Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Making "Dictaphone Walkabout Write" software run on Terminal Server 2008

Older, "Dictaphone Walkabout Write" software, and subsequent hardware, will not run and is not supported in a remote desktop environment.

-SD cards must be read/writeable from the local session to the remote environment (integrated card readers & ensuring the drives were shared easily allowed for this).
-Local serial port (com0) foot pedals must control dictation software.
-Software must be able to be ran simultaneously by multiple users.

Thin "User" client (replaced shell) Win 7 x64
Server 2008 R2 x64 as a RDP Terminal Server (software host)
-Individual User Accounts
Serial Port based foot pedal
1/8 audio jack, microphone & headset

Install dictaphone software
Open the software's .cfg file in notepad and change the data path to be an obscure (non used) drive letter (like, w:\)
close & save the file. Change the .cfg file's properties to read only.

Create a .bat file with the following command
subst %userprofile%\dictation w:\

include it as a startup script for those users that will be working with the dictation software. This will create a 'temporary' drive letter that points to a dictation folder in their %userprofile% folder -- you may need to create the dictation folder for each user.

Other issues:
Getting the foot pedals to work: In my instance the foot pedal was serial and went through a component of the dictation device. Simple allowing for remotefx on the remote server, local machine, and ensuring the correct settings of the serial port in both the local machine and the the remote desktop (mstsc.exe) options, toallow the serial port to come through. Guide to enabling remotefx- hint, look for the global policy

You may need to edit the cfg file of the dictation software to point to \\tsclient instead of com0, but com0 may come through appropriately.
We had to purchase several serial cards as most computers didn't have them. We used cards that advertised no software to install, to minimize headache.

There was an issue where the IRQ had been reserved by something else and so com0 became com1. In order for the single .cfg to work, it must be correct for all users, so if the foot pedals aren't working, check out the serial card on the local side to ensure it is set to use com0.


  1. Any chance, can you post a copy of your user.ini and your config file? I recently installed the application on a Windows 7 desktop with a USB to serial port adapter, but unfortunately, the program doesn't even show the foot pedal as being an option to enable. When I looked at the config file and the user.ini I don't see any mention of the comm port settings. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My email is if that would be easier to communicate. Thanks again!

  2. I responded to the person above with the config files, but I'm not sure they're relevant.

    Make sure you've checked the device manager to ensure the com-port is installed, right click on it and choose properties and try changing the com port to 0 or 1, reboot, and try the dictation software again.