Blind Bargains

Blind Bargains Podcast 5: Geeks Being Blind, Cool And Tech

The lull between ATIA and CSUN is always the calm before the storm for watchers of the ebb and flow of the world of Assistive Technology. As JJ and Joe begin their mad plans to assault San Diego, Rick Harmon joins the duo to discuss the saving of an audio historical internet landmark.

Additionally, Joe brings us part one of his two part interview with Brian Hartgen and JJ talks food in his review of a neat product for your kitchen. We also have a Windows Tip and a ton of feedback in the Sound Off section.

Program note:

You can now find our audio feed in two new awesome places. The Victor Reader Stream 2 has added our audio feed to the "Humanware suggested podcasts". Enter that area and up arrow once to find us faster as we are near the bottom of the menu if you down arrow through the list. Also, you can grab our audio on your new Amazon Echo. Or, if you are reading these show notes from our website, check out our spiffy new HTML 5 web player here on this very page!
Visit this site if you want to know more about the Able Player we are using on our page.

In the news,

A big thanks, and a shout out, to Flying Blind and "Top Tech Tidbits" for mentioning our show and for letting others know about our ATIA 2015 coverage. Be sure to read their weekly newsletter!

American Foundation for the Blind Announces 2015 Access Award Winners

Venerable Kurzweil 1000 gets Bump to Version 14 with OCR Improvements, Enhanced PDF Support, More

NFB reviews the Vario Ultra

Acapela Adds its Voice to the NVDA Screen Reader, Available Starting at 59 Euros

Along those lines, the gang at Cool Blind Tech posted an introduction to NVDA Podcast
as well as a 90 days with NVDA Article

Austrian Researchers Tackling Full Page Braille Display Challenge with BLITAB

No Paperwhite read-aloud for you! FCC again lets Amazon and friends diss people with disabilities

APH Looking at Bringing Nearby Explorer GPS to the iPhone

American Council of the Blind Praises U.S. House of Representatives for Reintroducing Legislation

Where Taxpayers With Disabilities Can Find Online Help from the IRS

Interview: Brian Hartgen Part 1

In this first portion of a two part interview with the gentleman behind the JAWS scripts, Joe and Brian discuss the features of the newly released J-Say 13. Learn about how others are already using this new version to control their Dragon products with JAWS at home and in the workplace. J Say is just one of the products available from Hartgen Consultancy. Visit the website now to get more information about J-Say and to get a sneak peek at what Joe and Brian will be discussing next week.

Discussion Topic: The Blind Geek Zone And Blind Cool Tech

Cultural touchstones can disappear in an instant if they exist only on the internet. An audio that influenced the masses could be lost if someone's hosting provider fades away, a server crashes or even one bad back up erases an era. That is why the story of Rick Harmon is so inspiring. Rick mused one day on Twitter that he would like to see the archives of Blind Cool Tech revived. Sure there was some out of date information from those audios. And yes there might be a few too many this is my space" tours. Still, it documented our collective digital histories and Rick set out to put the files back online for all. Little did he know what he was doing when he opened this Pandora's Box of mp3s! Listen to our interview with Rick, and if you believe in his mission, be sure to donate to his site to keep it going. Those packets don't always come cheap. Plus Rick put in a lot of hard work to save these 1s and 0s from oblivion.

Demonstration: Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker

JJ admitted on the show that he could do some damage in the kitchen. Take that any way you want it, however, it remains to be seen just how calamitous things can get when he takes us on a tour of the Hamilton Beach Breakfast Sandwich Maker. Do his eggs arrive sunny side up? Or does the fire department arrive instead?
If they do, JJ suggests that you can feed them all with the Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker model.
And as promised, here's a page of recipes for your sandwich maker from Hamilton Beach.

And don't forget that you can also use the iGrill Mini to keep a watchful eye on those tasty meatloaves and burgers. Its sure to help in the feeding of your local first responders that come to visit you upon any dastardly demises of any kitchens. You can find it, and so many other gift ideas by visiting

Sound Off:

Remember when Joe said to send in the good with the bad when it came to feedback? Well that wish was granted! All kidding aside, it is our listeners who are helping us grow the show. Comments on social media, email and in the show notes pages have been invaluable in the planning of future shows. Therefore, keep those ideas and suggestions coming. Now let’s kick things off with an email from Louis...

""Hello Joe,
Just wanted to drop you a quick note to thank you and J.J for
podcasting weekly. I listened to you and the other cast of characters
on SeroTalk, so I'm definitely happy to hear you continuing with the
show on the Blind Bargains platform.
If I have to make one suggestion, it is that I would like you to cover
other topics besides technology. For example, canes, new cooking tips
or other gadgets, and issues facing our community that prevent us from
moving forward in society. I know you do have to be a little careful
with what you choose to take on because you don't want to create any
enemies, but I think you and J.J are in a unique position.
About the topics I mentioned, I can contribute a few pieces of
personal experience to see if they can help jumpstart any ideas. I am
using a cane from the Czech Republic that is made by a company called
Svarovsky. It is similar to the Ambutech canes with a few key
exceptions. The Svarovsky has a wooden handle, all of the joints are
reinforced with metal rather than plastic, the sections are hollowed
out to make the whole cane as light as possible, and the tip is a
high-mileage ceramic tip. All of these factors create an extremely
light cane that is better than anything I've seen offered in the
United States.
As to issues facing our community, I am currently in community
college. My college's assessment tests are inaccessible and they are
content with disabled students taking lower-division classes until
they get to the normal level.
Any who, that's what I got for you. Hopefully some of it helps, and I
look forward to the next show.


Jywanza writes in about our recent discussion of fashion:

I am writing regarding Blind Bargains podcast 2. In that podcast, there was a segment about fashion. Let me first start off by saying I am a totally blind man. I consider myself a professional bargain hunter and shopper and love fashion. Anyone who knows me, know that I am a total clothes and beauty products horse. I own over 500 tops, over 200 pair of pants, over 90 pairs of shoes, 15 sport jacket/blazers, 8 suits and countless beauty products. I always totally care about what I am wearing and how I look no matter where I am going. I always look put together and never look raggedy. Blind Bargains should have a special podcast about fashion. If you need someone to be on the panel, just let me know!!
John writes:
Joe asked for negative feedback as well as positive. OK, here goes. The lengthy demonstration of the talking cable box was a screaming bore for me. I know it's an important subject for many, and you guys were having a lot of fun; but I thought it was a snoozer. Can you guess I don't have cable?
As for the name, did I hear Accessibility Roundup mentioned? How about Accessibility Technology Roundup? Or A T Roundup. Or A T R for short. Also, I like the name Sound Off for the mail, etc.
Keep up the good work.

Lastly, from the show notes comment section for our third weekly episode, we have this suggestion.
dannyboy writes...

"Please stop using issue for everything, and start using, problem, topic, question, etc. Using issue over and over to me sounds canned. Also, please say that someone said this or that, not 'someone was like,'.
Thanks for your podcast. I like the way all sides of something are discussed."

Thank you sir for keeping us on the straight and narrow when it comes to the use of the correct King's, or Queen's, English. We invite others to take a look at the "Last Word" section if they also care about the art of how something is said as much as what is said.

Last word:

Sometimes the internet can be a funny thing.. Patterns can emerge and so they did after we read the comments page of show number three. Good things come in threes, or so it is said, so marvel at the three articles that appeared last week to make Joe and JJ think more about speaking out loud.
Why we are saying "uh" less and 'um' more
I Used Dictation and Voice Control for a Week. Here's What Happened
Google wants to teach you how to say place names like a local

Well if those articles don't make you self-conscious about talking to your friends for a while, nothing else will. Stay warm this weekend and we'll see you back here next week for part two of Joe's interview with Brian Hartgen.

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File size: 106.1MB
Length: 95:33

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Category: Shows
Displaying 1 comment.
Svetlana Saturday, 14-Feb-2015 09:34 AM ET:

Hello hosts! I'm a host and podcast editor from Russia, from Siberia to be precise. Guys, I'm sooo happy I found you again! Now I can tell my friends who were upset with your disappearance too where to find you. It's really great you've added your podcast to the Ootunes database because this is exactly how I found it! Listening on the Stream now. I hope you'll still have a lot of tech stuff on the show :-) Looking forward to CSUN coverage. You're amazing! Keep up a wonderful job!

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Joe Steinkamp is no stranger to the world of technology, having been a user of video magnification and blindness related electronic devices since 1979. Joe has worked in radio, retail management and Vocational Rehabilitation for blind and low vision individuals in Texas. He has been writing about the A.T. Industry for 15 years and podcasting about it for almost a decade.

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