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technology update

I am now using a "baby braille display"--and it is wireless, which means I can write and read when my head hurts! I am one happy person today!

An update on the PDA experiment... The HP IPAQ 210 did not work with MobileSpeak. I have now gotten hold of an HX2795. MSP works nicely on it, but I am still learning things like how to make bluetooth work with it. I do seriously like the case that came with it! There is room inside for the stowaway keyboard, and I seriously think the entire IPAQ/keyboard/display deal is not any more weight than the Braillenote PK. It may be lighter... The PK supposedly weighs 0.99 pounds; but perhaps it is the way the weight is distributed that makes the weight awkward to me.

Two weeks or so left on the MSP license. I think that eventually I will be quite happy.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 27th, 2008 04:26 pm (UTC)
What braille display did you get? Can you do input with the display as well (such as having the PDA in your pocket and using just the display to control it)? That's what I'm ideally wanting to do.

I'm seriously thinking that I'm going to get my TyTN II phone/PDA combo. I just wish there was GPS that could work with it.

I am getting sick of carrying my three-pound BrailleNote around, but I don't want to give up the braille display.
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:08 pm (UTC)
I went with the Brailliant 24. I had a real time finding one--they're on back order. If you want to do input, there is a BrailleConnect 24 option. And it is working superbly with JAWS, which means it can be used on a laptop or desktop if you want to use it for a multipurpose display. I have also just completed the big purse switch. I am not truly happy with my old purse and will probably go get a new one, but if I can make all of this stuff work I will no longer need a mammoth purse!
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:51 pm (UTC)
Good to know. I think if I got a display I would go with a 40-cell one, just so I could use it on the computer and for proofreading with Duxbury, etc. I want to have as much flexibility as possible since I am likely to only buy one braille device. Judging from what I've seen online, the displays look slim enough that even a 40-cell one could fit in a backpack or my enormous purse easily. I really love my purse, even though it's huge,
Mar. 28th, 2008 04:13 am (UTC)
The 40-cell ones are over a foot long, I think. There's also a 32-cell model. I heard about a prototype of a display that could literally be rolled up. I'd love something like that. Maybe in a few years...sigh.
Mar. 28th, 2008 04:40 am (UTC)
A foot long is okay for me. I don't think I would take it everywhere. My purse is huge and can fit things like my folded 52-inch Ambutech cane in it. The 32-cell display might be good, too; my BN is 32 cells and I think that's a good length.
Mar. 27th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
Inquiring minds want to know...

Braille? How hard is it to learn, for those of us who have never learned it? Because I've often thought it would be awesome on those days it just hurts to read... okay, that sounds weird... But you know exactly what I mean...
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
learning braille
I can't speak to the issue of learning it as an adult--I was born early and had damage to my eyes, so I have been reading braille since I was five. There are adults who have learned to read by touch. A lot of your success rate would depend on motivation and other things you do to get your fingers used to being sensitive to tiny patterns. I will tell you, though, that implementing a solution like this for computer reading would be expensive. It could be extremely useful if you are photosensitive or have any sort of issues with visual tasks during your migraines, but setting yourself up as I have done would cost you around $3,500. (Braille displays are not cheap.)
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
Re: learning braille
Ahh, I see...

So, not a very sensible solution for me, but good to know how much these things cost, also, good to know you can learn to read as an adult!

Mar. 27th, 2008 05:29 pm (UTC)
Re: learning braille
The 12-cell displays are quite a bit cheaper, and if a person was quite good at reading they might offer some solution but still would require some investment. If you can listen to audio at low volume, a screen reader might be a viable option for you. They come at varying prices, and you can try demos before buying.
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:40 pm (UTC)
Re: learning braille
There are also free screen readers out there. Not good as the $1,000 variety, but they do the trick. Non-Visual Desktop Access, System Access to Go, and Thunder are all fairly functional free screen readers for Windows.
Mar. 27th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
Glad it's working so well for you. I assume this is the Brailliant 24? I decided to go with the BrailleConnect 12 after all, and then, a few years from now, I think I'll get either the Optelec BC640 or a larger BrailleConnect. It's amazing, the range of options we have now. I want my braille display to hurry up and get here! (grin)
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:13 pm (UTC)
reading on a 12-cell
When you get your BC12, I would like to know how it goes reading. I've done some preliminary reading on the 24, and I am not experiencing significant slow down. I am a one-handed reader naturally, and I just keep punching the advance key. I just wonder if the 12-cell would leave a lot to be desired for extensive reading. Btw, I did go with the Brailliant 24.
Mar. 27th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)
Re: reading on a 12-cell
Yeah, I'm not sure how it will go either. But I decided there are a lot of situations in which I want something really, really small. I'm a two-handed reader. I actually thought I might prefer the ergonomics of the BC12 because of the joystick. I'm very accustomed to braille displays with thumb keys (like my Focus and my BrailleNote 32). I figure that the BC12 is so small, I will be able to touch the joystick with either hand, no matter where I'm reading on the display. LOL! Did that make any sense at all? I have seen a Brailliant, and I prefer the thumb key arrangement to the keys on the Brailliant, though I'm sure I could get used to it. Still, if the BrailleConnects had thumb keys, I might have gone for the 24 originally. For this reason, I'll probably get teh Optelec model (or whatever is out there with thumb keys) when I'm ready to get a bigger bluetooth display.

Mar. 27th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC)
Re: reading on a 12-cell
The little side keys don't buther me too mych. I just use my pinky instead of my thumb. Then again, I'm a pianist and am accustomed to slipping my pinky around for this and that...
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah Blake LaRose
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