The Deafblind Techies Newsletter Number 12.

1st December 2000.


++ 1, Editorial.
++ 2, Gwen's Column, Journey into dinner darkness....
++ 3, New Domain Name.
++ 4, The Web Site.
++ 5, A little Christmas Gift.
++ 6, The DB Techies Bits n Bytes News File.
++ 7, Download the past issues of the DB Techies.
++ 8, The Archives of the DB Techies Newsletter.
++ 9, To subscribe and unsubscribe from DB Techies.

++ 1. Editorial.

Welcome to another issue of The DB Techies, I hope that I find you all in good health and doing very well. Well it's December all ready and where have the months gone since January, I must be getting old as the months are just flying away before I am aware that they have past me by just like life, I am sitting at the Computer far too long me thinks. And I find that Thinking too much gives me a very sore head this why I not do that too much..

Well we have a nice little DB Techies this month with some useful information and a couple of little Christmas gifts that I hope will pass the hours by when one is alone this Christmas.

May I be the first one to wish you all a very happy Christmas and may 2001 bring you all good health for you and all your family and may it be a lucky time for you and yours.

And I would really like to Thank you all for reading my little newsletter, I know that I can be a right bore sometimes never knowing when to stop at times, But thank you for joining the DB Techies and I hope that we can share a lot more information between ourselves over the next year, but Thank you for reading this little newsletter. All the very best to you all and have a great Christmas.

Right Down to the Christmas issue of the DB Techies.

++ 2, Gwen's Column.

Journey into dinner darkness....

Remembering back to the first time I went to dinner with a deaf/blind person by myself I am amazed that we made it through the evening. I was to unprepared and to ignorant to the deaf/blind. I had been to stero typical in my own thinking to think that the evening would be anything but a disaster.

Until this dinner I had always been in the company of deaf sighted people along with deaf/blind people.

Never thinking anything about this situation I was thrown into a panic by taking a deaf/blind friend to dinner.

From the time I arrived at her home I felt my heart starting to pound loudly.  What was wrong with me? this was a wonderful person that I had known for months now, and all of a sudden I felt panic at the thought of being alone with her.

Going to the steps to her home and ringing the doorbell and waiting for her housemate to answer the door i realized that this persons life was soon to be in my hands...literally. (or so i thought)

Making our way to the car, I explained first where the car was, feeling then like a complete idiot..after all the car was on the road like any other car..i just kept making stupid mistakes. HOW AM I GOING TO TALK TO YOU WHILE I AM DRIVING? I think I forgot and shouted it instead of signing it.

It was her insight to the situation that relieved my own fears and anxiety.

She told me she sensed my chaotic thinking and reassured me all was well, just drive to the restaurant and let her know when we had arrived.

Taking a deep breath I thought '"how will I handle this?"

We made our way into the restaurant just fine, I then signed the menu and ordered dinner. And then guess what?

We talked and laughed just like anyone else does, in between bites of food!

Nothing was any different from having dinner with a sighted person, it was only my own insecurities, after all a sighted passenger in a car, has no control either of what the driver is doing. Why did I feel as if my friend was helpless?

Indeed, she proved otherwise quickly. After one trip to the bathroom she knew where it was the second time, she is the one that could remember where the car was parked in the huge parking lot, not me.

she was the one that could remember what was being served for desert, not me.

She was the one with all the insight in the conversion, not me. When she asked me if people around us where staring at us and I replied honestly. Yes, they are. She was the one with the comment."They are only curious because we know something that they don't, how a sighted person and a deaf/blind person can have dinner and enjoy themselves"

The restaurant was a fancy one that night, the sky was clear and many stars were out, the night air cool on our faces as we left the establishment.

As she lead me to the car this time, I watched her get into the passenger seat and thought about the wonderful meal and the pledge of friendship I had from this wonderful person and I knew my life was changing again.

what a good time i had, when i think back over the years, other than my own soulmate, my best communication has always been with deaf/blind people, it is always so intense.the signing with the hands and the most important thing of all is the touch, speaking over the phone or speaking to a hearing person is so impersonal, speaking with deaf/blind means so much more than a simple hi how are you in words.

In fact, that is how I talk to my loved one when I really want to say I love you. I sign it as if my loved one was deaf/blind. there is a wonderful feeling in doing this and I am thankful that I have had people to show me the way of the language.

++ 3, New Domain Name.

When I first started to build my web site I had it on an ISP server and that was at This was where A-Z to Deafblindness was first put when I started it a long time a go. Then I thought that it would be a good idea to buy Domain name so that it would be a little bit easier for people to find information about Deafblindness,

when I was searching for the Domain name I found that the name had already been taken but I thought to my little self that was a much better Domain name because we in the UK write the word Deafblind together, But in the USA they put a Dash between Deaf Blind like this Deaf-blind.

Well who is to say who is right or wrong over this, it not me anyway, who Am I to say.

But for years I have been getting e-mail letters telling me that I should change the words Deafblind on my web page to Deaf-Blind, I have never done this because I think that the way I write Deafblind is the right way to do it.  But the e-mail letters kept coming in and still doing so today.

So I have been every month searching the Domain name lists to learn if the person who owned had given it up, Well two months ago the person did give it up after owning it for years, So I had the chance to buy it after waiting for it.

I hope that with the new domain name that many sighted hearing folks in the USA will find it a bit easier to find information about Deafblindness on the net.

I can not afford to buy any more Domain names so this will be my last one for quite some time but in next months DB Techies I will be telling you all about A new Site that I am working on right now.And hope if i get the time to have it ready for all of you to use.

But with the new Domain name I have got this pointed to so if you where to type this would take you to my main web site, so and are the same web site now. And if you where to send an e-mail to me at I would get it through my address as well now.This has taken some time to set up but it's working now.

You may be asking your selves why is this silly so-and-so wasting his money and all his time on all of this, Well I can not really give you an answer to this question. I just hope that maybe in a very little way that I am helping others out there to learn a little more about Deafblind people and again just maybe with my web sites I may help other Deafblind net users out there to take the first step to making there own web site.

If I could do it then so can many others out there. Maybe I am a little mad but what harm am I doing to anyone else..

Right back to earth again. So if you ever want to go to my site just type or

++ 4, The Web Site.

This is a site that I found just by accident on the web a couple of weeks ago when I was searching for other Deafblind web sites that had the word deafblind in the Domain name.

I have been going to this site now and again to learn if the person behind it is working on it. They don't seam to be doing so, But I hope that this may change very soon.

The site it self is a little unusual as the domain name belongs to MSM Productions, Ltd.

I am very sure that it is a Deafblind person behind this site but there is very little info about this person on the site itself.

Here is the info on the main Page.

This is a Web site about DeafBlind people. It's for DeafBlind people and anyone who wishes to gain a better understanding of the DeafBlind community. It also provides an opportunity for DeafBlind people to network, exchange news and views, discuss challenges, and learn whats happening in medical research. We seek to educate the general public about DeafBlind peoples lives, experiences, successes, and dreams, and to encourage DeafBlind people to be proud and independent. They are a fast-growingpart of the Deaf community and an important one.
As a totally Blind person myself I really never know the look of a web site but of the ease how I can use it, But I really think with the info that I have read on this site that if anyone who read the DB Techies has a bit of sight The site would be very easy for you to read it because the text is very large yellow type on a black background.
For me it is great to learn that other deafblind people are putting up web sites this is only good for us all in the long run because the more of us that have web site then the more that the sighted hearing net users may think a little more about making there site accessible to us all. Yes I know that there is little chance of this but you never get any where by just sitting back and thinking that others will do this all the time. The more We shout about this then the more chance we will be heard by the so called sighted hearing net users.

Here is the URL to the site:

++ 5. A little Christmas gift.

Well we have a nice little DB Techies this month with some useful information and a couple of little Christmas gifts that I hope will pass the hours by when one is alone this Christmas.

This is my little gift to you the readers of the DB Techies for staying with me over the past Year, I would like to thank you for that, I know that I can be a right pain at times and I do go on and on at times. But I hope that the DB Techies will grow stronger in the next 12 months and that we get more members to join us in time. But that is for next Year, This year is starting to  come to it's end, with Christmas brings much happiness to many many people with there families around them. But I know that they will be a good number of Deafblind and blind people on there own this Christmas I do know that this time of year can be a very lonely time  for so many people out there. I do really hope that they do not stay lonely for long, So to past the time just a little I have the following full versions of these Books on a Brl format so that Deafblind and Blind DB Techies Readers can read these books on there Braille Notetakers.

I have only made these books available on the brl format because if I was caught with these books on the net as text format I would be in big trouble so please do not get me into trouble with these four books. They are still under Copyright.

They will only be available on my site until the 1st January 2001, or if I have to withdraw them sooner because someone has given me away.

So Please be careful with them.

These are the Books that one can download until the 1st January 2001 and remember they are only available on the brl format.

Raise The Titanic By Clive Cussler file name is:
The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe by C.S.Lewis file name is:
Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis file name is:
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien file name is:

The books above can be download at:

But using the service you will never need to go to my site to get these files, This is how you can do it using web2mail again

Send e-mail to
and on the Subject line put this.
or what ever book you wish for..

++ 6, The DB Techies Bits n Bytes News File.

Bits n Bytes, Compaq Recalls Faulty Notebook Batteries.
PC maker will replace 55,000 battery packs that could short-circuit and cause fires.

Compaq Computer on Friday, 27 October voluntarily recalled about 55,000 battery packs used in its Armada E500 and V300 notebook computers, saying the batteries can short-circuit and potentially cause fires inside the machines.

The move by Compaq, announced in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), came just two weeks after rival Dell Computer issued a similar recall notice for about 27,000 batteries that were sold with models of its Latitude and Inspiron notebook PCs introduced in June. (See "Dell Recalls Dangerous Notebook Batteries." )

However, Houston-based Compaq says the two recalls aren't related beyond the similar nature of the problems afflicting the batteries used by the two PC vendors. A company spokesperson says the battery packs being recalled by Compaq were made by Sony, whereas Dell said previously its batteries were produced by Sanyo Electric.

In both cases, the affected batteries can short-circuit, causing them to overheat, release smoke, and potentially catch on fire. Compaq says it recently discovered the defect in a single battery pack that was manufactured between June 2 and July 10. The pack overheated and released some smoke, damaging the PC it was installed in, the company adds.

Although just that one problematic battery pack has been found so far, Compaq says it and Sony "consider this defect a potential risk due to the high levels of heat and possibility of fire." The recall is being made "to ensure the safety of Compaq's customers," it says.

Users affected by the recall are eligible to receive two free replacement packs for each one they have now. Compaq urged users to immediately discontinue use of the recalled batteries, which were distributed worldwide as standard components of the Armada notebooks and as separate options or replacement spares.

The serial numbers for the defective battery packs are as follows: TCGK 00001-10500, TCGK 20001-21800, TCGK 40001-83100, and TCHK 40001-44700. Compaq also has set up a Web site with more detailed information about the recall.

Compaq and Dell aren't the only PC makers to be hit by a recall because of faulty components this year. In May, IBM and the CPSC jointly announced a recall of about 220,000 AC adapters used with the company's ThinkPad notebooks and other mobile devices. (See "IBM Recalls AC Adapters." )

+ Bits n Bytes, Credit card sized 10Gb drives.
A new data storage technology is in development that should put optical storage back on the map for speed, size and capacity.

A company called Constellation 3D is working on fluorescent multi-layer disk (FMD) technology. This will allow the production of DVD-sized discs that can store up to 100Gb and credit card-sized 10Gb drives - which could easily handle the growing multimedia content available for mobile devices.

Lev Zaidenberg, C3D's director of business development, predicted FMD technology would revolutionise data storage within five years, replacing CDs and DVDs.

The technology works using layers. Vladimir Schwarz, chief technology officer for C3D explained that while DVD works on only two layers employing a single laser beam, FMD will work on up to 20 layers, reading them with a diffused beam. The technology is similar to DVD, so FMD players should be backwards compatible. Methods of exchanging data between the layers mean that read and write times should significantly decrease, too.

+ Bits n Bytes, Seven new domains are chosen to join the popular .com

ICANN initiated the largest structural change the Internet has seen since the late 1980s as it approved seven new top-level domain names: .info and .biz as general TLDs, .pro for professionals, .name for personal sites, .museums for museums, .aero for airlines, and .coop for business cooperatives. ICANN's staff will negotiate with the chosen organizations to help
balance the business and technical portions of the new TLDs.

Because the general public is already comfortable with .com, it will likely take a great deal of marketing to get people used to the newly available TLDs, says's Sloan D. Gaon.

The new domains will not be used until spring of 2001 at the earliest. Afilias, a consortium of 19 domain name registrars, including VeriSign and, will handle the .info TLD;  JVTeam will handle the .biz TLD; the Global Name Registry will handle .name; the National Cooperative Business Association, which will handle .coop, is unique because it does not currently have a large Web presence.

+ Bits n Bytes, Shark takes a bite out of the net.
The Internet link between Australia, Europe and Asia was severed after an undersea cable was damaged.

Nearly two thirds of Australian Internet users have either lost their connection completely or are having substantial difficulty logging onto the net. The $1.5bn cable is 39,000 kilometres in length and is thought to be damaged 100 km off the Singapore coast, in Indonesian waters. The cause of the damage is unknown though some experts have been saying that a small earthquake could have caused it. Meanwhile, it is strongly believed that a hungry shark may have accidentally chomped through the cable.

A spokesperson for Singtel, the co-owner of the cable, said that repairs will be done as soon as a repair ship gets permission from the Indonesian maritime authorities to enter the country's waters. Once there, the damage will be assessed and the necessary repairs initiated. The optical cable can carry 20 Gbit/sec of data and may take over a week to repair.

+ Bits n Bytes, AT comdex, computing gets small.

Wireless, PC-free devices dominated the range of products featured at this year's Comdex computer trade show in Las Vegas. Microsoft debuted its new tablet computer, even though it will not be available until 2002, and Honeywell and Gateway both introduced Internet appliances. IBM and Compaq unveiled new systems that run on the Bluetooth wireless standard, while vendors of two other wireless standards, HomeRF and WiFi, argued with each other about the value of each other's technology.

Compaq introduced a wireless Internet access service for its handhelds, while Replay TV showcased software that allows Palm VII users to control their Replay TV devices wirelessly. Palm found itself in a war of words with Microsoft over the relative value of each company's handhelds. Of the non-computer based technology highlighted at the show, Pioneer's recordable DVD player was quite notable, although analysts said its $2,500 price tag might be prohibitive on the consumer market.

+ Bits n Bytes, Cheap plastic chips on the horizon.
Just when you think the humble microchip has reached its peak, along come some scientists who push the technology just that little bit further.

Scientist have come up with the technology to make microchips from plastic, which would mean cheaper chips and a day when we will have chips with everything. Plastic Logic is the company that wants to exploit the new technology and hopes to demonstrate the plastic prototypes next summer.

But Plastic Logic isn't the only company trying to break into the lucrative plastic chip industry. Other companies interested in the developments include Philips, IBM, Xerox, Mitsubishi and Hitachi.

The new chips would revolutionise the microchip industry and their cheap production cost could see almost anything being transformed into an electronic product. But what effect would these chips have on the traditional silicon-based chip industry?

++ 7, Download the past issues of the DB Techies.

If you would like to read the other DB Techies that you may have missed in the past I have made an archive of all the past Issues available in text and in the BRL format for a Braille Note taker. These files are available at  And they are this is the text version, and for the notetakers.

You can go to the site to get them or use this method too.

Send e-mail to
and on the Subject line put this.
Or for the BRL version put this in.

++ 8. The Archives of the DB Techies Newsletter.

I have included a page on my site which will archive this copy of the DB Techies Newsletter,
and the last issue of the DB Techies has already been put on to my site, so if you missed the other Editions of DB Techies Newsletter you can get them at

++ 9. To subscribe, send a message to or go to the e-groups's home page at

To unsubscribe from DB Techies send e-mail to: You must send the e-mail letter from the same e-mail address that you used to subscribed from.

Please remember that any suggestions about any equipment that would Be useful to Deafblind and blind people, or any information, which would be useful to the readers will be welcome.

Until the next issue which will be on the 5th January 2001.

"DB Techies" newsletter will be published monthly on the first Friday of each Month. And will be e-mail to the Subscribers.

I wish all the very best to all of you, And Thank you for taken the time to read this little newsletter.

All the very best to you all.


James Gallagher

End of DB Techies.

A-Z to Deafblindness