« April 2006 | Main | June 2006 »

May 31, 2006

Words you want to hear

One of my investors just said, just keep doing what you're doing.  It was so nice to hear that, I started fantasizing about other things I'd like to hear this week.

From a customer:  We need your help figuring out how to spend more of our budget with you.

From a partner:  Both my marketing and product development budgets were unexpectedly increased, and we want to direct it all your way.

From my IT department:  Your new Motorola Q phone arrived today and we already have it syncing with your new Vista laptop, and we didn't spend any budget because we finally ebayed the old equipment we had in storage.

I'll stop there and get back to doing what I was doing . . . feel free to add to the list.

May 31, 2006 in Entrepreneurship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 26, 2006

Software Triva

Software Trivia for a long holiday weekend

What Microsoft product has been continually published for the longest period of time?

Hints - the links will give it away:

The product is almost 25 years old . . . on Microsoft - it actually predates DOS and was originally released on the Apple II and then the TRS-80.

The 10th version (depending on how you count) just went into Beta testing

It was once used to test clones for IBM PC Compatibility

In the year 2000, the product made it into the Guinness Book of Records for having sold  21 million copies.  (That was six years ago!)  Could it be the best selling software product ever?  Guinness doesn't list it in their online version.

For more on the history of this amazingly successful software product, check here and here.

Have a great weekend and Thanks Joe P.!!!

May 26, 2006 in Games | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 25, 2006

Shouting doesn't help

Stephen Potter tells a funny story about a person shouting at a speech recognition system, and why that generally doesn't help with recognition issues.  For the people reading this who are not in the business, I'll explain a bit.

When you encounter a telephone speech recognition system and it doesn't understand you, there is a good chance that what you said was recorded and saved in a database.  Reports are generated that (if looked at) will tell the designer where people seem to be having problems, and then the designer can go back and listen to individual recordings of people actually trying and failing to be understood.  Often we hear the person coughing, or talking to the dog or something like that.  Sometimes they just misunderstood the prompt and said something that we weren't expecting, and that can be a help in improving the prompt or changing the system to recognize what was actually said.

When I started in this business, everything was touch-tone, but you could still get clues about the application by "service observing the call".  People often talked to the touch-tone systems but by that point they usually were not being very nice.  I DO NOT WANT TO PRESS STAR TO HEAR THE MENU AGAIN, I WANT TO TALK TO A #@!@ PERSON YOU STUPID MACHINE! was a pretty common phrase.

When speech recognition capabilities first appeared commercially, their recognition ability was limited to recognizing the numbers zero through nine and the words yes, no, and oh.  A few years later we had the ability to build very limited vocabularies ourselves of words like Sales, Service and Operator.  We soon learned to include synonyms for words like Operator, so that if a person said agent or human we could still understand them and transfer them to a person.

I believe there was a market for a vocabulary of all the words and phrases that a person might say when they are frustrated with talking to a machine, but sadly we never built that product.  So to paraphrase Stephen, yelling and cursing at the machine may make you feel better but it won't help get you to a person any faster.

May 25, 2006 in Speech Recognition | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The world dealing with Speech

We've had a speech recognition auto-attendant at Gold Systems for about five years I guess.  While you can still call people directly and you can even talk to a very nice person if you prefer, a lot of people use our V-Dialer to reach us.  Most of us have put the phone number in our email signatures, so my signature says something like Call V-Dialer and say "Terry Gold." 

Yesterday I was walking by the area where FedEx drops off packages, and since I'm always on the lookout for new gadgets showing up, I was particularly interested in a server-size box.  The label made me laugh out loud, because the package was addressed to "Say Jerry Loui"  I guess a human somewhere had a recognition problem.  I'll be curious to see if Jerry now starts getting junk mail addressed to "Say Jerry Loui".


May 25, 2006 in Speech Recognition | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 22, 2006

Car Computer Project Phase One Installed

Phase One of my Car Computer Project is just about done.  I want to thank Woody at Extreme Autoworks (303) 233-0033 for doing a great job on the installation of my Pioneer AVIC-Z1

It looks like it came out of the factory.

Tonight I was thinking about where to mount the Phase Two computer and was poking around behind the glove compartment and found the power bus that Woody installed.  Everything was neatly tied off and clearly labeled. 

A great woodworker was once asked why he bothered to finish the backs of the drawers that he crafted.  "After all, no one ever sees the backs of the drawers."  The craftsman said, "I see them."  Woody is a craftsman and he did it right.  I'm looking forward to Phase Two where I will install a real computer running Microsoft Vista.  Woody has some great ideas for mounting the monitor(s).


I'll do a separate review of the Pioneer unit after I've lived with it a while longer.

This is the first Toyota that I've ever owned, but so far I'm very impressed.  The service from Longmont Toyota has been great and Toyota has already surveyed me once to make sure everything is going well.  I was surprised to get a postcard in the mail a few weeks after I bought the FJ, offering me a free 1/8th scale model of the vehicle if I registered on the website.  I did and it arrived a few weeks later.  One of these recently sold on eBay for $177.


The detail is amazing and the fact that Toyota did a little something extra is very much appreciated. While my company doesn't sell to consumers, it has made me think about what we can do to show our customers that we really do appreciate their business.  I know that in my business our profits come from long term relationships and I imagine Toyota is thinking the same thing.

May 22, 2006 in Car Computer | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 16, 2006

We're growing

I’m excited to again announce that with the latest growth and changes happening at Gold Systems, we have recently posted new job opportunities on our website.  Please see our website for a more detailed description of these career opportunities and to learn more about Gold Systems.


May 16, 2006 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack