[access-uk] Re: maestro and street talk

  • From: "PETE gurney" <pete@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2004 11:05:42 +0100

hello yusuf,

below is a copy of a message i sent privately to somebody, but it should
cover what you wanted to know.
the thing i would add is that i've been quite keen on being able to have a
bluetooth receiver, but in the last couple of days i've done further
checking on the net and it appears that when using a bluetooth gps receiver
with a PDA the power needed to run the bluetooth reception on the PDA
reduces the battery life on each charge to not much over 2 hours.
this has changed my mind and think it is better to stick to a wired gps
receiver, and i presume the same would apply to using a bluetooth keyboard.

Subject: sight village and gps

i went to sight village yesterday and made a point of checking out the new
notetakers, braillenote pk and maestro plus the gps program for the
firstly although the braillenote pk looks a very nice little machine
pulsedata had done their usual trick as i called them last friday to ask
how much the pk was and they told me 3330 poundsyet by time i saw it at
11:30 yesterday morning they had decided to put it up to just under 3600.
this isn't the first time pulsedata have pulled that trick on UK customers,
they also want 1000 pounds for the gps add on, but sendero sell it for 1000
dollars which is under 600 pounds.
they are also claiming that the pk has a very fast processor, but when i
asked the speed of it they didn't know and said they don't work in speeds
equivalent to mhz.
i said i had never heard of a processor manufacturer at least not giving an
equivalent in mhz for people to make a comparison.
they also said in their announcement of the pk that they wasn't bringing
out a voice only version of the pk as with the upgrade that were coming out
that the voicenote would have the same sort of capability as the pk.
this was a load of rubbish, as when asking them about this it turns out
there is no hardware upgrade for the voicenote so its still using the old
processor which they wasn't willing to give a comparison of speed compaired
to the one in the pk, and he also said that the upgrade wouldn't make the
voicenote blue tooth compatible.
the maestro was an impressive little machine.
it's only about four and a half inches by three inches and less than half
an inch thick.
it has propper keys on it now instead of a touch screen although the input
method is still the same so you press an accept button after every letter
or number entered unless you get the optional sepporate blue tooth braille
or qwerty keyboard.
this could be quite a good idea, as you could have the maestro safety
tucked away in a pocket or bag and still be able to operate it via the
smallish blue tooth keyboard.
the braille keyboard is about 6 inches by4 and the qwerty one is about 8 by
3 when open and 4 by 3 and half an inch when closed as it is hinged in the
it has the regular type of programs onboard already such as calendar,
notetaker, calcular, voice memo's and address book and they will have an
email program plus internet explorer available as free upgrades before the
end of the year.
it's fully network ready via wifi and blue tooth as well.
their launching on an introductory price of 999 dollars for the first 3
months going up to 1199 dollars afterwards.
the trekker add on will be available for 700 dollars.
i asked them if the introductory offer applied to the UK and they said that
would be up to their UK agent.
i told sight and sound about this, and they said that if visuaide passed
the reduction on to them then they would pass it on to the UK customers.
i also asked them wether the maps would be available at a reduced price for
someone wanting to buy say the hole of england as their method of selling
them in individual segmonts made the maps very expensive compaired to
prices for navtech maps elswhere.
they said they are intending bringing in lower prices for package deals
comprising several segmonts or hole countries.
the gps software for the pacmate seemed pretty good although they could
only demonstrate it in browsing mode because of us being in a basement room
for the seminar.
they intended swapping to going outside for the other 2 days of the
exhibition so they could show it in live mode.
the map data seemed quite extensive as he brought up a map of part of the
states where the acb anual conference took place last week, there were many
different catagories of places of interest to choose from.
he selected places of interest for tourists and there were 303 results all
placed in order of distance with the nearest at the top.
he selected one of them and it brought up  a list of instructions for
getting there saying how many metres it was between each waypointand the
amount of roads there were in each section and said that when in live mode
it would speak you through the journey step by step and turn by turn giving
you information like how far you have travelled how far to the next turn
and how far to your destination.you can also create your own routes by
putting your own markerswherever you want wether on roads or in parks or
open land.
this seems a good solution for people who have or want a pacmate as you can
buy a gps receiver with the maps for the hole of the UK plus the rest of
europe for under 250 pounds.
i must admit that my perfect solution would be a combination of bits from
the different options.
i like the smallness of the maestro, the braillnote gps program and the
blue tooth receiver that they used with the pacmate and i'm not sure which
of them has the best map data as 2 of them use navtech maps and the other
uses teleatlas maps.
the other thing i saw that was neat was the tadi talking organiser.
this was 6 by 4 inches and about half an inch thick.
a thin lid lifted up like a small version of a laptop, and underneith was a
full qwerty keyboard.
it had address book, calendar/schedular calculator, data base phone dialer,
and could record 5 hours of voice recordings.
the speech was created from actual human voice recordings so was very good.
it works from batteries or mains, has a headphone socket, built in
microphone and usb socket for connection to a pc.
it cost 140 pounds plus 15 pounds for the optional pc connection kit.
this device has been created by the same person who created the voicediary.
and having had both a voicemate and a voicediary, i think this is a much
better option.

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