Braille Monitor                          May 2019

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Seminar for Computer Beginner

From the Editor: It is instructive to look back, sometimes several decades, and see what we were working on and how what we do has evolved. Here is an article run in May of 1989 talking about these devices called personal computers and the software that made them usable by the blind, software known as screen review software. When did we evolve to calling this software a screen reader? I should remember, having been in the field and likely at the meeting, but I don’t. Enjoy:

Have you ever thought about buying a computer? Perhaps you are one of those people who is being required to learn how to use a computer, either at work or at home. Maybe you are just one of the many confused and frustrated individuals who have heard that computers are simply marvelous! You've started thinking about getting one for yourself, perhaps, but you find that there is so much information available about hardware, software, screen review programs, and the like as to daunt even the most determined computer neophyte. What kind of computer should you buy? IBM? Apple? Another brand? What is a good word processor? What is the best screen review program? What should you buy if you want to communicate with other computer systems over the phone? And then, once you have a computer, what is the best way to go about learning how to use it?

Well, the National Federation of the Blind in Computer Science is conducting a Seminar for Computer Beginners at this year's National Convention to deal with the concerns, questions, and frustrations of people just like you. Although we don't guarantee to answer all of your questions about computers, we will certainly try to deal with as many concerns and questions as we can. We may even have some interesting computer hardware for you to look at, and you won't be bothered by someone who is trying to sell you something. The seminar will be held on Monday, July 3, [1989] from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., somewhere in the headquarters hotel.

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