My iPhone

It was time to upgrade our mobiles, so I’d been looking around to see what is the best option for me. I’ve felt left out by not being able to text (not an issue with my phone of course, an issue with me…) For the last few months I’ve looked at a couple of the Droids and the iPhone.  I always came back to the iPhone because of the reviews from blind or visually impaired users. I got my phone about two weeks ago. I’m now wondering if I’ve made the correct choice.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of having it.  The ability to tweet, send and receive texts, shoot and upload images and videos is truly awesome.  Oh, and the ability to listen to Absolute Radio is well beyond that.  The learning curve for me has been huge.  I’m trying to be patient with it, but it has been frustrating.

I’ve been using the VoiceOver feature for the last week.  This feature reads the screen to me.  The feature works pretty well, but there are some issues (probably me not the device) that drive me a little crazy.  Today, for example, I wanted to tweet.  It wasn’t anything exciting, but I was sitting at Martin Main Line Honda and wanted to “practice.”  Since there was a little noise, I had trouble entering in the letters.  I could enter them, but there were times that I couldn’t hear what letter I had selected.  When using VoiceOver, to enter text, you’ve got to tap three times.  Once to hear the letter, then twice when you’re sure it is what you want.  If I was unsure of a letter, I would lose track of the word and if it was spelled correctly.

I probably should have tried the VoiceOver before I tried the large text and zoom feature.  When using the large text (which doesn’t work on menu items, by the way,) you use the iPhone just like normal people would, by tapping on an item once.  After trying the zoom feature for a few days, I ended up changing some settings because I couldn’t see what I had actually touched while trying to maneuver around the screen (while being zoomed in.)  You can’t use both the zoom feature and the VoiceOver feature at the same time.  I’m not sure why.

I know that I’ll get the hang of it sooner or later, but like anything else I do, I want to do it NOW.  It doesn’t help that I’ve been trying implement things I’ve learned at Affiliate Summit East, go live with a couple of affiliate marketing sites I’ve been working on, learn to use WordPress so that I don’t have to ask anyone for assistance to launch those sites and others, keep running (since that is where most of our revenue comes from,) process orders we receive through (we sell beauty stuff there too,) and move Jake into his dorm at Westtown.  Not to mention local beauty deliveries with Eliz and some Digital Graphics Design work.  I’ve been averaging about five and a half hours of sleep and I don’t see an end to that.


My Inglourious Sight

For the past four or five days, my vision has sucked more than normal. I don’t know why. It’s almost like interference on a television screen. The picture is still there, but it’s hard to see through the static. I’ve been a little nervous about my vision because Eliz and I are heading to New York tomorrow for an internet marketing conference — Affiliate Summit East.  Just walking around a crowded event will be challenging.

When my vision doesn’t cooperate, like over the past few days, I spend less time at the computer and the time that I do spend there I get less done since it takes me longer to read.  It gets pretty frustrating.  It seems I need help from Eliz or the kids to get even the simplest of tasks done.  Tonight, Jane and I looked through some inventory to pick out some specials for (we ended up adding the 1189 flat iron from Hot Tools, the Turbo Silverado hair dryer, the One ‘n Only Acid Extra Body perm, and Hair Rescue Intense Clarifying Treatment from Zotos to our specials.)  I have to tell you that I get pleasure when I can accomplish something on my own.

Tonight I realized how poor my vision was.  While flipping through the channels, I saw that Ingloourious Basterds was on.  Eliz and I watched that movie in late April, just after my surgery.  I absolutely loved it.  The best part of it then was I was actually able to read most of the subtitles on my own.  That wasn’t the case tonight, so I didn’t watch it.


One Week After Cataract Removal

By this time last Thursday I was sleeping.  I guess I still had the pain and sleepy meds running in my system.  So I’m getting back to my “normal” routine.  It seems I get the most work done when everyone else in the house is sleeping and I don’t have phone calls to answer.  11:30 to whenever I go to sleep (usually between 1:00 and 2:00) is probably my most productive time working on the site or promoting it.

The fact that I can do that with some confidence is a result of the surgery.  I use reading glasses that enables me to see the computer screen more clearly than I did prior to the surgery.  I have the font size at +2 (two steps above medium,) which is where I used to have it.  I am now also able to read, briefly, without the screen being reversed.  For those not familiar with Macs, you can easily reverse the screen to see a negative view.  Fonts that are usually black on a white background are reversed and become white on a black background.  If my eye improve a little more, I may even be able to use a Windows machine (though why would I want to do that?  Our point-of-sale system runs on a Windows machine…)

Other achievements I’ve had in the past week include seeing colors more vividly.  I love just walking outside and looking around.  The grass and leaves are so green and the sky is so blue.  Flowers seem to have so much more color.  I can also see cars on the road, signs on buildings, and, on the down side, marks and dirt on the carpet and walls.

Watching TV has become enjoyable again.  I can now tell characters apart, where as before the surgery I was happy if I could tell if a character was white or black.  I’ve also noticed that I am reading the ticker(s) at the bottom of the screen while I watch Bloomberg, CNBC, FNC or CNN.  All the graphics on the news and sports looks sooo good.

The best thing for me so far on TV has been watching the Flyers.  I don’t know if it is just from the surgery or also from watching in HD, but I can follow the puck much better that I’ve been able to in a long, long time.  I guess it doesn’t hurt that they’ve been winning either.  Lets see if I enjoy watching them play the Caps…  I do like Ovechkin — he is one of my favorite players.  He is a complete, tough player, unlike Crosby who is a gifted player but the worlds biggest crybaby.

My first outing to a sporting event was this past Monday.  I went to Jane’s softball game against Abington Friends.  I was very happy how much more of the action I was able to follow.  I did lose track of the ball on some hits though.  I enjoyed the game even though Jane’s team lost (though Jane knocking in a run and scored another) and the umpire was terrible (though that is not why they lost.)  I am looking forward to watching some of Jake’s lacrosse games.  His last game before my surgery, I had trouble seeing the players who weren’t near the sideline we were on.

Lets face it, my eyes still suck in a big way, BUT, I can see so much more than I could before the surgery.  I have more confidence wondering around a store by myself (of course, until I get glasses or better reading glasses, I still can’t see what is on the shelf…)  I’d also be comfortable finding the bathroom on my own in a restaurant, which is something I would not do before the surgery.  I am still hopeful of reading printed material and throwing a ball around with Jane or Jake.  Maybe next week…