[bct] Skype Info - Its' growing

  • From: "David Tanner" <david-tanner@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 18 Feb 2006 14:33:32 -0600

Hi Mary,

you will note I am replying to your message that had a different subject.  The 
reason being that I want to talk a bit about what has been going on in 
Minnesota this past week with Skype and several blind people, and the state 
agency for the blind where I work.

Tuesday February 7th we had Eric Damery from Freedom Scientific in our building 
for a three hour training and information presentation on Jaws 7.0.  We managed 
to cram somewhere close to 30 people into an area where 20 people can fit 
somewhat confortably.  It was a great presentation, but was so crowded getting 
in or out of the area was almost impossible. 
During his presentation Eric mentioned that he and other FS staff are using 
Skype to communicate between themselves in the company.  There were at least 5 
people in the audience, including myself, who have spent at least a little time 
using Skype, and we got to talking about how it could be used after the meeting.

On Friday February 10th one of the other techs in our department and I did a 
conference call with Skype to two of our contract access technology trainers in 
northern Minnesota and had a conversation with them about what they would think 
about attending presentations at our location via Skype.  We all thought it 
would be a great idea to try.  So, we knew we were having Dan from GW Micro in 
for a presentation on Friday February 17th and we decided to give it a try at 
hooking people into the presentation over Skype.  A little word of mouth 
publicity that we were going to try this out and we ended up with 5 or so 
people Skyping into the presentation from a variety of places, and about 20 
people in the conference room.  The connection was excellent over Skype, and we 
could have handled at least twice the number on Skype if we had needed to do so.

Along with this we have discussed the idea that with Skype we can use access 
technology trainers in the twin cities to do training to many of our 
customers/clients  who live hundreds of miles out in rural Minnesota with 
Skype.  We already have two trainers doing this successfully with beginner 
students after one or two initial sessions with them in person.

I guess so many of use never really thought about just how powerful a tool 
Skype really is at first.  But, it could even be a way for BCT list members to 
carry on conversations beyond the mailinglist and get to know each other even 
better at no cost other than maybe $15 for a cheap mike for their computer.

We're sold on it!!!

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <maryemerson@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "bct" <blindcooltech@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, February 18, 2006 1:49 AM
Subject: [bct] general comments on recent podcasts

Hi list,

I've really enjoyed the podcasts this week; two of Larry and Jake walking in 
just a couple days is a very special treat! I sit in my favorite rocking chair, 
large mug of hot chocolate in hand, book port or Olympus WS320 on my lap, 
headphones on, just taking it all in and glad to hear it all. We have such cold 
rainy weather this week and with all the other adverse weather conditions 
throughout the country, it's nice to know at least a few places have more 
pleasant surroundings than snow or rain.

I love the podcast Hope and Megan did. You guys sounded like you were having a 
real good time with it! I kept hearing doors opening and closing, and thought 
for a while that you must have a huge amount of people coming into your room 
and leaving; and then I figured out it must be the computer doing those sounds 
with instant messenger and people leaving and coming online. So, my mistake, 
but it was fun imagining you carrying on a conversation and hearing doors open 
and close all the time. I thought, "Who is spying on you guys anyway?" You 
really must do a podcast on Skype. I got a version from http://www.jfwlite.com 
and there were scripts there also, but I bet it was an earlier version; I set 
up an account last year and have never used it, and I don't even have Skype on 
my PC now. It just seems too disruptive. But that's just me, not used to being 


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