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DJO
Jun 2, 2004, 08:52 PM
Greetings from New Zealand!

for some time l have been on a search for either, a small feature incorporated into the screen saver preferences of Apple's OS X , or some piece of software. It is something which makes me wish that I had some programming ability. Alas, that is not my forte, thus I am posting this message in as many places as I can think of to see what so feedback I may be lucky enough to receive. To explain...

the following is a message l sent to Apple some time ago...

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Would it be possible to incorporate a small feature into OS X's excellent Screen Effects?
Screen Effects as does many screen savers, is activated primarily by the mouse being inactive for a period of time. Many disabled people like myself use a headpointer system as a mouse alternative. These work wonderfully, but the vast majority of these systems use ultrasonic or infra red beams which means that the cursor is constantly moving and never at rest. Thus, Screen Effects can never be used successfully. A popular screen saver of pre OS X times was After Dark. Later versions of this had a preferences feature which let one specify that the program ignore mouse movement and wake up only on mouse click.
If this could be incorporated into Screen Effects it would be fully functional for many disabled users,
The Mac OS , is and always will be very cool ... could we make it even cooler?
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... I have not as yet, heard back from Apple, and to be honest I have my doubts that my e-mail ever made it to anyone who would have enough influence to incorporate what would be a change in system software. If anyone reading this, could point me in a useful direction with regards to contacting the right person/persons at Apple that would be great.

... so lm looking for something to ignore mouse movement, would it be possible to create a piece of software or even better would there be something out there that does this.
After giving it quite a bit of thought, the ideal solution for me would be something that utilizes a corner of this screen (like the hot corners in the screen saver and expose') When the mouse, is put in the assigned corner the software would deactivate mouse movement or make the computer think the mouse was immobile and then, with a mouse click, wakeup mouse movement!

Any ideas, thoughts, hints, help or even sneers of derision!

Feedback would be great,

Kind regards,

DJO :)

reaper
Jun 2, 2004, 09:11 PM
That's a great idea. I'm surprised Apple didn't get back to you. It seems that they are always pretty amenable to making the os more accessible. I would try to give them a shout again and see what happens. Here's hoping Apple gets the next message. Best of luck!

- reaper

DJO
Jun 2, 2004, 09:21 PM
Yo reaper!

many thanks, for your positive encouragement. As it happens, I did indeed just send another message to Apple.

Catch you later,

DJO :)

janey
Jun 2, 2004, 09:32 PM
That's a great idea. I'm surprised Apple didn't get back to you. It seems that they are always pretty amenable to making the os more accessible. I would try to give them a shout again and see what happens. Here's hoping Apple gets the next message. Best of luck!

- reaper
you have to understand apple has a LOT of requests coming in every day, their devs cant handle the load
i am also surprised they havent replied though, i'd think that kind of thing is somethingthey'd love to put in OS X.

and thats sort of hard to implement in OS X...

good luck though

DJO
Jun 2, 2004, 09:35 PM
Hello there übergeek!

Thank you for your interest and kind words!

Cheers,

DJO :)

7on
Jun 2, 2004, 11:22 PM
I'd try emailing sjobs@apple.com (or is it steve@apple.com?) You usually get really fast responses that way. This is a pretty good idea, with 10.4 being all handicap accessible now.

janey
Jun 3, 2004, 12:40 AM
sjobs@apple.com

youre thinking about steve@mac.com, which might work, but not sure.

If you send an email to sjobs@apple.com, someone's BOUND to read it and maybe reply if its that interesting :)

Royal Pineapple
Jun 3, 2004, 01:25 AM
how is the head pointer working, i dunno if that would work too well with me
anyone have a link to a product?

Abstract
Jun 3, 2004, 02:41 AM
Surely, Steve Jobs himself wouldn't answer an email to that address, would they?

Anyway, sounds like a great idea. I wonder if Apple ever consults handicap people before creating accessibility features for people with disabilities?

DJO
Jun 3, 2004, 06:20 PM
Hi all,

first off thnx for the email address/s, l have sent my message off so we shall see...

To- Royal Pineapple, you asked about the Headpointer. Forgive me if this is long but l have put in a article l wrote some time ago about it ...



COMPUTERS & THE DISABLED

The following is from* a magazine* article I wrote in 1990




******* This is not a story which gives high tech info on Computers but is just my own personal experience and hopefully shows the positive influence and greatly increased quality of life I have gained from getting involved with computers. In September 1985 I suffered a high neck injury as a result of a fall while rockclimbing. The accident left me quite severely disabled, with only head movement. As a result I had to adjust to a new way of life and look for new ways of occupying the vast amount of time I now had. Because my great passion before my accident had been writing and performing music, it was suggested to me by an occupational therapist that I could perhaps pursue my interest in music through the use of computers which, in her words were; " doing all sorts of things these days", so I started investigating computers, spurred on more than a little, bit by the fact that I was finding sitting around staring out the window extremely boring !

**** So I read everything I could lay my hands on (I mean my mouthstick) about computers and their musical applications. I must say at this point that I had always thought of computers as mystical things used only by mathematicians and scientists . However the more I read and had demonstrated to me it was as if I had come across a hidden treasure which I hadn't realised existed.* The thing which made this most unexpected revelation most heart stirring of all, was the discovery of a system which had been designed specifically for high level quadriplegics.

********* This system gives the disabled user the same degree and extent of control as well as the same speed (if not faster) , of use as an able-bodied user. The System known as "The Headmaster Control " sends ultrasonic signals from 3 transmitter units placed in a triangular formation on a light weight headset, rather like walkman headphones. The Headset is worn by the disabled user. These 3 signals are picked up by a small box which sits neatly on top of the computer . This box translates the the signals into information the computer interprets as mouse movement. So quite simply where the user moves his head the cursor moves on the screen. To replace the button on the mouse is a small puff switch , so instead of click or double click , you have puff and double puff. To go with the hardware are a number of different software packages which provide a full on-screen keyboard which are operated by placing the cursor on the desired character and puffing. Once installed these work* with the majority of available software.

******** This equipment was able to put me back on a par with an able-bodied user. luckily for me, a sales rep. for the local company which sold the type of computer which used this special equipment, heard about my case and the equipment. This guy* contacted the company which manufactured the equipment( which was in Massachusetts,USA) and arranged to have a set of apparatus sent over to New Zealand. When the gear arrived it worked magnificently and I purchased the equipment and the computer on which it works; an Apple Macintosh.

******** With my Headmaster and Mac, I can do and get involved in a host of things; I can now write music again and the range of instruments I can control is virtually limitless, the 'Mac' hooks up to a synthesiser and with a synthesiser you can make just about any noise you want. Besides music which is a huge field on its own, I can now get into art, drawing, designing ,graphic design,** With this computer's Word processing facilities its possible to produce the written word in a multitude of forms. I have been able to undertake study at University.
**** Basically its an amazing tool which even someone like myself with severe disabilities, can use to express themselves , be creative and have a greater degree of independence and control over their lives.
*

*** And so began my love affair with Apple Macs. If someone had said to me a year before my injury that I was to become a skilled computer user,* l would have considered it a joke! In 1986 I purchased my first Mac;* a Macintosh Plus ,* Apple Computer was in its infancy and with regard to the computer world I was also.* Now at the beginning of a new millennium,* I realize that l had unwittingly stumbled into being part of a an amazingly exciting time and in fact a new era in technological advancement. Today,* l find myself surrounded by ,* and using daily,* equipment that a mere decade ago would have occupied an office block and now takes up a few inches of desktop. There seem to be no limits,* only new and exciting challenges.

link:
http://store.prentrom.com/catalog/prentrom/HM-3P?ZEej36R9;;215

Bear in mind that variations of the headmaster can be found all over the net these days....

Hope this is useful, again, forgive the length... use it for toilet paper if ya wish!

Cheers,

DJO
:)