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Monday, August 6, 2012

Adventures in computer training #6

Since I'm such a good little student, I sat down in front of my
computer to do my homework. I wrote a document, centered the
title and ran spell check. All of that worked just right. But I
know enough about writing to understand that a document isn't
perfect just because spell check says it is.

I began to read my story. This is where I ran into trouble. I
wasn't sure of the best method for navigating through a document.
Should I use the arrow keys, whiz wheels or buttons on the
braille display? I played with all of them but couldn't figure
out the right answer. Nothing seemed to just let me read straight
and simple.

I also noticed something odd in my document. A line ended in the
middle of a sentence. There was half a blank line followed by a
full blank line, and then the rest of my sentence. I tried
everything I could think of, but nothing worked to fix the
problem.

At my next training session, I told my teacher about these weird
blank lines. He decided to have me create a new story to see if
the problem happened again. It didn't. Other weird stuff did. I'm
probably hitting wrong keys and messing things up. My trainer had
to fix it for me.

Oh, he's a clever teacher. He had me center the title and put it
in bold print. This was something I learned weeks ago. Whoops...
I forgot to highlight the title. Then I couldn't remember the
right command to use. Guess I need to regularly go back and
review.

One nice thing about this session was that the real Angie showed
up. I was making jokes and mock complaining the whole two hours.
I think I startled my teacher. I assured him that if I was
cracking jokes, I was doing just fine.

He instructed me to write another story. I complained that I was
getting tired of writing these little documents. It's so hard to
come up with topics. I went into "wise-girl" mode and wrote about
computers having multiple personality disorder. My trainer liked
that one.

I started to read my article... And there it was again! I was
able to show him the weird blank lines so he could actually see
what I was talking about. He played with things for awhile. It
has something to do with the braille display, and how it advances
through lines. The braille display only shows 40 cells at a time.
That is not a full line of print. So sometimes it acts a little
screwy.

My trainer told me not to worry about this. Although I see blank
lines on my braille display, the actual format of the document
is fine. I didn't like it. As a writer, how can I know that the
layout is in proper order if I'm seeing split and blank lines? My
trainer will call Freedom Scientific to see what can be done
about this.

We didn't have time to learn anything new. My trainer feels we
need to focus on navigating through a document first. Since
that's always been a big problem for me, I agree. I suspect I'll
be writing many more silly stories in the near future.

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