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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Using Plantronics Bluetooth Headset as a Dictation Microphone

Unbelievable. I have just made something happen that I never thought was actually possible.  I am dictating this blog post via a Plantronics Bluetooth headset; the kind you would normally use to connect to your cell phone.  I'm so excited I just had to share this.

For years I used a feature phone and really had no need for a Bluetooth headset. In fact many of the phones I've had over the years did not support Bluetooth.  Now that I have a Sprint Evo 4G Android device it's almost impossible to cradle in your neck without dropping it.  I've been using the speakerphone a lot but occasionally I'm in a noisy environment and that's just not acceptable.

Today I purchased a Plantronics Voyager Pro+ Bluetooth headset, and I'm extremely happy with it.  One of the features of this headset is that it can connect up to two phones or devices.  This has come in very handy for me as I can dictate on the computer with the headset but when a phone call comes in I can press the button on the headset and be immediately connected to the caller.  And when we hang up, I'm immediately connected back to the computer to continue with my dictation.

I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the dictation software.  I Googled around trying to see if I could find a particular Bluetooth headset that was known to work with Dragon NaturallySpeaking and although I found some Bluetooth devices that were specifically meant to connect to a computer I did not see one that was primarily meant to connect with a cell phone that can also be used to connect to the computer.

I wanted to post the ingredients that I used in case someone else was curious if this can be done.

The ingredients:
In reading the reviews on the Best Buy website for the Rocketfish micro Bluetooth adapter I was concerned whether this would work at all because many consumers have purchased this device and could not make it work successfully on Windows 7 64-bit.  But because it was the only Bluetooth adapter that Best Buy carried in their store I thought I'd give it a try.  I had no trouble installing the drivers and getting the PC to recognize the device.  In fact it paired up with my headset right away.  But trying to get Windows 7 to understand I wanted to use this headset as a microphone did take a little bit finagling.

Ulmately, I went to Windows Control Panel and chose the Sound applet and on the Playback tab I selected my computer speakers at the default playback device that way I can still listen to sounds and music through my computer speakers.  Then on the Recording tab I selected my Bluetooth headset microphone as my default recording device.

Then using Dragon NaturallySpeaking's DragonBar I selected the Audio menu and used the Check Microphone option.  From there I was able to pick the Bluetooth headset as my recording device and follow the wizard to adjust the audio levels.

This all just happened and I've only had a short time to play with it but I've already had one phone call come in so I know it works.

Man, I love technology!  Especially when it works.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The specified printer driver is currently in use

I worked on a printing problem today for a user.  This is Windows XP.  For any network printer that was an HP LaserJet P2015 in her list she could not print to it.  If you right-clicked on the printer in the list and chose properties you would get the following message "The specified printer driver is currently in use."

If you opened the Print Server Properties page and tried to uninstall the printer driver you could also get an error message saying he could not uninstall because it was in use.

To resolve this I first deleted any network printer that was an HP LaserJet P2015 from her list of printers.  I then stopped the print spooler service.  Then used regedit and went to the following registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Print\Environments\Windows NT x86\Drivers
and deleted the reference to the HP LaserJet P2015.

Then restarted the Printer Spooler service.  Went to the Print Server Properties page (click START, Printers and Faxes, then in the menus click on File, and then Server Properties).  Click on the drivers tab and choose to add a new printer driver.  Once the driver was installed I reattached the network printers and had no further errors.

Thanks to the following website for help locating the registry key above: