nearest BBMP office that I could see from the Google maps. I decided to reach there by 3 PM so that even if the BBMP officers took a late lunch, they would hopefully be functional by that ti…

Using Dragon NaturallySpeaking: how to switch between different accounts with the chrome

Sometimes, I had to switch between different personalities within chrome primarily because I have to email on behalf of my parents and signing out from one account and again signing back in from another account is very difficult using voice recognition.

It took a while for me to completely figure out a hands-free way to achieve switching between the different personalities .This is what I do:

Say Ctrl+Shift+M. This will drop down the menu which will include an item called "Switch person"Now to switch the person you can just say "Switch Person". This will bring up a window with all the personalities with one of them selected.Now you can say just go left or go right and once the personality that you want is selected you can just say press enter and it will bring up a chrome window for that personalityUpdate December 2016: The updated version of the chrome browser now shows the list of personalities in the drop-down menu itself thus making it simpler to switch.
Here i…

Pelvic and rectal pain continues - Ayurvedic doctor recommends basti

The anal fistula that was probably caused due to straining during a movement in August 24 seems to have healed but the pelvic and then continue. The Ayurvedic doctor thinks that this is neuropathic pain and is recommended basti which is essentially putting medicated oil inside the rectum.

Basti is apparently recommended in ayurveda for any problems arising from the lower abdominal region. It is Rs. 500 per session treatment for 7 days.For me it is pretty expensive because it still seems to be in a "try and see what happens" category - not a proven method of relieving pain

Setting up Microsoft Outlook 2010 with Gmail in 2016

I continue to use Microsoft Outlook 2010 because I cannot go to upgrade to the newer versions. Another reason to continue with Microsoft Outlook is because of its good integration with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, the voice recognition program that I use.

Recently I had to set up a new POP account in Microsoft Outlook 2010. Like always, I quickly googled with the phrase "how to configure Microsoft Outlook 2010 with Gmail" and started following the directions in the first link at However, I kept getting an error message.

It is only once I looked at their error message that I realised that Gmail considers Microsoft Outlook 2010 as one of the less secure applications and therefore you have to turn off the setting in Gmail to allow access to only secure applications. The instructions for configuring this are available at

How to file a consumer court case in Bangalore a good blog post that details how to file a consumer court case in Bangalore. Unfortunately, along with chronic pain comes the challenge of dealing with medical insurance and the denial of claims without assigning any clear reasons.

This is a good blog post that lists down the tasks step-by-step and also other avenues that can be tried.

Online RTI

As a chronic pain patient was mostly homebound, it is very difficult for me to deal with the Indian government agencies including the public sector banks and LPG delivery agencies. For any small transaction, they would require your presence and would make you sit and wait.

I had been trying to find a way to file RTI from home so that I don't have to endure the pain while sitting plus pay for the commute charges only to find that the government official would want me to come at another time.

I found a mobile app called online RTI which also has a website I was initially sceptical primarily because of late, there have been several such mobile apps launched by fresh out of college graduates. They probably have all the good intentions but I have not found them to be reliable.

However, this portal so far has turned out to be a good experience. I use the mobile app where I am required to write the main content of the RTI. After that, I was required to pay Rs. 300. I…

History of swelling under the armpits

A few years ago, I developed swelling is under the armpit. There were multiple nodules that were quite painful. I was unable to put my arm against the torso. I consulted multiple dermatologist but nobody was able to figure out the answer. There was a needle aspiration done in order to remove the tissue inside the swelling and examine it. The report just came back with a comment that the tissue's shows signs of inflammation but no infection.

It happened multiple times over the course of the year and it used to produce on its own. Usually the episode lasted for about a week. Probably the only connection I could make was consuming curd and one of the homeopathic doctors that I was going to said that sometimes skin eruptions are caused due . To curd. In ayurveda, consuming curd is supposed to aggravate pitta dosha but consuming buttermilk is not.

Chronic pain : Tools of trade

Over the course of several years that I've spent in dealing with chronic pain, I have discovered a number of items that helped to reduce the pain and keep me functional. Here is a list of 10 items that I use frequently:

Thermotex infrared heating pad. (Video review) I have used this since 2007 and it is still working very well. At the time I bought this, I thought it was pretty expensive. Now that it has been 9 years and the pad really reduced the need of pain medication on several occasions, I think it has paid for the investment several times over. I have mainly used it for abdominal muscular pain. There were times that I have wrapped it around the abdomen and slept at night. The main advantage of infrared is that it penetrates deeper and does not heat up the skin like a conventional heating pad. A good side effect of using it on the abdomen is that it reduces my tendency for constipation. It is also been very useful whenever I had any pathology n the rectum like an anal fissure…

Link for grievance redress of with apollo munichinsurance

Apollo Munich rejected the cashless claim stating that the documents have not been provided. But they would not say what documents to the required. Then I escalated the request to what they say is an email ID There was no response in 3 days

Then I escalated to

The link for escalating it further is provided at

Another visit to Ayurvedic Dr - and more confusion

So I had assumed that the fistula is gone in accordance with the advice of the surgeon. And then the nearby Ayurvedic doctor called to check up on me and I went to meet him. He did a digital examination and it multiple times pressed on the spot on the left side between 5 and 6 o'clock according to him where it pains. It never pains on the right side. It is always pain on the left side for me in the past 10 years. Even during the days when I had no pain

In any case, he thinks that there is an internal opening in the fistula where it is paining. He has advised to do a transrectal ultrasound with one of the most reliable doctors in Karnataka

According to him, once the fistula is detected then he is going to do what is called a retrograde opening where he's going to create an external opening of the fistula does not have the 2nd opening and he's going to tie the threads together

Temporary anal fistula leaves lasting abdominal and anal fissure pain

I started having pain in the rectum mostly on the left side after accidental straining in the toilet on 22nd August. Prior to that, I was having indigestion in the stomach continuously for several days. Assuming that it was a fissure, I started using the dilitazem ointment along with kusumolin and sitz bath. I continued to walk about 10,000 steps per day. I also started using jatyadi tail by Thursday. On Friday I went to see a surgeon at Fortis. He said there was induration within the anus and since it was quite painful, he said an ultrasound cannot be done and he would prefer an MRI . He put me on antibiotics and asked me to take an MRI if the pain does not reduce. The pain was down on Saturday but again came up on Sunday and therefore I went to do an MRI on Monday.
The MRI showed a fistula. Then I went to meet surgeon again on Tuesday, August 30. He said that I should prepare for surgery but then I can wait for it because there was no pus formation. On Wednesday I went to meet Ayurve…