Christmas Greetings

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

have it to download it and do it quickly. Ai Squared released Zoomtext

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

magnifiers.

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.

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One thought on “Christmas Greetings

  1. David, wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas as well. I also want to thank you for taking the time and putting in the effort you do to make this blog happen. It’s definitely informative and one of my favorites. Again, have a Merry Christmas.

    Steve

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