I’d like to share with you a very annoying problem that I have not yet been able to solve.  Its technically an Outlook problem, but running Dragon Naturally Speaking prevents me from using the normal Windows fix for this Outlook problem.

Background

Microsoft XP (my OS) has a relatively weak and poor voice recognition engine in it that has nothing to do with Dragon Naturally Speaking.  You can play around with it if you like but it will return a very poor result (about what DNS could do 10 years ago).

The problem is that XP also comes with a text to speech program and it will have your computer talking to you at the most annoying times.

Every time you receive an email, it will state “You have 3 mails” or “You have 10 mails”, as it pulls in the email from your server.  If you have more than 1 email address it will repeat the chant of how many emails it has found on your server(s).  If you have a slow connection, slow server or slow Outlook or a few hundred emails to pull in, it will essentially repeat this annoying chant for each batch of emails (usually about 5 – 15) until all 100 emails come in.  So if you get say 50 emails and 150 more spam mails to your junk folder, you might hear this stupid message 30 times. 

That’s about as annoying as opening up the Wall Street Journal in the morning ignorant to the fact that there is a lingerie ad on the back page surprising your coworkers and putting you in a difficult situation with HR.

Now you can turn this off relatively easily, but if you do so in XP it shuts down the DNS engine in part as well, which serves to cut off your nose to spite your face.

Like I said, I have not yet found a solution to this problem after using both systems together for over a year.  If you have by chance found the solution or a work around I’d love to hear about it and would be happy to reference your solution or your website if you have one.

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