Sunday, August 5, 2007
"One Thumb to rule them all"
As my quest for software continues, I ran across this video about Mac's Switch XS software, used by Michael Phillips. Using SwitchXS with a Swifty USB device and a proximity switch, Michael works his Mac to play games, compose documents and listen to iTunes, send IM's - well pretty much everything - with the use of a thumb.
SwitchXS is a scanning software. It comes with Layout Kitchen. It can be purchased from assistiveware.com in a packaged bundle along with Keystrokes 3.6, an onscreen keyboard with word prediction - or purchased separately.
I downloaded the demos of all 3 programs and put them all together on my iBook and have had no memory issues even with 512 MB. Having never used a scanning software before, I was reluctant to even demo this, but am finding it very helpful as my speed increases. I'm using it with a switch that I hit with the side of my arm . The customization with these programs is impressive. Not only can you devise your own "keyboards" and scanning menus for particular programs, you can save and display them in a myraid of ways in each of the three programs.
Keystroke 3.6 is also an excellent stand alone program. It has a dwell feature, which I find handy. Like SwitchXS there's a 'smart transparency option, which makes the keyboard disappear so you can read what's underneath unless it's in use- handy on a 14 inch screen. There's a second vertical menu with options allowing you to use Keystrokes for mouse functions - and to turn dwell off/on. Surfing the web with Keystrokes and an electronic head cursor would be a great combo for a quad for most things.
Because I vary my computer use so much, I'm looking for a versatile combination of programs to cover some gaps I've run into. I'll continue to share my results here and if anyone's used any of these programs, let me know!