M S Advice #8

Get connected. This one is fairly straightforward. If you are reading this, you probably have access to a computer of some kind, but, if you haven’t, get one. I’m no computer geek, so there’s no point in me giving you advice about which computer to get.

The only advice I would give, however, is about accessibility. It doesn’t matter how powerful it is if you can’t see the screen or use the keypad or accurately touch the screen. All of them are powerful enough for most needs. They all pack a computing punch greater than they needed to put men on the moon, so, unless you’re planning a holiday on Mars, you don’t need to worry.

Are you OK with a small screen, or do you need a big one? Buy accordingly. If you need special features, like a screen reader because you’re blind, get this afterwards. I don’t advertise on this blog, but I think JAWS is probably the best I’ve used, but it’s very expensive; Windoweyes, which can be used in the same way, is a free download. I cut my teeth on Jaws (pardon the pun), and now I use Windoweyes.

Get on to social media, like Facebook and Twitter. They don’t cost anything, enable you to make contacts, and, provided you don’t mind GCHQ or the CIA reading your stuff, just join in, but remember, whatever they say about privacy, the internet is not private. Everything you put there will be available for ever. If you are a potential criminal, take appropriate advice. Know what I mean?

But, for the sane among us, it can be great fun, and, for the housebound, it can be a life-saver.

While you’re enjoying your virtual coffee mornings, don’t forget the practical help you can access on the internet, like booking entertainment or travel or assistance on journeys, and do your shopping on line. In my experience, the delivery van drivers will bring it into the kitchen and exchange pleasantries, as well. I’ve never tried, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d put it away in your cupboards, if you asked.

Getting connected means connecting with people through your computer, so talk to your delivery person. He or she is a person, not another computer.





About stevehobsonauthor

I am blind, and I hate it. It stinks. But life is still sweet. I have multiple sclerosis, and that stinks too, but life is still sweet. These are my musings.
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