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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Friday, November 12, 2010

My MaConversion - Part 1

Finally, I have seen the light! Apple is the path to follow. No more Microsoft Windows and all those Microsoft products. True, I am still typing this on Microsoft Works and that will be the case for some more months. Then, it will be all over, Mr Gates.

No, really, don’t get me wrong. I don’t hate Microsoft or the PC and I have spent many happy times using a PC and experimented with Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). In fact, I think I have bought four PDAs - the most recent being an HTC Tytn II. This also acted as a mobile phone. PDAs are great, yes, but since I acquired a visual impairment, I realised that it would be now impossible to use my old PDA phone.

I had the same issues with accessing my PC. Fortunately, nowadays text-to-speech software, which reads the screen, allows me to use a computer. I have used Window Eyes for more than 6 years now. I learned to touch type as now it was through the keyboard that I needed to control my computer. In addition, I dare say quicker and more efficiently than before when I relied on the mouse and still was doing ‘finger’ typing. However, much before I got my HTC, and I had an old HP PDA from the days I had good eyesight, screen readers for mobile phones were only being developed. Unless, of course, I didn’t want to buy one of those mobile phones designed for the blind.

I have no real problem with my visual impairment, but when a company is advertising its product for disabled people in particular, it usually means only one thing. Yes, extremely high costs! One of the PDAs ‘for the blind’ I checked out at the time cost over $1,500! No way am I going to spend that money on a PDA - whatever it does…

So, I waited and when the first mobile phone screen readers such as Mobile Speak started appearing, I was one of the first to get a copy. Believe me, the wait was worth it. At last, I got to access most of my PDA and could play music, check email, manage my contacts and calendar, etc. That brings us to the time I used an HTC Tytn II.