The Deafblind Techies Newsletter Number 13.

5th January 2001.


++ 1, Editorial.
++ 2, The New DB Techies Web Site.
++ 3, The Blazie WinDisk software.
++ 4, The new Spanish Deafblind Mailing list.
++ 5, Stephen King e-book The Plant Parts Three,four and Five.
++ 6, The new Deafblind Minnesota mailing list.
++ 7, The DB Techies Bits n Bytes News File.
++ 8, Download the past issues of the DB Techies.
++ 9, The Archives of the DB Techies Newsletter.
++ 10, To subscribe and unsubscribe from DB Techies.

++ 1. Editorial.

Hello to you all and welcome to the first DB Techies for 2001, I hope that you all had a Great Christmas and that you had a good time with your family about the house. We went to my brother home for Christmas and had a good time playing with the kids, That what Christmas is all about for me. it's for the children to enjoy and to taken in the meaning of it all.

I think that we have a not to bad issue of the DB Techies this time. There is no Gwen's Column in this issue because Gwen has been extremely ill and is not able to write for us this time. I hope that Gwen will be back with us soon.

There will not be a DB Techies in February we are going away for a couple of weeks and a number of things are going on in January that will be keeping us very busy, So the next DB Techies will be on the 2nd March 2001.

So until the next time I wish you all very good health and good luck.

++ 2, The New DB Techies Web Site.

Well I am very pleased to tell you all that the DB Techies Newsletter has it's own Web site now
it is at, I thought that the Domain name .net would be the right domain name to have for a Computer and Net newsletter, So the DB Techies web site was officially uploaded to the net on the 1st January 2001.

With buying the DB Techies domain name I will have to work hard to try and build up members for it because I just can not give up the DB Techies as easy as I could before because I have committed myself to it for the next couple of Years. I just hope that I have not waisted my money in buying the domain name. But I will just wait and learn what happens in the next number of months.

Right The New site has all the back issues of the newsletter and now it was the download page where you can download all the files that we have talked about in the past issues. There is no need to go to or again. All will be on one site from now on. And this should make it a little bit easier for getting the files that you are after.

For the opening of site I will keep up the four books that was talked about in the December issue for another month until late January 2001

If you wish to e-mail me about anything about the DB Techies Newsletter, You can e-mail me at now as well as

I hope that you will use and just maybe enjoy the New DB Techies web site, it is there for us all to use so Please come on in and have a little wander about our new site, there is not really much there. at the moment I just have not had the time to do much work on it yet but I hope to chance this soon.

Right less of me going on and on and back to the newsletter again.

The DB Techies newsletter site funnily enough is at

++ 3,  The Blazie WinDisk software.

Well one or two of you may know I am a Braille Lite user and have been for years, And if you a Braille Lite user you will well know that Blazie very very rarely give any thing away, a little saying comes to my little mind once in a blue Moon...

So imagine my thoughts when Blazie made available free software called WinDisk for us Braille Lite users. But I really have to say that this WinDisk software is very very good. And I have been using it since I downloaded it from the Blazie web site.

If you have a Braille Lite 18 or 40 this is a must to have bit of software. Take my word on this.
I bought a Blazie Disk drive for my self about two years ago and paid about 450 Pounds for it, and I use it all the time to move files in and out of the Braille Lite, But since I downloaded the WinDisk software I have not even turned it on for about five weeks so that remembers me that I have got to do this soon.

The WinDisk software is very easy to install onto the PC, with the WinDisk software you also get two other files they being windisk.doc and windisk.txt the two files have the same information in them one for the MS Word user and one for the good old text format.

The information on the files on how to install the software and a guide on how one sets up the Braille Lites to work with the Software linking it to the PC.

There are two Points that I must make clear because they caught me out when I was trying to use the
WinDisk software at first on my PC.

First you must be  running Windows 9x, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 or Windows ME.
And now what you must have on the Braille Lite to link it to the PC through the WinDisk software.
You must have the Blazie Engineering notetaker firmware revisions of September 20, 2000 running , software or later on the Braille Lites. And the second thing is that you must have a Serial cable to connect the notetaker to the PC.

I didn't have the Serial cable myself so I had to buy the cable from Blazie UK and that cost about 22 Pounds. When I first bought my First Braille Lite I got a large number of cables with it and other things but I could not find that Serial cable about the house so I had to buy one. And I have to say I am pleased I did so because I find the WinDisk software very good and easy to use.

Right let us imagine that we have installed the WinDisk Software onto the PC and we are sitting about to start moving files from the PC to the Braille Lite. And of course we have a nice cup of Tea beside us and a

Right you have the PC running and it is just sitting there ready to be used. First Connect the notetaker to the PC serial port using the serial cable that you got from Blazie.

Now turn on the Braille Lite put the cable into the cable port and Enter the status menu and set the following serial parameters:
38,400 baud
no parity
8 data bits
1 stop bit
hardware handshaking
Now Exit the status menu.
And then from any file, type o chord w chord.
on the Braille Display or if you have the speech on the Braille Lite will say WinDisk mode, press z chord or escape to abort. The Braille Lite notetaker is now setup to communicate with the PC.

When WinDisk has been installed on the PC, a new entry appears in the opening list of My Computer named Blazie Engineering Note-taker. The Freedom Scientific icon marks this text label. Opening this entry will produce a new list displaying all the folders in the note-taker. It may take several seconds for this new list to appear. The folders will be listed alphabetically, and each folder name will be followed by either the letter R or F in parenthesis. This indicates whether the folder contains RAM or flash files.

Now To move a file to the Braille Lite Again I have to say I was a little caught out with how to do this. What you must do is, Right you have picked a file that you want to read on the Braille lite go to the start menu and start up Windows Explorer now go through the Folders and find a file that you wait to read on the Braille Lite, lets say we want to read dbt13.txt you are on that file now so highlight it. And now press control key and C together, right we have the file now. So we go to the Windows Explorer again and if one goes down the list you will find the Blazie Engineering Notetaker icon.

Once you are on the Blazie Engineering Notetaker icon you will find two folders they are F: denotes the folder is Flash R: denotes the folder is RAM. Now you put the dbt13.txt file into the folder that you wish to use, to put dbt13.txt into the flash folder highlight the flash folder and then just press Control and the V key together and the dbt13.txt will be in the flash folder.

That is all to it. The help files that you get with the WinDisk software are very easy to understand and you will be up and running very soon after you install the software..

Right you may be asking yourself where can I get this WinDisk Software, there are two places where one can download it.

First is the Blazie web site Download page.
And the other is on the DB Techies Web site where I have put a copy of the WinDisk Software so that I can find it again if my Computer starts to play up.

Blazie website:
Or on the DB Techies at:

I hope that you will find the WinDisk software is useful to you. And that I have not put you off it with trying to guide you a little around it.

++ 4, The new Spanish Deafblind Mailing list.

This is a new Deafblind mailing list which is in the Spanish language and is owned by Ricard Lopez.

This is what he says about the neMailing list.

It is for people who only know Spanish: Deafblind people, families, volunteers, professionals, investigators and educational people but I hope very much that if you know Spanish may give it a try.

Our Spanish Deafblind community exists and we have all of your problems and more .... One of ours problems is the language. We don't understand English well. Bibliography and Equipment for Deafblind People are in English, ... We needs your experiences and support to search our identity and to learn to work to our db community.

The Deafblind mailing list will always be the best place on the net for deafblind people to come together and will always be that way as it is right. I would like that there was a form to
relate the two lists.

To Subscribe to the list send E-mail to: LISTSERV@LISTSERV.REDIRIS.ES And in the message body subscribe sordoceguera (your first and last name) Then, just send it and follow the instructions for confirmation.

I wish Ricard Lopez good luck with his new mailing list, I read in his e-mail letter to the Deafblind mailing list that he also owns a web site called A Deafblindness Web Resource,

This is a bit funny because I have owned a web site at called
A Deafblindness Web Resource for years. people are going to get a bit mixed up at this me Thinks.

++ 5. Stephen King e-book The Plant Parts Three,four and Five.

Well it was in the DB Techies issue number ten that we had part two of Stephen King e-book the Plant, since  then I have been trying to get the other parts of this e-book for months and  could not find them until a couple of weeks ago and then like a bus they came all together at one time. So we have parts Three,four and Five of Stephen King's Plant e-book. I have not had the time yet to read this book so I can not say if it any good But since there will not be a DB Techies until March I hope that this will keep you going until then.

Right as before I have made these parts of the Plant available as a text format or as a BRL for us Braille notetakers. If you go to You will find the other parts of the e-book the Plant.

The Plant e-book was only made available on the PDF format so i have been trying to clean up these files so that we could read them as text format. So please forgive me if there are now one or two things wrong with the text within the e-book I spent hours working on them.

It you want to get the instalments of this book then just follow the info below.

These files are available at: and the files names are text version, and BRL Versions

But using the service you will never need to go near my site at 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 for the BRL version put this in.

All parts of the Plant Book are available on our newsletter web site.

++ 6. The new Deafblind Minnesota mailing list.

This is a new mailing list that has been just started. it is for Deafblind people living in Minnesota and maybe a reader of the DB Techies has not learned of it yet who him/she self lives in Minnesota.

This is a  little bit of info that was on the Deafblind mailing list from the person who runs the list.

This is Leslie Peterson who cares It launched this year. Yes, it is new. It is focus on the deaf-blind communities in the state of Minnesota. It might not be interest to you because you do not know who we are. But you are welcome to our listserver.

To Subscribe to the group send e-mail to:
SUBJECT: blank
ESSAGE: <blank>


I wish them luck with there new mailing list.

++ 7, The DB Techies Bits n Bytes News File.

Caching By Browsers Creates A Threat To Surfers' Privacy.

Web site operators may be able to monitor Internet users' surfing habits by making use of Web browser caches, and there may be no real solution to the problem, according to a new study from Princeton University.

The new monitoring technique was revealed by Edward W. Felten, co-director of Princeton's Secure Internet
Programming Laboratory.

Web browsers feature security features that prevent intruders from accessing a browser's cache. Those
security features remain tight, but Felten's discovery determines that intruders can scrutinize caches for files from certain Web sites.

If the sought-after files are found, intruders can be sure that the browser user recently visited the Web site that the files originated from. The probing of files can be carried out by Java applets that determine how long browsers take to produce a page. Depending on how fast the page appears, the applet can determine
if the page was stored in cache or taken from the Web. Ironically, anonymizer programs appear to make these cache probes easier to carry out, because non-cached pages become slightly slower to retrieve when these programs are used, says Felten.

+ Bits n Bytes, Disabled Need Tools For Schools.

The Boston-based TV and radio group WGBH, with the support of the National Science Foundation, has released a new report, "Making Educational Software Accessible," that calls upon software developers to create learning programs that students with impaired hearing, sight, or manual dexterity can use.

The report is the result of a three-year study of educational software intended for math and science students, and the report's authors hope their findings will allow disabled students to increase their participation in these fields. The report suggests several steps to improve educational software for science and math, including closed-captioning, screen-reading software, text-descriptions to match images, keyboard navigation, and screen-reading software.

The report's authors say it should be neither difficult nor costly for software developers to implement
such changes. Several software developers responded that while they are unaware of the guidelines, they saw no reason not to make their products more accessible. There is no federal legislation mandating that software be accessible to the disabled.

+ Bits n Bytes, E-Books: Just Another Imprint?

Publishing professionals at BookTech West recognized Microsoft's contribution to the development of e-books over the past year by awarding the software giant the inaugural Alan Kay Award for eBook Innovation.

During the conference, Microsoft's general manager for emerging technologies Steve Stone said content is now
the major issue surrounding e-books, rather than readability. Some industry leaders, such as Markus Malik, chief operating officer for, agreed that publishers will have to embrace the new medium and loosen the reigns on how their content gets published. Bob Bolic, vice president and director of new
business development for McGraw-Hill, says, "If e-books take off... it will be about publishers mastering the skills of versioning (creating and managing different versions of the same document)." Nevertheless, readability remains a serious issue for many e-publishing insiders.

For example, Len Kawell, the director of e-book development for Adobe Systems, said the quality of reading on a screen "has to look like a paper book at a minimum." Although many experts do not believe print will
disappear in their lifetime, some said e-books will outsell books in print soon.

+ Bits n Bytes, Online Publishing Offline?

Stephen King claims to have earned $450,000 from the online publication of "Riding the Bullet," the novella that he published online earlier this year before printing and selling it in the traditional manner.

That is why writers, particularly young, poor, heretofore unpublished writers are often enthusiastic about the online publishing of short stories, novellas, and full-length novels. With online publishing, the time between manuscript-submission and the date of publication is greatly reduced, and publishers tend to pay far higher royalty rates for material published online. Of course, higher royalty rates are only of value if readers are willing to pay for the stories, and whether they are willing has yet to be determined, despite King's early success. His latest online publishing venture, "The Plant," has been a total failure and has been suspended indefinitely.

Another detail that may or may not be in online publishing's favor is the interactivity, in the form of
hyperlinks and audio/video clips, that can be incorporated into any online text. A recent online publication of the Jack Kerouacmnovella "Orpheus Emerged" includes over 500 hyperlinks and a number of audio and video clips.

++ 8, 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.

++ 9. 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

++ 10. 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.

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