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May 2004
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July 2004

My experience with assistive devices

Well, it looks like theBoom noise-cancelling microphone, while great for mobile phones, isn’t so good for speech recognition. I am having trouble getting iListen to get a satisfactory signal from theBoom with the iMic. Apparently, according to a recent post to the MacSpeech mailing list, the newer iMics, of which mine is one, are not suitable for speech recognition. What’s odd is that I remember being able to get a good signal at one point in the past. The poor performance may be partly due to the air conditioning that has turned on for the summer, or that I am not sufficiently hydrated. It looks like I will be buying a Telex H-851, as MacSpeech has it on its recommended microphones list.

Also, I tried out a Graphire3 6"x8" writing tablet, since Mac OS X has handwriting recognition built in. After about an hour’s worth of fooling around, it didn’t work well for me. Firstly, I had overestimated my ability to write clearly with my wrist in the splint. I also underestimated the effort required to write longhand: my wrist was rather sore after that short exercise. In addition, switching between using the stylus as a pointing device and as a text input device was rather clumsy. So, it’s off to eBay with the tablet, since Tiger Direct does not have a satisfaction guarantee (merely a guarantee against defects) even though they sell through

Ugh. This is getting annoying, all this trying out gadgets only to have them not meet expectations.

On the other hand, my FingerWorks TouchStream LP is working out great. And I have grown to like Dvorak.

What editor?

Well, I’ve been dreading this day: my BBEdit demo license expires. While I still prefer some of the features of Emacs, its non-Mac keybindings were a pain, especially since I now use the Fingerworks TouchStream which binds common keyboard shortcuts to gestures. I used to use Alpha, but for some reason I don’t quite like the current version for OS X. However, all is not lost. Apple’s XCode comes with a decent editor; and there is also SubEthaEdit, which incorporates Redezvous sharing of the currently edited file. We’ll see which of these last two I end up using. There are other full-featured editors on Mac OS X, but having tried a few of them, I never found one I liked as much as these last two.