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Showing posts from October, 2007

The Dragnifier

Have you ever had to squint at the screen to see what's there? Do you create graphics for a living, and need accuracy? Do all those tiny icons get lost on your desktop? The "Quick Dragging Magnifier" (or Dragnifier) is just what you need. One click or keypress will bring up a computerized lens, which lets you see every last detail on your screen at 2x, 4x, even 8x the original size. When you're not using the magnifier, you won't even notice it. An icon rests next to your system clock, ready to hop to service whenever you need the Dragnifier. Dragnifier has been demonstrated as an excellent tool for those with sight disabilities. Sometimes a website will include very small print, or sometimes the icons on today's programs are too small to see clearly. If you're laying out web pages or other graphic arts, having a measuring tool can be handy. Dragnifier's reticule helps you line up items or compare their sizes quickly.

Click this link to learn more a…

Online Banking: Is It Right for Me?

A reader recently asked: Can you give me some advantages and disadvantages of doing online banking? Is it accessible? I'm not sure if I should start using it or not. That's an excellent question! I'm sure you all know that you can handle your banking on the Internet now. It's been around for awhile, but more and more people are taking advantage of it every day. But, as with anything else on the Internet these days, there are myths of it being of a bad interest, while others say it's the greatest thing in the world. Below, you'll find some pros and cons for this banking method and I'll just let you decide for yourself! Before I go any further and just for your information, most banks and credit unions offer some form of online banking these days. It's also known as PC banking, home banking, electronic banking or even Internet banking. The banks who offer this service have been working for several years to find the best possible way to provide online ba…

Special Function Keys

Message: I just bought a new keyboard and I love it, but I can't figure out what the keys across the top are for. Can you please help me with this? Thanks!
location: Kentucky Sure! I know exactly what you're talking about. The keys you're referring to are called special function keys. They are small buttons that run along the very top of the keyboard. Different keyboards have different keys, but the most common ones are an email button, a search button, a connect button (for the Internet) and a calculator button. Some even have a sleep mode function, a volume control right on the keyboard itself and multimedia keys. These extra keys are nice to have, if you want to get into your email or use the calculator, for example, you can just hit that button one time and the program will pop right up on your screen. It's like your wish lies right at your fingertips. If you've already been using the special keys, that's great and you should keep doing so. If you have …

Monitoring Illnesses

Don't get rid of that baby monitor when the babies are grown. Hang on to them and use them around the house. If your kids get sick leave one in their room and carry the handset around with you. Now you will know instantly if your kids need you. This works great for kids of all ages, including spouses and seniors.

Download Complete Music Albums for Free

It's time to open your mind to music that's not on the Billboard charts or on the radio. I'm not sure if you're going to like all the music this site has to offer, but it's free and certainly worth a listen. What makes Free Albums Galore special? Four things, as I see it: They post only complete albums, not individual or scattered tracks.
They post only albums with permanent off-site hosting, unlike "album of the week blogs.
They post only legally free albums, instead of blindly hoping copyright owners won't mind them distributing their music.
They post at least one complete album per day, that's a lot of music! An RSS feed is available to keep you current on the latest posts and who knows, you may find some great tunes here. Give it a try!

Click this link to visit Album Galore at http://freealbums.blogsome.com.

It's a Library Thing

Have you ever bought a book only to find that you already had a copy? Or, have you been in a book store or library at any time, looking through books and wondering if you already had copies of the same titles at home? Or maybe you took all afternoon to look for a particular cookbook that you know was around there somewhere? If any of those things have happened to you, or if you just like to be organized, Library Thing is for you. Library Thing makes it easy to enter all of the books in your library and keep track of them. You can enter books by author, title or the ISBN. The site keeps track of your inventory for you. There are some extra features, which are really nice. You can search your books, sort your books or edit the book information. view your list online of course, or view your catalogue on your notetaker, which could come in really handy when you are out at the store or library. Library Thing is also a community, linking you with others who share your book interests a…

A Weekly Test For Your House

You know the drill. Something eventually stops working and you know you could have prevented the breakdown if you had only paid better attention. You can set yourself on a simple schedule to check a few items to help prevent a larger disaster. Set a day, once a week, to walk down the hallway and check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. (if you have any gas appliances you'll really want one of those) Now walk in your utility room and take a peek at the hot water heater. Is there any water dripping out of the faucet? Did you find a puddle on the floor? These small drips or puddles can become big trouble if you don't notice them early enough. Don't forget each time you do laundry to clean out the lint trap. This will help your clothes dry faster, your drier will be more efficient and you will reduce the risk of fire.

Protect Your Pipes From The Big Freeze

You have heard people talk about pipes breaking under their houses during the winter and causing lots of damage. You have a well insolated house so you shouldn't have to worry about it, right? Wrong! This can happen to anyone in an old or new house. Before the hard freezes of winter hit you need to detach any sprinklers from hoses and then the hoses from the house. Store your hoses and sprinklers in a shed or on a porch, but not attached to an outside spigot.

Braille On Walls, the Latest Form of Art?

We're all looking for new ways to promote the use of braille and this guy, "The Blind", "L'aveugle t'a vu" certainly has his own ideas of how this can be accomplished. Apparently, he puts braille on walls, in the streets, on the museum's facades or churches. He has a braille dictionary on his MySpace page to help sighted folks decode his work. He's a young 24 year old guy, living in Nantes (France). Click this link to view the artwork of L'aveugle t'a vu.

Power Text to Speech Reader

Power Text to Speech Reader is an inexpensive program that lets you listen to documents, email messages or Web pages instead of reading on screen. It uses voice synthesis to create spoken audio from text with natural voices. What I like most is that you can listen when you have the time. For example, you can listen on your PC or save text to MP3 or wave files for listening later. Even better, if you have a portable audio device you can take your text as MP3 files to the gym, the classroom or anywhere you need to go. It can directly open Plain Text files , Microsoft Word files, PDF files, email files, Rich Text files, and HTML files. For low vision Microsoft Internet Explorer users, Power Text to Speech Reader supplies a handy toolbar plug-in for Internet Explorer and for Microsoft Outlook. It supports dozens of male, female, and robotic voices and more than 11 languages. Power Text to Speech Reader can monitor the Windows Clipboard and automatically process its contents. This fea…

Intro to Visual Impairment

By Carla RuschivalAbout 10 million people in the United States are blind or visually impaired, according to the American Foundation for the Blind. Approximately 5.5 million of these are elderly, age 65 or older. Of the 75-and-over age group, one of every four people in the country has a significant vision loss, most often caused by age-related macular degeneration or diabetes. The American Foundation for the Blind estimates that 93,600 children are blind or visually impaired, with 55,200 being legally blind (seeing 20/200 or less with best correction). Blind and visually-impaired people come in all shapes and sizes. They come from all races and ethnic backgrounds. They may have a Ph.D. or a high-school diploma. Britni is a beautiful baby. But she doesn't reach for her rattles until they make a noise. She doesn't look at her hands or smile until someone speaks. Britni is blind. Bob is a successful salesman. He just wrecked his third car yesterday. Bob knows why, but he can&…

Online Conversion of Documents to Speech

SpokenText.net allows you to record PDF, Word, plain text, PowerPoint files, ,RSS news feeds, emails and web pages, and converts them to speech automatically. You can download your recording as an iPod book or mp3 file. And every member gets a personal podcast URL , which you can use to download recordings to iTunes or your iPod. You can also easily share your recordings on your web site or blog using SpokenText Badges or individual recording players. And best of all it's COMPLETELY FREE!

Click this link to visit http://spokentext.net.

What About AudioForBooks

Launched by an avid reader who understands that day-to-day demands make it a challenge to find time to read, AudioForBooks.com specializes in meeting audio book demands for children and adults alike, providing titles for all ages. The site is updated regularly and also provides an array of supporting tools and services, including news, book reviews, an article library, a member's blog and more. Saving time, money and frustration by helping users quickly and easily tap into affordable used books on eBay, and linking directly to Apple.com where the Apple iPod can be purchased with just a quick click of a mouse and used to listen to audio books on-the-go, AudioForBooks.com provides users with options that simply don't exist elsewhere on a single site. Additionally, the expanded AudioForBooks.com blog has created a dialogue among users who can now share information about audio books and discuss titles, etc. from anywhere in the world. Also, the site's Article section conti…

Be the DJ at BlueBeat.com

BlueBeat.com is an accessible, free digital radio offering over 500,000 tracks of CD-quality music in over 100 genres and 350 channels, covering more than a century of music, and streams secure MP3s at 320kb/s. BlueBeat.com's website boasts customizable website styles and streamlined player skins. Users can mix and match their Bluebeat page and player to suit their taste with selections like the refined "Blues In Orbit" or the quirky "Tiki Lounge." Also added is a personalized history of the songs, albums, and channels users hear, as well as postings of the latest music updates. In order to stay connected and attentive to their listeners, Bluebeat.com has also developed public forums for music discussions and channel requests. BlueBeat.com maintains its easy navigation: listeners simply choose between the Time Machine, musical history organized by genre and decade, and the Killer Playlists, such as the popular "1 Hit Wonders" and the eclectic "…

The Blind Have TypeAbility

TypeAbility is a program that teaches typing in 68 user-friendly lessons. By the end of the lessons, the student will have mastered all the letters, numbers, punctuation, as well as basic navigation of text documents. In addition, the student will learn special characters that are used in computer applications, such as the @ symbol that is required in e-mail addresses. TypeAbility is compatible with the latest versions of JAWS for Windows from Freedom Scientific. It is also compatible with the screen magnification program MAGic. So the partially sighted can not only listen to, but also see their typing lessons. Learning how to startup, run, choose lessons and tasks, and how to close TypeAbility is very simple. After a few lessons with an assistant, a blind non-typing child will be able to use the program independently. TypeAbility is fun and appropriate for students of all ages. There are User Preferences that allow TypeAbility to conform to each students needs. However, there ar…