Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Windows Vista Service Pack 2 Released

Microsoft has rewarded our long weekend by giving us a 348MB bundle of joy. Also known as Vista Service Pack 2. The Windows Super Site blog details how you can get the new update in both 32 and 64 bit flavors.


Friday, May 22, 2009

Press Release: SErotek Memorial Day Weekend SAle!

I have it on pretty reliable authority that this deal won’t be extended like the promotion was from last month. So if you have been wating.. this may be the deal for you.

Now through Memorial Day, Monday May 25 at Midnight Eastern U.S., save $200 off System Access Mobile. For just $299, normally $499, you get licenses for two computers, plus a third license for a U3-enabled USB key to take to any other computer. With free lifetime upgrades, and the ability for you to switch to any two computers you choose, this will be the last money you will ever need to spend for a screen reader!

But that's not all! An annual subscription to SAMNet, normally $129, can be had this Memorial Day Weekend only, for just $99. That's $30 off all the great entertainment, information, news, movies, voice chat, social networking, third party e-mail and more, for one whole year, for just $99.

Both specials can be purchased separately, or together for even greater savings. Purchases must be made online only, and this offer will not be extended beyond Midnight EST on Monday, May 25. To create a new paid account, please visit


To log in to an existing account and purchase, please visit


The Serotek Team

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Press Release: Webinar For Dragon 101


Dragon Dictation Solutions
The Standard in Voice Recognition and Transcription Procesing

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Demo 101

Did you know: Most people speak over 120 words per minute but type less than 40 words per minute. What if you could create email, documents and fill in field reports simply by speaking? What if you could control your PC just by talking to it, starting programs, using menus, surfing the web?

Interested in learning more about Dragon NaturallySpeaking? Are you a current customer looking to further your knowledge about the product? If you answered yes, then register to attend the Dragon Demo 101 webinar on May 28th at 1pm Eastern to see first hand how to take full advantage of Dragon.

Our customers and prospects often ask for demonstrations of the advanced features of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Well, we have heard you and are in the process of developing further training materials that will become available over the coming months. The first step we are taking is to launch a monthly webinar to show live and firsthand the capabilities of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. This is meant to be a demonstration, NOT a training session. The webinar will include live product demonstrations of the following capabilities:

* How to control the desktop
* Formatting and editing text
* Adding words to the vocabulary
* Using Dragon with Outlook
* Using Dragon to surf the Web
* Text and graphics commands
* Field reporting and custom commands

Register today !!
Webinar: Dragon Demo 101
Date and Time: May 28, 2009 1:00pm Eastern
Duration: 60 minutes.
Register at


7: XPM, RC Reviews And The Return Of The Upgrade Advisor

XPM Compatibility: I’m slow. Mark Taylor blogged what I’ve been meaning to blog or Tweet for a while. Steve Gibson, from GRC and the “Security Now” podcast, has a program called Securable which wasn’t intended to help you know if your computer can run XP Mode in 7, however, it does let you know if you can run XP Mode in 7 none the less. You may have to use your Virtual Cursors on some Screen Readers to get the info though. When you run the program look for the “VT” column to know if you can or cannot run a Virtual program on your computer. But read Mark’s post for the link to Securable first..


7RC Review: Paul at the Super Site for Windows has posted part four of his four part review of the 7100 build. The link below is to part one and the part four link is on the right side of the page or can easily be found in a list box for Screen Readers.


Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor Beta: Mark was blunt in his link above. Now it is my turn. I’m not a fan of these upgrade advisors. The Vista one was very misleading and this one is better. But that isn’t saying much if the last one scored a 0 in my book. Still, some use this thing and find it helpful. Remember that this tool is in beta. So you may want to reinstall it once the final version ships.


Monday, May 18, 2009

JAWS 10.0.1151 Now Live

The update contains some enhancements to support for Internet Explorer 8, Windows 7 and a lot for Access 2007. To learn more use the link below..


Thursday, May 14, 2009

More Info On Dolphin’s v11, Dolphin Pen Gen 2 And Support For Windows 7

Dolphin Pen Gen 2: The new USB drive uses a partition to keep the bad things away from the Dolphin software. To learn more go to this link.


Windows 7 Beta Support: This link will take you to the information page on v11 support for Windows 7.


Easy To Learn: The Dolphin UI and a approach has been redesigned. The aim is to make Dolphin products easier to teach and learn. This page highlights some of those new features in v11.


Random Goodness: Kindle Text To Speech, Facebook And WinMo 6.5

Kindle: I know a lot of people are on the bandwagon to make this device accessible. It is a messy situation from what I have read. Publishers don’t want to fall the way of the Recording Industry and Apple’s iTuens. And Amazon has Audible.com which means they have a good percentage of book sales in print and audio formats. And then the Publishers are just plain nuts and they want to keep the old business model. The article link below talks about how Amazon can remote kill things on the Kindle and the iPhone application, including the Text To Speech version of a book.


Quizzes And Terms Of Service: Those who follow me on Twitter and Facebook know that I Tweet more than Book. Some of this is strictly do to the way that Facebook works and, more to the point, some of it comes down to how they use personal information. This link talks about the terms of service that falls into play when you take those quizzes or use some Facebook Apps.


Windows Mobile 6.5: I abhor, dislike and detest my HTC 5800. But I’m skittish on getting a new phone because Windows Mobile 6.5 and 7 are forever looming around the corner. Plus I got this phone for free on my contract. But I’ve been watching the news on WinMo 6.5 just in case I get over my fears. Here is a bit of what is in store for 6.5.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Quick And Friendly Note To My Fellow Blind Tech Enthusiasts On Windows 7 Posts

This isn’t a rant. And it isn’t a complaint. I’m writing this so others don’t follow in my messy footsteps from years ago on something I did offline. And I am not addressing anyone in particular today in case someone thinks I’m throwing a big spotlight on this person or that person. I’m just trying to be a friendly Citizen of the Web!

I’m reading a lot of what others have to say about Windows 7 and I’m loving that we have so many out there on the web who are willing to jump in the pool. However, I can tell that some out there haven’t written on this kind of thing before and I just wanted to make a friendly suggestion on your approach to conversations on Windows 7 with your AT program of choice. And that suggestion is... don’t make declarative statements on what is and is not accessible by Screen Magnifiers or Screen Readers yet.

Build 7127 just went live recently. That puts it nearly one month older than the RC build, 7100, that was released to the public on May 5th. Changes can still come, especially to the User Interface, to 7 before it moves to a Release To Manufacturing [or RTM] status. Vista and Office 2007 took some turns right before release that scratched a few heads back then. And while I don’t think that is going to be the case too much on this go around, it is better to be safe than sorry when saying something is or isn’t working.

Plus you have to remember that official support isn’t here yet from the AT companies them because they are waiting on a final build of Windows 7 to tidy up their product support as well. It is great that some have gotten this Screen Reader to work or have this Screen Magnifier loaded in 7. And I again admire the tenacity of those who took the effort to go that extra mile to do this crazy pre release software thing. Just remember when writing and talking about 7, or the upcoming Office 2010, that things are in a state of constant flux. And the thing you said three months ago won’t always be the thing you can point back to later.

Now I’m not saying don’t write, test or talk about it at all. Far from it... you are helping out your fellow users by doing what you are doing. And you brave souls are contributing tons to the conversations about Windows Access. Just remember to remind your listeners, readers and followers that the final releases aren’t out yet and you will have plenty more to say when those final editions and versions come to store shelves. Then you can create a boat load of new content about the differences in prerelease to full blown out on the market products.

Trust me... I’ve made this mistake myself years ago and I try to not repeat it when I write here or at my day job. Writing about pre release software is always like throwing a dart at a moving target. You take your best shot and hope for the best every time you hit the “Submit” button. Need further proof? See how I got things right and wrong for yourself in my look back to Vista and Office to see my mistakes in action.


I’m using that post as a guide for when I make some content about 7 here on the blog, and elsewhere, for 7 and Office 2010. This is the third time I’m writing professionally about a Windows Operating System with AT products and my batting average has been about 600. Okay 550 if you count all the times I said Vista was coming out on this date then Microsoft went and moved the darn thing. Now that I’m in the “On Deck Circle” with 7 I’m hoping to maintain, not lower, my average! Or bunt to get on base. Statistically speaking I’ll settle for either once I finish my first draft of this year’s presentations.

Again... no offense intended at all to those who are out there spreading the word. Keep’em flying high!

Press Release: Dolphin Launches Version 11 Line Of Products

I know what you are thinking.. "Wow.. didn't they just release version 10?". Yep, but v11 isn't just an excuse for me to make a Spinal Tap joke like.. "This one goes to 11". No gentle reader. This version sports a new control panel, some new features in the Startup Wizzard and some other UI changes. Oh and some added functionality as well. Take a look at the Press Release and download a demo at the link below.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

April’s Poll Results And May’s Poll Added

I bet you can guess the answer to which answer won just by reading the question.

April's Poll Question: Where Do You Get The Most News About Assistive Technology?

Social Networks: Twitter, Facebook, Friend Feed, etc    3 (42%)
  Surfing A Company's Website    2 (28%)
  Email Lists    1 (14%)
  Podcasts    1 (14%)
  Word Of Mouth: Friends, CoWorkers, etc   0 (0%)

No real surprise considering the way that all the world is going these days. Many AT companies have really embraced the new world of social media and I believe it is providing positive feeback to all involved. And it cuts down the myth that there aren’t a lot of us who are super techies or crazed Blind Enthusiast Bloggers and Podcasters doing the hip new thing. Today’s common AT User is younger, willing to adapt and not as fearful to try the latest craze at the drop of a dime. Unlike yours truly who had to be kicked in the rear by his fellow Blind Bloggers and Podcasters to get over himself and dive into the latter half of this decade. Um.. but moving on..

The summer travel season is almost here. Time to make plans to hang out in the sun, watter or where ever you like. The summer for the AT Industry is a little odd though. For many of us the summer is the end to a “Hat Trick” of events. The big three AT shin digs use to be ATIA, CSUN and ACB/NFB or Sight Village for our friends outside the US. A second ATIA in October may just put the finishing touches on the old “Closing The Gap” convention, however, for most people the cycle runs down in July with the summer convention season. So this month’s poll asks…

May’s Poll Question: Which Summer Convention Are You Going To Attend?

  Sight Village
  The Nearest Sci Fi Or Comic Convention
  Travel? I've Got The Internet Thank You Very Much!

To know more about this year’s national conventions you can visit the following links.

ACB 2009 National Convention


NFB 2009 National Convention


Sight Village 2009


Weekly Tweet Roundup For May 12th

If you follow the feed you know already that I am up to my freaking neck with tons of Microsoft updates. And Microsoft info on upcoming updates. Oh and also a bit more on Technical Previews to even more updates that are coming two months sooner than I expected them to show up. Everywhere I turn I see a .exe or .msi or .zip. I’m hearing “20%.. 45%.. 70% completed” in my sleep. I don’t need to count sheep anymore because I have a computer progress bar to lull me off to dreamland. But enough whining, let us look at some cool links.

The Path To Somewhere Near 7: The Super Site for Windows has up a series of articles on what to expect and how to upgrade your systems from XP or Vista to 7RC.


Office 2010 Technical Preview: The sign up page to be considered for the next version of of Office is up for those interested in playing with the Technical Preview. The TP will be shown off in mid July and might be on store shelves by this time next year.


Netbooks V Notebooks: Thinking of buying a Netbook? My best advice is to hold fast for six months. The reasons are many but this article does a great job in summarizing what I already have said to others who have asked me about them.


Patch Tuesday: Here is a rundown on what patches will be rolling out from Windows Update today.


IE9: Upgraded to Internet Explorer 8 yet? Well you better do it before IE9 rolls by. No.. I’m not kidding. Early development already exists for the next version of IE and some already have wish lists.


CNET Reviews The Victor Reader Stream: Mainstream press for Humanware’s little marvel.


And that is just a sample of the info off my Twitter feed. To read more on the music, Sci Fi and other tech I’m playing with you can subscribe to the feed at


Friday, May 08, 2009

Press Release: MOPIX And Star Trek

A good friend sent this to me knowing I was off to see "Star Trek" as I am a huge Simon Pegg fan. Love "Spaced" and recommend it highly for Geek entertainment. Anyway, I forget about MOPIX sometimes. Here is a PR letting everyone know that some hit movies are already described right out of the gate on the day of their release.




Star Trek from Paramount Pictures*
(cc desc) (rated PG-13)
A chronicle of the early days of James T. Kirk and his fellow USS Enterprise crew members.


This article (link below) from Traverse City, MI tells the story of yet another community raising funds for a MoPix installation. They’ve been at it for many months now, and it looks like they’re in the home stretch, with an installation coming before too long. Great news!

Technologies help more enjoy movies


And this article is about a soon-to-be-equipped AMC theater in Houma, Louisiana, again, with community advocacy playing a part...

Captioning coming to a theater near you



The Media Access Group has been working for several years now with the good folks at Disney’s Themepark division and an innovative company called Softeq to deliver captioning and descriptive narration of park attractions via handheld devices. The description feature has just debuted (captioning and assistive listening support via these devices was already available to park guests). See a nice article about same from the Orlando Sentinel this week: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/orl-bizdizdevice16041609apr16,0,2498532.story


As several theater chains are now listing accessible films and showtimes on their Web sites, we want to take this opportunity to provide you with those site addresses. Helpful hint, some chains require you to know which theater in your area is equipped prior to finding the info on their sites. For a full list of MoPix locations, searchable by state, first go to www.mopix.org and link to "View Theaters".

You can also search for captioned movies near you at fomdi.com

AMC Theatres: http://www.moviewatcher.com/jsp/amg.jsp

Carmike Theatres:

CEC Theatres: http://www.cectheatres.com (link to state, and then theater)

Cerrito Speakeasy Theatre:

Cineplex Theatres (Canada):

Clearview Cinemas: http://clearviewcinemas.com/tripod.shtml

Cobb Theatres: http://www.cobbtheatres.com/ (link to equipped theater near you)

Empire Theatres (Canada): http://www.empiretheatres.com (link to province,
then to theater)

Celebration! Cinema RiverTown and Lansing Michigan:
http://www.celebrationcinema.com (select RiverTown or
Lansing from list of locations)

Kerasotes ShowPlace Theatres: www.kerasotes.com (select City North, Block E or the Glen 10 from the list of locations)

Megaplex Theatres:

National Amusements Showcase Cinemas and Cinema de Lux locations:
(link to theater under state heading)

Regal Cinemas:

Additional chains with MoPix systems are not yet listing MoPix-accessible film information on their sites at this time: Malco Theatres, Mann Theatres.


Available with closed captions using the Rear Window Captioning system, and audio descriptions utilizing the DVS Theatrical System:

12 Rounds from Twentieth Century Fox Films
(action - rated PG-13)

Dragonball Evolution from Twentieth Century Fox Films
(action/sci-fi - rated PG)

Fast and Furious from Universal Pictures
(action - rated PG-13)

Fighting from Universal Pictures
(drama - rated PG-13)

Knowing from Summit Entertainment
(drama/mystery - rated PG-13)

The Last House on the Left from Universal Pictures
(horror - rated R)

Miss March from Fox Atomic
(comedy - rated R)

Monsters vs. Aliens from Paramount Pictures*
(animation/sci-fi - rated PG)

Race to Witch Mountain from Walt Disney Studios
(comedy/thriller - rated PG)

Star Trek from Paramount Pictures*
(action/sci-fi - rated PG-13)

State of Play from Universal Pictures
(drama/thriller – rated PG-13)

X-Men Origins: Wolverine from Twentieth Century Fox
(action/adventure - rated PG-13)

Available with closed captions using the Rear Window Captioning system (descriptive narration is not available for these films):

17 Again from Warner Bros. Pictures
(comedy – rated PG-13)

Earth from Buena Walt Disney Studios
(nature documentary - rated G)

Ghosts of Girlfriends Past from Warner Bros. Pictures
(romance/comedy - rated PG-13)

Hannah Montana: The Movie from Walt Disney Studios
(comedy/family/musical - rated G)

I Love You, Man from Paramount Pictures*
(comedy/romance - rated R)

Observe and Report from Warner Bros. Pictures
(comedy - rated R)

Obsessed from Sony Screen Gems
(drama/thriller - rated PG-13)

(plot descriptions from imdb.com)

Angels and Demons from Sony Pictures
(May 15) (cc dvs)
In this sequel to The DaVinci Code, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon works to solve a murder and prevent a terrorist act against the Vatican.

Dance Flick from Paramount Pictures*
(May 22) (cc only)
Street dancer Thomas Uncles is from the wrong side of the tracks, but his bond with the beautiful Megan White might help the duo realize their dreams as the enter in the mother of all dance battles. A comedy from the Wayans brothers.

Night in the Museum 2: Escape from the Smithsonian from Twentieth Century Fox Films
(May 22) (cc dvs)
Security guard Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) infiltrates the Smithsonian Institute in order to rescue Jedediah (Owen Wilson) and Octavius (Steve Coogan), who have been shipped to the museum by mistake.

Terminator Salvation from Warner Bros. Pictures
(May 22) (cc dvs)
After Skynet has destroyed much of humanity in a nuclear holocaust, a group of survivors led by John Connor (Christian Bale) struggles to keep the machines from finishing the job.

Drag Me to Hell from Universal Pictures
(May 29) (cc dvs)
A loan officer ordered to evict an old woman from her home finds herself the recipient of a supernatural curse, which turns her life into a living hell. Desperate, she turns to a seer to try and save her soul, while evil forces work to push her to a breaking point.

Up from Walt Disney Studios and Pixar
(May 29) (cc dvs)
By tying thousands of balloon to his home, 78-year-old Carl Fredricksen sets out to fulfill his lifelong dream to see the wilds of South America. Right after lifting off, however, he learns he isn’t alone on his journey, since Russell, a wilderness explorer 70 years his junior, has inadvertently become a stowaway on the trip.

The Hangover from Warner Bros. Pictures
(Jun 5) (cc with dvs tba)
A Las Vegas-set comedy centered around three groomsmen who lose their about-to-be-wed buddy during their drunken misadventures, then must retrace their steps in order to find him.

Land of the Lost from Universal Pictures
(Jun 5) (cc dvs)
On his latest expedition, Dr. Rick Marshall (Will Ferrell) is sucked into a space-time vortex alongside his research assistant (Anna Friel) and a redneck survivalist (Danny McBride). In this alternate universe, the trio make friends with a primate named Chaka, their only ally in a world full of dinosaurs and other fantastic creatures. Can they all make it back to our world alive, and if so: Will Dr. Marshall can go from zero to hero with his discoveries?

My Life in Ruins from Fox Searchlight
(Jun 5) (cc dvs)
A travel guide (Nia Vardalos from My Big Fat Greek Wedding) rediscovers her romantic side on a trip around Greece.

* WGBH has developed a conversion process to enable select Paramount films to be available via Rear Window Captioning systems. Some of these titles will also be available with descriptions. The latter will be designated "description" vs. DVS in our Updates to indicate availability of that feature, though WGBH did not create those descriptions.


Closed captioning and description of films provided by the Media Access Group at WGBH, a nonprofit division of Boston public broadcaster WGBH. The Rear Window Captioning and DVS Theatrical systems were developed by WGBH to make feature films accessible the date films open in theaters nationwide— and during regular showtimes— to movie fans who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, blind or visually impaired.

For more information on the WGBH's Motion Picture Access (MoPix) efforts, including how to encourage a theater in your area to install the access systems, please visit , e-mail access@wgbh.org or call 617 300-3700 v, 617 300-2489 TTY.

- -
Media Access Group at WGBH
< http://access.wgbh.org >
One Guest Street
Boston, MA 02135
617 300-3700 v/fax, 617 300-2489 TTY

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Windows 7 RC Released To The Public

Microsoft has made available the new RC 7100 build of Windows 7 to the general masses. The RC build will be free to download until July and it will expire in June 2010. That date puts it past the official release date of Office 2010 by the way. So there is no hurry to download the RC.. but the servers went on line some hours ago and I'm doing it now. Therefore.. go download it at this link.


Peer pressure!

Monday, May 04, 2009

7, Vista And GW Micro With XPM

I’ve got too much going on with all the patches, updates and Win 7 RC at the moment. So forgive me for not being more verbose today.

Vista RIP At 7 RTM? Vista could be gone from the public and the retail stores once 7 ships. This isn’t out of the realm of possibilities as Microsoft killed the original Xbox swiftly after the Xbox 360 hit the market.


Window Eyes And XPM: Here is a blog post from G.W. Micro and their initial look at the XP Mode beta.


Chips: Speaking of XPM.. only some Intel based chips are recommended for this new feature. Which chips? Probably not any you have on hand if you have an older system.