We've been using the same HP Pavillion dv4000 (1.7mz processor, 2G Ram, running XP Home, all current fixes) for several years to run Street Atlas while we travel in our RV. In the past number of months, the ability of Street Atlas to recognize voice commands has grown markedly worse. In an effort to correct the problem, I
1. Uninstalled all versions. 2006 and 2008 were removed successfully through the Windows Control Panel. Remove on 2007 failed. I manually deleted the files on the hard drive and labored through the Window's Registry to remove all references to Delorme or Street Atlas. There were over 300.
2. reinstalled only 2008 after rebooting the machine to allow Windows to verify the Registry.
3. Connected the noise canceling boom mic from the desk top computer that I use for my Spanish Lessons. The microphone seems to do well with the recognition portions of the Spanish course so I reasoned that it should be OK for the laptop. I used the Windows utility then the Street Atlas utility to set the microphone volume on the HP after plugging in the mic.
With no other programs running, I went to Voice in the options menu and started the Delorme training. Here is what I found:
1. On every new page, the microphone checkbox unchecked itself. When I rechecked it, the training would proceed. As the exercise neared completion, recognition was improving but the microphone was still unchecking.
2. I tried the Fall of the House of Usher voice recognition training. Initially, page changes also caused the microphone checkbox to uncheck. As the lesson progressed, that stopped. The recognition was terrible, however. I would describe the computer response as "halting". I was read multiple words at a fairly moderate pace and the highlighting would initially cover those words. Then a pause of up to 2 seconds occurred before all most of the highlighting was reset. On page changes, often the first 2-3 words on the next page were highlighted by the program before I made any sound (in a totally quiet room, late at night). The recognition program would make those first couple of words solidly highlighted, allowing me to move one but without my having attempted to say any of them. On the longer phrases, the rejections after the initial recognition of up to 4-8 words often reset back to recognition of a single word. I found that if I only attempted 4 words, the recognition rate improved somewhat.
While doing this was occurring, I examined the Systray and used the icons there to halt the AVG anti-virus, the Zone Alarm firewall and almost all other processes running. None of these actions made any difference. At the conclusion of the "Usher" training, I attempted to manipulate the Street Atlas views (since I was limited to those commands because on GPS was running at the time). Only the "pan" commands recognized with any certainty. I do use "computer" to initiate all commands to avoid problems. Dropping that made no difference.
My conclusion is that something in Windows has been corrupted or changed by Windows fixes. I've run Zone Alarm's scans, AVG's scans and Spybot Search and Destroy and there is no evidence of viruses or trojans on the machine. The halting response while doing the recognition training, however, suggests that some other process is taking processing time away. I cannot imagine how a Windows corruption would do that.
Since I could find noone else reporting similar problems, I can only assume that the corruption is unique to my system. I have two licenses for Street Atlas, the 2nd running on and IBM Thinkpad T60 with XP Professional. I tried the same recognition training exercises on it with the same microphone and the response was virtually flawless. It recognizes every command quickly.
Any thoughts and ideas are appreciated.
P.S. Sorry for the long post