176 – Do we need Another Braille Computer?

Show Description
On this episode of the iACast, Michael talks with Michael Babcock, and Jason Castonguay about the following topics.


  • First public Beta of Android 14 released
  • HBO Max now renamed to Max
  • iOS 16.4, MacOS 13.3, and other software updates released from Apple


We discuss if the community will be excited about the Optima from Orbit Research coming in 2024. Stay until the end for a surprise!


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Automated Transcript

IACast 176 Do we Need another Braille Computer

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[0:00] Music. 

[0:20] All right, I’m back with two wonderful folks this time. We have Michael Babcock. Hello, everyone. 
And we have Jason Castingway back with us. Is this your first time on the show, Jason? 
This is my first time on… No, it isn’t. I was on previously with the Apple HomePod. 
You were on the unboxing, but this is your first time on the IA cast. So, yeah, brand new. So, welcome. 
Thank you very much. Great to be here. Yeah, we’re glad to have you and I think we have a pretty interesting show today and I’m really glad to have you here to get your thoughts on our topic today. 
So it’s going to be very exciting, but as we always do, we’re going to start with some tech news. But before we even do that, Michael, you and Marty have this little thing called Unmute Presents. 
So, um, and it’s been a little while since you guys have talked about it. 
So why don’t you kind of refresh people on what that is and what topics you guys have been talking about? 

[1:24] Sure. So that little thing called unmute presents keeps growing. 
It’s like a kid. And thank you for the reminder, because as I realized, I need to get the episode that goes out tomorrow, edited, uh, putting it off to the last minute. 

[1:35] Just a little bit. Anyways. So unmute presents is live on Tuesdays at 10 AM Pacific time. 
That’s 1 PM Eastern. and you can get details about that by going to acb.community. 
We’re also typically streamed on ACB Media 5 if you’d rather just listen in, but we answer your tech questions and hopefully we’re able to provide you with a solution or a resource to help come to a solution so those tech issues don’t have to stand in your way anymore. 
On Thursdays, we publish content more in depth about a topic and those topics typically come from questions we’ve been asked, and we’re starting to produce some more regular content on Thursdays. 
So for example, the last Thursday of the month, you’re gonna get a security update, and the second Thursday of the month, you’ll hear more about A-Lady and what’s going on in that arena. 
And then on Sundays, we teach you something. I wanna teach you how to do something, get a task done with your technology in five minutes or less. 
And yeah, I’ve noticed they’re starting to creep out to about 10 minutes, but the point is, keep them slow, keep them quick, go through it and don’t slow down and teach people how to use their screen reader, but teach you how to get the job done with the technology you’re using. 
So thank you for asking, Michael, I appreciate it. 

[2:54] Yeah, of course. And throughout all of the IACAST network, you guys can hear Unmute present on our live 365 radio station. 
So keep tuned into that. and we have more on that later on in the show. 
Really exciting news, so I’m excited to talk about that. 

[3:17] But we have some interesting tech news. And Michael, you found a few things that were interesting today. Do you want to kind of talk about those? 

[3:28] Yeah, so I can just give a quick overview because I haven’t really done much digging into it. 
But the news articles that I found that we can talk about is the fact that Google launched Android 14 public beta 1 today, as of the time of recording. 
Note that on through unrelated resources in this article, it’s been made apparent that there’s not any immediate changes to talk back or improvement. 
At least that’s what I’ve heard. I haven’t tried it myself. 
There’s also the additional information related to HBO deciding to drop HBO from their name for their streaming service and come, I believe it’s May 21st, will now be known as Max. 
So I’m not sure what my credit card’s going to show. Is it going to just show that Max charged me? 
That’s a weird charge. 
And so that should hopefully give more representation of what type of content HBO is providing, especially with acquisition of Discovery and the other channels that go along with that. 
Jason, do you watch HBO Max at all a lot? I do not, actually. 
We pay for it and I don’t watch it, my wife did, and we keep paying for it. 
Well, I think what they’re probably looking at doing is, they don’t want to call it HBO or Discovery, they just want to call it something right in the middle, and I think that’s a good trade-off. 

[4:53] It would be interesting if they called it Discovery Max, kind of just bringing those two properties together, but I think they’re just calling it Max. 

[5:01] And, you know, I’m totally fine with that because that’s kind of what the app icon is, is the word max and they just dropped HBO off of it. So, yeah, I did not know that. 
So maybe that maybe they knew that was coming ahead of time. Yeah, the word max is very much imposed over the HBO on the icon from what I can remember. I watch HBO Max a lot. 
Unfortunately a lot of my shows are ending on there. The Last of Us of course is not ending but his dark materials just ended and you know Westworld was not just ended but removed. So, you know, some of the DC Comics stuff has been up in the air, so I don’t know. 

[5:46] Game of thrones is still you know they’re making shows and spin offs of that so i have a lot to watch but i’m a huge fan of HBO and as for the android stuff have you noticed the last couple of versions of android really haven’t been big updates it’s just kind of been. 
New version number, a few minor things, but. 
That’s funny, one of the headlines I just read was that the back button in Android will now match your wallpaper. And I’m like, yay. Yay. That’s something I’ve always wanted. 
I’m a visual person and I don’t know how much I care. No, that was just a headline. 
I did not read any details, but I thought that was interesting. Yeah, yeah. 
Did you know that Microsoft is also rumored to be changing the print screen key to open it snipping tool. So it’ll be the first change to the print screen key in like 30 years. Wow. 
I mean, and you know, we have tabbed notepad and all those things and. 

[6:46] And I know people have mixed thoughts on that, but I’m really excited about this Windows having eventually or possibly having the phone link app work with iPhones. 
If people haven’t heard about that, that’s pretty exciting. Yeah. 
Mm-hmm. And you know, one thing we ought to do either here on the IACast feed or on unmute, if you haven’t heard about it, I’ve been raving about it everywhere, that I love it, is the Windows Package Manager. Have you guys used that? 
No. So it’s a little lesson here on the IACast, folks. There’s an app you can get in the Microsoft store called Windows package manager. 
It installs a program that you use on your command line and it’s called Win, W-I-N, get, G-E-T. 
And you can type WinGet install and you can type zoom.zoom or NVaccess.NVDA or any number of applications and it doesn’t pull them from the Microsoft store. 
Goes out and gets them from the websites. 

[7:53] Hmm. So like I can install steam for playing video games or discord just from Winget. 
That is clever. 
Oh, nice. It is fantastic. It’s almost like homebrew. 
But for windows. Yes, nice. It’s wonderful. 
Like I, I had to reset my computer recently and like I’m not going like because you’d have to go to the steam web page, find install steam. Do you? Uh huh. 
When you get involved in that valve dot steam, it’s fantastic. 
Oh, and I imagine there are all sorts of commands you can invoke after the wind get command. 
Oh, for sure. Probably one of which update. Right. I was gonna say one of which you could search for something. 
I wonder if wind get has this thing. Yes, you could do a little search. 
Cool. And if there’s like, if you type wind get install zoom, it’ll tell you there’s multiple packages with the word zoom. 
And so you can see which one, you know, like, like I was saying, zoom.zoom installs the proper zoom chat. 
I mean, zoom meetings platform. 
So it’s really neat. I want to do a demo showing this off. So I’m really excited about Windows Package Manager. 
I’m always looking for content on Sundays, just saying. 
Oh yeah, we may have to do that. So, pretty excited. 

[9:22] So, one other thing that has happened in the news that I want to point out is Apple did come out with new versions of iOS, Mac OS, TV OS, even a new update for the studio display.
And it’s like the 16.4 and I guess 13.3 for Mac OS. 

[9:48] I want to caution people when you install these, they are not the smoothest of installs. 
In fact, my studio display for a short time became a studio brick. 
That’s not good. It, um… 
It doesn’t even offer the ability to retry the update. It just kind of happens occasionally. 
It tries again occasionally while it’s plugged into a computer. 
So it just and it’s inaccessible. And all it said was go to app support dot apple dot com slash, studio display slash restore or something like that. 
It was like, oh, no. 

[10:29] That’s that’s disconcerting. Yes. So So that did happen on for me last Friday during the workday, so that was not fun. 
So be aware when you’re doing these updates that things, even though they’re stable, things can go wrong. 
I was using, I’m using Xcode 14.3, and there’s a huge bug in that that makes it to where most libraries will not build, and your apps will not run or be distributable to the App store. So, you know, even though Apple and all these companies put out new software, it doesn’t mean they’re stable, guys. So, fortunately, I was able to downgrade to 14.2. 
I just can’t run my iPhone apps from like on my phone from that. So, those are all things to keep in mind when you update the your software. You know, a lot of times we think it’s justaccessibility problems that we have, but there’s a lot of other things that can happen too. 
So just be aware that when you may think something may be an accessibility issue, it could be something else as well. 
Have you guys had any experiences where you update something and it just completely tanks or has issues? Not in years. 
I used to, but not in years. It’s been pretty smooth for me. 

[11:55] Yeah, it’s been pretty smooth for me as well, but there have been times when I’ve been about to go live with a broadcast and something requires updating. 
I’m like, oh yeah, I have time. I know it’s going to be quick. 
Oh, well, there was one time in the past where, yeah, it was quick, but it broke a lot of things and I couldn’t go live. I’ve learned, let’s not do updates just before going live. 
Yeah, I totally understand that. 

[12:29] So, you know, it’s like I was saying, it’s just be careful, be cognizant of what you’re doing and, you know, don’t do things whenever you’re right in the middle of a work day. Yes. Yes. 
Fortunately, it wasn’t a big deal. And I unplugged and plugged back in several times and it did the update one other time it failed and then the next time it succeeded, which was great. 
And all of a sudden I had a working glowing display again. 
So that was very nice. 
Xcode is still broken. And interestingly, there is not an Xcode 14.4 beta, to support the new versions of iOS and macOS that are in beta right now, guys. 
And I find that very interesting. It sounds like something really got broken on Xcode, that they’re having to really fix. 
Or is there something big coming in June that… 
Well, it’s interesting because you would think if they have the second beta now of iOS 16.5. 

[13:40] There would be an Xcode version now to go along with it and there’s not. 
Because technically Xcode 16, I mean, 13, no, 14.3, there’s so many different version numbers. 
14.3 cannot test the beta software. You cannot hook up the betas of the phone to Xcode and test them. 
So that’s the first time I’ve ever seen that happen. 
So I think, like you said, either something big’s coming or they broke something really good. 
Or both. Or both. We’ll see. Yeah. 
This is very true. It could be both. 

[14:24] So, just be very, you know, if you decide to update, be very cognizant, read and all those kind of things. 
And talking about iOS and all those things is kind of a good segue to talk about our big announcement for iAccessibility and everything we’re working on. 
We just had two apps approved today at the time of the recording, the day of the recording at least. Our iAccessibility app is back in the App Store on iOS. So you can, it’s now working much better. It doesn’t crash like it used to. Has a much, works much faster, Very speedy. 
So check it out. download the iAccessibility app and check out the live button. 

[15:13] Earlier we talked about our radio station with Live 365 that plays all of our content, between iocast and Unmute Presents. And if you tap on our live button, you will be able to hearthat in real time through the app. It even has player controls and all those things. 
So you can enjoy that. You can even get the Unmute Content, Unmute Presents content in the app as podcast form. And the neat thing is you can, if you don’t like Michael or Marty talking, you can speed them up to three X so you can make them talk really, really fast. 
And we’re okay with that. Yeah. I mean, that’s really a way to get through a lot of content. 
I agree. It’s the only way I keep up with my content. I don’t know about you, Jason, but I have to have my content sped up. I even edit sped up content. Really? Wow. Wow. Yes. 
Wow. You know, it’s interesting, you know, I think I use kind of the, there’s a mechanism that can do what Overcast does and it does, it sounds completely natural at 3x and so that makes it kind of nice. 
Apple has a built-in algorithm to do really good spoken content very fast. 
So the app works great. We’ll be working on push notifications. 
And there was a little feature that is no longer working that will be coming back eventually, where you can start and stop our live feed from ASERI Shortcut. 

[16:43] There’s some kind of a bug that’s making that not work, but that will be working in a future, bug fix version. So I’m pretty excited about that. 
And I also updated the Pocket Braille app, which is the first Braille reference app in the App Store. 
The original version came out probably 2012, 2013. 
And my watch wanted to talk. And I don’t know how I get my watch to talk because I don’t have voiceover on, so it’s very interesting. 
It just happens randomly. It’s so weird. 

[17:24] So Pocket Braille was the original Braille reference app in the store. 
It has had several versions and it’s been out for a long time. 
We just updated it to support newer iOS versions, newer interfaces. 
And what’s really neat, and people may not know this, it has an Apple Watch component. 
So you could look up every contraction for UEB on the Apple Watch. 
Ooh, that is cool. We’ve had a VI teacher actually go, TVI go through and create a Word document with all the contractions which have been gone through and meticulously explored. 
And they’re all in the app, on the paid version, in the regular app and the watch app. 
You get them in both places. 

[18:17] That’s great. I really enjoyed looking around it this morning because I had seen it, originally on the Amazon devices Am I correct in remembering that? 
I mean, yeah, I haven’t on Amazon. I don’t remember if I put it on the Amazon App Store or not, Okay, so just scratch that entire thing. 

[18:38] Because I remember there was some kind of braille I thought it was pocket braille that that I could ask what a certain letter or contraction was and it would come back It is on the echo, isn’t it, Michael? I thought you and Lauren were working on a skill on the echo, maybe. 
I made a braille quiz skill. Oh, that’s what I’m thinking of. Mm-hmm. 
Okay. All right. So it’s not exactly pocket braille. Right. It’s a little different. This one has the alphabet, numbers, punctuation, and contractions for UED. 
Yes. And that’s what I was looking at this morning, because when you posted the link, I went and grabbed it. 
It and I love how everything’s right there accessible through the different tabs on the bottom but you have this nice little about section which explains a lot as well. 
Very nice little history button within the about section that explains a lot. 
And that was written a long time ago so I hope that it’s still valid and still good information. 
Oh, okay. It was more than just a little, you know, few phrases. 
It was very nice to just sit there and listen to it, listen to my phone tell me exactly the chronology, so to speak, of Louis Braille, and then coming into the popularity, but then dropping again slightly because of the. 

[20:01] I’m trying to remember exactly everything I heard, but different… 

[20:09] Yeah, let me just stop right there. Well, I’m glad that it’s useful and that’s the whole reason it’s there is to be a useful resource. 
So the interesting thing is, unless something’s changed or there’s more contractions or things that I don’t know about that have been added since 2018, 2019, it’s still really current and that’s what I think is really great about the app. 
It doesn’t have to be updated. The content doesn’t have to be updated that much. 
So, um, and that is also on Android. The neat thing is it’s on iOS, Android, and Mac OS for Apple Silicon Macs. 
So both of those apps will run on the Mac as well. 
So that’s pretty exciting. That is cool. 
Cause that means you can listen to the live stream on the Mac. 
And if you use my favorite tool, which is not my picks, I’m going to shout it out anyways right now called Sound Source on the Mac, you can adjust the volume of the app independently with a couple of keystrokes so you can always have the live stream playing in the background and listen to us. 
Yes, and we do have a good schedule every day. 
Yeah, yeah, I was listening yesterday for a couple hours. nice. 

[21:27] So, you know, going back to Braille, I guess, to the topic of today, you know, we’ve heard a lot of excitement about this new device that was announced at CSUN, and that is theOptima from Orbit. 
And I’m personally very excited about this device, especially learning a few things about it. 
One being that it’s going to be built with the modularity from framework computers, and they make laptops that are completely modular. 
I think this is the best news we could hear all year long for assistive technology. 
What do you guys think? 

[22:12] At first when I heard it, or heard about it, I was feeling like, okay, is this going to be another braille device that is the size of a laptop and now am I going to have the ability to leave the braille home if I need to or do I want to be taking braille around with me all the time and then as I read further I, learned about the modularity so I’m thinking there is a lot that is going to be very advantageous having a machine where you can switch things around or opt to leave the braille home. I’m guessing you can. I don’t know fully about how the braille aspect works other than that it’s 40 cell and you can opt for the technology that the orbit readers use or you can opt for the piezo, electronic cells that are, I hope I got that term right, in the typical refreshable braille displays that we’ve all come to know where they’re pretty silent. 

[23:31] So I would love to see one, but I think it just has the opportunity to put braille into more hands and have it with someone on the go. 

[23:51] I agree. Yeah, what are some thoughts that you are having, both of you? 

[23:59] So I first heard about Framework on Daily Tech News show a few months ago. 
It might’ve been a year back, but it’s been a little while. And I didn’t think anything of it until I heard about this announcement. 
And I said, what was that computer that I heard about Tom talking about that you could just build to your specifications? often when. 

[24:23] I’m thinking about this from a VR counselors perspective. Often when a client has equipment purchased from them, their situation changes. 
Maybe not right away. Maybe not six months down the year down the road or a year down the road, but that 18 months, 24 month mark, maybe they’ve graduated school or maybe they’ve moved on to a new position in either their current workplace or they move somewhere else. 
And maybe your previous situation required you to have an HDMI port, and now having multiple USB-C ports is more important to you. 
Instead of having to go out and purchase new equipment, the same equipment the client is already using, comfortable with, and already has in their hands can be upgraded or modified,and you can just swap out the ports. 
And maybe as a VR counselor, you know that because your client’s needs will likely change in the not too distant future, you purchase them the device with all of the accessories so they can swap out and fit the best scenario while you’re in that situation. So I’m super excited. I want to see what it’s like. 

[25:35] Full transparency, AT guys, we do sell Orbit products. I have no additional information on on this product. I haven’t actually gotten to see it. 
I don’t know future sales plans. I don’t know if we’ll be selling it. 
I suspect we will, but I’m not certain. 
But the whole concept of it though is really exciting because what will this allow a blind user to do in the future? Because it’s running full fledged windows and it has an attached Braille display. 
Right. Now, I guess my question is, I mean, this is the whole topic of the show. 
We’ve had the Pac-Mate, we’ve had the Elbrail, we’ve had all these things in the past. 

[26:17] But do you think that this one is going to make a splash or do you think it’s gonna be like the others? 
And do we really want or need something like this? 
I mean, we have all these tech devices, like we have VR, and yes, there’s the niche that buys VR devices. 
We have all these different things that are very nice to have, but they don’t really make a big splash. 
Like, you know, everybody buys a note taker, but no, you know, but when it comes to like the Pac-Mate or the El Braille or things like that, they just don’t measure up to the same qualityor quantity as the note taker. 
So do you guys think that this will, you know, you know, be the one braille device to rule them all or not at all. 

[27:08] Do we know if, for example, the processor can be modular? I believe so, yes. Now see, that… 
So you can start with an i5, go up to an i7, and they say they’re going to support i9s. 
Okay, now see, that to me just answers the question, because it’s not static. 
You’re not stuck with a device that quickly becomes obsolete because it just doesn’t have an upgrade path like that. 
And with this, you have the ability to keep up with everybody else. 
Maybe you can—I just think it’s kind of amazing that you can keep the same laptop, just switch things out like that. That is really cool. 
That’s the whole concept of the framework environment. So it makes sense that they’ve partnered with framework to, make this happen because it’s a way to keep electronics out of the landfill that become out of date and keep your technology upgradable and be able to swap it out. 
Maybe this week you need your computer to be more powerful than you do next week when you’re just consuming media. 

[28:21] I guess my big question is, though, when we talk about this modularity. Let’s call the main system with the keyboard and all that the Optima core, right? The main part with I guess the motherboard, the keyboard, and, any other main parts and then everything else is modular, right? But what happens when we get like, I don’t know, DDR6 memory or the next generation of the processor lines and framework has to come out with new parts with faster bus speeds for the modular components. How will that affect you know like maybe you could go from an i5 to an i7 to an i9 of the current generation but will you be able to go to the next generation of those parts, the faster, you know. 

[29:14] Versions of those that are coming out in 2024, 2025, 2026. Is that going to be an issue? And I think that’s one question we’re going to have to ask closer to time. 
As the upgradability to newer specs, you could always upgrade from i5 to i7, but is it going to be limited to that one year’s group of parts? 
Hopefully, the display itself is modular. So if you do have to upgrade the main device, you don’t have to purchase a new display. 
So it makes it a lot more affordable upgrading path. 

[29:50] So those who don’t know, this is not available right now. It is not going to be available until January of 2024. 
So things could change. And in fact, things are changing because originally they had no cursor routing. 
A note that originally they had no thumb keys and it was made apparent after they got feedback from listeners that, Hey, we want thumb keys. 
So they’re taking that feedback and going back and, and, and designing it the way that, that the consumer actually wants it. 
So hopefully they produce that one product that gives us what we’ve all wanted in a, in a modern day Braille display and can make it affordable. 
That’s what I’m curious about is what are we looking at for a price point? 
I’ve not looked at framework computers. I don’t know what the price of a framework is. 
Hopefully it’ll be slightly cheaper than that because you’re gonna have to tack on the price for the braille display. So you’re gonna be paying more than the base framework anyways. 
So yeah, we’ll see. I’m real intrigued by it. 
I’m guessing it’s gonna be the price a note taker at least. 

[30:56] And there will be that difference between the Orbit Braille technology and the traditional. 
So that might factor into people’s spending as well. 
So would you guys replace your Windows laptops or your Mac laptops with one of these? 

[31:15] Not replace it. I might get one to go alongside, but I’m not going to replace it because you don’t have Hazel on Windows yet. 
Right. Yeah, I don’t think I’d be able to replace it, but I would definitely love to have one. 
I have an older Windows machine, and I think this would be, at least since Mac is my primary OS of choice, the Braille, the Optima would serve as a nice Windows replacement. 
Maybe we’re not the best audience to ask that question to. I think most of us are all Mac users. 
Well, it’s so I’m using Windows on a regular basis on my Mac with parallels. 
And if I could eliminate that, I will tell you, a parallels has been the best experience with Windows that I’ve ever had on the Mac in the entire time that I’ve used it. 
But if I could have a dedicated Windows machine, I think this would be an amazing one because a if I had a display hooked up to this Mac Mini, I could just swap it out over to this other other device. B, I’m like, I’m envisioning it. 
Hopefully it has some decent Bluetooth on it or it’ll have the USB A port. 
So I just swapped the dongle and I’m still using the same keyboard and I just have it sitting on the back part of my desk. So I would definitely be interested in one of these. 
Although maybe it wouldn’t be in the back of my desk because if I want the Braille, huh, I have to rethink that actually. 

[32:44] And I guess that’s the big question, especially for Mac users. 
You know, how can we integrate this into our workflow? 
Can it be used as a terminal mode for our iPhones or Braille or Macs? 
You know, it’s very interesting because if you can, then you’d have like the best of all three worlds, iPhone, Mac and Windows all with your devices and you know, your Braille display would be a Windows computer. 
Yeah, that would be actually kind of cool. Uh-huh. 
So I guess kind of the short answer is, yes, there is a place for this device. 
Where, but my thought is, what makes this stand out compared to the L-Braille beyond just the modularity? I know this is a hard question, but beyond just being modular, what stands out about this to you guys compared to those other devices? 
I’m thinking so far the fact that it is not tied to any specific screen reader, as far as I understand it. 
And, Oh goodness, what else? Um, it is integrated. So are the other devices, but it’s, it’s, uh. 

[33:58] It’s mainstream attention, I think, because it’s using mainstream hardware that yes, you set aside from the modularity, but really that, that is a big thing too, because you can’t upgrade the Elbrail once you get it. 
I was looking at the Mantis Q40 because I’m really interested in that device. 
Maybe not looking at that anymore, especially if we can get information about pricing, because honestly, I’d rather a full-fledged Windows computer in my Braille display. 
Like that’s just intense to think about. Yeah, you know, I would love to see how big this is. 
I wish I was at CSUN because I’d have loved to see how big this device is compared to the Mantis Q40. 

[34:40] I’ve seen a Mantis here, you know, it has a full keyboard. So I’d be curious to see what the difference is in the sizes. 
Yeah, that would be interesting. I have a Mantis here and I use it. 
Just more recently started using it with my Mac. I used to use it independently to write things up. 
And it is really, really nice to have a braille display right there while you’re computing, doing all sorts of things. The other day, I went to spell something. And I’m thinking, why am I asking the speech to spell it when it’s right in front of me in braille? 
It’s like obvious that I’m still kind of new at this because I’m used to using in other ways. 
So, and a part of the reason why, if anyone cares, is because I just didn’t have the workspace to accommodate the laptop and a braille display. And more recently, I got one of those add-onkeyboard trays. So I was able to enhance my workspace. It was pretty cool. 

[35:42] Yeah, you know, and it’s very interesting because I think that’s kind of the big thing. 
I’ve always looked for a good Braille display and see, I would love one personally that I could just put near my Mac that is just a line of Braille, like, or, you know, two or three lines of braille, that’d be nice too. 
But no buttons, maybe thumb keys, but no routing buttons, no nothing. 
I don’t wanna edit, don’t wanna do anything with it, just want to use it for reading. 
Uh, and I feel like even like the, um, some of the smaller devices that I’ve seen are way too big to almost be like if you wanted a, well, pocket-sized Braille device, pocket Braille. 
They’re all a little too big for that. And so I feel like we just don’t have, a good size for that, but I think what’s really happening is we’re trying to get one size fits all with these computers and Braille. 
I mean, anything to get people to use Braille is the way I look at it. 
But I think that the options for Braille is very limited. And I think that this is just going to add that one more king size, candy bar to the assortment of candies. 
You know, just was Easter. So, you know, candies. 

[37:07] It just adds one more mix. To the mix of devices, and I think that’s a good thing. 
Choice is always a good thing when people are looking at devices to purchase and I think that this is going to be a good device. 
You know, I think that other devices were too, the Elbrail and the Pacmate were too static as to what they did. 
So I think that this is going to be a very dynamic, very modular, very innovative device that I think people are going to really enjoy, as long as the longevity and the pricing can keep up with it. 
Yes, and we hope for good support too, because I think that’s some of the problem too with some other devices where people get them, they’re all excited, but when they run into problems,it’s pretty slow going to get resolution. 

[38:14] You know, I think it’s just time is going to tell where we go from here and we’ll just have to really watch it. 
But I think the interesting thing is that we’ve decided, I think from this podcast, we’ve decided this is going to be a useful thing and we’re going to be able to really from it, but it’s just going to have to be one of those wait and see things. 
With any of these big projects like this, I just worry that people invest a lot of money. 
I still don’t know anything, and if you guys do, I’d be very curious. 

[38:56] We don’t know anything about what’s going to happen with Envision with their glasses because the Google Glass was discontinued. 
So what does that look like for the future of the Envision users? 
I know they’re going to probably have to look for more hardware choices, but you know, those are always big things to worry about and to think about, you know, what happens if themanufacturer stops making the item. 
So yeah, it’s, I think it’s as those of us who are enthusiastic, you know, tech enthusiasts, we sometimes pay the price for being on that leading edge. 
It’s like, oh no, this didn’t work out too well, but it sounded really cool. 
But I have high hopes for this. 
I think, especially if the display can be removed and used in other ways, and then—or left in and used in all sorts of ways—I just think that gives it a whole range of motion that maybe wasn’t available before. 
In previous kinds of iterations like this. 
Exactly. I agree. Do you have any thoughts on this, Michael? 

[40:11] I’m just intrigued to see where it goes. I think technology, I think accessibility being in the mainstream form, like in the mainstream of technology is just going to result in positive changes for all of us. 
And I think we just all need to have a voice during that change to ensure that everyone is accounted for when accessibility is brought up. 

[40:35] I agree and you know i think we brought it up on the show before but it feels like accessibility in mainstream. 
Is still very prevalent but i feel like you know with blind shell and other devices were starting to see the specialist companies take a big seat back at the table and say. 
Look you’ve gone the mainstream route it works for some but it doesn’t work for everybody so let’s. 
Combine mainstream and AT and see what we can do with it. Wouldn’t you guys agree? Definitely. Yes. 
I think that’s where we’re seeing the most power out of all this is, when we combine all of these things together, like Android on the blind shell, or framework with the Optima, or things like that. 
That’s where the intersection of mainstream and specialist or assistive technology is really going to change the industry. 
You know, and we even see that with Be My Eyes and OpenAI. I’m still very excited to try that out. Me too. Me too. 
You know, Be My Eyes, if you’re listening, my email is. 
I want to I want to throw this out at you guys, because there’s something I don’t think anybody on any podcast has really thought about with that technology. 
And it might blow your mind. 
So Taylor and I go bowling every Sunday. 

[42:01] And what is the most inaccessible of thing about bowling? Entering your name on that stupid machine. 
Entering your name, but also viewing your scores. And why is that? 

[42:18] Because it’s all visual. It’s all visual, but it’s a huge table. 
Ah, right. It’s a huge table that shows frame by frame what the score is in the total at the end. 
It’s like a big spreadsheet. 
Now how can OCR, typical OCR technology, even come close to interpreting that? Yeah, exactly. 
Exactly. You get a couple of pictures of that table, tell Be My Eyes to give me the score for Taylor and break it down frame by frame and it will give you each frame how much she scored and what her total score is. 
So, and it’s very like with the, what we were talking about with bowling, you know, you could ask, be my eyes to look at and say, like you’re saying, Michael, uh, what is Taylor’s score in the eighth frame? 
And, you know, that’s powerful stuff. And that kind of goes back to what we were saying with the intersection of mainstream and AT really coming together, because I never thought about that until last weekend when I thought, you know, I bet being my eyes would be fantastic for this. 

[43:32] Well, it’s not my pick, but I will say SGPT gives you a glimpse into how things can be, processed with GPT and then handed back to your phone. 
And all of that data can be, can be presented to the user in an easy to consume audible way. And that’s just with version 3.5 of GPT. 
So I, uh, yeah, uh, again, be my eyes. My email address is, have you used SGPT, Michael? 
I, it is a everyday tool that I’m using. Yes. I need to use it. 
I need to try. Yes you do. Yes you do. Me too. Yes you do. 

[44:11] Well, but I think you’re going to try out my pick first. Just saying. 
Well, with all that being said, let’s move on to that. So Michael, do you want to go and give us your pick and where people can find you online? 
Certainly appreciate that. My pick is a wonderful tool called Mac GPT. 
And I don’t know if you’ve played with this yet, Michael, you do have to create an API key and I followed the directions that Federico provided in the SGPT article. 
Yeah, that’s right. 
I actually read an entire article before going and doing something and everything’s working well. 
The reason I like SGPT is for the inline ability. So I can be in drafts or in email and by default it uses the plus but I switched mine to slash because that works with my workflow better. 
So I type slash GPT space and then the prompt. For example, write me a professional but casual email that lets this person know that we appreciate their feedback. 
However, unfortunately, the workflow that we have for our chapter meeting is going to be this moving forward. Hit shift enter. 
Take your hands off the keyboard, wait about 30 seconds and you have a email you just delete the prompt off the top and there’s your email and you do it right there inside the mail. 
Again, that’s with the Mac GPT. 
Just Google that real quick and you can get it. You can find me at payom, P-A-Y-O-W-M on any of your favorite social networks. 
Check out Unmute, Present, and Technically Working wherever you’re getting this podcast out. 

[45:37] And you’ll find me after this episode downloading MacQPT. All righty then. 

[45:43] Jason, what is your pick and where can people find you online? 
Sure, my pick for today is something that helps me a lot in the financial aspect of my productivity and it is called Debit and Credit. 
It’s a Mac and iOS app, helps with all finances, finances, keeping track of your expenses, does all sorts of other things that I haven’t played with yet because I’m still pretty new with it. 
But I’ve actually replaced the Checkbook Pro app that I was using. 
I loved it, but it was Mac only. This is Mac and iOS. And if you perform an operation, it syncs across to your other devices. So it’s very easy for me to jot down an expense while I’m out. 
I don’t have to worry about trying to remember it when I get back home. 
And you can find out more about the app from debitandcredit.app. 
You can find me, Jcast, on Facebook, Jcast432 on Mastodon, and Jcast is spelled J-C-A-S-T. 
And I’m also Jcast on Twitter. 

[46:58] Fantastic. And, you know, I have to throw this in here because he came and crashed the party, the podcast party. 
We have Jeff Bishop with us and, hey Jeff. 
Hey guys, I know I figure you know, I figure I should at least come late to the party right right, As long as there’s still food left over, right? 
There’s food left over but none for you. Jeff. I see you just wanted to come and share your pay. 

[47:29] Yeah, well, you know I was kind of working you know, it’s one of those things yeah, So yeah Since you are here. Um, do you have a pick for us and where people can find you online? 
I do actually and you know, I am a big proponent of Supporting the developers that do the right thing, right? We know that that accessibility is really important and inclusion and and,Making sure that apps are accessible and all of that. And one of the things that’s also really important is, Health and doing things for our health. Well, there’s a new version of gentler streak that’s out. 

[48:06] You know about this app guys. No, I do not Yeah, well it is a app that really simplifies tracking of health data and it presents it to you in a way that’s really more human understandable. 
And they have gone through and made both their watch and iOS apps fully accessible both for low vision and for voiceover users. 
So much so that I went ahead and bought a lifetime subscription to the app. 
So yeah, it’s good. I really, really like it. I’m just really starting to use it. 
And it’s got a little bit of a learning curve to it, although it kind of guides you through the process. 
It sort of will start examining your health data and it asks you about your specific goals and then it gives you prompts and guidance on what it thinks you might want to do. 
And it’s really, I think it’s all said in the name. It’s a gentler approach to exercise and health. 

[49:08] So if you haven’t taken a look at it, give it a try. I think you’ll be really impressed, especially if you’re using a voiceover or a lot of the low vision features on your iPhone. 
So that’s my pick. You can find me on all kinds of places, Twitter and Mastodon and all kinds of things. 
But best way and probably the quickest way to reach me via email, jeff at jeffbishop.com. That’s probably the easiest and quickest way and probably the one that you’ll remember most quickly. So jeff at jeffbishop.com. Thanks guys. 
Thanks Jeff, and I’m sure I’ll be talking to you tomorrow morning about a certain TV show that we talked about on last IACAST. Oh don’t even get me started on that. Oh my god. 
Oh, I know. I can’t wait. I will be up tonight. I have a meeting until 1030 tonight, and then I will stay up for half an hour, and I’ll stay up to midnight watching episode nine. 
Yes, episode nine. It’ll be great. 
Yes, it kills my productivity early in the morning when I get to work, but that’s all right. 
It’s worth it. It is. It very much is. 
So and Jeff, stick around, because I think you’re going to enjoy my pick for this episode. 
And that is, there’s a little story to it. 
We’ve started with the Eero 6 routers, and I love Eero, great routers. 

[50:27] But because of our apartment and the saturation of Wi-Fi and whatever they build these walls out of, we don’t get full saturation of internet throughout our apartment. 
And so we thought, well, let’s try something else. So we tried the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro. 
Don’t do that, don’t do it. It had worse reception in the apartment. 
And so I said, let’s go back to what we know mostly works. 
And so we got the Eero 6e Pro routers. We got a two-pack. 
It says it’s supposed to cover up to 4,500 square feet, which sort of, I guess if you have line of sight and not as much Wi-Fi saturation, it will do much better. 
But these do a much better job. they’re bigger than the other Eros I’ve seen. 
They look just like the smaller Eros. 
But you get that Ero Plus subscription that is fantastic, one password, and encrypt.me and all these other things. They come with Ero and you get more control over your network than you do with the Google routers. 

[51:37] Just always a huge fan of the Eero’s and the pros, both the base station and the extender, have ethernet ports unlike the regular Eero 6’s. So and come to find out the Eero 6 only had 500 megabits per second that they guaranteed these go up to a gigabit of Wi-Fi. So you know the one thing thing I like about Eero, I look at the Ubiquiti stuff, it’s hard to find in stores, it’s hard to get your hands on. So Eero, they got them there the same day from Amazon, it works with the A-Lady, just a very good experience. I’ve always had good luck with them. So huge fan, check out Eero Pro 6E routers. They are the more expensive ones, but they will do a really good job at giving you the internet you need and you can hardwire into them and just fantastic routers. 

[52:39] Did you get the 25% off coupon by trading in any Amazon device? 
I did not, but there was a discount that they were doing already on them, so I did get somewhat of a discount. 
Okay, okay. Because you could turn in an old first generation Echo Dot and get 25% off a three pack of the six E’s. Wow, I didn’t know that. Yeah. Wow, that’s really neat. So if you’re out there listening, that’s a very good deal that Jeff just mentioned. So good stuff. I’m such a fan of Eero devices, and they have, you know, that dynamic DNS where you can set up your home network with a with DNS that won’t change. And you can do all those things with that plus subscription that you pay yearly for. 
And it’s just fantastic. great, great deal. 

[53:33] So, as for people can find me online, I’m Mike Doeys on most of the socials, Mastodon, MikeDoeys.social, sorry, the other thing’s my website. 
And you can find me on Twitter, Mike Doeys, and I’m on Facebook as Michael Doeys all over the place. 
So, you know, it’s easy to find me and you can email me at MikeDoeys at iCloud.com
And check out my other show, Programmatic. I record usually Friday nights and it’s out the next week. 
We just did episode five and we’ll record episode six this Friday. 
So very excited about that. 
And a lot of good things. So we talked about our apps, you know, iAccessibility and Pocket Braille all out. 
So really a lot of news this week and it’s been a great show. 
So I want to thank Michael, Jason, and our party crasher, Jeff, for coming this time. 
It’s been great having all of you guys and we’ll see you all in about two weeks. So thanks everyone. 

[54:34] Music. 

[54:41] Thank you for tuning in to the IA cast. We hope you enjoyed the show and found the conversation to be insightful and informative. 
If you have any feedback or comments, we’d love to hear from you. 
Please send us an email at feedback at IACast.net
You can also follow us on Twitter at IACastNetwork to stay informed about new episodes and other updates. 
Don’t forget to check out more great podcasts on the IACAS network. 
Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you again soon. 

[55:08] Music. 


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