Saturday, November 11

HumanWare press release and thoughts

Greetings. Below is an announcement from humanWare about a new dictionary and thesaurus that they're making available for the BrailleNote family. While I'm pleased to see that they're expanding into other areas of education, I'm reminded of a conversation that I had with a HumanWare representative last year regarding the BrailleNote and possible add-ons that they could do for it. You can read the conversation with him in the archives, on the 7/19/05 entry. Anyway, the representative made clear that they couldn't support a piece of software without knowing that it would work. It appears that they've either turned around on that point, or have adapted the thesaurus and dictionary to work with their closed OS. I'm inclined to thik the latter, since the representative constantly mentioned this issue of what they would do if someone couldn't do something in an off the shelf program that they promised the customer would be able to do. It was an interesting debate. One more thing: in looking at the price that they're charging for this package, it makes me wonder if I could go out and buy a third party dictionary/thesaurus on Compact Flash card, or put them on a USB flash drive, for a fraction of that price, to use on my PAC Mate. I might even be able to find ones that are free. Anyway. here's what the pres release has to say. As always, enjoy, and please pardon any formatting errors.

For Immediate Release
Christchurch, New Zealand
November 7, 2006

HumanWare releases Concise Oxford Dictionary and Thesaurus for BrailleNote

Both children and adults who use HumanWare's industry-leading BrailleNote
family of products now have the option of the world's most popular
dictionary and thesaurus at their fingertips.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary on BrailleNote gives the meaning of a word,
speaks it aloud with correct pronunciation, and much more. It includes the
word's full definition of entries with additional advanced search features.

The Concise Oxford Thesaurus provides convenient lookup of synonyms and
antonyms. The Dictionary and Thesaurus combination is available in either
US English or UK English.

KeySoft is the software which powers all models of BrailleNote. From any
KeySoft application, whether you are in the KeyWeb Internet Browser, the
Book Reader or Word Processor, the Dictionary and Thesaurus are easily
accessed by one easy key stroke.

"Customers are very excited about the product," said Dominic Gagliano,
HumanWare's Vice President of Sales for Blindness in the US. "We've
received particularly positive feedback from educational and rehabilitation

customers. This release demonstrates our continued momentum in developing
software for our products for all segments of our market."

The Concise Oxford Dictionary is based on the largest language research
program in the world. Its up-to-date entries are backed by the unrivalled
new words research of Oxford University Press.

Running on the BrailleNote family of products, the Concise Oxford
Dictionary and Concise Oxford Thesaurus can be accessed by QWERTY keyboard
or Braille input, and read and heard by both Braille and auditory output.

The entire contents of the Concise Oxford Dictionary are automatically
integrated and expand the functionality of the KeySoft Spell Checker, from
which the user can easily reference the Dictionary.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary and Concise Oxford Thesaurus are available
today. They run on the latest version of HumanWare's industry-leading
software for the blind, KeySoft 7.2 Build 47, on BrailleNote mPower,
VoiceNote mPower or BrailleNote PK, as well as other BrailleNote Classic
models. The price is $195. To order, call 800-722-3393.

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