Friday, August 26, 2005

Tech Update Late August 05: The SMA Update Edition

Steve’s Word Of The Month
Definition: Broadband over Power Lines
Former FCC Chairman Powell believed very strongly that the only way to bring all of the US into the broadband era was to adopt the technology needed to use the internet from your common electrical outlet. He likened it at times to the way Roosevelt felt about the need for electric power for all at the turn of the 20th Century. Powell felt that having internet ready homes through your electrical system would also break down the need for tons of wireless access. The technology was stalled in Congress but it seems like things are getting back on track now from this article below.

Roy’s Toy Box
Contributed by Yours Truly

This came up a few times in the last few months so I thought I would pass this around. Ever have someone who doesn’t know that their Norton Anti Virus is screwing up and not updating properly? Samantec has a really well defined, notice that I didn’t say good, help system but to use it you have to be in the “Interactive Mode”. Some consumers may have been moved to the “Express Mode” by Norton it’s self. To get to the Interactive Mode do the following:

Go to Control Pannel. Then look for “Samantec Live Update”. There’s a radial button in the middle of this box that will let you switch from Express to Interactive Mode. Once you have changed this setting choose OK and run Live Update again. Generally Live Update can be accessed from the Norton menu in Programs. If the Anti Virus is having issues the Live Update will tell you at the end of it’s scan. It also shows you the error with a link to the specific issue on their support site [displayed right above the “Finish” button and this link is tabbable].

~ “Video Killed The Accessibility Star”

Be aware that the current run of HP computers that we use has a video update available. Remember that updating the video can kill the AT product’s DCM and you may need to reinstall the program if you receive calls from your consumer.

~ “I Will OCR You Later”

The new K 1000 Version 10 ships this month and should be out to many on 9/1/05. I placed the press release for this version in the Press Releases section. But did you know that there was another v9 update? Well there is and you can find it here.

~ “Updating In The Modern World”

Seems like we have been talking about this a lot lately but there’s yet another round of updates on the way. Before the year is out we will see the following.

Pac Mate 3.0 available on June 2005
JAWS 6.2 made available June 2005
Magic 9.5 August 2005
Zoom Text 9 on 9/1/05
Kurzweil 10 on 9/1/05
Window Eyes 5.5 TBA

And that’s not including any Keysoft or Pac Mate updates. Just remember that not all of the updates out there are free and it’s better to be sure that one is really needed before discussing it with anyone.

~ “Updates Appear Like Magic”

Here’s that link again for the Magic 9.5 release notes.

~ “Noting That Your Pocket Needs Upgrading”
Contributed By Sharon Ewing

HumanWare has today released KeySoft 6.01 for BrailleNote PK, which contains stability improvements in the areas of e-mail and networking support. This is a free update for all BrailleNote PK owners. You can find it, as well as instructions on its installation, at “

~ “Telesense Me Something I Don’t Know”

Telesensory is back. Well sort kind of. Here’s a bit from Access World on the press release that came out this month.

“Telesensory Revisited
When Art Bookbinder--senior vice president for the erstwhile
Telesensory Corporation--received the news that the company's CEO and board of directors had declared bankruptcy and were ceasing all
business, his first response was anger. His second response, however, was to phone all of the independent dealers he had shepherded and developed relationships with for the past 20 years.
In a conference call, the group decided to do everything possible to
continue making Telesensory products available in the United States.
Dubbing themselves the Bookbinder Group, with Art Bookbinder as their president, the newly formed enterprise announced on August 3rd that they "have made the impossible possible" and have secured continuity in the United States for Telesensory's line of low vision products. In cooperation with InSiPhil, the company that is to assume the manufacture of the Pico and Aladdin product lines, the Bookbinder Group promises not only support and service for former and current Telesensory customers, but offers continued availability of products to newcomers. InSiPhil, which has its headquarters in Singapore and its manufacturing facilities in Malaysia, is helping facilitate the new incarnation of Telesensory by establishing its U.S. presence in a low-overhead operation in Newark, California. "We are thrilled to be able to bring the Telesensory Aladdin and Pico product lines back to the low vision community," said President Bookbinder in a recentannouncement. Although the company called Telesensory is gone, its low vision product line has been revived! For more information, contact: Bookbinder Group;
phone: 800-535-9436.”

~ “MS. Mighty Mouse”

Here’s a review of the new Microsoft Optical Mouse that has the ability to switch on a magnifier right from the mouse it’s self.

~ New Apple Security Updates

Apple recently dropped a big security update that fixes 30 perceived holes in Tiger. Remember that there are Operating System updates, security updates and updates for your wireless Airport that must be maintained to keep your Mac in shape. Also Chris Chandler told me that the Mac Mini units have a new list of components for the same prices we already know and love. Here’s a bit on those security updates I talked about above.

** Press Releases

New DAISY Audio File Creation Reads Documents on Portable Players

Bedford, MA – June 28, 2005 – Kurzweil Educational Systems, Inc., innovator of reading technology for individuals with visual or learning disabilities, today announced Kurzweil 1000™ Version 10, advanced scanning, reading and learning software for people who are blind or visually impaired. The latest version of the software offers numerous new features including the ability to make content accessible on DAISY players providing Kurzweil 1000 users access to a broader choice of reading material and the ability to take content wherever they go. Additional new Version 10 features and enhancements give Kurzweil 1000 users the ability to further customize the technology for their personal use, added access to online resources, the industry’s best scanning and OCR tools, and table creation and editing.

“Kurzweil 1000 users know the importance of being able to easily navigate books and other scanned documents. The ability to create DAISY audio files for use in portable DAISY players or computers with DAISY software now gives users the option of bringing their reading material with them wherever they go,” said Michael Sokol, President and CEO of Kurzweil Educational Systems, Inc. “Such navigation and portability features demonstrate Kurzweil Educational Systems’ dedication to providing powerful, yet easy-to-use tools for the blind community to access the written word, anytime, anywhere.”

Kurzweil 1000 Version 10 new features include:
• Audio DAISY Document Creation – Users can read documents created with Kurzweil 1000 on a DAISY player or computer with DAISY software. With Type 2 DAISY file support, full audio and audible document navigation, such as a table of contents, indices and bookmarks, users can quickly access different parts of a document and navigate the document.
• Table Creation, Editing and Reading – Kurzweil 1000 users can access and work with tables with ease. They can create and modify tables using simple editing operations. In addition, the user can convert blocks of text into a table and, conversely, turn a table into text. Table Reading has also been enhanced to provide easier access to table-rich content, especially from Web sources such as Wikipedia.
• Improved Scanning and Recognition – Users can obtain better scanning and recognition results with Kurzweil 1000 Version 10 as it now incorporates ScanSoft OCR 12.6. In addition, a new noise filter option lets users ignore regions near the edge of a page that were incorrectly identified as text.
• Expanded Online Search and Retrieval – Kurzweil 1000 users can find the latest books quickly with’s New Books section and subscribers with institutional accounts can now download books for eligible students from within Kurzweil 1000. Also, Version 10 gives direct access to NFB Publications such as Voice of the Diabetic and Future Reflections, as well as Braille Monitor.
• Updated High Quality Text to Speech from NeoSpeech – Users can listen to the best text-to-speech on the market with updated versions of the Kate and Paul voices from NeoSpeech.

• Microsoft Word Conversion – Users with Microsoft Word can open and save any file format that Microsoft Word supports, making it easier to access and work with a wide range of files, in addition to the file formats currently supported by Kurzweil 1000.

The new features in Kurzweil 1000 Version 10 expand upon the extensive list of existing features, including color scanning, flexible writing and editing tools, the ability to send files to email, Braille embosser compatibility, and photocopier, fax and calculator applications.

Availability and Pricing
Kurzweil 1000 Version 10 is scheduled to ship to customers later this summer and can be previewed at the 2005 National Federation of the Blind (NFB) Convention being held July 2 - July 8 in Louisville, Kentucky at the Galt House Hotel Booth 3 and at the 2005 American Council of the Blind (ACB) National Convention being held July 2 - July 9 in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Riviera Hotel Booth 75. Visitors to the Kurzweil Educational Systems booths at these two conventions will also have the opportunity to register for a drawing to win a free copy of Kurzweil 1000.

A single license of Kurzweil 1000 retails for $995. Volume pricing is also available.
Kurzweil 1000 can be purchased directly from Kurzweil Educational Systems at 800-894-5374 (within the U.S. or Canada) or 781-276-0600 (outside the U.S. or Canada), or from Kurzweil Educational Systems' worldwide network of resellers listed at, or by visiting the company web store at

ScanSoft Unveils OmniPage Professional 15, Raising the Bar for OCR, PDF and Document Conversion Applications

BURLINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 9, 2005--
With Accuracy Up to 50% Better Than Alternatives and Unique PDF and Digital Document Conversion Capabilities, OCR Isn't Just for Scanning Anymore

ScanSoft, Inc. (Nasdaq:SSFT), a global leader of speech and imaging solutions, today launched ScanSoft(R) OmniPage(R) Professional 15, a new version of the world's most popular optical character recognition (OCR) and document conversion application for Microsoft Windows. With superior accuracy and speed, OmniPage Professional 15 is the most accurate and efficient way to convert, edit, archive and share paper and PDF documents, replacing the need to manually re-create paper and image-based documents and simplifying document workflow and archiving through an automated, electronic process.

OmniPage Professional has long been recognized as the best solution for saving time and money by instantly turning paper and PDF files - such as letters, contracts, spreadsheets, magazine articles, research reports, manuals and more - into editable documents. With the release of OmniPage Professional 15, in addition to a host of new functionality, ScanSoft has enhanced the trusted features that continue to matter most to OCR users - accuracy and speed. Boasting accuracy improvements of 25 percent and new, advanced OCR and document conversion engines, OmniPage Professional 15 eliminates the historical trade-off between speed and accuracy. With the superior formatting and layout retention that can be 50 percent more accurate than alternatives, OmniPage Professional 15 makes it easier than ever to work between electronic and paper documents - even those with formatted text, columns, graphics, tables and spreadsheets.

"OmniPage has long been known for its first-rate OCR," said Ralph Gammon, editor & publisher, Document Imaging Report. "This release of OmniPage not only drives up accuracy levels even higher - critical to anyone using OCR - but it goes a step further to address the growing need for PDF support and complete digital document conversion. As adoption of scanning on the workgroup level increases, and interest in digital archiving continues to rise, ScanSoft is right there to meet emerging market needs."

Recognized as the most accurate and best-in-class OCR solution available, OmniPage Professional 15 expands the value of OCR well beyond scanning, providing solutions to a range of both paper and digital document conversion problems:

-- Accuracy improvements for paper and PDF conversion that are 25 percent better than the previous release and 50 percent better than alternatives
-- Patented One Button Scanning, which associates frequently used document processing settings to specific buttons on an MFP, all-in-one or scanner
-- The batch conversion of images and any digital format into PDF for document sharing and archive
-- Digital-to-digital document conversion between a wide array of formats
-- Automatic forms conversion to convert paper or static electronic form into fillable forms
-- Workgroup scanning using networked multi-function products (MFPs)
-- Integrated Google Desktop Search with unique OCR Indexing

Features include
-- The Most Accurate OCR and Layout Retention - OmniPage Professional 15 is 25 percent more accurate than the previous release and up to 50 percent more accurate than alternative solutions. Independent industry experts have consistently found OmniPage Professional to be the most accurate solution and the only OCR product that successfully processed all of their test documents. OmniPage Professional 15 also delivers superior page layout capabilities to ensure that a converted document is as exact to the original as possible. By delivering the highest accuracy, and processing all of a user's documents, OmniPage Professional practically eliminates proofing and editing - delivering unrivaled productivity benefits to an organization.

-- Batch Digital PDF Archive - PDF has become the de facto standard format for archiving documents into folders and content management systems. OmniPage Professional is highly valued for its ability to scan-to searchable PDF archives, using OCR to automatically create index data. OmniPage Professional 15 makes a significant advance with its PDF capabilities with Digital PDF Archive, which automatically turns any digital document format into searchable PDF archives. Now organizations don't need to pay $1,500 or more to batch process emails, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations and Excel spreadsheets into "flat" and secure PDF archive files. With OmniPage Professional 15, users get the core Digital PDF conversion capabilities found in Adobe Acrobat Distiller Server but in a more affordable and easier to use application.

-- Digital-to-Digital Document Conversion - No other product provides the complete document conversion capabilities of OmniPage Professional 15. With OmniPage Professional, users not only get the best in OCR and PDF conversion, but now can convert digital documents from their existing applications into any of OmniPage Professional's 30+ supported formats - such as Quark XPress to Word or WordPerfect to Word.

-- Automatic Form Conversion from Paper and Digital - According to some industry studies, replacing paper forms with fillable electronic forms can save an organization up to $150 for every form used by every worker, every day. However one thing has slowed the adoption of electronic forms - the cost of manually converting static forms into fillable electronic forms. OmniPage Professional solves this with its new Form Converter capability, which can turn scanned paper, static PDF, and even Word forms into fillable Microsoft InfoPath, PDF and XML forms - automatically.

-- Point and Click Document Capture and Workflows - OmniPage Professional 15 brings the power of professional document capture to desktop users - with point and click ease. Now users can set up a sophisticated scanning or document conversion process once, and use it over and over with a single click. Using the Document Workflow Wizard, users can automatically capture documents from scanners or hot folders, specify conversion steps such as OCR, zone OCR, convert to or from PDF, and process the results to email, Microsoft SharePoint, FTP and more. A user can even print barcode coversheets to automatically trigger specific workflows when a document is scanned.

-- Never Rescan with SET Tools - New Scanner Enhancement Technology (SET) delivers the power to correct and enhance scanned images, PDF files and faxes. Point and click SET tools improve the quality of scanned documents, faxes and poor quality copies. De-skew, de-speckle, adjust color and more - all helping increase the accuracy of OCR processing and PDF indexing. Straightening, despeckling and color conversion ensures that users get the results they demand.

-- The Most Editable Word Conversion - The new ExactWord capability within OmniPage Professional 15 uses information within Microsoft Word to make converted documents significantly easier to edit - complete with columns, tables, bullets and graphics.

-- Includes PDF Create! and PDF Converter 3.0 - Creating PDF files from any PC application is a powerful way to share documents more securely, and is made easy with PDF Create! 3.0, which is included with OmniPage Professional 15. Also included is PDF Converter 3.0, a powerful utility that can turn PDF into fully-formatted Microsoft Word and Excel documents, as well as Corel WordPerfect documents. Both products include an Assistant utility that simplifies creation and conversion of PDF files from the desktop, and within Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer.

-- Create Audio Documents from Paper and Digital Documents - With OmniPage Professional users can now turn scanned paper, PDF and even electronic documents into human-sounding audio-documents. Using ScanSoft(R) RealSpeak(R), the world's best text-to-speech technology, users can now listen to documents in the office, in the car, or on the go - with a PC, CD or even on mobile digital music devices.

-- One-Button Scanning - Scanning can't be any easier than simply pressing a button, and with ScanSoft's patented One-Button Scanning users get just that. Now users can easily associate separate OmniPage Professional scanning processes to the buttons on an All-in-One, MFP or scanner - such as "scan to black and white, 1200 DPI and convert into Microsoft Word. *United States Patent #6,480,304.

For more information on OmniPage Professional 15 features and benefits, please visit

Pricing and Availability

ScanSoft OmniPage Professional 15 is available immediately through ScanSoft's global network of reseller partners. ScanSoft OmniPage Professional 15 is $499.99 for individual users, with volume discounts available through the ScanSoft(R) Open License Program. Upgrade pricing and support products are also available. For additional information on features, pricing and volume licensing programs, please visit or call (1) 800-443-7077.

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