Thursday, July 03, 2008

NFB Dallas: Serotek Sizzlin’ In The Summer

We had twenty days of 100 degree temps in Texas in June. But July got even hotter with the stuff Serotek has been cooking up prior to and now at convention. I’ve been a little late to the party on telling you about the Summer Sizzle promotion. And seeing their booth with the small portable computers that Serotek is going to give away made me feel guilty for not posting the links earlier.

The Netbook is slick and not at all bad for those of us with um.. non dainty fingers. And everyone already knows about the Stream and the Stone. So jump on over to that link above and try and win yourself a  bunch of cool stuff from Serotek.

The next cool announcement made at convention was the amazing Keys to K-12 initiative. Serotek, like Bookshare, is really making it great to be a student these days. Those kids who are in school in grades K through 12 can have access to the $499 package of System Access Mobile for free. To learn more about this exciting new movement in the Digital Revolution hit the link below.

And that is not all. During his speech at the General Session Mike Calvo announced the SA Braille support for the ALVA BC640. You can hear Mike’s speech by going to this blog article listed at the link below.

Lastly I want to give a personal comment on just how much I have come to use System Access in my daily work over the last year. Recently my department underwent a new computer rollout. Some of these systems will not need Assistive Technology on them at all and others required that I update them with drivers and the like before I introduced a program that used Mirror Drivers. I would have been using Narrator for all of the work if it had not been for System Access.

A co-worker also had to go it alone with System Access for a week while I struggled with my battle with her and four other machines. She was displaced on to several computers as the week dragged on, however, with a portable USB hard drive and SA she wasn’t down for the count. At times she even forgot that she was using SA instead of another product that she normally used in her daily tasks.

I’m not saying that SA is perfect. But what I am saying, especially after going to this year’s convention, is that the days of a technical user relying on a one stop solution for a Screen Reader or Screen Magnifier for all their work is over. It is just like a tool box. You have a flat head, a Phillips head and a few other choices in screwdrivers. For those who are serious about the future in computing be ready to carry just such a tool box. Or a Chewbaca styled bandoleer for all your digital devices.

Or a Han Solo vest if you don’t want all that Wookie fur. After all I think Chewie wouldn’t like it in Dallas when it nears or tops a 100. Perfectly suited for Hoth through.

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