Friday, March 13, 2015

Back in Business

I use two different assistive technologies to work my computer. One of them is a voice dictation software called Dragon NaturallySpeaking, and the other is a device called a head mouse (which allows you to move the mouse by moving your head). These wonderful inventions are both vital to enabling me to use my computer hands-free. (I should clarify and say that there are lots of things I could still do with one or the other, but to be able to do everything I want/need to do in the fastest way possible, you really need both of these technologies!)

My head mouse attachment that I've been using for the past 10 years has been on the fritz for the past few months. I think there is probably a short in the cord, because it sometimes spontaneously turns off. I've been researching a replacement head mouse since I figured my current mouse's days were numbered. I was right. My head mouse bit the dust last Saturday evening when it wouldn't turn on at all anymore. I had actually ordered a replacement the previous day since I knew it was only a matter of time before I would be needing a new one, but I just hoped the one I was using would hang in there until the new one arrived. Nope!

I didn't get on my computer for the next 48 hours, which is actually a very long time for me, considering that I honestly spend about 10 hours a day on my laptop on average. I was so bored, and was just figuratively "twiddling my thumbs." I usually have the TV on, but I'm usually on my computer actually working on something, so just watching TV for hours on end really felt like a serious waste of time! On Monday night I couldn't take it anymore and I decided to get on my laptop, even though using it strictly by voice command is extremely time-consuming. I figured doing something slowly was better than doing nothing at all. I could still use Skype with no problem, so I was able to talk with my sisters Kristin and Annette, which was a great way to pass the time. :)

My new mouse came on Wednesday afternoon, four days after I ordered it. Four days might not sound like a long time, but it was to me, and I was so ready to get back to business! It was easy to install and it's working well. This new head mouse is an updated model from the one I've been using since 2005. I personally think there is a flaw in the design with the new one. My old one easily clipped to the top of my laptop screen, but the new model doesn't do that. It seems like it's designed to attach to a flatscreen desktop monitor, and not a laptop. I definitely think they need to work on the design, since just as many (if not more) people in my situation use a laptop. I'm still able to get my head mouse to work well by just setting on the base of my laptop, but I still think it would be better if it attached to the laptop screen.

When you are as physically limited as I am, you appreciate every little thing you can do on your own. Being able to use my computer on my own and be completely independent is a wonderful thing. I'm glad that I'm back in business!


Anonymous said...

Hi Heather,
Julie from the UK here. The google thing on my iPod isn't working properly, so I've had to put my name as Anonymous.

Thanks for explaining about how your laptop works. I'm so glad you were able to get a new head mouse, hopefully you'll get used to the new one. I'm not very good with change either.

I know what you mean about being bored without a PC. Sometimes when the Internet connection goes I feel lost & so out of touch with other people.

I have a friend who won't have the Internet & won't even have a digital Telly or even read a newspaper - that, to me, is not living in the real world. I like to keep in touch with world news, whether that's via my PC or the news on the Telly.

Yesterday was Comic Relief/Red Nose Day here. You'll have to google it to see how people decorated their faces etc - they looked brill.:)

Cheerio for now.

Elyse said...

I'm sure most people would feel like they were bored out of their mind without a computer in today's day! Glad it for the most part got sorted. Just a suggestion, maybe you could find something that will clip it on to your laptop since it didn't come with one?

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