Monday, 27 January 2014

Talking Tech for Jan 28 2014

iSee on Apple Hot News page in Australia


Well besides making it in to What Is Hot in the iTunes Store the other week, my book iSee (Getting Started with Apple products from a Blind Perspective) made it in to the Hot News list on the Australian Apple website.


Dates for Vision Australia Texpo 2014 confirmed


Dates for the annual Vision Australia technology exhibition have been announced, on a Friday and Saturday as before.


Melbourne: 29 and 30 August.

Sydney: 5 and 6 September.

Brisbane: 12 and 13 September.


Planning to commence in March.


Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference 2014 Florida Jan 29 to feb 1 - Session Review (choose the list all button)


Always think it is interesting to see what type of sessions are taking place at these international conferences in the area of Assistive Technology.


CSUN Conference 2014 San Diego California March 17 to 22 Session Review


The 29th Annual International Technology and Persons  with Disability Conference to be held in San Diego California from March 17 to 22 has also released their session review list.


As with the ATIA Conference, great to see what sessions are available covering the area of Assistive Technology.


30 years Mac from Macworld


Over the week end, the Mac celebrated 30 years.


Whilst my first Apple computer was an Apple IIE, in 1984 (and not a Mac), I have had a number of Macs over the years including a Mac se  and a LC 575 (all in one) in the 90’s, and then after 2005, a Mac mini, iMac, Macbook pro and a Macbook air (the last 3 of which I still have today).



Here is the official page from Apple concerning 30 years of the Mac.


This is an interesting article from Macworld: Apple Executive on the Mac at 30 - The Mac Keeps Going ForEver by Jason Snell.


Apple's Q1 Quarterly Results


Major numbers are 51M iPhones sold, 26M iPads, 4.8M Macs, and 63% of Apple’s revenue international.


Why Fleksy VO


Recently the developers of Fleksy (pattern recognition typing app for iOS) released a separate copy of their app for users of VoiceOver on iOS.


It seems that there are two schools of thought whether having a separate app for VoiceOver users is a good idea or not.  On the one hand, the app will get specific development for VoiceOver.  On the other hand, this version may be left behind as the “real” app keeps on being developed.


The following link is from the Fleksy developer blog outlining their position.


Accessibility on my Phone - Windows Phone How to


This How To page from Microsoft goes through a number of options in getting the best accessibility experience out of Windows Phone covering:

Text size,


Screen magnifier,

To turn on Mobile Accessibility, and

More options with speech.


25 most Popular used passwords from TechnoBuffalo


This article goes through the top 25 popular passwords used in 2013.  Some of the passwords identified included:







I’ll leave you to read the whole list.


Audio link for Talking Tech 28 Jan 2014:

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Talking Tech 21/1/2014 - Window-Eyes offer for owners of Microsoft Office

Before I get in to talking about Window-Eyes, I got a nice surprise yesterday, my book iSee made it in to What’s Hot in the Australian iTunes Store.


Ok, back to Window-Eyes.


Last week, GW Micro in collaboration with Microsoft announced that their screen reader (Window-Eyes) will now be available for free for owners of Microsoft office 2010 and above:


This really did catch the AT industry by surprise.  It will certainly cause Freedom Scientific to perhaps think their position of how much JAWS For Windows continues to cost.


With Window-Eyes For Microsoft Office, your getting a thousand dollar screen reader for free, and even if you have to buy a license of Microsoft Office, you still come out on top.


It seems to me, that Microsoft is in the process of using 3rd party technology to make their products more accessible. For instance, Code Factory recently announced Mobile Speak for Windows Phone.  However, giving people the opportunity to use a fully featured screen reader for free, is tremendous, particularly for people who are blind who don’t have the funds to purchase a screen reader for home, education or employment.  Mind you, using existing expertise is a great thing anyway, why re-event the wheel when you don’t have to.



Main features of the free Window-Eyes for Office include:

1. Free downloadable version.  Free Cd version can be purchased.

2. Supports Windows 8/8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.  Does not support Windows RT, and whilst you can run it on a Surface pro, remember that Window-Eyes does not support touch screens at the moment.

3. Compatible with Microsoft Office 2010/2013, and Microsoft Office 365 when the local client is installed.  Without a valid Microsoft Office license, will run in 30 demo mode.  Window-Eyes will detect automatically if there is a valid office license on your machine.

4. Comes with the eSpeak synthesiser, and works with the Microsoft built-in synthesiser.  Additional voices can be purchased.

5. Window-Eyes supports Multiple languages.

6. No CD or Braille/large print keystroke guides.  All can be purchased for a fee.

7. Installation support is free.  Continuing support can be paid by incident for $25 or 12 incidents for 99 dollars.

8. Upgrades via  download.  Upgrade CD can be purchased.

9. Can not install the retail version on the same machine.

10 If you use GW Connect (Skype client from GW Micro), you will still get the ads. 


To download the Window-Eyes for Office, go to:


choose your language, and activate the Download Now button.  Once downloaded, run the install program, follow the talking instructions, and off you go (at least in theory). When I tried to install on two machines, I kept getting a driver error, and my machine rebooting.  Will be following this up with GW Micro.  The other two folks on the AT Help Desk at Vision Australia I should say had no trouble installing the free version.

Note - with some assistance from the other AT Help Desk folks, was able to by-pass the problem, which we think is the install program trying to install MS Speech for the talking install.


If you wish to read the Window-eyes manual, go to:



A good coverage of the announcement was done by the Assistive Technology Update for January 17 2014.  Subscribe to their feed at: 


For more information or support, email:, or contact your local dealer.


You can also follow them on Twitter:




The local dealer in Australia is Humanware, but I would encourage you to go directly to GW Micro for support.


And no, it doesn’t work on Mac OS X (smile).


Audio Player page for Talking Tech Jan 14 from my iSee Podcast blog

 The following link will play the program directly.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Talking Tech for 14TH 2014 - What I got for Christmas 2013

iPod nano watch band


Turned my iPod nano on to a watch: particularly useful when listening to the cricket as the iPod nano has an FM radio.  Purchased watch band from eBay, particularly as iPod nano no longer sold.


Amazon Kindle Fire HDX (7 inch)


Accessible tablet from Amazon: allow the reading of Kindle books with touch gestures: speech and large print: allows other Android type apps to be accessed.


A great start on accessibility, could be improved, great for some folks, iPad still top of the hill for overall accessibility.


Launch of my book: iSee: All you need to know to getting started with Apple products from a blind perspective.


My first go at using iBooks Author to create a multi-touch book, readable on iPad or Mac, still some VoiceOver issues with iPad mini VoiceOver reading: but all part of the accessibility journey in creating a book, rather than just reading one (smile).


Since it was  in iTunes, downloaded 225times: free.




Introduction: what is in this book, and my trip through time with adaptive technology,

Apple’s accessible product line: iPod shuffle, iPod nano, Apple TV, iOS, and Mac,

Accessibility Mac overview,

Getting started with your Mac using VoiceOver,

Mac/VoiceOver keyboard commands and gestures,

Shared builtin Mac and iOS apps,

My favourite Mac App store apps,

My favourite 3RD party Mac apps,

Getting started with your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad using VoiceOver,

iOS/VoiceOver Bluetooth keyboard commands and gestures,

What iOS device is best?,

My favourite iOS apps,

Hardware bits and pieces that I have found useful,

Switching from Microsoft Windows to OS X,


Bringing it all together: my family and Apple.


Audio Player page for Talking Tech Jan 14 from my iSee Podcast blog

 The following link will play the program directly. 


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Name changes to my blog, and podcast

You may have noticed that the name has slightly changed for this blog page:

iSee - David Woodbridge  Technology Blog.

The reason for this was to bring some kind of order to the various things I have and will be producing: i.e. my recent book:

iSee - All you need to know on getting started with Apple products from a blind perspective, available in the iTunes store.

Subsequently, I also changed the name of my podcast from Apple and Other Technology to:

iSee - how to use Apple products from an accessibility perspective.

So iSee blog, iSee podcast, and iSee book.

Well, at least it makes sense to me (smile),.

The feed for my podcast hasn’t changed, its still:

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Talking Tech VA radio program for this year

To make things a bit more accessible and to actually find the radio program, I’m going to post Talking Tech news on my Apple and Other Technology feed:


plus the notes for the show, posted the day after it is heard on VA Radio every Tuesdays at 4:30PM Melbourne time.


Radio program commences next week.