Make this the year of the Dragon

The death of my husband’s great uncle last week marked a significant turning point. Uncle Bud was the last of his brothers to pass away; his wife is memory impaired, and only a couple of sisters remain of that generation.

If the family wants to get identification on important photographs, those sisters may be the only sources of information.

Fortunately for that family, my husband’s uncle (one generation younger) has done of fine job of genealogical research and is an expert photo private eye.

If you’re thinking of tracking down some information about a collection of photos from a relative or family friend before it’s too late, try Dragon Dictation. Because as with most things, there’s an app for that.

Dragon Dictation converts voice to type which you can email to yourself for use later when creating labels for those photos in an album (by the way, it’s also great for text messages, Facebook updates and tweets — just speak and upload to the web).

Here’s how it could work for those heritage photos: Bring a pile (or a few) photos with you to visit your loved one. They’ll enjoy a visitor, and you’ll have a ready conversation topic. Put your iPhone or iPad within speaking distance, and turn on Dragon. While you are browsing the photos and chatting about them, whatever stories flow will be captured in type. Email the conversation to yourself, and voila, you have stories to go along with the photos in your album.

You’ll have a bit of editing and spell-checking to do, but it’s much easier and more complete than transcribing notes.

The app for iPhone and iPad is free. Check it out and make a date to visit your friend or relative before the memories are lost.

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