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Thread: Access Features on MAC

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Devon, UK

    Access Features on MAC

    Hi there

    I've not been an Apple fan, in fact I've been dead against them for a long as I can remember, but a friend showed me their Mac Mini with the new OS (Leopard?) on it.

    All looked very swish and my opinion wasn't moved until she showed me the accessibility features, the Magnification that now only traces the mouse, it tracks the Keyboard, the Screen Reader that is Highly customisable, clear and verbose, then my interest started to pick up.

    Now I know M$ doesn't come close, to get this level of 'assistance' in WinDoze you have to spend £400+ on a product like ZoomText, but with the Mac its all there, all in the OS and the OS is only £25! (compared to Windows 7 £100+).

    Now that certainly picked up my interest, in fact it blew me away what can be done, what is Built Into the operating system, it all worked so seamlessly. Which is the point, it was not a 'Bolt On' afterthought, Like Windows, and to a degree, Linux, it was 'Part Of' the OS, well thought out and integrated.

    I'm not impressed by Wizzy GUI stuff, which up until now, I thought that's all MAC's where, style over content, I'm more impressed by usability and functionality, all out of the box (ie no messing about installing packages, libraries and messing about with config files, sound familiar!).

    Shame Apple will not open source this tech, but its now seriously got me thinking what my next PC purchase should be. Either wait till M$ produce something usable (hell with freeze over first), wait for Ubuntu to deliver a usable app, or get a Mac where its all built in and ready to go now.

    I never thought I'd see the day when I'd actually consider buying an Apple, but what was demonstrated to me was that someone had actually sat down and seriously thought this through, this is a very powerful OS for very little money, compared with having to buy windows at £100 then ZoomText for £400 that's £500 before you start thinking about what hardware to run it on, as for Linux and Ubuntu, I love having a free operating system, but it seems, as always, accessibility is an afterthought or 'bolt on' until that changes and its Build Into the OS its not going to work, is that ever going to happen? its a culture shift for developers who like building their Wizzy GUI's and don't like adding accessibility items that 'ruin' their look.

    Food for thought
    Kind Regards, Leona
    Main: Compucase 7KJC, MSI H77MA-G43, Intel I3-3225 3.3Ghz, 8Gb DDR3-1600 XMS RAM, 64Gb SanDisk SSD (/ /boot)+2Tb WD Green HDD (/home), Mint 17.3 Cinnamon 64Bit.
    Mobile: Acer Switch 10, NT.L6JEK.011, Ubuntu Gnome 15.10 64Bit

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Los Angeles
    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Access Features on MAC

    Way back in Ye Olde Days when everything on computers was text-based, one of the things we were proud and pleased about was that access had been suddenly (sometimes only potentially) improved for lots of people compared to printed matter. Then along came GUIs and a few small voices shouting that we were going backward. I can't say I noticed anyone caring much. It was all, "Ooh. Shiny!"

    I'm a bit shocked to hear how much MS is charging to compensate for the deficiencies of the OS. Strikes me as ethically in the same ballpark as selling Windows and charging for security products, only worse.

    I was under the impression that Ubuntu made an effort towards accessibility, but it's sad to hear that it falls so far short.

    One of my interests is web site design, and the last time I was making the attempt, I was frustrated with how hard it was to just figure out where the accessibility issues were on my web sites. I had real trouble finding easy-to-use tools to allow, for instance, simple switching between low and high graphics versions of a site. (I'm not much of a php programmer....) I'm sure there's commercial stuff out there, but it seems like this fits right with open source philosophy and yet we don't have it. (Or maybe I just don't know about it.)

    So, anyway, this is a longwinded way of saying that I agree. We need more and better focus on accessibility in open source.
    Last edited by Sef; March 20th, 2010 at 02:22 AM. Reason: Changed M$ to MS


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