A birthday

20130513 photoYesterday  was my birthday.

I am now 77.  Lots of cards, texts and phone calls all day.  A nice mixture of snail mail and technology.

It was great to spend the day with my son in Lichfield.  We had a delicious lunch at the Olive Tree.  It is good to see that some of the Staffordshire Hoard is on show in the Cathedral, and the herb garden in front of Erasmus Darwin’s house is flourishing but, as usual, we arrived at Dr Johnson’s house just as it was closing!

Last week, my friend Matthew generously took a day off work to come with me to the See and Hear exhibition in Shrewsbury. We  saw all kinds of accessibility technology from the most basic magnifiers to sophisticated digital readers.  It was disappointing that the salespeople seemed unable to explain to me, as a partially sighted person, the functions of the equipment and software. I was glad to have Matthew there to interpret. Most striking was the high cost involved, presumably because this is a niche market. It was interesting to meet up with the Macular Society volunteers. Particularly useful were some plastic glasses which people with normal sight can try so that they have some idea of what MD vision is like.  It is always difficult to explain.

In a completely different context, one other piece of interesting technology is the audio commentary for films. I used earphones while watching the new Star Trek movie! The commentary described the action when there was no dialogue. It  also described the expressions on the characters’ faces. In spite of the fact that I could see most of the action, I kept the earphones on.  The description was excellent, witty and dry, delivered by a cool American actor.  I will try this again, but I suspect that the quality will depend on the writing and the delivery.

This week I really have to decide on which computer and screen to get.  Will it be a Mac or Windows?

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2 Responses to A birthday

  1. Nordie says:

    I’ve just brought a new ipad AND a windows laptop, and to be honest, I’m preferring the ipad. If I could have do everything I need on the ipad I would have avoided the laptop completely. Most of the time you can increase the screensize of what’s on the tablet to make it big enough for you to read, which is always an advantage

    Windows 8 is significantly different to previous versions, and will require some learning. I’m not au fait with it enough yet to be comfortable helping you (though the offer is there, as always, if you think I can help). You can get both Mac and Windows tablets, which will make it easier to move them around and handle them into the best lighting options for you.

    Happy Birthday btw.

    • Bridget says:

      Thanks for your offer of help Nordie. I already have an ipad which I love. Enlarging the text is excellent but find the menus difficult. I am now looking at buyung a large screen with high resolution to use with windows or buying an apple pc. There are pros and cons for both. Not least cost! Matthew says I can still use an older version of windows and there is the advantage of being able to download specialist software. On the other hand most people with low vision recommend MAC. This is my dilemma. My brain hurts!

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