Friday, May 25, 2007

Our Bionic Future

I've seen the iBot and sought it's capabilities to enhance my access and abilities. I've pondered what it would take to integrate an affordable computer controlled environmental control system--heck, I carry two 12volt batteries wherever I go. I found the following blog by Brandon Keim exciting to think about. I hope the future isn't too far off.

Wired Science Wonders 002: Frank Moss

By Brandon Keim EmailMay 24, 2007 | 8:58:18 AM

Frank Moss, director of the MIT Media Lab, answers our question: What area or application of science do you feel holds the most potential for the future, and what area or application do you think is the most overhyped?

Read the full blog entry.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mac User or Thought About it?

Apple makes laptops that work well for persons living with SCI, I should know, I use one (my level of injury is C/5-6 complete). I have a newer MacBook Pro (the 15" model) and I love that with wireless and strategically placed AC cords I can independently move around the office or house and reattach to power my computer. The magnetic AC adapter is what makes this possible.

While we're talking Mac, keeping your computer tuned-up takes time and is work. Here's an article worth reading and learning what is and isn't worth acting on:
Breaking down 52 ways to speed up your Mac
Posted May. 15, ’07, 5:45 AM PT by Derik DeLong
Category | Troubleshooting

It looks like I may have to make debunking Mac speed tips a regular feature. I already criticized a list of 11 things, finding a large portion that were really not helping. With a list of 52, I’m going to be doing a lot of typing. Follow me down the extended section for the smackdown. Read the full article.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I'm Not an Expert About Anything But Me

As I have relayed earlier, my goal for this blog is to answer reader questions from my quarterly column, Computer Corner, found in Paraplegia News (PN). The column and this blog focus on the intersection of technology and people living with mobility impairments.

I'm not an expert about anything but me; that is, I acknowledge my limitations to offer "expert advice" derived independently. In these entries, I'll convey my though process and methods for researching answers to questions and solutions to problems; in teacher's lingo we called it "think talk." Read my entry of 5/20/07 to learn more about my intentions of this blog.

In an effort to present you opinions other than mine, I created myself an account in Bloglines and today orienting myself to the FREE service, I ran across an article in PC World that presents their pick for "The 100 Best Products of 2007."
[Their] editors rank the best PCs, HDTVs, components, sites, and services. Plus: the products we're looking forward to next year, and which technologies are rising and falling.

Edited by Eric Dahl, PC World
Monday, May 21, 2007 1:00 AM PDT
Google Apps makes the top of their list. Enjoy!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Career in IT Focuses on Ability

When I was doing my undergraduate work in Southern California a professor asked me, "How are you going to write on a chalkboard?" I looked at him puzzled, not believing he was asking such a thing and wondering if he never watched The Other Side of the Mountain. The guy seriously doubted I could teach in a classroom, but he wasn't the first. Over the course of my twenty-years in education I encountered similar instances ignorance too numerous to count. Here's a picture of me teaching 2nd grade in Paradise, CA.

Technology is an equalizer; I point this out in my first column. Here's a great example of my point, a Reuters article that demonstrates how knowledge and technology combine to empower individuals living with disability.
Disabled and Undeterred
17 May 2007 19:40:00 GMT
Kat Burnside
HANOI, Vietnam — Do Duc Cuong has learned to live with his disability well. Most people he meets barely notice that his right forearm is nearly immobile. He was struck with a high fever as a child, he explains, and has not been able to move his right hand since.

"It can't move up," he demonstrates. "Now I have to use my left hand, because it's lame."

For the last three months, Do Duc, now 24, has been learning software skills at PWD Soft, a private enterprise in Hanoi, Vietnam that offers high-tech training to people with disabilities.

Do Duc's experience in the information technology field has boosted his confidence. He no longer fears others knowing about his disability.
Read the article in it's entirety.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Calling Dr. Larsen: a new blog

I am starting this blog on the eve of my first column being published in Paraplegia News (PN). If you are interested in technology (computers, peripherals, the Internet, etc.) and are living with a spinal-cord injury or other mobility impairments / disability, or know and care about someone who does; you're my intended audience. I'll be scanning the news via "Google Alerts" for new and promising advancements in technology, reading several publications and blogs, watching broadcasts, and attending technology conferences; all rich with information I'll be sharing with those tuning-in. Given questions from the readers on PN, I will post them here with my best answer; note however, I don't have all the answers. I welcome your comments and contributions.

Look for my first column in the June (2007) issue of PN.