It’s A Mac World, the Rest Of Us Are Just Visiting

I guess I can look at this positively as my desktop and laptop computers have both lasted five years, but as my vision has deteriorated, it has become harder and harder to use old technology. I use Zoomtext on both computers, but cannot see the laptop screen anymore even with Zoomtext running, and I can barely make out the desk top screen. I spent about five weeks researching new computers and  doing my due diligence to find out what the best option for a blind guy is. Here is what I learned. While Windows 7 has made great strides with their built in accessibility features, they still have a long way to go. I wanted to look at Dell laptops, but unfortunately, they do not have any stores in NYC that you can go into to play around on the computers. It was important for me to be able to play around on the computer I was purchasing, as I like to be able to use the limited vision that I do have, so not being able to check out a Dell personally was disappointing. I spoke with Dell on the phone, and was not happy that every time I called, I was speaking to someone in India. I don’t mean to sound like an asshole, but I have a problem understanding people with a thick Indian accent, what made it more frustrating, is the people I would get on the phone, had no clue what I meant by built in accessibility features. They just read from the script on what is built in to the computer system, which was not what I was asking. I did attempt to go in to a Best Buy to check out Windows 7, and what a surprise, no one in the store that I went to new about the Windows 7 built in accessibility features. All of this turned out to be a big strike against Windows 7, especially after my experience at the Apple store. I went into the Apple store and was blown away by their knowledge about the built in accessibility features. They took the time to walk me through the Voiceover and Zoom features that are installed on every Mac computer. I knew about Voiceover being a Iphone user, and love it on the Iphone. As my vision continues to deteriorate I need to use more and more of the voice, and less of the zoom. While Zoomtext is a fantastic program, it doesn’t always work on all sites. Once I finally decided that Mac was the way to go, I settled on a desktop and Ipad for travel instead of getting a laptop, as the cost was a little much. The only problem with Mac is they are more expensive than Windows, but for someone who is visually impaired, mac is definitely the way to go. On another Mac plus side, you can go in to the store for one on one training. For $99 a year, you have unlimited training sessions to use. With Applecare, you can call their 24 help line, and you are not calling India, as Apple does not out source their customer service, and they are opening a new service center  every 90 days. Additionally, one of the Apple stores in NYC is open 24 hours. So on a customer service scale, Apple destroys Dell and Windows 7. Now heading into going Mac, I knew there would be a giant learning curve, and still I didn’t expect it to be this bad, as I am still writing this blog on my PC a week into having the Apple desktop. I will be going in for my second one on one session tomorrow, and am hoping from then on out I will be able to use the Apple. I guess what I am saying is that Mac is the way to go for someone who is visually impaired, but if you have been working with a Windows computer like I have for the last 20 years, don’t expect to get started on your Mac right out of the box. What I have learned is even though I am an expert with Voiceover on the Iphone, it is completely different on the Imac. Patience, patience, and more patience will be needed to get started on the mac. I know a lot of people who are sighted, and made the transition from PC to Mac, and it took them awhile to get going. If you have been using a PC and primarily using the keyboard short cuts, you will be able to make the transition easier, as a lot of the short cuts, are the same on a PC And Mac, but I am starting from scratch. Another plus on the mac, is the blue tooth keyboard that came with the desktop syncs to an Ipad, and is miniature enough to travel with. So when on the road if you have an Ipad and keyboard it is still less bulky than a laptop. Hopefully the next blog I write will be from the Mac.

4 Responses to “It’s A Mac World, the Rest Of Us Are Just Visiting”

  1. Barbara Fischler Says:

    what a great promo for Mac and Apple Computers!!! You should send your blog to them..

  2. Barbara Fischler Says:

    Lorraine- too bad we are not his PR people or agents….. Someone out there has to see all this potential.

  3. blindgator Says:

    I could use a great PR team, will you guys work for little money, or money all on the back end? I could see me and John Hodgeman doing commercials together for Mac, they could be pretty funny and informative at the same time. On anohter note, this is the comment reply I am typing on the mac, so let me know if it comes through. Thanks

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