Friday, January 04, 2008
  Seniors and gadgets
Dave Warnock drew my attention to the post by Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing HOWTO make a Senior Remote with only five big, friendly buttons such a simple neat and useful idea. But why, oh why does no one manufacture the things? Cory's post is itself drawing attention to the original (I think) by anonymous on Indestructibles
Senior Remote
Mod your mom's TV remote to make it senior friendly.
My mom was born in 1931. She is from the generation of radio and WWII. Her eyesight is failing and she isn't good with anything electronic. TV remotes confuse her. This mod came to me after she called me one day, claiming her TV remote stopped working. It turns out, she inadvertently hit the button that activated the VCR functions. She didn't know or couldn't see the button to reactivate the TV functions. So I decided to "dumb" down the remote to only three functions: On/Off, Channel and Volume.
Which reminded me of another simple modification to an electronic gadget which could make it user friendly for older folk. An MP3 player with big buttons, and ideally a bigger screen font. I first explained in 2005 why I'd like to find a source for these. If they were cheap enough I'd buy 50 or 100. But no one seems to make them, and it has to be a small mod to make a cheap MP3 player user friendly for a whole new market. Add Librivox for talking books, add PodBible for talking Bible... or as Dave wants to add recordings of the service for shutins... the possibilities are huge. So, why does no one make them?

My post back then "Tim needs an MP3 player with large buttons" was in response to an amusing meme from Maggi Dawn, incidentally several of the real candidates still appear, Tim [still] needs help and a theme... plus ca change...

PS Back in 2005 I wrote: BTW if you choose to run with this meme, could you please quote the phrase "Tim needs an MP3 player with large buttons" as I'd love to see that come up top on Google when some other Tim decides to try the meme! Who knows a manufacturer might see one of those posts and actually make one! I'd like to still echo that, both to please make the link, and the hope that some manufacturer might see and take note - there is a market for these things.

Update: So, players with big simple buttons exist, designed for pre-schoolers. The Fisher Price one is a bit on the expensive side and I can't see an NZ stockist, some of the US stores have cheaper ones though, so I'll look when I am in Thailand unless someone can point me to a suitable source here.
Thanks to Stephen and Anonymous (though your DSE link did not work for me bringing up other products :(

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007
  Arsene Lupin Gentleman Burglar
I've mentioned LibriVox before, the project describes itself:
LibriVox volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain and release the audio files back onto the net. Our goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books.
One LibriVox project I've worked on has now been released back into the wild: Extraordinary Adventures of Arsène Lupin, Gentleman-Burglar. This is a fine Victorian comedy melodrama in which Sherlock Holmes makes a bungling appearance! Do have a listen, and let me know what you think...

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Monday, December 18, 2006

Shouting Stones - seminar for churches

I've been giving myself some short breaks from the serious business of preparing next year's new courses (for the first semester 50% of three new ones) by working on a new short "video" introducing the seminar I offer for churches Shouting Stones: geography and archaeology reveal the Missionary God of the Old Testament. The full thing started life as a weekend camp, was cut down to just a few 50min academic hour sessions, and now I've made part one into a quarter of an hour's video called "Who is God?" (there is also a low bandwidth version).

I wonder if I've used too many presentation slides and too few pictures, and also whether I should have adapted the material more as well as compressing or summarising... Do let me know what you think, I'm not really thin skinned!

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Monday, November 20, 2006

SBL Podcast (info box) ::

A bunch of the bloggers at SBL got together and made a podcast Bibliobloggers @ SBL. We just sat and chatted, and despite our fears we did not run silent as soon as the mics were switched on. At times it sounds more Marx Brothers than Biblical Scholars on a Plane, but conversation included blogging and blogging tools, as well as current research and publications and of course Hebrew Tattoos.

The Firefox blogging plugin some of us plugged is Performancing, neat and cool, as we said it allows you to press F8 and then to drag and drop, type and edit your post live in the bottom of ther FF window as you surf. Then when you have finished (and I now have) just click to publish...

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