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Friday, October 05, 2007

Back in Florida

Yesterday evening, after four days in the Toyota mostly on I95 South, we got back to our home in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Our doggies happily romped around the yard as, up in Massachusetts, we had no fenced in area where they could play off of a tether.  In the month since our departure for the Boston area, some of our plants grew enormously.  Our fig tree grew bigger than ever and one of our banana trees obscures the path to our parking spot.  One of the real treats about living in Florida is the fresh fruit that grows in our yard.

 

Of course, when we got up this morning, the only place I could walk with X-Celerator contained no destination, just a rectangle around a number of blocks in the neighborhood.  While up in Cambridge, the X-Dude had a number of real challenges and, as he figured out more and more of them, he would strut proudly as he knew he performed tasks much more complex than here on this god forsaken sandbar.

 

The weather here in Florida is considerably hotter than in any of our stops along the way and, upon arriving at our house, where we had left the air conditioning off, the inside temperature read 88 degrees F on the inside of the house and it felt cooler than outside.  While I hate Boston area winters, I love the fall and spring weather which feels cool and the smell of the falling leaves reminds one of football season and playing in big leaf piles during our childhood.

 

I’ve about a million tasks to handle today and, tomorrow, we’re flying to Minneapolis to attend Dena’s wedding.  For those of you who might have wondered why she hasn’t posted in a while, I can attest to the fact that she has been swamped by last minute planning details for her nuptials.

 

A Note on Comments:

 

I had known for a while that a lot of very interesting people read Blind Confidential.  Some of them, Will Pearson, Mike Calvo for instance, also talk to me on the phone and we’ve maintained a friendship for a number of years.  Recently, though, Al Gilman and Joe Roder have posted comments to the blog which I appreciate greatly.

 

On the V2 standards committee that resulted in the ANSI/ISO standard you can read at http://www. Myurc.org, I had the privilege of working with Al and Joe (along with a lot of other very smart people).  Al, in fact, is so smart that he would often present an idea that the rest of us would have to take about five minutes to figure out.  Al Gilman is, without a doubt one of the smartest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

 

Joe Roder is no slouch either.  Joe, if I remember correctly, was the committee’s secretary and often had the responsibility of herding the rest of us cats to keep us on target.  Joe has a terrific level of insight into many topics regarding accessibility and understands both the geeky research stuff as well as how the good ideas can find their way into a useful product.

 

Now, with the likes of Al and Joe reading BC, I feel a bit of pressure to spend less time fucking around, writing gonzo fiction and random ravings about emerging technologies and wondering how or if the commercial AT vendors will ever get them into their products.

 

I feel a bit of pressure to articulate issues in a manner both profound and entertaining and don’t have all of the confidence in my skills or knowledge to please such an esteemed readership.  Or, I can just continue as always and hope that different articles appeal to different people and have fun with Blind Confidential as always.

 

On Joe Roder’s Comment:

 

A few days ago, Joe Roder posted an item suggesting that, in virtual worlds, blind visitors might have a C3PO like guide to help us navigate through three dimensional web sites.  I really like this idea but I would also add 3D audio presentations like those found in “Shades of Doom” that, in a manner more efficient than having a guide-bot speaking everything, many ambient sounds and things like footsteps approaching and lots of other cool ideas that I can’t think of right now, can possibly provide a richer experience.

 

Other than what I read in the link posted in a comment last week, I know absolutely nothing about VRML so I can’t speak to the information that software can glean from a description of a three dimensional, virtual space.  I will probably spend some time looking into this as I think it’s really interesting and would appreciate it if people could send me pointers to articles and such that they enjoyed reading.

 

Off to my dentist…

 

-- End

3 Comments:

Anonymous kindacoolblindchick said...

For what it's worth, I personally rather enjoy reading the product of your "fucking around," as it were. Not to mention that as soon as a writer (of anything) allows self-consciousness to enter, the product is screwed. So stop looking at yourself and write.

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Zorro said...

It would seem that we, as blind people, live in a virtual world. Or, am I alone? All I need is a hear the fridge, sound of the computer, or the fountain in our pond outside to fill in my world. Is this a product of once having sight or is it the same for everyone? I don't know the answers, but, it would seem that a few clues in the environment would fill the bill. Outside we see with our feet and inside we see with our ears. I don't know what I would think if I could ever see again, I've had people describe things I use everyday and thought I knew. Like the tan floor in the kitchen that became white. Or my blue robe that was tan. Not that any of those things are important, but, in a virtual world description the smallest clue might be important to fill out the experience. I liked the idea that IBM suggested of stereo wind effects, traffic, footsteps etc. to bridge the experience.

One might say, "go down one beeping corner and right to the opening door sound and the cafe is on the right. Or maybe a virtual gps system to navigate a virtual computer world would be a better approach.

Rambling is a form of brainstorming used to stimulate cognitive possibilities.

Later

6:19 AM  
Blogger Chairman Mal said...

Howdy Comrades!
BC’s Gonzo Journalism attracts me the most to this blog, and I think it would diminish the” Cyber-Party” milieu of the blog to abandon Gonz and crew. Let a thousand flowers bloom! You live in Florida for God’s sake, and we expect some of the ambient weirdness to be reflected in Blind Confidential.
Regards,
Chairman Mal
Power to the Peeps!

6:05 PM  

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