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Author Topic: DONE: BlowUp or Read?  (Read 15239 times)
kc0nvi
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« on: September 27, 2005, 08:35:20 AM »

This idea will benefit many that have been effected by retinal degeneration (my mother being one of the victims here).
The idea I have had for this application may not be a one-day item, but well worth it to many, if it can be done.

For those affected by this disease, it has taken there vision, and as of now there is no cure. I have attached an image of what it might appear like to someone affected. The blurred area, is actually the faces/heads of the victim's Grandchildren. As you can see the sides seem to be somewhat visible, however, if it is computer text, it is impossible to read.

What would be nice is an app that would allow the user, not to hi-lite the text, but to simply place the mouse on the line, then prompt to read aloud or to make bigger and easier to view. If it were to require a sighted person to set it up then that is fine as well, the more options the better, then it would be a matter of a sighted person sitting with them, and configuring it for the user to their needs, be it color or black and white, to let them have a degree of independence still.

I know it's a tall order there, and I attempted to break it down the best I could, if more information is needed please ask.

Thanks for trying...  Thmbsup


* amac_sm.jpg (4.29 KB, 100x100 - viewed 556 times.)
« Last Edit: September 27, 2005, 08:38:21 AM by kc0nvi » Logged
mouser
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2005, 08:51:05 AM »

i know there are some good tools for people with eyesite problems, regarding speaking text and magnifying text.  and i know we actually have at least one person on this forum who knows about such tools.

certainly i think the easiest project would be a program that let you put up a large box on screen wherever you want, which showed the magnified contests of whatever is under the cursor - but i'm sure there must be 100 of these apps already available.

maybe you have something different in mind?  actually reading the text under the cursor aloud is more interesting and i'm not sure what the current state of the art for this is or what kind of shareware exists for it.

i'd be very interested in hearing more ideas for programs that would help those who having hearing/site problems use computers more efficiently.
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2005, 08:53:03 AM »

maybe it would be nice to have the magnified window of user-defined size follow the cursor around, at some user configured distance away from it - do such programs already exist?
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kc0nvi
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2005, 09:09:44 AM »

I'm checking on it now actually. If they do, I'm afriad they are not freeware, thereby limiting it those that will pay. As in my Mother's case, shse is on a fixed income, and although it might not sound like a lot to those who get a paycheck on a regular basis, but $2 may as well be the same asa saying, I guess I won't get my prescriptions to help with this so I can get this.

What makes it even worse, as in the case with my Mother, my Father (God Rest his Sole), who recently passed away, that second income (all be it fixed as well) stopped, leaving my Mom with only that of her own. The world all of a sudden got much colder, and the first thing that is given up is usually either food or prescriptions.

Thereby, I am ALL FOR FREEWARE ... I'll re-post as soon as I learn more on the topic. I know they have lots of freeware for DOS, but then the PC is really not as useful to them as it could be.

Thanks

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mouser
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2005, 09:11:23 AM »

yes of course - when i say a program already exists and might not be worth duplicating, i mean freeware.
if a program only exists as shareware, then no matter how good it is, it is worth doing a freeware/donationware version.
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kc0nvi
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2005, 09:23:45 AM »

I found a site, Commercial Only, they do allow a demo download,  that has the software I described, but it says plainly at the bottom, they accept Visa, MC, etc...

http://www.nanopac.com/zoomtext.htm

This is actually perfect, now if something were available on the other side of the spectrum thtat would do even just a a some of this, it would be better then nothing. I'm not done searching yet though...

Thanks
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mouser
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2005, 09:30:08 AM »

looks like a great app but my god the prices are insane - it's like $400.
this is what i hate about capitalism - you know it just sucks that they are pricing this beyond the realm of all normal people just so they can get the big high value purchases from organizations, and rich people, etc.

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kc0nvi
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2005, 09:34:09 AM »

I just got off the phone with them, the one that does both is actually $595 !!!!
Now tell me this, how is someone who is on a fixed income supposed to do that? What have a bake sale?
Hell they can't even read the recipe to get that going either.

Not done yet!

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kc0nvi
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2005, 09:39:55 AM »

Mouser,

Here is a group we need on our side, they do freeware for the blind !!!

http://www.blindsoftware.com/

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mouser
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« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2005, 09:48:27 AM »

now that's more like it.
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kc0nvi
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« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2005, 09:51:15 AM »

Found something called SAYPAD.

It is Freeware!!!

http://inspiredcode.net/4VisImp.htm

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kc0nvi
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« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2005, 09:54:35 AM »

How about this... I sure hope ethis helps others as well?

http://www.dirfile.com/easyread.htm
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mouser
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« Reply #12 on: September 27, 2005, 10:07:30 AM »

saypad just speaks text files - not what you are wanting and not particularly useful.

what would be nice is, if the $600 one is clearly the best after you do more research,
to hear a report from you after trying the demo for a while,
of the most important features.
like a priority list of what subset of features would still make a great app, in case someone wants to work on this but not try to fully compete with the full feature set of zoomtext.

it absolutely blows my mind that all of these great site-impaired software are so expensive - it shows everything that bothers me about this culture of trying to charge the most money you can get away with, even when it would cost you NOTHING to give this software to people who would really benefit from it.

i hope you keep looking and find some good freeware - surely some programmer has a mother or father who has vision problems and wrote a good program for this!
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2005, 10:36:53 AM »

Quote
it absolutely blows my mind that all of these great site-impaired software are so expensive - it shows everything that bothers me about this culture of trying to charge the most money you can get away with, even when it would cost you NOTHING to give this software to people who would really benefit from it.

Whilst I think the pricing for this is pretty disgusting a company producing software (and high quality software) for a particular market cannot really be expected to give it away to that market.

I suppose it really depends who is producing this and why - if it is a company that pays programmers to produce applications to their spec you can appreciate that they are unlikely to get professionals cheaply. On the other hand they are limiting themselves somewhat if they only go for high cost programmers when there are huge numbers who would donate some time to a project for this sort of purpose.

The answer probably lies, like most market place answers, in competition. If someone produces a competing application for much less they will be forced to charge less.

As a genuine question how big a market exists for sight impaired users -  I presume it must be fairly large ??
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kc0nvi
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« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2005, 10:38:29 AM »

You are correct, it is a real shame. Although Easyreader doesn't speak it does magnify the entire screen (browser) but I think it is totally IE dependant which limits its usefulness. I use Firefox and am going to see if there is anything out there that is universal in this area.

My Mom has a 19" monitor and I know it's hard to visualize, but she still has trouble seeing this. If someone with sight were to take and wrap sellofane around their hear over their eyes at least twice perhaps more, they would begin to see what this has done to a person who once had 20/20 vision.

I lost my sight in my right eye as a result of an explosion at work from a tire, but that was one eye, not both (thankfully). Whatever I can do to help not only my Mom, but perhaps another's Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, etc... to function in a world where it doesn't matter the color of your skin, or the disability you have, but rather by what you express in writing on the internet.

That is what makes the internet so great, you are judged only by your words, nothing more. If I had not said anything about my eyesight, no one would have ever known. To make a difference in others lives like this is just one area that I push hard for and even if I am selling an application, I always have an option for free, perhaps I can not prove it as fact, but I like to think that there are still some out there that tell the truth, and I have found that it is usually about 1 out of every 8.

I'll keep searching and posting, perhaps it will inspire others as well.

Thanks,

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mouser
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2005, 10:41:28 AM »

well i think there are 2 issues:

carol your points are well taken, and competition should drive down price - though it looks like we might be seeing a case of a couple companies buying up all the site-impaired soft so they can keep price high.

but the other point i make is this: the system we are in is all about making the most money possible, without regard to anything else.  but its worse than that.  this program is $500.  let's say im a poor person who can barely afford paying the electricity.  of course i cant afford $500.  now, how would it hurt this company to sell me a copy for $25.  it wouldnt, it would earn them $25 and cost them nothing.   but because of our economic system, they won't sell it to you for $25, because of this cycle of everyone trying to scam each other.  it's such a shame.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #16 on: September 27, 2005, 10:43:59 AM »

Point well taken - that's why I said their pricing was disgusting.

Personally I think pretty much all software should be under $50. I honestly think if that happened companies would make more money as there would far less incentive to look for pirated copies.
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« Reply #17 on: September 27, 2005, 10:44:12 AM »

it can take a long time to find the best software -
i really hope you don't give up and search dilligently for the best software in these categories -
if we really find that there is a huge gap between the best commercial hyperexpensive app and the best supercheap app,
then maybe its time for some of us coders to rally to this cause and do as carol says and level the playing field..

and it would be helpful to have a prioritized list of functions -
a big step would be just looking at all these programs and identifying what' simportant for a programmer who might not know.

and if anyone knows any site-impaired folks who have some experience with this software i'd love to hear from them on this thread.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2005, 10:46:13 AM by mouser » Logged
kc0nvi
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« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2005, 10:47:27 AM »

Your are correct, I understand why they must charge i s they havea room full of programmers, everyone must make a living. I wouldn't think of ever taking away someone's livelyhood in that manner.

The market for software of this nature is very large, problem being, I think is the skill level of the programmers available that have the skills to program for this group and other disabled persons. There are thousands who are affected daily, and they don't have an idea that others are working behind the scenes to come up with things, I just don't know how many are doing this, I think it is more like "oh, this might help" here and there thing.

Don't get me wrong, I thank them for this, but a nice package that would be truely apprecaited I am certain. They say giving to others will yield returns 10 fold. It might not come in the form of $$$, but it has it's rewards, this I know is fact. I am a 3rd Degree Master Mason, and that is what the shirners and other groups along those lines are all about.

Sorry to ramble here...

Randy
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2005, 10:49:38 AM »

I know it only addresses half of the problem but have you tried TextAloud (http://www.textaloud.com/) which will read just about anything on screen.
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kc0nvi
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« Reply #20 on: September 27, 2005, 10:52:30 AM »

I won't give up, that is something I don't do.

I sure hope that we can make a difference in the field and the market, this would make it better for many many others that are affected. It has also robbed the sight from a brother in my lodge, who does all his work from memory, if something is changed he has no idea of it, as he has to rely on others to read it to him, and him to commit it to memory.

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mouser
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« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2005, 10:53:12 AM »

while we are rambling -
is it so wrong to hope for an economic model where a company can make money without having to price things beyond people's means, when it costs them $0 to make the software available to those with lower incomes.  this is one of the nice things about donationware - people can pay what they can afford.

but back to this software - part of the problem may be that most programmers may not know people with serious vision problems, so they aren't really in a good position to write the software.

but to tell the truth, i would think that surely there are a few programmers who must have significant people in their family with vision problems which would inspire them to write truly great freeware/opensource solutions.

(which reminds me, make sure you check sourceforge).

randy, if you feel up for it and want this to go somewhere, it would be so useful to prepare a kind of informal report as i said about the best software you find, what it costs and what it does right, etc.  

if you did nothing but prepare a blueprint for a programmer to write the ultimate freeware site-impaired tools, it would advance the cause smiley
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Veign
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« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2005, 10:55:14 AM »

Seems that tool in conjunction with the MS magnifier that comes with Windows would do the trick...
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kc0nvi
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« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2005, 10:59:29 AM »

How about a FREEWARE all windows version SCREEN READER?

I just found this one, but... Simply Talker 2000: A $100 Screen reader for Windows

Again, on a fixed income,  and I'm not trying  to take away from the value of the software at all,  it is probably worth it, but again, ona a fixed income, that number may as well be a million dollars!

Even if it were to magnify the screen as needed, and then read the screen to the reader, that would even help. Perhaps it's out there, but I've not found i t yet... Not done though either!

Randy
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kc0nvi
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« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2005, 11:03:13 AM »

Here is one, but full of ads, maybe useful I'll try it out if it works on W2K Pro

http://www.madoogali.com/Disability.htm

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