Archive for September, 2009

An Apple Update

September 9, 2009

OK so who said 09/09/09 wouldn’t be exciting? Me. Until I heard about the Rock and Roll event Apple were running.

We all suspected a new Ipod family would be born, and there were rumors about an itunes redesign, not to mention a probable Iphone OS3 Update.

And so we were right.

Ipod Nano

The fifth generation boasts a fm radio, a built in microphone and speaker, a built in pedometer and more accessibility features as were seen in the shuffle release earlier this year. Still in wonderful colors and as slim as their predecessors, these nanos will be no doubt popular Christmas presents later this year.

The voice over aspect is not clear as yet, but I suspect the technology that went into the shuffles, in regards to multiple language support will be implemented in the new nanos.

Ipod Touch

The touch is now available in an 8 gig, a 32 gig and a 64 gig. The latter two have been upgraded with powerful processors which means, yes, it’s here, voice over is now available on the Ipod touch.

The popular implementation of the Iphone has now graduated to the Ipod Touch and I am certain this will please hose who could not get out of their contracts or could not get good signal on the locked in networks. And as ever, Apple continue to develop their accessibility.

Itunes 9

Moving onto the software.

I haven’t explored Itunes 9 extensively as of yet, but a few accessibility bugs have been fixed again, I.E. the lcd area not reading with Voice Over.

Some cool features are that now you can view your applications and although there seems to be a few accessibility glitches in regards to the feature that you can move your apps from home page to home page does not work yet with VO, I have confidence this will be fixed in due course. You can not check or uncheck with vo which apps you want to sync, but lets all write to apple’s accessibility team and get this fixed.

The home networking feature rocks. She says, not having yet tried it. But in theory you can now not only share a library over the network but grab music from another computer in your house through this cool new feature. My dad being heavily into music makes my life so much happier again now. Wonderful music at my fingertips.

There is so much to talk about but this is the basic stuff in Itunes that I have explored so far. I’m sure there will be much more and I will report on it as I find it.

Iphone OS3.1

So we got another update, this was much more than a security update. In regards to accessibility, a few things have been achieved here.

First of all, voice over now tells you where your insertion point is. Very useful! And it also informs you when you’re shutting down. And finally, we got it, a quick on and off feature for voice over. turn it on in settings–general–accessibility–home triple tap and you can have it either switch vo on and off, white on black or ask. Shame there wasn’t an option for zoom.

Those are the trinkets I found so far. I will update you all as I find more jewels in the apple crown.

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My dog: the only child I need

September 2, 2009

I have joked about this for a long time but it only truly hit me how much I really treat my guide dog as my child today.

I have had Bailey for almost three and a half years now. He turned five in July and he is spoilt. Before I have anyone pointing fingers, I don’t mean I over feed him or let him be bad without discipline, I just mean he has lots of love and lots of toys and so many comfortable places to relax on in the house. He has a strict diet and I have never, and yes, I mean never have given him anything he shouldn’t have unless i’m attempting to coheres him into taking worming pills. He’s walked pretty much every day and I try to free run him once a week.

Here is a list of things Bailey owns.
about three bones
around 10 cuddly toys
a catching ball thing
several tug toys
a rope Frisbee
a cushion bed
a soft fabric basket
and so much more.

So let me tell you why, today it hit me how much I treat my beautiful Bailey like my child. We were walking by the park and Bailey loves this park, and he indicated he wanted to go and I stood there, patting his head, as a mother would pat their child consolingly and said: [yes, these exact words escaped my lips]
“Not today Bailey. we can’t go to the park today, darling. Maybe another day when the men aren’t busy cutting the grass”.

As I lifted his handle again, I found myself thinking as Bailey plodded along again, wow, he really is your child.

The bond between guide dog owners and their dogs is strong and it is meant to be that way and personally, give me a dog over a child any day of the week. I like kids, but having them twenty-four-seven does not appeal to me at this moment in my life. Bailey will go to bed when instructed, leave you alone when you’re busy, as long as you feed him, exercise him, toilet him, brush him, love and cuddle him, not to mention keep him healthy, he is the happiest thing alive.

So, as the title indicates, my dog, the only child I need.