Raised Dot Computing Newsletter: Exploring Microcomputer Applications for the Visually Impaired -- ISSN 0890-0019. May-June 1990 -- Volume 8, Number 84.

Published Every Other Month by Raised Dot Computing, Inc., 408 South Baldwin Street, Madison, Wisconsin USA 53703. Telephone: 608-257-9595.

Subscriptions: $18/year Print, $20/year Audio Tape, $30/year Apple II BEX data disk. (Kindly add $20/year for postage outside N. America.)

Single issues: $4 each (specify medium).

Submissions are always welcome, especially on diskette. All are subject to editing for style and clarity. All opinions expressed are those of the author. Editors: Caryn Navy, David Holladay, and Phyllis Herrington.

Entire contents copyright 1990 by Raised Dot Computing, Inc., All Rights Reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in any medium--print, braille, audio, or electronic--without prior written permission from RDC Inc.

Table of Contents: the all-uppercase words name the disk chapters; the words after the equals sign are the actual article titles.

READ ME FIRST = How To Read the RDC Newsletter on Disk.

CONTENTS = This chapter.

EDITOR = From the Editor.

FAX = RDC Fax Number: (608) 241-2498.

PAPER = Braille Paper Sale.

HOT DOTS = Hot Dots Revision Plans.

FLIPPER = New Version of Flipper Available from RDC.

BNS = BEX and the Braille 'n Speak -- Phyllis Herrington.

HAJ = From Scanner to Braille through Teamwork -- Dr. Fareed Haj.

BIBLE CONTEXTUAL = Contextual Replace and the Bible -- Phyllis Herrington.

TECH SCOOP = Technical Scoop from the Kennel -- Phyllis Herrington. Includes: Restoring Screen Review and Control-X; Entering Control-L in Replace Characters.

MAC TRANSFERS = Transferring Files between the Apple II and the Macintosh -- David Holladay.

EUREKA = Transfers Between Eureka and BEX -- Becky Rundall.

HUTCHESON = Plying Troubled Waters with Navigator: My Initial Experience with TeleSensory's Newest System (Part 2 of 2 Parts) -- Dr. Richard E. Hutcheson.

MANSOIR = Response to Dr. Hutcheson -- David Mansoir, Navigator Product Manager.

BULLETIN BOARD = Bulletin Board. Includes: Items for Sale; VersaNews on PC Disk; Arkenstone 800 Number; Name Change: TeleSensory.

FACTS ON FILE = Addresses Mentioned; The RDC Full Cell; Production Notes; Trademarks.

From the Editor

It's conference time again. Phyllis and Sue will be at the ACB conference in Denver. David and Aaron will be at the AER conference in Washington, DC. They hope to see you there! Unfortunately we will not be exhibiting at the NFB convention in Dallas.

Transferring material between BEX and other systems has always been an important topic for BEX users. This issue has articles on transfers to and from the Braille 'n Speak, the Macintosh, and the Eureka.

A minor correction concerns an article in the last issue about transfers from the Arkenstone Reader to BEX. The article discussed the CrossWorks package for transferring files, with format information intact, from the IBM-PC to the Apple. We stated that CrossWorks does not handle WordPerfect 5.0 files. In fact, CrossWorks can handle 5.0 files, but it takes an extra step. If you want to go from Arkenstone to BEX in the shortest possible time, choose WordPerfect 4.2 files.

Transfers of information to and from RDC are as important as transfers to and from BEX. Ken Smith, Computer-Assisted Braille Specialist for the California Transcribers and Educators of the Visually Handicapped, sent a note thanking us for the information in the last issue on getting 25 lines of braille and print from the Ohtsuki brailler. He also described a teacher's demonstration of using single sheets of standard braille paper in the Ohtsuki. "The sheet had been punched for use in a 3-ring binder. The sheet was put through the back slot on the Ohtsuki with the 3-holes going in first, and the sheet against the left side, facing the Ohtsuki. The sheet is rolled in so the 3-hole top edge is square and even with the top edge of the plastic cover. The BEX configuration is set for a pause after form feed. With each new sheet, the space bar is pressed to proceed with printing the single sheet."

RDC Fax Number: (608) 241-2498

Raised Dot Computing has joined the 1980's and has a fax system. Our fax number is (608) 241-2498. The fax should be available 24 hours a day. If you call this number and get an answering machine, press #4 to switch to fax.

With fax capability, we can communicate better with customers overseas and in North America. When circumstances are pressing, we can send sales literature quickly by fax. We can also take orders sent by fax. Fax capability can even help us answer technical inquiries. Today a customer called with a question about software compatibility with a new printer. She is faxing key portions of the printer manual so that we can answer her question quickly. Depending on your needs and the difficulty of explaining something on the phone, we may be able to fax you technical notes.

You can fax newsletter articles to us. If you send us an article, use the best quality printout as you have available and set your fax machine for fine resolution. If you do that, then we can optically scan the incoming fax to put the material onto disk.

The fax system is located off-site from Raised Dot. We check it at least once a day. If you have a pressing question or issue, call for a human being. Call (608) 257-9595 for general business voice calls, or (608) 257-8833 for technical voice calls.

No matter what resolution you set on your fax machine, do not attempt to fax disks to us for replacement or repair. Until the technology so vividly displayed on reruns of Star Trek is realized, damaged disks should be sent to Raised Dot by U.S. Mail, UPS, or another package carrier.

Braille Paper Sale

For the months of June, July, and August of 1990, Raised Dot Computing is selling braille paper at a discount. If you buy 4 or more boxes at a time, each box of 1000 sheets costs $45. Our paper is white ledger (equivalent to 90 pound tag), 11.5 by 11 inches, continuous form, and punched with three holes on the left margin. This is the only kind of braille paper we stock.

For U.S. orders, we ship Free Matter for the Blind, and there is no shipping charge. If you want the braille paper shipped by any other carrier, please contact us for costs. Since there is a 15 pound weight limit on Free Matter for the Blind shipments to Canada, we have to bill for all braille paper shipments to Canada. Contact us for costs. In our opinion, the costs of shipping make buying braille paper from us unacceptably high if you are outside of the U.S. and Canada.

If you are buying less than four boxes at a time, the price is $50 per box.

Hot Dots Revision Plans

Raised Dot Computing is planning a revision to Hot Dots. We are interested in hearing what Hot Dots users would like to see in a revised program. Our major goals are to improve the quality of the braille translation and to make it easier to import files from other systems.

It will be a while before the project is finished. There is plenty of time for you to make your wishes known. We look forward to meeting your needs.

New Version of Flipper Available from RDC

Version 3.0 of Omnichron's Flipper screen review program began shipping this spring. Version 3.0 updates have been shipped to all registered Flipper users. If you bought Flipper from Raised Dot Computing and have not received your update, please contact us.

Version 3.0 of Flipper brings full support for newer speech synthesizers like the Audapter and the Sounding Board. Among Flipper's new features are output to a braille device, more versatile cursor tracking, "extended automatic output," and much more. Extended automatic output voices prompts and other messages that would otherwise not be spoken automatically.

With the release of Version 3.0 comes a new price. We are now selling Flipper for $395. If you would like a demonstration disk, please contact Raised Dot Computing.

BEX and the Braille 'n Speak

We printed an article in our May 1988 issue describing transfers between BEX and the Braille 'n Speak. Since that time, there have been many newcomers to BEX and the Braille 'n Speak. We reexamine this subject of continuing interest.

Cabling the Apple and the Braille 'n Speak

The Braille 'n Speak comes with a serial cable. The small end of the cable plugs into the serial port of the Braille 'n Speak. The other end is for connecting to other computer devices.

If you are using an Apple IIe or IIgs, you must have a Super Serial Card to receive data from the Braille 'n Speak. If you are using an Apple IIgs, use the control panel program to set the slot containing the Super Serial Card to your card. Set the Super Serial Card to RDC's "Standard Parameters" as follows:

Set the jumper block (white chip) to "terminal";

Switch bank one: off off off on off on off;

Switch bank two: off off on on on off off.

You can check this with the {W: What is in the Computer?} option at the Starting Menu.

Cabling the Braille 'n Speak to the Super Serial Card requires a null modem (both Blaize Engineering an RDC carry a null modem adapter). The female end of the null modem fits into the end of the Braille 'n Speak cable, and the other end plugs into the Super Serial Card.

Cabling the Braille 'n Speak to the IIc or IIc+ requires an additional cable. If you have a IIc, use and RDC 2F cable, if you have an Apple IIc+, use an RDC 11F cable. Use a null modem and the Braille 'n Speak cable to the free end of the RDC-supplied cable.

Setting the Parameters on the Braille 'n Speak

For two computerized devices to communicate successfully, they must have matching parameters. Set the Braille 'n Speak to 8 data bits, 2 stop bits, no parity, and 9600 baud. Hardware handshake should work fine. But if you have difficulty sending material, change to software handshaking.

Writing a BEX Configuration for Braille 'n Speak Transfers

You need a configuration with a "remote serial device" to receive data from the Braille 'n Speak. Write a BEX configuration at the User or Master level. Answer {Y} to the question {Do you have a remote serial device to input text through slot?} Give the slot number for the Super Serial Card (or the Apple IIc or IIc+ port) that you will be connecting to the Braille 'n Speak. Answer {N} to the question {Is this a Kurzweil Reading Machine?} Press {N} to answer no to the automatic set-up sequence question. With this "remote serial device" in your configuration, you can use Input through slot to receive data.

Also include in your configuration a "printer" for output to the Braille 'n Speak. Define a printer using the same slot as your "remote serial device." It works well to define this "transfer printer" as a Thiel brailler; then BEX underlining commands do not interfere with your Braille 'n Speak data. If you avoid BEX underlining in the material that you send out, a Generic printer is fine. Use the carriage width and form length of your choice. If you want to keep form feed characters out of your data, use form length zero.

Transferring Data from the Braille 'n Speak to BEX

Use the configuration with a "remote serial device" that we discussed earlier. Go to BEX's Second Menu. Press {I} for Input through Slot. BEX prompts you to enter a target chapter name, the chapter name for saving the data from the Braille 'n Speak. After designating a target chapter name, press <CR>. BEX says, "Apple is ready to receive. Begin sending data from your remote device." The Apple is waiting for your data from the Braille 'n Speak.

On the Braille 'n Speak, open the file you want to send. Turn the serial port on by issuing chord-P, dropped E. If the file is in grade 2 braille and you want to send print to BEX, turn the translator on. Otherwise turn it off. Move the cursor to the beginning of the text you want to transfer. Press chord-T, Z to send everything from the cursor to the end of the file. The Apple speaker begins to buzz, to let you know that BEX is receiving data. When the transfer is over, the Braille 'n Speak says "okay," and the Apple speaker and disk drives are quiet. Press {Q} on the Apple keyboard to save the chapter. This brings you back to the Second Menu. For further details on Input through Slot, read Section 12 of the User Level Dox.

Transferring Data from BEX to the Braille 'n Speak

Not only can you send files from the Braille 'n Speak to BEX, but you can also send files from BEX to the Braille 'n Speak. Cable the Apple and the Braille 'n Speak as described above. On the Braille 'n Speak, open a file and turn on the serial port. At BEX's Main Menu press {P} for Print. Enter the name of the BEX chapter you wish to transfer. When you've finished selecting your chapter(s), BEX prompts you for a printer number. Give the number for the "transfer printer" you set up in your configuration.

If your "transfer printer" is a brailler, you get one <CR> and two spaces at the start of each paragraph; if it is a Generic printer, you get two <CR>s and five spaces. If you want something different, place $$s# and $$i# commands before your text (for example, $$s2 $$i0 for starting paragraphs with two returns and no spaces).

When you open a file on the Braille 'n Speak, it asks if you want to turn on the translator. If you are sending a print file, answer no. If you are sending a grade two braille file, answer yes, to hear it as words on the Braille 'n Speak.

From Scanner to Braille through Teamwork -- Dr. Fareed Haj

[Editor's note: In the January-February 1990 issue of this newsletter Dr. Haj discussed his preference for scanning as his personal reading method. In the next issue he described how he uses his Kurzweil Personal Reader as a tool for braille transcription. He now continues by promoting the use of scanners by coordinated braille transcription teams to meet the critical need for braille material.]

Our current braille production and delivery system is not meeting the needs of blind students and adults. Many blind high school and college students are functionally illiterate because they cannot get enough of their reading material in braille. Relying on recorded material, they never acquire the spelling and writing skills they need.

To put scanners to work in meeting our braille needs, I propose forming teams of three people to scan books and turn them into braille. I believe that a few teams using scanners can meet most of the braille needs of a state. A single team should be able to produce an average textbook every two weeks. Four teams of three in each state can produce a hundred braille books a year. With a cooperative interlibrary loan arrangement between states, four teams in each state will be more than enough to meet most braille needs. If each state produced a hundred braille books with four teams, we would have five thousand new braille titles each year, not including material produced by our national printing houses.

What does it take to have a team in place? Ideally, three people should be on each team. The first team member, who may be blind, is responsible for scanning text and saving it on disks. The second team member proofreads and corrects scanning errors. The third member, a braille transcriber, uses braille translation software to turn the corrected text into well formatted braille.

The first team member does the raw scanning of a book and saves the text in its entirety on disk. A viable option is the Apple IIgs with 3.5 inch disks. This team member needs only a minimum familiarity with computing or software such as BEX. This member needs to know only how to load the program and input text from the scanner. More knowledge would be useful but not absolutely necessary.

Once the book has been scanned and saved on disk, the work can be sent to the second member of the team, preferably sighted. The second team member compares the print book's contents with what he or she sees on the screen. This member removes unnecessary tildes, fills in letters which were missed at the margins, etc. In short the second member of the team does the proofreading in print and makes sure that the text is correct. Working knowledge with a word processing program such as BEX is required for the second team member.

The third member of the team should be a qualified braille transcriber. This team member should not only be thoroughly familiar with braille textbook format, but should also be very comfortable with a braille translation program such as BEX. That team member's job will be to put all format commands in place so the title pages, tables of contents, page breaks, footnotes etc. will be properly placed.

Once the third member of the team is through with a book, it should be ready for printing. A fourth member of the team can be a blind person who would do the braille printing. Four teams in each state would be twelve people and the thirteenth member who can serve on all four teams can be the blind person who does the printing for everybody. That job would entail not only running the printer, but also removing the thin perforated strips of paper that enable continuous feed and detaching the braille sheets from the stack and collating them for binding. If that thirteenth member is able to also do braille proofreading so much the better; but if not, the book can probably be bound as is since BEX and other translation programs of its caliber are, at this point, practically error free.

It is immaterial for production purposes whether the braille process is done by volunteers or paid workers. Considering the high unemployment rate among the blind, I would like to see statewide organizations responsible for producing educational textbooks hire a blind person to do the printing. They should also contract with the blind people who do the scanning and can work from their homes. The blind have been passive consumers of braille long enough. It is high time that they became active participants in the braille production process. Of the thirteen individuals involved in braille transcription in each state according to this proposal, five can be Visually Impaired.

By using a scanner and other hardware and software we can not only produce abundant amounts of braille; but we can also create employment opportunities for the blind in the area of braille production. The scanner can do much for the regular job market; but that is not the subject of this article.

The procedures discussed above, can work not just with BEX but also with Hot Dots, Duxbury, ProBRAILLE and other translation programs with which I am not familiar. Indeed the Personal Reader may be utilized to move text from the Apple Environment to the IBM environment and vice versa. Once material is in the scanner's memory you can send it to either device type. Thus the first team member who does the scanning can send the finished disks to either an IBM or an Apple using second team member for the proofreading. The flexibility is there and the technology is there. If we go a step further and utilize a modem, then a finished braille book can be sent over the telephone line during the night from any library to any other anywhere and the recipient of the text would be able to reprint that book. Alternatively, the disks can be mailed out rather than the bulkier and slower arriving braille volumes themselves. By making it unnecessary to ship the original braille volumes out of state, you prolong their life and insure that a title is available to all those who need it even if it is heavily in use. Hopefully we would be able to get rid of braille plastic sheets which I for one have never been able to enjoy reading because the braille though crisp, is tiresome to touch.

At this point we are only limited by our imagination. A braille transcription project such as here described, is anything but ambitious. states such as New York, California, Illinois and Florida, to mention a few, should be able to produce more than just four teams of three. What I suggest in this article is a worst possible scenario. But even with that minimal number of people we can have a great deal of braille produced. With our current technology we can easily draw on the tremendous capabilities of the entire English speaking world. Braille books produced and saved on computer disks in Canada, Australia, The United Kingdom and other places can be mailed to any American locality and reprinted where and as they are needed.

Contextual Replace and the Bible -- Phyllis Herrington

One of the programs I use a great deal is THE WORD processor Bible program for the Apple II family of computers. It is produced by Bible Research Systems in Austin, Texas, which also makes Bible software for the IBM-PC and compatibles and for the Macintosh (see Facts on File). When I purchased my program three years ago, I was looking for a newer translation of the Bible which I could access easily with Echo speech. I wanted the ability to bring text into a word processing program and to create indexes like those of a concordance.

I quickly learned that getting the data over to BEX was very easy. You just ask THE WORD processor to create a textfile and then ask BEX to Read the textfile into a BEX chapter (using option R on the Second Menu). Once I had a BEX chapter, making hardcopy braille was simple. However, I was not satisfied by the format. Using the powerful contextual replace capabilities of BEX's Replace Characters option, I am able to customize how the braille looks. What follows is a description of the process I use.

From THE WORD processor to BEX

Both the DOS 3.3 and ProDOS versions of THE WORD processor store the Bible text in a compacted format to fit more text on a disk. Word processing programs, such as BEX, cannot read this format. However, THE WORD processor can create ASCII textfiles, the standard file type readable by BEX and other programs. In THE WORD processor I save the desired text as an ASCII textfile; then I use BEX to Read the textfile into a BEX chapter. In THE WORD processor, I follow the steps to save text in an ASCII textfile.

Saving a textfile from THE WORD processor is like printing. You can set values for the form length and the number of lines per page (two different values), left and right margins, whether to print footnotes, etc. I find it best to set the form length and the lines per page to the maximum of 255, the left margin to 1, and the right margin to the maximum of 132. Whether the program is saving text to disk or actually outputting to a printer, the program acknowledges the source of the text in a header line on each new "output page," which I remove by hand. By using the maximum values for characters per line and lines per page, I reduce the number of page changes. Because I need footnotes to enhance my study of Scripture, I turn on the printing of footnotes.

Formatting Issues

Each Book of the Bible is divided into chapters. Each chapter is further divided into verses, beginning with verse 1.

The text contains some characters which I don't want in the braille output. For example, two carriage returns mark the beginning of each verse. A single carriage return marks a new line within a verse (when the carriage width of 132 fills up). Each verse begins with the name of the Book containing it, abbreviated as three uppercase letters or one number followed by two uppercase letters; I want to remove these Book references. Furthermore, each footnote begins and ends with an unwanted plus sign.

Immediately I realized I couldn't remove the Book abbreviations with the simple find and change to strings of BEX's ordinary Replace Characters option. I needed to work with the more powerful tools of contextual replace (something I had been avoiding until then).

Before I could begin writing a transformation chapter to handle the removal of character strings, I had to decide how I wanted the output to look. I want all Book abbreviations and chapter numbers removed from the text while retaining the verse numbers and surrounding them with parentheses. Furthermore, I want each chapter to begin with a paragraph indicator, to get paragraph indent; I place a centered chapter heading by hand. Each subsequent verse is to follow in line; if I want paragraphing anywhere else besides the first verse, I add that by hand. I want to begin footnotes with an asterisk and remove the plus signs. Finally, I want to get rid of multiple spaces, multiple paragraph indicators, and the bibliographic information identifying the version of the Bible. This seems to be a big bill.

The Nitty Gritty of Contextual Replace

My intent in this article is not to give a blow by blow description of each rule in my transformation chapter. Rather, I want to give you an idea of the things you can do and how to get started.

Contextual replace allows the user to write general rules by combining a find string with a pattern string. Here is an example. These rules find the first verse of every chapter, remove the Book reference, and place a paragraph indicator.

{Find: PSA <Space> 1:1 #

Pattern: uuubnxX #

Change to: <Space> $p <Space> #

Find: PSA <Space> 10:1 #

Pattern: uuubnnxX #

Change to: <Space> $p <Space> # }

The terminator here is the number sign, or hatch mark. In the two find strings, respectively, I use three letters in all caps followed by a one- or two-digit number, a colon, and the number 1. If I used these find strings in ordinary Replace Characters, these rules would affect only chapters 1 and 10. That is where the pattern string comes into play.

Pairing a pattern string with the find string broadens the criteria. The pattern string, {uuubnxX}, tells BEX to find any occurrence of three letters in all caps and then a space, a number, a colon, and the digit 1. The three letters {u} stand for uppercase letters. The {b} means blank (space). The {n} means a number (digit). The two occurrences of the letter {x} (lowercase and uppercase) indicate exactly the character appearing at the same position in the find string. For the lowercase {x}, this is the colon in the next-to-last position in the find string. For the final uppercase {X}, this is the digit 1 in the last position. The final {X} is uppercase to mark that the portion of text being changed is over; the digit 1 is to remain in the text.

If I had used {N} instead of {X}, then any number would meet the criteria. In fact, I do use a string like that to take care of other verses. That transformation rule looks like this:

{Find: PSA 1:1 #

Pattern: uuubnxN #

Change to: <Space> # }

In all cases, I want the Book abbreviation and the Chapter number and the colon to disappear. These rules place a paragraph marker when the verse number is 1.

Some of my changes do not require a pattern string. In that case, I simply press the terminator at the "Pattern string" prompt and go on to the Change to string. Contextual Replace enables you to write either complex transformation rules with pattern strings or simple rules with just find and change to strings. An example is the following:

{Find: <Space> + <Space> #

Pattern: #

Change to: <Space> * <Space> # }

I'm telling BEX to find every occurrence of <Space> <plus> <Space> and change it to <Space> <asterisk> <Space>.

You can do so many things with contextual replace. It is a matter of looking at your task and deciding what you want to do. When you create a new contextual replace transformation chapter, I strongly recommend that you apply it first to a short file. Once you have verified that everything is working as you want, you can apply it to your real data. The best teacher is gritting your teeth and starting. Once you get a handle on it, contextual replace isn't that difficult.

Technical Scoop from the Kennel -- Phyllis Herrington

Once again Claire and I have unearthed some technical tidbits.

Restoring Screen Review and Control-X

There are occasions when you do not wish to save material you entered in BEX's Editor. Pressing control-reset and typing {RUN <CR>} gets you out of the Editor and returns you to the Main Menu. The material you wrote was not saved to disk.

However, leaving the Editor with control-reset disables the speech capabilities of Screen Review and control-X. When you issue control-L (control-R for SlotBuster or DoubleTalk) to go into Screen Review, it is ignored. TEXTALKER and SCAT also ignore control-X, used to silence speech. Instead of going into Screen Review or silencing speech, you hear the Main Menu choices read.

To fix this, go back into the Editor (open a new chapter or get into an already existing chapter). Once in the Editor, press control-Q to leave the chapter. Control-Q is a much more graceful way of leaving the Editor than a control-reset. Screen Review and control-X are enabled once again.

Entering Control-L in Replace Characters

A common application for Replace Characters in BEX is removing control characters from a document. Files imported from other computer systems and programs usually contain control characters such as control-J and control-L. Removing a control character is usually simple; for the Find string just press the control key along with the appropriate letter. But there is an exception.

Removing control-L (form feed character) from text with Replace Characters introduces an interesting problem for Echo users. Except in the Editor, pressing control-L places you in Screen Review. This is true even while entering transformation rules in Replace Characters. When you press control-L as the find string, you go into review mode. To avoid this, temporarily change the control character for review from control-L to another control character. At the Main Menu, press control-L immediately followed by control plus another letter. Now go into Replace Characters. Enter your transformation rules using control-L as the find string to remove form feeds.

After you've entered the transformation rules and are back at the Main Menu, change the control character for review back to control-L. Type the control-letter you assigned for Review, and follow it immediately with control-L. Now control-L activates Screen Review again.

Transferring Files between the Apple II and the Macintosh -- David Holladay

[Editor's note: David discusses transferring data by cabling the Apple II and the Macintosh together. In an upcoming issue he will discuss using the Apple File Exchange program to convert Apple II and Macintosh files from one form to the other; that method is slower but does not require having the computers close enough for cabling.]

This article explains how to move data in both directions across a cable between a Macintosh and an Apple II, using BEX and a Macintosh communications program. This method applies only to plain ASCII data.

Cabling and Interface Cards

The Macintosh has both a modem port and a printer port. The printer port is one-way (you cannot send data to the Mac through the printer port). For connection to the Apple, use the modem port, which can send data both ways.

Unless you have an Apple IIc, you need a Super Serial Card in your Apple. When you are using an Apple Super Serial Card, set the switches to RDC "Standard Parameters" as follows:

Set the jumper block to "terminal";

Switch bank one: off off off on off on off;

Switch bank two: off off on on on off off.

You need a cable to go from the Macintosh modem port to your Apple II computer. To cable the Apple II to the Macintosh, obtain the cable designed for cabling an ImageWriter II to your Apple (Super Serial Card, Apple IIc port, or Apple IIc+ port). Conveniently, the ImageWriter II cable is the correct cable for the Macintosh modem port. The Apple part number for the cable from the Super Serial Card to the Mac is A9C0314. The part number for the cable from the original Apple IIc is A2C4313; for the new Apple IIc+, it is M0197. All three cables retail for $29.95 at local computer stores. RDC does not carry these cables.

Macintosh Communications Software

One Macintosh telecommunications program that works well for Apple II transfers is Hayes Smartcom II, available from most sources of Macintosh software. Smartcom is good for communicating through the phone lines to a computer across the country, or through a direct connection to a computer on the next desk. To save settings for different kinds of connections and on-line systems, Smartcom lets you save small files called "Smartcom documents." A Smartcom document is similar in function to a BEX configuration. After you have saved a Smartcom document for Apple II transfers, you just click on its name the next time you need to set up an Apple transfer.

Smartcom sends or receives only "straight text files." For example, it cannot transfer to BEX a Microsoft Word file in its native format. You would need to save it as a text file first.

Setting Up Smartcom II for Apple II Transfers

This set-up is for transfers both to and from the Apple II. There are several categories of parameters to set. Under connection, select "direct connect," and choose "modem" as the Mac port.

Under "settings," there are three menus: "speed and format," "autotype protocol," and "preferences." Select speed and format parameters of 9600 baud, 8 data bits, 2 stop bits, and no parity. The Smartcom term "autotype" refers to the process of sending a Mac text file to another computer. For autotype protocol select normal, and answer yes to "Xon/Xoff flow control." Don't select "insert returns" or "insert linefeeds."

In the preferences menu, don't select "display alert when clearing the peruse buffer." Do not ask for "time delays"; BEX does not need them.

One more preference to select is "file creator type." This preference is very handy for transfers to the Mac. It tells Smartcom what file creator type to "stamp" on the files it receives. Every Mac file is stamped with a file creator type, indicating which program created it. When you ask to look at a data file on the Mac, you don't have to say what program you want to use; the Mac operating system just examines the file creator type and loads the appropriate application program for that data file. At Raised Dot we use Microsoft Word. To save files from the Apple as Microsoft Word files, we select file creator type "MSWD." If you do not know the four-letter code, click on "find type" and then select the icon for the application (program) you want to work with.

Setting Up the BEX Configuration

This BEX configuration is for transfers in both directions. In a BEX configuration at the User or Master level, set up a "remote device to input text through slot." There are several follow-up questions; answer no when asked if it is a Kurzweil Reading Machine.

Your configuration should also reserve a printer for outputting to the Mac. How you define this "transfer printer" for transfers from BEX to the Mac depends on what sort of format you want, or need, in the Mac file. If you want to suppress BEX page numbering and other page oriented formatting, set the BEX form length to zero. If you need to suppress BEX underlining, configure your transfer printer as a brailler. If you need to suppress form feeds, configure your transfer printer as a Cranmer Brailler. No matter what, your printer description must set up the Apple for software handshaking. In defining your printer, answer yes for an automatic set-up sequence. For a Super Serial Card, type the sequence {<Control-I> X E <del>}. For an Apple IIc or IIc+ port, type {<Control-A> X E <del>}.

Transferring Material to BEX

First tell BEX to receive data. Use Input through Slot on BEX's Second Menu. After you type a target chapter name and press <CR>, BEX prompts you to start the transfer. Then move to the Mac to begin sending.

Get into Smartcom with two clicks on the name of the Smartcom document you saved for Apple transfers. Then click on the keyboard symbol. We use this icon for sending out files. Do not use the "send" icon (the outgoing envelope), designed for a different kind of transfer. Select the name of the file to send. Notice that Smartcom lets you select only files that are straight text. Once you have selected the file, the transfer begins. You hear the buzzing sound BEX makes to tell you it is receiving characters. When the transfer is over, press {Q} on the Apple keyboard to close the BEX chapter.

Transferring Material to the Macintosh

Get into Smartcom. Click on the disk symbol. We use this icon for receiving files. Do not use the "receive" icon (the incoming envelope), designed for a different kind of transfer. Type in the name you want to give the Macintosh file. After you have pressed return on the Mac, get BEX to start printing.

Some Macintosh programs may want your data file to have a carriage return at the start of each paragraph but no other carriage returns. If you need this kind of data, place the two commands $$l0 (letter l) and $$s1 (digit 1) at the start of your BEX data. You can place them in a separate BEX chapter which is first on your list of chapters to print.

From BEX, use the print option. List the chapter(s) you want to send into one Mac file. At the "which printer?" prompt, give the number for the transfer printer you configured. When you get back to the Main Menu, the transfer is over.

On the Macintosh, Click on the disk symbol again to close the Mac file. You can select the disk symbol a third time to set up a transfer to another Macintosh file, or you can quit from Smartcom to examine your BEX data on the Macintosh computer.

The Problem with Straight ASCII Files

Straight ASCII files are not very useful on the Mac, since they do not contain formatting information, such as typeface and heading markers. A straight ASCII file is just a long list of characters without any format markers. It is very boring to have to put format markers into a Mac file if you had a BEX file with plenty of format markers. Even with the user friendliness of the Mac, this would try anyone's patience.

Jesse Kaysen discovered a way around this problem by using the RTF (Rich Text Format) markup system. At Raised Dot Computing, Microsoft Word is our favorite Macintosh word processor. Microsoft Word saves files in a special file format which cannot be transferred to BEX. But Microsoft Word also reads and writes files in the RTF format, which can be transferred and edited in BEX.

If you have been able to transfer files between the Mac and the Apple II and you have Microsoft Word, try the following experiment:

Find a small Microsoft Word file (1k to 4k) and get into it. Use the "save as" command, click on the "file format" button, and select "RTF." Now send this new file to BEX.

Examine the file in BEX. It has an extremely long header. Advance deeper into the file to locate the body of the text. Make some changes to the text. Insert words, add material, clipboard some of the text around.

Now transfer the file back to the Macintosh. Open the file in Microsoft Word. You are asked "Open RTF file?" Click on "yes." Your modified file shows all the styles and formats specified in the original.

This experiment is not very useful, because all you could do in BEX was make small changes to the file. What if you want to write a file in BEX and send it to the Macintosh? At Raised Dot, we use contextual replace (and some tricks on the Mac) to write RTF files in BEX from scratch.

If you are interested in learning more about the RTF file format and how to use BEX to create RTF files, contact RDC. If there is enough interest, I will write more on this in future issues.

Transfers Between Eureka and BEX -- Becky Rundall

The Advanced Eureka A4 is a multipurpose, talking computer/notetaker manufactured by Robotron Access Products in Melbourne, Australia. Its capabilities include word processing, file management, telecommunication with other computerized devices, schedule and database management, and much more.

We have received information on how to transfer data between the Advanced Eureka and BEX and vice versa. When the Advanced model was introduced in 1989, we learned that it requires an extra step for BEX transfers not needed by earlier models. What follows are the necessary details for getting the Eureka and BEX to share information.

Equipment Requirements

If you are using an Apple IIe or IIgs, you must have a Super Serial Card to receive data from the Eureka. If you are using an Apple IIgs, use the control panel program to set the slot containing the Super Serial Card to your card. Set the Super Serial Card to RDC's "Standard Parameters". You can check the switch settings with the {W: What is in the Computer?} option at the Starting Menu.

Cabling the Eureka to the Super Serial Card requires a straight through male-to-male cable. Cabling the Eureka to the IIc or IIc+ requires an additional cable. If you have a IIc, use and RDC 2F cable, if you have an Apple IIc+, use an RDC 11F cable. Connect a straight through male-to-male cable between the Eureka and the RDC-supplied cable.

Writing a BEX Configuration for Eureka Transfers

You need a configuration with a "remote serial device" to receive data from the Eureka. Write a BEX configuration at the User or Master level. Answer {Y} to the question {Do you have a remote serial device to input text through slot?} Give the slot number for the Super Serial Card (or the Apple IIc or IIc+ port) that you will be connecting to the Eureka. Answer {N} to the question {Is this a Kurzweil Reading Machine?} Press {N} to answer no to the automatic set-up sequence question. With this "remote serial device" in your configuration, you can use Input through slot to receive data.

Also include in your configuration a "printer" for output to the Eureka. Define a printer using the same slot as your "remote serial device." It works well to define this "transfer printer" as a Thiel brailler; then BEX underlining commands do not interfere with your Eureka data. If you avoid BEX underlining in the material that you send out, a Generic printer is fine. Use the carriage width and form length of your choice. If you want to keep form feed characters out of your data, use form length zero.

Setting up the Eureka

On the Eureka press F4 to get into Communications. Now press the following to set the Eureka's parameters to match the Apple's:

Shifted F1 for Setup;

Shifted F1 again to select 9600 BAUD;

Shifted F2 to select 8 data bits;

Shifted F3 to select no parity;

Shifted F4 to select 2 stop bits;

Shifted F5 to select Xon/Xoff;

Shifted F6 to select VT100;

press the space Bar, and Eureka says, "Set up done."

Now press shifted F2 to select Comms Mode, and press F3 to choose "Text." Then press the Space Bar, and Eureka says, "Mode done."

Sending a File from the Eureka to BEX

Now let's turn our attention to the Apple and BEX. By now you have written a configuration with a "remote serial device" that allows you to use BEX's Input through slot option. At BEX's Main Menu, press {S} for Second Menu. Enter {I} for Input through slot. BEX prompts you for a target chapter name, the chapter name for saving the data from the Eureka. Enter the chapter name and press return. BEX says, "Apple is ready to receive. Begin sending data from your remote device."

Now return your attention to the Eureka. To send a file from the Eureka press shifted F3. Eureka says, "Enter name." Enter the name of the file you wish to send and then press F8. Eureka responds, "Sending (filename)." When the Eureka has successfully sent the file, she informs you by saying, "Done."

While material is being transferred, you hear buzzing noises from the Apple. When the Apple is quiet and the Eureka has said, "Done," press {Q} on the Apple keyboard. BEX saves the chapter to disk and returns you to the Second Menu. Enter J to Jump to the Main Menu. You now have a BEX chapter sent from the Advanced Eureka.

Sending a Chapter from BEX to the Eureka

Get the Eureka ready to receive data. All the parameters for the Eureka are the same as for sending data to BEX. The difference is that you direct the Eureka to receive (F3) rather than send. Enter the name of the file for saving data sent from BEX.

Now direct BEX to send the text you want. Use BEX's Print option. As far as BEX is concerned, you are printing to a printer. List the chapter name(s) you wish to send. When prompted for the printer number, give the number for the "transfer printer" you configured and press return. See the article about Braille 'n Speak transfers in this issue for a discussion of formatting options.


If you have trouble getting data to and from the Eureka with BEX, make sure you followed the steps correctly. Check the parameters on the Eureka and the switch settings on the Super Serial Card. Make sure you have the proper cable and that it is connected snugly.

Plying Troubled Waters with Navigator: My Initial Experience with TeleSensory's Newest System (Part 2 of 2 Parts) -- Dr. Richard E. Hutcheson

[Editor's note: Richard Hutcheson has been using the Navigator since the fall of 1989. The Navigator is a braille display processor for MS-DOS machines. It has several modes, including one that simulates the VersaBraille II. For more information, see our last issue.

Readers may find this article and the response from TeleSensory to be a fascinating glimpse into the sensory aids market. Dr. Hutcheson bought the Navigator as a replacement for his VersaBraille II Plus, a stand-alone device. The Navigator, which harnesses the power of a computer, has more capabilities. But using this power requires more computer skills.]


In the Navigator's VBPC Editor, one can create and edit VersaBraille files on VBII disks or ASCII files on PC disks. I have found great speed, flexibility, and relative ease of data entry. Going from the top of a file (Home) to the bottom (End) is almost instantaneous on my machine, even in a very large file. This is a true advance over the VBII Plus, which slows down considerably with files over 32K. Still, I have some problems:

The procedures are somewhat more clumsy than with the VBII Plus. I miss not being able to move a word string right or left on the display as with the 2 and 6 keys on the VBII Plus numeric pad.

One of my more serious problems in the Editor happens when I press a cursor movement key with the cursor turned off. The system moves very far from where I was. This often happens when I accidentally hit a cursor movement key with my arm forward to reach the keyboard.

The commands for different kinds of deletion are not consistent. To delete a single character or a file, you use the DEL key. To delete a word or paragraph, you use chord-w or chord-p followed, not by the DEL key, but by the letter d. Consistency of deletion, as on the VBII Plus, would be more user-friendly.

Unfortunately there is no command in the Editor to find out where you are in the file. Since this is so nice in the Reader, I miss it in the Editor.

The Navigator reports on available memory, but its answers are confusing or wrong. My Navigator has reported "out of memory" or "not enough space" several times for no discernible reason. The topic is not discussed in the Manual. Reports of available disk space also seem wrong at times.

The Two-Dimensional Reader

The Reader mode allows you to "see" fairly easily the Two-Dimensional layout and formatting of a file prepared for ink or braille presentation. It is quite different from the "linear" mode of VersaBraille text, which uses special formatting symbols. It is also different from the Edit mode, where the presence of control characters and spaces shows the layout. Cursor movements in the Reader are based on the page layout. It is also easy to learn what page, line, and column I am reading, and in which mode. In Word Mode, the right and left arrow keys move you right or left a word at a time; in Character Mode, they move you a character at a time.

When I first enter the Reader, the display is blank. Here I can catch myself waiting for something to happen. To get things started, I go down a line or two or enter Word mode.

The Manual has no relevant discussion of the broad applications of using the Two-Dimensional Reader to read documents formatted for print output. The Reader makes readily available files which are not formatted for linear braille or translated into grade two braille: materials downloaded from professional databases or electronic bulletin boards (such as Westlaw or CompuServe) and disk-based books in print format from groups like Computerized Books for the Blind. Why doesn't the Manual emphasize this? Even Appendix A, on "Reading the Manual," does not bring out this important feature.

Screen Review

Navigator's Gateway option provides access to the PC's DOS environment. When you use Gateway, Screen Review lets you know the Two-Dimensional layout of whatever is on the screen. Commands are available to: move a "reading window" around the screen; move a cursor around the screen for data input; determine your screen position by line and column; examine attributes such as highlighting; and so forth.

With this Screen Review system, a blind person can use many of the most common commercial software packages. However, mastering the techniques of Screen Review requires considerable time for practice, preferably with the assistance of a sighted person. Moreover, one must become acclimated to how computers put information on a screen. Even after a couple of months, I am not very confident that I have not missed something important on the screen. Needless to say, TeleSensory again provides no meaningful guidance on these problems. A genuine tutorial would be deeply appreciated.

Chord-j (jump window to cursor) seems to work well, but chord-r (route cursor to window) frequently fails to work. Furthermore, the rising or falling series of beeps which signal this "linking" would not work well for a person with impaired hearing.

Some General Considerations

Files: The prompts for copying and merging files can often be confusing and misleading. The same prompt is displayed both before and after you have executed a procedure. So, did it work or not? When you open a file in the VBPC environment or use the Files Management option, you end up in the Navigator's program file directory, unless you specify a path. The Manual does not explain this.

The facilities under Files in the Main Menu are most helpful, but their presentation in the documentation and their execution in the program are regrettably awkward. Navigator's designers ought to clean up these lapses soon.

Printing: The Navigator allows for printing to a disk, to a braille embosser, or to a regular printer. Everything went well with the VersaPoint, using TeleSensory's defaults, except that the software fails to indent for paragraphs at the $p symbol. A call to TeleSensory confirmed that this was indeed "a bug" which was new to them; they will fix it in a future upgrade. I would have expected them to catch something like this during product testing.

Input/Output: There is a section on the Navigator main menu for dealing with these features, but it is not operative at the time of this writing. If I try to access either, the system reports that there is no serial port.

Utilities: The Navigator has Utilities for defining configurations of your system, such as which keyboard key represents which braille dot. It is supposed to allow setting parameters for serial input/output, print formatting, braille formatting, and edit/read. However, another confirmed "bug" prevents you from choosing your own "variable" parameters.

Gateway Options: A number of settings for Gateway operation are possible. Not all of them are described in the Manual. Changing these settings can have unexpected and unwanted results. This area needs clarification and amplification.

Major Recommendations

This system has such tremendous potential to be a really powerful and genuinely useful tool for the visually impaired. The technological savvy is there. What is wanting is care and responsible marketing, rather than thoughtless haste with just an eye on beating out the competition. TeleSensory has always been an inventive company. What remains to be seen is whether it can manage its inventiveness for its customers' greater benefit as well as its own.

In conclusion, I offer the following major recommendations, which I think could significantly improve the Navigator Integrated Braille Computer System:

(1) Recall, prepare, and distribute a carefully rewritten and improved Owner's Manual, including a braille edition and a tone-indexed audio version.

(2) Make available some system documentation for sighted computer consultants who assist blind users in setting up and configuring their personal systems.

(3) Sponsor and make available (for an extra charge if necessary) tutorials for all major aspects of the Navigator system (prepared by expert consultants such as David Goldstein of VersaNews and Doug Wakefield of Talking Computers Inc.).

(4) Give some thought to the ergonomics of working with non-laptop keyboards.

(5) Fix keyboard bugs and annoyances: viz., (a) only partial activation of QWERTY/braille switching, (b) change filename command, (c) availability of user-definable macro keys, (d) non-functioning function keys.

(6) Improve and make less cumbersome macro functions for deleting, paragraphing, searching, moving word-strings right and left, and so forth.

(7) Activate user-selectable parameter settings under Utilities.

(8) Improve messaging (especially audio signals) which inform the user (a) whether the writing mode is braille or QWERTY, (b) whether the reading window and the cursor are linked or unlinked, (c) whether one exited via Gateway or Quit.

(9) Activate I/O options and access to serial CCPs.

(10) Fix bug in braille formatting program to allow for recognition of$pfor paragraph indentation.

[Dr. Richard E. Hutcheson is Dean Emeritus at the State University of New York at Potsdam.]

Response to Dr. Hutcheson -- David Mansoir, Navigator Product Manager

[This response follows the order of Dr. Hutcheson's article.]

The Editor

The VBPC Editor is designed around the VersaBraille II Plus system. It allows the user to create and edit files in VersaBraille convention. The Editor gives the user additional features not possible on the VersaBraille II Plus. Features such as unlimited memory and disk space, multiple block definitions, faster processing time, and an on-line interactive help system are just some of the enhancements. Perhaps one of the most outstanding advantages to a PC-based VersaBraille is that files created in the Editor are MS-DOS compatible. Initiating a print to disk from VBPC leaves a formatted ASCII file that can be read by almost any PC-based word processor.

Dr. Hutcheson misses the macro keys that were available on the VersaBraille's numeric keypad. Macro keys do reduce the number of keystrokes, and we plan to incorporate them in the future. However, it has been difficult to identify which keys to use, because laptops do not have a separate numeric keypad. While some laptops do use key combinations to emulate a numeric keypad, the system is not consistent between laptops. Based on my current research, I have decided to choose a key combination system separate from the numeric keypad in order to maintain consistency between keyboards. I welcome any suggestions.

The misleading memory status information and "out of memory" messages discussed by Dr. Hutcheson had already been discovered. This problem, arising from differences between different versions of DOS, has been corrected.

We have now instituted a consistent system for deletion. The DEL key works for all deletion, and the alternative chord-d acts just like the DEL key.

Dr. Hutcheson questions command differences for placemarkers and searching between the Reader, the VBPC Editor, and Gateway. These parts of Navigator were modeled after existing TeleSensory products, to incorporate functions and software already proven by our customers. To remain consistent with our other products and to avoid serious conflicts with other software, we are retaining the existing command set for the placemarker and search functions.

The 2D Reader

The Two-Dimensional Reader was first designed for the VersaBraille II Plus system. Its primary purpose is to give the user a real time view of how a file would appear on a printed page. Users have found the Reader most helpful for inspecting a file's format prior to printing. The next most popular application is reading disk-based manuals.

When a user first loads a file into the Reader, the display may in fact be on a blank line. Indeed, most manuals begin with a title page, where the text starts several lines down. A word mode, which removes blank space, is provided to facilitate long term reading rather than casual browsing.

I would like to thank Dr. Hutcheson for his comments regarding the Manual's appendices. We have had favorable comments regarding their content. In the appendix on "Reading the Manual," we discussed using the DOS More command because it is an option. However, I do agree that reading the Manual with the DOS More command may be quite cumbersome. In rewriting the Manual, we will concentrate more on the use of the Two-Dimensional Reader for this application.

Screen Review

The Gateway software in Navigator allows the user to operate in the MS-DOS environment. Users of applications in this mode should be familiar with the basic concepts of screen review and should understand the software they intend to use. Since Gateway provides access to almost all off-the-shelf software, it is difficult to generalize on how to use it with any piece of software. We can, however, discuss the features of Gateway and how to implement them for certain situations. For example, when running a new piece of software, use the top of screen command first. From there, use the advance keys to read an entire screen. Commands such as find, cursor routing, placemarkers and "go to line," are all extremely powerful once the user is acquainted with an application.

Dr. Hutcheson's suggestion of a tutorial is a very good one. After the Navigator was released the TeleSensory training department began developing a tutorial that encompasses the complete Navigator line. It will be available in the fourth quarter of 1990. We hope that it will give users a firm understanding of all the features and the opportunity to explore the MS-DOS world of programs. its intended focus is on developing the basics and not on how to use Navigator with specific programs.

Dr. Hutcheson also finds that cursor routing does not always work. Cursor routing lets one move the computer cursor to the screen position shown on the braille display. For example, when you are proofreading and find a mistake, you can move the cursor to the error to correct it. Some programs require different routing speeds to place the cursor accurately. This problem is common to many access products. Navigator allows the user to change the routing speed to accommodate application programs that present routing problems.

Additional Comments

In the VBPC's file system one can copy, merge, rename, and delete files. Since the VBPC software supports hard disk access, the file management system has additional features pertaining to file paths and directory management. VBPC file management is menu driven, unlike the more formidable command driven file management of MS-DOS. Users will also find some file management features in VBPC not available in MS-DOS. There were problems with the rename and path functions in the software release Dr. Hutcheson was using, but they were addressed in the 1.1B release.

VBPC does have a serial I/O option, which provides two-way communication through the PC's second serial port. This function was designed specifically for transferring files between VBPC and another device. The serial I/O function did have a problem finding the second serial port. It was verified and corrected in the 1.1B release.

The undocumented Gateway options noted by Dr. Hutcheson are for testing purposes only. The new Navigator Manual will contain a much more precise description of the options intended for every-day use.


As Product Manager for Navigator, I've appreciated Dr. Hutcheson's comments and concerns. His suggestions have been very helpful. Many of the major recommendations have been completed in later releases or are nearing completion.

(1), (2) and (3): The Manual has been rewritten and will be available in braille. All customers who purchased Navigator prior to the release of the new Manual will receive it free of charge. This has been our intent since Navigator's release. In the new Manual we have expanded on the areas of installation information and system overview. Perhaps this will address Dr. Hutcheson's desire for documentation for sighted consultants. As discussed earlier, the TeleSensory training department is working on a comprehensive Navigator tutorial. It will include both braille and an audio tape.

(4): There are many different desktop keyboard designs. Some of these keyboards slide on Navigator's top surface. We have looked into different keyboard bracket designs to accommodate the many different keyboard styles. We are still trying to find the best solution to this difficult problem. When customers have trouble from keyboard sliding, we recommend using stick-on rubber legs or a rubber mat under the keyboard. But this is only a temporary solution.

Macro functions and the recommendation for user definable functions are scheduled for a future release. The serial I/O problem Dr. Hutcheson mentions has been fixed. Reported bugs with the braille formatter have also been addressed in the current software release.

TeleSensory is committed to providing its customers with quality products that are effective and reliable. TeleSensory values customers' input. Most of Dr. Hutcheson's concerns have been addressed. It is important to recognize his thorough evaluation and comments in support of Navigator. As Product Manager, my commitment is to making sure that customers' requests and suggestions are considered and implemented. I welcome customer input because I believe that it only strengthens the product.

Bulletin Board

For Sale

S.K. Shin is selling a Toshiba 1200HB laptop computer with 640K ram, a 20 megabyte hard drive, and a 720K 3.5 inch disk drive. Peripherals available include the Sounding Board LT speech synthesizer and Soft Vert and/or Screen Talk Pro. A wide range of additional software is available. He is asking $1800 or best offer. Contact S.K. Shin at (201) 383-3293.

VersaNews on PC Disk

VersaNews, which for the past seven years has kept VersaBraille users abreast of developments in braille technology, is now available on IBM PC disk. The PC edition will open the magazine to those who use Navigator, Keybraille, Braillex and other PC-based braille devices. Published three times a year, VersaNews contains tips from readers, step-by-step instructions, product reviews, and announcements of everything from the Mountbatten Brailler to Shakespeare on computer disk. Subscriptions are $25.00 in the U.S. and Canada, and $35.00 elsewhere. Please specify the desired format when ordering--VersaBraille II disk, VB tape, ink-print, or PC disk.

Make checks payable to VersaNews and send them to:


c/o David Goldstein, Editor

87 Sanford Lane

Stamford, CT 06905;

daytime phone (203) 366-3300;

evenings: (203) 336-4330.

Arkenstone 800 Number

Arkenstone Inc. now has a toll free number. It is (800) 444-4443. Their current office hours are from 9 to 5 Pacific time.

Name Change: TeleSensory

TeleSensory Systems Inc./VTEK has changed its name to TeleSensory.

Facts on File

Addresses Mentioned

RDC fax number

(608) 241-2498

(Braille 'n Speak)

Blazie Engineering

3660 Mill Green Rd.

Street, MD 21154

(301) 879-4944

(The WORD processor)

Bible Research Systems

2013 Wells Branch Parkway #304

Austin, TX 78728

(512) 251-7541

(Eureka A4)

Robotron Access Products

3340 Ocean Park Ave., #1010

Santa Monica, CA 90405

(213) 392-3522

(800) 735-1031



455 N. Bernardo Ave.

Mountain View, CA 94043

(415) 960-0920

(800) 227-8418

The RDC Full Cell

Phyllis Herrington, Tech Support; David Holladay, President; Aaron Leventhal, Software Development; Linda Millard, Bookkeeper; Susan Murray, Office Manager; Caryn Navy, Vice-President.

Production Notes

Written & edited with RDCUs BEX on an Apple IIgs. BEX commands changed to RTF/Interchange format control words with BEXUs Contextual Replace. File transfer with BEX and Hayes Smartcom II to an Apple Macintosh Plus. RTF commands interpreted and the spell checked by Microsoft Word 4.0. Pages composed with Aldus PageMaker 3.02, directly output on an LED printing system at Positive Impressions. Two track audio edition mastered on APH Recorder and copied on high speed Recordex 3-to-1 duplicators.


Apple Computer, Inc: Apple IIc, Apple IIc+, Apple IIe, Apple IIgs, Macintosh, ProDOS, Super Serial Card; Arkenstone Inc.: Arkenstone Reader; Bible Research Systems: The WORD processor; Blazie Engineering: Braille 'n Speak; Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc.: Smartcom; International Business Machines Corp.: IBM-PC; Ohtsuki Corporation: Ohtsuki Brailler; Omnichron: Flipper; Raised Dot Computing, Inc.: BEX, Hot Dots; Robotron Access Products: Eureka A4; SoftSpoken: CrossWorks; TeleSensory: Navigator, VersaBraille II, VersaBraille II Plus; WordPerfect Corporation: WordPerfect; Xerox/Kurzweil: Kurzweil Personal Reader.