I’ve Realized Computers Are Not For Geeks


When growing up, I did not appreciate nor care about computers. I was mainly involved in physical stuff and did not consider the greatest invention of the 20th century to be anything more than a hyped commercial product. I have always been a meritable sportsman and my trophy cabinet can attest to this.

In this light, I focused all my energy on outdoor activities and considered computers as geeky gadgets for the lazy and inactive. It took a life changing incident to change this perspective and to consider computers as the best invention ever. However, this transformation could not have occurred were it not for the amazing assistive technology called Virtual Vinux.

How I Became Blind…

virtual-memoryDuring my high school days, I was involved in several athletic events and I was a member of two school teams. I was a star athlete and I also excelled in swimming. However, my sporting dreams were shattered by an eye disease, which left me almost blind. I started experiencing pain in both eyes and I thought it was just a normal infection. However, my problem deteriorated and after several months I was almost blind.

Doctors offered no hope of ever recovering my eyesight and my shining career as a sportsman was cut short abruptly. I started ‘interacting’ with computers during the early stages of my illness. A friend of mine suggested that I could learn about my condition on the internet. Consequently, I acquired a laptop and a modem and spent every other minute seeking online solutions for my medical predicament.

I was amazed at the amount of information that was freely available on the internet and I really appreciated the amount of knowledge one could acquire from the computer. However, just when my acquaintance with computers was becoming entrenched, my sight deteriorated and I could not even use a computer. Needless to say, I was greatly frustrated.

Computer Classes Help

techieAfter abandoning my sporting career, I enrolled in a computer class and decided to pursue the digital machine as a career. Now that my sporting career was over, I focused all my energy on computers. My teachers provided various assistive technologies for the visually impaired, which enabled my computer usage despite my eye problems. Undoubtedly, all the assistive technologies provided were very useful and I really appreciated how they enabled me to overcome my visual limitations.

However, the most effective assistive technology for me was introduced in 2008. I was introduced to Vinux in 2010 when I was in college. The system was specially created for the partially blind and blind computer users and it offered a wide range of tools and options to suit my needs. Vinux, which is a Linux-distribution system suite, includes several components.

One of its components is Orca, which is a screen reader and magnifier. Another component is called Speakup, which is a console screen reader. The third component is called Compiz, which is a 3-D magnifier. Additionally, the suite supports grade 1 and 2 Braille displays.

All these tools have helped me immensely by easing my computer usage despite my partial blindness. One of the most amazing things about Vinux is that it can run from a disk or USB stick without making any changes to my current operating system. The software also enables users to install a version of Ubuntu independently and I have the choice of installing it to a USB memory stick or to a hard drive beside my current operating system.

All these features and installation options have been a blessing for me and for all other visually impaired users across the world. Considering the functionality, compatibility, and ease of use for this system, I can confidently endorse Vinux as my assistive technology of choice.