Accessible Computing (Was "Re: Display-less computing")

Christian Gauger-Cosgrove captainkirk359 at
Sun Dec 13 14:10:52 CST 2015

On 13 December 2015 at 13:46, Chuck Guzis <cclist at> wrote:
> At CDC Sunnyvale ops back in the 1970s, we had a blind programmer working.
> His job output came as punched cards and he had no problem reading them by
> feel.  I remember him and his beautiful guide dog.
Hmm, that kinda makes sense. It would be kinda/sorta like braille. (I
guess that would also work for punched tape as well.) I couldn't tell
you how good it would be though, I might be vision impaired, but not
enough that I've learnt braille. I wonder if any minis or mainframes
(or micros) could actually produce output as braille...

> In the same sort of spirit, I recall that one of the secretaries used a
> monitor-cum-camera affair to enlarge her work documents so that she could
> read them.
CCTV readers. They're still a thing. The tests and exams centre at my
university has a bunch of them (one each per exam room, and a bunch of
old analogue ones still sitting about). I find the older analogue ones
are better than the newer digital ones. If only because the text zoom
is more "fluid" (my preferred size of "embiggened" (what, it's a
perfectly cromulent word) text is right between two of the settings on
the machines we have which is mildly annoying); they also have less
artefacts when using non-standard video modes (reverse video, or high
contrast modes).

> It's sad that early corporate efforts to accommodate all people, no matter
> the impairment, aren't better documented.
I'd buy a book on that in a heartbeat; necause that is very much of
interest to myself. I know DEC had their DECtalk speech synthesizers
(isn't the eminent Dr. Hawking's voice an old DECtalk?) and they could
be connected to serial lines.

Christian M. Gauger-Cosgrove
Contact information available upon request.

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