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|Wednesday, March 17th, 2010|
|Window-Eyes 7.2 Beta 1 is Live
GW Micro released the public beta for Window-Eyes 7.2 earlier today. This maintenance release corrects a slu of GPF reports, memory leaks, script-related issues, Office 2010 and better iTunes support, and bosts a lot of under-the-hood speed improvements. Even though it's technically a beta, I strongly recommend existing 7.X customers upgrade to enjoy all of the much needed fixes as well as report any remaining issues to GW Micro before the final 7.2 ships. Even though no word has come from the company regarding Window-eyes post 7.2, this may very well be it before we see version 8. If you're a Window-Eyes user, download the beta
and make sure it works for you while you have the opportunity. Happy testing.
|Wednesday, January 27th, 2010|
|Mobile Speak 4 is here!
It's finally ready. Click this link
to visit Code Factory's website and try it for yourself. It's well worth a look, at least, when deciding what mobile platform you want to use. Enjoy!
|Tuesday, January 26th, 2010|
|Install Mobile Speak 4 with just four keystrokes
With Mobile Speak 4's release just around the corner, I thought I would demonstrate Code Factory's new express installer to get the software up and running on my phone in just four keystrokes. Click here to here the demonstration.
Note that it will be necessary to uninstall any previous version of MobileSpeak Pocket or Smartphone before dropping MS4 onto your device. The two installers and screen readers have very little in common now, so it's much easier to start over from scratch. As always, comments are welcome.
|Saturday, January 23rd, 2010|
|Blart Radio for January 23, 2010
Click here to download.
On this week's show:
- After a listener request starts out the show, we discuss a new hybrid of Doug and Ed-- lovingly called "Ded."
- Peanutbutter and bacon?
- We detail an overwhelming trek to the grocery store this past Thursday that resulted in Karen's folks purchasing a new car.
- What happens when blind children get hold of peoples' vehicles? Find out what deadly accidents were narrowly avoided by both the show's listeners and hosts alike.
- We next discuss the types of stupid items that we've accidentally thrown away. Our listeners submit some truly astounding stories.
- The drummer for testament turns 45 today. We play a tribute followed by Karen's very special birthday song she wrote for her father.
- An accessible monopoly game has recently taken the blind gaming community by storm. We try to figure out why this is such a big deal, especially over the Twitter service.
- The newly weds prankster will reveal his joke face-to-face to his friend on February 26. Mark down the date.
- We learn about D&D and War Hammer. This educating leads to the conclusion that there are others out there much geekier than I.
- Today is National Pie Day.
- The nephew makes an appearance to sing an unidentifiable song over the air.
- Karen tells us a story involving a blind man, a beer glass, plants, and a hotel lobby.
- Find out how Karen's cane wound up on top of our refridgerator.
- Why will Karen's dad now be known as Jungle Jim?
- Blind sword fighting is quite the sport.
- Corona sings her famous lullaby.
- Finally, Derek calls in one more time to tell us of a great prank he played on someone during the 2009 ACB convention.
That does it for another week. Thanks for listening, and see you at the end of January.
|Friday, January 22nd, 2010|
|Get to know Mobile Speak 4 even before it's released
Code Factory's next major update to its Mobile Speak screen reader for Windows Mobile and Symbian phones is not far away. To get a detailed sneak peak at many of Mobile Speak 4's new features, I have recorded the following audio demonstrations:
I hope these recordings will help educate interested listeners as well as help them decide if Mobile Speak 4 will suit their needs. I also want to make it clear that I don't work for Code Factory or any other assistive technology vendor at this time. Any opinions expressed are my own and by no means reflect those of anyone else at Code Factory, planet Earth, or the universe as a whole. Happy listening.
|Sunday, January 17th, 2010|
|Blart Radio for January 16, 2010
Click here to download.
In this week's show:
- We started about 15 minutes late because the chair that was broken during our last show was in the process of getting repaired.
- Why are we talking more quietly tonight? Two words: new neighbord.
- Meet Doug, Ed's successful elderly cousin.
- Karen's computer contracted a virus. Five days later, we're back up and running with a little help from Bryan Smart's pregenerated Windows 7 unattended install script.
- Who will win the "who has the louder sound system game?" We will, of course.
- Derek calls in to tell us about some payback he and his room mates gave to an annoying next door dorm mate.
- All of this week's music breaks are dedicated to our new downstairs companions. The first break eximplifies this fact.
- Karen and I both have new jobs. Payment for one of them was in the form of an iPod Touch. Karen demonstrates this useful, sophisticated device by.... playing ping pong.
- I give major props to the TVU Networks player and OO Tunes media applications.
- Karen and Ed then make a stupid song about the upcoming Cowboys and Vikings showdown.
- Why is bacon grease so bad for dogs?
- Karen's grandfather passed away last weekend. We are keeping her family in our thoughts and prayers.
- After some sports talk, John calls in to spin in his swivel chair while eating a hefty tripple from Wendy's.
- Our overly jealous dog really doesn't like it when I hug Karen. We demonstrate this behavior on the air.
- We then play a recording I made last Saturday of the dog's wrath when I tried taking his favorite toy away. One listener claims that his bark sounded almost human.
- Going back to bacon, we talk about an emergency breakfast that Karen prepared during one of our last mornings in Washington, D.C.
- We take a second musical break to play more songs for our neighbors.
- One of our listeners hates the word "spider." We naturally take advantage of the phobia for a minute or two.
- Steve's Talking Clock is now compatible with Windows 7. Click here to download it.
- Corona then calls in to ask Doug a few questions. In this conversation, we learn quite a bit about her presidential campaign.
- Finally, one of Corona's campaign interns calls in to clarify how Ed's run for the presidency was sabotaged from the very beginning.
That does it for this week. Despite our busy schedules, we will endeavor to keep broadcasting as regularly as possible. Thanks for listening, and see you next week.
|Blart Radio for January 2, 2010
Click here to download.
On the first show for 2010:
- How was your holiday? We tell you about ours.
- Tristan decided to jump on my lap and ended up breaking my chair.
- John sent Corona a Christmas present. The result? A parody called "stupid brown dog" to which Tristan loves to dance.
- We then perform the song live on the air.
- Karen then takes Tristan out for a walk over the phone.
- Whenever danger is at hand, Bicycle Repair man will come to save the day.
- We next play a family rendition of "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" as performed at my grandmother's house on Christmas Eve.
- Even though it's common knowledge, we remind those of you living with parents that living on your own is expensive.
- We are considering the procurement of an iPod Touch because of the OCR and barcode scanners available. Are they actually any good?
- John then forwards the TBRN number to my cell phone, so we are once again able to take calls.
- John decides to randomly inflict the talking thermometer in my old office at us at the top of the hour.
- We next introduce Karen's amazing talent: the living air horn!
- Turning back to Christmas Eve, we play a couple of badly performed Roger Alan Wade tunes.
- After our music break, John is back to play with the horrible on-board effects on his new mixer while our dog barks at the neighbors.
- Find out why running on the treadmill in my slippers was not such a great idea.
- We throw in another musical break including a Christmas Eve rendition of "In My Room."
- I have begun recording a series of podcasts for the upcoming release of Mobile Speak 4. Go to here to hear them.
- What's the difference between a 10-dollar and 100-dollar bill?
- Finally, hear about the new spinning coffee accessory I got for Christmas.
That does it for this first episode of the new year. Thanks for listening, and see you all soon.
|Blart Radio for December 19, 2009
Click here to download.
On this Christmas edition of Blart Radio:
- We unvail the Reverend BigDawg Christmas CD for 2009 throughout this program. It's well worth it, we promise.
- Karen and Corona make up some new lyrics to the Charley Brown Christmas song live on the air.
- John joins us about twenty minutes in to drink some Christmas cheer.
- hear about a truly awful prank a man in the U.K. played on his newly wed friends. Follow their bedtime escapades on Twitter to see what he did.
- Craig. What is it, and why do we dislike it so much?
- John's woman's impression is very disturbing. It will give you nightmares.
- Good news for those of you who have followed Venison88's saga on Venison Stew. The situation is finally resolved, and he will be able to keep his house.
- John gives us an update on the Saints game that results in much giggling from the host.
- We next play the first segment of this year's BigDawg CD and reveal some amusing but sad facts relating to the tracks.
- We pause the show while the dog revs up to bark at our neighbors while never even getting off of the Blart Radio bed.
- We finally conclude the show by playing the last few tracks of the competed CD.
And thus ends Blart Radio for 2009. Merry Christmas, folks. See you in 2010.
|Blart Radio for December 5, 2009
Click here to download.
On this first episode for December:
- We now have DSL, or "big boy internet" as I call it.
- This week also marks the return of John to the show.
- I made a very stupid mistake with our wireless network key. My own nickname is a part of it, and I managed to spell it wrong multiple times.
- We next introduce Lonely Beer II.
- Meet Howard, the new broadcast machine.
- Our dog has gotten over his modesty... in the parking lot.
- We had Irish Ed not too long ago. We now introduce Australian Ed.
- Why are alcohol and Christmas lights such an interesting combination?
- In preparation for this year's Reverend Bigdawg CD, we play some bits from past releases.
- Karen is cheap. C, H, ...
- We take a brief trip back in time to meet the old philosopher.
- We next introduce our next door neighbor: Duck Dog.
- Our dog is a thief! Find out what he did as we talk about our trip to PetCo this afternoon.
- Where was Uncle BS on December 7, 1941?
- Finally, we bring back the garbage song, Ed's techno remix, and the Ed Chorus.
That wraps it up for another week. Thanks as always for listening.
|Blart Radio for November 28, 2009
Click here to download.
On this November edition of Blart Radio:
- We're back after a nearly one month absence.
- Since our DSL hasn't yet been installed, this week's episode is truly transmitted over the air via my cell phone's 3G connection.
- This is also the first broadcast from our new apartment with a live Karen and Tristan in the studio.
- We catch up on everything that has happened over the last few weeks, including new purchases and visits from John and the parents during the middle of the month.
- What is a butt chair?
- Learn about how I managed to accidentally ask for my eye condition at the grocery store.
- The dog is the most modest creature ever. Walking him has become quite the game.
- Karen described the dog's new relieving harness. This invention, surprisingly, hasn't caught on in the United States but is very popular in Australia.
- We then talk about the new phone saga that we both underwent roughly a week apart. The HTC Touch Pro is not such a great device, by the way. But guess who makes our new phones?
- Dr Pepper can be found in abundance in Texas, but it's nearly impossible to locate up here. However, some places do, so listen to learn where.
- We then recount a somewhat spooky story from last Sunday night involving a non-ringing cell phone and one of us getting lost in the snow.
- Why does Steve get cranky? Simple; no coffee.
- Where does the dog sleep? Here's a hint: not in his bed.
- The same dog is also apparently microphone shy.
- Karen describes why the Corona personality is such a contradiction.
- What does Ed look like?
- Finally, find out what mysterious kitchen aid was left in Karen's kitchen. It's both sightly insulting but very useful.
That does it for another week and apparently another month. Now that we have settled in, we should be on the air more frequently. As usual, watch the TBRN messengers for our next show. Thanks for listening and your patience during the move.
|Blart Radio for October 31, 2009
Click here to download.
On this week's episode:
- Blart Radio has moved! We now reside in the midwestrn United States.
- I detail the more amusing parts of my rushed packing job, including a tale of ten boxes that followed me across the country.
- i discovered a new restaurant last night after I landed. Among its delights is a massive burger called the lumberjack and huge mugs of delicious beer. An anonymous couple wound up buying our dinner as well, so thank you to whoever you are. It was a great meal.
- Meet Irish Ed.
- The midwestern folks have an interesting Halloween tradition to keep the kids safe and make it more convenient for the adults. We describe it in detail plus tell an amusing story about a child who didn't like my Homer Simpson mask.
- i also consume my very first caramel apple.
- Hear all about the world's greatest candy store ever.
- A talking plant will burn you, like the crazy world of Arthur Brown.
- We took our dog to have a Halloween photo taken by the most idiotic photographer.
- What do Ed and a pop gun have in common?
- The new Creed album... is actually good.
- Finally, I recount a few final stories from just before I moved out. As usual, I forgot something important during my hasty departure from Texas. Guess what it was?
That does it for this episode. Our schedule may be a bit off while we get settled in to our new home, so keep an eye on TBRN's Twitter page for info on the next broadcast. Thanks for listening.
|Steve's Talking Clock is now Windows 7 compatible
A new version of Steve's Talking Clock
is available for download. Although there are no functional changes, it is now compatible with Windows 7. If you are running Vista or 7, the free upgrade is strongly encouraged. XP users are welcome to download the update as well, but there should be no compelling reason to do so. The clock has not been abandoned, but moving across the country and looking for steady employment has taken up the majority of my time. More updates to the program are planned, so hang in there and wish me luck on the job front so I can devote more time to the clock.
|Thursday, December 24th, 2009|
|Five Christmas Carols and a Podcast walk into a bar...
Two posts from me in one day, let alone one month sure is rare nowadays. But as you can doubtless ascertain from reading through this blog, I only write when there is something of substance to share. Up now are two items. The first is a collection of five Christmas carols
sung by amazingstar
and produced by yours truly with Sonar 8.5 and Window-Eyes 7.11. This was recorded in our new apartment with her new mic, and we think you will enjoy them. And hey, free Christmas music is always good, right?
The second item I want to share is more on the geeky side but should prove of interest to current and potential users of Mobile Speak, a screen reader for Windows Mobile and Symbian phones. This podcast
introduces the new internet browsing support in the product. I briefly explain how it works and then quickly run through the NFB Newsline portal to grab the latest edition of USA Today. I also use the new optimized Acapela Heather voice, which, as you can hear in the 8-minute demonstration, is remarkably responsive. Other screen readers and phones have had comprehensive internet support for some time, but I think Mobile Speak will have them beat on the Windows Mobile side when it's released in 2010.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoy the beautiful Christmas carols and the sneak peak at Mobile Speak 4.
|Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009|
|Introducing the 2009 Reverend BigDawg Christmas CD
Once again it's that time of year when Reverend BigDawg undertakes another whirlwind adventure on another crazy Christmas Eve. Many of us have been coming to grips with the pandemic of the recent swine flu outbreak, and unfortunately we are not alone. Join Reverend BigDawg, Kung Fu Docta, Belchy McGas, Ed Edwardson, Senor Queso, Mister BigMan, and the rest of the gang as they work their way through an exciting day of bus barns, IHOP, chase scenes, broken windows, and quacking carolers. Discover why this year's CD has been rated PG, why Bubbles and Roburp McGas love fire, and what Ed's new job is after his recent promotion.
Owing to the marvels of technology, this is also the first CD that the two of us have recorded and produced over 900 miles apart. We humbly thank each and every one of you for the continued suggestions and support, and it is in that spirit that we hope you enjoy the Reverend BigDawg Christmas CD for 2009
. Enjoy, and have a very merry Christmas.
|Saturday, November 28th, 2009|
It has been over a month since my last post to this blog, and even longer since I wrote about something other than Blart Radio. Regular readers will know that I'm a man of few words and don't write unless there is a good reason for it. Follow my Twitter updates if you really want to keep up with the more mundane facets of my life. To summarize for those of you who don't want to do so, I packed up my belongings and moved to the Midwest at the end of October. The majority of November has been filled with getting my personal and financial affairs in order, setting up the new apartment, and attending some training that I'm hoping will turn into lucrative work.
My busy schedule has consequently kept me mostly offline with a few small exceptions. Frankly, I prefer it, and that's very likely to continue. There really is a life to live in the real world, after all. One aspect of my internet existence which wil be coming back, however, is Blart Radio. Barring any technical difficulties, I will be back on the air tonight at 8:00 EST on TBRN
. Tonight's show will be a test to see 1) how well the broadcast setup works in the new place and 2) learn whether or not I can sustain a reasonably hi-phi sound over my mobile phone's 3G connection. Verizon DSL, or "big boy internet," won't be installed until the end of next week at the earliest, so we will make do with what's available until then. If you want all of the details on what we've been up to and to hear the collection of music and banter that only Blart Radio can bring, tune in tonight at 8:00. if you can't make it, we should have an archive ready by, you guessed it, the end of next week. Hope to see you all there.Post from mobile portal m.livejournal.com
|Saturday, October 17th, 2009|
|Blart Radio for October 17, 2009
Click here to download.
On this week's installment:
- After our opening track, a listener suggests an excellent way to run a radio station into the ground.
- A report released this week shows that U.S. broadband is among the slowest and most expensive in the world. How do your speeds compare to ours?
- We later begin our tribute to balloons by going up, up, and away in a beautiful.... motor boat?
- If you are an iPhone user, listen up. An excerpt from a BBC program sent in by TBRN's owner gives a perspective contrary to Apple's marketing fud.
- A call then follows to explain why wifi on cell phones is actually beneficial.
- It seems that Corona, everyone's favorite four-year-old, may have been born on the streets of NYC.
- Find out where the host of "The Farhan Show" has gone.
- Is Led Zeppelin's "Four Sticks" sped up? One listener insists the CD version is, and we insist that it's only Robert Plant's vocals that are put through helium.
- Karen's mom celebrated a birthday this week. A special dedication is played that even appalls Venison88.
- We experience some technical difficulties during the broadcast. Although nothing major, it becomes necessary to explain by blaming the seven-year-old desktop.
- John playing with a helium balloon follows, complete with an interruption from some dogs who are unhappy that pizza has arrived.
- Ever wondered what "Sweet Georgia Brown" sounded like when a tractor was used for the percussion? Wonder no more.
- Venison88 sends us a track that showcases the typical NYC nightlife.
- John's gurgly stomach makes a few appearances.
- We finally close out the show with a listener request and an older bit appropriate to some recent news in the assistive technology industry.
That wraps it up for this week. Life is becoming quite busy on the personal front, so we may or may not be around next Saturday. Keep an eye on the TBRN messengers to see when we're next on the air.
|Saturday, October 10th, 2009|
|Blart Radio for October 10, 2009
Click here to download.
On this week's more unusual episode:
- Ed starts out the show by singing the typical introductory music from the shower. Note his weight from the talking scale.
- After our first song, we point out that Steve is actually perfectly normal for the rest of the week when he isn't on the air. Unfortunately, you folks usually only hear him when he's in show host mode.
- One of our listener's busted her earbuds yesterday. We reflect on an unfortunate incident involving some expensive earbuds and a toilet bowl.
- We make some jazz album recommendations per a listener's request.
- When Karen joins us, we update you all with the final total raised last week for the Crop Hunger Walk.
- Why was one of our listener's looking at a transvestite's chestal anatomy?
- Some long forgotten morons from Dallas try to inflict themselves upon the show.
- After an instructional jazzy song break, we play a hurricane excerpt to commemorate a massive storm that killed 50,000 people in the Caribbean today in 1780.
- We next turn to the cloning part of the show. Find out first hand how 32 Belchy McGas and Corona clones sound.
- Listeners call and write in with ideas about possible arcade games based on Brian, a longtime listener known for his alter egos.
- We next discuss old, cheaply made handheld videogames from the early 1990's.
- The Ed choir? Yes; it's real, and has 128 members. It's intriguing and disturbing proof that I need less time on my hands.
- Karen's brother has a unique use for the latest Bop It "shout it!" command.
- Another listener calls in to describe how the PC-based Bop It game works.
- We finally close out the show with a new jazzy cover of an Eagles classic and a clip of the Franklin Language Master.
Believe it or not, we didn't get to the content we had originally planned for this show. The next episode is sure to be a doozy, so drop on by this Saturday night to hear it first hand. You won't be sorry you did.
|Sunday, October 4th, 2009|
|Blart Radio for October 3, 2009
Click here to download.
In this week's episode:
- We are accepting donations for tomorrow's Crop Hunger Walk. We outline what listeners can win several times through the show. You can click here to donate to the cause.
- Thanks to the marvels of modern technology, Karen and Corona now join us in much higher quality.
- Derek writes in, and several listeners agree, that the first track we played sounds like Power Rangers music.
- One of the attempts we make to encourage donations involves Ed spouting suggestive sentences. When the CHW received something, Ed would shut up. It worked.
- We reach into the live stash of Seamus Kennedy and replay his rendition of "Whiskey in the Jar" followed by some tasteless police jokes.
- Karen's pets now have Halloween costumes. Find out what they are and how one of the dogs reacted.
- Sami, AKA Ripples, tends to eat everything she can reach. This miniature pincher has been known to eat entire large cakes in a matter of minutes. She ate so much last weekend that she ended up in the vet's office for three days.
- We next turn to amusing stories about some of our not-so-tall hosts and listeners.
- We play a Spike Jones tune dedicated to our grandpa's wife who turned 90 last week and to Patrick's grandmother who turns 86 today.
- Seamus Kennedy is back again to demonstrate his amazing yodling abilities.
- Tristan, AKA Mr. Brown, next races a pack of horses to warm up for the big ten-mile walk tomorrow.
- We then flashback to last year's olympics to listen to 8 clones of Ed race to take a nap.
- To fulfill a caller's request, we then play the isolated recording of all eight Eds running.
- We then play a ten-second preview of 'Beer on a String," a song Corona recorded last May but which we haven't yet played to solicit some additional donations.
- Social Security is good, but beware getting real employment. Even if you are only temporarily employed, SSA will punish you for years to come for the meager income you managed to scrape together.
- Karen and I next talk about an amusing but flamboyant waiter we encountered at a local Red Robin restaurant near her home.
- We then take a two-hour break for "Things and Stuff," although the archive only has two seconds of silence instead.
- For privacy's sake, I skillfully removed Karen's E-mail address from the archive. I play the alteration live on the air.
- Since we reached one of our donation goals tonight, we're back to play the entirety of 'Beer on a String."
- For good measure, we also play "The Garbage Song."
- A listener then calls in to note that TBRN archives and automation have returned. They will remain available assuming that listeners don't further abuse the system.
- What is "Man vs. Printer?" The road to victory, perhaps?
- Corona's rendition of Seamus Kennedy's "Beer Song" concludes this week's extended episode.
You guys donated over $100 tonight, and we want to sincerely thank all of you on behalf of the hungry folks who will receive your donations this Fall. Our sincere thanks also go out to Patrick of "Things and Stuff" for granting us some serious air time to promote the fund raiser, and definitely to Krista, one of our loyal listeners. Many of the donations we raised were a direct result of her enthusiastic activity on Twitter. Even though our promotion has ended, we still encourage you to donate. We don't see a cent of this money, and it goes directly to a good cause. Every little bit helps.
And with that, we're out for another week. See you folks next Saturday.
|Blart Radio for September 25, 2009
Click here to download.
On this week's jam-packed edition:
- We're back in the main Blart Radio studios this week with lots of new music and live recordings from last week's Irish festival.
- A listener's ten-year-old brother managed to get himself kicked off of the Disney website with excessive foul language. We aren't sure to be impressed or saddened.
- Gumbo in the Midwest? One listener likes to make the southern-borne dish.
- Chili's no longer sells its award-winning broccoli-cheese soup. Why is this such a big deal?
- We discuss an aging ramble John E-mailed to many of our high school contemporaries at May 2, 2003 at 1:53 AM.
- We start off the rewind to last week's Irish festival with some religious jokes and Mexicanesque tunes from the one and only Seamus Kennedy.
- Next, Vertical Horizon's new album was released this past Tuesday. Even though Karen managed to score the only copy in town, we still manage to play a song from the new record.
- We describe the horror that is an old woman directing Irish dancers to the poorly timed music of an accordian player with MIDI drums to back him up.
- John has never heard the Crystal Lite jingle. So bring in.... Clorox Lite?
- After we play some more new music that was released this last Tuesday, Seamus Kennedy returns with "The Sow Song."
- Find out why the preceding Thursday and Friday were so long for Karen and me.
- Our nephew is developing quite an accent. Listen to some examples of his speech as interpreted by we so-called adult hosts.
- Seamus is back to sing about Finigan's wake, or as he puts it, "a nice lovely Irish song about death."
- Seamus next performs the now famous "Beer Song." Note the very drunk midwestern guy behind us on the right.
- Of course, "The Barley Mow" must follow, and it does.
- After some more recently released music, we discuss our Simpsons references and promise to try to tone them down a bit in the future.
- We next wait for a minute past, play an appropriate dedication to a listener's younger brother, and top off the show with Seamus's take on a Benny Bell classic about Chicago.
What a fun two hours this was. We have even more to get to next week, so come back then for even more good times.