blind_html [Fwd: [icon-announce] FW: [icon-discuss] Icon and Braille+ Software Release 2.0]

  • From: Nimer <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 06 Feb 2009 15:31:08 -0700

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [icon-announce] FW: [icon-discuss] Icon and Braille+ Software Release 2.0
Date:   Fri, 6 Feb 2009 13:09:54 -0700
From:   Michael Jones <mjones@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To:       icon-announce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Organization:   LevelStar LLC
To:     <icon-announce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Michael Jones

685 South Arthur Avenue
Suite 1A
Louisville, CO 80027

Phone:800-315-2305 Ext. 707
Email: mjones@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
-----Original Message-----
From: icon-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:icon-discuss-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Marc Mulcahy
Sent: Friday, February 06, 2009 12:39
To: icon-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [icon-discuss] Icon and Braille+ Software Release 2.0

Hi All:

LevelStar and APH are proud to announce the release of Icon and Braille+
software version 2.0.  See below for the release notes.  Note that the
release notes are also available in the updates folder of your unit's hard
drive after the update is installed.

To install the update, ensure you are connected to the internet.  Once
connected, choose 6 from the applications menu to open the utilities menu,
and then choose option 6 to check for software updates.  Arrow to the item
that says "System Software, version 2.0.1", and press select to mark it for
download.  Then press OK to begin the download and installation process.

We've also updated the audio tutorial to include tutorials for all the
exciting new features.

Here are the release notes.

Best Regards,


What's New in 2.0
Braille Display Support.
Icon and Braille + now support a number of Braille displays through
Bluetooth, USB, and Serial over USB. Among the supported displays are the
Braille connect and Brailliant displays from HumanWare, the Pacmate and
Focus displays from Freedom Scientific, displays from Handy Tech, Alva
displays, the EuroBraille, Papenmeir displays, Voyager 44 and 70, the Seika
Trans Braille 40, and APH's brand new Refreshabraille.

To set up Icon or Braille + for use with a Braille display, you can either
use the Add a Braille  Display option in the Braille Display Settings dialog
of the Settings Menu, or you can hold down Program 1 to turn on Braille
output. If you turn Braille on, and no display has been configured, you are
taken to the Braille Display setup form.

You are first asked what connection type you intend to use: 1, Bluetooth; 2,
USB; or 3, Serial over USB. If you choose Bluetooth, Bluetooth is turned on
and you are prompted to be sure your display is turned on and discoverable,
and to press OK to continue. You are then asked to choose the type of
display you are using. If you are not sure what type of display you have,
you can choose to have the unit attempt to automatically determine the
display type. Once you have chosen the type of display you are using, press
Select or OK to connect to your display. If the connection is successful,
Braille output is started, and you are returned to the program you were
previously using. If the connection fails, you are returned to the Braille
display setup form.

The Braille display Settings Dialog also contains settings for determining
the output Braille grade, whether speech is on or off when Braille is
active, and whether system sounds are on or off when Braille is active. In
addition, you can toggle whether speech is on or off when Braille is active
at any time using Control + Alt + S.

A few notes on using Braille displays:
On Braille displays with 8 dot Braille keyboards for inputting text, dot 7
is equivalent to shift, and dot 8 works as control. Tap dot 7 quickly to
toggle caps lock on and off.
On displays with a joystick such as the Braille Connect series, pressing in
on the joystick is equivalent to pressing Select on the Icon/Braille +.
Text with attributes such as bolding or underlining or the text of a link is
noted by the presence of a dot 8 in the first and last cell of the
attributed text. You can discover what attributes the text under the cursor
contains by pressing the status key.
Status messages, such as appear when you raise or lower the volume or speech
rate, are denoted by msg: and can be dismissed using a cursor routing key.

Internet Radio Tuner
The Music Player now contains a 7th option in the sort options Menu entitled
Tuner. Selecting this option loads the new Internet Radio Tuner.  Note:
you should establish an internet connection before launching the Tuner.

When the Tuner loads, you are presented with a list of options for viewing
stations. Use the Up and Down arrows to move among these options. The top
two options are Presets and Recent Stations, and contain no content when the
Tuner is loaded for the first time. The third option down is Genre. Use the
Left and Right Arrows to move among the various genres available. To get a
list of stations in a given genre, place your cursor on that genre, and
press the Down Arrow. Use the Left and Right Arrows to move among the
stations in the list.

To stream a station, highlight it and press Select or OK. The unit announces
"loading" and progress clicks are heard until the stream is loaded and
playing. You can use Select to pause/resume playback, and can use the Up and
Down Arrows to adjust playback speed. You can also use the Left and Right
Arrows to tune to the next or previous stream in the list.

You can add a station to your preset list by choosing option 1 from the
Program Menu, Add Preset. Due to the fact that there are literally thousands
of Internet radio stations, you may find stations you know you would not
listen to, and that you do not wish to encounter in your station lists. You
can filter these out by highlighting them and choosing the second option in
the Tuner's Program Menu, Delete.  To restore the default station list,
choose Undelete from the Tuner menu. The third option in the Tuner's menu
lets you search the radio station directory by keyword. After entering your
keyword and pressing OK, the tuner loads a list of stations based on your
search under a genre named for your keyword.

Once you have accessed a few stations and added stations to your Preset
list, you can interact with your Recent Stations and Preset list in the same
way you do with lists of stations in a given genre: move among them using
the Left and Right Arrows, and press Select or OK to load a station. You can
clear either the Preset or Recent Stations list at any time by highlighting
the list and choosing the Erase Station List option from the Tuner's Program

Twitter is a social networking/microblogging service that allows you to tell
the world at any time of the day or night, in 140 characters or less, what
you're doing. You can also choose to follow the posts of friends and family,
news and informational organizations, or the various famous and/or prominent
people who have chosen to tweet about their lives. For more information on
Twitter, please visit:

Icon/Braille Plus's Twitter application is now the 4th item in the Internet
Menu (4, 4 from the Applications Menu). Please make sure to establish a
stable internet connection and to set your time and date correctly before
running this application.

When you load the Twitter application for the first time, you have 3
options, 1, enter your account info; 2, go to the Twitter website to learn
more or set up an account; or 3, quit. If you have already signed up with
Twitter, choose option 1, enter your username and password, and press OK to
log on. If you would like to learn more about Twitter or sign up for an
account, choose option 2. If you are new to Twitter, you'll also want to
take the opportunity, once you've signed up, to search for people to follow
using your Icon/Braille +'s Browser, or a Browser on your PC as Icon's
Twitter application does not yet contain Twitter search options.

Once you have signed up for an account through Twitter, have searched for,
and chosen to follow a few people, and have entered your account information
in to your unit and logged on, you are presented with a page of the 20
newest posts from those you are following, including your own posts.  You
can arrow up and down to move among them.  To move among older posts, use
the Page Up and Down commands (Pound or Alt + Down to move down a page and
Pound or Alt + Up to move up one page). You can also use the Previous Page
and Next Page options, numbers 7 and 8 in Twitter's Program Menu.

To post a new message, type Control + N, type your message, and press Enter
or OK. You may also send a link from the RSS program (discussed later in
this document). To reply to someone elses message, type Control + R; to
retweet, press Control + T. You can also access these options through the
Message Menu, number 2 under Twitter's Program Menu.

To refresh the list of the most current messages, choose option 1, Home,
from the Program Menu. To follow a link in a Twitter post, choose Follow
Link from the Twitter Menu. To view items such as your own posts, direct
messages you have received, who you're following, and who is following you,
choose option 7, Views Menu. You can obtain this same information on another
Twitter user by pressing Select on one of his or her posts, or by selecting
his or her name from a list of users such as appears in your list of
followers. Now, when you enter the Views Menu, the information applies to
the user you have selected.
Checking out who your friends are following can be a round about way of
searching for people of interest for you yourself to follow. When in a list
of users, the Twitter menu contains options for adding or removing the user
as a friend, depending on whether or not you are following that person. You
may also send direct messages to those who are following you through the
Message Menu.

Twitter also contains a template for defining how twitter posts are
displayed. This template is found under the Settings Menu in Twitter's
Program Menu and can be edited using the new template editing scheme
described later in this document.

The New Calendar.

What has been known as the Planner up to now has undergone a makeover,
including a name change to more accurately connect with Outlook for better
and more complete synchronization of appointments between your PC and
Icon/Braille +.

Most notable is a completely new appointment form. This form contains many
additional fields such as subject, location, start and end date, etc. In
addition, every attempt has been made to eliminate the form within a form
within a form scheme for choosing alarms, setting repeating appointments,

The new appointment form contains several Left/Right selection list boxes.
When a selection is made that requires further specification, such as is the
case when choosing to have an appointment repeat weekly, items for making
those specifications appear below. For example, if you choose to have an
appointment repeat weekly, when you arrow down you are asked to specify how
many weeks between each repetition. arrowing down further yields check boxes
for each day of the week, so that you can specify on which days of the week
you want the appointment to repeat. Below these, you are asked to specify an
end date for the appointment. Finally, if you arrow down once more, you move
on to the description field and the rest of the appointment form. If you
choose the Appointment does not repeat option in the repetition selection
list, arrowing down takes you directly to the Description field as there is
nothing more to specify regarding appointment repetition.

The Calendar also now contains tools for conflict resolution. If you are
attempting to create an appointment that conflicts with other appointments
with busy status, you are presented with a list of conflicting occurrences.
You can either accept the conflicts, reschedule individual occurrences of an
appointment, or delete individual occurrences of an appointment. If the
appointment presents too many conflicts, you may also exit the conflict list
and edit the new appointment form to schedule the appointment more suitably.

The Calendar contains 4 templates for customizing how appointments are
displayed. These templates can be found in the Settings Menu in the
Calendar's Program Menu and can be edited using the new template editing
scheme described later. The customizable templates are the Speaking
Template, the Braille Template, the Today's Appointment Template, and the
Status Template. The Braille and speaking templates customize separately how
appointments are spoken and displayed in Braille when navigating the
Calendar view. The Status Template defines what additional information is
given to you when you press Status twice quickly on a given appointment.
Finally, the Today's Appointment Template defines what information is
presented to you when accessing the list of the day's appointments from the
Status Menu.

Additions to the Calculator.
The Calculator's functionality has been greatly increased with this update.
You now have the ability to perform advanced scientific functions by
selecting them from a list accessed either by choosing Functions from the
Program Menu, or simply by pressing and holding the Menu key. For example,
to calculate the square root of 400, type 400 in to the calculator, press
and hold the Menu key to bring up the function list, then select the square
root option from the function list. The unit announces equals 20.

The calculator also allows users to define variables as numbers, lists of
numbers, strings of text etc. To define a variable, simply type the variable
name, equals, then the desired value. For example, to define variable a as
400, type, a = 400 followed by enter to save. You can access all your
variables and their values in the Variable Viewer, option 2 in the
Calculator's Program Menu. Your variable names can then be entered in to
expressions as  representations of their values.

The calculator now contains 2 working modes: Normal, and Advanced. Normal
Mode works as the calculator always has with the arrows serving as
operational keys, etc. The calculators Advanced Mode allows you to scroll
through and edit the calculation history as though it were a document with
the ability to execute calculations as you go. Operations must be typed
directly (+ for plus, etc). If you're using Icons keypad, if you hold down
Select, you are asked for an operator which you may then enter using the
arrow keys as in Normal Mode. You can also now copy any or all of your
calculation history to the clipboard for pasting in to other documents, as
well as paste information from the clipboard in to your calculation history.
For additional information on the newest calculator functions, please see
the user manual.

A new Address Book.
The Address Book has also undergone an overhaul in order to synchronize more
accurately and completely with Outlook. The Main folder is now called
Contacts in order to match Outlooks Contacts folder.

The New contact form now contains many more fields divided in to 4 tabs:
General, Internet, Professional, and Miscellaneous. You can jump from tab to
tab at any time by using Pound + the Left and Right Arrows (Alt + Left and
Right if using a Qwerty keyboard). You may also navigate the contact form in
its entirety using the Up and Down Arrows. As you arrow up and down, each
tab border is announced. When you are on a tab border, you have the option
of continuing to arrow up or down to access the information in the next or
previous tab, or you can use the Left and Right Arrows to move to a
different tab.

The General tab contains first, Middle, and Last name, address and phone
info, and the comments field. The Internet tab contains email addresses, web
page, and Instant Messenger address. Use the Left and right Arrows to move
among multiple email addresses. Press the Menu key to add or edit an email

The Professional tab contains fields for Company, Job Title, work address
and phone info, Department, Office, Profession, and Manager and Assistant
names. The Miscellaneous tab contains fields for entering prefix, suffix,
nickname, spouse/partner, birthday, and anniversary.

Unzipping files in File Explorer.
As just indicated, the File Explorer can now unzip files. To unzip a file,
highlight it and choose extract from File Explorer's Program Menu, or simply
press Select on the zip file. You are presented with 2 options: 1, Extract
to the extracts folder on the hard drive, or 2, Browse for folder to extract
to. Once you have either selected to extract to the extracts folder or have
chosen another folder to extract to, the contents of the zip file are
extracted to the chosen folder under a folder name equivalent to the zip
file name.

Changes in the Bookshelf.
You can now copy BKS or BKS2 files downloaded from to the
Import folder, and they will be unpacked and placed in the library the next
time the Bookshelf is started.

The Edit Book information form has been simplified. When you choose Edit
Book information from the Options Menu, you are placed in an edit box
containing the title of the book. To edit the title of the book, simply edit
the text using standard editing commands, and press OK or enter to save. If
you arrow down once from the title edit box, you are placed in an author
list for the book. You can move among the authors using the Left and Right
Arrows. Pressing the Menu key on an author in the author list yields the
options, 1, edit Author; 2, Add Author; and 3, Remove Author. The Edit and
Remove Author options act on the highlighted author. Choosing the Add Author
option brings up an edit box in to which you can enter the authors name you
want to add. Press OK or Enter to save the changes.

Internet Book Search Changes.
As has undergone some changes, LevelStar and APH have updated
the Icon and Braille + software in order to interact with the new Bookshare
web service. The visible changes most notably affect the internet Book

The Internet Book Search still contains 3 search options, however option 3
has changed. At this time the Internet Book Search does not support
searching the catalog by category. We are attempting to find a way to bring
this option back in a future release. Our new third option  for searching
the repository, Recently Added Books,  yields a list of the
books recently added to the Bookshare collection according to  the number of
days you specify. Please be sure to set your time and date before using this
search option. If you do not, your results will likely encompass the
entirety of Bookshares collection.

The author search has also changed a bit. Rather than obtaining a list of
authors from which you may choose one and retrieve a list of books by that
author, the new author search yields an alphabetical list of all the books
by all of the authors that fit your search criteria. So, if you search for
King in an attempt to find books by Stephen King, the Internet Book search
returns a list containing all of his books in the Bookshare collection as
well as those by Charles Kingsley, Rachael King, and several others.

Large lists of books are now displayed in pages of 100 books. To move among
pages in a book list, use Pound + the Up and Down Arrows.

Changes to RSS.
The Feed Menu available when a feed is highlighted, now contains a Feed
Settings option that allows you to individualize settings for the current

When in an articles list, you may now delete articles you have already read
or do not wish to read or store.

The Articles Menu, available from an articles list, now contains an option
for sending a link to the article to Twitter (discussed above). When you
select this option, you are placed in a message edit box containing the
articles link wherein you may write additional text if you wish. Press
Enter or OK to post the message to Twitter.

Both the general RSS Settings Menu and the individual Feed Settings Menu now
contain templates for defining how information is displayed as you arrow
through folders, feeds, and articles, and when you press Status twice
quickly on a folder, feed or article. Use the new template editor described
below to edit the information in these templates.

New Template editor:

In addition to the Song Announce and Status templates introduced in the
Music Player in the last major release, we have added templates to the RSS
and Calendar applications as well as to the Tuner and Twitter applications
introduced in this release.  These templates allow users to customize how
information is presented.  So that users do not have to memorize the
available options for each template, we have introduced a new template
editing scheme that allows for full customization of the amount, type, and
order of information in each template.  When in a template edit box,
pressing the Menu key yields a numbered list of the various options for that
template. Pressing Select or OK on any item or typing its menu number pastes
that item in to the template. You can customize the order of the template
items, or rather, you can customize the order in which the template
information is announced, by placing your cursor at the position at which
you would like the pasted item to appear.

For example, if you are in the Song Announce Template, and you want the
title of the song announced followed by the artist, first select the Title
item from the Menu, then select the Artist item from the menu. If later, you
decide you'd like the album announced between the title and artist, place
your cursor before the word artist in the template edit box, and paste the
album item from the menu.  If you wish, you may also simply type the items
in as before.  To delete an item from the template, use standard delete

Updated Synchronization program.
The Icon and Braille + Synchronization program has been updated to work with
the new Address Book and Calendar as well as to improve synchronization
between the unit and Outlook. Please download the new Sync Program using the
following link:

Other General/Minor Fixes and Enhancements.

Several fixes to key descriptions in Key Learn Mode.

If the keypad is locked, this is now announced on boot up.

Navigating to the bottom of a page now works in the Browser.

Added Braille chord command, 3-4-chord, to bring up the Status Menu.

In the Music Player, you can now add the currently playing track to a play
list even if it is not contained in the music catalog.

Pressing Select or OK on the Bluetooth line of the Status Menu now turns
Bluetooth on or off, depending on its current state. In addition, you may
now use Control + Alt + L to bring up the Bluetooth Manager with a QWERTY

The Spellchecker now ignores words consisting of punctuation or numbers, for
example, 1/31/2009.

During a continuous read, users now have the ability to raise and lower the
speech rate using the Up and Down arrow keys.  To navigate a document using
the Up and Down arrow keys, press Select to stop continuous read, then
navigate up and down normally.

You can now press Status once in any document to have the unit announce the
attributes of the text under the cursor: for example, whether the text is
bolded or italicized or is part of a link. If the text contains no special
attributes, the unit announces normal.

When replying to, or forwarding an email, the subject line is now always a
computer Braille field in order to avoid strange grade 2 translation/back
translation issues.  When composing a new message, you may still use grade 2
to enter a subject line.

The Software Update utility now saves a backup each time the software is
updated.  In addition, in the backup utility, backups are now sorted newest
to oldest.

Due to the addition of the Twitter application in the Internet Menu, the
Network Manager is now accessed using number 5 from the Internet Menu (4, 5
from the Applications Menu).

For Further Information.
For more detailed information on the new features in this release, please
see the newest version of the Help file, or access the Icon and Braille +
User Guide at:

You can also download the newest version of the Icon and Braille + Audio
Tutorial through the Check for Software Updates utility.

If you reply to this message it will be delivered to the original sender
only.  If your reply would benefit others on the list and your message is
related to LevelStar or APH then consider sending your message to

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For answers to the most frequently asked questions about Icon and Braille +,
the LevelStar and APH FAQ pages:
Visit the LevelStar FAQ page at
Visit the APH FAQ page at

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  • » blind_html [Fwd: [icon-announce] FW: [icon-discuss] Icon and Braille+ Software Release 2.0] - Nimer