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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Computer!

It was like Christmas today! Instead of Santa Claus coming
down the chimney, it was a Vocational Rehab (VR) tech
expert walking in through the door. He brought in about
100 boxes. (Or at least that's what it seemed like.) After
seven years of being without, I FINALLY have a computer!
It's a great setup. I've got Windows XP, Office 2007, Jaws
version 10, Open Book scanner, and a Focus 80 braille
display. It's all so big. I'm used to a 32 cell display
and a condensed keyboard. My new braille display is 80
cells. It practically goes across my entire desk. The
keyboard is a standard windows keyboard with a million
keys. It's going to take me ages to locate and identify
all those keys. I'll be using "bumps" to stick on the main
command keys so I can find them faster.
The VR tech set up the computer for me. It actually took
three hours. The real problem was getting the new computer
set up on our home wireless network. He finally got it
working and was ready to train me.
I sat in front of all this monstrous equipment with terror
in my heart. I'm not so very good with technology. I'm
afraid if I press the wrong button, I'll blow up the entire
Mid West. Thankfully, that hasn't happened yet. My mother
was my interpreter. This is funny because she doesn't even
know how to turn on a computer.
To start with, I learned how to turn my new computer on and
off. I can start Word, Outlook Express, and Open Book. I
created, saved and closed a Word document. I sent myself an
email and then deleted it. And I scanned a page of print to
read on the computer.
That's all we did today. It might not sound like much, but
my little mind is racing. Let's see if I actually remember
any of what I learned. Right now, this computer system is
like a totally alien environment. It's so big and scary.
It's not like my friendly little Braille Note. I think the
best word to describe it is "intimidating."
But just like with riding the bus, I will keep at it. I
love a challenge and I'm determined to learn. I've got
three weeks to practice before my next training session.
Look out world - Dot Bug has joined the 21st century!

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