I want to begin this final blog post of 2015 by wishing all of you who celebrate it a very peaceful and
joyous Christmas season. I hope you are able to spend it with family and
good friends. If that is not possible, I do hope that the Christmas season will give you a sense of peace.
I would also like to thank you for reading my blog posts. For those who chose to follow my blog, I am honored and humbled that you chose to do so. The Internet is crammed full of people who post their thoughts to the planet. Your time is precious and valuable and I am thankful that you chose to spend some of that time reading my posts.
It’s been an interesting year when it comes to both assistive as well as
mainstream tech. Apple released a ton of new hardware and software,
including … well, just about everything they produce, now that I think
of it, including iOS 9, the new Apple TV, new iPhones; name an Apple
product and it probably saw a refresh sometime this year. Microsoft
released Windows 10 and is really wanting every Windows user who doesn’t
Fusion, a combination of Zoomtext with parts of Window-Eyes along with a
few unique features not found in either product. Btw, they also just
released Window-Eyes 9.3 with much better responsiveness with Eloquence,
Vocalizer, eSpeak and I am really liking what they’ve done. NVDA was
right on schedule, cranking out four new versions this past year,
bringing us up to version 2015.4, being one of the few screen readers to
support the new Microsoft Edge browser found in Windows 10. This year
also saw the release of the NVDA Remote addon, which allows NVDA users
to freely connect to other computers to assist users with
troubleshooting, similar to JAWS Tandem and Window-Eyes Remote
Assistance. Chances are good you may have heard me cheering in July when
that baby was announced.
Freedom Scientific merged with two companies this year and came out with
new versions of JAWS and MAGic, along with a couple of new portable
Every year proves to be an interesting one in the world of technology.
2015 was such a year and I’m sure we’ll see equally interesting
happenings in 2016 and I’m looking forward to watching it happen,
reporting it as I see it and, when possible, getting my hands on as much
of it as possible to evaluate it.
On a personal note, my Windows 7 machine, which I purchased from
Computers for the Blind in Texas, got hit with a virus in June,
something I haven’t experienced in 16 years. One month and a few hundred
dollars later, my drive was reformatted with a fresh copy of Windows 7.
Over time, I began to rebuild, installing my software and setting it up
just the way I liked it. It was perfect. Nothing could go wrong, I
thought. Until something went wrong. After adding more RAM to the
system, performance began to slow down and I thought I’d been hit by my
second virus. Turns out it wasn’t a virus but a failing hard drive. So,
$130 later, my machine is now back with a bigger hard drive and Windows
10. Slowly, I began to rebuild and have pretty much gotten it set up
just the way I like it. However, the phrase "what could possibly go
wrong" is no longer in my vocabulary. I’m … sure you understand.
Well, here ends my summary of the year, both in the world of technology
and a bit of personal news on my end. I will likely be offline for the
next few days, celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. I’ll be
lurking around from time to time during the last week of the year.
Again, thank you for your kind notes of support and for sticking with this blog over the years. Have a joyous, blessed and peaceful Christmas season.