March 19th, 2007

Bruce, Caroline

Monday Monday

Hey, everyone! Well, as Mondays go, today was actually a fairly good one. I suspect, from reading all your entries, that it's been fairly good all around, accept for those of you who are sick, and/or dealing with that nasty snow stuff. The day actually went fairly fast though, so that was a good thing. I had to finish the outlines for my two presentations, and burn some more catalog CDs and Freedom Box demo disks. Between all that, I really had no down time today.

I was really disappointed about one thing though. I spent a couple of hours putting together a PowerPoint presentation talking about the Freedom Scientific total solution. My goal was to have it at least set up, have some pictures of products and the text of what I was going to be talking about. I got the whole thing done and was getting ready to send it off. First though, I wanted to run the show to see how it flowed. I ran it, but was having some problems getting JAWS to do what I wanted it to do. I switched to Window-Eyes so that I could get the show to read. Now, before anyone asks, I was a Window-Eyes user from the very beginning, and switched to JAWS because there were many things that I liked better about it. However, I still keep my license for both programs up-to-date and feel that both products are very good. Window-Eyes, in my opinion, has extremely good PowerPoint support. As a FS dealer, I'll defend JAWS to the end, but I like having the ability to go back and forth depending on the situation. Okay, so anyway, enough of my rambling. So, Window-Eyes came up and I ran the show. I had copied some stuff over from Word and didn't notice some really weird formatting stuff that needed to be fixed. When I got to my first slide with pictures, I couldn't find the picture on the screen. I chocked it up to the fact that maybe the blob was just too small for me to see and went on. I realized though, after several slides, that I'd made the pictures about 4 inches, so they shouldn't be too small for me to at least see that they existed. I went out of the slide show and moved down to look at one of the slides. That's when I heard it. Window-eyes so kindly informed me that my picture was off the screen by whatever number of inches. Okay, so I decided that I was going to try moving things around to make room for things. I shrunk the picture down to about an inch or so, and started moving things around on the screen. Again, a very cool thing that WE offers is the ability to know exactly how big an object is, and if it's off the screen or overlapping another object. At this point JAWS will let me know if objects are overlapping, but obviously not if they're off the screen. No matter what I did though, I couldn't get the title, body, and picture to nicely co-exist on the screen. I suppose if I'd had more time I could have played with it some more, but time wasn't exactly something I had a lot of today so I ended up having to scrap the whole thing. I exported my outline to Word and sent it off for approval. The thing is, people want visually appealing presentations. I can get up in front of these people on Thursday and talk until I'm blue in the face, but they're more likely going to remember the presentation that had the fancy artsy slide show. Why? Because for most people, having visual enforcement helps them to remember things. I don't want to be the blind person who presented, I wanted to be the person who is blind who was able to produce a presentation that was memorable. Does that sound really dumb? I guess it just bothers me that I spent so much time on this thing only to discover that it's not going to be useful. And no, before you ask, I don't think that having someone sighted will make a difference. If I decrease the font size or the picture size anymore nobody's going to be able to read it, so we'll just have to see what happens. I'll bring it to the office tomorrow for our staff meeting, but I think it's going to pretty much be a dead issue.

So, the rest of the week I'm pretty much going to be gone. Tomorrow we have our monthly staff meeting, and I'll be going through both presentations. Then, Wednesday through Friday I'm gone. I'll be in two different hotels, and living out of my suitcase, but I absolutely love it. I love the travel, and I love the excitement of new places. My sleep sucks, but it all seems to even out in the end. So, I'll update, time permitting, and let everyone know how things are going. Who knows; maybe you'll even hear me try to knock over another hotel room lamp or something. SMILE!

I've decided that I need to find some kind of holster or case for my phone. For the last two years or so I've had a phone with no antenna, and I've carried it around in my pocket, no problem. However, with this new one, there is an antenna, and there's a display on the outside of the phone, and a cameral lens. I don't have any desire to break this thing. Yes, I pay for handset insurance, but I've all ready learned that they won't replace the phone if they think it was damaged due to carelessness. Many times I have my phone with me but I don't have my purse and I really need to keep it protected. So, I'm now on the pursuit of the perfect cell phone case. Wonder what I'll find?

Oh, and one more little rant that I want to put in here. I received an email this morning from a friend who had asked about my phone model on some sort of LG email list. The response was less than favorable, basically stating that my model gives very little verbal feedback, and does a lot less than the Verizon LG phones do. I suspect a couple of things. First, the reviewer may not like Sprint, and therefore wouldn't like this phone no matter how good it was. Second, and possibly more likely, is that they talked to someone from Sprint who really didn't know much about the phone. The manual is very vague about the voice features, and says absolutely nothing about the talking menus. Even the guy at the store said that he was surprised how much it did talk once I started playing with it. With the speaker phone part turned off there is very little voice feedback, but I just discovered a very fast way to turn it on and off. So, what I think it boils down to is miss-information. If anyone does get this phone, and has someone who doesn't have a clue about how to get it to talk, press the little button on the left side under the volume button. When it says "Please say a command", and then beeps. Say Voice Guide. It'll ask you if you want to turn Voice Guide on. If you say yes, your phone will start talking for you. So, hopefully that will clear up some things, and possibly make some people who may have concerns understand the situation a little bit better.

Well, I guess that's about it for now. More later.
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