[BCAB] BWBF launches Bumblebee

Terry Clasper terry.clasper at btinternet.com
Thu Jul 20 11:50:06 BST 2017


Isn't this thread loosing it's way a bit?


-----Original Message-----
From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Jackie Brown
Sent: 20 July 2017 11:40
To: 'BCAB Discussion List' <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Subject: Re: [BCAB] BWBF launches Bumblebee

Hi Matthew

I still have a Sonata Plus attached to my hifi downstairs, and the original
Sonata my husband bought for me seven years ago when it was their new kid on
the block then.  I use them less now than ever because I find it just as
quick to ask Alexa or Google Home to stream radio stations, and I love the
portability of the GGMM E5 that I have really adopted as my radio these
days.  Choice?  There's so much now!

Kind regards,

Jackie Brown
Email: Jackieannbrown62 at gmail.com
Check out my website: www.thebrownsplace.info Follow me on Twitter:
@thebrownsplace Skype name: thejackmate


-----Original Message-----
From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Matthew
Horspool
Sent: 20 July 2017 11:29
To: BCAB Discussion List <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Subject: Re: [BCAB] BWBF launches Bumblebee

Hi Jackie,

Well, for BWBF the tablet is purely a cost-saving measure, I suspect. I
personally know quite a few blind people (including modern technology users)
who still have either a Sonata Plus or a DAISY player or something, even
though they could just use their iPhone. They want a dedicated player and
don't want an Amazon Echo listening to them all the time. Their biggest
complaint is that the Sonata Plus isn't portable. So either BWBF make their
own portable unit or they hack something together from something
off-the-shelf.

I would actually rather they went the whole hog and made their own dedicated
device! These tablets just muddy the waters - I have visions of a
well-meaning son or daughter taking their old Mum's Bumblebee into the local
phone repair shop and making a real mess of things!

Presumably their stats come from the number of units they have on loan. I
mean, you wouldn't loan a Sonata Plus from BWBF unless you actually wanted
it would you? Also, being internet-enabled, they would be able to track how
many units download updates and suchlike, which would be a good indicator of
whether people are using them because it would need to be plugged in and
switched on before it would request an update.

Whether Sonata Plus users would take kindly to a tablet is another matter
and one which I'm not sure they've researched very well. For me personally,
there's a certain appeal about having a proper machine in, say, the kitchen.
In practice I would probably buy an iPod dock or maybe a smart speaker over
a Sonata Plus, but I would qualify for a Sonata on free loan at the moment
and I can't say that I haven't thought about getting one. I don't want a
specialist tablet for the kitchen though! If I'm going to do that I might
just as well listen through my iPhone!

Matthew



-----Original Message-----
From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Jackie Brown
Sent: 20 July 2017 10:54
To: 'BCAB Discussion List' <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>
Subject: Re: [BCAB] BWBF launches Bumblebee



Hi Matthew



Yep I'm with you on that one.  InsideOne, for example, has been even more
modified as the display is static.



For me, the BWBF offering, and other devices like it, are specifically
targeted at what the organisations consider to be people who can't use
off-the-shelf products.  I come back to my original cynical question: where
do they get their stats from when researching the need for such kit?

Samsung seem to be the major beneficiaries of this because you have the
Synaptic and BWBF tablets, plus the RNIB In Your Pocket phone, all from that
manufacturer.



Kind regards,



Jackie Brown

Email: Jackieannbrown62 at gmail.com<mailto:Jackieannbrown62 at gmail.com>

Check out my website:
www.thebrownsplace.info<http://www.thebrownsplace.info> Follow me on
Twitter: @thebrownsplace Skype name: thejackmate





-----Original Message-----

From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Matthew
Horspool

Sent: 20 July 2017 10:41

To: BCAB Discussion List
<bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk<mailto:bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>>

Subject: Re: [BCAB] BWBF launches Bumblebee



Hi Steve,



I think this is rather narrow-minded, if I'm honest. An El Braille is
nothing more than a custom built PC. If that's not mainstream then you might
as well say that my custom built desktop isn't mainstream either.



The only thing that makes El Braille not mainstream is the specialist case
that it's in. However, that specialist case doesn't have any system
requirements above and beyond those of Windows 10, so I don't see as having
a specialist case makes my computer any less mainstream (in the blind sense)
than having specialist software on it. All sorts of fields have specialist
cases for their computers - think of PCs built into portable PA systems for
festivals and the like. I don't think any sighted person would look at a
sound engineer's equipment rack and dare to say that "The computer in there
isn't a proper computer because it's not in a tower case", and in that sense
the El Braille is no different.



If they really wanted to, sighted people could purchase the El Braille dock,
uninstall JAWS, attach a keyboard, mouse and monitor and run it is a mini
PC.



As blind people, we could buy the El Braille sans JAWS license and run it
with NVDA or whatever. I'd wager we could uninstall Windows and put Linux on
it if we really wanted to - and crucially, we could do that and still have
working braille because there are Focus 14 drivers for Linux.



Hardware obsolescence is not in its favour, I'll grant you. Perhaps if it
had better hardware it wouldn't become obsolete quite as quickly as it
probably will. But hardware obsolescence is inevitable, and the El Braille
has a better chance of staying current than, say, the BrailleNote Touch,
which I would certainly not classify as a mainstream product.



I say that because it would be virtually impossible to install Vanilla
Android on a BN Touch and keep everything working. Even if we could get the
generic components of the Touch to talk to native Android (the wifi and
suchlike), we would have real trouble getting Brailleback to talk to the
built-in braille display. This simply isn't the case with the El Braille.



And because of the mainstream nature of El Braille's internals, we could
most likely overcome at least some of the hardware obsolescence by swapping
components out. What's to stop someone removing the RAM from the El Braille
and subbing in a stick with twice the capacity, assuming it's compatible
with the motherboard? Or replacing its SSD with an SSD with more space? This
sort of tinkering is pretty common in laptops even amongst sighted people,
assuming they have someone in the family who knows what they're doing.



Matthew







-----Original Message-----

From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Steve Nutt

Sent: 20 July 2017 10:02

To: 'BCAB Discussion List'
<bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk<mailto:bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>>

Subject: Re: [BCAB] BWBF launches Bumblebee







But it isn't mainstream.  Mainstream is only where you connect a PC to a
Braille display.







All the best







Steve







-----Original Message-----



From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of john
gallagher



Sent: 20 July 2017 09:08



To: BCAB Discussion List

<bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk<mailto:bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk<mailto:bcab at lists.bcab
.org.uk%3cmailto:bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>>>



Subject: Re: [BCAB] BWBF launches Bumblebee







but the Braille note sorry but the L Braille uses mainstream technology







Sent from my iPhone







> On 20 Jul 2017, at 08:58, Steve Nutt

<steve at comproom.co.uk<mailto:steve at comproom.co.uk<mailto:steve at comproom.co.u
k%3cmailto:steve at comproom.co.uk>>> wrote:



>



> Hi John,



>



> You are funny, you just defeated your own argument.  You said why



> should we buy products especially for the blind, then said the



> ElBraille is the best thing you bought.



>



> Hey ho.



>



> All the best



>



> Steve



>



> -----Original Message-----



> From: Bcab [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of john



> gallagher



> Sent: 19 July 2017 10:44



> To: 
> bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk<mailto:bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk<mailto:bcab at lists
> .bcab.org.uk%3cmailto:bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>>



> Subject: Re: [BCAB] BWBF launches Bumblebee



>



> hi all,



> surely the experts are on this list most of us could be the people to



> say what would be a good device for a blind person. so much is out



> there to do all this listening to the radio and the like its just



> showing people how to use what's out there. why now do we need



> products for the blind which cost a lot of money. my elBraille which



> uses main stream for me is the best thing i have ever purchased.



> i think what dennis says is a very good point bringing out a very good



> accessible dab radio could be the way to go but, because we're in such

> a



> very minority group this will never happen.



>



> ----- Original Message -----



> From: Iain Lackie
> <iainlackie at gmail.com<mailto:iainlackie at gmail.com<mailto:iainlackie at gm
> ail.com%3cmailto:iainlackie at gmail.com>>>



> To: BCAB Discussion List

> <bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk<mailto:bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk<mailto:bcab at list
> s.bcab.org.uk%3cmailto:bcab at lists.bcab.org.uk>>>



> Date: Wednesday, 19 July 2017 10.30 am



> Subject: Re: [BCAB] BWBF launches Bumblebee



>



>>



>>



>> In my far from humble opinion, surely they should be doing something



>> about the lack of a truly accessible DAB radio. will we ever see one?



>>



>>



>> Iain



>>



>>



>>> On 19/07/2017 09.40, Jackie Brown wrote:



>>> I don't want to start bashing this as I haven't seen it.  But BWBF



>>> (British Wireless for the Blind Fund) has launched a Samsung tablet



>>> with locked proprietary software on it called Bumblebee.  Its yellow



>>> and black contrast with speech feedback allows you to enter a number



>>> of applications to listen to radio stations, podcasts, books,



>>> newspapers and other information.  It is only available on loan to



>>> those



> who "meet the criteria."



>>>



>>> This to me sounds like another Synaptic product with layered



>>> software over a Samsung tablet which cannot be unlocked.  I would



>>> just



> ask these questions:



>>> who comes up with the research stats for these kind of products?



>>> Are these kind of devices as popular as our organisations seem to



>>> think?  Am I being too cynical?



>>>



>>> Kind regards,



>>>



>>> Jackie Brown



>>> Email: ,j;ackieannbrown62 at gmail.com



>>> Check out my website:

www.thebrownsplace.info<http://www.thebrownsplace.info<http://www.thebrownsp
lace.info%3chttp:/www.thebrownsplace.info>> Follow me on

Twitter:



>>> @thebrownsplace Skype name: thejackmate



>>>



>>>



>>>



>>>



>>



>>



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