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Old Software – New PC

After purchasing a new mini PC, I needed to install all of the software I had on my old PC on the new one. Everything went smoothly except for two programs, NaturallySpeaking and FrameMaker. The NaturallySpeaking issue was self-inflicted, but the FrameMaker problem is called, out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new.

Here’s My Story

Once Upon a Time

I thought I was done with NaturallySpeaking. For those of you not familiar with the program, it’s a voice recognition program that enables you to control a computer by voice. It takes some training on both ends (the software and the user), but it’s worth it when things are running smoothly.

I’ve been using NaturallySpeaking for many years. I used it back when it wasn’t so good, but it was the best thing in town. However, over the years, I used it less and less. When I discovered Google Docs, I started using their free voice typing feature. Granted, it only works within Google Docs, but that was good enough for me.

NOTE: If you run into a problem (as I had) with using a microphone on Chromebook, it might be a Chrome settings issue. To resolve open Settings in Chrome – Privacy and Security – Site Settings – Permissions – Microphone. There you can select which sites to allow and which ones to block.

Eventually, I deleted NaturallySpeaking from my computer (it’s a large program) and continued happily with Google Docs’ voice typing. All was going great until recently. Recently I’ve been writing more and dictating more. The more I wrote, the more I wished I could command Doc’s voice typing to make corrections. That’s when I realized, I needed to reinstall NaturallySpeaking. I did try the pitiful Windows speech recognition program that’s built into the Windows 10 operating system. It’s still just as bad as it was in Windows Vista.

Foot Shooting

NaturallySpeaking OopsYes, I shot myself in the foot by deleting everything and not keeping a copy of the original installation file. Me, low-tech grandma, who backs up her backup didn’t have a backup of the backup or an original. I usually do, but I swore I was totally done with NaturallySpeaking (famous last words). So, I began the process of contacting Nuance, the software manufacturer, in an attempt to download the version I paid for (version 13).

When I purchased the software, I sprung for the additional $10 for the extended download feature. I navigated over to the Nuance site, inserted my username and password to access the software. I clicked the download link and got the following message:

Sorry,

TOO_MANY_DAYS_PAST

If you have any questions, please contact Digital River Customer Service at [email protected]

Nuance Customer Service

It was late at night so I decided to email them instead of calling. I put together an email that provided all the necessary information, such as my order number, username, version of the software, and how I paid for it. This is the response I got:

Dear Felicia Williams,

Thank you for contacting the Nuance Online Store.

We’re sorry, our records show that your download file is no longer available because the Extended Download Service has expired. This service allowed us to keep a backup copy of your digital file for a maximum of 2 year(s) after the date of purchase.

Additional details regarding the Extended Download Service can be found at:

http://shop.nuance.com/store/nuanceus/en_US/DisplayExtendedDownloadServiceInformationPage

Sincerely,
Yen M.
Nuance Online Store
Customer Service
[email protected]

If it were not for the fact that I had called the company prior to receiving the email response, I might have gotten myself a bit upset. Fortunately, the Customer Service Rep I spoke to was helpful. Of course, she had to do the obligatory upsell, but in the end, she sent me the link to download the software. She nicely chastised me by saying “Make sure you keep the installation file.” She did explain that the software is considered legacy and they no longer provide technical support. That’s fine, I’ve always been my own tech support.

Should I Upgrade?

Before I installed the software, however, I did a little snooping around. Since version 13 they’ve come out with version 15. I tried to read as many reviews as I could get my hands on to decide whether I want to spend an additional $150 for version 15. I was assured, that if I used my ticket reference number I could purchase it a cheaper price. But as I was reading the reviews, I didn’t see much of a reason for me to upgrade.

According to Nuance, version 15 is more accurate than version 13, but I have not had accuracy problems with version 13. I find it to be spot-on. Therefore, I’m keeping my old software and my money stays in my pocket.

Problem # 2 – FrameMaker

Having solved the problem of NaturallySpeaking, I still had another software challenge to resolve. That challenge is what to do with my digital journal. You see, I use FrameMaker for journaling. Currently, my journal is about 2,500 pages. I started using it back in 2001 so I’ve got a lot of content there.FrameMaker Journal

FrameMaker handles the 2,500 pages as easily as a hot knife going through butter. No hiccups, no freezing no crashing. I’m able to use a Table of Contents and hyperlink to wherever I want to go with FrameMaker. I tried using Word, Docs, Open Office, and Scribe, but they just couldn’t handle it. The problem is I’m using FrameMaker version 6. The current version is 15. As you can see, my version is rather old.

Why Not Buy the Latest Version?

For someone who is not as frugal as I am, the solution would be to purchase the latest version of FrameMaker. The problem is, you can’t “buy” FrameMaker now. You must “subscribe” to FrameMaker. For an individual, the cost is either $29.99 per month or $359.88 per year. That’s a lot of cheese fo use for a digital journal that is not bringing in money to offset the cost.FrameMaker Expense

I’ve yet to find a solution. Currently, I’m using the trial version of the software which is full-featured but it will only last for 30 days. As of this writing, I’ve got 23 days to go. I’m not sure what to do. I do welcome suggestions.

FeliciaFelicia (aka Low Tech Grandma) is a wife, mother, grandmother, freelance writer and low tech blogger.

2 comments… add one
  • Ignatius September 18, 2020, 1:53 pm

    I feel your pain on this one. I nursed along an old copy of Photoshop for years after Adobe switched to a subscription model. I finally had to find another solution when I got a new computer, too.

    I’ve never used FrameMaker, so I’m not sure I can be much help. If anyone in your household is a student or teacher with a .edu email address, you might be able to get a discount on the price.

    My other suggestion would be to take a look at Affinity Publisher. It turned up on a list of FrameMaker substitutes. They offer a free trial. If you want to buy it, it’s a one-time fee of $49.

    I haven’t used Affinity Publisher, but I did have some experience with their old Serif website software when I helped a friend move her website to another host after Serif decided to stop offering web hosting. The program was very intuitive. I could see why my friend wanted to hang onto it.

    I was also impressed with the responsiveness of the Serif/Affinity staff to their forum discussions. IIRC, we also sent in a tech support question, and got a clear response. If you have questions about switching, you might see if you could find answers on their forum. They do say that their software is compatible with a long list of Adobe file formats, but I don’t know if any of those relate to FrameMaker. You should be able to find their forums with a search on “support forum affinity serif.” I’d include a link, but I’m about to add another link, and my recollection is that WordPress screening software hates posts with more than one link. 🙂

    Here’s a link to the Affinity store. Just click on “Find Out More” on the Publisher link. You’ll have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the product page to find the link for the free trial if you’re interested in giving it a try. I’m not sure how long the trial is for. They offered a 90-day free trial early in the pandemic, but their normal free trial is, I think, 10 days. I’m using the Store link because I thought some of the other software might be of interest if it turns out Publisher isn’t a good fit for you. It’s clear that they’re trying to set up alternatives for Adobe’s very pricey products. https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/store/

    BTW, I’m enjoying reading about your adventures with new gear.

    • Felicia September 20, 2020, 8:54 am

      Ignatius, as always, you’re a welcome wealth of information. I’ll check out Affinity to see if it will work for me.

      When you mentioned Adobe Photoshop, I had to chuckle. Many years ago I got a copy of Jasc’s Paintshop Pro. I’m thinking it was back around 2002 or 2003. It’s now Corel Paintshop Pro, but it has worked without issue on every computer I had upgraded to. I’ve never used Photoshop, but I’ve been able to do everything I need with my old Jasc software. Granted, I’m not a graphic designer, but for my needs, this old software is more than adequate.

      Thanks for the Affinity info. I’m off to go and check it out.

      It’s always great to hear from you!

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