I have just finished going through a small slide show from NetWorld, showing that someone there believes that the marvelous little rodent, that most of us could not live without, might soon be dead.

Perhaps in time, but not very soon, says me!

There is an article that accompanies the slideshow, but the slides speak volumes that the words just echo faintly.

There are shows of touch screens, which are available, but when a 15″ touchscreen starts at $390, and I can purchase a standard 19″ widescreen LCD for $89, and the mouse comes in nearly free (included with most all computers), the more than 4 to 1 cost difference tends to make me wonder how soon my mouse might need to be put out to pasture (sorry for the mixed metaphor, not sure where mice retire to).

Also included in the slideshow is a picture of a Dragon Naturally Speaking box. Now I have used the software before, and the problem was always one of processor speed. That is no longer the case, with the surfeit of processor cycles coming from multicore CPUs, even a processor hog such as Dragon can be dealt with. That leaves the probable need for constant rechecking, as no one I know speaks exactly the same way all of the time. If that problem can be traversed, the problem of homophones still arises. Has the artificial intelligence level of the program reached such a high degree as to be able to deal with the number of homophones in our language, and ferret out the number of cases that there could still be problems in context, using the English language?

There would have to be an amazing number of changes in the program in just the two years since I last saw it demonstrated (this demo was with someone who had been working with the program for over 6 months, and was unusually adept at careful modulation of voice – not something easily mastered in a weekend).

Crossing that ravine, there is still the fact that Dragon Naturally Speaking doesn’t work with a number of other applications, so those who work with text documents alone might almost be home, but for others, it is still not completely time to drop the mouse.

Actually, I think I may use my mouse much more than most people. The propaganda, that sold me on the Microsoft model I purchased, was saying that the 2 AA batteries in the mouse should last, on average, 6 months. I have been back to the site (Newegg) and in the comments I read many glowing about the length of the battery life. Many are stating that they actually get six months life from the two, hard working AAs.

I have yet to do better than 3 weeks, before the on screen prompt is telling me that my batteries are dying, and should I not take a peek at the mouse innards, to replace them.

Are touch screens rated for a certain number of presses?

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