[bct] Re: Pac Mate or BN

  • From: Buddy Brannan <buddy@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2006 14:58:15 -0500

In principle, I agree that buying and using an off-the-shelf solution with our screen reader is a better solution for a lot of us. I'm actually very interested to see how the PocketPC screen readers stack up and develop; especially Mobilespeak Pocket as I use Mobilespeak on my Nokia mobile phone.

However, there are still some advantages that the blindness-specific products have over an off-the-shelf solution like a PC with screen reader. Or a Mac even:

1. Having a braille display can't be beat. I say this as somjeone who doesn't have one but would like to. I'd like to see the price of these come down some more; some strides have been made in that direction, but the best I can figure, braille display technology hasn't changed significantly in the past 20 years, but neither, unfortunately, have prices--until last year when the Focus displays and the Optellec displays dropped by a couple thousand dollars.

2. Battery life: Most notebooks can't touch the battery life of one of our blindness-specific notetakers. The closest I've seen are the Mac Powerbooks at about five hours claimed battery life. Take out the display and I expect you'd save a ton of battery power. That's a big one.

3. For the computer-

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