Crisis, What Crisis?

“If we don’t act now this sucker might go down…” – President George W. Bush.


While I find it a bit alarming that the President of the United States refers to the world’s largest economy as “this sucker,” I must admit that I feel some real anxiety after listening to the news on the radio and hearing about the near daily financial domino falling without any actual plan in place to recover from this meltdown.  I can’t say that I entirely understand or support the Paulson proposal that went down in the House yesterday but, at the same time, I can’t tell whether its supporters, the more left leaning Democrats or right leaning Republicans have the right answer to this enormous problem.


I do know that the partison grandstanding helps the situation not at all.  Yesterday, at noon when it seemed like the package would pass, John McCain spoke and took credit for driving the bill through demonstrating his superior leadership.  By three in the afternoon, though, he blamed the Speaker of the House for making a partison speech that hurt the feelings of a number of Republicans so badly that they would put aside their concern for our national economy to cry foul and change their vote.  Do our elected officials really find trivial statements so alarming that they will change their vote just to get some measure of revenge.


Meanwhile the Speaker and the Minority Leader obviously didn’t count their votes before bringing the bill to a floor vote and, instead of holding back until they could guarantee passage of some sort of legislation, they lost and scared the poop out of Wall Street causing the largest point drop in the history of the Dow.  What were they thinking?


On Sunday, both McCain and Obama endorsed the bill but neither seems to have the so-called “juice” to get their respective parties to rally behind them and their positions on such an important issue.  I did find Senator Obama’s calming statements yesterday, without partison venom, to sound very much like a leader as he explained that, although congress didn’t succeed yesterday, that they will get something done soon.  Obama didn’t blame either party but, rather, explained how complex legislation can take time and isn’t pretty to watch being made.


On the presidential race, on Friday night at the debate, John accused Obama of being reckless for “saying out loud” that he would support strikes across the border into Pakistan if our intelligence said that the bad guys were their.  On Saturday, Sarah said the same thing as Obama, on Sunday, the McCain campaign tried to explain away her statement as, although quite explicit, being somehow different from Obama’s position.  Meanwhile, Joe Biden made a claim the FDR went “on the television in 1929” for one of his fireside chats to help calm the markets and the population – this has the two problems: FDR didn’t take office until 1933 (Hoover was president in 1929) and the only televisions around were prototypes. 


Why is it that nothing seems to make sense anymore?  Have I fallen through the looking glass or were all of those Lyndon Larouche conspiracy nutcases actually right?


— End

__________ Information from ESET NOD32 Antivirus, version of virus signature database 3481 (20080929) __________

The message was checked by ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

Subscribe to the Blind Confidential RSS Feed at: Blindconfidential

Boris Goes Paranoid

By Gonz Blinko


“Now I'm hiding in Honduras
I'm a desperate man
Send lawyers, guns and money
The shit has hit the fan…” – Warren Zevon


“You should have on your body at all times or at least nearby your passport or passports if you can get more than one, an open ticket to a neutral nation, any visas you might have, a weapon, enough cash and credit cards to get anywhere in the continent and the keen sense required to staying one step ahead of the bastards,” rambled Boris.


“Huh?”  I asked.


“You never know when you need to leave a country in a hurry and the US is included in the list.  The NSA keeps very close watch on guys like you and me and Echelon reads all of our emails, tracks all of our mobile phone calls, that’s why I keep changing numbers, they are watching and will have us in Guantanamo if we aren’t constantly aware and keeping ahead of them.”


We had just reached Boston via the Outlaw Biker Race from Miami Beach to Beantown and we disputed the results.  One of the Angels said he saw the winning bike from Sy T. Greenbacks’ team with Leland Burr driving and Gore Glendon holding on for dear life board a helicopter in South Carolina and fly, bike and all to Boston.  The rest of the competitors started calling them the Rosey Ruiz of the outlaw motorcycle set.


“What the hell are you talking about?”  I asked, “You are starting to worry me,” I added.


“Shit, I’ve been all over the world, been to a lot of countries, Iran, Syria, Libya, Cuba…. A lot of places that King George the W. doesn’t like…  They watch me like a hawk to make sure I’m not too far out of their line of fire.  If I go missing for a little while, I usually find myself climbing out a hotel window and jiggying the hell out of town.”


“You’re just paranoid,” I said.


“Really, why is there so much static on my phone calls, what about the helicopter?”


“Boris?  What the fuck are you talking about?  What helicopters?”


“Every city I go to, helicopters.”


“Maybe they are traffic helicopters?”


“That’s one cover, hospitals is another.  Really, they are out to observe us in the dissident class.  Those of who oppose globalization but support internationalization.”


“The difference?”


“If you don’t know, we can’t take the time, I got to get out of Boston, got to keep moving.  Your Everglades spot is good cover but who knows if the Seminoles won’t turn us in?”


“Dude, take a pill, take two or three, they’re small, maybe four or five,” I said offering my old friend a jar of valium.


“Negative,” he barked, “I can’t lose my edge.”


“Why do you need to get out of Boston?”


“Mick Traynor.”


“The retired General?”


“One in the same.”


“What about him?”


“He spotted me in Charlie’s Kitchen while I was eating my double cheeseburger this morning.”


“Do you know General Traynor?”


“No, but he knows me and he’s certainly sent the fort my coordinates.”


“He’s a Harvard professor now, he’s not doing military stuff anymore.”


“Sure, the perfect cover.”


“Why would he care about you or your hamburger?”


“Double fucking cheeseburger and he’s the lead guy on Boston surveillance.”


“You sure you don’t want a pill?  How about a Phenobarbital?”


“Are you working with them?  You want to knock me out so they can cart me off and I’ll wake up with a cattle prod up my ass in some nation that allows such things” yelled Boris as he stormed out the door.


“Poor bastard,” I thought, “he’s really gone around the bend.”  I picked up the phone and called Sam. 


“What?”  she answered.


“Boris.  He thinks he’s about to be extraordinarily rendered because Mick Traynor came into Charlie’s while he was eating a double cheeseburger.”


“He could have a point,” said Samhara.




“Only kidding.  Did you try to sedate him?”


“He refused both valium and Phenobarbital.”


“Where is he now?”


“He stomped off,” I said, “I would guess he’s heading to an airport or some other transit center.  He said he has a handful of passports, some visas, an open ticket to…”


“A neutral nation, cash, a weapon,” finished Sam with a sigh.


“You knew about this?”


“He’s been repeating that same line over and over like it was some kind of mantra since he came back to the states.”


“Has he really gone nutty?”


“No,” stated Samhara with some authority, “He probably got laid last night and he still runs from any potential commitment.”




“You know Boris, she was probably some rich little snatch whose daddy works with his daddy and he doesn’t want to deal with any fallout from the family.”


“Isn’t he almost fifty?”


“He’s 48 going on 17, he’ll never change.”


“Where do you think he’ll go?”


“Doesn’t really matter, let’s just enjoy the quiet until he comes back.” Added my lovely lawyer.


“Want to get cheeseburgers?”


“Sure, I’ll see you at Charlie’s in an hour.”


— End






Subscribe to the Blind Confidential RSS Feed at: Blindconfidential

Window-Eyes 7, Macintosh, Heading South

If you haven’t already read it, I highly recommend that you go to Darrell Shandro’s Blind Access Journal blog and read the article he posted yesterday about the Window-Eyes 7.0 release.  Darrell raises the journalistic standards for blogs in the blinkosphere while providing a well written and highly informative article about the latest from GW Micro.  For more on my opinion of Darrell’s piece, read the comment I left on BAJ about it as soon as DS gets to letting it through the moderation process.




I have continued learning more and more about my new Macintosh, VoiceOver and the user experience for people with vision impairment on the Apple platform.  I have not yet checked out the new accessible interface on the iPod Nano but have heard some fairly positive things about it from various people who send me bits of information, their opinion on matters and other random ideas.


As I delve further into VoiceOver (VO), I find that some of its behaviors which I had complained about in some of my earlier posts on the topic actually have advantages over the more traditional screen reader user interfaces and, once one grows accustomed to the VO way of doing things, these improvements become more obvious.  Although I often rant and rave about the lack of innovation in UI concepts in access technology, I am also an old fart stuck in his ways who is a bit lazy when it comes to learning new ways of doing things – even when they provide improvements to the status quo.


Specifically, I wrote that the need to hit a keystroke to interact with HTML content was a dumb idea.  As I’ve used VO more, though, I have learned that their web content interaction mode with its sense of object navigation actually provides a greater sense of context than the linear, “virtual buffer” interfaces that the Windows screen readers expose.


In general, the object navigation interface that VO provides offers a sense of context about all sorts of items one may encounter in all sorts of different applications.  This manner of navigation takes some practice to appreciate but, when one makes the transition, it really shows its worth.


Because VO is a purely API based screen access utility, applications with which it works, work very well.  Some programs can certainly see accessibility improvements but those that comply with the newer, Cocoa Macintosh API tend to work with VO right out of the box and perform very, very well in situations that long time Windows screen reader users might think would be problematic.


I suppose I should spend this paragraph tipping my hat to Peter Korn of Sun Microsystems.  He and I have debated the relative merits of OS hooking and/or COM methods of gathering application information versus a purely API driven solution.  I conceded to Peter that an API system would cause fewer stability problems than seem to be inherent in OSM solutions but I also argued that no API based system could provide a good enough level of context (either through brute force “review cursor” methods or by hand coded COM solutions for each different application); it seems that Apple, with VO, has found a middle ground and can provide a decent level of contextual information without either requiring custom aspects for each application or by inserting instabilities into the entire system.  Customized communication with specific applications will, using today’s technology (I can already hear Will jumping in with a comment about a future with a synthesized vision approach being superior), definitely provides the greatest ability for an access technology to communicate very specific contextual information to its users but, excepting very complex interfaces, such extra work needn’t be done to provide a very usable interface with an above average level of information the user can enjoy about the items that surround the point of focus.


While I have not tried to use Apple Script and Apple Events with VO, people more familiar with the software and with Macintosh OSX Leopard tell me that these components built into the OS can be used to gather information from applications with more complex interfaces, much in the manner of the COM methods of doing things in Windows, and can, therefore, provide detailed contextual information where necessary.  As these technologies are built into the Macintosh operating system, they are likely to be far less kludgerous than proprietary scripting techniques seen in other access technology products.


I still have a number of items I think Apple can do to improve VO substantially:


First, the five finger keystrokes that a user needs to hit if using a laptop really must go and be replaced by a set of key bindings designed specifically for the less comprehensive keyboards.  Next, allow the user to select the Caps Lock and perhaps some other mostly useless keys as the VO key modifier.  I hate the Caps Lock key and feel strongly that one should be able to use it for something other than typing in all capital letters like we did back in the PDP-8 days.  Continuing in the same set of ideas, something equivalent to the key binding editors available in most other popular screen readers is a must for VO in the future.


Second, Apple should jump on the iAccessible2 bandwagon and get Firefox working really well.  In its current incarnation, VO doesn’t work with Firefox without the FireVox plug-in and, in Safari, the native browser shipped with Macintosh, it works poorly with more complex web pages often described under the sweeping name, “Web 2.0” that may use AJAX to provide a more interactive experience for users.


Lastly (I may have more applause and complaints in the future but this is the final one I can think of today), VO should be released under a GPL or other libertyware license with its source code as soon as possible.  There are a lot of hackers with vision impairment who have a ton of great ideas for the future of screen readers and can make them possible with something like VO as a starting point.




My annual sadness caused by the looming date in which we must return to Florida has kicked in.  We will point the Toyota south next Wednesday or Thursday and, a few days later, arrive in St. Petersburg and the intellectual barrenness of the god forsaken sandbar on which we live for most of the year.


Since coming to the Boston area in July, I have had the opportunity to enjoy a lot of really great performances, readings and conversations that are not likely to occur in the land of the weird.  On Sunday, we went to the American Repertory Theater to attend Anna Deavere Smith’s latest one woman plays that absolutely captivated the audience and evoked lots of different emotions, ideas and concepts in a way that she can do far better than most.  Next Tuesday, I will go with Susan and some friends to hear Shamus Heaney, the Nobel Prize winning poet read some of his works.  Both of these events happen within a short walk from the front door of our

Harvard Square

condo.  The only short walks from our house in St. Petersburg are a few not bad restaurants, a lot of places to get work done on a car and a barber shop and, to be quite frank, I don’t need all that many haircuts.


Of course, I will enjoy the Florida weather, the fresh fruit from the trees in our yard and the lack of the miserable elements that fall upon the Boston area from late November until May.  I’ll enjoy my fishing and X-Celerator will have fun seeing his friends in the park.


— End

Subscribe to the Blind Confidential RSS Feed at: Blindconfidential

Moron the Vic and New GPS Thoughts

By BlindChristian, the Vic Moron


“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me,” an axiom to which I cannot find an individual to whom I can attribute it.


I have now purchased four Humanware Victor Reader Stream devices.  I like having two, one at home and one at the office so, if I forget to bring one with me in either direction, I’ll have one when I arrive.  I avoid listening to anything on the Boston subway line as I fear missing a stop and kind of prefer avoiding laughing out loud at something I hear as that will possibly cause the other passengers to assume I am a lunatic in addition to being blind which, while somewhat true, doesn’t need to be reinforced in the minds of my fellow passengers.


So, if I like having two Vics, why have I purchased four?


I also own a relatively old Blue Tooth GPS receiver that has an AC adapter nearly identical to that which comes with the Vic.  The word “nearly” being the operative term in that sentence means that it feels exactly the same to my touch at least but, to meet the requirements of each device, they have different voltages.  If you haven’t guessed it yet, I have now managed to use the GPS adapter on a Vic twice, completely blowing out its motherboard and, in less than a second, rendering the device useless.


Fool Me Once


I believe everything I have written about the Vic in BlindConfidential since I got one has ranged from praise to a downright ecstatic description of the device, its form factor, price, feature set and almost everything else I have encountered regarding the product.  While I commend Apple for making an accessible iPod, for me, I will stick by my Vic.


So, for the first time in these pages, I have a serious bone to pick with Humanware and the people responsible for making the Vic ship kit.  Specifically, why is there no Braille or otherwise distinguishing label on the AC adapter which might obviate the mix up that I have encountered with my old GPS unit?


Fool Me Twice


While I think Humanware should have put some kind of obvious distinguishing tactile ornament on the AC adapter, but, having made this mistake once already, I could and should have put a ribbon, a twist tie, my own Braille label or some other distinguishing feature on the AC adapter so I wouldn’t make the same mistake twice.  Indeed, I acted like a moron and blew out a second Vic.  Thus, I have now acquired four of the devices so I can actually use two.


I do recommend that Humanware put some tactile indicator on its power supply but, in the interim, people like me who own a whole lot of gadgets, some of which have nearly identical AC adapters should heed my advice and put on your own distinguishing feature and avoid blowing up your toys by mistakenly using the wrong power supply.




I received the notice that Code Factory, in partnership with Mike May’s Sendero Group, has released the long awaited Mobile GEO GPS navigation system.  I’ve been using various betas of this software for the past few months and can say that it works better than any GPS program I have ever tried at pedestrian speeds. Of course, most of the others which I have tried were off-the-shelf programs designed primarily for motorists and implemented their tracking algorithms assuming motion at five miles per hour or faster, quite a pace for someone on foot. 


The only other GPS navigation program designed for people with vision impairment that I have tried is StreetTalk from Freedom Scientific which, as of my last trial, didn’t perform especially well.  Also, the FS product requires one purchase a PAC Mate (roughly $2000 or more last time I checked) and Mobile GEO, while priced at something on the order of $895 can run on any Windows Mobile 6.x device along with Mobile Speak SmartPhone or Mobile Speak Pocket – if one buys the handheld and the screen reader from AT&T, adding a super cool Holux Blue Tooth GPS receiver (not the one I blew out my Vic with) and Mobile GEO comes to about $1150, a major savings compared to software that requires blind guy ghetto hardware.


Today, I plan on installing Wayfinder Access on a Symbian phone with a built in GPS receiver.  I will test with the on board receiver as well as with the Holux which seems to be just about the best very portable (it has a loop for your key chain) receiver I’ve ever seen.  I will compare the two programs but, Wayfinder Access has two features that do not exist in Mobile GEO that I like purely on face value.  Specifically, Wayfinder Access uses one’s mobile Internet connection to continuously download maps as you travel so you don’t need to take the extra step of downloading and installing maps by state as you do with Mgeo (some people think this is an advantage of Mgeo as it does not require a mobile Internet connection or the cost associated with such).  The second bit advantage to the Wayfinder product is its $325 price tag which, at more than $500 less than Mobile GEO really makes one think hard about which to purchase.


As I haven’t tried Wayfinder Access yet, I cannot proffer an opinion as to whether the $575 price delta is or is not worth paying.




As I state above, I am really impressed with the Holux Blue Tooth GPS receiver.  I believe I have the model 1200 which does not have a user changeable battery but holds a charge for a pretty long time and weighs less than one ounce.  I believe their model 1000 has a battery you can change on your own but is a big bigger and, therefore, less sexy.


The Holux product comes with one of those miniature CDs that contains only documentation.  I recommend that as soon as you open the box, throw away all documentation as it will cause nothing but confusion and present you with information that only the nerdiest of people might care in the slightest about.  So, throw away the little CD and the booklet lest you get exposed to their brain damaging manuals.


To wit: one of the chapters that comes before “Getting Started” describes the algorithm in the Holux firmware used to triangulate your location with up to 30 satellites (I haven’t seen it pick up more than 18 which, in and of itself, is pretty damn impressive).  You do not need to know anything about such algorithms.  This information is only useful if you plan on building your own GPS hardware which I think is of little of no probability among BC readers.  “Getting Started,” by the way, is something like chapter five.  Also, the documentation reads as though it was written by an engineer for whom English is a third or maybe fourth language – ultra-geek with broken sentences that are almost laughable.


To use your new Holux BT GPS receiver, first charge it up, then, following the instructions on your Windows Mobile device, go through the BT pairing process (password 1 2 3 4) and everything will work properly.  The Holux has two or three little lights on it that tell a sighted person by color and whether or not it flashes on and off a few bits of useful information (does it have a solid connection to satellites, is the Blue Tooth connected and is the battery running low) all of these details can be found in Mobile GEO and I would guess, other navigation software as well.  Otherwise, the outside has only one item of interest to a user with vision impairment, namely the on/off switch.


The Holux devices are cheap at around $50 (a little extra if you want an AC adapter – by default it comes with a car cigarette lighter adapter) and, in my opinion, will probably make any portable GPS navigation software work better.


— End

Subscribe to the Blind Confidential RSS Feed at: Blindconfidential

Moron Apple

By BlindChristian, The Apple Moron


They fired up the new super collider earlier today and I don’t believe we all got sucked into a newly generated black hole and ripped into zillions of nano bits; meanwhile, Apple announced that the new version of the iPod nano comes with a speech synthesizer and that we blinks can now use it.  As I’ve criticized Apple very heavily for accessibility problems in the past, I now want to celebrate the three accessibility announcements they made yesterday.


When I turned on my laptop and retrieved my email this morning, my Inbox lit up with google news alerts regarding Window-Eyes and Apple accessibility.  Most of the articles and blog entries that fit through my information filters talked about Window-Eyes 7.0 beta 3 and its support for Apple’s iTunes on Windows based computers.  Other alerts told me of the newly accessible nano and I received a very nice email from an Apple employee telling me about improvements to Apple’s accessibility web pages and, specifically, some new content regarding applications that now  work with VoiceOver.


I continue to learn more and more about the Macintosh and using it with VoiceOver but I still consider myself an Apple moron, hence the title of today’s article.  I want to send out thanks to the Macintosh using friends who have helped me through some problems and provided me with pointers that make the experience as pleasant as possible.  I do seem to have an odd problem with iTunes caused when I try to add a large number (over 3000) songs to my library from an external hard disk all at once.  At first, iTunes seemed to hang while adding a song, yesterday, after a telephone consultation with a Macintosh/VoiceOver expert friend of mine the program got hung up (its menu in the Dock said “not responding” and, just to make sure, I let it run for a couple more hours without any notable progress) while trying to find the album artwork for an Angelic Upstarts record I forgot I owned.  Nonetheless, I still have yet to create an iTunes library from my MP3 collection without allowing the files to be copied from the external disk to the one installed on the laptop.  Today, I’ll install and try again with iTunes 8 and turn off the feature that downloads album artwork as I have no imaginable use for it and don’t want to clog up anything with a pile of pictures I can’t see.  Of course, one man’s iTunes problems don’t add up to a hill of beans in this world so if I don’t get back on the laptop I might not regret it today but will certainly regret it someday.


For a long time, iTunes has sort of worked with JAWS with a set of scripts written by a volunteer user but, based on the comments of others, it didn’t work well.  I do not have iTunes 8 or Window-Eyes 7 beta 3 installed on any computer to which I have access so I can’t speak to its performance but if it works anywhere nearly as well as it does with VoiceOver, the most widely discussed multimedia program will have really excellent support on Windows.


In the past, I’ve been fairly critical of what I believed was time wasted by screen reader publishers trying to get media players, chat programs and other software supported that do not have a direct effect on employment or education as these, in my mind, represent the most important problems people with vision impairment encounter.  I especially find that Freedom Scientific’s decision to permit some previously supported applications (Microsoft Project, OmniPage, etc.) to stop working, which are important to professionals and students alike while pronouncing with excitement support for yet another chat program especially egregious.


Serotek’s approach to the “digital lifestyle” that approaches the screen reading problem with far greater emphasis on home and educational use than on supporting professionals has a lot of merits and does an excellent job of doing what they advertise.  GW Micro seems to be looking for a middle ground and, with the addition of its scripting facility, will possibly become the most comprehensive screen reader for Windows relatively soon.  These are certainly interesting times.


I’ve drifted way off from the titular subject of this post, specifically things to do with Apple and accessibility.  In a few minutes I will install iTunes 8 onto my Macintosh and give it a whirl with VO, later, I will go to the newly updated Macintosh accessibility web pages and peruse the list of supported applications but I will not buy nor try the iPod nano as I’m very happy with my Humanware Vic and really do not need yet another gadget bouncing around in my gear bag.


I commend Apple for taking these steps to improve accessibility to their programs and look forward to whatever they do next in this market niche.  I continue to think it is in the best interest of both Apple and the community of people with vision impairment to release VO under a libertyware license so the world of hacking blinks can take a whack at adding new features and fixing the odd bug.  For now, though, I will admit that the version of VO that comes with the Leopard operating system releases provides access to virtually all of the application categories that I use with any great frequency and that the development tools that ship with the OS are very cool.


— End

Subscribe to the Blind Confidential RSS Feed at: Blindconfidential

Dane Brammage

I’ve spent the past few weeks learning to use Macintosh Leopard Edition with its built in VoiceOver (VO) screen reader.  I struggle badly from a disease I will call JAWS and Windows on the brain (also known as dane brammage).  Although I’m learning the Macintosh and VO keystrokes a bit at a time when I want to accomplish something quickly, the fingers try the JAWS/Windows commands and the Macintosh simply beeps in confusion.


I have started writing a long piece about my adventures with Macintosh and VO and, after a couple of weeks of pretty heavy use, I give it very high marks.  One area (relating to my dane brammage) of which I have a low opinion is the superfluous incompatibility of VO and JAWS/System Access keystrokes.  To a pretty large extent, Window-Eyes and NVDA stick pretty close to this unofficial “standard” set of key bindings as well.  If the Apple people want to attract converts, they should try to flatten the learning curve by giving we Windows folks a bit more welcoming look and feel.


I have other criticisms and also a ton of applause for the Macintosh laptop, the Leopard OS and VO which I will post in the longer article that I’m actually writing in “real time” on the Mac. 


One thing I can say here is that, except for rebooting when Apple sent me an OS update, I have not turned the Macintosh off or done a restart in close to three weeks.  I have VO (a screen reader, a class of products known to insert instability in operating environments) and, as a real novice Macintosh user, I hit lots of strange keyboard combinations that would work with JAWS or SA but not with VO and all I ever get is a little ping from the laptop telling me I have done something useless.


Next, I will say that some of the VO keystrokes, especially the four key (CTRL+OPTION+SHIFT+DOWN) to be able to read html content is just plain stupid.  First, if I opened a web page, I probably did so because I wanted to read it and I should have landed in something like the virtual buffer as presented by the rest of the screen reader world – this goes beyond superfluous incompatibility into just plain weird.  Second, it requires four fingers – I play a little blues piano but never have to stretch that far.


On a positive note, the “I’m a Mac and I’m a PC” television commercials have a lot of truth in them.  My Vista desktop with the same CPU, same amount of memory and a larger cache runs far more slowly than my Macintosh laptop.  The same tasks can take up to triple the amount of time on Vista and double on XP but my XP laptop is a single core 2005 relic I keep using because it refuses to die and motivate me to replace it.  Of course, with the VMWare XP on my Mac, I may not need this old work horse any longer.


The last thing I’ll say about the Macintosh here is that the battery life and temperature regulation is nothing short of amazing.  Running a dual core, 64 bit processor with 4 gb of RAM, I have used the Mac without recharging for six hours (not idle time but, rather, doing a fair amount of work) and still haven’t received a warning that the battery had drained to an unsafe level.  As far as heat is concerned, I can run the Macintosh for all six hours right on my lap without cooking my testicles for dinner.  I don’t know how but these units remain far less hot than a similar PC running for one hour.



Lastly, I did want to point out a new blog out there written by Aaron Leventhal, a friend, colleague and one of the finest minds I’ve ever encountered in the AT biz.  You can get to it at  He has a very well considered article about how VO works with Firefox and some other goodies up there.  Also, if you haven’t already, you should definitely subscribe to Marco Zehe’s accessibility blog as it’s one of the best access technology blogs I’ve read to date.


— End


Subscribe to the Blind Confidential RSS Feed at: Blindconfidential