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Blind Canadians Blog Posts by hrupert

Summer Vacation

This week's blog is going to be a little shorter then usual.  However, isn't that what they usually say: "sometimes short but sweet is what counts.".

This time of year, every one has a chance to relax.  This type of relaxation can be referred to as a vacation.

Whether or not you are the type of person who likes to go on an adventurous vacation, simply relax in a tropical setting,or stay at home in your own backyard or by the pool , it's a time of year when we all deserve to simply relax and rest.

Vacations are also a time of year when family and friends can get together and have fun in the sun sipping a couple of beers or a good old fashioned glass of rum and coke.

Right on Red Revisited

This week's blog post is on the hot topic of turning right on red.

I was shocked to find out in "La Press", a local montreal paper, that the city is still debating on wether Downtown Montrealers should have the right to turn right on red lights.

A while back I commented on a local CBC station in their news hour, expressing my concern and my opinion on why I thought Montreal was not ready to incorporate the right to turn on a red light in downtown Montreal.

In january 2012, I stated to the reporter that because of the construction happening in Montreal, having the right to turn on red, would cause people in montreal more confusion and more accidents.

Sneak Peak at Jaws 14

As happens each year, Freedom scientific is set to release a new version of Jaws.

In a conference held in July at the NFB Convention in Texas, Product specialist Eric Damery spoke about the new Features of Jaws 13.0 and gave a sneak preview of the soon to be released Jaws 14.0.

Of course, given that Windows 8 will be released soon, Freedom scientific has been very hard at work trying to ensure that the next Operating system from Microsoft is supported.

Special Canada Day BlogPost

Hello readers, Yet again this time around, I'm taking a different spin from the traditional tech talk. In this blog, I'd like to talk about a famous celebration which is held across the nation. If you haven't guessed it by now, I'm talking about Canada Day.

Ok, I'm not going to sit here and write an essay about the celebration and when it first began; instead, I'd like to tell you all why I love this festivity.

Each and every year, the streets are filled with good cheer and folks enjoying themselves, and it makes me very happy to see people smiling and having a great time on this fine and lovely day.

Windows Phone 8

I was surfing Microsoft's web side a couple of days ago, and came across a new news item about Windows Phone 8.

Windows Phone 8 is suppose to resemble its big brother interface which is set to launch soon.  In case you haven't guessed it, yes, that would be Windows 8.  Apparently the new phone interface is expected to interface with Windows 8, include features such as networking, media browsing, security, and web browsing as well.

Like the news feed states, with this technology in mind developers will be able to create, and develop more applications for the phone.

A Mountain Lion Teaser

in this post, I'd like to take the time to discuss the new and up coming version of Mac OS 10, Mountain Lion.

I've been reading all the scoop on this amazing upgrade set to be released from Apple in July.

Among the many features, Mountain Lion promises to have a  similar look and feel to that of the iPhone, meaning you will be able to perform the same jesters as on the iPhone and/or iPad using your trackpad.

Mountain Lion will allow users to send iMessages to iDevices.

Finally, Mountain Lion promises to be more robust and have better performance stability.

I seriously can't wait to have this new release from Apple.

Father's Day Special Blog Post

Good day fellow blog readers , in this blog I'm taking a complete twist away from technology to talk about a special day.

In case you haven't guessed it yet, "yes," I'm referring to Father's Day.

Its amazing how every one is in such a rush to get a special gift for that very special dad.

However, lets take a moment and reflect on what Father's Day actually is.

I'm not going to sit here and preach about God and such, but in my opinion, Father's Day is that very special day on which we give thanks to our dad. After all, Dad is always there when ever you need a shoulder to cry on.

Dad is always there when you need to head down to your local car dealer or music store to buy your first car, or in my case my very first guitar.

GarageBand Accessibility On Mac

a couple of months ago I posted a blog with regards to the Garage band App on the iPhone.

This week, I’d like to take the time to talk about the accessibility of Garage band on either a Mac book Pro, or iMac or for that matter any new Mac system one buys on the market.

When you buy a Mac, it comes standard with a music application called Garage Band.

This is a music application which allows the user to record audio, or midi (musical digital data interface.)


Hello, it’s the master of music Mike brining you some information on a new guitar effects processor I picked up just recently.

Advocating for the Rights of Consumers

In last week's blog post, I was extremely upset on how a company like Presonus could make a product so inaccessible to the visually impaired, and how this company was not willing to invest the time to make their products accessible. Well, I did two things to make me feel a lot better.

PreSonus Accessibility

Good day readers. If you remember a few posts ago, I was telling you all about my troubles with a PDF document that I came across while downloading the latest drivers for the v-studio 100 audio card from Roland. Well, I'd like to share with you all today that I finally got an answer from the company telling me that they had replaced the non accessible file, and put up an accessible version of the document. However after testing out the card on the Mac platform, I found that there were other issues that made it impossible to work with Protools a music sequencing software package. "Fine, I can live with that," and decided to trade in the card for another model.

My Initial Thoughts on the iO Dock from Alesis

On April 7, 2012 I purchased a new product called the iO Doc from Alesis.

The iO Doc is a docking station that allows the iPad to function as an external audio interface that works with music software such as Sonar and Protools. Further, the docking station can function as a standalone audio recorder and surface control console. These apps can be downloaded from the apple app store, and I can tell you that there are hundreds of software applications available that work in conjunction with the docking station and iPad. Since this is a professional docking external interface, the unit has the best in shielding with regards to noise and audio quality.

The docking station is laid out to make it very easy to locate the volume controls and connections.

Text Edit

Last week's blog focused on an inexpensive word processor package in the iWorks sweet package called Pages.  In this week’s blog I'd like to focus on a simple text/word processor found in all Mac systems called Text Edit.

Pages Software Application

On April 7, 2012, I finally took the time to install Pages, which is the word processor that came with the Package iWork, which I purchased about six months ago.

Since at the time I was on my way to getting an iMac and wasn’t really familiar with the system, I wasn’t comfortable in installing the software until I was ready to get my feet wet in the whole ordeal.

Lets take a moment to talk about what iWork comes with:

Transportation for the Blind

Getting from place to place can be a huge struggle for the blind. We are forced to rely on public transit, para-transit, or the kindness of a sighted >friend or family member.

Often times, public transit isn't very good, and when you get rides from other people, you have to do it on their schedule. It would be better if the blind were able to purchase their own cars and have those cars take them where they need to go.

Last week, Marc wrote about Google's self-driving car, and I wanted to offer a few more details along with my own thoughts on this technology.

Mobile Facebook Messenger- on the iPhone

On March 27, 2012, I downloaded the Facebook messenger application for my iPhone.

I’ve been hearing lots of buzz around the tech community about this fantastic application for the iPhone, and I was curious as to how accessible it was.

Once again, the installation of the application was simple and straight forward; I was able to successfully install the application with out any problems.

I then proceeded to log in with my Facebook user account and password and got in with no problems.  VoiceOver was able to read the information with out any problems as well.

Once I was logged in, I was able to view all the messages on my wall sent from other Face Book members.

Read2Go: DAISY Reader Application for iPhone/iPod Products

On March 22, 2012, I downloaded a DAISY player application for the iPhone called Read2Go.  I simply went to the app store on my phone, and in the search box gave the query “Read2Go.”  See for more information.

Instantly I was presented with a search to this application, and was told that it only costs $19.99 out of my iTunes account.  I figured that this was a pretty good bargain for a DAISY player for my iPhone.  After hearing about it through Vision Australia’s web site through their tutorial section, I figured that I’d give it my two cents worth in accessibility.

iPhone App - Garage Band - Review

On March 16th, 2012, I was simply browsing the app store on my iPhone and came across a music application called Garage Band.  While all Mac computers today with OS Lion come with this music app I was curious to see how accessible this app was on the iPhone and iPad.

Lets take some time to describe what Garage Band is.

Garage Band is a simple software which allows a musician to get their feet wet in composing and recording music.  This app is also capable of taking regions of audio, and looping them together to create a simple piece of music.  In the last couple of months an update patch to Lion made Garage Band on the Mac very accessible.

V-Studio 100

On March 10th, 2012, I downloaded a driver for my Roland v-studio 100 audio sound card to install on my new IMac which I received last Tuesday March 6, 2010.  I have been using this audio card for two years for music production and recording on the Pc platform, and, after receiving my Mac, I wanted to install the Mac driver to operate the card on the Mac OS platform as well as the Windows Platform on the same unit.

Notable Improvements to the NVDA Screen Reader

On March 2, I did some investigating on a free screen reader called NVDA.  Although this screen reader has been discussed in earlier conferences and reviews, I was curious to find out if there had been any improvements to the software.

To my pleasant surprise, I found out that, Sure enough, NVDA, in the last year or so, has made significant improvements when using Microsoft word.

The most noticeable change is that the user now has the option to be able to check if there is bolding, underlining, and tab spacing in their document.  These features do also exist in other screen readers, such as Jaws and Window Eyes; however, there is a reason, which I will come back to later, as to why I am so happy that this has now been implemented in NVDA.