Restart Dragon

Dragon can’t be opened with voice control, so what do you do when it crashes or quits?

Problem

When I’m alone and my voice control quits, I lose control of my computer completely.

Solution

Create a small file with instructions to restart DragonDictate any time it unexpectedly quits.

Recipe

  1. Make sure that DragonDictate is not running. This is really important. Check that Dragon Dictate is not open on your computer.

  2. Open the Terminal app in the Utilities folder on your computer. You can use Finder to navigate to it at: /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app. The application looks like this:

  3. The file that will restart Dragon when it quits is created with this command in Terminal:

    sudo nano ~/Library/LaunchAgents/com.dragon.restart.plist

  4. Input your login password. Bear in mind that you won’t get any feedback whilst you’re typing, the cursor won’t move. You’ll know that it’s worked when you press enter (↵) and the nano text editor opens, like this:

  5. There is a block of code at the end of this post. Copy and paste it into your terminal window until it looks like the picture below. Or you could just be a masochist and type it out by hand! If you can see, the Nano text editor has all its commands running along the bottom of the Terminal window. We want to exit the editor, so we hold down the Control (ctrl ⌃) key and press the X key.

  6. You’ll see the nano commands disappear and are replaced with a message asking if you want to save the modified changes. You do, so just press the letter Y.

  7. The message on the screen will change again, asking you if you want to use the filename com.dragon.restart.plist. Again, this is what we want so just press enter (↵).

  8. If all goes well you will be dropped back to your Terminal looking like this:

  9. We now need to load our file so the computer knows to use it with the following command:

    launchctl load /Users/USERNAME/Library/LaunchAgents/com.dragon.restart.plist

    You’ll know it works when DragonDictate suddenly launches (bounces in the dock).

  10. Should you ever need to unload this file and stop it from keeping DragonDictate open, issue the command:

    launchctl unload /Users/USERNAME/Library/LaunchAgents/com.dragon.restart.plist

More

DragonDictate for Mac, TrackerPro and a Buddy Button are what allows this particular quadriplegic to use his computer as well as any able-bodied person. But if I’m using my projector I only have access to DragonDictate and if it unexpectedly quits I need an able-bodied person to reopen the app for me. This is obviously a bit rubbish as it means if there isn’t anybody around I lose control of my computer and by extension the rest of my computer controlled house. However this little hack ensures that when/if DragonDictate unexpectedly quits, it will be automatically restarted for me (and you!).

This Is the Code You Are Looking for:

Here’s a gist over on GitHub of the code you will need.