Raised Dot Computing Newsletter: Exploring Microcomputer Applications for the Visually Impaired -- ISSN 0890-0019. July-August 1990 -- Volume 8, Number 85.

Published Every Other Month by Raised Dot Computing, Inc., 408 South Baldwin Street, Madison, Wisconsin USA 53703. Telephone: 608-257-9595. Fax: (608) 241-2498.

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.

BRIGGS INTRO = Carolyn Briggs: Newest Dot -- Carolyn Briggs.

PRICES = Prices Go Up.

TRAINING = Tell Us About Your BEX Training Sessions -- Susan Murray.

TEXTALKER-GS = Textalker-gs Released.

NEW ECHO = New Echo Synthesizers and the Apple IIgs.

CERTIFY BACKGROUND = Getting Certified as a Braille Transcriber -- David Holladay.

CHANGING TIMES = Changing Times: A Transcriber's Certification and Braille Translation Software -- Gayle Gould.

NLS = Response from National Library Service -- Frank Kurt Cylke, Director.

MAPS = pixCELLS and Mobility Maps -- Caryn Navy.

fLIPPER = Helping Our Flipper Customers: Part of Our Job -- Caryn Navy.

WP/HD = WordPerfect and Hot Dots -- Phyllis Herrington.

SKIM = Voice Skimming in BEX's Editor -- Caryn Navy.

APPLE FILE EXCHANGE = Moving Data Between BEX and the Macintosh with Apple File Exchange.

BULLETIN BOARD = Bulletin Board. Includes: WordPerfect Braille Template and Reference Guide Available; A-Talk Courses; Compact Interpoint Brailler Offered by ATC; Braille 'n Speak for Sale; Braille 'n Speak and Audio Data System for Sale; Optacon for Sale; Classic VersaBraille for Sale; Apple IIe System with Software for Sale.

FACTS ON FILE = Facts on File. Includes: RDC Full Cell Plus; Production Notes; Trademarks.

ECHO PARA SKIM-T = transformation chapter to place Echo commands that allow skimming by paragraph with nonjerky speech (see article in chapter SKIM).

DOUBLETALK PARA SKIM-T = transformation chapter to place DoubleTalk or SlotBuster commands that allow skimming by paragraph with nonjerky speech.

REMOVE PARA SKIM-T = transformation chapter to remove the speech commands that allow skimming by paragraph with nonjerky speech.

From the Editor

This issue has a very thought-provoking article about transcriber certification. We invite everyone to respond to it.

Recently we have had some discussions about adjusting the focus of the Newsletter. The Newsletter is sometimes dominated by dense technical articles. We would like to achieve a better balance of articles in the future, with more articles of interest to beginners (using BEX or IBM software) and more non-technical articles. Please write or call us with your suggestions.

We are always eager to receive articles from our readers. The Newsletter is a great place to describe how you use our software, to review other products, to share an experience that you or your students had with sensory aids, etc. The deadline for the next issue is Sept. 20.

Carolyn Briggs: Newest Dot -- Carolyn Briggs

I'm a new Dot, with the "official" title of Shipping Goddess. I pack the delightful boxes that arrive at your homes and businesses and schools. Other activities I am involved in include data entry, marketing, and publicity brainstorming.

I am a generalist, having been a small business partner for seven years (selling Scandinavian stamps to collectors through the mail), a cab driver for two and a half years, a student at the University of Wisconsin (I am complete with B.S. in Interior Design), and an architectural drafter.

My interests include singing (which is how I met Caryn), xerox art, accessibility design for the disabled, wimmin's self-empowerment, and world peace. Right now I am fascinated by tree-houses, and I am looking forward to being introduced to a tree that needs a tree-house. I like to think good thoughts about alternatives of any sort to the present paradigms. I am a feminist Aries by birth and a 24+ year resident of Madison, truly a city not of this world!

Prices Go Up

The price of the VersaPoint has gone up. It is now $3795, up from $3750. This includes a one-year warranty from TeleSensory. This price also includes shipping to you from RDC.

The Echo II synthesizer has also gone up in price. It now costs $140, up from $130. As described elsewhere in this Newsletter, Street Electronics, the manufacturer, was forced to raise the price because of the need to redesign the unit.

Tell Us About Your BEX Training Sessions -- Susan Murray

We frequently get requests from groups and individuals for information on BEX or TranscriBEX training sessions in their area. In the interest of matching eager students with available training opportunities, we invite anyone who is holding such a session to notify us. We would like to publish this information in our newsletter so that those seeking training can find it. Please include date, location, contact person, and fee, if any. Let us know whether the subject is BEX or TranscriBEX, and whether there are any requirements for the participants.

If you are planning a BEX or TranscriBEX training session, don't forget about our training packs. We rent them out for $75 per week. Call for details.

Textalker-gs Released

In a major development for talking Apple systems, American Printing House for the Blind has released their new TEXTALKER for the Apple IIgs. While this edition of TEXTALKER works only on an Apple IIgs, it allows access to a much wider range of general purpose software than was previously possible. Once Textalker-gs is loaded, it remains in background, permitting voice access to hundreds of public domain, non-copy protected, and many copy-protected programs! (Textalker-gs is not needed to access any of the products of Raised Dot Computing.)

Textalker-gs sounds just like other versions of TEXTALKER. The difference comes in the range of software that is available and in the improved screen review commands.

Textalker-gs works with such popular programs as AppleWorks, Copy II+, and Apple System Utilities. Plus you get access to the built-in control panel program and to other Classic Desk Accessories (CDAs).

With Textalker-gs, as with earlier versions of TEXTALKER, the pitch, volume, rate of speech, amount of punctuation spoken, and other characteristics of the speech output can be controlled from the keyboard. Information can be spoken screen by screen, line by line, word by word, or letter by letter.

Textalker-gs offers several new and interesting features. One is "Quick Review," a means of reviewing the screen without actually going into Review mode. Quick Review features include announcing the cursor position, phonetic pronunciation of letters, easy-to-use cursor movement commands, and much more. Quick Review provides a rapid means of reviewing text without straying far from your application program.

Another feature allows applications software disks to be converted into "talking disks" by installing Textalker-gs on them. For example, an AppleWorks disk can be loaded with Textalker-gs in such a way that it will come up talking each time the program is booted.

While Textalker-gs is based on the ProDOS-8 operating system, the disk comes complete with the latest version of GS/OS, Apple's new operating system for the IIgs computer. Textalker-gs can boot through GS/OS and it will provide speech access to many GS/OS applications programs. Also, you can boot into other operating systems, such as DOS 3.3, while maintaining the speech output.

Documentation for Textalker-gs is provided in large type, on cassette tape, and on a separate flippy disk. The documentation and the disks are stored in a sturdy three-ring binder.

Requirements for Running Textalker-gs

Textalker-gs requires an Apple IIgs computer with at least 512K bytes of RAM, a 3.5-inch disk drive, and an Echo speech synthesizer (or a DoubleTalk synthesizer, to be used as an Echo). The APH catalog number is D-89571-00, and the price is $34.50.

New Echo Synthesizers and the Apple IIgs

Some time ago, Texas Instruments discontinued the manufacture of the main speech chip for the Echo synthesizer. By now, all supplies of this chip have been exhausted. A replacement chip is being used in new Echo synthesizers, but it does not work exactly the same way as the old chip. To accommodate the replacement chip, Street Electronics had to redesign the Echo synthesizer. These new Echo synthesizers are now being sold.

When you use a new Echo II on an Apple IIgs, you may have to run the IIgs at the slower, "normal" speed. The Apple IIgs has the two speeds "fast" and "normal," with normal speed about the speed of an Apple IIe. If you have problems (i.e., if your computer stops dead) at fast speed, then use the control panel program to set the Apple IIgs for normal speed. For now, this fast speed problem exists with the new Echo synthesizers even when using APH's new Textalker-gs software (see previous article).

Street Electronics has a history of changing the name of the Echo. It started out as just Echo II. Later, they added sound effect capabilities and called it the Echo II Plus. Then they took off these features and called it the Echo IIb. The new, redesigned board is now shipping in boxes that just say "Echo II." When shipped by Raised Dot Computing, these new units contain a warning sticker indicating that you may have to slow down the Apple IIgs to get speech. Only the units sold in a red box labeled "Echo II" are affected.

Every time new hardware is released, there is a short period of time before the software is modified to accommodate the change. Right now, a very small number of BEX users have to slow down their systems. When the IIgs is slowed down, you will notice that braille translation and Replace characters take longer. We are confident that we can change BEX to get around this speed problem. For more details, check the next newsletter.

Getting Certified as a Braille Transcriber -- David Holladay

The Library of Congress' National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) is responsible for the program of certifying braillists. Certification means that you understand literary braille and literary braille format.

The final step in the certification process, taken after completing the prerequisite coursework, is preparing a trial manuscript. You are asked to prepare a braille manuscript that is approximately 35 braille pages long, transcribing from a print source at an adult reading level. The manuscript is judged on accuracy and neatness. A perfect score is 100 points. Two points are deducted for most errors; if you repeat the same error, it is counted only once. A misformed braille cell (omitted or added dots) costs only one point, and repeated or omitted text costs three points. A score of 80 points is required for certification. If you fail, you can submit another trial manuscript. If you fail three times, you are asked to repeat the course before submitting another trial manuscript.

The trial manuscript is the last step of a process that takes between one and one and a half years. Those wishing to be certified apply to the Library of Congress to be part of their braille course. Those applying are asked (where possible) to enroll in a course offered by a local transcribing group. Usually a course taken locally lasts two semesters. At the end of the course you have an opportunity to submit your trial manuscript to Washington, DC for certification.

If a local training course is not available, you can take a correspondence course from the National Library Service. This approach is slower, your work must be sent back and forth through the mail. For each of the 18 lessons before the trial manuscript, you must send in your homework. You are required to wait until it arrives in DC, is graded, and returned before you can submit your next lesson. Typically, it takes 18 months to get certified through the correspondence course.

Why Get Certified?

If you are preparing braille material for others, you are a transcriber. If you are a transcriber, it is a professional courtesy to obtain certification. You are demonstrating mastery of all the braille rules. For some professional positions which involve preparing braille books, certification is a job requirement. In some states, state agencies which provide braille books for school children work with volunteer groups on the condition that all their producing members are certified.

Finally, braille production is not a solo activity. There are countless problems and situations which require consultation with an expert. When dealing with other transcribers, you may not be taken as seriously as others if you are not certified or seeking certification.

It is important to be part of the networks of transcribers. There are conferences, seminars, workshops, and newsletters to keep people up to date with new problems and new rule changes.

The use of computer translation software for the preparation of the lessons and the trial manuscript is forbidden. It is also against the rules to rely on anyone else to find your errors before submitting your work. The following article by Gayle Gould explores this aspect of certification in detail. Until now, Raised Dot Computing has not really addressed the issue of certification. Gayle Gould's article challenges us. She asks that we encourage those using our braille translation software to take the time and effort to seek NLS braille certification. That is an excellent idea!

If you wish to be certified, contact your local transcribing group. To learn whether there is one in your area, contact the National Library Service at (202) 287-9286 or the National Braille Association at (716) 473-0900. When you register with the Library of Congress as a student in a course for braille certification, you receive a free copy of Instruction Manual for Braille Transcription, 1984 Edition and the latest revision of English Braille--American Edition. You need to have a braillewriter (or a slate and stylus), a braille eraser, a supply of regulation braille paper, and a collegiate dictionary printed within the last 10 years. Good Luck!

Changing Times: A Transcriber's Certification and Braille Translation Software -- Gayle Gould

There's an issue brewing that involves those of us who want to produce braille materials for our friends who are blind. In the next few paragraphs, I state my opinion. Those of you out there who enjoy eggwalking may perhaps dare to respond with yours.

The 1980's brought about a new way to produce braille copies of print material. For many years, billions of braille dots were produced by faithful volunteers who sat for long hours with slate and stylus or Perkins brailler, copying print text and manually translating it into the braille code. The only alternative was press braille, which is time-consuming initially, very expensive, and therefore impractical for the needs of individuals. But now there are personal computers, and with personal computers came software to produce braille.

At this point in time we have two computer-based methods of braille production available to individuals. One is direct transcription, wherewith the braillist uses the computer keyboard as a glorified electric Perkins. The beauty of the computer is the ability to correct errors before the hard copy is produced. It is no longer necessary to mentally pre-format each page before forming the first dot. Trial and error on the screen is free, and a welcome relief. The other method is braille by translation, wherewith a typist enters data using certain commands that the software utilizes to create correct format during translation into the braille code. The quality of the braille depends on the quality of the translation software and the skill of the user at controlling the results.

There is no doubt that the computer is a wonderful tool with which to produce braille. The computer is not the issue. Rather, the method used to produce the braille has come under question, and the question is this: Should someone who is not expert with the braille code produce and distribute braille using translation software such as BEX? I will not claim to be the first to state the question. We have been told that if typists are utilized for keying in text for a translator, the final product should be supervised by a certified braillist. But there is the crux of the matter. What if someone ventured into the world of braille production as a volunteer typist, but then wanted to pursue certification? Must the volunteer leave behind the software he/she has come to enjoy to slave away over a Perkins while pursuing certification? The volunteer asks his/her supervisor, "Why can't I use BEX to get my certification? What's wrong with it?" To date, only the first method, direct transcription, is acceptable when seeking certification by the Library of Congress.

The reason is obvious--if the braillist is merely typing and running translation software, he/she is not independently applying the braille code rules and therefore is not learning them. To be a braillist, one must know the braille code, as every pianist must be able to play the piano. (Does every mathematician know how to figure square roots?)

And so the Library of Congress will not allow BEX to be used on certification lessons. I sometimes refer specifically to BEX, the source of my own experience, but this discussion applies equally well to all translation software. Here is some food for thought:

1. What if a certified braillist decides to use translation software after completing certification? Will he/she be producing good braille? If so, what skills are being used to produce it?

2. If a certified braillist uses translation software for many years, will he/she forget how to use a Perkins and therefore become a poor braillist?

3. Is the translation software available today of such quality that a person ignorant of the braille code can produce good braille? If not, why not?

4. If not, how much knowledge of the braille code is necessary to produce good braille with a translator such as BEX?

5. Can good braille be produced with translation software at all, considering that no words are divided at the ends of lines? Is it necessary to utilize every possible cell available in order to be considered a good braillist?

6. What is the purpose of certification? Is it meant to guarantee good braillists or good braille? Can you have one without the other?

Now here goes my first opinion: Braille by way of a translator is just as good as direct braille transcription because they both depend on the user's understanding and conscientiousness! Neither the Library of Congress nor any other agency can guarantee that the braillist will use what he/she has studied in pursuit of a passing grade. If the direct transcription braillist encounters a tricky word or format, will he/she care enough to stop and look it up in English Braille Code or the Krebs book? Or will he/she just braille right on by it, using what seems best at the moment?

No translation software can accept every possible kind of text entry and format and guarantee perfect translation and formatting. The English language is too tricky, and the formatting possibilities are endless. Therefore, the certification of a braillist must include knowledge of the braille code, otherwise he/she will not know how to control the software. That's what all those wonderful BEX and TranscriBEX commands are for, and the braillist must know when and how to use them.

And now here is where I begin to lose friends: BEX should not be forbidden to transcribers studying for certification. Here's why. The certification lessons are structured so that Lessons 1-10 teach the alphabet, punctuation, contractions, and short form words. Lessons 11-18 teach the finer points such as composition signs, abbreviations, italics, foreign words, and special formats. A little thought, and you realize that it would be very rare for the BEX translator to make an error involving material taught in Lessons 1-10. Where the user needs to learn to control BEX is with the material taught in Lessons 11-18. Yet the prospective braillist needs to know the Grade 2 contractions, etc., because at some point everyone who produces a final braille product must use a Perkins, if only for a few words. I use a Perkins to emboss the title of a volume on its cover. I also use a Perkins to add text to manually-produced graphics. How obvious would be any misuse of contractions, etc., in those instances!

Here is a solution. The prospective braillist should be required to use a Perkins to produce Lessons 1-10. Then, beginning with Lesson 11, he/she should be given the option of using, and learning to control, translation software, if that is what will be used in the future.

Failure to allow the use of translation software such as BEX for Lessons 11-18 has its price. More food for thought:

1. If an experienced Perkins braillist begins using BEX, he/she will recognize any problems that occur by looking at the hard copy. He/she will be motivated to learn to control the software so as to avoid a repeat in the future. But if a newly-certified braillist begins right away to use BEX, will he/she have the expertise/experience to notice the little surprises the translator and formatter can sometimes give us? Wouldn't it be better to learn to control the software at the same time the student learns what is needed?

2. If an expert typist desires to become a certified braillist, will he/she have the intestinal fortitude to stay with everlastingly slow direct braille entry through all eighteen lessons and the trial manuscript? Are we losing some possible good producers for this reason? Can the certification process be quickened without lessening quality?

3. If the BEX documentation strongly encouraged every new user to seek certification as soon as possible, using BEX, and gave the reasons why, it would do much to alleviate the problem of very poor braille produced by people ignorant of the braille rules (i.e., parents, teachers, etc.) During a tour of a state school for the blind I met a lady who was drawing a full-time salary whose words to me were "Why should I learn braille? The computer does it for me." Both she and her employers chose to ignore the warning to have her work supervised. Not only was her braille very poor, but as a non-certified transcriber, she is not being encouraged to join transcribers' organizations, attend workshops, or receive publications that could help her.

But, you say, there's a real problem. If BEX is permitted, how could the instructor know whether it might have been used for Lessons 1-10? Well, how can they know for sure now? We all know very well that divided words can be created in the translated chapter. Theoretically, a person could go through the entire certification process the lazy way, by entering every single sentence on the computer for instant translation through the Main Menu option H (Heading test), and then pounding it out on a Perkins. (Look, Mom, no errors!) Screen braille (ASCII) isn't that hard to use.

People say that the proof is in the pudding. So let's allow someone to use BEX for certification and see if they turn out to be any good to the blind community. It's never been done, has it? Well, yes, it has. And now you know ... "the rest of the story."

You see, a few years ago something slipped by someone somewhere. Being an excellent typist and a lover of computers, I volunteered to take over the work of a braille transcription service which had been abandoned, and which already owned the BEX software. There was no braillist within 35 miles with whom I could discuss the matter. But I knew from reading that I needed to be certified. So I ordered the Instruction Manual from APH, and that's when I learned about the Library of Congress program. I enrolled and sent in all my lessons for grading. I pestered them with questions on the phone, thanks to their 800 number. And I also started using BEX after Lesson 10. Honest, I was innocent! I had been told that computer-produced braille was acceptable. I was so ignorant at the time that I didn't know there was such a thing as direct transcription software, which was what they meant was acceptable.

I proofread my lessons in print, both regular print and screen braille output, checking every contraction and composition sign. I fussed and fussed with the braille chapters, adjusting the data manually (sometimes character by character) to get perfect results. I did every last "runover to cell 3" by hand after translation. I continued to do these things in my work following certification until acquiring TranscriBEX rescued me from most of it. I am one braillist that wouldn't be a braillist if I had had to face long months at the Perkins. The first 10 lessons were a sufficient trial of my patience!

So what happens when I need to use a Perkins now? Having done only 10 lessons on it, I don't claim to know all those contractions as well as I know my name. I use a chart, of course. I check the Instruction Manual, Code books, etc. Or I run to the computer and use H on the Main Menu for a quickie translation. Am I happy with the results? Absolutely. My very favorite thing to do with BEX is to write a chatty letter to a friend who is blind, and have it take no more effort or time than if I were typing it for a sighted friend. I can do other things while the translator is working and the embosser is producing it!

Perhaps the real issue is not certification, but whether or not those using translation software are really producing good braille. Let's be blunt: Can translation programs such as BEX and TranscriBEX produce excellent quality braille? Are they worth keeping around? (The RDC Full Cell may now stop holding onto their seats.) Well, of course. Because there are people out there who care, and that is what makes the difference, the same as it does with direct entry transcription. They care enough to figure out the work-around when the software says, "Nope. You can't have it that way." They also care that their braille is as good as the next person's. All the while, they rejoice at the ease of production available to them through the use of a translator.

Last week I received a braille letter from a blind friend (very experienced with braille) who offered to help in the work I do. (Yes, I can read her letter!) She says, "I wish I could do more to help .... I'd like to proofread for you, ... in any case, your braille is so perfect that you probably don't need any assistance along that line." She doesn't know I use a translator, and I may not tell her! Of course, I'll be happy for her to proofread the books I transcribe. Proofreaders are always necessary. If there is one pitfall with using BEX, it is the difficulty of catching every typo in the printout, even with a second proofreading.

Will translation ever be accepted as well as direct transcription is? Yes, but it will take time, pioneers, and some who are bold enough to speak out. We should encourage student transcribers to learn BEX if they wish. Once permitted, our friends at RDC should actively encourage typists to pursue certification and help them with related documentation and articles in the Newsletter to that end. Perhaps some of today's reluctance involves admitting that someone can produce so easily by computer what most braillists work so hard to produce by hand. It's somewhat like the lady of yesteryear who looked down on the younger woman and her automatic washer. She said that her clothes were cleaner because she washed them by hand with a scrubboard. (Well maybe they were, but convenience soon relieved concern. Advances often involve trade-offs.) Anyway, it's up for discussion.

P.S. The Library of Congress is aware of what happened with my certification, and the matter has been settled once and for all. I have a clean slate, and they have stated their commitment to not letting it happen again.

[Editor's note: With Gayle Gould's permission, we sent this article to the National Library Service and to the National Braille Association for their comments. The NLS response follows, and the NBA is working on a response for our next issue. We also welcome your comments. And there are so many related issues that come to mind! For example, should there be a different kind of certification for those using translation software? If so, who would administer it?]

Response from National Library Service -- Frank Kurt Cylke, Director

The National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped has assumed responsibility for certifying braille transcribers in the United States. We set instruction policies designed to insure competency in braille transcription by those seeking certification. Experience has demonstrated the validity of the instruction/certification system currently in place. It has been a very successful program and has resulted in thousands of professionally instructed and certified braille transcribers.

Certification demonstrates an individual's knowledge of a braille code. Documents translated by computer programs do not demonstrate this knowledge.

pixCELLS and Mobility Maps -- Caryn Navy

pixCELLS is the tactual graphics program for Apple II computers from Raised Dot Computing. Using pixCELLS, you can create, modify, and emboss tactual diagrams on the many embossers that do graphics. One common use of pixCELLS is drawing mobility maps.

Mobility Maps for a Deaf-Blind Client

An orientation and mobility instructor recently described an application where the ease of creating individualized mobility maps really paid off. He has been making mobility maps for a newly deaf-blind and mobility impaired patient receiving medical treatment at the hospital where he works. "The key is keeping the maps simple," he emphasized.

He began by making a map of just the client's room. He included outlines of her bed and tables, the window, and the door into the hallway, and he labeled each object in braille.

In successive maps, he increased the area shown and cut down on the detail. The instructor and his student have worked up to maps of entire floors of the hospital, showing corridors and important rooms.

At first the client took the appropriate map with her while traveling around the hospital, and now she studies the map before leaving her room. Now that she is traveling successfully through the hospital under her instructor's supervision, they are beginning to work on independent travel under proper conditions.

The instructor does the drawing and braille labeling in pixCELLS and sends the output to a VersaPoint. He plans to get an additional drawing program like MousePaint to do the original drawing and then modify it in pixCELLS. When he used a raised line drawing kit before getting pixCELLS, he found that the lines were not heavy enough. With pixCELLS, he also likes being able to fix mistakes without starting from scratch. To keep things simple, he uses only outlines and braille labels as his tools. While he uses heavier lines for some items, he does not use special symbols.

By working together with his student to find the style of map that works best for her, he has made these mobility maps a very powerful tool.

My Own Use of Mobility Maps

I have loved tactual maps ever since getting my hands on a delightful, flexible, plastic tactual map of my college campus made during my freshman year (a special project of two architectural students who went on to write a book about the experience). I deeply appreciate having a tactual map for learning about a new area, particularly if it has some tricky aspects.

For me, learning a new area is like learning to use a new piece of software. If I have only a script of key presses but do not know what commands are in the neighborhood, I am limited in what I can do, and I am really lost if I make an error. Likewise, I want to know more than just where to turn left or right on specific routes. I feel empowered by having a mental image of an area, which I can use to construct many routes and to recover from errors (as there is no button for rebooting to start a trip again).

Tactual maps are a very powerful tool for quickly building a mental image of an area. Like reference cards for getting around a software program, they are also a handy reference tool. They are especially helpful for dealing with areas which are hard to describe, such as neighborhoods with nonrectilinear streets, hotel lobbies, and convention exhibit areas. Tactual maps have enriched many experiences for me, adding spoonfuls of confidence, and even fun.

Making Good Mobility Maps

Since the development of pixCELLS, the RDC staff has produced a number of tactual maps to demonstrate that this piece of software is worth purchasing. We first analyze the inkprint map to figure out how much detail we can get into a single piece of braille paper (a field of about 100 dots by 100 dots). We generally avoid pasting sheets together into a larger map. We are very conservative and try to get a diagram as uncluttered as possible.

When we produced a map of O'Hare Airport gates and terminals, we had to break the map up into several pieces. One map with very little detail shows the whole airport, indicating how the three terminal buildings relate to each other. Each of the other three maps shows one terminal building in greater detail.

Whenever we make a map, we add some braille description. Our rule of thumb is to assume that not a single aspect of the tactual diagram is discernable to a blind reader. It is the responsibility of the text to describe virtually everything. Applying this rule can be a blow to the ego of a sighted person preparing the map. Notwithstanding, the resulting combination of diagram and text seems to be more useful to blind travelers.

There are blind individuals who have no interest in tactual mobility maps or say that they are too complicated. Another rule of thumb: If a blind person says a map is too complicated, then it is too complicated.

It takes some experience to learn what details can work in a tactual map. Our basic rule is to keep it as simple as possible. We find that including an uncluttered map with the most fundamental information increases the readability of accompanying maps with more detail.

With pixCELLS, Anyone Can Make a Map

If you have access to an Apple II computer and an embosser that can do graphics, you may have a use for pixCELLS as a map making tool. If you are sighted, you can make maps in pixCELLS for your blind students, friends, or family members. If you are blind, a sighted person can use pixCELLS to make maps for you. Like reading, tactual map making can be a paid task, or it can be a lot of fun for volunteers.

A sighted map makers can create grade one braille labels in pixCELLS without knowing braille. He or she can also fix mistakes without having to start from scratch. The learning time varies with computer experience but is not very long. A map maker can also do most of the work in another drawing program.

My father-in-law made several excellent maps when he visited Madison and wanted to help out at RDC. If you can draw maps yourself, or would like to put your visitors to work, ask us for a pixCELLS demo disk!

Helping Our Flipper Customers: Part of Our Job -- Caryn Navy

RDC sells Flipper, Omnichron's screen access program for IBM and compatible personal computers. Omnichron provides technical support for Flipper at (415) 540-6455. Their current office hours are Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 9:30 to 3:30 Pacific Time. When they are not available, their answering machine is on. Omnichron's office hours will change in September, and they will be announced on their answering machine.

Call Omnichron for Unlocking

When you first receive Flipper, it is locked. After twenty minutes, you get a long message whenever you issue a Flipper command. Once you have unlocked Flipper on your system, the unwanted verbiage disappears. To unlock Flipper on your computer, call Omnichron. To prepare for the unlocking process, enter Flipper's Review Mode with Alt-semicolon and then press the tab key. Flipper responds by telling you two numbers, your Flipper serial number and your machine number. When you give these numbers to Omnichron, they can give you the unlocking code to enter. Only Omnichron can do the unlocking. We cannot do unlocking at RDC. So plan to do your unlocking during the Omnichron office hours.

Some Questions from our Flipper Users

Our Flipper customers are free to call us for help with Flipper when Omnichron is not available. Here are some Flipper questions and problems which we have fielded recently:

Problem: In the program I am using, I am trying to use the alt-equals command. When I press alt-equals, I just hear "device not ready."

Solution: Alt-equals is a Flipper command (added in Flipper version 3.0). Flipper is intercepting the command before it gets to your application program. Alt-equals tells Flipper to send a line out to your "braille device." Since you do not have a braille device set up, Flipper is complaining.

To avoid this problem, tell Flipper not to intercept the alt-equals. Press alt-N and then alt-equals. Alt-N (for normal) tells Flipper not to intercept the following keystroke.

Question: If you don't know the screen window settings in a configuration, how can you tell what they are?

Answer: In each Flipper configuration you can store up to 10 rectangular screen windows (blocks), which Flipper speaks when you press alt together with one of the regular number keys (on the top row), from 1 through 0. In Flipper's Review Mode, press D to define windows. To check the settings for a particular window, press the number key for that window. Flipper then prompts you four times to find out the first and last column and the first and last row. If you simply press enter at any of these prompts, Flipper tells you the current setting. By pressing enter at all four prompts, you learn all the settings. You can learn the settings for quiet windows in a similar manner.

Question: When I use the spell checker in WordPerfect, how do I find the misspelled words?

Answer: Remember the file called {WP.DOC} on your Flipper disk. It tells you to turn on inverse video cursor when using the WordPerfect spell checker. When you do this, Flipper's cursor-oriented commands (like alt-K for current word and the arrow keys) realize that the cursor is located at the highlighted (inverse video) word. Thus alt-K speaks the misspelled word, and Flipper speaks each letter properly as you move around with the left and right arrow keys.

When I use WordPerfect, I keep a primary Flipper configuration for most operations and a secondary one for use while spell checking. A simple press of alt-F switches configurations when I move in and out of the spell checker.

As suggested in {WP.DOC}, I turn extended automatic output on in WordPerfect. I keep it on in the spell checker as well, to hear WordPerfect's suggested corrections as automatic output. But I do not want to hear the bottom row (the status line) as automatic output in the spell checker. So I make row 25 a quiet window in my Flipper configuration for spell checking. In both configurations I make row 25 a screen window.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Omnichron provides thorough technical support for Flipper at (415) 540-6455. We do not know Flipper inside and outside the way the folks at Omnichron do. We also cannot unlock your Flipper program. But if you need help with Flipper in a hurry when Omnichron technical support is not available, give us a call. You can reach us at our technical help number, (608) 257-8833, weekdays from 9 to 5 Central Time (except for lunch and meetings). We will do our best to help you out!

WordPerfect and Hot Dots -- Phyllis Herrington

The technical staff at RDC fields many inquiries about how to get better format when using Hot Dots to braille documents from WordPerfect. Since inquiring minds want to know, I've done a little investigative work. In this article I attempt to describe how to use the Search and Replace commands in WordPerfect to help to avoid formatting problems.

The Basic Problem

WordPerfect uses files which it stores in a special form unique to WordPerfect. However, WordPerfect also saves standard ASCII textfiles. When you want to bring a document from WordPerfect into Hot Dots, you must save it as an ASCII textfile. In fact, whenever exporting files from word processing programs to Hot Dots, you should create ASCII textfiles. (ASCII textfiles do not contain program-specific, encoded information from your word processing program that would be garbage to Hot Dots.)

When WordPerfect saves a file as an ASCII textfile, it acts upon the formatting commands you entered in the document. For example, if you centered a heading, in the ASCII textfile the heading is preceded by the appropriate number of spaces to center it. In essence, WordPerfect prints to disk, formatting the text as if it's on paper. Once you have created an ASCII textfile, you must do some data massaging to ready the file for translation, formatting, and printing in Hot Dots.

Hot Dots cannot discern the difference between hard returns and soft returns in your document. A hard return is a real carriage return/linefeed that you put into your document intentionally to force the beginning of a new line. In contrast, soft returns are the line breaks that WordPerfect generates automatically as it "prints" your document to an ASCII textfile, to avoid going beyond your established margins. Both hard and soft returns look the same to Hot Dots; they become the character pair carriage return/linefeed (control-M control-J) in the ASCII textfile.

The file may also contain tab characters, which cause serious formatting problems in Hot Dots. WordPerfect has also generated multiple spaces in your ASCII textfile for centering. But using the rules files supplied with Hot Dots does not change these spaces into { $$c} for centering in Hot Dots.

By combining the power of the search and replace features of both WordPerfect and Hot Dots, you can get a well formatted document. With WordPerfect Search and Replace you can replace certain format codes with the equivalent $$ commands for Hot Dots, before creating the ASCII textfile. Then using the Hot Dots Global Search and Replace utility on your ASCII textfile removes remaining characters that cause problems in translating, printing, and/or formatting. Let's first examine the process in WordPerfect and then the process in Hot Dots.

Search and Replace in WordPerfect

In many situations you are creating a document for both print and braille readers. Fortunately, you do not have to perform two separate data entry tasks to obtain print and braille copies.

Let's say you've written a memo for all the office staff. You need print hardcopy as well as braille. WordPerfect has a neat feature that allows you to save to disk the document on screen and then continue working on it. First save the document on screen to disk for the inkprint hardcopy with the F10 command. Then you're ready to prepare the document on screen for export to Hot Dots.

The next step is to replace WordPerfect's codes for centering, new lines, etc. with the $$ commands for Hot Dots. In our memo we want to replace WordPerfect's format codes for centering with { $$c}, double returns with {<Space> $p <Space>}, and single returns with {<Space> $l <Space>}.

Before you begin searching and replacing, put your cursor at the beginning of the document (with the command home, home, up arrow), to make sure that WordPerfect searches through the entire document.

To start the process, press alt-F2. WordPerfect asks you if you want to confirm each replacement. Answer {Y} or {N}, depending upon how much user intervention you want. If you answer {Y}, the program prompts you for permission to replace each search string it finds with the designated replacement. If you answer {N}, the program replaces every occurrence of the search string.

After you have answered this question, WordPerfect prompts {Srch:}. Type the characters to search for, or in this case the keystrokes representing format codes. Let's say you want to replace centering with {<Space> $$c <Space>} for Hot Dots centering. To search for centering, press shift-F6. When you've finished entering your search string, press F2 to search forward.

WordPerfect then prompts {Replace with:}. To replace centering with the Hot Dots centering command, enter {<home> <Space> $$c <home> <Space>} for the replacement string. Placing {<home> <Space>} on either side of the { $$c} command ensures that there is a space on either side of it. (Home followed by space creates a hard space, which cannot turn into a soft return when printing to an ASCII textfile.)

After you've entered the replacement string, press F2 to terminate the string and search forward through the document. WordPerfect begins searching for the designated text and replacing it with the replacement string.

Next let's replace two hard returns in a row with the Hot Dots paragraph indicator. Return to the beginning of the document again. This time, when prompted for the search string, press the enter key twice. When prompted for the replacement string, enter {<home> <Space> $p <home> <Space>.}

After WordPerfect has moved forward through the document and completed the replacements, the remaining hard returns are single returns. Now replace these single hard returns with the Hot Dots new line indicator. Return to the beginning of the document again. When prompted for the search string, press the enter key. When prompted for the replacement string, enter {<home> <Space> $l <home> <Space>}.

Unlike Hot Dots, WordPerfect does not let you prestore many search and replace operations and perform them all at once. You must enter each item for searching and replacing and perform it before doing the next one. Advanced users of WordPerfect may choose to write macros to make this process faster and more automatic.

The above discussion of replacing WordPerfect codes with Hot Dots formatting codes assumes that you created the document yourself and you know what codes are there. Suppose you receive a disk from someone with the instructions to produce braille hardcopy. You have no idea of what codes are contained in the disk file. Before you begin the Search and Replace routine in WordPerfect, go into Reveal Codes. Carefully examine the document for any formatting codes you need to remove from the document ore replace with Hot Dots $$ commands. (Consult your WordPerfect manual for further details on Reveal Codes.)

From WordPerfect to Hot Dots

Now you have finished making changes to the WordPerfect document on screen. Save the file as an ASCII textfile for use with Hot Dots. Press ctrl-F5 and then 1 to save the document as a DOS textfile. When prompted for the name for the textfile, give it a {.TXT} extension. This extension tells you that the file is indeed an ASCII textfile.

When you're ready to process your {.TXT} file with Hot Dots, remember to perform Global Replace with two rules files to further improve your data for formatting. Use {STRIP.RUL} to remove any control characters except for carriage returns, linefeeds, tabs, and form feeds. This rules file also removes the eighth data bit from the characters in your file. (Characters with the eighth bit on can hang the translator.) The other rules file you need to run is {FIXTXT.RUL}. This rules file gets rid of single carriage return/linefeeds and multiple spaces (turning a single return/linefeed or many spaces into one space). Since you changed real (hard) single carriage returns to {$l}, they are protected from removal by {FIXTXT.RUL}; only the soft returns are removed.

There are many possibilities when using WordPerfect's Search and Replace in conjunction with Hot Dots' Global Replace utility and Formatter. Begin experimenting to see what you can do in WordPerfect to help get better format. If you've never worked in WordPerfect's Search and Replace environment, begin with a small file. You will get an idea of what you need to do without getting frustrated. Some formatting codes may be easier to deal with than others. Don't be afraid to make a mistake. Trial and error is the best teacher. Consult your WordPerfect manual for details on the keystrokes that represent the format codes you want in your document or in your search strings.

Voice Skimming in BEX's Editor -- Caryn Navy

BEX's Editor gives you many ways to control speech from the Echo, DoubleTalk, or SlotBuster (or from the Audapter with our serial voice output program SPEX). For best voice control in the Editor with DoubleTalk or SlotBuster speech, disable the voice buffer with the command control-E 0 B (most easily in an automatic set-up sequence for your voice device). I would like to share some techniques for skimming quickly through material with voice in the Editor.

There are several ways to read through text with voice in the Editor, with the ability to stop when you want to by pressing the spacebar (User Level 5:8). Control-O reads until the end of the BEX page, moving the cursor as it goes. (Before BEX 3.0 it stopped after 500 characters or so.) Control-T reads and moves the cursor to the end of the current sentence. Control-Y reads a sentence but leaves the cursor in place. The use of all of these is affected by your choice of jerky speech (the default) or nonjerky speech.

With jerky speech on, the voice synthesizer halts (or jerks) more between words. With nonjerky speech on, the reading flows more smoothly. With jerky speech on, pressing the spacebar stops the voice and the cursor right at the current word. The main drawback of using nonjerky speech is that pressing the spacebar does not stop the voice and the cursor until the end of the sentence. When I am writing or making a lot of changes, I use jerky speech. However, when I am mostly reading, I prefer nonjerky speech.

The toggle command for switching between jerky and nonjerky speech in the Editor is control-S J. When you press control-S J, BEX does not tell you whether you're switching into jerky or nonjerky speech. If you lose track, you can press control-Y and then press the spacebar. If the speech stops immediately, jerky speech is on. If the speech continues, nonjerky speech is on. If the speech is nonjerky, you can still stop the speech immediately. Just press a null key, control-N in any BEX version or control-X in BEX 3.0 only. (In BEX versions earlier than version 3.0, pressing control-X in the Editor puts an unwanted control character in your text.)

Skimming by Sentence

A side benefit of reading with nonjerky speech is the ability to quickly skim by sentence. We did not realize this until writing the manual for BEX 3.0. If you have an earlier version of BEX or started with an earlier version, you may be unaware of this feature.

When you're using control-O with nonjerky speech, you can make the reading skip immediately to the beginning of the next sentence with just one keystroke. Just use a null key, control-N in any BEX version or control-X in BEX 3.0. As soon as you realize you don't need to hear the rest of a sentence, you can jump to the next sentence.

Skimming by Paragraph

There is also a way to skim quickly by paragraph without having to wait until the end of a sentence to stop nonjerky speech. It's a little more involved, but you may like it if you try it.

I describe this method for Echo speech first. Before reading through a long chapter, place the characters control-E T (the Echo command for turning speech on) before each paragraph indicator. Replace characters is the tool for this job. After this, when reading with control-O, you can skip immediately to the start of the next paragraph. Just press control-E O (the Echo command for turning speech off) and then a null key. This turns off speech, but speech returns quickly when the Echo reaches the control-E T at the start of the next paragraph.

To insert the Echo commands, perform Replace characters with one replacement rule. The {Find:} string is {<Space> $p <Space>}. The {Change to:} string is {<Space> <period> <Control-E> T <Space> $p <Space>}. I put a period before the control-E command to make this approach work even at paragraph indicators that don't follow the end of a sentence.

When you are answering the prompts from Replace characters with Echo speech, you cannot place control-E in your {Change to:} string without a work-around. (When you press control-E, the Echo immediately absorbs it as a command.) If you are at the Master level, press control-B V D (to deactivate voice) just before pressing control-E. After pressing control-E, press control-B V A (to activate voice again). Save the transformation for future use. Alternatively, you can perform a modified replacement on a garbage chapter, pressing X instead of control-E. Save this transformation chapter. Then edit the transformation chapter and change the letter X to control-E. Remember that you create control-E in a chapter by pressing control-C and then E in the Editor. The edited transformation chapter does the job you want. Of course, you can also create the transformation chapter from scratch in the Editor. No matter how you create this transformation chapter, you can keep it for future use. I call mine {PARA-T}. (The {-T} tells me it's a transformation chapter.)

The same method is available with DoubleTalk or SlotBuster speech. But you need to use their voice commands to turn speech on and off. Before paragraph indicators, insert the characters control-E 3 E (the SCAT command to turn speech on). To skip to the next paragraph, press control-E 0 E (the SCAT command to turn speech off).

The next time you have to read through a long, tedious BEX chapter, you can have a better time by using the smoother nonjerky speech and skimming by sentence and paragraph.

Moving Data Between BEX and the Macintosh with Apple File Exchange -- David Holladay

[Editor's note: This article is a revised version of one written by Jesse Kaysen in the Jan/Feb 1989 Newsletter.]

In the last issue, we described how to send data between the Apple II and the Macintosh by using a direct connection over a cable between the two computers. But what if the computers are not within a few feet of each other? Few suppliers make a cable that is several miles long (to say nothing of the difficulty of getting a chair to scoot between the two machines). There is an alternative! Through a feature called Apple File Exchange (AFE), the Macintosh and the Apple II can exchange 3.5-inch disks. Using this feature, you can prepare text on your Macintosh at home and make braille or large print copies with BEX on the Apple II at school.

What You Need

Your Apple II must have a 3.5-inch disk drive. In order to read 3.5-inch disks into BEX, you need BEX version 3.0. To transfer material from BEX to the Macintosh, you need a copy of Raised Dot's QTC program disk (Quick Textfile Converter). A copy of QTC is sent free of charge when you mail in your BEX registration card. However, if your QTC disk got lost in the ozone, send $15 to RDC. You also need a supply of 3.5-inch disks which have been formatted by a ProDOS program. You can format ProDOS disks with QTC or with many other ProDOS disk utility programs. Last but not least, you need a copy of the Apple File Exchange program. It is located on one of the Utilities Disks that come with the Macintosh System Software. If you have not done so already, copy the Apple File Exchange software onto your Macintosh hard disk.

From Macintosh to BEX

There are two kinds of situations for taking data from the Macintosh to BEX. You may be handed a disk created by someone else and asked to put it into braille or large print. In this situation, you do not have any way of controlling the system of creating format. You may find a number of interesting problems and have to improvise solutions. Obviously, we cannot offer simple advice that will handle every situation. BEX's Replace characters option can clean up most data debris quickly and easily. Once you have created a transformation chapter, you can use it again when more data comes from the same source.

If you are doing the data entry yourself, you can save time by working out a system of data entry codes more compatible with BEX. If you are doing data entry just for BEX (i.e., you are not going to be using the data on the Macintosh), feel free to use BEX's $$ commands. For example, use $$ub and $$uf to mark emphasis and $$c to mark centering. Enter two carriage returns at the start of each paragraph. As we will see, these can be changed into BEX paragraph indicators.

There are six steps:

1. Bring some ProDOS formatted 3.5-inch disks with you to your Macintosh.

2. Use your Macintosh word processor to create a "text-only" document. If the word processor allows it, ask that carriage returns appear only at paragraphs.

3. Quit the Mac word processor and launch Apple File Exchange. There is nothing on the screen that mentions how to deal with ProDOS disks. Now insert a ProDOS disk into your Mac disk drive. The screen will change to guide you through the task of translating your Macintosh files into ProDOS files. In effect, the act of inserting the ProDOS disk is the secret handshake that gets you into a hidden portion of the Apple File Exchange software. Tell AFE to translate the text-only files you've created, and occupy yourself for a while. The translation to ProDOS format is fairly slow (slower than the direct transfer through a cable described in the last issue).

4. Take the ProDOS data disk with you to your Apple II. Boot BEX version 3.0, using a configuration that includes at least one 3.5-inch disk drive.

5. Insert the ProDOS data disk in your 3.5-inch disk drive. Then use Read textfiles on the Second Menu to copy the ProDOS textfiles into BEX chapters.

6. Edit the chapter and check out the <CR> situation. If there's just one <CR> at the start of each paragraph, use Replace characters to change <CR> to the BEX paragraph indicator $p (space, dollar sign, p, space). If there is a <CR> after every line (every 50 to 80 characters) and paragraphs start with two <CR>s, use Replace characters with the FIX TEXT transformation chapter to adjust the format information.

From BEX to the Macintosh

AFE can read only ProDOS textfiles--it can't read DOS 3.3 textfiles. Fortunately, our shareware utility QTC can copy DOS 3.3 textfiles or BEX chapters into ProDOS textfiles. Before you use QTC to make ProDOS textfiles from your BEX chapters, give some thought to the format you want on the Macintosh.

The first job is creating Apple II files in which BEX's $$ commands have been replaced by format closer to what you want on the Macintosh. For finest control, you can use Replace characters on your BEX chapters to create reformatted BEX chapters. Change $p indicators to one <CR>, and change BEX tabs and $$p# commands to control-I characters (the tab character). Alternatively, you can use Write textfile on BEX's Second Menu. This option prints the chapter to disk, placing two <CR>s and five spaces at the start of each paragraph. You can change this default format with $$ commands. Ordinarily, the <CR>s at the start of each paragraph are the only <CR>s you get; you do not get a <CR> after each line defined by a carriage width, and <CR>s in your original chapter turn into spaces. You can also change this with $$ commands. See User Level page 10:6 for some suggestions.

Once you have created reformatted BEX chapters or DOS 3.3 textfiles on disk, follow these four steps:

1. On the Apple II, use QTC to copy the reformatted BEX chapters or DOS 3.3 textfiles to a 3.5-inch ProDOS disk.

2. On the Macintosh, launch AFE and insert the ProDOS 3.5-inch disk in the Mac drive. Select the ProDOS textfiles you've created for translation.

3. Wait for the disk format translation to finish.

4. Quit AFE and launch your Mac word processor. Do not attempt to directly "double click" on the data file. Since the data file does not have a legitimate "file creator," you would get an error message. Instead, launch into the application program, and once in the application, open the orphan data file. Since the file translation is "text-only," you will lose some formatting information. You can use your Mac word processor to establish headings, emphasized text, page numbering, etc.

Working out a good system for your application may take some experimentation or some assistance over our technical line. The pay-off is in the many worry-free transfers you can perform thereafter.

Bulletin Board

WordPerfect Braille Template and Reference Guide Available

Talking Computers, Inc. has just introduced a first of its kind braille template that includes two mini manuals. The new WordPerfect templates are for versions 5.0 and 5.1. They are designed to fit securely on an enhanced 101-keyboard. A braille strip that runs along the front of the function keys identifies each key, including Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Break.

Attached to the templates and resting behind the function keys are two mini-manuals. The manual on the left is the function key quick reference guide, which lists the function keys and the four functions performed by each key (alone, with Control, with Shift, and with Alt). The command reference guide located on the right side of the template lists 121 WordPerfect commands in alphabetical order.

We have been using these inventive braille templates at RDC and have found them extremely helpful.

Talking Computers, Inc. is selling the templates for $24.95 plus $2.50 shipping. To order by credit card, call them at (800) 458-6338. You can also contact:

Talking Computers, Inc.

140 Little Falls Rd.

Falls Church, Va 22046;

(703) 214-8224.

A-Talk Courses

Two popular courses, Fitness Talk and Self-Improvement are now available on a 5.25 inch ProDOS disk from A-Talk! Self-Improvement is a course designed to help you feel good about yourself and improve your interpersonal skills. Fitness Talk discusses a well-balanced diet, nutrition, exercise, fashion, and more! There is also information about counting calories, including information about fast-food items.

After you boot the accompanying A-Talk Master disk, a file reading program makes it easy to read all of the text on the disk. In fact, the Enhanced A.I. Reader program will read any text files on any ProDOS disk with ease. The A-Talk Master disk also contains a list of over two hundred public domain disks which are available from the A-Talk library for a five dollar per disk copying fee.

Send all prepaid orders, for twenty dollars in U.S. funds, to:

Jeff Weiss


3015 S. Tyler St.

Little Rock. AR 72204.

For overseas orders, add five dollars for airmail shipping for any size order.

Compact Interpoint Brailler Offered by ATC

American Thermoform Corporation (ATC) now offers Interpoint 200, a compact interpoint printer, in its line of braille embossers.

The Interpoint 200, manufactured in Norway by Braillo, is counterpart to the larger, "speeding bullet" 400S embosser. The Interpoint 200 prints 600 pages an hour, or 200 characters per second.

"Excellent dot quality, ease of use, low noise level, and an unheard of two year warranty put the 200 in a class alone," says company President Gary Nunnelly.

The 200 has been sold throughout Europe and Canada. Contact:

Ruth Haggen

American Thermoform Corporation

2311 Travers Ave.

City of Commerce, CA 90040;

(213) 723-9021.

Braille 'n Speak for Sale

Marj Schneider is selling a Braille 'n Speak, including the calculator and stopwatch options, the case, complete documentation, and the Blazie Engineering interface kit for use with other equipment. Originally purchased in summer, 1989, it has been used very little. She would like $900 or best offer. Write (in print, in braille, or on cassette) to:

Marj Schneider

3937 Pleasant Ave.

S. Minneapolis, MN 55409;

or call (612) 822-0549.

Braille 'n Speak and Audio Data System for Sale

Dennis Clark is selling a Braille 'n Speak with calculator and stopwatch options for $750. He is also selling an Audio Data Keyboard and IBM XT computer with AST 6-pack plus multifunction card and monitor, all for $1250. Contact:

Dennis Clark

5020 S. Lake Shore Drive, Apt. 3304

Chicago, IL 69615;

(312) 667-1010.

Optacon for Sale

For sale: Optacon model R1C. Includes manual, soft carry case, print tutorials, charger and reading mat. Price $1000 or best offer. Contact:

Andy Baracco

11683 Goshen Ave., Apt. 206

Los Angeles, CA 90049;

(213) 826-2196.

Classic VersaBraille for Sale

Julie Addington is selling a VersaBraille model P2C for $3360, with insured postage included. She is also selling an Apple IIe User's Manual in braille for $20, to be sent as free matter. Write (in braille or print) to:

Julie Addington

103 W. 7th Ave.

Easley, SC 29640.

Apple IIe System with Software for Sale

David Andrews is selling an Apple IIe computer with 128K bytes of memory, two disk drives, an ImageWriter printer, a 1200 baud modem, and lots of software, including BEX Version 2.2, ProWords and ProTerm, Lister Talker, two banking programs, many back issues of AppleTalk magazine, public domain games, and much more. The system also includes an Echo synthesizer and all the manuals, many of which are in braille. The price is $1,500. Contact:

David Andrews

906-1/2 Fruit ave., N.W.

Albuquerque, NM 87102;

(505) 841-8847 during the day, or

(505) 243-5160 evenings and weekends.

Facts on File

The RDC Full Cell Plus

Carolyn Briggs, Shipping Goddess; 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, output on an Apple LaserWriter, and printed at the Print Shop. Two track audio edition mastered on APH Recorder and copied on high speed Recordex 3-to-1 duplicators.


American Printing House for the Blind: Textalker-gs; Apple Computer, Inc: Apple File Exchange, Apple IIc, Apple IIc+, Apple IIe, Apple IIgs, Macintosh, ProDOS; International Business Machines Corp.: IBM-PC; Omnichron: Flipper; Personal Data Systems: Audapter; RC Systems: DoubleTalk; Raised Dot Computing, Inc.: BEX, Hot Dots, pixCELLS, SPEX; Street Electronics: Echo II; TeleSensory: Versapoint; WordPerfect Corporation: WordPerfect.