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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.

Are Blind Drivers Going to take over the Roads?

A video of a blind man piloting one of Google's self-driving cars has swept across the Internet over the last couple of days. In case you missed it, the video is available with audio description here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?src_vid=cdgQpa1pUUE&annotation_id=annotation_979835&feature=iv&v=peDy2st2XpQ

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 http://read2go.org/ 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.

Access technology versus mainstream technology

This topic is very near and dear to my heart.  To put things into perspective:

  • Access technology is much more expensive than mainstream alternatives, and much less available on the market.   
  • It is extremely challenging to have access technology repaired as opposed to its counterpart.
  • There are few manufacturers of access technology hardware and even fewer developers of access technology software.
  • The profit to be made for those who develop and sell access technology is much less than for those who do the same for mainstream technology.
  • Access technology has to be developed in such a way as to adapt to the mainstream world.

So there is the picture.  Now where do we go from here?

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.

Is the Smart Phone the Interface the Blind had been Waiting for?

This article in the Minnesota Daily describes an app that could significantly aid blind travellers.

The app could indicate not only what street a person is on, but could tell a person when traffic lights have changed and how much time is left to cross the street.

A legitimate concern raised in the article is that, if such an app becomes very popular, there will be less of an incentive to install audible pedestrian signals. This issue is an interesting one that goes well beyond traffic lights, and it is one we are going to have to grapple with over the coming years.

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