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Example Maps

| tags: blind, maps, enabling technology

Some maps Diane sent to help us think about text-based maps. She said:

I have faxed several maps to you. Eastern Alamance High School is a series of buildings connected by covered sidewalks. On my map, the buildings are shaded yellow. The section with X and circles (bushes) is the outside courtyard. There is a map of Northgate Mall (Durham). I have a poor map of GMS. The last map is a street map of the area around GMS. The numbers on this map correspond with restaurants (see last page).

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Nokia N800 Linux Tablet

| tags: ideas, enabling technology

The Nokia N800 Linux tablet looks very interesting as an ET platform. It could make a cool augcom device. High-functioning users could use the touch screen while children likely to throw things might use a web-cam based input mode. It looks like the camera can be pointed at the user, so the device could sit on the table out of reach with the camera focused on (say) a pad with colored regions in front of the user. Touching these regions could be the users "switches". With fairly loud sound and a not too small screen it might be usable. At $399 it is certainly cheap enough for experiments. Here is a nice video demonstrating some of its capabilities.

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Quarter Master faucet leak

| tags: home

It appears to have a defective washer. Not an ordinary O-ring unfortunately but rather a gasket with a "frill" on it. Their customer service number is 800-782-2385. I think it is a 104-557HC. I called on 7 January and they are sending and entire "stem" rather than just the O-ring. On 12 January I received a new complete "stem" for my faucet. Great customer service. I would have been happy with just the gasket but this will get it working again. B&K; Mueller is a quality company. I'll buy and recommend their stuff for sure.

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The motors work great with the USB-1024HLS!

| tags: blind, deaf, enabling technology

The tiny pager motors ( VPM2 from Solarbotics) work great with the USB-1024HLS. I can drive them with the 15mA source capacity of the USB-1024HLS. Using duty-cycle modulation I can control the strength of the vibration. The 4-wire cable I used for each set of 3 is too stiff allowing vibration to couple from one to the next. I'm going to switch to long flexible pairs stripped from a flat cable. That should allow more freedom in placement and less coupling.

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USB-1024HLS Digital I/O

| tags: blind, deaf, enabling technology

I bought a USB-1024HLS from Measurement Computing for an experiment with tiny pager motors as a cheap Braille display. For $149 you get a tiny brick with screw terminals. It works great. Their library is easy to use from Python using ctypes. I'm guessing USB timing limits it to 125 updates per second. I've got it blinking LEDs while I'm waiting on the pager motors to arrive.

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