Thursday, December 15, 2005

December 05 Tech Update: The Out Of Stock Edition

Update: Hi to all the people reading this archive from ACB Radio. Check out the regular postings of this Blog at

Good grief. Every time I went to finish this one something new would come out. And here I thought everyone would wait for ATIA next month. Whew!

Steve’s Phrase Of The Month
“Drive By Upload”
Definition: A DBU happens when someone uses your wireless network to upload a file. It is also used for when someone who uses your system to do something illegal leaving all records to point to you doing the wrongful activity. This is mentioned often in cases with the RIAA or the MPAA. Recently a Chicago mother of two stated that she was a victim of a DBU when a friend of one of her children uploaded the movie “Coach Carter” to a file sharing site.

Roy’s Toy Box
Clear Type Is Not Always Your Friend.

Now a days AT will disable the Clear Type function in Windows XP, however, we still see it causing problems with Screen Readers in the field. To disable Clear Type do the following:

Go to Display Properties in the Control Panel.
Select the Appearance Tab.
Choose the “Effects” button.
From there look for the check box that talks about Font Smoothing. Remove the check box to make sure XP won’t use Clear Type or place a check in the box and select “Standard” from the combo box that is below the Smoothing Options.

~~ Lightning Round!

So many people like this segment that it may just end up being a regular feature.

` Freedom Scientific: FS has added a line of CCTV units to their portfolio of AT offerings. Check out the Topaz line here:

` Open Book: An Open Book Mini Patch is now available for 7.02 users. We had some trouble with it and other competing products so be warned that you may want to set a system restore point before using this 35 MB patch. Find it here:

* Keysoft 7: KS7 will be a paid upgrade and it will be available on 1/15/06. More on this lower down on this mail.

* Jawboned: The popular bridge between JFW and Dragon is no more. J-Say 3.0, Standard and Pro, would be the logical substitute for this product. At this time, however, it is not on the APL.

* Skype: For those who don’t use JFW 7.0 you may want to check out this product upcoming from Wizard.

* Nuance: The makers of Dragon have a product that puts them in the same arena as Talks and Mobile Speak.
* Trekker 2.7: The GPS solution has been updated.

* Dektalk: Version 4.6.5 sports Windows Mobile features.

* Braille Sense: Recently the unit has a new update available to Version 3.0 Build 20051124. We are waiting on release notes but just be aware that there is an update for this unit.

* Easy Link: Optelec has lowered their prices on this competitor to the Maestro.

* Sighted Electronics: Looks like Braille support for Mac is back.

“Please read announcement at we have Braille translation for the new Mac OS10 applications. This means we have Braille translation for all Windows and Mac applications as well as Braille graphics for Microsoft applications, all for a fraction of the cost of the nearest competitor's Braille device.”

* Clearview CCTV: We had another issue with power supplies and overheats on the new PC unit. Make sure you let Chrystal Vision know if you have any issues with these units.

*Top Tech Tid Bits: There’s some info on Dancing Dots, education and voice email.

~~ “Keying You Softly With His Song”

Keysoft 7 is cool. Yes I said cool. You have games and some fractional math stuff. . . and a FM Radio for mPower users. Oh yeah there’s some thing about a data base for importing and exporting Excel but honestly it’s the radio that is the key right? Anyway, we saw a demonstration of the update and it’s worth it if you really need the data base functions for your job. Otherwise mPower users get the bigger benefits here. See the PR release at the bottom of the mail to read all the changes in 7.

~~ “Support This!”
Contributed By Robert Mejia

How many licks does it take to stop supporting older products? Check out the funny language from this Ai Squared back pedal.

“Effective November 30th, 2005, Ai Squared will reinstate phone and email support for registered ZoomText 7 users. Support for ZoomText 7 had been discontinued earlier in the month.

"We underestimated the number of people that are still using ZoomText 7", said Ben Weiss, President of Ai Squared. "The product is over 6 years old and does not have support for Windows XP, but a surprising number of people are still using it. We apologize for any inconvenience we may have caused."

As a special offer to our customers, if you have called requesting phone support for ZoomText 7 between November 1st and November 29th, you qualify for a special discount on an upgrade to ZoomText 9.0. Please contact our sales department at (800) 857-0270 for more details.”

~~ “HALacious Pocket Sized Goodness”

Dolphin seems to be going crazy with releases. Creator, Publisher and Professor have all been released and it’s great for those who want to do more with Daisy. Now you can use a fully operational copy of Supernova on a PDA. Check out more here:

~~ “It’s Tigerific and Vistastic!”

Many are in the age old debate of who stole who from whom when it comes to Microsoft and Apple. Truth is they all owe Xerox Park almost everything that said to be stolen from one or the other camp. But the debate will roll on a new as you can see from this early comparison between Tiger and Vista.

~~ “Browser War 2: The Phantom menace”

It’s being wildly regarded in the computer industry that Mozilla has hit it’s saturation point. Of course it does this right when all the AT products provide support for it of course. Being that as it may here’s a look at Internet Explorer 7.

Press Releases

** Whal Mart

Dear members of the blind community:

As of December 1, Walmart has installed at least three point of sale
units with tactile keypads in every store in the country (over
10,000 units!) The new units allow blind shoppers to enter their
PIN confidentially; tens of thousands more units will be installed
by Walmart over the next three and a half years.

Walmart is training staff about the location of the new machines and
their importance to blind shoppers. As with anything else new in a
store, however, it is possible that not all staff may know where the
new units are located. If you encounter any problems in a Walmart
store in connection with the new units, or have feedback on their
operation, please let us know by email or phone using the contact
information below. You can also use this contact information to
let us know about other retailers with flat screen devices that
force blind people to disclose their PIN when using debit cards.

Phone: 1.800.332.6177 (please leave a message)

Thank you very much
Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian

** I.D. Mate

How do you use your i.d. mate II? We want to know! Participate and you’ll receive a free upgrade to your i.d. mate II database or a set of 100 barcode labels!

What do you use i.d. mate II for? How do you use it around the house? At work? With your hobbies? For household organization? We want to hear from you, our valued customers, how i.d. mate II has changed your life. We’ve added a new discussion area to our website. We want to hear your feedback on i.d. mate II and give you a chance to share your stories and ideas with other users. Do you have helpful information, great ideas or even a question? Share it online! Go to our website via the link below and tell us all about how you use your i.d. mate II.

Link to the discussion:

Please add your comments before the end of the year! We will contact you via email and send you a coupon for a free database upgrade worth $50. To share database information, suggestions for new products, or other general information, click on the ‘i.d. mate general discussion’ page.

We welcome your comments!

Anna McClure
Marketing Representative
En-Vision America
2012 W. College Ave.
Suite 200

Normal, IL 61761
309-452-3088 x116
309-452-3643 (fax)
309-212-7011 (cell)

** Keysoft 7

HumanWare will be releasing KeySoft 7 in mid-January 2006, and it's our
biggest and best release ever!
Whether you have a BrailleNote or VoiceNote mPower, a BrailleNote PK, or a
BrailleNote or VoiceNote Classic, there's a version of KeySoft 7 that will
be available for you. KeySoft 7 takes one count from your Software
Maintenance Agreement (SMA). An SMA allows you to receive two major versions of KeySoft for the price of one. Remember, SMAs only can be used for a version of KeySoft if they are purchased prior to the release of the
software concerned. So if you are not yet an SMA holder, ensure you get the
best deal on KeySoft 7 plus the next major release of KeySoft by purchasing
your SMA now. What a great holiday present for you or that special BrailleNote user in your life.Note that the cost of KeySoft 7 on its own is exactly the same as the cost of an SMA, so an SMA represents by far the best value for money. Contact HumanWare or your local dealer for KeySoft 7 pricing.

Please note that KeySoft 7 will not run on the original BrailleNote,
discontinued in 2002, that does not have a compact flash slot in the back of
the unit. The latest version of KeySoft that runs on these units is 4.02. By
BrailleNote Classic, we refer to the BrailleNotes and VoiceNotes prior to
BrailleNote and VoiceNote mPower that have a compact flash slot in the back
of the units. Original BrailleNote owners should contact Humanware about
transplanting to BrailleNote mPower.

What's in KeySoft 7?
We promised that KeySoft 7 would be our best release ever, and as you look
at this extensive feature list, you can see we've packed in a wide range of
features that will change the way you work, learn and play.Key Base, Available on All Models

With KeyBase, you've got it sorted! This new application, available from
KeySoft's Main Menu, is a powerful database manager allowing easy creation
of your own databases. KeyBase ships with many useful databases to assist
you in cataloging your music collection, keeping track of home inventory,
entering recipes, logging ham radio contacts and so much more. But the step
by step wizard-style interface of KeyBase makes it a snap to create your own
databases too. Simply tell KeyBase the names of your fields and the type of
data you want to store in that field. Be specific right down to the kind of
Braille you want to be entered into a field if you wish. Want to share your
database with others? Then you can even customize the messages users read
when they press the help key when entering data into each field.

KeyBase allows easy importing and exporting to and from many applications
including Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access and many on-line banking

KeyPlus Just Got Smarter with Fractions, Available on All Models
Work with fractions in the updated KeyPlus Scientific Calculator. As well as
performing standard mathematical operations, you can convert fractions to
decimals and vice versa, convert fractions to and from percentages, convert
a fraction to its lowest terms, and much more.

Let the Games Begin, available on all models
One of the most frequent questions asked of HumanWare about the BrailleNote
family has always been, "can you play games on this?" Now, the answer is a
resounding yes, as interactive fiction comes to KeySoft. Interactive fiction, also known as text adventures, will take you into mysterious worlds where you can look at your environment, move around, collect objects, talk to all kinds of strange creatures and sometimes find yourself trapped. There
are hundreds of compatible interactive fiction games available for download
on the Internet, ranging from educational titles for kids right through to
epic fantasy for the serious gamer, and you can play them right on your
BrailleNote or VoiceNote. Easily switch in and out of games when you need to check e-mail or make anote, play music in the background while you solve the latest mystery, or save games for later resumption.

Braille Input for JAWS for Windows, available on all models
Window-eyes users have for some time been able to control their Windows PC
from their BrailleNote in Braille terminal mode. Now, that feature is
available for JAWS for Windows users as well. Compose e-mail, write a
Microsoft Word document or work with your spreadsheets on your PC, all from
your BrailleNote's keyboard.

More Configurable E-mail, available on all models Some Internet service providers are now using non-standard POP and SMTP server ports as an attempt to increase security. While most users will not need to be concerned with this, those customers on Internet providers adopting this approach can now specify any port for both POP and SMTP traffic.

More Bluetooth Support, available on BrailleNote and VoiceNote mPower, and
BrailleNote PK The integrated Bluetooth support in BrailleNote and VoiceNote mPower and BrailleNote PK just got even more useful! In KeySoft 7 you can,

Use your device as a remote synthesizer for your PC with no wires attached. Take your BrailleNote or VoiceNote mPower or BrailleNote PK up to
10 meters (30 feet) away from your PC and still hear what your screen reader
>is saying.

Use your device as a wireless Braille display. With BrailleNote
mPower and PK operating as a wireless Braille display, coupled with the
keyboard input functionality, you have complete control over your PC as far
as 10 meters (30 feet) away from your PC. Take the BrailleNote outside on a
sunny day and keep on working on your PC using the keyboard input functionality. Control a PowerPoint presentation in front of your audience,
even when the PC is tucked away in an inconvenient place. The possibilities
are limitless!

Drive a wireless visual display. Want to give a presentation using
data on your BrailleNote? Are you a teacher who wants to be able to check a
student's work with no wires or fuss? The extension of the visual display
function to include Bluetooth makes all this possible. Use a range of devices for the visual display function including Palm Pilots and Windows HyperTerminal.

Voice Recorder for BrailleNote PK
The popular voice recorder for BrailleNote mPower arrives on BrailleNote PK
in KeySoft 7. Just press the handy record button on the front of your BrailleNote PK, and make recordings using the built-in microphone.

Eloquence Speech for BrailleNote and VoiceNote mPower
>HumanWare's BrailleNote and VoiceNote mPower becomes the first device of its kind to offer you a choice of speech synthesizer. Use the highly responsive
and accurate KeyNote Gold speech that has been one of KeySoft's strongest
features, or switch to the familiar Eloquence speech that is now widely available on access technology products. When Eloquence is active, you may also choose to have hyperlinks voiced in a different Eloquence voice when using KeyWeb, making the web really come to life.

Fm Radio for BrailleNote and VoiceNote mPower
That's right, your BrailleNote or VoiceNote mPower is now an FM radio too!
Scan the FM band for your stations and save them as presets. Read the
frequency on the Braille display or the station name if you've saved that
information. Listen to the FM radio while you work on other tasks. Control
the volume of the FM radio separately from the volume of the speech. Even
use the recorder to record FM radio stations.

Don't Miss KeySoft 7
We told you KeySoft 7 would be our most exciting release ever, and as you
can see, we weren't kidding. Make sure you have a current Software maintenance Agreement so you can download your copy of KeySoft 7 in mid-January. KeySoft 7 from HumanWare will change the way you work, learn and play.

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