[access-uk] guide from software express

  • From: "Graham Page" <gpage@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 18:25:25 +0100

Hi all.

Since this has been discussed I thought I would look further at the website. 
There is a vidio there of using guide though not all this video is done with 
visually impaired users in mind that can not read the screen so you may not 
learn that much about how to actually use the program from this.  There is 
an FAQ and there it says that if the user does not have an internet 
connection already then one can be arranged.  I will contact Software 
Express on how this would work in practice as I am more than a little 

Secondly one of my other concerns about this way of using the PC is 
antivirus and firewall software.  Using the Windows XP firewall is suggested 
in the FAQ which should be fine for most users.  For antivirus AVG or Avast 
is suggested.  I assume one of these can be installed by Software Express 
before delivering a PC to a new user, but what happens when a virus is 
detected?  How will the user know if a virus is found and read what to do 
with it? and, if the windows firewall does want to block a connection how 
will a user access the dialog deal with this?

many of these setup questions arise for all computer users regardless of 
sight and it can be reasonably be claimed that the PC has failed as a piece 
of consumer electronics because there are just too many complications.  I 
would therefore always say that where possible, a user should get to grips 
with windows and a screenreader.  Free screenreaders such as thunder are 
available already and development versions of Non-Visual Desktop which is an 
open source screenreader are available as well.

If you are truely computerphobic, using Guide and going through the hastle 
of getting everything set up is likely to be a serious disinsentive , but 
that is true for everyone.

Can a user run a program like Guide from anyone's computer? this could allow 
users to install Guide on a more knowledgeable friend's PC for example to 
get initial help using the program.

In many ways, the more pressing need for new users is affordable training. 
for most people Software Express's price of £225 plus vat per half day is 
not affordable but Software express is I understand a private company that 
must make money and in the market place of training in work this figure 
seems quite competetive, but it is a lot for a home user to find.

I know that some grants and charities have existed offering genuinely 
affordable training to home users, often funded in part at least by grants 
and I suspect that government funding or charity or possibly social 
companies could be used to provide this training.


Graham Page
Home Phone: 0207 265 9493
Mobile: 07753 607980
Fax:  0870 706 2773
Email: gpage@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
MSN: gabriel_mcbird@xxxxxxxxxxx
Skype: gabriel_mcbird 

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