Here at Cool Blind Tech, we attempt our best to cover technology from not only every platform possible, but also every angle and perspective. In the coming weeks, we will be exploring an in-depth look at a segment of the tech world known by many, but only understood by a few. From podcast demos to future articles, this is just the beginning. Join us as we take an in-depth journey into the depths of operating systems in a way that even beginners will be able to understand.
In this episode, James Oates demonstrates “NPR One”, a universal app from National Public Radio, available on all Windows devices. He shows how to start playing NPR with just a simple key stroke on a PC, and a voice command on a Windows Phone. If you enjoy National Public Radio, you will love this app.
Have you been curious about Linux and were not sure how to start using it? Are you looking for a free alternative to traditional operating systems such as Mac or Windows with some great built-in productivity? This podcast is going to give a brief overview of one of the simplest ways to explore a complete free and open-source operating system, Linux.
Vinux from Vinux Project is a great way to take Linux for a test drive without selling out on your current operating system. It offers everything under the hood you need to get started and has a pretty easy learning curve.
Be warned that this is an operating system and therefore can be installed on to your own physical hardware. It does have the ability to erase your drives or data and you should only install this if you understand the risks of doing so and know what you are doing. We demonstrate the use of this software in a Virtual Machine and would recommend this as an initial approach. If you do decide to install the software please exercise appropriate measures such as a full backup of your data and have a method readily available to restore your computer to a prior state before installation. We will not be held responsible for trouble-shooting failed installations, related issues of usage of the software nor will we be responsible for damage resulting out of the use of or inability to use the software.
With the legal information out of the way, give this podcast a play to hear about the pros and cons of Vinux. Additionally you will hear an overview of setting options and general functions for Orca, the included free screen reader; which gives a rather comprehensive list of features including reading web pages, navigating by page elements such as headings, mouse review and pointer tracking and support for dynamic content on web pages. An overview of the Unity desktop environment will be presented, along with a peek at Mozilla Firefox with Orca, the included text editor, as well as the included LibreOffice word processor.
We plan to present more podcasts on the use of this and other distributions of Linux. For now, this is a very brief overview. We would definitely like to hear your comments, questions and suggestions as we wade in to these relatively uncharted waters of Linux podcasts.
If you are using Android, no doubt part of you enjoys the platform do to the high degree of customization it can provide. From your launchers to text messaging apps, and even notification managers to the way your phone presents web content… Wait, that can be changed too?
In this episode, James Oates updates us on the status of Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9926. In this build, Microsoft has added Cortana, an interactive personal assistant, to their operating system. It is currently limited and in its early stages, but it still is very impressive. He also uses Narrator as the primary screen reader, since NVDA and JAWS are still not currently able to work with Universal apps.
Brandon Cross demonstrates the Vocalizer voices for Android in this edition of Cool Blind Tech. He shows off the performance of the Ava US English voice by moving through the home screen. Then, he demonstrates the voice by typing in an edit box on the Google Play store, opens the page for the Vocalizer app and allows the voice to read a short excerpt from the page. Brandon then arranges a display of various samples in the Vocalizer app.
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In this edition of CBT, Brandon Cross shows new users of the NVDA screen reader how to navigate the basic elements of a web page. He describes the different ways one can move around, and demonstrates the feedback users can expect.
With a piece of software called Winstaller from Levtec, one no longer needs to use an answer file for unattended deployment of Windows operating system. This opens up huge opportunities for those of us who cannot see and wish to work in a professional IT setting, or just for fixing our home computers.
Microsoft has launched a preview version of Office Touch, which includes Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The preview version is available for Insiders running Windows10 Technical Preview in a desktop environment. It can be downloaded for free from the Windows Store, but links will be provided below. These are universal apps, so they will also be available for tablets and phones running Windows10 at a later date. Keep in mind that these are Mobil versions of the applications, and are not intended to replace Office 365 or desktop versions of Office. Office Touch is already available in a final release version for iOS and Android. Links to those applications will be provided below as well.