Another item that Might be of Interest

Here is another announcement that crossed my desk. This is from the folks at Fedora Outlier. See the below link for all of the details!

Mac Master Series presented by Fedora Outlier LLC

Have you recently purchased a Mac computer? Did you make the switch from the Windows platform to the Mac, but have no idea where to begin? Everything you need from getting started to becoming a proficient Mac user will be available to you when you take part in Fedora Outlier’s Mac Master Series.

How will this course help you learn how to use your Mac? We are able to provide you with a better than excellent, easy to follow on-line course that will help you to master your Mac computer. It will begin from the moment you unbox the computer, with instructions for every step along the way, and move on to VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader that is included on all Mac computers ever since OS 10.4 Tiger.

We are beginning this journey with a fantastic launch party on Thursday, May 15 at 9 P.M. Eastern, 8 P.M. Central, 7 P.M. Mountain, and 6 P.M. Pacific time. You won’t want to miss a single moment, and have only to gain from joining the Fedora team along with all of our other attendees. We will explain more about the Mac Master Series, and answer all of your questions, so don’t delay, get your invitation right now at the following link:

Launch party

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Another Item that Might be of Interest to Some Folks

The following was passed along to me by Brie Rumery of Fedora Outlier, LLC. I thought some folks might be interested in the event described below. Rick Boggs, founder of Audio Eyes, LLC, is going to be a guest on Fedora’s Access Chat, Tuesday evening event via Twitter on May 6.

Blind Media Professionals Open Hollywood’s Eyes to Watching TV

Make Media Accessible Event and Live Streaming Interactive Webcast Set for May 14; Entertainment Industry, Educators and Disability Community Invited to Attend

Los Angeles, CA. (April 29, 2014) — Nationally renowned video description expert Rick Boggs, of Audio Eyes, LLC. and his team of production professionals who supply video description for broadcast TV networks, will demonstrate the process they use to produce effective video description in a May 14, 2014 event and webcast at

The event, “Inside Video Description: How Pictures Become Words,” will take place from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. (PST) in Burbank at the Dolby Labs, Umlang Theater, 3601 West Alameda Avenue Burbank, CA 91505, along with the live interactive webcast on

“This is a unique opportunity to bring together Hollywood executives, TV producers, educators and a number of professionals from within the disability community to reveal state-of-the-art techniques on ways professionals with vision loss are adding value to the description production process,” says Rick Boggs, whose company, Audio Eyes LLC, provides accessible media services to the entertainment community.

Boggs and his team will demonstrate his company’s Quality Control Process to those attending the event as well as broadcast it online in partnership with the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP), the nation’s largest free-loan educational described and captioned media library.

Boggs believes all these communities have a great deal to learn from one another in making commercial and educational media accessible.

Josh Miele, director, Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC) agrees. “We all find ourselves wondering how to make media more usable and enjoyable for persons without sight. We wonder about the cost and the time involved in making media accessible, and how to tell whether the video description accommodation is effective and worthwhile to students and consumers,”

In particular, Miele and Boggs believe this process offers the film and television industry, the creators of America’s most powerful cultural and economic export, a new opportunity to make media inclusive and to work inclusively with “disabled” professionals.

A television celebrity host and a nationally renowned video description expert will lead a demonstration and discussion to review the process and to answer questions.

“Holding the event in Burbank will give executives and producers from Hollywood who attend the chance to see firsthand the live demonstration of the critical video description quality control process, with plenty of time to ask questions about how the process can impact their work,” says Boggs.

He adds that blind consumers who attend the web event will be invited to submit their comments and questions live during the video description process. He also notes that those with vision loss will have an unprecedented opportunity to learn about professional opportunities in the field of accessible media.

About Audio Eyes: The company is a leading provider of video description and accessible media for broadcast television networks, major movie studios, independent filmmakers, educational institutions, and government agencies. Based in Los Angeles, Audio Eyes was founded by Rick Boggs, a blind audio engineer and pioneer who has championed the inclusion of blind professionals in the production of description and accessible media. His commitment saw him awarded the California Governor’s Trophy and the Barry Levine Memorial Award for Audio Description. Audio Eyes describers, engineers and producers have delivered Video Description for first run and syndicated TV shows, theatrical movies, DVDs, award winning documentaries and online published videos. Additionally, they have extensive experience producing audio dramas, audio books, music, radio programs, radio ads, and a variety of business-to-business audio products. For more information,

About The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP): The Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) provides the nation’s largest free-loan educational described and captioned media library. DCMP also offers an accessible media information center, providing information on accessible media, a database of accessible media available for purchase, and guidelines for vendors and other wishing to learn to add description and captioning to media. DCMP has also developed an accessible event/webinar platform, providing an accessible event experience for attendees who are deaf or blind. The DCMP is administered by the National Association of the Deaf and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education. More information is available online at

For information contact:

Rick Boggs: 818-439-9698
Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Micah Grossman: 818-815-5865

Rick Boggs, General Manager
Audio Eyes, LLC
Studio: 818-678-0880
Mobile: 818-439-9698

Recipient of the 2013 Barry Levine Memorial Award for Career Achievement in Audio Description

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An Interesting Post to Pass Along to Those Who Still Believe the Myths About VoiceOver

I’m sure we all know someone. The person who still is quick to go on and on about the various myths about why Windows is easier to use than the Mac and how Windows is more efficient, yada, yada, yada. It’s as ridiculous as the Windows Fan Boys who still spew the 1990’s thinking about the Mac in regards to it being a “toy” and that “no one uses them” etc.

Well, this was posted on the mac4thblind list and I thought it was worth posting here. Please circulate this. From the good folks from Applevis, this
is worth the read

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Updates, 3/17/14

I have been working on the site for the last few weeks and there are some little tweaks throughout it. This includes updating some of the information to reflect OS X Mavericks in the Tips and Tricks for the Mac and OS X page of the site.

Also, I have added episode 21 of the Audio Demonstration Series, which is a podcast on the Interaction feature of VoiceOver on the Mac. You can find it in the
Demonstrations Page
of the site.

There are a few other updates in some other places as well, so enjoy. Have a happy Saint Paddy’s day folks!

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OK, so what about this Whole Interaction Concept on the Mac?

The Concept of Interaction on the Mac

Having worked with people and having also trained folks on the Mac for a good four years consistently now, as well as being a member of several blind Mac user email lists, I can certainly say that the interaction concept used in VoiceOver on the Mac tends to be one of the liveliest topics. Without a doubt, it can often be confusing to a new Mac user, especially if that user is making the transition from Windows. They might understand the proper keystrokes to start and stop interacting (control-option-shift-down arrow and control-option-shift-up arrow respectively), but the concept itself is frequently like a foreign language to some, and, of course, this leads to confusion and frustration.

I would say that the biggest question I am asked, beyond having to explain just what interaction is, would be the basic question as to when one is supposed to interact and when it is not necessary. Again, memorizing the keystrokes is usually not an issue, but knowing when to use those keystrokes presents the problem more times than not for the new user. I couldn’t even begin to try to guess as to how many times I have had this very conversation with my clients or other Mac users. It’s certainly a concept that I had my share of difficulties with wrapping my head around in the beginning.

Thus, I am going to attempt to shed some light on the whole interaction concept and try to offer some tips as to know when one has to interact and when one does not. Also, I will present some examples of the situations in which one has to interact and, hopefully, give you seven specific types of items one encounters on the Mac that require interaction. It really is not all that mysterious once one starts to understand that there are some rules to help guide you and enable you to navigate the rich waters of VoiceOver on the Mac. Continue reading

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iOS 7.1 Is Released

For those not aware, iOS 7.1 is now released. I just downloaded it on my iPhone 5S. The bug that effected using the rotor to raise the volume of some iDevices, such as the iPhone 5S, above 35 percent is fixed, as well as, “screen lock” being repeated.

For a comprehensive list of fixes and remaining bugs, I’d highly recommend going to the good folks at
to read about them all. In particular, for low vision users, there have been several changes and additions.

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Another Review from Scott

I am far behind, as this was posted by Scott Granados on the mac4theblind email list several weeks ago. Neverthe less, I give you another review from Scott, this one on the Jawbone Era:

So, as some of you may know on 01/27 Jawbone refreshed the Era which is their flagship bluetooth headset. As a refresher the old Era was a very small headset (about 15 grams) and had decent noise cancelation. There was also firmware upgradable code and motion censors etc.

Well it’s time for a new one.

First, the Era by Jawbone is a fully functional tiny headset. A2DP is supported so you can have iPhone audio through the headset as well as several handsfree profiles including the new wide band standard. Sound assassin 4 is now present along with the same old cheek censor.
The headset itself is now less than 10 grams in a very small form factor. The New jawbone is a small rectangular outside with an ear spiraled insert that fits in your ear canal. The headset sits on the outside of your ear with the small bump censor against your cheek or well jawbone. (hence the name) The only controls on the unit are a programmable button on the back you use for operation and a slide switch on the inside next to the ear for power.

Pairing was very easy. Simply power up the unit the first time and it drops in to pairing mode. Select with your phone and the pairing happens automatically including the code key.
The ear fit is a little complicated. You have spiraled inserts that should fit your ear. You sort of spin the headset in to your ear with the ear opening lining up with your canal and the other counter balance side part of the spiral providing counter pressure so it stays lodged in your ear. This is very comfortable because there’s no one point or a few points of friction holding the headset in, rather the whole base supports weight and keeps the headset solid, very well done once you get the fit
Over all I say by the headset. The voice quality, size, ease of operation and quality finally are worth the users time. This is a perfect operating Jawbone, something I haven’t seen before so get


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A quick note

I must apologize for the lack of posts. There have been some technical problems with the site caused by some corrupted data files. Thus, this has been something my webmaster has been addressing over the last few weeks. I do have things I will be posting and adding to the to the site. So, please stay tuned. This will include new podcasts to the Audio Demonstration series.

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Yet Another Review from Scott

Here is another product review offered by Scott Granados. This one is on the HP 551DM color laser printer. Enjoy.

So here’s a review of an HP 551DM color laser network attached printer.


Features include double sided printing, 1 GB of printer memory, gigabit Network connection, multiple paper trays, complex remote monitoring like SNMP, EPrint, Air Print and web based server for monitoring use of supplies and printer performance.

The Pluses

this is a great printer. It was easy to set up although it helped to have sited assistance. Finding all the taped portions for shipping and removing all the locks would be tricky if you haven’t done it before. Very possible to learn though if you had to deal with packing and unpacking these units. There is lots of functionality including being able to print on both sides of the page automatically, most print methods are supported including post script, lots of printer memory for storage of jobs and 600 – 1200 DPI print output. Page count is about 33 pages per minute both in color or black and white mode.

Down Sides

The main downsides are the cost, I spent approximately $700 for the printer and another 800 for a replacement set of inks. The printer does ship with all the ink you need however which can knock 200 dollars each times 4 or about 800 dollars off the cost. You can also use recycled ink from ink technologies to cut that cost by 3 quarters. Still it’s expensive although it performs at the high end of the spectrum, I may have bought to much printer for what I need.
The other issue is the size. The printer weighs about 75 pounds unloaded so make sure you have a sturdy shelf.


Over all I’m very happy. I’d give this printer 4.5 stars. If you need a heavy work horse printer especially for a small office, this is the unit for you.

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Another review courtesy of Scott Granados

Here is another review written by Scott Granados that he posted on the mac4theblind mailing list and has given kind permission to post on this site. This review covers the latest version of the Apple Extreme Base Station.

Here we go, a review of the new airport extreme 802.11AC base station.

The current version of the Airport Extreme from Apple is a base station that provides WiFi connectivity to your apple or non apple devices and can provide routing for an entire network or act as an access point for an existing network. Airport Extremes can also be used together as repeaters.

What’s in the box?

The Airport Extreme 802.11AC comes in a tall rectangular box with an airport extreme base unit, small booklet and power cord. (same power cord as the Apple TV)

The Airport Extreme description.

The Airport Extreme is a rectangular box with rounded edges. The airport itself stands about 8 to 10 inches high and is about 6 inches square or the same circumference as an Apple TV. The box has an Apple on the top and bottom and the ports are all located on one side starting from the bottom of the unit. The plugs in order from bottom up are AC power, WAN, USB, and 3 LAN ports.

Configuring and connecting.

Configuring and connecting the Apple Airport Extreme is very easy. Simply attach a cable from the WAN port to your local network you wish to extend or to your modem if acting as a router. Once connected apply power and wait approximately 20 seconds. You’ll see an open network called Apple Network appear in your WiFi list. Join this network and the airport utility automatically starts. Enter in your network name or SSID, password or key, follow the directions and save your settings. Check the firmware, update if an update exists, reboot and reconnect using your new network name. That’s all. Very simple and can be done in only a few minutes.

Once connected you will join your WiFi devices to the new network and enjoy your Airport extreme. You will notice improved connectivity across all network devices whether they support AC networking or not. If you have an Apple Macbook / Pro or Macbook Air that supports AC you will get easily 1 half gigabit throughput. Most devices seem to connect in the 400 megabit range using type N. This will improve as Apple deploys AC networking across their product line.
The Airport Extreme supports both 2.4 and 5 GHZ as well as channel bonding. The best band will automatically be selected and if possible both bands will be used in parallel for maximum throughput. (depends on wireless client’s capabilities)


Over all I like the unit a great deal. As always, the setup is simple and clever, performance is very good and it worked right out of the box. Negatives are it’s not that configurable especially for advanced use cases, QOS isn’t exposed or configurable, but it does boot securely.
For folks who have a USB hard disk available the Airport Extreme can share that drive as a network resource using it’s included USB port. This port can also be used to share a printer.

Over all, I’d give this unit 4 out of 5 stars. It’s a definite must have if you have a majority of your devices with Apple.

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