Computer Assisted Living

wheelchair pic
I purchased a Dell Dimension desktop computer running Windows XP. This system is 2.0Ghz and has 512MB of memory. A fairly standard computer by today's standards.
Dragon Naturally Speaking, voice recogition software that allow the user to operate the mouse and thekeyboard of the host computer. Installing and configuring this one software package allows for hands-free operation of the computer. As you might imagine, this is just perfect for someone with MD.
Later, I got the bright idea of getting him a TV card so that he could watch TV on the computer that he can operate by voice. The first (yes, there were more than more) card that I bought was the ATI WONDER card. Unfortunately for me, that card had a problem with the rest of the computer, and it would get into a state where the picture was just scrambled lines. A shame, since the ATI had a great VCR utility. So, I got a card from a different manufacturer, the Hauppauge TV tuner card. This card was worked flawlessly, except for one small issue. The TV tuner card is generally designed to work through the computer's sound card. The output from the TV tuner should go into the line input port on the sound card, and the sound card would then send the sound out to the speakers. Sounds simple enough, but the problem is that the voice recogition program was also listening on the sound card, and it was trying to recognize the conversations coming from the TV. This was not good.
To bypass this problem, I pulled removed the TV card to sound card connection, and instead plugged a second set of speakers into the TV tuner. He can not control the volume of the sound from the TV using Windows, but at least he can now use the software to control the TV tuner card. -steve