OT? Chromebook


M

micky

I have an internet friend who's 67, has multiple sclerosis, and is going
blind, and the doctor said she is dying. She also doesn't have a lot of
money for extra expenses.

After years of using webtv, they discontinued her kind of webtv a year
or two ago, and she bought a Chromebook. Now she says that everyone
tells her, tactlessly in my opinion, that she bought the wrong thing.

She may have other questions about her Chromebook. Is there a newsgroup
that deals with it?? If not, some other forum??

My immediate question is, Is there software, perhaps included in the OS,
or external, even paid, that will do text to speech????. She's had
to pretty much drop out of the online discussion group we met in because
she has trouble reading. And for example, the moderator rejected one of
her contributions and she can't read his letter well enough to
understand it.


Second, I guess I don't know what she uses for email. but she has a
gmail address. I didn't think about this when we were on the phone but
i guess on Chromebook too, one can make any browser image bigger with
cntl-mouse-wheel or cntl-+. If she's using some other Chromebook
email program, is there a way to make the image bigger with that?


Thanks.
 
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P

philo 

I have an internet friend who's 67, has multiple sclerosis, and is going
blind, and the doctor said she is dying. She also doesn't have a lot of
money for extra expenses.

After years of using webtv, they discontinued her kind of webtv a year
or two ago, and she bought a Chromebook. Now she says that everyone
tells her, tactlessly in my opinion, that she bought the wrong thing.

She may have other questions about her Chromebook. Is there a newsgroup
that deals with it?? If not, some other forum??

My immediate question is, Is there software, perhaps included in the OS,
or external, even paid, that will do text to speech????. She's had
to pretty much drop out of the online discussion group we met in because
she has trouble reading. And for example, the moderator rejected one of
her contributions and she can't read his letter well enough to
understand it.


Second, I guess I don't know what she uses for email. but she has a
gmail address. I didn't think about this when we were on the phone but
i guess on Chromebook too, one can make any browser image bigger with
cntl-mouse-wheel or cntl-+. If she's using some other Chromebook
email program, is there a way to make the image bigger with that?


Thanks.



https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/speakit/pgeolalilifpodheeocdmbhehgnkkbak?hl=en-US
 
P

Paul

micky said:
I have an internet friend who's 67, has multiple sclerosis, and is going
blind, and the doctor said she is dying. She also doesn't have a lot of
money for extra expenses.

After years of using webtv, they discontinued her kind of webtv a year
or two ago, and she bought a Chromebook. Now she says that everyone
tells her, tactlessly in my opinion, that she bought the wrong thing.

She may have other questions about her Chromebook. Is there a newsgroup
that deals with it?? If not, some other forum??

My immediate question is, Is there software, perhaps included in the OS,
or external, even paid, that will do text to speech????. She's had
to pretty much drop out of the online discussion group we met in because
she has trouble reading. And for example, the moderator rejected one of
her contributions and she can't read his letter well enough to
understand it.


Second, I guess I don't know what she uses for email. but she has a
gmail address. I didn't think about this when we were on the phone but
i guess on Chromebook too, one can make any browser image bigger with
cntl-mouse-wheel or cntl-+. If she's using some other Chromebook
email program, is there a way to make the image bigger with that?


Thanks.

There's ChromeVox. Text to speech.

http://www.rnib.org.uk/livingwithsi...ates/techknowmore/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?id=65

pressing Ctrl + Alt + Z at the sign-in screen
should start ChromeVox. I tried it here and got speech!

Converting speech to commands, appears to be a browser-based thing.
Which means perhaps you can't control every aspect of
machine operation with it.

It all has the smell of "Beta" about it.

http://howto.cnet.com/8301-11310_39-20058475-285/how-to-use-chromes-speech-to-text/

There is even talk of Accessibility options here. I guess
there's a magnify option of some sort.

http://www.chromestory.com/2013/02/accessibility-options-on-chromebooks/

You can even get stuck in Magnify, requiring disabling the
setting in Accessibility to recover.

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/chromebook-central/eYYDPR8TYsU

*******

I'd say you have plenty of half-options, and lots of
research work to do. Like, how does versioning work
in ChromeOS, what version is your friend running,
what version is needed for some or all of these features ?

Paul
 
M

micky

I have an internet friend who's 67, has multiple sclerosis, and is going
blind, and the doctor said she is dying. She also doesn't have a lot of
money for extra expenses.

Her life is both better and worse than this sounds. She does have a
home that is, I think, paid for; a husband who loves her and who doesn't
mind when she talks on the phone at length to internet friends; a little
grandchild who lives nearby and visits regularly.

OTOH, she walks with a walker and a back brace (the brace doesn't bother
her anymore and makes walking a lot easier), but she falls a lot when
getting out of a chair. Her husband just got her a lift chair, which
reclines and is comfortable, and then when getting up, the seat lifts
and makes it much easier to get up. OTOH, the chair advertised that
Medicare would pay for it and it turns out Medicare ony pays for the
mechanism that lifts, which I think they valued at 175 dollars, and the
rest of the chair, which iirc is much more, the buyer has to pay for.
While that's fair, their advertising was misleading and probably got
them convinced they wanted it before they found out how much it would
cost them. This couple could afford it, I guess, but many others have
much less money.

She has cranial/spinal fluid on the brain, which means she can't fly
anywhere. So when they went to see their other kid and her family,
they had to drive maybe 1000 miles each way.

As to dying, the doctor told her she had one, maybe two years to live.
That was 3 1/2 years ago. In some ways she's gotten worse, in other
ways she hasn't. .

And she can't let her toddler grandchild wander around alone, even on
her quiet suburban street, because there is a pond 100 feet away or less
with alligators, water mocassins, and, somewhere, coral snakes. Even
she may not go there because she can't run away like most people can.


She probably doesn't need voice to text, because her typing seems good,
touch typiing I think which doesn't require much eyesight. Although
everythng she types is in capitals.

The magnify might be very good. Windows has something and I don't like
it, but then again, I don't need it. If I did, I might like it a lot
more.
 
M

micky

There's a Usenet group! ;-)

alt.chrome
I can't seem to get it with eternal-september. I dl'd new groups.

You have giganews or bt.com? Giganews, I guess.
and ........

"BearWare is now dedicated to Chromebooks".

http://bearware.info/

Try there, 'micky'!

OK. This one I find. "Traditionally with a Chromebook, you do
everything on the web. " It's amazing to me that Chromebooks were only
announced in May 2011, and only shipped in June, and yet there are
"traditions". I think of traditions as things my gggggggrandparents
did, or at least my grandparents, that they taught to my paents who
taught them to me. But it's only one word.

"Times have changed, most productivity Apps have off-line capability and
todays web apps and services are so good that they allow you to do
virtually everything you could do with your old computer offline or
online. Non-traditionally you can do much more."

So maybe this overcomes most of the objections of those who told her she
bought the wrong thing. Maybe not.

I see one advertised for 400 dollars. They were cheap, that was the
advantage, right? I remember now a year or two ago when I heard about
them and that they were cheap, but I didn't want to do everything from a
web browser, especailly newsgroups and email.

Thanks. I'll read further.
 
J

J. P. Gilliver (John)

In message <[email protected]>, micky
My immediate question is, Is there software, perhaps included in the OS,
or external, even paid, that will do text to speech????. She's had

Sounds like you're getting lots of help from people who know the
answers, so this may not be relevant: If you can produce what you want
spoken as plain text to a serial port, external text-to-speech
synthesizers do, or at least did, exist. They used to be very expensive,
but since so many of the blind-access softwares now use software speech
synthesis and just come out through the sound card, you _might_ find one
s/h at a reasonable price. I think the best-known one was Dectalk. (But
if you can get the chrome itself to speak, so much the better.)
to pretty much drop out of the online discussion group we met in because
she has trouble reading. And for example, the moderator rejected one of
her contributions and she can't read his letter well enough to
understand it.
That's sad. Can you intercede?
[]
Fine on her not needing speech _in_put; I get very tired of explaining
to people that my blind friends don't need that, either - they
(especially she who was a professional audio typist) can type
considerably better than I can.
 
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M

micky

You are correct. I have Giganews .... *courtesy* of BT! :)



That's pretty good. In the USA, first I had Erols.com a local service
that was dial-up only in Baltimore, though they kept promising me it
would add high-speed. (10 years later it never did, in Baltimore). I
had newsgroups courtesy of Erols/RCN/Starpower. But then they got rid
of them without even warning me.

Then I got Verizon DSL. Verizon is a major phone company supplying home
phones to 10 or 30% of the country, and I had newsgroups, courtesy of
Verizon, but then they got rid of them without even warning me, iirc.
And I needed newsgroups to find out how to get newsgroups again.

Now I have E-S, courtesy of me and E-S, which is fine but has a shorter
retention period than giga.
 
M

micky

In message <[email protected]>, micky


Sounds like you're getting lots of help from people who know the
answers, so this may not be relevant: If you can produce what you want
spoken as plain text to a serial port, external text-to-speech
synthesizers do, or at least did, exist. They used to be very expensive,
but since so many of the blind-access softwares now use software speech
synthesis and just come out through the sound card, you _might_ find one
s/h at a reasonable price. I think the best-known one was Dectalk. (But
if you can get the chrome itself to speak, so much the better.)

That's sad. Can you intercede?

That's what the text to speech is supposed to do. Other than that, she
lives about 900 miles from me near Cape Canaveral and it's hard to do
things from a distance, especially since I don't know Chrome. (I did dl
it on my previous computer but didn't like it because either I didn't
understand it or it had too few preferences and too few menu items)

Some time, I plan to drive to see my brother in south Florida, and plan
to stop and say hello. I can imagine spending a day and two nights
there then, in order to fix what I can, but scheduling a 4 or 5 week
trip is not so easy, especailly since I don't want to be in Florida in
the summer, and don't want to be on a sightseeing trip in Virginia or
Carolina when it's winter (and feel no need to leave home in the spring
and fall, when it's so nice here) . (I already a few years ago took
one weekend trip to Myrtle Beach, SC, in march, thinking it would be a
like a tropical resort or at least a spring break from cold weather, and
it was cold there with snow on the ground.) These plans may sound
silly, but until the latest phone call she hadn't told me death was
supposed to be so near.

It's not like there are no resources in Florida. Someone from county
Social Services made a 4 hour appointment with her and went over
everything they have. I don't know about neighbors on her street.
It's hard to ask a stranger, but most guys would be tickled pink to fix
someone's setup and at least 10% of them, unless they are all old guys,
should know enough to help Maybe that's why it was a mistake to by a
Chromebook, because "everyone" knows something about Windows, but not
about that.

Maybe she can find a computer club in the area. Or maybe I can. It's
not actually Cape Canaveral. It's Titusville. Well, I found one, I
guess. Google doesn't find the club***, only a pdf of its newsletter,
and the issue is from January 2012. Not only that, inside the
newletter are a dozen web and email addresses and they're all wrong,
ending in .us instead of .info. However I won't mention that when I
call one of them on the .....wait for it.... the telphone.

*It's a nice newsletter, 8 pages, well done. Lots of pictures,
including an article and picture of Kim Komando. She's prrrettty.
Even if the club is not doing well it has 9 phone numbers and surely
someone will know someone who has time to help her.

***Even though it has a webpage with a similar address, and the last
date on that is end of November of last year. Maybe they forgot they
had once posted their newsletter so no one updates it. OTOH, I'm
reading the lastest post on the club website, and it says they are
wrapping up a year of operations since the club disbanded. Well from
my friend's pov, maybe that will leave ex-members with more desire than
ever to have a computer project beyond what they do at home.
[]
Fine on her not needing speech _in_put; I get very tired of explaining
to people that my blind friends don't need that, either - they

WHAT'S THAT? WHAT'S THAT YOU SAY?
(especially she who was a professional audio typist) can type
considerably better than I can.

I
 
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M

micky

I can't seem to get it with eternal-september. I dl'd new groups.

You have giganews or bt.com? Giganews, I guess.

That's pretty good. In the USA, first I had Erols.com a local service
that was dial-up only in Baltimore, though they kept promising me it
would add high-speed. (10 years later it never did, in Baltimore). It
had newsgroups, but then they got rid of them without even warning me.

Then I got Verizon DSL. Verizon is a major phone company supplying home
phones to 10 or 30% of the country, and it had newsgroups, but then they
got rid of them without even warning me, iirc. And I needed newsgroups
to find out how to get newsgroups again.

Now I have E-S, which is fine but has a shorter retention period than
giga.
 

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