Google Voice Transcription

I miss the free service of Jott. I appreciated the ability provided by Jott to call a number and quickly leave myself a message, which was transcribed and sent on to my email address. Using Jott, I could record flashes of brilliance (if I do say so myself) whenever they hit me, knowing that they’d be waiting whenever I checked email. Also, if the transcription wasn’t very good, the original audio recording was available to listen to.

Google Voice provides a great, free solution that enables me to leave Jott-like messages for myself, receive an SMS with the transcription, and receive the transcription via email. And the original audio is available if I need it.

All it takes is a little bit of configuration.

I didn’t want all my destination phones (work, home, etc) ringing when I called myself to leave a Jott-like message (I frequently leave myself messages for transcription on my way to the office, when my wife is still sleeping at home). So, here’s what I did:

  • In Google Voice:
    • Settings->Phones->Edit Cell Phone->Show Advanced Settings
      • Voicemail access: No
      • (click "Save")
    • Settings->Voicemail & SMS
      • Voicemail Greeting: Record New & called it "Jott". Said something like "Leave a message for transcription".
    • Contacts->(my personal contact record – the one with my cell number associated)->Edit->Edit Google Voice Settings
      • When this contact calls you:
        • Select "Ring my" and UNCHECK all the sub-options
        • "When this contact goes to voicemail", play the "Jott" recording created above
        • (click "Save")
  • In Outlook:
    • Tools->Rules and Alerts…->New Rule
      • From People or Distribution list (select
      • Assign it to the Personal category
      • Mark it as High Importance
      • Show a Desktop Alert

This way, I can call my Google Voice number from my cell phone to leave myself a Jott-like message (which is transcribed and emailed to me!) without disturbing my wife at home or ringing my office phone. The Outlook side of things makes sure I am notified of the transcription.

Please let me know of any questions.

Was down, now back! Thanks, Lifehacker!

Thanks to an article I wrote being posted on Lifehacker, our server got mobbed by hoards of eager folks (over 2,000 hits in a couple hours – and still going) and collapsed.

With the quick work of Doug & Rabbitt, the site’s operation was tweaked and restored quickly. Within about 30 minutes, it was serving pages again. Thanks, guys, for getting it back together so fast.

Thanks, Lifehacker! I appreciate the link from your site and the chance to real-world load-test the server!

Happy Mouth – April 2010

This was originally Jay’s month to pick. Because Jay’s mom was having a surgical procedure (which went well, by the way!), Wendy offered to switch months with Jay.

So, this month became Wendy’s month to select. She chose to host a brunch at The Comet in Northside. Ted, Tracy, Ron, Carrie, Wendy, and Andrew made it out that morning. The Comet, long known for their tasty burritos and great live music, recently started doing brunch on Sundays.

Chef Luke Radkey does a great job of turning out delicious dishes from a tiny kitchen. The menu features a few staples but changes slightly each week. You cannot go wrong with any of the brunch choices! Start your meal with a light mimosa to set a nice tone (I think it would be fun if Luke offered “mimosa two ways” – one of these and one of these!), then settle in for excellent, made-to-order brunch items.

Of particular interest to our table was the Sticky Toffee French Toast, while I went for an asparagus quiche that was a new menu item. Everything was delicious!

Despite the rather low turn-out (we had members tending to ailing relatives, out of town, etc), we had a great time at Happy Mouth. The brunch at the Comet is not to be missed!

I suggest you get there early – the doors open at 11:00am sharp – because it tends to fill up.