Braille 'N Speak;


david
 

Good morning all;

I realize this is old hardware/software, however, does anyone know where I could obtain a manual for the Braille 'N Speak?

 

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.

 


Angelo Sonnesso
 

Hi David,

Do you have the complete help file?

It has everything that the manual has in it.I will also check to see what I have.

I do have the help file if you need it.

 

 

 

73 N2DYN Angelo

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of david
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:29 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Good morning all;

I realize this is old hardware/software, however, does anyone know where I could obtain a manual for the Braille 'N Speak?

 

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.

 


david
 

Hello Angelo;

no I do not. I don't have any files pertaining to the Braille 'N Speak.

someone asked me yesterday if I new where to find such file.

if you have, I would appreciate it if you could share.

 

thank you.

 

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Angelo Sonnesso
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 10:14 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Hi David,

Do you have the complete help file?

It has everything that the manual has in it.I will also check to see what I have.

I do have the help file if you need it.

 

 

 

73 N2DYN Angelo

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of david
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:29 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Good morning all;

I realize this is old hardware/software, however, does anyone know where I could obtain a manual for the Braille 'N Speak?

 

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.

 


Geoff Eden <geden1@...>
 

                             TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
ABOUT THIS MANUAL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3
SECTION I: THE BASICS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
     CHAPTER 1: GETTING STARTED. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
          1.1 THE FIRST TIME OUT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
          * 1.2 The Concept of Files and FOLDERS . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
          * 1.3 The Braille 'n Speak's Memory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
          1.4 How to Use The Commands. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
          1.5 The Concept of Menus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
               1.5.1 The Options Menu. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
               * 1.5.2 The Status Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
               * 1.5.3 How to Handle the Built-in Battery. . . . . . . . 12
               1.5.4 The Parameters Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
     CHAPTER 2: MAKING THE BRAILLE 'N SPEAK TALK THE WAY YOU WANT. . . . 14
          2.1 Volume, Speech Rate, Pitch, and Tone . . . . . . . . . . . 14
          * 2.2 Announcement of Punctuation and Numbers. . . . . . . . . 15
          * 2.3 Multiple Voice Settings. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
                    SECTION II: WORKING WITH YOUR FILES. . . . . . . . . 18
                       CHAPTER 3: READING YOUR FILES . . . . . . . . . . 19
          3.1 The Cursor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
          * 3.2 Navigating through a File. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
               * 3.2.1 Moving by Blocks of Text. . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
               * 3.2.2 Moving by Relative Blocks of Text . . . . . . . . 20
               * 3.2.3 The Text Counter. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
          3.3 Reading Blocks of Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
               3.3.1 Defining Blocks of Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
 
                    * 3.3.2 Having the Voice Spell Out Words . . . . . . 24
               * 3.3.3 What's the ASCII Value of the Character Under the
                    Cursor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
          3.4 Some Tips on Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
               3.4.1 The Automatic Braille Translator  . . . . . . . . . 25
               3.4.2 Special Types of Characters . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
          3.5 Searching for Text in a File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
               3.5.1 The Location of the Cursor. . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
               3.5.2 Finding Text. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
               3.5.3 Case-Sensitive Searches for Text. . . . . . . . . . 29
     CHAPTER 4: WRITING IN YOUR FILES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
          4.1 The Files Menu . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
          * 4.2 Creating a File. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
          4.3 Where is the Cursor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
          4.4 Room Left in Your File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
          4.5 Getting Help . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
          4.6 Writing Text in Your File. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
          4.7 Writing Control Characters into a File . . . . . . . . . . 34
          * 4.8 Writing Repeated Character Strings . . . . . . . . . . . 36
          4.9 Formatting Text. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
               * 4.9.1 Setting and Adjusting Margins . . . . . . . . . . 40
               4.9.2 Formatting and the Status Menu. . . . . . . . . . . 44
               4.9.3 Document Layout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
               4.9.4 Changing the Appearance of Print Text . . . . . . . 48
               4.9.5 Inserting a Time Stamp on a Printed Document. . . . 49
               4.9.6 Skipping Blocks of Text to Print  . . . . . . . . . 49
          4.10 Selecting your Writing Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
     CHAPTER 5: EDITING TEXT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
          5.1 Overwriting Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
          5.2 Backspacing and Rubbing Out a Character. . . . . . . . . . 54
          * 5.3 Deleting Text. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
          5.4 Inserting Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
          * 5.5 Copying Text into Your File. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
          5.6 Deleting Blocks of Text. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
          5.7 Find and Replace Text. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
     CHAPTER 6: MANIPULATING FILES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
          * 6.1 Exploring the File Command Menu. . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
          6.2 Listing Your Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
          * 6.3 Navigating Through Your Files. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
          6.4 Opening an Existing File . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
          * 6.5 Opening an Existing File by Its Number . . . . . . . . . 72
          6.6 Renaming a File. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
          6.7 Write-Protecting and Unprotecting a File . . . . . . . . . 74
          6.8 Deleting Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
          6.9 Changing the Size of a File. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
          * 6.10 Copying an Entire File into the Currently Open File . . 80
          * 6.11 Free Space in the Braille 'n Speak. . . . . . . . . . . 82
          * 6.12 Working with Folders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
               * 6.12.1 Running in Folder Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
               * 6.12.2 Navigating through Folders . . . . . . . . . . . 84
               * 6.12.3 Creating a Folder. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
               * 6.12.4 Moving a File into a Folder. . . . . . . . . . . 86
               * 6.12.5 Moving Groups of Files into a Folder . . . . . . 87
               * 6.12.6 Opening a File in a Different Folder . . . . . . 89
               * 6.12.7 Moving Files between RAM and Flash . . . . . . . 90
               * 6.12.8 Changing the Name of a Folder. . . . . . . . . . 91
               * 6.12.9 Deleting a Folder. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
                    SECTION III: WORKING WITH OTHER TOOLS  . . . . . . . 93
     CHAPTER 7: THE CLOCK AND THE CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
          * 7.1 The Clock. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
               * 7.1.1 The Current Time. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
               * 7.1.2 Switching Between American and European Time. . . 94
               * 7.1.3 Setting the Time. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
               * 7.1.4 Changing the Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
               * 7.1.5 Hourly Announcement of Time . . . . . . . . . . . 95
               * 7.1.6 The Alarm . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
          7.2 The Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
               7.2.1 Checking Today's Date . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
               * 7.2.2 Setting Today's Date. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
               7.2.3 Getting a Date from the Calendar. . . . . . . . . . 97
               7.2.4 Inserting a Date into Your Calendar . . . . . . . . 98
               7.2.5 Calendar Alert. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
          7.3 Information About Your Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100
     CHAPTER 8: THE STOPWATCH AND THE TIMER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102
          8.1 The Stopwatch. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102
               8.1.1 Starting and Stopping the Stopwatch . . . . . . . .102
               8.1.2 Reading Elapsed Time. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .102
               8.1.3 Stopping and Resetting the Stopwatch. . . . . . . .103
          8.2 The Timer. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103
               8.2.1 Finding out Time Remaining. . . . . . . . . . . . .104
               8.2.2 Timing in the Background. . . . . . . . . . . . . .104
     CHAPTER 9: THE CALCULATOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105
          9.1 Basic Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .105
          9.2 Setting Precision. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106
          9.3 Inserting Calculation Results into a File. . . . . . . . .106
          9.4 Performing Percentage Calculations . . . . . . . . . . . .107
          9.5 Storing and Using the Memory Locations . . . . . . . . . .108
          9.6 Extracting a Square Root . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108
          * 9.7 Complex Functions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
          9.8 Error Messages and Tips. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110
     CHAPTER 10: OTHER HELPFUL FEATURES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111
          10.1 Word Exceptions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111
          10.2 The One-Handed Braille 'n Speak . . . . . . . . . . . . .112
          10.3 Review Only Mode. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112
     CHAPTER 11: MACROS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114
          11.1 What's a Macro, Anyway. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114
          11.2 Recording a Macro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .114
          11.3 Playing an Existing Macro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116
          11.4 How to Check a Macro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116
          11.5 Pausing a Macro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117
          11.6 Write-Protecting Macros . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119
          11.7 Adding your Own Messages to a Macro . . . . . . . . . . .119
          * 11.8 Start-Up Macros . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .120
     CHAPTER 12: THE SPELLCHECKER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122
          12.1 Running the Spellchecker. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .122
          12.2 Adding a Word to Your Personal Dictionary . . . . . . . .122
          12.3 Bypassing a Word for the Rest of the Document . . . . . .123
          12.4 Reading a Word in Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123
          12.5 Correcting a Word . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123
          12.6 Repeating a Word. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123
          12.7 Overlooking a Word. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123
          12.8 Suggested Replacement Words . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .123
                    SECTION IV: CONVERSING WITH OTHER DEVICES. . . . . .125
     CHAPTER 13: INTRODUCING TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SETTINGS . . . . . .125
          13.1 Cables. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .125
               13.1.1 Serial versus Parallel . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126
               * 13.1.2 Gender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126
               * 13.1.3 Number of Pins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .127
               13.1.4 Null Modem Cable Requirements. . . . . . . . . . .127
          13.2 Telecommunications Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .127
               13.2.1 Baud Rate. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .128
               13.2.2 Parity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .128
               13.2.3 Duplex . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129
               13.2.4 Data Bits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .129
               13.2.5 Stop Bits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130
               13.2.6 Handshaking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130
               13.2.7 The Interactive Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131
               13.2.8 Rejecting Ornamentation. . . . . . . . . . . . . .131
     CHAPTER 14: THE PORTABLE DISK DRIVE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .133
          * 14.1 How to Operate the Disk Drive . . . . . . . . . . . . .133
          14.2 Retrieving a File from Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135
          14.3 Saving a File to Disk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .136
          14.4 Transmitting Textfiles or Applications. . . . . . . . . .137
              
                    14.4.1 Sending Files to the Disk Drive . . . . . . .137
               14.4.2 Receiving Files from the Disk Drive. . . . . . . .138
          14.5 Adding an Application to the Braille 'n Speak . . . . . .139
          14.6 Reading the Directory from a Disk . . . . . . . . . . . .140
     CHAPTER 15: PRINTERS, MODEMS, AND COMPUTERS . . . . . . . . . . . .142
          15.1 Transmission Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .142
               15.1.1 Activating the Serial Port . . . . . . . . . . . .142
               15.1.2 Appending Linefeeds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .142
          15.2 Physical Page Format Considerations . . . . . . . . . . .143
               15.2.1 Printing Text Without Translating. . . . . . . . .144
               15.2.2 Finding out What Page is Being Printed . . . . . .144
               15.2.3 Transmitting a Portion of a Document . . . . . . .144
               15.2.4 Double-Spacing a Document on the Fly . . . . . . .145
               15.2.5 Previewing Where Text Will Print . . . . . . . . .145
          * 15.3 Sending Blocks of Text to Another Device. . . . . . . .147
          15.4 Modems and Other Computers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149
          15.5 Using Sophisticated Modem Protocols in Transmission . . .151
          * 15.6 The Braille 'n Speak as a Speech Synthesizer. . . . . .154
          15.7 Sending Braille 'n Speak Output to Your Computer Screen .157
     CHAPTER 16: RUNNING EXTERNAL PROGRAMS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .159
          * 16.1 Updating your Braille 'n Speak 2000 . . . . . . . . . .160
          * 16.2 The Bilingual Braille 'n Speak. . . . . . . . . . . . .162
                    APPENDIX A: COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS . . . . . . . .166
     TELECOMMUNICATIONS QUESTIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .166
          * INTERNET CONNECTION QUESTIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .168
     PRINTING QUESTIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .169
     CRASH AND RECOVERY QUESTIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .171
     BRAILLE TRANSLATION QUESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173
          * RAM AND FLASH QUESTIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .173
     MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .175
                    APPENDIX B: QUICK REFERENCE. . . . . . . . . . . . .179
          SPEECH PARAMETERS MENU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .180
          FILE COMMANDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .181
          ENTERING TEXT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .184
          CURSOR MOVEMENT AND SPEAKING OF TEXT . . . . . . . . . . . . .185
          FINDING, REPLACING, DELETING, AND INSERTING TEXT . . . . . . .186
          FORMATTING TEXT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .188
          CLOCK AND CALENDAR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .190
          STOPWATCH/COUNT-DOWN TIMER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .191
          SCIENTIFIC CALCULATOR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .191
          MACROS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .193
          SPELLCHECK FUNCTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .194
          DISK DRIVE FUNCTIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .194
          TRANSMITTING DATA. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .195
          OPTIONS MENU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .196
          PARAMETERS MENU. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .197
          STATUS MENU DEFAULT SETTINGS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .198
          MISCELLANEOUS COMMANDS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .200
                    APPENDIX C: TECHNICAL DATA ABOUT PORTS . . . . . . .201
                    APPENDIX D: ASCII BRAILLE SYMBOLS. . . . . . . . . .202
                    APPENDIX E: WHICH CHARGER TO USE . . . . . . . . . .205
                    Index. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .207
 
                             ABOUT THIS MANUAL
 
For those of you who already had some model of the Braille 'n Speak and
know how to use many of its features, you'll find the Braille 'n speak
2000 has many exciting new improvements.  In particular, if you have
just upgraded from the 1996 revision of the Braille 'n Speak 640, we've
revised the 1995 Braille 'n Speak User Guide to include all the features
in the Braille 'n Speak 2000, which is the focus of this manual.
 
If you're a Braille 'n Speak veteran, you'll find it easy to get
acquainted with the new features in the Braille 'n Speak 2000.  A
section heading or a paragraph within a section that is preceded by an
asterisk (*) is "new". Check the Table of Contents to see where they
are.  Don't be fooled by a section's name.  For example, the section on
getting the Braille 'n Speak to talk the way you want contains new
information and so we've highlighted it with an asterisk.  Therefore,
even if you already know how to use the Speech Parameters menu, check
this section out because we've added some features.
 
This manual is your "road map" as you explore the Braille 'n Speak's
modes, features and functions.  In each chapter, we discuss commands and
the tasks they perform; and, we provide you with detailed examples of
how to apply them in your daily life.  Each chapter focuses on a
specific topic area and takes you through all of the commands related to
that topic in detail.
 
Here is a key to the map:
 
INTRODUCTION: Tells you what a Braille 'n Speak is.
 
SECTION I - THE BASICS: Explains what to do the first time you take the
Braille 'n Speak out of the box.
 
SECTION II - WORKING WITH YOUR FILES: Walks you slowly and painlessly
through reading, writing, and manipulating files.
 
SECTION III - WORKING WITH OTHER TOOLS: Tours the Braille 'n Speak's
calendar, calculator, stopwatch, timer, and much more - with real-life
examples.
 
SECTION IV - CONVERSING WITH OTHER DEVICES: Demystifies the complicated
business of file transfers, printing considerations, the external disk
drive, and external programs - all in simple language, minus the
technobabble you usually find in discussions of telecommunications.
 
APPENDIX A - COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS: Answers commonly asked questions
about printing, file recovery, file transfers, and the like.
 
APPENDIX B - QUICK REFERENCE: Lists by subject all Braille 'n Speak
commands.
 
APPENDIX C - TECHNICAL DATA ABOUT PORTS: Provides technical
specifications for linking the Braille 'n Speak to nonstandard devices.
 
APPENDIX D - ASCII BRAILLE SYMBOLS: Provides a complete table for the
ASCII character set in computer braille.
 
APPENDIX E - WHICH CHARGER TO USE: Explains what chargers work with the
various models of the Braille 'n Speak, Braille Lite, and portable drive
to help you prevent accidentally damaging your unit by plugging the
wrong charger into it.
 
By the time you finish exploring the Braille 'n Speak universe, you'll
wonder how you managed without it.
 
                               INTRODUCTION
 
What Is a Braille 'n Speak?
 
The Braille 'n Speak is a computer that lets you write in braille and responds
to you with speech.  It translates Grade 2 or Grade 1 braille text - even
computer braille text - into spoken words through its built-in speech
synthesizer.
 
Weighing less than one pound, and having its own internal, rechargeable
battery and storage, this powerful computer can act as your notebook, your
rollodex, your calendar, your calculator, your stopwatch, your timer, and much
more!
 
* You can use a Braille 'n Speak comfortably and unobtrusively at a meeting,
on a street corner or a subway, just as anyone uses a pencil and notepad.
And, chances are, you won't run out of room because the unit can store a lot
of information.  The Braille 'n Speak 2000 can store about seven hundred forty
physical pages of braille in its random-access memory area (or 768 kilobytes)
and over eighteen hundred physical pages worth in "Flash" memory (or 2
megabytes).  We'll discuss the new "flash memory" in detail in Section 1.3.
 
The Braille 'n Speak can "talk" with other computers - whether it's to store
information on a disk or retrieve it for you to read later, or whether it's to
print files with an ink printer or braille them with a braille embosser.
 
* Using an external modem and your telephone, the Braille 'n Speak links you
to a wealth of information over services such as the Internet: news, shopping,
research, conversation with other computer users, and so on.
 
If you have a personal computer with a screen access program (ASAP, Jaws, or
Vocal-Eyes - just to mention a few popular ones), you can turn your Braille 'n
Speak into a portable speech synthesizer through its "speech box" mode.  This
can come in handy if you're on the go a lot and want to minimize the gear you
carry, or you suddenly have to access a computer at a colleague's desk (in a
hurry).  It's much easier to carry a floppy disk with your screen access
program on it and your Braille 'n Speak than to carry around an extra speech
synthesizer.
 
So let's get started!
 
SECTION I: THE BASICS
 
                              * INTRODUCTION
 
This section covers very basic information about the Braille 'n Speak: what it
looks like, what to expect when you turn it on for the first time, how to set
up the voice to your liking, and how to navigate around the menu system.  If
you're already generally familiar with how to operate your Braille 'n Speak,
you may wish to skim most of this section.  But we do recommend that you read
the parts marked with an asterisk so that you don't miss out on any new
features or information about your unit.
 
Let's start by giving the Braille 'n Speak a physical to see what it looks
like and to learn the basics about its use.
 
The Braille 'n Speak is about the size of a video cassette.  Its keyboard
consists of the standard seven-key layout of a Perkins-style braillewriter.
The rubber feet on its bottom prevent the machine from sliding around as you
work.  Place the unit in front of you with the spacebar closest to you - the
usual position in which you operate your braillewriter.
 
Find the right corner closest to you and slide your finger toward the back of
the unit.  About halfway, you'll find the "on/off" rocker switch.  To turn the
Braille 'n Speak on, rock the switch away from you; to turn it off, rock it
toward you.
 
Immediately in back of the "on/off" rocker switch is an earphone jack.  You
can also use this jack to connect your Braille 'n Speak to an external speaker
or a patch cord to send the Braille 'n Speak's voice output to a tape
recorder.
 
* Now, find the left corner of the unit closest to you.  Slide your finger
toward the back of the machine and find an indented rectangular opening along
the left side.  Feel carefully within this opening and notice the two round
DIN ports with tiny little holes in them.  They feel virtually identical, one
toward the front of the rectangular opening, the other toward the back, and
they're separated by two vertical bars that are practically flush with the
ports themselves.  In fact, the ports perform the same function.  They are
both used to connect the Braille 'n Speak to other devices.
 
* The cable that came with your Braille 'n Speak can be plugged into either of
the ports and act as a serial port to connect you to another Braille 'n Speak,
a Braille Lite, a computer, a modem, and a printer.  (See Chapter 13 for
detailed information about connecting your unit to other devices.  See Chapter
14 for details on connecting the portable disk drive).
 
* In back of the rectangular opening for the ports is the input jack for the
A.C.  power supply/battery charger.
 
 
* WARNING: When charging the Braille 'n Speak's built-in battery, you should
use the 12-volt charger supplied with the unit.  Do not use an old 9-volt
charger you may have lying around from a previous version of the Braille 'n
Speak.  (See Appendix E for information on chargers.)  Substituting another
transformer which looks or feels like the correct one but which has the
incorrect voltage requirements  could destroy chips or other critical parts of
the Braille 'n Speak.
 
* If you have access to a Braille Lite or a portable disk drive whose charger
is 12-volt, you can now substitute that 12-volt charger for the Braille 'n
Speak's charger.  They are all interchangeable.
 
* Under normal usage, a fully-charged Braille 'n Speak functions properly
under battery power from twenty to twenty-four hours, and it only takes from
two to four hours to fully charge a Braille 'n Speak.  However, the length of
time a Braille 'n Speak can function under battery power varies according to
how you use it.  For example, to use the Braille 'n Speak to communicate with
another computer, you must activate the serial port.  Heavy use of the serial
port with the unit on battery power, rather than on A.C., drains the battery
more quickly.
 
* (Note: We offer an emergency cable that lets you power the Braille 'n Speak
from an external battery in case you can't charge your battery immediately.
Also, if the Braille 'n Speak 2000 is an upgrade for you, it's critical that
you check out Appendix E, "Which Charger to Use" for details about which
models of the Braille 'n Speak work with which chargers.)
 
There is a handy safety feature on the Braille 'n Speak relevant to battery
usage.  The Braille 'n Speak warns you when the battery starts getting low and
continues to warn you every time you press a key until you take action.
Experiment with your individual machine to see how much time it actually
operates after the "Battery Low" message first occurs.  Operating your Braille
'n Speak for too long at this low voltage condition may cause the "scrambling"
of data stored in the machine.  Should this happen, you may be able to recover
the data, as you'll see later.  If you do decide to experiment with the length
of battery usage and your data, don't have any data you desperately need to
keep - at least not until you are familiar with how to recover data on the
Braille 'n Speak.
 
The Braille 'n Speak comes fully charged from the factory.  But eventually
you'll need to recharge the battery.  Once you have done so, you must remember
to set the Battery Use Timer.  We'll show you how to do that shortly.
 
The optimal way to use the Braille 'n Speak is to keep it turned off most of
the time when you are not actually doing something with it.  In other words,
if you are not reading, writing, computing or transmitting data, keep the unit
turned off.  The great thing is that turning it off does not erase your data
and turning it back on instantly places you wherever you last stopped.  In
fact, the Braille 'n Speak doesn't like to be ignored.  It reminds you that it
is still turned on with a "hello?" message if you have not pressed a key
within five minutes.  And it continues to try to get your attention in this
way until you react - either by pressing a key or by turning off the unit.
 
Now, let's go to work.
 
                        CHAPTER 1: GETTING STARTED
 
1.1 THE FIRST TIME OUT
 
Let's assume that you're starting from scratch, with the Braille 'n Speak set
up as it comes straight from the factory.  Turn the Braille 'n Speak "on" by
flipping the "on/off" rocker switch away from you.  The unit says, "Braille 'n
Speak ready; Help is open."  If this does not happen, flip the rocker switch
back toward you to the "off" position and plug the A.C.  power supply/battery
charger into the A.C.  jack and flip the switch "on" again.  You should then
hear the announcement, "Braille 'n Speak ready; Help is open".
 
Once you're comfortable with the Braille 'n Speak, or if you're in a setting
where the Braille 'n Speak's start-up prompt might disturb a meeting, for
example, you may choose to start up the Braille 'n Speak silently.  To do
this, simply hold down the spacebar as you turn on the unit.  A click
indicates that the Braille 'n Speak is ready for use.
 
Let's continue now with learning about "files".
 
* 1.2 The Concept of Files and FOLDERS
 
Think of the Braille 'n Speak, as it comes from the factory, as a nearly
empty, three-ring binder just waiting to be filled with your own personal
data.  Usually, a three-ring binder comes with tabs, or separators of some
kind, to indicate the start of a new section in the binder.  Each tagged
section then can be considered a distinct "file".1
 
* And in fact, with so much storage capacity in the Braille 'n Speak 2000,
you're really not limited to just one "binder" of files, so to speak.  There's
no reason why you can't have a number of "binders" or "folders" to contain
groups of files you want to keep together.  We'll discuss the new folders
capability of the Braille 'n Speak at length in Section 6.12.  For now, just
be aware that you'll be able to store your files and programs in folders so
you can keep them organized to your liking.
 
The Braille 'n Speak comes with a number of "files" ready for your use.  The
number of files may vary, depending on whether we have included files that
contain the latest update information, and so on.  But there are some files
that are permanently stored in the Braille 'n Speak from the factory.
 
The Help file contains a summary of the commands you use to operate the
Braille 'n Speak.
 
The Clipboard file is like a blank scratchpad or trash can (more on this
later).
 
* Although not a permanent file, we include a file called "calendar.brl",
which is ready for you to cram with your busy schedule.  (Note: If you have
upgraded your unit to a Braille 'n Speak 2000, you may have added to it your
old calendar file that did not have the ".brl" extension.  Not to worry, the
calendar Alert feature in the new Braille 'n Speak will still recognize your
calendar file and work properly.  Read more about ".brl", ".bfm", and ".brf"
extensions in Section 4.2)
 
* Another file we often include for your convenience, but which is not
permanent, is the spelling dictionary program file. It is a file called
"Spell.dic".  Unlike the Help, Clipboard, and Calendar files whose contents
you can actually read, the Spell.dic file is a program file.  In other words,
this is a file that contains a program the Braille 'n Speak can access to help
you do spellchecking, rather than a file you can read yourself.  We'll talk
about the spellchecking commands in detail in Chapter 12.
 
* The spelling dictionary does take up a considerable chunk of space in the
Braille 'n Speak's RAM memory, however, so you may choose to move it off into
the Flash portion of your unit's memory or remove it altogether from your
unit.
 
* Another program file that may come on your Braille 'n Speak from the factory
is the Bsname.bns program file.  Again, this is a file that contains a program
the Braille 'n Speak can access, not you.  It works with the Flash ROM
capability of your Braille 'n Speak.  Your machine's serial number is already
branded into its Flash ROM (read-only memory) and the "bsname.bns" program
lets you brand your name into your Braille 'n Speak permanently.  We'll talk
about how to run external programs like this one in detail in Chapter 16.
 
* Notice that we've now used the terms "Flash" and RAM to refer to the memory
in your unit.  In the next section, we'll discuss what these terms mean and
how you can use the expanded memory capabilities in your machine to store and
work with a much larger amount of material than ever before.
 
* 1.3 The Braille 'n Speak's Memory
 
We at Blazie Engineering appreciate how challenging it would be to part with
the Braille 'n Speak whenever you wish to take advantage of the new features
in our latest releases.  Now your unit is equipped with the capability of
letting you  update your unit yourself.  This is called "Flash ROM" (read-only
memory).  Check out Section 16.1 to see how to update your unit to the latest
software release.
 
Now what's this talk about RAM and FLASH all about?  In the introduction to
this manual, we mentioned that your Braille 'n Speak can store up to the
equivalent of seven hundred forty pages of braille in RAM and over eighteen
hundred in Flash memory.  That's a lot for such a tiny device.  What does this
mean and how does it work?
 
What we've done is provide you with 768 kilobytes of RAM (random-access
memory) - space where you can edit your files and run external programs, and
in addition, another two megabytes of  Flash memory - where you can store
files you just want to read or edit later, and programs while you're not
running them.
 
 
Don't confuse the terms "Flash ROM", which is the Braille 'n Speak's ability
to allow you to update its software and brand your personal name into it, with
Flash memory.  Here we're simply talking about an area of memory in your unit
where your files can be STORED so you can read them, or stored for safekeeping
until you need to edit them or run them if they're program files.  As you'll
see in Section 6.12, the process of moving files between RAM and Flash is
quite easy and quick.
 
Now, let's turn the Braille 'n Speak on and start learning how to use it.
 
1.4 How to Use The Commands
 
As we said earlier, when you start up the Braille 'n Speak for the first time,
after the announcement, "Braille 'n Speak ready", you hear the prompt, "Help
is open."  Also, remember that whenever you turn it off, the Braille 'n Speak
keeps your place for you wherever you had stopped in a file.  When you turn it
on, it reminds you where you left off by announcing the name of the file you
left open.  Since this is your first time out, the Braille 'n Speak announces
that you have the Help file open.
 
All of the Braille 'n Speak's commands are produced by "chording".  If you've
ever played a piano or other keyboard instrument, you know that a chord refers
to any two or more keys pressed together.  Isn't that what you do anyway when
you braille, you might ask?  Yes.  But for our purposes, "chording" means
pressing any combination of braille dots along with the spacebar.
 
So, for example, if we say, "Press the l-chord", we mean, "Press the spacebar
together with dots 1-2-3 (the braille letter l), making sure to press all the
keys simultaneously.  Whenever we refer to a chord for a braille symbol other
than a letter of the alphabet, we will write out the exact dots to be pressed
in parentheses for clarity.  So, for example, when referring to an "ar-sign"
in Grade 2 braille, we will also write out "dots 3-4-5" in parentheses.
 
There are several levels of commands in the Braille 'n Speak: commands for
bringing up menus of options, commands for navigating through your files and
for performing various editing functions within those files, and commands for
utilizing the Braille 'n Speak's built-intools, such as running the stopwatch
or storing to a floppy disk or computing a formula.  We'll get to each of
these in separate chapters.  For now, let's just stick to the basic commands
you need to get started.
 
The Braille 'n Speak is pretty forgiving when it comes to aborting a command
procedure.  You usually press an e-chord to "enter" or "execute" a command.
But most of the time, if you change your mind in midstream, you can cancel the
process with a z-chord.  Depending on what you are doing, the Braille 'n Speak
responds to an e-chord either by performing some command or by exiting a menu
that you have entered (more on this later).  But if you do halt a command
procedure with a z-chord, the Braille 'n Speak announces, "Abort".
 
1.5 The Concept of Menus
 
As we mentioned above, the Braille 'n Speak has a set of commands for working
with menus.  Just as a restaurant menu offers you choices of food, menus on a
computer offer you choices of functions to perform.  And a "submenu" offers
more levels of choice.
 
Continuing our restaurant menu analogy, let's say that the major menu is for
breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Then if you pick the dinner menu, you'll see
choices for appetizers, entrees, desserts and beverages.  Clearly, you'll then
need to check out each of those sets of choices for which appetizer, entree
and beverage you want - and, if you're very good, you'll skip the set of
dessert choices.
 
The Braille 'n Speak's menu system works very much like a restaurant menu.
Basically, there is an Options menu, a Speech Parameters menu, a Status menu
and a Parameters menu.  Like the dessert menu, each menu in the Braille 'n
Speak provides you with choices of its own.  For example, from the Options
menu, you have choices like: Calendar Check, File Commands, Calculator,
Stopwatch, and Spellcheck, as well as many others.  Some of the menus are for
performing functions and issuing commands.  Some, like the Status menu, are
for setting things to work to your specifications - like turning a setting on
and off or switching among a setting's various modes.
 
You can navigate through all the choices in a Braille 'n Speak menu quite
easily.  When you issue a command that brings up a set of choices, you can
either write the specific letter that selects the choice you want, or you can
cycle through the choices till you find the specific one you want.
 
You move forward through the choices with a dot 4-chord, backward with a dot
1-chord.  To move to the first choice in a menu, press an l-chord and to move
to the last choice, press a dots 4-5-6-chord.  To hear the current choice
repeated, press a c-chord.  Once you hear the choice you want, you press an e-
chord to select it.  Sometimes, doing so brings up another set of choices (or
a submenu).  We'll show you those types of menus in Section II.  For now,
let's look at three of the major menus in the Braille 'n Speak.
 
1.5.1 The Options Menu
 
The Options menu is one of the most important menus in the Braille 'n Speak.
You'll be using it a lot and after a short time you probably won't need to
cycle through its choices.  You'll just know them automatically.  But since
we're just starting out, let's show you how to browse through the choices.
We'll only cycle through the choices at this time, not select any to work with
in particular.
 
From the Help file that you currently have open, press an o-chord to bring up
the Options menu.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Option."  Press a c-chord to
hear the current choice.  The Braille 'n Speak should say, "Calendar Check".
Go ahead and press dot 4-chords and dot 1-chords to hear the numerous choices
in this menu.  The last choice you'll hear is "Execute program".  If you press
another dot 4-chord after hearing that choice, you'll simply hear a click to
let you know you're at the end of the choices.  Likewise, if you press a dot
1-chord at the top of the list of choices, you'll hear a click to let you know
you're at the beginning of the choices.  Press l-chords and dot 4-5-6-chords
to jump to and from the first and last choices in the menu.  Stop somewhere in
the middle of the choices and press a c-chord to hear the current choice
spoken again.
 
Though it may be tempting, try to refrain from pressing an e-chord on any of
these choices since we haven't talked about any of them in detail.  But if
you're adventurous and happen to press an e-chord on a choice, you can always
get out of trouble fast by pressing a z-chord.  Doing so brings you back to
your file wherever you had stopped.  In our case, that's the Help file and we
should be right at the beginning of the file.
 
* 1.5.2 The Status Menu
 
The Status menu contains information about the status of each setting in the
Braille 'n Speak.  In this menu, you'll find selections such as Format
parameters, Serial Parameters, and so on.  Don't worry about these terms right
now.  Let's just skim through the choices on the Status menu for practice. 
 
* Bring up the Status menu from wherever you are by pressing an st-sign-chord
(dots 3-4-chord).  You should hear, "Status menu, Interactive on."  Move
around through the choices by pressing dot 4-chords and dot 1-chords.  There
are lots of choices and it may get confusing to listen to so many settings
that are unfamiliar.  So jump to the last choice with a dots 4-5-6-chord.  You
should hear, "Allow folder mode, off".  Jump back to the first choice with an
l-chord or with another dot 4-chord.  If you jump to the beginning of the
choices with an l-chord, or if you press dot 1-chords repeatedly to bring you
back to the beginning, pressing another dot 1-chord cycles you around to the
last choice again.  Stop somewhere in the middle and press a c-chord to hear
the current choice.  You can get out of the Status menu with either an e-chord
or a z-chord.
 
* When you're on a particular setting, it can be changed by writing a specific
response - usually the letter y to turn it on and the letter n to turn it off.
If a setting has multiple options, you can cycle among them by pressing the
spacebar repeatedly until you hear the one you want, and then press an e-chord
to exit the Status menu.
 
But for the moment, we'll simply focus on cycling through the choices
themselves.  So these details aren't important.  We'll discuss each and every
choice on the Status menu specifically as we learn about it.
 
Another way to jump quickly to some of the major groups of settings in the
Status menu is to press a dots 5-6-chord to move forward or a dots 2-3-chord
to move backward.  These commands move you to the first setting in a major
group.  For example, from the first choice, "Interactive on", to which you
return with an l-chord if you've moved beyond it in your practice, press a
dots 5-6-chord.  You'll hear, "Serial Parameters, Interactive on".  Press the
same command again and hear, "Miscellaneous Parameters, Braille Translator
on".  A third time brings you to, "Format Parameters, Printer is Epson
compatible" and one more time cycles you back to "Serial Parameters,
Interactive on". 
 
Cycle backward through these major groups with dots 2-3-chords.  Again, this
procedure simply jumps you to the first choice in a major group of choices to
save you time as you cycle through this large menu.
 
Of course, the fastest way of all to select a choice is to know what character
to write that selects it.  As we go through the choices in the Status menu as
they come up in this manual, we'll detail each choice and its corresponding
character that selects it quickly.
 
One nice thing about the Status menu is that it remembers what setting you
chose last and places you there the next time you enter the Status menu.  So,
for example, if you stop on "Battery used" and then exit the Status menu, the
next time you enter the Status menu, you'll be right there at that setting.
 
And, while we're here, it's a good time to show you one very important setting
because it may affect you sooner than you might think.  This is the "Battery
used" setting.
 
* 1.5.3 How to Handle the Built-in Battery
 
* If you've upgraded your Braille 'n Speak to the Braille 'n Speak 2000, take
a look at Appendix E, "Which Charger to Use".  Older models of the Braille 'n
Speak used a charger with a lower voltage than the 12-volt charger we now
provide.  If you try to charge your Braille 'n Speak 2000 with the wrong
charger, you may end up with a non-working unit on your hands.  So read
through Appendix E carefully to see which charger to use in your particular
situation.
 
Recall that we said earlier how important it is to be aware of the length of
time your battery has been running since you last charged your Braille 'n
Speak.  The Braille 'n Speak warns you when its battery is running low with a
"Battery low" message. But periodically, you should check what percentage of
battery drain you have.
 
Enter the Status menu from wherever you are with an st-sign-chord (dots 3-4-
chord) and write an sh-sign (dots 1-4-6).  (By the way, this happens to be the
computer braille symbol for percent.)  Depending on whether or not it is being
charged when you issue the sh-sign command, the Braille 'n speak says one of
two possible messages: 100% not charging", or "x% charging".
 
"100% not charging" means just that; the Braille 'n Speak is either not
plugged into an outlet, or it is plugged into an outlet but is fully charged.
 
"x% charging" means the Braille 'n Speak is plugged into an outlet and the
battery is being charged.  The closer the percentage is to 100, the closer the
battery is to a full charge.
 
When you have checked the status of battery drain, you can exit the Status
menu with the usual e-chord.
 
Once you've recharged the battery, it's a good idea to go into the Status menu
and set the battery drain counter back to 0 so that you have an accurate
reading of how well your unit is retaining its charge.
 
Enter the Status menu with an st-sign-chord (dots 3-4-chord) and then select
the choice, "Battery used", by writing a th-sign (dots 1-4-5-6) to bring you
directly to the setting (a th-sign is computer braille for question mark).
The Braille 'n Speak says something like, "Battery used, 0 hours, 10 minutes".
 
Of course, the actual time depends on how long the unit has run since its last
charge.  We don't mean how much time has passed since you last turned the unit
on, but how long it's been since the Braille 'n Speak was last charged.
 
If you've just recharged the battery and want to bring the timer back to 0,
press a dropped 0 (dots 3-5-6).  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Reset battery
timer, y or n?"  To reset the timer, write a y for yes.  You'll hear, "0
hours, 0 minutes".  If you don't want to reset the timer, just write an n.  In
either case, after you've made a choice, you can  exit the Status menu as
usual with an e-chord.
 
1.5.4 The Parameters Menu
 
The Parameters menu works the same way as the Options menu.  From anywhere
within your currently open file, enter the Parameters menu with a p-chord.
The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter parameter".  Cycle through the numerous
choices in this menu, forward with dot 4-chords and backward with dot 1-
chords.  You can see the current choice with a c-chord.  Jump to the last
choice with a dots 4-5-6-chord and back to the first choice with an l-chord.
 
Many of the choices available in the Parameters menu are also available in the
Status menu.  The major difference between the two menus is that the Status
menu tells you how a setting is currently set; whereas, the Parameters menu
simply expects you to change a setting.  You select a setting to change by
pressing an e-chord when you hear it spoken.
 
For practice only, let's cycle through the settings.  From your currently open
file, the Help file, press a p-chord.  At the prompt, "Enter parameter", press
a c-chord to hear the first choice, "Add linefeeds".  Again, don't worry that
you may not know what that means.  You'll find out soon enough.
 
Now press dot 4-chords and dot 1-chords to cycle forward and backward through
this menu.  The last choice should be, "Serial number".
 
Since we don't really want to do anything in particular for now, just press a
z-chord at any time to return to your currently open file, the Help file.
Should you press an e-chord on a choice, don't fret.  Again, just get out with
a z-chord and nothing will happen.
 
 
As we pointed out in the beginning of this section on menus, we'll get into
the specific choices of each menu when we need them as we learn how to use the
features of the Braille 'n Speak.  For now, just remember that when you first
turn on the Braille 'n Speak, you'll always be in the last file you worked on
wherever you had left off in that file.  If you want to do something from a
menu, you have to issue a command to get to it.  What's nice is that when
you're finished using the menu, the Braille 'n Speak remembers to put you
right back into your file, just where you last were in that file.
 
Now let's move on to setting up the Braille 'n Speak's voice to your taste.
If you're used to listening to speech synthesizers, the factory settings may
seem slow and cumbersome.  You can change them to make the voice talk just as
you like it.
 
       CHAPTER 2: MAKING THE BRAILLE 'N SPEAK TALK THE WAY YOU WANT
 
Before we look at the files that come in the Braille 'n Speak from the
factory, let's get the unit talking in the way that is most comfortable for
you.
 
You can adjust the speech in the Braille 'n Speak in several ways: not only
can you adjust the volume, the rate of speech, pitch, and tone of the voice,
you can also adjust how the Braille 'n Speak handles the announcement of
punctuation and numbers.  To change any of these speech parameters, we need to
bring up the Speech Parameters menu.
 
Press ar-sign-chord (dots 3-4-5-chord) to open the Speech Parameters menu.
The Braille 'n Speak prompts you with, "Set speech parameters" and waits for
you to enter an option.  Should you enter an option that the Braille 'n Speak
does not recognize, it prompts you with, "Invalid parameter" and waits for you
to try again.  To exit this menu, as you exit all menus in the Braille 'n
Speak, press an e-chord and the Braille 'n Speak says, "Exit". 
 
Let's run through the options available in the Speech Parameters menu:
 
2.1 Volume, Speech Rate, Pitch, and Tone
 
The speech parameters for volume, speech rate, pitch, and tone are easy to
remember and to change.  To make the Braille 'n Speak talk louder, press dot
4; faster, dot 5; in a higher pitched voice, dot 6; with a higher tone, dots
5-6.  Conversely, to make the Braille 'n Speak talk softer, press dot 1;
slower, dot 2; in a lower pitched voice, dot 3; in a lower tone, dots 2-3.
Each time you press one of the above dot commands, the Braille 'n Speak
announces what you have done while producing the desired effect.  So, for
example, when you press dot 4, the Braille 'n Speak says, "Louder" in a louder
voice.  When you press dot 2, it says, "Slower" in a slower voice, and so on.
 
Naturally, there is a limit on how soft/loud and how fast/slow and even how
high or low you can make the voice.  If you go too far in the "Softer"
direction for volume, for example, you'll stop hearing the Braille 'n Speak
announce "Softer".  Don't panic.  Just press dot 4 a couple of times to bring
the volume back to where you can hear it again.
 
Notice that we have not said, "Press dot 4-chord, dot 2-chord" or whatever.
You are already in the menu since you pressed an ar- sign-chord.  The Braille
'n Speak knows that you are in a menu.  Until you press an e-chord, the
Braille 'n Speak thinks that any keys you press are attempts to make a choice
in the Speech Parameters menu.
 
Experiment with the volume, rate of speech, pitch, and tone to find a set of
levels that is comfortable for you.  The Braille 'n Speak remembers how you've
set these parameters and keeps the voice set just as you leave it when you
exit the menu, and even after you turn off the unit and turn it on again.  If
you decide to return to the factory settings for speech, or anything else for
that matter, there is a way to do that.  We'll show you how later.
 
* 2.2 Announcement of Punctuation and Numbers
 
Another set of speech parameters that you can change to your liking is the way
the Braille 'n Speak's voice announces punctuation marks and numbers.
 
* To find out the current status of the punctuation setting, from the Speech
Parameters menu, write a p, and you'll hear something like, "Current
punctuation setting is No".
 
If you want to hear total announcement of punctuation marks - all of them,
regardless of what and where they are - write the letter t (total
punctuation).  To hear most punctuation announced, write the letter m and to
hear only some punctuation, write the letter s.  If you want to hear no
punctuation announced whatsoever, write the letter z.  Remember, none of these
settings is permanent.  You can change them at any time.
 
The Braille 'n Speak has two options for pronouncing numbers.  You may prefer
to hear numbers spoken as digits or as full words.  Write the letter n to
switch between these two modes.  For example, if you write the letter n and
the Braille 'n Speak says, "Say full numbers", this means that when you are
reading a number, the Braille 'n Speak will say the number in words like "two
thousand".  If you write the letter n again from within the Speech Parameters
menu, the Braille 'n Speak prompts you with, "Say digits".  The next time you
read a number, the Braille 'n Speak will pronounce each digit, like "two zero
zero zero".
 
 
You'll probably want to set the Braille 'n Speak most of the time to read in
digits mode since phone numbers and addresses, zip codes and the like, are
easier to listen to as digits.  If you keep numerical data, such as money
information for your bank account, in your Braille 'n Speak, chances are,
you'll want the Braille 'n Speak to pronounce full numbers when working with
that kind of data.
 
* 2.3 Multiple Voice Settings
 
As we've just pointed out, you might want to set number announcement to
"digits" most of the time and only use the "full numbers" form of announcement
when you're in the file that contain's addresses and phone numbers.  Wouldn't
it be nice if you could do that without having to go into the Speech
Parameters menu every time you wanted to make this adjustment?
 
Also, let's suppose you need punctuation announcement to be set to "Total
punctuation" for a certain file, say, the file you're editing for a term
paper.  Then for your calendar file, you want only some punctuation announced.
And finally,  for the files you just listen to without proofreading, you
prefer no punctuation to be announced at all and numbers to be pronounced as
"full numbers".
 
Now you can create up to five different configurations of speech parameters -
or "voices".  The voices are numbered from 1 to 5, and voices 2 through 5 are
retained even if you do a warm reset.  In the case of a warm reset, only voice
1's settings return to our factory defaults.  The only time all voice settings
are lost is when you have to do a cold reset.  For more information on cold
and warm resets, see Appendix A.)
 
To set a "voice" to a particular configuration of speech parameters, first
enter the Speech Parameters menu in the usual way by pressing an ar-sign-chord
(dots 3-4-5-chord).  When the Braille 'n Speak says, "Speech Parameters", you
can press dots 2-3-chord to move to the previous voice and dots 5-6-chord to
move to the next voice.  Once you're in a particular voice configuration, you
can change speech parameters to anything you want that voice to have, and then
press an e-chord to exit the Speech Parameters menu.  This voice setting stays
in effect until you change to another voice configuration.  In fact, your
Braille 'n Speak retains the current voice configuration the next time you
turn on the unit.
 
By the way, don't confuse the command to create voice configurations with the
command to change the frequency of the Braille 'n Speak's voice.  Both
commands are issued from within the Speech Parameters menu but the command to
adjust frequency is just dots 2-3 to lower the frequency and dots 5-6- to
raise it.  The voice configuration command uses those same dots but chorded.)
 
Let's take an example.  First note that from the factory, the Braille 'n Speak
is set to Voice 1.  By now you may have changed some features of this voice as
you've worked through earlier sections of this chapter.  But just remember
that this voice you're now hearing is Voice 1.
 
For purposes of this example, we'll establish Voice 2 such that all
punctuation is announced and key click is in effect.  And to distinguish it
from Voice 1, let's  raise its volume a couple of notches and speed it up a
bit.
 
Enter the Speech Parameters menu with an ar-sign-chord (dots 3-4-5-chord).
Press dots 5-6-chord once and you should hear, "Voice Number 2".  Now that
you've selected this voice, you can change its speech parameters.
 
Turn on "total punctuation" announcement with a t. and "key click" on with one
or two presses of the spacebar until you hear "key click, on".  (Actually,
you'll hear, "key space click space on" since "total punctuation" is on now.)
Press dot 4 a couple of times to raise the volume and dot 5 two or three times
to speed up the speech rate.  Exit the Speech Parameters menu with an e-chord.
 
From now on, this voice will be in effect until you choose another, even when
you turn off your Braille 'n Speak and turn it on again.  (Note: If you do a
warm reset, the Braille 'n Speak reverts to Voice 1 but all other voice
configurations are retained.  However, a cold reset erases all voice
configurations and your Braille 'n Speak reverts to its factory default
settings for all of them.  See more on cold and warm resets in Appendix A.)
 
Once your various voice configurations are established, you can easily switch
among them.  From anywhere in your currently open file, press a y-chord
followed by a dropped number from 1 to 5 and the voice switches instantly to
your choice.  You don't even have to press an e-chord.  We'll assume the
currently open file is the Help file, which is the file that is automatically
opened the first time you start the Braille 'n Speak.
 
While it can be useful to have all punctuation announced when you're
proofreading, it can be quite annoying the rest of the time because even
spaces are announced - all of them.  So let's return to Voice 1.  From your
currently open file, press a y-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Voice" and
waits for you to enter a number from 1 to 5.  Write a number 1 (in dropped
number notation, of course).  The Braille 'n Speak immediately responds with,
"Voice number 1" in that voice's volume, speech rate, pitch and tone.  And if
you read something, you'll see that punctuation is set to however you had it
for Voice 1 and that numbers are spoken however you set them, too.
 
A real neat twist to the capability of switching voice configurations is that
you can incorporate the command into a macro.  Macros are commands you can
define to automate some functions you do repeatedly and we talk about them at
great length in Chapter 11.  For now, it's enough to say that you'll be able
to create a macro that switches to Voice 5, say, and opens your address file,
where Voice 5 has been preset by you to speak numbers as digits, for example.
 
For now, just experiment with setting up two or three voice configurations and
juggling among them until you're comfortable with the concept.
 
There are several other speech options available from the menu, which we will
talk about in Section 15.6.  They have more complicated uses.  But the basic
speech parameters outlined here will get you started using the Braille 'n
Speak with the voices that sound nicest to you.
 
Hey, guess what?  You are now ready to start reading and writing files.
 
                    SECTION II: WORKING WITH YOUR FILES
 
                               INTRODUCTION
 
Before we can begin reading or writing anything in a file on the Braille 'n
Speak, we need to talk about braille translation and ASCII.
 
The Braille 'n Speak has a built-in braille translator for Grade 2 and Grade 1
braille.  You may have heard the term "ASCII" (pronounced askee) from computer
users.  ASCII - American Standard Code for Information Interchange - is a code
used by most computers today that are accessible to blind users.  You need to
become familiar with some of this code in order to respond to prompts in the
Braille 'n Speak.
 
But wait! Don't panic.  Basically, the ASCII character set consists largely of
all the letters, numbers, and punctuation marks you already know.  You'll
probably not need to learn the rest of the ASCII character set, unless you're
into writing Greek letters and other unusual symbols.
 
The braille equivalent of ASCII (known as computer braille code) consists of
the braille alphabet you already know plus some twists for punctuation and
numbers.  It's important that you be able to write punctuation marks in
computer braille because they differ from those you know in Grade 1 or Grade 2
braille.  In addition, the digits 0 through 9 are written in the four lower
dots of the braille cell.  1 is a "dropped A", 2 a "dropped B", etc.  You
don't need to precede any of these "dropped" numbers by a number sign.
Punctuation marks differ from those used in literary braille, but they are
easy to learn.  (See Appendix D at the back of this manual for a complete list
of computer braille equivalents to the braille ASCII character set.)
 
For the most part, you write in Grade 2 braille and the Braille 'n Speak
translates automatically to speak back what you brailled.  However, you must
be in the appropriate braille translation mode for you to hear words spoken
correctly, instead of gibberish.
 
The Braille 'n Speak comes from the factory with braille translation set to
"off", except for the "calendar.brl" file, where braille translation is set to
"on".  If braille translation is set to "on", the Braille 'n Speak assumes
that the contents of the currently open file is Grade 2 braille and it
translates accordingly.
 
For now, just remember that the Help file we're using for practice, included
in your Braille 'n Speak from the factory, is a file that has braille
translation set to "off".  After we discuss how to read what's in a file,
we'll come back to this issue of braille translation to show you how to switch
between modes.
 
Now let's find out how to read what's in your Braille 'n Speak.
 
                       CHAPTER 3: READING YOUR FILES
 
You have control over how much of the text in a file the Braille 'n Speak
reads to you at any one time.  You can command the Braille 'n Speak to read by
paragraphs, by sentences, line by line, word by word, even character by
character.  Or, if you prefer, you can command it to read the entire contents
of a file without stopping.
 
The Braille 'n Speak can spell a word for you.  You can specify how much
punctuation you want announced as you read.  It can even read you the
translation of the Grade 2 braille contractions - for example, "in" for the
Grade 2 contraction represented by dots 3-5.
 
3.1 The Cursor
 
If you've ever worked with a Perkins brailler or a slate and stylus, you are
familiar with the concept of a cursor, although you may not have ever called
it that.  In computer jargon, the "cursor", used for reading and writing,
refers to the electronic equivalent of your stylus or the brailler's punching
mechanism. 
The cursor is very important because it marks the place where this electronic
"stylus" is resting.  You can't feel it anywhere on the Braille 'n Speak, but
you can move it via commands and you can find out where it is in your file and
even what character is "under" it.
 
When we talk about moving through a file to read by sentence, paragraph or
whatever, it means that we're moving the cursor to a particular place in that
file and commanding the Braille 'n Speak to read from that location.
Naturally, you can move the cursor forward and backward through a file.
 
* 3.2 Navigating through a File
 
Moving through your files on the Braille 'n Speak is much faster than turning
braille pages.  You can move instantly to the top or bottom (beginning or end)
of your file, search for a particular word or move by a specific number of
lines, characters or words.
 
When we talk about "moving", we mean just that - moving the cursor from one
location to another.  It's like lifting a pencil off of one place on a piece
of paper and then placing it somewhere else - perhaps on the same page,
perhaps on another.
 
Let's practice moving around the Help file that is open automatically the
first time you turn on your Braille 'n Speak.  To move to the top or beginning
of the file, press an l-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Top of file".  To
move to the bottom or end of the file, press a dots 4-5-6-chord.  The Braille
'n Speak says, "End of file".  Once again, notice that it does not read any
text, simply tells you where your cursor is in the file.  Knowing where your
cursor is in a file becomes crucial, as you'll see, in writing.
 
The Braille 'n Speak remembers where you left off in each file, even after you
turn it off and turn it on again.  Whenever you reopen a file, your cursor
will be wherever you last used it in that file.
 
* 3.2.1 Moving by Blocks of Text
 
Now suppose you know to what particular line, character, word, braille page or
even print page you want to move in your file.  Earlier revisions of the
Braille 'n Speak only let you move a specified number of lines backward or
forward in your document but now there's much more flexibility.
 
When you press the number-sign-chord (dots 3-4-5-6-chord), the Braille 'n
Speak says, "Move" and places you in a menu with several options.  Press a c-
chord to hear the first option, "braille page".  Pressing the spacebar takes
you through the rest of the choices: character, line, mark, print page, and
word.  You can jump quickly to a choice simply by writing its first letter -
for instance, w for Word or l for Line.  Then write the number you want, using
dropped numbers as always when responding to a Braille 'n Speak command, and
finally press an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Please wait" and moves
you to the place you specified, and reads to the end of that line.
 
It's important to note that if you ask the Braille 'n Speak to move to, say,
line 5, you'll be on line 5 of your file, not five lines from your starting
point.  Likewise, if you command it to take you to print page 6 with number-
sign-chord, p6, e-chord, the Braille 'n Speak will take you to print page 6 of
your document, not six print pages from your starting point.
 
* 3.2.2 Moving by Relative Blocks of Text
 
On the other hand, if you do want to move by a certain amount relative to
where you are, there is a way to do this with the number-sign-chord command as
well.  Press the number-sign-chord (dots 3-4-5-6-chord).  But this time write
l+3 (remembering to use the computer braille dots 3-4-6 for the plus sign and
a dropped number 3).  Then press an e-chord.  Now the Braille 'n Speak will
move you three lines forward from your starting location and speak till the
end of the line.
 
But remember, if you press number-sign-chord and simply write a number (like
10, for example) without indicating the letter designation of one of the
choices, and without a plus or a minus, the Braille 'n Speak assumes you want
to move by lines and places you on line 10 of your file.
 
Let's take a couple of examples using the currently open Help file.  Get to
the top of the file with an l-chord so we're all starting from the same place.
Now let's tell the Braille 'n Speak to move us to the tenth line of this file.
Press number-sign-chord, l10, e-chord.  You should hear, "Please wait"
followed by a click or two, and then "Carriage return: 4-6-chord, (new line
command".
 
Now suppose we want to jump directly to print page 3 of this file.  Press
number-sign-chord, p3, e-chord.  You should hear, "Please wait", followed
shortly by, "chord".  It just so happens that the first line of print page 3
only contains the word "chord" and the Braille 'n Speak read you just till the
end of that line.
 
Well, now that we're on print page 3, we just want to go back about four
lines, say, and so we can press number-sign-chord, l-4, e-chord.  We'll hear,
"Please wait" followed shortly by "Protect all macros: n-chord, p-chord".
 
Just for clarity, let's take one more example.  Press a number-sign-chord, 3,
e-chord.  This time you'll hear, "Please wait", a click or two, and then,
"Writing Functions".  Why?  Well, remember that when you just respond to the
"Move" command with a number, the Braille 'n Speak takes you to that line
relative to the beginning of the document.  If you want to go back or forward
a number of chunks of text from your starting point, you must include a plus
or a minus after the letter designation, and then the number of chunks you
want to move.
 
* 3.2.3 The Text Counter
 
One very handy new feature related to the number-sign-chord command is that it
lets you find out how many characters, lines, and words you have in your file.
This is great when your professor asked for a term paper of no more than, say,
500 words.
 
Using our Help file again as an example, press the number-sign-chord and this
time write a w followed by a 0.  The Braille 'n Speak should say something
like, "Please wait" and after a few clicks, "3889".  If this were our school
assignment, we'd have to do some serious editing to get down to that 500-word
limit.  But luckily, this is the Braille 'n Speak's Help file and actually
it's a very useful file to have around, even if it has a lot of words in it.
 
All right, enough with the suspense.  Let's look in detail at how to read
what's in the Help file.
 
3.3 Reading Blocks of Text
 
The commands for reading on the Braille 'n Speak are very easy to remember
because they revolve around the position of the spacebar on the physical unit.
 
To read the line, word or character where your cursor is currently resting,
press a c-chord for current line, press a dots 2-5-chord for current word and
press a dots 3-6-chord for current character.  To move the cursor and read
forward or backward by a line, word or character, press a dot 4-chord for next
line and a dot 1-chord for previous line, press a dot 5-chord for next word
and a dot 2-chord for previous word, and press a dot 6-chord for next
character and a dot 3-chord for previous character.
 
Notice how moving the cursor forward involves chords with the keys to the
right of the spacebar and moving the cursor backward involves chords with the
keys to the left of the spacebar.  Another way to think of it is to say that
chords involving dots closest to the spacebar are for lines, chords using the
middle dots are for words and chords using the dots furthest from the spacebar
are for single characters.
 
If you want to move to the next or previous paragraph from where you are in
your file, press a dots 5-6-chord for the next paragraph and a dots 2-3-chord
for the previous one.  The Braille 'n Speak moves the cursor to the next or
previous paragraph and reads you the first line of that paragraph.  Again,
notice that forward cursor movement involves a chord to the right of the
spacebar and backward cursor movement involves a chord to the left of the
spacebar.
 
If you want the Braille 'n Speak to read you the entire contents of a file, or
if you want to read from where you are in the file all the way to the end of
the file, press an er-sign-chord (dots 1-2-4-5-6-chord).  The Braille 'n Speak
starts reading from your current cursor location, whether at the beginning of
the file or not, and continues nonstop to the end of the file.  Pressing a z-
chord automatically halts the voice.
 
If you're reading nonstop through a file and decide you want to stop at some
particular point, pressing an e-chord shuts up the voice, and pressing a dots
2-5-chord stops the voice and reads you the word where the cursor is now
resting.  While you can't control the exact word on which the voice stops, you
can control how close it stops to the word where the cursor is resting.  The
Status menu setting, Speak Words in Say-All mode, can make a difference.
 
If the setting is turned off, speech is fairly smooth.  Pressing an e-chord to
halt speech places you at the beginning of a line of text, not necessarily
anywhere near the last word you heard.  If the setting is turned on, speech is
somewhat choppy, but pressing an e-chord to halt speech places you pretty
close to the last word you heard (if not right on it), depending on how fast a
speech rate you have set.  The faster your speech rate is set, the harder it
is to halt it just exactly where you want.  But you can get quite close.
 
Enter the Status menu with an st-sign-chord (dots 3-4-chord).  The Braille 'n
Speak says, "Status menu" followed by the setting you last selected.  Jump to
the Speak Words in Say-All Mode setting by writing a right parenthesis (dots
2-3-4-5-6) in computer braille code.  From the factory, this parameter is set
to "off".  Write a letter y to turn it on and exit the Status menu with an e-
chord.  Then go ahead and read from wherever you are in the currently open
file with an er-sign-chord.  Notice that the speech is somewhat jerky as you
listen.  Now press a dots 2-5-chord to stop the voice and check where it
stopped.  It should be either right on or very close to the last word you
heard.  You can turn the feature  off again to regain a smoother speech
quality by re-entering the Status menu and writing a letter n in response to
the prompt for Speak Words in Say-All mode.  Then exit with an e-chord.
 
3.3.1 Defining Blocks of Text
 
This is a good a time as any to talk about the Braille 'n Speak's definition
of "line" and "sentence".
 
The Braille 'n Speak defines a "line" and "paragraph" based on the location of
carriage returns or carriage return/linefeed pairs.  (On a physical piece of
paper, a carriage return moves you to the beginning of a line and a linefeed
moves you down a line.  You don't need linefeeds in a Braille 'n Speak
document.  You'll see why later.)
 
The Braille 'n Speak sees all text between one carriage return and the next as
a single "line" of text.  It defines a "paragraph" to be all text between a
set of two or more carriage returns and the next.  It considers a "sentence"
to be all text between one period, question mark, or exclamation point and the
next instance of one of these punctuation marks.
 
By the way, the Braille 'n Speak may issue a "plink" sound when you run across
a set of two or more carriage returns.  If you don't want to hear this, from
anywhere in your currently open file, press an and-sign-chord (dots 1-2-3-4-6-
chord).  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Skip blank lines, enter y or n".  Write a
letter y.  From now on, you won't hear any distinguishing sound to tell you
that you've passed over extra carriage returns.  (You can also change this
setting from within the Status menu with the same and-sign command.  See
Appendix B.)
 
In addition to reading by lines or sentences, you can read by blocks of text
from 20 to 80 characters in length, referred to as "windows".  (This is most
useful when interacting with a computer or modem.  See Chapter 15.)
 
You can choose among these three reading modes: windows, lines, or sentences.
To switch among modes, press a w-chord from anywhere in your currently open
file.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Speak windows, lines, or sentences".
Whichever option you choose, a w, l or s, the Braille 'n Speak says, "Okay".
From then on, it will read you text in the mode you selected.
 
Notice that you don't have to enter an e-chord to execute the command to
switch among reading modes.  This is one case where you don't need it.  The
Braille 'n Speak simply places you in your selected mode when you respond to
the prompt.
 
You can cycle among the three modes in a flash as you read.  And the Braille
'n Speak even remembers the mode you selected last the next time you turn it
on.
 
As with reading lines, you move forward or backward a window or sentence at a
time by pressing a dot 4-chord to move forward and a dot 1-chord to move
backward.  And of course, to read the current window or sentence, simply press
a c-chord.
 
Note: If you select the window option, you must also select the length of the
window, preset to 80 from the factory.  You can see its current setting by
entering the Status menu with an st-sign-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Status menu" and something like, "Interactive on".  (Don't worry about that
prompt right now.  Just remember that whenever you enter the Status menu,
besides the prompt confirming that you've entered it, you hear a prompt for
the status of whatever setting you last checked.) For now just write a w to
hear "window length 80".  You may change the setting at this time to any
number between 20 and 80 and press an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak confirms
your change by repeating it to you.  Press another e-chord to exit the Status
menu.
 
Or, you can simply change the window length parameter from the Parameters menu
by pressing a p-chord.  At the "Enter parameter" prompt, write a w to hear
"window length 80".  The number depends on how the parameter was set last.
Change it to a number between 20 and 80 and press an e-chord.  The Braille 'n
Speak says, "Okay" to confirm.
 
Now let's turn to another reading capability of the Braille 'n Speak.
 
* 3.3.2 Having the Voice Spell Out Words
 
What if you need a word spelled?  Move your cursor to the word by pressing dot
2-chords (to go backward) or dot 5-chords (to go forward) until the cursor is
resting on the word you want spelled.  Press the chord for current word (dots
2-5-chord) twice to have the word spelled.  In fact, you can continue having
every word spelled as you move back and forth with dot 2-chords and dot
5-chords.  Exit this "spelling" mode with any other chord.
 
What if you need to identify a letter or braille character that is unclear?
Letters like B, D, G, P, T, V and Z may sound alike when pronounced by a
speech synthesizer.  Press a dots 3-6-chord, the command to read the current
character, twice to hear a clarification of the letter.  The Braille 'n Speak
first pronounces the letter and then gives you a word that starts with that
letter for clarity.
 
* So, for example, say you're on the letter c.  Press dots 3-6-chord twice.
The first time you hear, "c".  The second time you hear, "Charlie".  Pressing
dot 3- or dot 6-chords now speaks each letter as a clarifying word, like
"bravo" for b or "delta" for d.  Exit this mode with any chord other than
another dots 3-6-chord.
 
* 3.3.3 What's the ASCII Value of the Character Under the Cursor
 
In earlier versions of the Braille 'n Speak, three presses of dots 3-6-chord
announced the ASCII value of the character under the cursor.  But if you're
not a techie, this can be confusing.  So now the announcement of ASCII values
is optional.  The default value of this setting is "off" since most people
couldn't care less that the capital A under the cursor is ASCII value 65 or
whatever.
 
For those of you who do care about such things, we have a setting you can turn
on from the Status menu.  Here's how it works.
 
To check the current status of the "Say ASCII values" setting, enter the
Status menu with an st-sign-chord (dots 3-4-chord) and jump directly to the
setting by pressing a dots 3-6-chord.  You should hear, "Say ASCII values,
off".  Turn the setting on by writing a y and exit the Status menu with an e-
chord.  From now on, when you press dots 3-6-chord three times in a row, the
Braille 'n Speak says the ASCII value of the character under the cursor - for
example, 65 for the uppercase letter A or 97 for the lowercase letter a.
 
Again, ASCII values are most meaningful to programmers, so don't worry if you
don't understand the term or the two examples we provide.  If you're
interested though, a complete listing of ASCII values is in Appendix D, along
with the computer braille code.
 
Once you've turned "Say ASCII values" mode on from the Status menu, press dots
3-6-chord three times to enter ASCII values mode and go along pressing dot 3-
and dot 6-chords to continue to hear each character's ASCII value.  Exit the
mode by pressing some other chord.
 
When you no longer desire to have it active, turn off the "Say ASCII values"
setting in the Status menu and return to friendlier-sounding, regular letters,
punctuation, and such.  In other words, when "Say ASCII values" is turned off,
pressing dots 3-6-chord twice reads you each letter phonetically but a third
press of dots 3-6-chord simply returns you to hearing letters and characters
again and not their ASCII values.
 
Are you confused yet?  Hope not.
 
 
Let's move on now to playing around with the reading commands we've explored
thus far.  Take a few moments to try out reading, using the currently open
Help file.
 
3.4 Some Tips on Reading
 
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you read your files.  Depending on
certain settings, your reading can be a breeze or a challenge.  So read on.
 
3.4.1 The Automatic Braille Translator
 
Remember that we said we'd come back to the issue of braille translation?
Let's see what happens if braille translation is set incorrectly in a file.
 
Get to the top of the Help file with an l-chord.  Now press a c-chord to read
the current line.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Braille 'n Speak 2000 Help
File".  Now let's play a trick on the Braille 'n Speak.  Enter the Parameters
menu by pressing a p-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter parameter".
Write the letter t (for translation).  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Braille
translator; enter y or n?"  Write a y to turn on braille translation.
 
The Braille 'n Speak remembers where you were in your file and returns you
there after you're finished with a menu.  So let's see what happens when we
try to read the current line.  Press a c-chord.  You should hear something
like, "Braille not Speak 2000 Help file".  What happened?  Well, the braille
translator sees the "'n" and translates it into the word "not" - that's what.
 
So the point is that if you ever get into a file that sounds like gibberish,
chances are, you have braille translation turned to the mode opposite what it
should be for that file.
*  Let's see what happens if braille translation is set incorrectly in a file.
 
Get to the top of the Help file with an l-chord.  Now press a c-chord to read
the current line.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Braille 'n Speak 2000 Help
File".  Now let's play a trick on the Braille 'n Speak.  Enter the Parameters
menu by pressing a p-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter parameter".
Write the letter t (for translation).  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Braille
translator; enter y or n?"  Write a y to turn on braille translation.
 
The Braille 'n Speak remembers where you were in your file and returns you
there after you're finished with a menu.  So let's see what happens when we
try to read the current line.  Press a c-chord.  You should hear something
like, "Braille not Speak 2000 Help file".  What happened?  Well, the braille
translator sees the "'n" and translates it into the word "not" - that's what.
 
So the point is that if you ever get into a file that sounds like gibberish,
chances are, you have braille translation turned to the mode opposite what it
should be for that file.
 
Let's get out of this, quick.  Press a p-chord again to get back into the
Parameters menu.  At the "Enter parameter" prompt, write the letter t.  At the
"Braille translator; enter y or n?" prompt, write an n.  Now press a c-chord
again.  The Braille 'n Speak should read accurately again, with braille
translation "off".
 
The Braille 'n Speak remembers whether you want braille translation "on" or
"off" for each of your files.  When you go through your list of existing
files, if braille translation is "on" for a file, the Braille 'n Speak reminds
you by saying, "Braille file" after telling you its name.
 
This issue of braille translation will come up again when we look at
transmitting files from the Braille 'n Speak to a computer or vice versa, and
it is a definite consideration when sending a Braille 'n Speak file directly
to a printer.  So it's worth taking a minute to practice moving back and forth
between braille translation modes here in the Help file.  It's safe.  You
can't damage this file even if you try to write in it.  It is protected from
overanxious beginners.  When we get into writing, you'll see how you can
protect files yourself.
 
3.4.2 Special Types of Characters
 
The Braille 'n Speak can identify uppercase characters and control characters
to you as you read through your file.  Control characters are used largely for
formatting purposes to instruct a printer where to place your text.  Common
examples include carriage returns, linefeeds, formfeeds and tabs.  We'll show
you how to write them later.
 
As you're reading along in the Help file, practicing moving from line to line,
paragraph to paragraph, and so on, notice that the Braille 'n Speak uses the
normal inflections of speech - pausing at commas, periods and question marks.
If you move your cursor forward or backward a character at a time though, the
Braille 'n Speak reads an uppercase character in a significantly
higher-than-normal pitch.  If it sees a control character, it reads it to you
as well.
 
Now, take a few minutes to practice reading before you move on to learning
about how to find text in your files.
 
3.5 Searching for Text in a File
 
The Braille 'n Speak can look for a word faster than you could if you had a
printout of the file.
 
Since you can look for text going forward or backward in your file, it's
probably a good idea to know where your cursor is located when you're starting
your search.
 
3.5.1 The Location of the Cursor
 
To find out where the cursor is currently resting, press a wh-sign-chord (dots
1-5-6-chord) from anywhere within your file.  The Braille 'n Speak says
something like, "Column 5, cursor at 119".  This means that the cursor is
resting on the fifth place on a line and that you are one hundred and nineteen
characters into the file.  If the cursor happens to be resting on a carriage
return, you'll hear "Column 0" instead of any other number.  Now let's search
for text.
 
3.5.2 Finding Text
 
You can search for text forward or backward through your currently open file.
When you issue the Find command, you enter a "search buffer" - a scratchpad of
sorts - until you press an e-chord.  If you change your mind and decide not to
search for this particular text after all, you can cancel the search with a
z-chord.
 
While in the scratchpad, you can write text (also referred to as a search
string) of up to 63 characters in length.  You can use the backspace (b-chord)
to erase a character, just as you can when you're writing.  And you can press
a c-chord to see what you've written so far.  Let's see how it works.  Press
an f-chord from anywhere within your file.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter
text to find".  Write a search string, the word "speech", for example,
followed by an e-chord to execute the command.
 
If the text is in your file, the Braille 'n Speak moves the cursor to its
beginning and reads forward to the next carriage return.  If it does not find
the text, you hear, "not found" and the cursor remains in the place where you
started your search.
 
If you want to reverse the search, start with an f-chord.  But when you hear,
"Enter text to find", write the text, followed by a th-sign-chord (dots
1-4-5-6-chord).  If the text is found, the Braille 'n Speak moves the cursor
to its beginning and reads forward to the next carriage return.  If it does
not find it, you hear, "not found".
 
The Braille 'n Speak remembers the text you last asked it to find, even from
file to file.  This can be a handy feature when you're looking for the same
text in a number of different files.  Of course, turning off the Braille 'n
Speak makes it forget the last text you asked it to find. 
 
Let's practice, using the Braille 'n Speak Help file as an example.  Press an
l-chord to move to the top of the Help file.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Top
of file".  Press a wh-sign-chord to see where we are in the file, just to make
sure that we are where we think we are.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Column 0,
cursor at 1".  Good.  That means that we are indeed at the very first
character location in the file.
 
Now, let's look for a word.  Press an f-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Enter text to find".  Let's look for the word "read".  Write the word "read",
making sure to spell out each braille letter.  Do not use Grade 2 braille.
Remember?  The Help file is not a "braille" file.  It comes from the factory
written as a print file in uncontracted braille.  Now press an e-chord to
execute the Find command.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Reading Functions".
 
Notice that it found a variation of the word we were looking for, "reading".
The Braille 'n Speak looks for the combination of characters we requested but
it finds the first text it encounters that may include the combination of
characters we asked it to find.  If you had really wanted to find "read" and
only that specific word, you should have searched for the string "space read
space".
 
For now, let's just use this example to find out whether there are more
instances of the word "read" in this Help file.  Press an f-chord again.  Even
though the Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter text to find" again, it still
remembers that we last looked for the word "read".  So let's just press an
e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Read current line, c-chord".
 
We could go along in this fashion, finding every occurrence of the word "read"
or any variation of that word in the file, all without ever rewriting the word
"read" at the prompt.  In fact, even if we switched files, we could still look
for the same word.
 
Where are we in the file at this point?  Assuming we stopped searching for
"read" when the Braille 'n Speak found "read current line, c-chord", press a
wh-sign-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says something like, "Column 1, cursor at
1316, indicating that the cursor is at the first place on a line and that we
are over one thousand characters into the Help file.
 
Now let's press an f-chord.  At the prompt, press a th-sign-chord (dots
1-4-5-6-chord).  You should be back at "Reading Functions".  Press f-chord,
th-sign-chord once more and you should hear the Braille 'n Speak say, "not
found".  All this means is that it did not find any instance of the word
"read", searching backward through the file.  That's fine.  We knew that it
wouldn't find one.  But see how important it can be to know where the cursor
is?
 
Try finding a word or phrase on your own.  Move to different places in the
Help file as you search.  Once comfortable with the process, you'll find that
you can flip through a file and find a phone number faster than you can thumb
through a rollodex.
 
 
3.5.3 Case-Sensitive Searches for Text
 
The Braille 'n Speak disregards case when searching for text, unless you
select it to be case-sensitive.
 
To select case sensitivity in searching for text, before you issue the Find
command, press a the-sign-chord (dots 2-3-4-6-chord).  The Braille 'n Speak
prompts you with, "Distinguish case during find; enter y or n?"  Write a
letter y if you do want searches to be case-sensitive.  Write a letter n if
you don't.  Most of the time, you won't want case sensitivity turned on for a
search.  Either way, the Braille 'n Speak responds, "Okay".  From that point
on until you change it, the Braille 'n Speak performs searches according to
your selection.
 
Here's an example, using our old friend, the Help file.  Go to the top of the
file with an l-chord.  Now press a the-sign-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Distinguish case during find; enter y or n?"  Write a letter y and the
Braille 'n Speak says, "Okay".  Now press an f-chord and, at the prompt,
"Enter text to find", write "blazie" followed by an e-chord.  The Braille 'n
Speak responds, "not found".
 
Either the word is not in the file or "blazie" is not in lowercase.  Maybe
it's in capital letters.
 
To make the Braille 'n Speak let you write uppercase letters, press a u-chord.
The Braille 'n Speak says, "Uppercase".  Press another u-chord to "lock" the
Braille 'n Speak into uppercase mode.  The Braille 'n Speak now says,
"Uppercase locked".  This is like the shift lock on a typewriter or the caps
lock on a Computer.  Every letter you write on the Braille 'n Speak is now
interpreted as an uppercase character.
 
Press an f-chord.  Now answer the prompt, "Enter text to find" by writing
"BLAZIE" again, remembering that every character you're writing is in
uppercase.  The Braille 'n Speak comes back with, "not found".  What's wrong
now?  It looks like "BLAZIE" is not in the file either.  It must be that the
word is spelled with only the first letter in uppercase.  Let's unlock our
uppercase and try again.
 
To unlock uppercase, press a q-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Uppercase
unlocked, okay".  Now press an f-chord and at the "Enter text to find" prompt,
press a u-chord, then write "Blazie".  Remember, since you only pressed the
u-chord once, only the first letter you wrote (the "B") is in uppercase.  The
"lazie" is in lowercase.  Now press an e-chord to see if this time the Braille
'n Speak can find this elusive word.
 
Yes.  The Braille 'n Speak now says, "Blazie Engineering".  Well, that took
some effort, didn't it?  See why it's probably better to have case sensitivity
"off"?  Let's turn it off right now, shall we?  Press a the-sign-chord.  At
the "Distinguish case during find; enter y or n" prompt, write an emphatic
letter n.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Okay".  From now on, it should be easy
again to find text without worrying about its case.
 
The Click tip: When you have large files, you'll probably hear a ticking sound
as the Braille 'n Speak is searching for text.  The larger the file, the
greater the distance the Braille 'n Speak may have to travel looking for your
text, and the greater the number of clicks you will hear.  But not to worry.
Just be patient and it will find your text - if it is there to be found. 
 
Cancelling a Search: Even after you've pressed the e-chord that starts a
search, you can cancel it with a z-chord.  This can be handy with a long
search in a large file.
 
Well now.  You're just about ready to start writing your own files.
 
                     CHAPTER 4: WRITING IN YOUR FILES
 
Before we can write anything in the Braille 'n Speak, we must create a file in
which to write - or, in other words, open a blank page in our "binder" and
give the file a name.  And speaking of pages, let's talk for a minute about
the Braille 'n Speak "Page":
 
The Braille 'n Speak needs to know how many "pages" you want to use from the
"binder" for each of your files.  Each of these "pages" can hold up to 4,096
characters, something over four physical pages of braille.  What's most
important to keep in mind here is that you need to define the number of
"pages" you want to use in your file.
 
The Braille 'n Speak can hold over one hundred and eighty "pages".  Remember,
these are not physical braille pages, nor are they physical print pages.  They
are the Braille 'n Speak's version of "page".  Later, you'll see how easy it
is to determine how many physical braille or physical print pages are really
in your file.
 
By the way, remember from Chapter 1 that, when the Braille 'n Speak comes from
the factory, it contains several files already.  One of these is the file that
holds your dictionary (called "spell.dic").  It is quite large, taking up 86
"pages" in your machine.  While this still leaves you a lot of room to add
your own files, you may decide to remove the spellchecker dictionary from your
Braille 'n Speak to give you even more room for other files.  It's simply a
matter of how you use the machine and how often you use the Spellcheck
feature.  Even if you do remove it, you can always add the spellchecker
dictionary again later. 
 
Also, even though you tell the Braille 'n Speak that you want, say, three
"pages" in your file, you can change your mind later and add "pages" to your
file or get rid of extra ones you don't need after all.  The bottom line is
that the Braille 'n Speak's "pages" are each 4,096 characters worth of space.
 
Now, let's create a file and start writing.  To do this, we first have to get
to the Options menu and its submenu, the Files menu.
 
4.1 The Files Menu
 
Like any powerful computer, the Braille 'n Speak lets you manipulate your
files.  From the Files menu you can: open an existing file and work in it,
create a new file, rename an existing file, delete an unwanted file, even make
an existing file bigger or smaller.
 
One of the best features of the Braille 'n Speak is that you never have to
"save" a file.  Any computer user knows how it feels to work diligently in a
file, creating a masterpiece, only to have it disappear into that dreaded,
computer black hole.  The Braille 'n Speak isn't like that.  The instant you
create a file and name it, that file is "saved" for you and anything you enter
into it, is automatically saved, too - yes, even when you turn the unit off.
As we have mentioned earlier, turning the Braille 'n Speak on and off does not
affect your files in any way.  It's like turning a radio off and turning it on
again.  Unless someone has come along and fiddled with the dial, you'll still
be tuned to the same station when you turn it on again.
 
* 4.2 Creating a File
 
Let's create a file.  To get to the Files menu, press an o-chord.  The Braille
'n Speak says, "Option".  Now write a letter f.  The Braille 'n Speak
responds, "Enter file command".  Notice that we didn't tell you to press an
e-chord yet.  The Braille 'n Speak is now in "menu" mode, waiting for a
command.  Only after you issue a command can you press an e-chord.
 
Since our immediate goal is to create a file, let's write a letter c.  The
Braille 'n Speak now prompts you for the name of your file with, "Enter file
to create".  Let's call our file "practice".  Write "practice", spelling out
each letter, and press an e-chord.
 
The Braille 'n Speak now asks for the number of pages in your file with,
"Enter the file size".  Let's just write a number "1" for now.  Remember to
enter the number in ASCII or dropped number notation (dot 2) and press an
e-chord.  By the way, if you just want your file to contain one page, you can
just press an e-chord at the prompt, instead of writing the number 1.  Of
course, if you want your file to have more than one page, you do have to
specify the number of pages you want the Braille 'n Speak to set aside for the
file you're creating. 
 
* Finally, the Braille 'n Speak asks whether you want braille translation to
be in effect for this file with, "Use Grade 2 translator; enter y or n".  The
default setting is "on", so pressing an e-chord at this point accepts the
default and opens the file for you.  (Or, if you want to write in computer
braille, answer the prompt with an n and Grade 2 braille translation will be
off for this particular file.  In either case, the Braille 'n Speak confirms
that we have created the file by saying, "practice now open".
 
You're in your file, a blank "page", ready to be filled with your personal
data.  But before we write in this new file, let's talk for a moment about
file naming conventions.
 
Filenames in the Braille 'n Speak may be up to twenty characters in length.
We suggest that you name files with no Grade 2 braille contractions.  (You'll
see why later.) However, if you plan to send Braille 'n Speak files to a PC,
modem, or our external disk drive, you must name your files using MS DOS file
naming conventions to prevent confusion for yourself later.
 
* And, if you name a file with a ".brl", ".bfm", or ".brf" extension, the
Braille 'n Speak automatically turns on Grade 2 braille translation for you,
assuming that the file is meant to be in Grade 2 braille.
 
Let's briefly describe how MS DOS filenames work for those who may be new to
the concept.  Briefly, MS DOS filenames can have two parts: a "filename"
portion of up to eight characters in length and an "extension" portion of up
to three characters in length, separated by a period.  For example, a file
could be called "address.txt" or simply "address".  But it's not a good idea
to call a file "phonebook" because the PC will only recognize "phoneboo" and
you may think your file "phonebook" never made it to the PC when you
transmitted it.  More on all this in Section 15.5 and Appendix A.  For now,
just be aware of the concept.
 
Back in our newly created "practice" file, we're almost ready to write some
text.  But we still should check out some things first: We should find out
where the cursor is, how much room there is in the file, and how to get help
if we get stuck.
 
4.3 Where is the Cursor
 
Press a wh-sign-chord (dots 1-5-6-chord).  The Braille 'n Speak says, "File is
empty".  And it should be.  We haven't written anything yet.  Try going to the
top of the file (l-chord) or end of the file (dots 4-5-6-chord).  Try pressing
a c-chord to hear what's on the current line.  The Braille 'n Speak should
say, "File is empty".
 
4.4 Room Left in Your File
 
To see how much room there is left to write in your file (in other words, how
much free space there is after the last character in the file), press an
r-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Room left is 4,096."  Good, that is the
size of one Braille 'n Speak "page" and since we haven't written anything yet,
we should have 4,096 free spaces left to use.  As you start to fill up the
file, this number will decrease.  Don't worry about running out of room,
though.  We can make the file bigger, if we need more space.
 
4.5 Getting Help
 
You may have figured out by now that the Help file is a brief listing of
commands.  It assumes that you know how to do things with the Braille 'n Speak
and only want a tickler, a reminder, of the specific way to execute a command.
It's very handy and is accessible from any file in your Braille 'n Speak.
 
Just need to jog your memory about a command?  Press a th-sign-chord from
within any file.  (By the way, the th-sign is a question mark in computer
braille.  This may help you to remember that chording the th-sign means help.)
The Braille 'n Speak immediately jumps you into the Help file and says, "Help
now open".
 
Check through the Help file for what you need - with the Find command, say -
and then press a z-chord to abort this procedure.  You'll find yourself back
in the file in which you were working.  Try it out with your currently open
file, "practice".
 
4.6 Writing Text in Your File
 
Well, we're finally ready to start writing.
 
Write the sentence, "This is a practice file to learn how to write in the
Braille 'n Speak."  Don't worry if you make mistakes.  We can fix them.  As
you write, the Braille 'n Speak is saying every character you braille.  And,
are you remembering to write in Grade 2 braille?
 
Let's see where your cursor is now.  Do a wh-sign-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak
should say, "Column 56; cursor at 57" - assuming that you didn't make any
mistakes and that you wrote in Grade 2 braille.  We are at position 56 on the
current line and we are 57 characters from the beginning of the file.  Don't
worry if your numbers for cursor location differ from ours.  Remember, this is
only an example.  What's important is that the column number is greater than
zero.  Keep that in mind.
 
Now do another r-chord and see how much room you have left in your file.  The
Braille 'n Speak should say something like, "Room left is 4,039."  You'll have
to write quite a bit before you run out of room, trust us.  Remember, you're
using up Braille 'n Speak space, not physical space on a piece of paper.
That's what's so nice.
 
It's going to be important to know how to format your files for printing and
for brailling.  So let's take a look right now at how to do this before we
write anything else.  We'll look closely at preparing to transmit a formatted
file to a printer or braille embosser in Chapter 15.  Here we'll just focus on
how you control what text goes on each line and each page, and in the next
section, we'll work on preparing the layout of the text.
 
4.7 Writing Control Characters into a File
 
In Section 3.4, we said that control characters are special characters used
for formatting your files for printing.  Basically, these special characters
are actually codes that instruct the printer about things like, when to go to
the next physical line on the page, when to go back to the left margin on a
line, how many spaces to tab over, when to go to the next physical page, and
so on.  Some control code sequences get real fancy and we won't discuss them
here.  We'll concentrate instead on the ones you use the most in writing.  A
more complete list is in Appendix D in the back of this manual.
 
Before we review the commonly used control characters and show you how to
write them, let's backtrack for a minute to review the concept of word
processing in general.  Back in the days when you typed on a typewriter or a
braillewriter, you were limited in many ways.  You could never insert a word
here, delete a paragraph there, change one word to another, copy text from one
page to another, etc., without retyping.  Word processing lets you do all
that, true; but it also eliminates your having to worry about how many words
fit on a line and where to hyphenate words, how many lines fit on a page,
counting over spaces when writing in columns, setting margins, and so forth.
One of the nicest features of word processing is this: the computer "wraps"
words around lines for you, knows when to go to the next page, and even keeps
track of the number of pages in a document.
 
Let's take an example, using the sentence we just wrote in our "practice"
file.  At last check, our cursor was at column 56, or the fifty-sixth position
on the line.  And remember that the Braille 'n Speak defines a line as
containing everything between one carriage return and the next.  But anyone
who reads and writes braille knows that the largest braille page can only
accommodate at most forty characters on a line.  When you print this file, the
Braille 'n Speak knows how long to make each line because you will tell it
with settings you control from the Status menu.  (We'll show you more about
that later.)
 
The point is that you don't have to know where you are on a line as you're
going along writing text.  No bell goes off when you've reached a certain
point on a line to warn you to go to the next line.  Nothing alerts you that
you're at the bottom of a page and had better take this one out and start on a
fresh page.  So how do you start on a new page, even if you've only written a
few lines on the current page?  How do you move down a couple of lines and
indent to start a new paragraph?  That's where control characters come on the
scene.
 
When the computer takes care of wrapping text from line to line and going from
page to page, it is said to be doing "soft" carriage returns and page breaks.
When you actually write a control character to force such an action, it is
said to be a "hard" carriage return or a "hard" page break.
 
A carriage return takes you back to the first physical position (or column) on
a line - in other words, to the left margin.  You write a "hard" carriage
return on the Braille 'n Speak by pressing a dots 4-6-chord.  Write a dots
4-6-chord now into your currently open file, "practice".  The Braille 'n Speak
says, "new line."  Now do a wh-sign-chord.  Notice that the Braille 'n Speak
says, "Column 0; cursor at 58".  This is because a carriage return brings you
back to the left margin of a line.  In other words, your cursor is now
positioned at the beginning of a line, waiting for you to enter text.
 
A linefeed by itself only moves you down one physical line but does not
reposition you at the left margin of the line.  You don't need to write
linefeeds into the Braille 'n Speak at all, since the Braille 'n Speak has a
way of appending them for you.  This only becomes important when you're
sending a Braille 'n Speak file to a printer or transmitting it to your
computer.  So we'll hold off on the discussion about how to add linefeeds
until we talk about transmitting files in Section 15.1.2.
 
A tab on the Braille 'n Speak moves you a certain number of spaces to the
right on a line; you determine how many spaces.  To tab on the Braille 'n
Speak, press a dots 4-5-chord.  Try it now.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Column".  Write a "5" and remember to write in ASCII notation (a dropped e).
Press an e-chord to execute the command.  Now press a wh-sign-chord.  The
Braille 'n Speak says, "Column 4; cursor at 62".  In other words, the Braille
'n Speak spaced over to the fifth position from the left margin and placed the
cursor there for you to write something.  Check this out by pressing dot
3-chords to move the cursor back a character at a time until you hear "return"
when the cursor lands on the carriage return we wrote before.
 
Now write, "Hello." and press a dots 4-6-chord to issue another carriage
return.  But wait.  Don't we have to move the cursor forward to the end of the
file to where we had previously tabbed?
 
No.  The Braille 'n Speak protects you from overwriting text.  No matter where
you last read in your file, when you write something, the Braille 'n Speak
jumps to the end of the file and appends to it.  So the "H" of the word
"Hello."  we just wrote is automatically placed on the fifth position of the
line, just where we stopped when we tabbed before.  The carriage return we
just wrote after the word "hello" is now the last character in the file and
anything further we write will be placed after that carriage return.
 
A formfeed or "hard" page break control character forces your printer to go to
the next physical page.  This means that if you decide you want to start
writing on a new physical page (not Braille 'n Speak "page"), you can write a
control character so that when you print the file, text following the formfeed
character will be printed on the next physical page.  To write a formfeed,
press an x-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak does not prompt you at this point.
Now write a letter l.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Control l".  You have
written a "hard" page break into your file.
 
Now write, "This is Page 2."  followed by a carriage return.
 
By the way, you write most control characters in the Braille 'n Speak with an
x-chord followed by a letter.  Carriage returns and tabs are so commonly used
that a single-key chord is provided for them.  Later, when we talk about how
to prepare a file for printing, we'll get into more specifics about page
length, line length, and so on.  All of those parameters, and more, can be
adjusted as you need them on the fly.
 
 
* 4.8 Writing Repeated Character Strings
 
Before we start exploring how to format text, that is, how to make it appear
visually pleasing, when printed or brailled, let's stop and look at a neat new
feature that's very simple to understand and use.
 
When you want to create a border or boundary between one block of text and
another for emphasis or clarity, generally speaking, it's a good idea to write
a line of repeated characters between the blocks of text you want to separate.
Sighted people use this technique a lot more than blind people in writing
because braille is so bulky anyway, why clutter it up with a whole row of
stars or dashes or whatever.  Even in braille though we see rows of dashes to
indicate that a new print page is about to begin.  We see rows of dots 2-3-5-6
(or parentheses marks) bordering certain texts in catalogs or math books.  And
certainly there are times when we want to leave a lot of blank spaces free on
a line - not necessarily to center the text but maybe to leave space for
someone to fill in a response, say, or to jot down comments about what's on
the page.  In any case, what we're talking about here is the ability to write
the same character repeatedly for a specific number of places on the page.
 
To do this, we can use the same command we used to create a tab, dots 4-5-
chord.  But this time instead of writing a number, which tells the Braille 'n
Speak to tab over x number of places, we write the character we want repeated,
followed by the number of times we want it repeated, and then press an e-chord
to execute the command.
 
Let's say we want a row of dashes to appear after the line where the  title of
a chapter appears.  Let's use the title of this section as an example.
 
In your practice file, go ahead and write a carriage return now to make sure
you're on a new line and then write the title of this section, "Writing
Repeated Character Strings" and another carriage return.  Then press dots 4-5-
chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Column" and awaits your instruction.
Write a dash (dots 3-6) and, for a print document, something like 65 (or for a
braille document, perhaps 30).  The number of repeats is entirely up to you of
course and depends on the line length you have set.  Make sure you write the
number of times you want the character repeated in dropped number notation and
then press an e-chord.
 
The Braille 'n Speak instantly places you on the last of your repeated
characters and awaits your next keystroke.  You'll probably want to write a
carriage return  right away because otherwise you may end up wrapping the row
of dashes you just created around to the line below and you probably don't
want that.
 
Technically speaking, you can't have more than 255 repeated characters but
since that's well over one line anyway, chances are you won't want to use a
number that high anyway and so you're unlikely to run into a problem with this
limit.  And of course, you can't use a number as a repeated character because
when you press a dots 4-5-chord and write a number, the Braille 'n Speak
assumes that number is the number of spaces you want to tab.
 
As we stated earlier, this feature is most useful for creating visual borders
around text you want to highlight in some way.
 
Now let's move on to formatting in general, and there's a lot to discuss so we
suggest you take a break now.  Start that section with a fresh cup of coffee
or perhaps tomorrow.  There's a great deal to consider when creating well-
formatted documents.
 
4.9 Formatting Text
 
If you're already familiar with word processing, you know that you can control
how text actually appears on paper.  This is true both in braille and in
print.  You don't have to count out how many spaces are needed to center text.
Even if you insert or delete whole blocks of text, page numbering is accurate
when you finally print any portion of your document.  You don't have to keep
track of how many lines you've used up on each page for headers or footers to
print out where they belong on each page.  You can set up the margins however
you want them and then readjust them for blocking text within your document.
These are only just a few of the things a word processor can do for you.
 
As to the physical appearance of the text, word processing can italicize text,
underline it, put it in boldface, even change the shape of the characters you
print.  Depending on your printer, the selection of print types (fonts) can be
huge.
 
Of course, braille is rather limited when compared to the number of options
you have in print.  There is only one choice in braille for what an "a" looks
like; whereas, in print, the choices are virtually endless.  Italics,
boldfacing, and underlining don't really exist in braille.  But at least you
can emphasize text with the dots 4-6 indicator.
 
Nevertheless, there are many things you can do whether your document is meant
to be printed or brailled - or both.  You can center text, adjust margins,
number pages, arrange for headers and footers to appear where they belong on
each page, and so on.  Therefore, although you have no control over the
physical appearance of braille characters, you still have much to say about
how text is laid out, even in braille.
 
All of the things we've been talking about can be controlled using
"formatting" commands.  These are actual strings of characters that you write
into your files to make the text come out looking as if you had physically
typed it on a typewriter or braillewriter.  Many of the commands we'll explore
in this section work whether the file is a braille file - that is, a file
written in Grade 2 braille, whether the file is written in computer braille,
or whether you intend to print the file to an ink printer or braille it with a
braille embosser.  These commands affect the layout of the text more than
anything else.  Except for commands that change the appearance of characters,
virtually all of them format either files to be printed or brailled.
 
First, let's remind ourselves about the types of printers the Braille 'n Speak
recognizes.  We mentioned briefly early on that you can choose between Epson-
compatible or Imagewriter-compatible printers on the Braille 'n Speak.  We
chose these two printers because they are among the most popular types of
printers today.  What do we mean by "compatible"?  Well, here we have to get a
bit technical for a minute but don't be put off.  It's not so hard to
understand the concept.
 
Have you ever wondered how a printer or braille embosser knows when to go to
the next line, to the next page, to center text, to underline it, and so on?
As we discussed in Section 4.7, you can write control characters to instruct
the printer to start a new page or move to the next line.  You can also write
special strings of characters into your file that instruct the printer about
the layout and appearance of your document.  These strings are not printed;
rather, they signal the printer to pay attention and perform some command.
 
But still, how does the printer know how many lines to travel to get to the
next page?  How does it know when it's at the end of a line and needs to move
to the next line when you don't specifically instruct it to do so with a
carriage return and linefeed?
 
Printers are always busy counting: they count how many lines down the page
have been printed and how many are left to be printed (or skipped).  They can
therefore tell when to change pages.  They count how many characters
(including spaces) have been printed on any given line and how many are left
to be printed (or skipped) before it's time to move down to the next line.
Even when you instruct a printer to skip lines or tab across a page, or to
print some text in larger letters or "fine print", the printer is still
keeping track of the physical space available on each page.
 
That's all well and good.  But unfortunately, complications may arise
depending on your printer.  Manufacturers program their printers to be able to
receive our instructions.  But most have done it in their own special way.
The printer knows what to do because it has what are known as "escape
sequences" that it understands.  These are character strings much like the
ones we talked about writing into your file but they are specific to a
particular printer.  So, in other words, printer x may use a certain escape
sequence (or code) to perform a carriage return, but printer y may use an
entirely different escape code in its internal programming to perform the same
carriage return.
 
In an effort to avoid confusion, many manufacturers are now programming
printers to understand the escape codes that Epson printers and Imagewriter
printers understand.  So if you're printer is either of these, or if it is
"compatible" with either Epson or Imagewriter - that is, if your printer can
understand the same escape codes as Epson and Imagewriter printers do - then
you're in business.  Learning the formatting commands we're going to discuss
is enough.  Even if your printer is not immediately compatible, it may be
possible to make it compatible by flipping a switch on your printer or by
tricking it into thinking it's an Epson or Imagewriter.  Check your printer
manual, or with your dealer, or with the technical support staff of your
printer's manufacturer.
 
If your printer is not compatible with either of the types supported by the
Braille 'n Speak, you'll need to learn the appropriate escape codes for your
printer to format your documents properly for printing.  In that case, rather
than using the fairly uncomplicated commands we'll show you here, you'll
probably need to use at least some escape codes in your files.  Generally,
escape codes begin with the "escape" character, a control character available
to you, just like the control character for carriage return we've mentioned so
often.
 
To write an escape code that begins with the escape character, press an x-
chord and then write an ow-sign (dots 2-4-6).  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"escape".  Then write whatever other characters make up the string.  Remember,
this is not a Braille 'n Speak command.  So you don't end it with an e-chord.
Probably a space is all you need to end the string.
 
Having said all that, let's now return to formatting commands the Braille 'n
Speak understands and that are supported by Epson and the Imagewriter
printers.  All of these commands begin with a $ sign (dots 1-2-4-6).  Wait,
isn't that the ed-sign?  Yes, but it's also the dollar sign in computer
braille.  It's important to keep this in mind since, when numbers are part of
a string, you must write them in computer braille.  Also, you must surround
all formatting commands with spaces.  If you don't, the Braille 'n Speak
assumes that you want to print the string because it assumes that the string
is part of your text.
 
Incidentally, in addition to using the dots 4-6-chord to force a carriage
return (a hard return), or two of them to indicate a new paragraph, or a
Control-L (x-chord followed by the letter l) to force the text to continue on
a new page (a hard page break), you can use formatting strings.  The string '
$l ' means "new line", the string ' $p ' means "new paragraph", and the string
' $f ' means "new page". 
 
Let's move on now to margins since they affect everything else.
 
 
* 4.9.1 Setting and Adjusting Margins
 
Whether you're intending to print or braille a document, you may want to
adjust your margins - especially if you want to block off sections of text by
indenting or outdenting it.  In print, in particular, you may want to make all
your text align to the right margin or to some left margin different from the
one you normally use.  You may want a bigger or smaller top or bottom margin.
 
We have set certain defaults for you in the Status menu for creating ink print
and braille documents.  In a minute, we'll look at how to change these
defaults with formatting strings.  But here is how the formatting process
works by default with respect to page lengths and line lengths.
 
Brailling: By default, we assume a braille line length of 33 characters and a
left margin of 1 character.  Since you can have literally 34 characters across
an 8-1/2 by 11 inch piece of braille paper, these defaults mean that you have
32 places across each line for printable text to appear.  Your left margin is
1 and by default your right margin is also 1.  In other words, the embosser
will know that it must provide you with an empty space in the first place on
the line, and then after printing up to the 33rd place on the line, it must
wrap your text to the next line on the page.
 
Likewise, we assume there are 25 printable lines on each braille page and a
top margin of 1.  Since there are a maximum of 27 possible lines on each
braille page, your embosser will know that it must provide you with a blank
line at the top of each page, then print up to 25 lines, provide another blank
line for your bottom margin of 1 line, and then move on to the next physical
page.
 
Printing: It works more or less the same way for ink print documents, except
that the defaults are a line length of 75 and a left margin of 10, giving you
65 places for printable characters going across the page and a right margin of
10.  In addition, the default page length is 60 with a top margin of 6, giving
you 54 printable lines of text.  If page numbering is turned off in the Status
menu, when the printer encounters the 60th line on a page, it forces the
printer to go to the next physical page.  If page numbering is turned on in
the Status menu, when the printer encounters the 60th line on a page, it
counts an additional 6 blank lines and then moves to the next physical page.
In either case, you end up with a bottom margin of 6 blank lines.
 
All of the formatting commands begin with the $-sign and most of the margin
commands are followed immediately by the letter m, and then usually by some
number specifying the number of spaces you want the margin to have.  Let's
take an example.
 
The print defaults we provide assume that you have a print font whose size
accommodates 10 characters per inch (going across the page) and 6 lines per
inch (going down the page).  Therefore, our defaults provide you with a one-
inch margin all around the text on the page.
 
There might be times, however, when you want to have different margins - say,
half an inch instead of 1 inch margins.  Let's see how this would work out
with some sample numbers.
 
Assuming you're starting with a left margin of 10 (which is literally 10
spaces from the left edge of the page and is the default setting for ink print
documents), to set your left margin to 5 instead, write, 'space $-sign m l 5
space'.  We place the single quotes around the exact string characters for
clarity and readability.  When written properly the string reads, $ml5 with a
space written on either side of it.  Our new left margin of 5 has actually
brought the left margin closer to the left edge of the page by 5 spaces.
 
Assuming your right margin is set to 0 (which by default is 10 places away
from the right edge of the page), change your right margin by 5 with the
string ' $mr5 '.
 
For sample purposes, let's assume that page numbering is turned off, since
this is the default in the Status menu anyway.  With a starting top margin of
6 (which is also the default for ink print documents), let's change this
margin to 3 with the string, ' $mt3 '.  To change the bottom margin also to 3,
write, ' $mb3 '.
 
Since the printer's default pagelength is 60 with a top margin of 6 and we've
now changed the top margin to 3, we should also change our page length to
compensate for our new margins.  The new page length should be 63, giving us a
top margin of 3, 60 printable lines of text, and a bottom margin of 3.  So our
new settings provide half an inch margins all around the text on the page.
 
If you want to increase the size of the margin you already have, and you
already set it to 5, for example, you increase it by placing a plus sign (dots
3-4-6) before the number in your string.  So you'd write, ' $ml+5 '.  In our
example, that would now give us a left margin of 10.  If you increase the
right margin by 5 with ' $mr+5 ', your right margin would be 10 spaces from
the right edge of the page. 
 
When you want to return to a margin you had before, place a minus sign (dots
3-6) before the number in the string.  So in our example, to return the left
margin to 5 (5 spaces from the left edge of the page), you'd write, ' $ml-5 '.
 
If you want to "outdent" text - that is, have text "stick out" on a line at
the margin to the left of your current margin - write the string, ' $out '.
The text following that string appears to the left of where you are by one tab
stop.  We'll talk about tabs in detail and how to set them later in Section
4.9.3.
 
Suppose you started out with a left margin of 5 spaces and have now increased
it 5 spaces further in from the left edge of the paper, giving you a current
margin of 10.  Then to make the first line of text "stick out" to the left of
the rest of the text, write the string, ' $out '.  Text on your current line
begins at the 5th space from the left edge of the page, but then wraps back
into your present margin of 10 on subsequent lines.  This is especially
effective for numbered items, like questions on a survey. 
 
You may have heard the word "justification".  No, we're not talking about
"justifying your actions".  In computerese justification has to do with
aligning text to margins.  It really should be called "alignment".  But since
the lingo is "justification", we use it here, too, and the string that
"justifies" text uses the letter j.
 
Of course, text is normally "left-justified", or aligned to the left margin.
Whether the left margin is at the left edge of the page, 5 spaces in (as we've
set it), or however many spaces in from the left edge, text always aligns to
the current left margin unless you do something specific to force it to align
to something else.  For example, you can tab at the beginning of a line to
force text to start further in from the current left margin.  When text
"wraps" around to the next line, or when you force it to start on a new line
with a "hard carriage return", however, it aligns itself to the current left
margin.
 
To "right-justify" text means to make it align to the right margin, however
you have that margin set and regardless of how you have the left margin set.
So, since we've set our right margin to 5 spaces from the right edge of the
page, if you write the string, ' $jr ', all your text after that point will
align itself to that margin.
 
To return to a normal left-margin justification of your text, write the
string, ' $jn '.
 
To adjust text to align itself as much as possible both to the left and right
margins (only in print, not in braille), you can write the string for "full
justification", ' $jf '.  The printer then apportions the text as evenly as
possible across the page so as to prevent visual gaps in its layout and make
it more visually pleasing.  Of course, since in braille the goal is usually to
squeeze as much text as you can on each line without losing its meaning, we
suggest keeping your braille files set to no justification, which is the
standard or default setting anyway.
 
* We just touched on the subject of page length a few minutes ago when we said
that your braille embosser counts either 25 or 27 lines on a braille page.
Similarly, we said that ink printers count 66 lines on a print page.  Ink
printers assume a bottom margin of 0 if page numbering is turned off, as we
said above, and a top margin of 6.  Further, the default line length is 75 and
the default page length is 60.  If you're familiar with a word processor (like
WordPerfect), you're used to seeing lines and margins referred to in terms of
inches rather than physical lines or characters across a page.  The number of
lines and characters per inch varies according to the "point size" (height)
and the "pitch" (width) of your characters.  And that depends largely on font
type.  Even when starting with a particular font type, you can change the
pitch and point size of text by making it larger or smaller for a portion of
the text.
 
Remember that we said fonts were styles of printing for characters.  You may
have heard of the Pyka or Elite fonts on a typewriter.  Ink printers are able
to produce many other fonts.  The choice is a matter of visual preference and
you may need to ask for a coworker's or friend's opinion as to what font looks
right for your document.  For example, the font known as Prestige is very
professional-looking, Courier is the most common font, and Script looks almost
like handwriting.  All in all, it can be very confusing, and may certainly be
mind-boggling if you've never seen or worked with print.  The bottom line
though is to consider how the ink printer counts vertically and horizontally. 
 
Generally, for a standard 8-1/2 by 11 inch page, the printer assumes 6 lines
per inch and 10 characters across the page.  So it counts 66 lines vertically
and 80 characters horizontally.
 
So for example, if you set a top margin of 6 and don't set anything else -
such as the page length, which is set to 0 by default- the ink printer says,
"Okay, I have 72 lines per page.  But since I can only count up to 66 lines
per page, I'll take these extra 6 lines and put them on the next page, and
then I'll do a formfeed to a third page so that I can start counting again."
In other words, you have a mess.  You need to set a page length that the
printer can understand.
 
To set the length of your page, you have to keep that 66-line limit in the
forefront.  Whatever your top margin is and whatever your bottom margin is,
you need to subtract them from 66 to obtain the number to which you set your
page length.  So, if your top margin is 6 and your bottom margin is also 6 (as
set by the printer itself), your printable page length is 54.  You set the
page length with the string, ' $pl54 '.
 
Let's say that you decide to have top and bottom margins of 3.  Subtracting
them from 66 gives you a page length of 60 and so your page length string
would be, ' $pl60 '.
 
Likewise, you can affect the page width.  Use the string, ' $pw ' followed by
a number to instruct the printer how many characters it should print across
the page.  Again, like the example of top and bottom margins, if you have a
left margin of 5 and a right margin of 5, you have to subtract them from the
total number of characters that can fit across a line.  As we suggested
earlier, for ink printers this can vary widely, depending on the font type.
In any case, we'll assume that 80 characters fit across the page.  So, using
our example of left and right margins of 5, subtracting them gives 70 and so
your line length is 70.  You'd set the line length with the string, ' $pw70 '.
By the way, when you increase the left or right margin, you don't have to do
anything about the line length.  The printer remembers that your original line
length was, say, 70, as in our example.
 
Of course, if you decrease the size of your left or right margin, you have to
keep in mind your total printable line length so you don't run into the mess
we described above of more lines than the printer can count for a page.  Let's
use our example with left and right margins set to 5 and the printer counting
a printable line of 70 characters.  If you reset your left and right margins
to, say, -10, you're saying that your printable character count is 80 but
you're asking the printer to count a total of 90, and since it can't, you'll
have a problem. 
 
In braille, you probably want a line length of 40 or 30, depending on whether
you're using the larger or smaller paper available for brailling.  This
generally means left and right margins of 1 since you can fit 42 characters
across a page from edge to edge for the larger 11 by 11-1/2 inch paper and 32
characters across for the smaller 8-1/2 by 11 inch paper.  Of course, your
braille embosser may not give you a choice about paper size, in which case,
you'd need to set up all your files to the same parameters.
 
4.9.2 Formatting and the Status Menu
 
During our brief walk through the Status menu in Section 1.5.2, we ran across
format parameters as we browsed through the various choices.  The group begins
with the setting for Imagewriter or Epson and continues through the setting
for the top margin in braille.
 
Let's take a look at these settings now with respect to how they apply to our
present discussion.
 
It's crucial to keep in mind that the format strings that use the $-sign
override equivalent Status menu settings.  But it's equally important to
understand that you don't necessarily have to use the $-sign strings at all.
If your document is fairly simple - that is, without justification of text,
without indented text, and so on - you don't need to include format strings in
your file for line length, page length, and margins.  You can simply set them
through the Status menu.
 
This can be especially handy when you intend to braille the document as well
as print it because the Status menu lets you set both print and braille
parameters for the same file.  Obviously, you can't set your file up with '
$ml5 ', which you intend as a left margin for your print file and expect that
the braille left margin you set to 1 through the Status menu is also in
effect.  As we said, format strings override Status menu settings.  So, the
way to avoid confusion is to use only the Status menu settings when you intend
to braille and print the same file.
 
Of course, you can still use format strings for centering, page numbering, and
so forth.  But be careful if you decide to increase or decrease a margin.  For
example, let's say you set your print left margin through the Status menu to 5
and the braille left margin to 1.  Then if you decide to increase your left
margin by 5 by writing the format string ' $ml+5 ', both your braille and
print files will show a new left margin of 10.  Why?  Again, the format string
overrides the braille left margin setting in the Status menu.  So we recommend
that you use one or the other, but not both, methods for formatting margins,
line lengths, and page lengths.
 
Here's how you set things up, using the Status menu.
 
One particular setting in the Status menu can affect whether the margins, line
length, and page length settings for your ink printer work for all your files.
This is the "make parameters file-specific" setting. 
 
It's important that you understand up front that, regardless of how the "file-
specific" setting is set, the formatting strings we've discussed in the
previous section override any equivalent settings in the Status menu.
 
Also, notice that we were careful to emphasize that the "file-specific"
setting applies to ink printing.  Since braille margins are generally the same
from file to file anyway, this setting does not affect braille format
parameters.  So whatever settings you have in effect in the Status menu for
braille margins, line length, and page length, they apply to all files you
braille.
 
However, chances are, you don't want all the files you print to have the same
margins, line length, and page length.  So you can turn the setting on to
insure that they print out with your file-specific settings.
 
Bring up the Status menu with the usual st-sign-chord.  You'll be wherever you
were the last time you exited the Status menu.  So you may have to cycle to
the Format Parameters grouping with dots 5-6- or dots 2-3-chords.  Or, jump to
the first setting in the grouping by writing an l.  This brings you to the
choice for Imagewriter or Epson.  If you haven't already done so, choose the
appropriate printer with an i for Imagewriter or an e for Epson.  Then press a
dot 4-chord.
 
Now you're at the setting for print line length.  The default is 75, as we
mentioned in the last section.  Change it to your printable line length,
keeping  in mind our discussion of how to arrive at the right number.  For
example, write 70 (using dropped number notation, of course).  Then press an
e-chord to enter your choice and another dot 4-chord to move to the next
setting.
 
Now you're at the setting for print left margin.  Write a 5, say, and press an
e-chord to enter it and another dot 4-chord to move to the setting for print
page length.
 
Keep in mind our earlier warnings about page length and write 54, for example.
Then press an e-chord to enter it.  Now press another dot 4-chord to see the
setting for print top margin.  Go ahead and set it to something like 3, as in
our earlier example.
 
You could stop here by exiting the Status menu with an e-chord.  Or, if you
want to set braille margin, line length, and page length settings, continue as
above with dot 4-chords to move to each one and set them as we have shown.
Then exit the Status menu with an e-chord.
 
4.9.3 Document Layout
 
How nice not to have to count out exactly how many spaces it takes to center
text or to make columns of text! How convenient not to have to count how many
lines of text you can write in order to fit a running header or footer on each
page and not to have to rewrite that header or footer on each page! How
pleasant not to have to worry about numbering pages - especially when you edit
your text so much by adding and deleting, moving and copying, whole sections
of it!
 
 
Centering Text
 
Let's first talk about centering text.  You can center text a line at a time.
It's pretty straightforward.
 
To center a line of text, write the format string, ' $c ' before the actual
text you want centered.  Press a dot 4-6-chord (a hard carriage return) to end
centering.
 
If the text to be centered runs over one line, you'll need to center each line
by hand.  Here's one instance where checking the location of the cursor can be
very helpful.  If you'll recall, the wh-sign-chord command tells you where the
cursor is in terms of how many characters you are from the beginning of the
file, as well as how far you are from the last hard return.  Your decision
about where to break up text to be centered over more than one line depends on
whether you intend to braille or print the document and on whether you have
Grade 2 braille translation in effect.
 
For example, if you want to braille your document on 8-1/2 inch by 11 inch
paper (with a line width of 32 characters) and the text you want to center is
the name of the present chapter, including the chapter number, you won't make
it on one braille line.  Better to cut it up so that "CHAPTER 4" appears
centered on the first line, and "WRITING IN YOUR FILES" appears centered on
the next line.
 
On the other hand, if you want to print your document and you're writing your
file in Grade 2 braille, remember that the number of characters may expand
when turned into print.  So for example, if the text to be centered includes
the word "character" (2 spaces worth in Grade 2 braille), which expands to 9
spaces worth in print, you need to take that into account when deciding where
to cut up what portion of the text goes on which line to be centered.
 
Headers and Footers
 
Now, what if you want the centered text to repeat on each page.  This is
called a "running" header or footer, depending on whether it's at the top or
bottom of the page.  In a way, page numbers are the simplest example of
running headers or footers since you set them up in much the same way as text,
and since you can position them to "run" on each page.
 
To tell the Braille 'n Speak what text you want to use as a header, write the
format string, ' $hb '.  Then write the actual text of the header, including
centering, and any other format strings you want to use to make the header
appear as you want it to on each page.  Here again, a hard carriage return
(dots 4-6-chord) ends the header, just as it ends centering.
 
Suppose you want to disable the header temporarily - say, to insert a page
with a chart on it that needs a header of its own that you want to use only
one time.  In such a case, don't bother marking that header with the ' $hb '
string, just write it out.  To disable the running header for that page,
though, begin the page with the string ' $h- '.  Start the next page with a '
$h+ ' string to resume the running header.
 
Footers work much the same way, except that the format string is, ' $fb ' to
create the running footer, ' $- ' to disable it, and ' $f+ ' to enable it
again.
 
Tabbing
 
Now let's get into tabbing.  To set up tabs to create a table, for instance,
first decide how many spaces to have between columns and how many columns fit
on your page.  This depends not only on the amount of text in each column, but
also on the width of the page.  As you probably already know, in braille this
is very limited.  Tables in braille only work after much planning.  We'll take
a simple example.
 
Say you want three columns of numbers across a page and you know that none of
the numbers has more than 5 digits in it.  So you can make the space between
each column 3 spaces wide.  Set up the columns with the string, ' $ts '
followed by the number of spaces you want the tab to move you.  In our
example, this is the string, ' $ts3 '.  Remember, this only sets up the size
of the tab.
 
To actually move by tabs then, write the string, ' $t ' followed by the text
of the column.  So a line in our example reads something like this:
 
" 123 $t 4567 $t 8910 "
 
If you don't need to set a tab, but you do need to start text a certain number
of columns in from the left margin, write the string, ' $to ' follow by a two-
digit number.  So for example, if you want to start 7 spaces in from the left
margin for a particular line of text, precede the text with ' $to07 '.
 
Page Numbering
 
Now let's talk about page numbering.  It's ever so nice not to have to concern
yourself with numbering pages by hand.  But you do have some control over the
location of page numbers, especially in print, and whether the pages are
numbered using Arabic numerals (like 1, 2, 3, and so forth) or whether they
are numbered using Roman numerals (like I, II, III, and so on), as for tables
of contents.  
 
To set up your file to number pages, enter the Status menu with an st-sign-
chord and jump to the "Number pages" option by writing the number sign (dots
3-4-5-6).  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Number pages, off".  Turn on numbering
with a y.  Turn it off again with an n.  Exit the Status menu with an e-chord.
 
Or, to set the page number and type of numerals to use, first use the format
string, ' $pnar ' for Arabic numerals, or ' $pnrn ' for Roman numerals.  Then
use the format string, ' $p ' followed by a number from 1 to 999 to establish
the starting page number.  That's good when you're setting up a file which is
a continuation of another.  For example, if the present file is Chapter 2 of
your great American novel, you want to start it with the page following
wherever Chapter 1 ended - say, 26.  So your page number format string would
read, ' $p26 '.
 
Now you need to decide where to position the page number.  For braille files
that are going to be printed by a braille embosser, page numbering always goes
in the same place, on the top right of the page.  But for files you intend to
print, you have six options.  They include the top left, top center, and top
right of the page, or the bottom left, bottom center, or bottom right of the
page.  Use the format strings ' $pntl ', ' $pntc ', and ' $pntr ' for the top
left, center, and right positions.  Use the strings ' $pnbl ', ' $pnbc ', and
' $pnbr ' for the bottom left, center, and right positions.  If you want no
page numbering at all, you could also use the format string ' $pnnp ' for no
numbering instead of turning off the setting through the Status menu as
described above.
 
Next is how to change the appearance of printed characters.
 
4.9.4 Changing the Appearance of Print Text
 
As we mentioned earlier, not all printers let you change the appearance of
text with the format strings we describe here.  Only printers that are Epson-
or Imagewriter-compatible understand these strings.  All printers understand
centering, tabs, page numbering, and so on.  But if your printer is not
compatible with the two we support, you may have to use escape codes for that
specific printer to achieve the same results.
 
To make text appear in boldface, use the string, ' $bb ' to start boldface and
the string, ' $bf ' to finish it.  To italicize text, start it with the
string, ' $ib ' and finish it with the string, ' $if '.  To underline text,
start underlining with the string, ' $ub ' and finish with the string, ' $uf
'.  Finally, to doublestrike text to make it look even more emphatic, use the
string ' $dbsb ' to begin and the string, ' $dbsf ' to finish.
 
If you want to stop printing altogether before the end of your file, for
example, after the first page in a two-page file, write the string ' $ef ' at
the point where you want printing to stop.  And, if you don't want to stop
printing, but you want to pause the printer between pages, write the string, '
$w ' to make the printer wait after printing each page so that you can insert
another page, or so that you can examine the page you just printed.
 
If you want to double- or triple-space a print document (for example, a
document for school that a professor needs to grade), write the string, ' $ls
' followed by a number.  So ' $ls2 ' makes your document print with a blank
line between each printed line, and with four blank lines, instead of two,
between each paragraph.  What's nice is that you can double-space a portion of
a document, but leave other portions in single-space mode by using these
formatting strings.  In Section 15.2.4, we'll show you a quick way to get a
whole document to print double-spaced without having to insert formatting
strings into the document itself.
 
4.9.5 Inserting a Time Stamp on a Printed Document
 
In Section 7.2.4, we'll show you how to insert a particular date and time into
a file without having to write it in by hand.  However, using format strings,
like the ones we've been discussing, you can insert a "stamp" onto a printed
document of the date and time the document is printed.  Clearly, you may not
always print a document the minute you create it.  In fact, in most cases, it
may be days or weeks before you need to print it.  Or it may be minutes.  In
any case, some jobs require very accurate time-stamping, for example, a
receptionist taking messages who prints a message the instant it is received. 
To insert a date and time stamp into your file so that the date and time it is
printed appears in the document, write the string, ' $tm ' for the time and '
$dt ' for the date.
 
4.9.6 Skipping Blocks of Text to Print
 
What do you do if there's a portion of your file you don't want to print?  For
instance, let's say that you have a five-page file but you only want to print
from Page 3 to Page 5 because the printer jammed on Page 3.  Place the string,
' $( ' just before the area you want to skip and then the string, ' $) ' just
after the block of text to be skipped.  Page numbering should still be in
effect accurately.
 
4.10 Selecting your Writing Mode
 
By this time, you may be wondering how to write so that each character isn't
spoken back to you as you braille.  Let's show you a couple of options.
 
You can have each word spoken as you complete brailling it instead of hearing
each character spoken as you braille it.  Also, you can have the keys click as
you braille, or you can have a totally silent keyboard as you braille.
 
Get into the Speech Parameters menu with an ar-sign-chord.  The Braille 'n
Speak says, "Speech parameters".  Press the spacebar.  The Braille 'n Speak
says, "Key Click on".  Press an e-chord.  The Braille and Speak says, "Exit".
Now try writing something in your file.  You'll hear a short click each time
you press a key and the characters are no longer spoken as you braille.
 
Enter the Speech Parameters menu again and press the spacebar.  The Braille 'n
Speak says, "Silent keys".  Exit the Speech Parameters menu and write
something in your file.  Notice that the Braille 'n Speak is totally silent as
you write.  And if you try to read what you just wrote, you may be surprised.
 
From the factory, the Braille 'n Speak comes with cursor tracking turned on.
Cursor tracking means that the speaking cursor is at the same place as the
writing cursor.  What, two cursors?  Well, in effect, yes.
 
Remember our long discussion of reading by words, characters, or lines, even
by sentences or paragraphs, in Chapter 3?  When you're reading, the Braille 'n
Speak is keeping track of where you are.  We even showed you how to find out
where that cursor is with the wh-sign-chord.
 
But now that you're writing, the Braille 'n Speak has to remember where you
are as you write and where you are as you read.
 
Isn't it the same?  Not necessarily.  You might be writing down a reminder to
yourself but have to go back and read a date to include in that reminder, for
example.
 
As long as you don't have a silent keyboard for writing, you're okay because
the Braille 'n Speak is saying each letter or word you're writing and
therefore is tracking what it is speaking.  But if your keyboard is silent and
you still want to track where you are writing, rather than tracking the last
thing the Braille 'n Speak spoke, cursor tracking must be on.
 
Enter the Status menu with an st-sign-chord and then jump to the setting by
writing the letter c.  If the setting happens to be off, write a y to turn on
cursor tracking.  Exit the Status menu with an e-chord.  Then, still with your
silent keyboard in effect, write something and then read the current word.
You should now hear the last word you wrote.
 
For those cases where you need the speaking cursor where the Braille 'n Speak
last spoke, turn cursor tracking off by re-entering the Status menu and
writing a c followed by an n to turn it off, or you can press a p-chord to
bring up the Parameters menu from anywhere in your file.  Write a c to jump to
the setting and turn off cursor tracking at the prompt, "Cursor tracking, y or
n?"  Remember that you don't have to press an e-chord.  From the Parameters
menu, responding to the prompt is all you need to do.  You should immediately
be back where you last were in your file.
 
The choice between having cursor tracking on or off really depends on what
you're doing and you'll probably find uses for both.  However, mostly we
suggest keeping it on to avoid confusion about what you last wrote. 
 
 
While having a totally silent keyboard may be great in a meeting, you may want
some feedback about what you're writing.  Of course, you could always read
what you have written in the usual manner, with current line or sentence
commands, and so on.  But you might find it convenient to hear words spoken as
you braille them into your file.
 
Press a g-chord from anywhere in your file.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Interactive, okay".  Try writing something.  Words are now spoken as you
braille.  You can turn this feature off again simply by issuing another
g-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Off, okay".  Try writing in both modes
to find the one that is most comfortable for you.
 
But you may be more interested in tracking what you're reading than what
you're writing in a file.  For example, if you have a set of notes in the
Braille 'n Speak to which you're responding, you might want to write your
comments at the end of the file but not lose your place as you read the notes.
In such a scenario, you want the cursor not to track what you are writing.
 
Turn cursor tracking off from either the Status menu or the Parameters menu.
Enter the Status menu with an st-sign-chord and write a c.  You hear, "Cursor
tracking, on".  Respond with an n and exit the Status menu with an e-chord.
From now on, what you write is appended to the end of your file as always, but
you'll be able to continue reading elsewhere in the file.  Turn cursor
tracking back on by re-entering the Status menu and responding with a y to the
prompt, then exit the Status menu with an e-chord.
 
Or, simply enter the Parameters menu with a p-chord and write a c.  At the
prompt, "Cursor tracking, enter y or n", write a y.  The Braille 'n Speak
confirms, "Okay" to once again track what you are writing.
 
Finally, just one more setting you might want to turn on before we move into
how to edit your work.  On a typewriter, a bell warns you when you're
approaching the end of a line.  Even though you don't have to bother with all
that on the computer because it automatically word wraps for you, there may be
times when you do want to know where you are on a line.  Is there a way to
have the Braille 'n Speak "ring a bell" for you at the appropriate time?
 
Not a bell, a beep.  You can set the beep to go off anywhere from the first to
the 255th character after the last carriage return or carriage return/linefeed
pair.
 
Enter the Status menu with an st-sign-chord (dots 3-4-chord).  Jump to the
setting for column beep by writing a q.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Beep at
column 0" as set from the factory so that no beep goes off at all.  Change the
setting to some number between 0 and 255 (best to set it to something like 70
for a print file, or 40 for a braille file).  The only times you might want to
set it to something longer is for computer programming code, perhaps.  Write
the number in dropped number notation, as always when answering a prompt from
the Braille 'n Speak with numbers.  Then press an e-chord for the Braille 'n
Speak to accept your change, and another e-chord to exit the Status menu.
From now on, as you write, whenever you pass over the column you set - say, 70
- the Braille 'n Speak beeps to let you know.  Turn off column beeping by
resetting it to 0.
 
 
Practice writing.  Don't worry about braille mistakes for now.  We can fix
them, as you'll see in the next chapter.
 
                         CHAPTER 5: EDITING TEXT
 
Like any good word processor, the Braille 'n Speak lets you revise what you
have written.  You can overwrite text, insert new text in between existing
blocks of text, even delete text you no longer want.  The Braille 'n Speak
takes care of moving text aside to make room for new text you're inserting,
and it squeezes things back together again should you decide to get rid of
some text.  And, as we alluded to earlier, it takes care of reformatting your
pages so the layout of your text still looks fine when you print.
 
First, let's try overwriting some text.
 
5.1 Overwriting Text
 
Unless you specifically command the Braille 'n Speak to overwrite or insert
text, you're always adding to the end of the file when you/re writing.  You
can overwrite either a single character or a whole block of text.
 
Write a couple of carriage returns to separate this practice section from your
previous one in the last chapter.  Then write the words, "Today it is warm.",
remembering to write in Grade 2 braille.  Now move your cursor back to the
second character of the word "today".  The best way is probably to move back a
word at a time with dot 2-chords until the Braille 'n Speak says the word
"it".  Press a dot 3-6-chord to see what character you're on.  It should be
the "x" that represents the word "it" in Grade 2 braille.  Now press a dot
3-chord twice to position your cursor on the d of "td", which in Grade 2
braille represents the word "today".
 
We're going to change the "today" to "tonight" by overwriting the d with an n.
Press an ow-sign-chord (dots 2-4-6-chord).  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Overwrite".  Write the letter n.  That's all.  Now read the current word with
a dots 2-5-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak should say, "Tonight".
 
Now, if you want to overwrite more of this sentence, press the ow-sign-chord
again.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Continuous overwrite".  All this means is
that when you write a character, it replaces the one under the cursor instead
of jumping to the end of the file and adding it there.
 
So in our present example, move your cursor onto the w of "warm" (and we'll
assume that you wrote it in Grade 2 braille).  Now press the ow-sign-chord and
hear, "Overwrite".  Press it again and you'll hear, "Continuous overwrite".
From now on, everything you write will overwrite the character under the
cursor.  To turn off continuous overwrite mode, simply press the ow-sign-chord
once more and the Braille 'n Speak says, "Off".
 
What you hear when you're overwriting depends on how you have your Braille 'n
Speak set to respond to what you write.  Review Section 4.10 that discusses
the various writing modes, if you're unclear about this.
 
Basically, if you have the Braille 'n Speak set to echo your keystrokes, when
you overwrite a character, you hear first the character you just wrote, then
the character that is now under the cursor.  So in our example, as we start to
write the characters for the word "cold" to replace "warm", you hear,
"Overwrite c ar".  That's because the "ar" is one braille character, of
course.  Now write the o and you hear, "Overwrite o m" because the "ar" has
been replaced by the "o" you just wrote and the "m" is now under the cursor.
 
If you are using a silent keyboard, you'll just hear the character onto which
the cursor has moved but not the character you just wrote.
 
You don't necessarily have to replace every character in succession.  You
could skip a word, a line, or whatever.  You can go ahead and read any of the
text in your file, jumping around with the usual chord commands you use to
read.  Even the Find command works while in Continuous Overwrite mode.  When
you're ready to overwrite something else, just move the cursor to that
character and start writing.
 
Don't worry if you forget to turn off Continuous Overwrite when you turn off
your Braille 'n Speak.  That, and changing to work on another file, turns it
off just as well.  The only thing you may want to keep in mind is that, if you
overwrite the last character in your file and forget to turn off Continuous
Overwrite, you'll keep overwriting that last character, instead of appending
to the end of your file.
 
But what happens if you are appending to the end of your file and want to back
up - for example, over a word you misspelled.  We look at backspacing next. 
 
5.2 Backspacing and Rubbing Out a Character
 
Finish overwriting "warm" with "cold" and then turn off Continuous Overwrite
with an ow-sign-chord.  You should hear, "Off".
 
Now write the word "file".  Recall that the Braille 'n Speak takes you forward
to the end of the file and what you write gets appended to the last character
in your file.  So, since the last word in the file is "cold", we've just added
the word "file" right after the previous sentence without a period, a space, a
carriage return or anything.  That won't do at all.
 
We could simply delete this last word "file", couldn't we?  Well, not the way
it is now, we couldn't.  It's attached to the previous word.  The Braille 'n
Speak isn't smart enough to know that "coldfile" is two words.  That's our
mistake.  We'd better delete this word "file" by backspacing over each
character and deleting it as we backspace.  To do this, press a b-chord.  The
Braille 'n Speak may or may not say anything, depending on how a certain
telecommunications setting, duplex, is set, and we'll discuss duplex in
Section 13.2.3.  For now though, just check out what the current character is
with a dot 3-6-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak should say, "l".  That means it
back spaced over and erased the e in "file" and the cursor is now on the l.
Press three more b-chords and then a dots 3-6-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak
should now say, "d".  That of course is the "d" of "cold.  Why not add a
period to complete that sentence.
 
Try backspacing over a few more characters, putting some back and backspacing
over them again, maybe even overwriting some of them.
 
Our next challenge is deleting text.  So let's move along.
 
* 5.3 Deleting Text
 
You can delete blocks of text regardless of where the text is located.  The
Braille 'n Speak lets you delete one or more chunks of text at a time.  You
can throw away blocks of text, groups of characters, words, lines, sentences,
and paragraphs.  You can delete from the current cursor location to another
point in the file or to the end of the file.  And you can even empty out the
file completely, but be careful with that.  It may be hard to recover deleted
text later on.
 
The text you delete from your file goes into the Clipboard file, a temporary
"trash can" of sorts.  But that trash can is always being emptied out, so you
may not be able to retrieve something from it if you change your mind.  For
example, if you delete something, then insert text, or use the Braille 'n
Speak's calendar, calculator, or clock, the text you deleted is gone.  In
effect, the trash collector came by and emptied the trash can of the deleted
text, and somebody else came by and put other stuff in it.  This is why the
Clipboard file is so handy, but also rather like a sieve.  You have to move
fast to retrieve deleted text.
 
The Braille 'n Speak's Clipboard is one Braille 'n Speak page in length.  As
we described it earlier, this "page" is 4,096 characters worth of space.  If
you delete a larger block of text than one Braille 'n Speak page, you hear,
"Clipboard overflow".  In effect, the trash can was full and the rest of the
text spilled out.  Too bad.  The only text you can retrieve (if you move fast)
is the first 4,096 characters of the deleted block of text.
 
To prevent this from happening however, there is a way to make the Clipboard
bigger than one Braille 'n Speak page.  Check out Section 6.9 to see how to
change a file's size.  The Clipboard is a file after all, just like your other
files.  Your Braille 'n Speak uses it to hold data temporarily.  But you can
alter its original size if you know you're going to be manipulating large
chunks of text.
 
* There are two ways to handle the contents of the trash can.  When you delete
text, you can empty the Clipboard each time you delete something, or you can
add to the pile of deleted text in the Clipboard instead.  If you empty out
the Clipboard each time you delete, you probably won't be able to recover any
data later on because that text will have been lost.  But if you add to the
pile of deleted text in the Clipboard, you might be able to recover some of it
later if you find you need it back.
 
Even if you don't make the Clipboard bigger, sometimes you can recover deleted
text.  We talk about how to recover data in general in Appendix A, COMMONLY
ASKED QUESTIONS.  Right now, let's focus on how to delete text within our
currently open file, "practice".
 
Since deleting text can be a tricky business, the Braille 'n Speak makes you
work a little.  Move your cursor onto the beginning of the text you want to
delete, and be very clear about how much you want to delete.  You then need to
enter the Delete Parameters menu.
 
* Like the other menus we've discussed, pressing a c-chord tells you the
current choice, an l-chord brings you to the first choice (block), a dots 4-5-
6-chord brings you to the last choice (cursor to end of text).  Dot 4-chords
move you forward a choice, dot 1-chords move you back a choice.  Or, as we'll
show you here, you can jump to the choice you want by pressing its first
letter.  Once you've selected a choice, execute your deletion  by pressing an
e-chord or an ing-sign-chord (dots 3-4-6-chord).  Pressing an e-chord empties
out the trash can of whatever it had in it before your current deletion and
ing-sign-chord adds your current deletion to the pile that's already in the
trash can. 
 
Here's an example.  Let's start by moving to the top of our file with an
l-chord.  Now read the current line with a c-chord.  It should say, "This is a
practice file to learn how to write in the Braille 'n Speak."  Find out where
the cursor is with a wh-sign-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak should say, "Column
0, cursor at 1".
 
Now enter the Delete Parameters menu with a d-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak
says, "Enter delete parameter".  Let's write a c (for character).  When we
write the c, the Braille 'n Speak says, Character".  It's now waiting for us
to tell it how many characters we want to delete.  If we only want to get rid
of one character, the one currently under the cursor (which happens to be the
dot 6 that capitalizes the word "this" in our text), all we have to do at this
point is press an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak assumes that we meant to
delete only the character under the cursor.  Or, if you're in a real hurry and
just want to delete the character currently under the cursor, just press d-
chord twice.
 
Try that now.  Press a second d-chord.  Press a dots 3-6-chord to read the
character under the cursor.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "th".  It worked.  We
deleted the dot 6 capitalizing the word "this".
 
Now let's suppose we want to delete a few words.  We want to get rid of the
words "this is a".  So let's re-enter the Delete Parameters menu with a
d-chord and at the prompt, "Enter delete parameter", let's write a w.  This
time, however, when the Braille 'n Speak says, "Word", let's write a 3
(remember to write an ASCII 3, a dropped c) and press an e-chord.  Now do a
dots 3- 6-chord to see where the cursor is.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "p".
Press a dots 2-5-chord to read the current word.  The cursor is on the p of
the word "practice".
 
To delete lines, at the prompt, "Enter delete parameter", write an l.  To
delete sentences, write an s.  To delete paragraphs, write a p.  (And remember
that the Braille 'n Speak thinks of a paragraph as all text between two or
more carriage returns.)
 
* Now let's take another example of deleting text but this time let's add the
current deletion to the trash can instead of emptying it.  Using this method
of deleting text can prove useful when you're doing a lot of deletions in a
file and want to be able to recover a deletion you made a while back in the
current editing session.  However, be clear that this process only works as
long as you don't do another kind of activity that affects the Clipboard.  If
you add deleted text to the Clipboard and then perform an insertion, the
deleted text you added to the trash can will be lost.
 
* Get to the end of the currently open file with a dots 4-5-6-chord and press
a carriage return (dots 4-6-chord).  Write, "This is a test of adding deleted
text to the Clipboard."  Finish with another carriage return.  Then move your
cursor back to the beginning of the text you just wrote.  You should be on the
dot 6 of the first word, "This" and we're about to delete this whole line of
text just as before, except that now, we'll add the deleted line to the
Clipboard instead of emptying out the Clipboard first and then placing this
text in it.
 
* Press a d-chord to enter the Delete Parameters menu.  Write an l so we can
delete the current line.  Then press an ing-sign-chord to execute the
deletion.  Your Braille 'n Speak says, "Appended, okay."  The line we just
deleted is now in the Clipboard appended to whatever text was already there
from a previous deletion or insertion or whatever.
 
All of these Delete parameters work the same way as outlined above in the
examples of deleting a character and deleting words.  In summary, to delete a
single chunk of text, you place your cursor somewhere within the text you want
to delete, enter the Delete Parameters menu with a d-chord, write the
appropriate parameter - for character, word, line, sentence or paragraph - and
press an e-chord.  To delete groups of characters, words, lines, sentences and
paragraphs, you need to follow the parameter letter designation with a number,
and then press an e-chord.
 
Incidentally, when deleting sentences, you don't have to be in Read by
Sentence mode.  However, when you delete lines, it's a good idea to be in Read
by Lines mode - to be on the safe side. 
To delete from the current cursor location to the end of the file, write a z
at the prompt, "Enter delete parameter".  The Braille 'n Speak says, "All?"
If you press an e-chord, all text from your current cursor location to the
very last character in the file is zapped away.  But be aware that, even
though your text is gone, the file size is still the same.  It's not as if you
ripped pages out of your binder.  It's more as if you took an eraser and wiped
out all the writing on those pages but kept the pages themselves.
 
Oops, we changed our minds and don't want to delete anything after all.  Or,
we do want to delete something but realize we haven't placed the cursor on the
text we want to delete and we've already pressed a d-chord.
 
The easiest way to abort a delete command is to press a z-chord from wherever
you are in the deleting process.  Of course, once you've pressed an e-chord,
it's too late.  The Braille 'n Speak has executed your delete command.  As
mentioned earlier, you might be able to recover from such a mistake if you
move fast.  But we won't complicate matters here with that procedure.  Just
know that you might be able to retrieve text out of the trash can if you
haven't closed the lid yet, so to speak.
 
What if we want to wipe out the contents of this file - sort of like erasing a
blackboard.  Understand that we're not talking about deleting the file itself
here - just its contents.
Here again, you can use the z for zapping the contents away.
 
Let's go through an example of zapping a file's contents (or part of a file)
without deleting the file itself.
 
Get to the physical Page 2 that we created a little while ago.  We'll erase
everything that's on that page.  First, get to the top of the file with an
l-chord so that we're all starting from the same place.  Find the "hard" page
break control character.
 
Remember how to use the Find command and how to write control characters?
Press an f-chord.  At the prompt, "Enter text to find", press an x-chord
followed by an l.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Control l".  Then press an
e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak should say, "This is Page 2."  Yes, that's what
we had written after that control-l.  Good.
 
Let's get rid of the junk that we wrote for practice on Page 2.  Check what's
under the cursor first, though.  Press a dots 3-6-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak
says, "Control-l".  Do we want to get rid of the formfeed character?  No.  We
still want to have a physical Page 2.  We just want to get rid of all the text
on it.  So let's move a character to the right with a dot 6- chord.  Now we
should be on the dot 6 of the first word after the control-l.  Enter the
Delete Parameters menu with a d-chord.  When the Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter
delete parameter", write a z.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "All".  Press an
e-chord.  Now the Braille 'n Speak says, "Okay."  What's under the cursor?
Check it out with a dots 3-6-chord.  It should be on the control-l.
 
We suggest you practice deleting text for a bit.  Write some junk text.  Then
move your cursor to various places within the file and delete different
portions of text.  Write a couple of sentences and get into "Read by Sentence"
mode.  Then delete a sentence.  Try deleting the entire contents of the file,
too.  After all, this is only practice.  You can't lose anything important. 
 
Next, we're going to look at inserting text.  So we'll assume that you're
starting with a blank practice file again.
 
5.4 Inserting Text
 
As we have pointed out, when you write, text is appended to the end of the
file, unless you specifically issue a command to overwrite existing text or to
insert text prior to the end of the file.
 
You can insert up to one Braille 'n Speak page (4,096 characters worth of
text) at one time anywhere in your currently open file.  In fact, there's a
way you can insert even more text than that at one time, as we'll see shortly.
 
When you issue the Insert command, you enter an "Insert buffer" - a scratchpad
of sorts.  This is called the Clipboard.  Yes, it is that same file that
served as a trash can for deleting text in the last section.  You'll recall
that the text is not actually "thrown away" into the trash can until you press
an e-chord or perform some other function (like inserting text).  Similarly,
when you're inserting text, it is not actually moved from the Clipboard and
added to your file until you press an e-chord.
 
If you decide to cancel the insertion, you can press a z-chord at any time and
no text is inserted into your file.  Until you perform another function - like
deleting text, using the Braille 'n Speak's calendar, calculator, or clock -
the text you had started to insert remains in the Clipboard.  This is why
we're calling it a scratchpad for inserting text, rather than a trash can, as
we did for deleting text.
 
While in the scratchpad, you can use the backspace (b-chord) to erase
characters, just as you can when you're writing).  And you can see what you've
written thus far by pressing a c-chord.  In fact, all the reading commands
work while you're in Insert mode.
 
As with the trash can for deleting text, a scratchpad can also run out of room
to scribble the text you want to insert.  If you plan to insert large blocks
of text into a file, you should make the Clipboard big enough to hold the
block.  Otherwise, you'll have to keep inserting segments of the large block
of text no bigger than 4,096 characters each.  That can be time-consuming and
confusing with a large block of text.
 
Generally, you move large blocks around when you're copying from one file to
another, and we'll show you later on how to "paste" text from the Clipboard
into your files.
 
For now though, let's take a simple example of inserting text.  Let's write a
sentence in our empty file, "practice".  Make sure you're at the top of the
file with an l-chord and that it's empty with a c-chord.  If it is, when you
press a c-chord you'll hear, "File is empty".
 
Write, "This is a practice session on how to insert text into a file."  Let's
add the word "learning" before the word "how".  Move your cursor back to the
word "how" by pressing dot 2-chords until the Braille 'n Speak says, "how".
Press a dots 3-6-chord to see what's under the cursor.  It should be on the
"h" of "how".  Now press an i-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Insert mode
active".  Write the word "learning" followed by a space, then press an e-chord
to let the Braille 'n Speak insert the text.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Okay".
 
Now check what's under the cursor.  It should be on the space, the last
character you inserted.  Read the entire sentence with a c-chord.  It now
says, "This is a practice session on learning how to insert text into a file".
 
Later, you'll see how easy it is to insert calculation results or calendar
information into your file without retyping it.  We'll discuss those more
sophisticated features in their respective sections in Section III.
 
Practice writing text and inserting things within it, deleting text, etc.  Get
comfortable with these word processing basics before you move on to the next
section on "cutting and pasting" text.
 
* 5.5 Copying Text into Your File
 
* The Clipboard can also be a temporary storage area for text you want to move
or copy from one place to another in your file, or even between files.  In
Section 6.10 we'll talk about copying the contents of an entire file into the
currently open file, but here we'll concentrate on copying and moving text
within our currently open file, "practice".
 
* As we saw in Section 5.3, the Clipboard can store text you put into it in a
couple of different ways.  Remember that when you're deleting text, you have
the option of emptying the trash can (the Clipboard) every time you delete
something, or adding the text you're deleting to whatever's already in the
Clipboard.  When you copy text into the Clipboard, the process is somewhat
similar.  That is, you can empty the Clipboard before you copy your text into
it, or you can append the text you're copying into the Clipboard to whatever's
already in the Clipboard.  Again, it's critical to keep in mind that whichever
method you choose, when you perform another activity that affects the
Clipboard, any text in the Clipboard at that time is wiped out so these
methods are only temporary means of storing data.
 
To copy or move a chunk of text, you have to mark one end of it.  Then you can
work with the block of text preceding or following the mark.
 
Start out with a clean slate.  Empty out your file and write the sentence,
"This is a practice session on learning how to copy text into a file."  Follow
this sentence with two carriage returns to prepare us for a new paragraph.
 
Now let's copy the text, "This is a practice session ", including the space
after the word "session".  We'll put it after the two carriage returns.  To do
this, find the beginning of the text we want to copy.  In this case, it's
easy.  Simply go to the top of the file with an l-chord.  To mark the
beginning of the text, press an m-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Mark,
okay."  Now move your cursor forward with dot 5-chords until you're on the
word "on".  Essentially, what we're doing is marking the beginning of the text
we want to work with and marking its end by placing the cursor where we want
to stop.
 
* To copy this marked text into the Clipboard, press a gh-sign-chord (dots
1-2-6-chord).  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Copy or Append, press c or a".
Write a c if you want to wipe out the contents of the Clipboard before your
text is copied into it.  Write an a if you want the text you're copying to be
added to whatever's already in the Clipboard.  If you write a c, the Braille
'n Speak responds with, "Copied."  If you write an a, the Braille 'n Speak
says, "Appended".  In either case, you're left exactly where you started from
when you began this copying process.
 
* For our example, we'll respond to the prompt, "Copy or Append, press c or a"
with a c so that the text we're copying into the Clipboard is the only text in
the Clipboard.  If we went to the file called Clipboard now, we'd see that our
marked text, "This is a practice session ", is stored there.  Let's copy this
marked text from the Clipboard back into our file.
 
By the way, notice that the text is not removed from your file.  If you press
a c-chord, you hear, "This is a practice session on learning how to copy text
into a file."  Press a dots 4-5-6-chord to get to the end of the file.  Then
press an ing-sign-chord (dots 3-4-6-chord).  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Paste
what?"  Write a letter c to copy the contents of the Clipboard into your file.
Since you can paste other information into a file, such as a date from the
calendar, you must respond to the prompt "Paste what?", in this case with a c
(for "Clipboard").  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Clipboard, okay".  If
Interactive mode is on, it adds, "This is a practice session."
 
* Also, keep in mind that we chose to empty the Clipboard before we copied
text into it.  So when we invoked the ing-sign-chord to paste text from the
Clipboard back into our file, or to another file for that matter, the only
text that got pasted was the text we had copied into the clipboard.
 
* But suppose, on the other hand, we added the text we wanted to copy into the
Clipboard, and the Clipboard already had other text in it - say, from a
previous deletion.  In that case, when we invoke the ing-sign-chord to paste
the text we had copied into the Clipboard back into our file, everything in
the Clipboard would get pasted - the text we had copied and whatever else had
been in the Clipboard before.
 
* Such a situation can either be wonderful or disastrous unless you're
careful.  So plan ahead when answering the gh-sign-chord prompt that says,
"Copy or Append, press c or a".  If you do choose to add text to the
Clipboard, make sure you know exactly what the Clipboard already has stored in
it or you could be very surprised at what gets pasted into your file.
 
Back in our example now, let's  see what's under the cursor.  With a dots
3-6-chord, you'll see that the cursor is on the dot 6 of the word "This".
 
But wait a minute?  Didn't we say earlier that the Braille 'n Speak always
appends text to the end of the file?  Why did we have to do a dots 4-5-6-chord
to get to the end of the file before copying the text from the Clipboard?
Let's find out.
 
Go back to the top of the file with an l-chord.  Press an ing- sign-chord,
then write a c).  Now read the current line.  We think you'll hear, "This is a
practice session This is a practice session on learning how to copy text into
a file."  What happened?  The Braille 'n Speak inserted the text where your
cursor was, not at the end of the file.  Text gets appended to the end of the
file only when you are writing it, not when you're copying it.
 
Incidentally, having a mark at a significant place in your file, such as a
particular account number you're always needing to look up, means that you can
jump to that mark quickly.  Just press a number-sign-chord followed by an m.
You may recall that pressing the number-sign-chord brings up the prompt,
"Move."  But this command also recognizes marks.  Pressing number-sign-chord m
immediately jumps you to the mark and your Braille 'n Speak will read you the
first line of the marked text. 
 
But what a mess we made in our example.  Let's get rid of this extra garbage
before we get thoroughly mixed up.
 
5.6 Deleting Blocks of Text
 
There are two methods for deleting a portion of text.
 
The first way to prepare a portion of text for deletion is to mark one end of
it, just as we did for copying in the previous section.
 
Get to the top of the file with an l-chord and press an m-chord.  The Braille
'n Speak says, "Marked, okay."  Now move the cursor to the second occurrence
of the word "This".
 
Enter the Delete Parameters menu with a d-chord.  At the prompt, "Enter delete
parameter", write an m.  The Braille 'n Speak confirms, "Mark".  Enter an
e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Okay".  Now read the current line.
You'll hear, "This is a practice session on learning how to copy text into a
file."  Whew! That extra text is gone.
 
The second way to prepare a portion of text for deletion is to block it from
the current cursor location to the next occurrence of a particular word (or
string of characters).  Place your cursor on the first character of the text
you want to delete.  Enter the Delete Parameters menu and at the "Enter delete
parameter" prompt, write a b (for block delete).  Then write the specific
string of characters that marks the place where you want deletion to stop.
Press an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak finds the next occurrence of the
string you provided and deletes everything from your current cursor location
up to (but not including) that string of characters.
 
Here's an example.  Empty out your "practice" file first so we're all starting
at the same place.  Then write, "This is a practice session.  We are learning
about  block copying and block deleting."
 
You want to get rid of some text, but you don't want to start all over again.
So move your cursor to the beginning of the sentence (in our case, the top of
the file).  We want to take everything out up to the word "we".  Press a d-
chord to bring up the Delete Parameters menu, and at the "Enter delete
parameter" prompt, write a b.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Block".  Then write
the word "We".  (If your file is in Grade 2 braille, as we assume here, you
should make sure to include the dot 6 which capitalizes "We" in the sentence.
Otherwise, everything is deleted, including the dot 6, and your sentence will
start with a lowercase letter "w".)  End your character string with an e-
chord.
 
The block of text is gone and your cursor should now be on the dot 6 that
capitalizes "We" and, since your cursor had been at the beginning of the file,
it should still be there, except that now the first word in the file is "We".
 
Play around with the concepts of copying text from one place to another and
deleting blocks of text.  In Section 6.10, we'll learn how to copy an entire
file into your currently open file.  Oh well, if you happen to copy the wrong
file into the one you have open, at least now you know how to delete all that
unwanted text.  Right now, let's turn to another powerful editing tool, the
Find and Replace function.
 
5.7 Find and Replace Text
 
A computer's ability to replace text can be a gold mine and save you a lot of
retyping, but if you replace the wrong text, you could find yourself with a
massive editing job ahead of you, so read through this section with care.
Let's see how it works.
 
You begin with the f-chord that we learned about in Section 3.5.2.  When you
hear the prompt, "Enter text to find", you write the text you want the Braille
'n Speak to look for, but instead of pressing an e-chord as we showed you to
have the Braille 'n Speak perform the search, press an r-chord.
 
The Braille 'n Speak then says, "Enter replacement text."  Write the new text
that you want to replace the old text, and press an e-chord so that the
Braille 'n Speak knows what the new text is.
 
Now you hear, "Replace, Skip, All."  Write the first letter of your choice (r,
s, or a).
 
Selecting r replaces the current occurrence of the text you asked the Braille
'n Speak to find with the text you want to substitute.
 
Selecting s tells the Braille 'n Speak to skip this occurrence of the text you
asked it to find and to go find the next occurrence.  When it finds that next
occurrence, the Braille 'n Speak asks you the question again, "Replace, Skip
All."
 
You could go along in this way, checking each occurrence of the text you want
found and possibly replaced.  Press a c-chord when you arrive at an occurrence
of the text to make sure whether you want to replace it or skip it.
 
If you're definitely sure that you want to replace all occurrences of the text
you asked the Braille 'n Speak to find, select the letter a from the prompt,
"Replace Skip All".  We suggest great caution - at least at first - with a
"global" replacement.  You'll see why in our next example.
 
Suppose you're writing an article about the TV show, "Entertainment Tonight",
often referred to as ET.  Who wants to write out the full name of the program
each time it's mentioned?  In the days of the typewriter, you had no choice.
But now you can just write ET throughout your article and then do a "global"
replacement of the abbreviation when you're finished.
 
In this particular example, what do you think happens if you replace every
instance of "et" with the real name of the program.  Words like, better, meet,
and countless others, are captured as well and you have a lot of work ahead of
you to clean up the mess.
 
 
But if you had the setting for distinguishing capital letters turned on and
searched only for the letters "ET", a global replacement of that abbreviation
could save you a lot of time and energy.
 
The point is that you have to be very careful when replacing text globally.
It's an invaluable tool and experience will show you how to wield it
effectively.  Meanwhile, we suggest you practice.
 
One especially treacherous pit that most word processing geniuses have fallen
into at one time or another has to do with replacing format strings or control
characters.  For example, don't think you can just replace every instance of a
carriage return with a space, or two spaces with just one, or a bunch of
asterisks that make a pretty border around text with nothing at all.  If, for
instance, there are 65 asterisks going across a line to make a demarkation
visually between one set of text and the next, and you tell the Braille 'n
Speak to replace every two asterisks with nothing so that you can have a
braille file free of these extraneous decorations, guess what happens when you
replace them all?
 
That's right.  You still have one left.  See, since there were 65 of them, and
you told the Braille 'n Speak to take out each set of two, there's one left
over.  This is only a minor example of using global replacement without
thinking it through carefully.
 
On the other hand, the time saved in not having to write out "Braille 'n
Speak" every time we've use the phrase throughout this manual is a real
godsend.  We promise you.  Every instance of "bns" turns into "Braille 'n
Speak".  But even here, we had to be careful because there are a handful of
times when we do want to use that abbreviation.
 
Again, we recommend that you practice writing some text and then replacing
parts of it till you're comfortable with the concept.
 
 
In the next chapter, you'll discover how to manipulate files themselves.  But
before you tackle that, get real comfortable with all of the concepts we
covered in this chapter.  We've covered a lot of ground.
                      
CHAPTER 6: MANIPULATING FILES
 
As you've seen, the Braille 'n Speak lets you create files to enter your
personal data.  Soon you'll have many files in your Braille 'n Speak and will
need to do things like rename them, change their sizes, and simply open them
to read and write in them.  You might want to look at a list of your files,
delete ones you no longer need and create new ones.  All of these options are
handled through the Files menu.
 
Let's use our currently open "practice" file as a starting point to explore
the Files menu.
 
What's the name of the currently open file?  When we turn on the Braille 'n
Speak, we hear, "Braille 'n Speak Ready, filename is open".  Recall that the
Braille 'n Speak knows what file you were in and where your cursor was within
that file the last time you turned it off.  So when you turn the Braille 'n
Speak on again, hearing that file's name is very helpful.
 
But what if you're working in a file and get interrupted by a long phone call,
or if you can't remember what file you were working in before lunch (and you
forgot to turn off the Braille 'n Speak).  Hopefully, you weren't running on
battery, wasting valuable battery time.  Anyway, you just want to know the
name of the file that's open.  You could press a z-chord - normally used to
abort commands - from anywhere within your currently open file to hear its
name, size and whether braille translation is on for this file.
 
Since we're concentrating on the Files menu options in this chapter however,
let's see how to find out its name from there.  Enter the Files menu.
Remember how we did this before to create our "practice" file?
 
First, enter the Options menu with an o-chord and the Braille 'n Speak says,
"Option".  Then jump to the choice by writing an f.  You are prompted, "Enter
file command".  Write a t to hear, "practice, one page, braille file is open;
enter file command".
 
This tells us that the open file is our "practice" file, that it is one
Braille 'n Speak "page" in size, and that it is a "braille" or Grade 2 file.
Finally, we hear the Files menu prompt again, "Enter file command".
To get back into the file wherever you had stopped in it, just exit the Files
menu with a letter e.  Notice that you don't have to press an e-chord, just an
e.  "Exit" is one of the choices on the Files menu.  Any time you want to exit
the Files menu to return to your currently open file, simply write an e and
the Braille 'n Speak says, "Exit".
 
* By the way, pressing an e-chord or a z-chord also exits the Files menu.  And
now there's a way to view the myriad choices available to you in the Files
menu in case you don't remember how to jump to a particular one with a single
keystroke from the "Enter file command" prompt.
 
* 6.1 Exploring the File Command Menu
 
There are so many things you can do with the Files menu that we decided to
include a way from within the Files menu for you to view a list of all its
commands.  It's true that you can simply invoke a Files menu command with a
single keystroke and most of them are very intuitive (like c for "Create a
file").  But there are just so many that having a list of them readily
available is helpful.  In the following sections of this chapter, we'll go
through many of the commands you can issue from within the Files menu, but in
the present section, let's just check out the list of commands the Files menu
has available.
 
From wherever you are in your currently open file, press an o-chord to bring
up the Options menu, then write an f to hear the prompt, "Enter file command."
From the "Enter file command" prompt, press a th-sign-chord (dots 1-4-5-6-
chord).  Notice that this is the same command that invokes help from within
your currently open file.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "File Command menu" and
waits for you to press something else.
 
Now, recall from our exploration of the Status menu way back in Chapter One
that there are certain standards for navigating around a menu or list on the
Braille 'n Speak.  These also hold true here.  Press a c-chord to hear the
current command choice, in this case, "Exit Files menu".  Press a dot 4-chord
to hear the next command choice, "Create file".  Press a dot 1-chord to hear
the previous one, the one we were just on, "Exit Files menu".  Pressing dots
4-5-6-chord takes you to the last command choice in the list, ""Change name of
current folder", and pressing an l-chord takes you back to the first command
choice, "Exit Files menu".
 
There are so many Files menu commands that we won't spend time here listing
them all but see Appendix B for a complete list.  For the remainder of this
chapter, we'll concentrate on the commands you use the most from within the
Files menu and in other sections of this manual, we cover the other commands
available from within the Files menu where appropriate.
 
To exit the list of commands available in the Files menu and hear the "Enter
file command" prompt itself again, simply write an invalid keystroke, like a z
for instance, and you'll hear, "Invalid file command, enter file command".  Or
point to one of the valid command choices in the command list with dot 4-
chords and dot 1-chords and press an e-chord to invoke it.
 
So for example, from the command list prompt, "File Command menu", press a c-
chord and hear, "Exit Files menu", then a dot 4-chord and hear, "Create file",
pressing an e-chord at this point causes the Braille 'n Speak to prompt you,
"Enter name of file to create".  Remember, you can always abort the process
with a z-chord.  So do that now if you don't really want to create a new file
at this time.
 
If you press a z-chord from within the File Command menu, you get kicked out
of the Files menu altogether and end up back in your currently open file
wherever you left off, not at the "Enter file command" prompt.  So it's
important to know where you are in this process or you could find yourself
writing something in your currently open file that you intended to be a
response to a Files menu command.  Just be clear that you understand:  When
you press o-chord and then write an f, you hear, "Enter file command."  This
is a prompt from the Files menu itself.  When you press a th-sign-chord and
hear, "File command menu", you're in a list of available commands within the
Files menu.
 
Experiment a bit.  Navigate around the File Command menu a little before
moving onto the rest of this chapter.  There's a lot to cover.  So don't move
on until you're ready.
 
6.2 Listing Your Files
 
Right now you should have very few files in your Braille 'n Speak: some from
the factory and the "practice" file we created together.  But as we keep
stressing, it won't be long before you have many files in your Braille 'n
Speak.  So let's see how to get a listing of the files you have and how to
move from file to file.
 
Remember how to get into the Files menu?  From your currently open file, press
an o-chord and then write an f to bring up the prompt, "Enter file command."
 
From the Files menu, write the letter l to check out your current list of
files, write a q to get a "quick" list (just the filenames), or write a v to
get a "verbose" list (with all relevant file information about each file).
Press a v-chord to copy your files list temporarily to the Clipboard.
 
Let's check out how many files we have.  You should be in your "practice"
file.  It doesn't matter what text you have in it right now.  We'll just
assume that you're starting from there. 
 
Get into the Files menu with an o-chord followed by the letter f.  At the
prompt "Enter file command", write an l.  The Braille 'n Speak should say
something like this: "File list; Help, 6 pages; Clipboard, 1 page;
Calendar.brl, 1 page, braille file; Spell.dic, 86 pages; Practice, 1 page,
braille file; 67 pages remaining, enter file command."  The number of "pages"
remaining depends on the number of files that came with your unit from the
factory, of course, and also depends on the sizes of your files.  This is just
an example.
 
Notice that, at the end of the list, you hear, "Enter file command."  You're
still in the Files menu after hearing your file list.
 
Let's check that our "practice" file is still the currently open file with a
t.  The Braille 'n Speak should say, "practice, one page, braille file, is
open.  Enter file command".
 
For practice purposes, let's create a couple of new files before we look at
how to move from file to file.  Create a file called "temp" for "temporary"
and another called "names".  We'll use the "names" file as an address book
later on.  We'll walk you through creating the "temp" file and let you create
"names" by yourself.
 
To create the file "temp", press an o-chord and at the "Option" prompt, write
an f to enter the Files menu.  At the prompt "Enter file command", write a c.
The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter file to create."  Write "temp" and press an
e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter the file size".  Let's make this a
file with two Braille 'n Speak "pages" so that we can play with the size of
this "temp" file later.  Write a 2 (dropped b) and press an e-chord.  The
Braille 'n Speak now says, "Use Grade 2 translator, enter y or n".  Write a y.
The Braille 'n Speak says, "temp now open".
 
Go ahead and create the "names" file.  You'll be in that file ready to write
something when you finish creating it.  If you like, you may enter a few names
and addresses, phone numbers, etc.  A good idea is to write a single carriage
return between each part of an entry and a double carriage return between
entries.
 
For example, "Jane Doe, carriage return, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  carriage
return, Washington, DC, double carriage return; John Doe, single carriage
return, 555-1234, double carriage return ..."
 
This way, you can move from entry to entry by simply pressing dots 5-6-chords
to move forward or dots 2-3-chords to move backward.
 
We'll assume that you're in the file "names" as we proceed with our next
topic, showing you how to move from file to file.
 
* 6.3 Navigating Through Your Files
 
Now let's explore moving from the beginning to the end of our existing files,
checking out the names of each file along the way.  We know how to get a list
of all the files, but how do we quickly find the first file, or the last one
or one somewhere in the middle?
 
Each file in the Braille 'n Speak is numbered, starting with 0 for the Help
file.  Moving to a file does not mean you can read it or write in it.  All
we're doing is "pointing" to files - physically moving to the place in the
Braille 'n Speak's memory where the file is located, something like finding
the "tab" in our "binder" of files.  When you find a tab, you check out its
name and either turn to the pages within it or you move to the next tab, or
the previous one, or skip to the last one or the first one in your binder.
That's all we're doing here.
 
To move from file to file, get into the Files menu with an o-chord followed by
an f.  At the "Enter file command" prompt, you can do the following:
 
To move to the first file, press an l-chord.  To move to the last file, press
a dots 4-5-6-chord.  To move back one file in the list, press a dot 1-chord
and to move to the next one in the list, press a dot 4-chord.
 
To see the name of the file you're currently pointing to, press a c-chord and
to spell out its name, press a dots 2-5-chord.
 
Does anything sound familiar about these commands?  They sound suspiciously
similar to the commands for navigating around a currently open file - finding
the top of a file with an l-chord, reading the current line with a c-chord,
spelling the current word with a dots 2-5-chord, etc.  You can memorize the
Files menu commands to move from file to file quickly by remembering how
similar they are to the ones you already know.  The major difference is that
when you use one of these commands from within the Files menu, it points to a
file.  Then it  reads you the file's name, the number of pages it contains,
and whether braille translation is active for that file.
 
* If all you want to hear is a file's name, though, without any other
information about it, from within the Files menu just press dot 3-chord to
move back a file and dot 6-chord to move forward a file.  The Braille 'n Speak
says the file's name and waits for you to enter another Files menu command.
 
* Remember that all you're doing with dot 3-chord and dot 6-chord (just as
with dot 1-chord and dot 4-chord) is pointing to a file's name.  If you exit
the Files menu after hearing a file's name, you'll find yourself back in
whatever file you had open before you brought up the Files menu.  Shortly,
we'll show you how to open a file once you're pointing to it from within the
Files menu.  But first, practice navigating through the files list itself.
 
From your currently open file, "names", press an o-chord followed by an f to
get the prompt, "Enter file command".  Now press an l-chord.  The Braille 'n
Speak should say something like, "File number 0, Help, 6 pages".
 
* Now press a dot 4-chord to hear, "Clipboard, 1 page."  Press another dot
4-chord to hear, "Calendar.brl, 1 page, braille file."  Press a dot 1-chord to
go back a file and hear, "Clipboard, 1 page."  Press a dots 2-5-chord to hear
the name of this file spelled out, "File number 1, Clipboard, c l i p b o a r
d, 1 page".  Press a dot 6-chord to hear just the name of the next file in the
list ("calendar.brl", and then a dot 3-chord to hear the previous file's name
again, "clipboard".
 
Just for fun, let's see what happens when you write a t.  (Maybe you can't
remember which file you last opened.) The Braille 'n Speak should say, "names,
1 page, braille file, is open.  Enter file command."  Now press a c-chord.
The Braille 'n Speak says, "Clipboard, 1 page."  Why?  Even though our
currently open file is "names", we're looking at the "tab" for the file called
"Clipboard".  See the difference?
 
The file we're pointing to may not be the one that's open.  If we want to open
the file we're pointing to, we have to tell the Braille 'n Speak to open that
file with an o-chord.
 
Knowing whether the file you're pointing to in the Files list is currently
open is crucial.  Basically, you can issue a Files menu command to affect a
file in two ways: if the file is already open, you can affect it with a
command from the Files menu by writing the first letter of the command (for
example, r for Rename).  But if the file is not open, you must point to it
first and issue the command from the Files menu with its corresponding
letter-chord command (for example, an r-chord for Rename).
 
Let's look at how to open a file next.
 
6.4 Opening an Existing File
 
So we're moving along, checking the names of our files and run across the one
we want to open, even though we already have "names" open.  We stopped at
"Clipboard".  That's not a good file to open because that's the Braille 'n
Speak's trash can, scratchpad and temporary storage area.
 
Let's get back into our old "practice" file.  At the prompt "Enter file
command", press a few dot 4-chords until you hear, "practice, 1 page, braille
file."  Press an o-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "practice now open".  We
can go ahead and read or write here.
 
What happened to "names"?  How nice that the Braille 'n Speak took care of
closing it and saving that file for us without our having to do anything.
This is a departure from the usual procedures you follow with files on your
standard personal computer.  The Braille 'n Speak is unique in that you never
have to save a file - not when you go to open another file, not when you turn
off the unit.
 
It seems simple enough to open a file by moving to it and opening it with an
o-chord when you have just a few files.  But think about what it would be like
to have to do that if you have thirty files.  What's an easier way?
 
If you know the name of the file you want to open, all you have to do is tell
the Braille 'n Speak its name and the unit will find it and open the file for
you.  For instance, let's say you're in the file "practice" and want to go
back to the file, "names".  Press an o-chord followed by an f to get to the
Files menu prompt, "Enter file command".  Then write the letter o.  The
Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter file to open".  Write out the name of the file
and press an e-chord.  Almost instantaneously the Braille 'n Speak says,
"names now open".
 
If you're in a file and realize you need some information from the file you
last opened, press an o-chord followed by the letter l to bring up that file
again.  You don't even need an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak remembers what
file you opened last and takes you there, placing you at whatever point you'd
stopped in that file.  Pressing o-chord l again returns you to the file from
which you started at the point where you'd stopped working in it.  Or, you can
flip back and forth between these last two files you've opened by pressing
dots 1-2-5-6-chords.
 
So, for example, if you have "names" open, but want to check something in your
"practice" file (which was the file you had opened last), just press an o-
chord l to bring up the "Practice" file.  Then, when you finish getting what
you need from it, return to your "names" file in a flash by pressing another
o-chord l.
 
Even if you turn off the Braille 'n Speak it remembers the last two files you
had opened.  So when you turn the machine on again, not only does it place you
back in the file in which you were last working at the point you had stopped,
it can jump you to the file you had opened before that one and place you at
the point you had stopped in it, as well.  This feature can be especially
useful if you find yourself juggling between, say, your Calendar file and your
"Names" file all the time.
 
Now, for practice, try opening a file that doesn't exist.  Bring up the Files
menu with an o-chord f.  At the prompt, "Enter file command", write "hello"
and press an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Can't find that file.
Enter file command."  This means that the file doesn't exist or that you wrote
an incorrect name.  If you really think you have a file by the name you wrote,
it might be that you spelled it differently.  So you can move around from file
to file with dot 4-chords and dot 1-chords until you're pointing to it, hear
its correct spelling with a dots 2-5-chord, and then open it with an o-chord.
 
And speaking of filenames and how you spell them, take care how you name your
files.  What do you think will happen if you name a file "Mary" using Grade 2
braille?  The Braille 'n Speak will let you name your file that way.  It's not
smart enough to know that you're writing Grade 2 braille when you're in the
Files menu.  Braille translation works only from within a file.
 
What happens when a file called "Mary" written in Grade 2 braille is pointed
to, opened, appears as part of a files list, etc.?  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"comma m greater y."  It sees the dot 6 and "ar" signs all as ASCII symbols,
not as contracted braille.  So we suggest that you always name your files
using uncontracted braille.
 
Oh-oh.  Did you use Grade 2 braille when you created "names"?  If so, don't
worry.  You'll see how to rename it shortly.  But first, let's check out
another way to open files, using a shortcut, numbers.
 
* 6.5 Opening an Existing File by Its Number
 
* Did you notice when we moved from file to file that file numbers as well as
file names were spoken?  When we go to the beginning of the files list from
the Files menu with an l-chord or to the end of the list with a dots
4-5-6-chord and even when we press a c-chord to see the name of the file
currently being pointed to, the Braille 'n Speak always says something like,
"File 0, Help, 6 pages".  This is because files in the Braille 'n Speak's
memory are numbered sequentially.  You can have a maximum of 127 files in RAM
and 992 in Flash, assuming that each file is small.
 
Actually, the number of files you can have in the Braille 'n Speak at any
given time varies with their sizes at that time.  If you have a file with
thirty Braille 'n Speak pages - a substantial size, by the way - chances are,
the total number of files you'll be able to fit in the Braille 'n Speak will
be far less than the upper limits we provide here.  We suggest you create
small files and add Braille 'n Speak "pages" to them as needed, rather than
have valuable space taken up with blank Braille 'n Speak "pages".
 
But to get back to the original point of this section: The Braille 'n Speak
numbers files sequentially.  The Help file is 0, the Clipboard is 1, and so
on.  If you frequently need to jump to a certain file, just open the file by
its number.
 
* Note: It's important to keep in mind that although the Braille 'n Speak can
hold up to 127 files in RAM, you can get to only the first hundred files by
using a two-digit number from 00 through 99.  For files numbered higher than
99, you'll need to open them  through the Files menu.  Also, files stored in
Flash cannot be opened by number.  Technical details are in Appendix A.  For
our present discussion though, let's see an example of opening a two--digit
numbered file located in the RAM portion of your unit.
 
Bring up the Help file from whatever file you're in right now.  What's the
easiest way, remember?  Press a th-sign-chord and the Braille 'n Speak jumps
into the Help file with the prompt, "Help is open".  (Depending on how many
files were loaded into your unit from the factory, the number in our example
may be off.  But go ahead and open the file whose number we suggest anyway for
practice.) For example, let's say that you want to get into the fifth file on
your Braille 'n Speak.  That might be the file we created a little while ago
called "temp".  From the Help file, press an o-chord and you'll hear the
prompt, "Option".  Now instead of getting into the Files menu as we've been
doing, simply write 04, remembering to use dropped numbers.  (Why 04?  The
numbers of the files start with 0 for the Help file; therefore, the fifth file
in the Braille 'n Speak is numbered 04.) The Braille 'n Speak says something
like, "Temp now open."  It's that easy.  You don't even have to press an
e-chord.  In this case, the Braille 'n Speak doesn't need it.
 
What happens if you write the number for a non-existent file, like 9 (given
our present number of six files)?  No problem.  The Braille 'n Speak merely
says, "File doesn't exist" and leaves you exactly where you were in your
currently open file.
 
Of course, if you try to write a file's number in Grade 2 braille, the letter
i, instead of the ASCII dropped i, the Braille 'n Speak will really reject
your request, saying, "Invalid input" and still leave you exactly where you
were in your currently open file.  The thing to be careful of in using the
o-chord from within a file to get to the Options menu is that, if you write a
letter the Braille 'n Speak thinks is a real option, like the letter f we've
been working with, it will take you to that option.  In the case of the letter
f, we already know it's the Files menu.
 
Now let's move forward with several housekeeping file commands.
 
6.6 Renaming a File
 
How about changing the name of our file called "temp" to "drill".  We're just
going to practice doing things to this file as if it had data, so we can play
with it without danger of messing up anything important.
 
We'll assume that your currently open file is "temp".  Let's enter the Files
menu in the usual way with an o-chord followed by an f.  At the "Enter file
command" prompt, write an r.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter filename".
Write the filename "drill" and press an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Okay, enter file command".
 
Note that we're still in the Files menu.  To get back into the currently open
file, now called "drill", all we have to do is write an e to exit the Files
menu.
 
But what if you want to change the name of another file, one that is not
currently open?  The first thing to do is to "point" to the file.  Remember
how that's done?  Let's change the name of the file "names" to "address".  We
don't have to open that file.  We just have to point to it.  So from the Files
menu, at the "Enter file command" prompt, press a couple of dot 4-chords until
you're on "names".  Then press an r-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter
filename".  Write "address" followed by an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak now
says, "Okay, enter file command" just as it did before.  Where will you be
when you press the e to exit the Files menu?  Right.  Back in the file "drill"
because that is the currently open file.
 
 
Notice the difference in the two commands just discussed for renaming a file:
You issue the command with an r if the file is currently open and with an
r-chord if you are pointing to the file but it is not currently open.  Keep
this in mind as we move through the next few commands.  They work the same
way.
 
6.7 Write-Protecting and Unprotecting a File
 
To guard against a serious blunder, such as accidentally deleting your address
file, you can "protect" files from deletion or from being overwritten in some
way.  For files that are absolutely essential, it is a good idea, especially
if you want to try out a new command on the Braille 'n Speak that affects
files (for example, changing its size).  Protecting a file is like putting a
"lock" on it in effect, safeguarding yourself against losing or scrambling its
contents.
 
The Protect and Unprotect commands work the same way as many other commands
within the Files menu.  If a file is already open, writing a p from the Files
menu protects the file.  If the file is not already open, point to it first,
then issue a p-chord command to protect it.  The corresponding command pair is
the letter u and u-chord for Unprotecting files.  Let's go through an example.
 
Open your file called "drill", if you're not already in it.  Now get into the
Files menu with an o-chord followed by an f.  At the "Enter file command"
prompt, write a p.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "File is write-protected; enter
file command."  Exit the Files menu with an e and try writing something in
your "drill" file.
 
Every time you write a character, the Braille 'n Speak says, "File is
write-protected."  Oh, you can read the file just fine.  But now you can't
write anything in it.  In fact, your "drill" file has nothing in it right now
anyway.  But if it did, you would only be able to read its contents, not write
in the file. 
Let's protect our "address" file, shall we?  You wouldn't want to lose that.
Bring up the Files menu with an o-chord followed by an f and at the "Enter
file command" prompt, press some dot 4-chords and dot 1-chords until you're
pointing to "address".  Now press a p-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "File
is write-protected; enter file command".  Great.  Even though the "address"
file is not currently open, we were able to protect it by pointing to it first
and then issuing a p-chord.
 
Now let's get back to our "drill" file and Unprotect it in case we want to
write something in it or do something else with the file.  Just exit the Files
menu with an e.  Remember, you never opened your "address" file, just
protected it.  So now you should be back in "drill".  Bring up the Files menu
and at the "Enter file command" prompt, write a u.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Unprotected; enter file command."  That's fine.  Simply exit the Files menu
with an e and write something in your "drill" file.  You should be able to do
that with no hitches now that the file is unprotected again.
 
Another way to protect a file - not so much from glitches, but for privacy in
the event someone else has access to your Braille 'n Speak - is to put a
password on the file.
 
Enter the Files menu and open the file you want to protect with a password.
Then bring up the Files menu again.  Write a w.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Enter password".  Write a word with special meaning to you that is not likely
to be guessed by others and make sure it contains no more than six characters.
Or, write a set of letters and numbers that means something to you but that
would be gibberish to anyone else.  Press an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak
says, "Enter password again."  Re-enter the same password and press another e-
chord.
 
From now on, when you want to open this file, you'll get the prompt, "Enter
password" each time you press an o-chord from the Files menu to try to get
into the file.
 
If you write an incorrect password, the Braille 'n Speak kicks you into the
Help file, saying, "Help is open."
 
To take the password away from a file, bring up the Files menu and press an o-
chord as if you're going to open it.  At the "Enter password" prompt, press a
dot 5-chord followed by an e-chord.  At the second, "Enter password" prompt,
press another dot 5-chord, followed by another e-chord.  From now on, the file
can be opened again without a password.
 
Next, we'll see how to delete files you no longer need.
 
6.8 Deleting Files
 
Let's delete the file called "drill".  After all, it's just a junk file we're
using for practice.  We'll assume that you're currently in the "drill" file as
we go through this example.  Get into the Files menu and at the "Enter file
command" prompt, write a d.  The Braille 'n Speak says, ""Enter file to
delete".  Write the name of the currently open file, "drill", and press an
e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Delete drill, are you sure; enter y or
n?"  Press a y.  The Braille 'n Speak confirms, "Okay, Help is open; enter
file command."  Since you just deleted the file you had open, the Braille 'n
Speak put you back into the Help file.
 
But now, let's look at a slightly different scenario where the file you want
to delete is not the file that is currently open.  Let's get rid of our file,
"practice".
 
First, get into your file, "address".  It should still be protected from when
we worked through that example.  Don't worry that you can't write in it for
now.
 
Get into the Files menu and at the "Enter file command" prompt, write a d.  At
the prompt, "Enter file to delete", write "practice" followed by an e-chord.
The Braille 'n Speak says, "Delete practice, are you sure; enter y or n?"
Write a y.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Okay, enter file command."
 
Where do you think you'll be when you exit the Files menu with an e?  Right.
Back in your "address" file.  Why?  Because the file you just deleted is not
the file you had open.  So the Braille 'n Speak went out into the binder and
found the file you wanted to delete, chucked it and returned you to your
currently open file.  It's like tossing something in the wastebasket under
your desk.
 
Here's another example of file deletion.  This time, let's look at what
happens when we don't have a file open, but are pointing to a file we want to
delete.  Open up the Help file with a th-sign-chord.  Get into the Files menu
and at the prompt "Enter file command", use dot 4-chords till you reach the
file "address".  You're pointing to it, but it is not open.  Press a d-chord.
The Braille 'n Speak says, "File is write-protected".  Good.  Remember, we had
protected the "address" file from just this kind of potential disaster.
 
If the "address" file had not been protected though, the Braille 'n Speak
would still have a safeguard for you.  The prompt would have been, "Delete
address, are you sure; enter y or n?"  All you'd have to do is write the
letter n, and the Braille 'n Speak would simply say, "Enter file command" and
you'd still have the Help file open.
 
Our final example involves deleting a group of files with similar names.  If
you're accustomed to using MS DOS file naming conventions and wildcards, this
section will be old news to you.  But check out the command that lets you
delete groups of similarly named files.
 
From Section 4.2, you'll remember that we explained how MS DOS uses a two-part
name for files: the filename portion can be up to eight characters in length
and the extension portion can be up to three characters in length.  A period
separates the two parts.  So a typical filename is something like,
"letter.txt" or "address.doc".  We also said that you don't have to have all
eight characters for the filename portion or all three characters for the
extension portion, and in fact, you can have just the filename portion without
the period and the extension.
 
For many MS DOS commands, you can use "wildcard" characters when you want to
affect a group of files with similar names - for example, if you want to copy
a bunch of files all ending with the extension "txt", or if you want to delete
a group of files all beginning with the numbers "123".
 
Likewise, the Braille 'n Speak understands these wildcard characters for
certain file commands.  The first of these commands we've encountered is the
command to delete files.
 
The wildcard characters are the asterisk ("*" or dots 1-6 in computer braille)
and the question mark ("?" or dots 1-4-5-6 in computer braille).  The asterisk
replaces a group of characters, the question mark replaces an individual
character.
 
For instance, say, you have the files, "letter.txt" and "letter.doc".  The
wildcard name for these two files is "letter.*" because the part that is the
same in both files is the filename "letter" and the part that is different is
the extensions "txt" and "doc".  Therefore, the wildcard is the extension
portion.
 
Likewise, if you have the files, "dates.txt" and "rates.txt", the wildcard
name for them is, "?ates.txt" because everything in their respective names is
the same except for the wildcard first letter in their filename portions.
(For further examples, see Appendix A.)
 
What does all this have to do with deleting files?  If you have a group of
files in the Braille 'n Speak with similar names that you want to get rid of,
from the Files menu write a g.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter file to
delete".  The filename you write should include at least one wildcard.  Just
remember to write in computer braille the asterisk and/or question mark you
include as part of the filename.  The Braille 'n Speak finds the files with
all the names that match your wildcard description and says something like,
"Delete file '*.txt', y or n?"  Write a y to accept the deletion or n to
cancel it.  Clearly, this is a command to be used with caution but it can save
you time when you have a large number of files to delete that have some part
of their names in common.
 
If you are extra cautious of deleting groups of files all at once, use
wildcard characters with the d command instead of the g command from within
the Files menu.  When you respond to the d command with a wildcard filename
pattern, it forces the Braille 'n Speak to ask you whether you want to delete
each file it finds with your wildcard character pattern instead of asking you
if you want to delete the whole group at once.  This may seem tedious with a
large group of similarly named files.  But it is a safety net, just in case
there's one file out of that big bunch you really don't want to delete after
all.
 
The next thing we'll look at related to manipulating files is changing their
size.  Let's play with this concept next.
 
6.9 Changing the Size of a File
 
Throughout this section, we've talked a lot about the Braille 'n Speak "page".
2 Let's briefly review this concept.
 
A Braille 'n Speak "page" is really a block of Braille 'n Speak memory
consisting of space equal to 4,096 characters.  If you consider that a
standard 11 by 11-1/2 inch piece of braille paper can hold a maximum of one
thousand characters, you can see that 4,096 is a lot.  It's like having four
pieces of braille paper each filled with characters in every single cell.  And
of course, that's not how braille pages are filled.  You have spaces - which
by the way, computers count as characters.  You have blank lines for
formatting purposes, etc.  Blank lines are counted by a computer as the
control characters we mentioned earlier, carriage returns and linefeeds.
 
Since the Braille 'n Speak's memory is not "pieces of paper", but rather a
continuous space to be filled with characters, and since the Braille 'n Speak
doesn't care whether those characters are text or control characters, the
blocks of 4,096 characters worth of memory called "pages" are hefty chunks of
memory.
 
Usually, when you create a Braille 'n Speak file, it's a good idea to create
it with only one "page".  Unless you know that you're going to be filling up
the file very rapidly with data, why waste valuable Braille 'n Speak memory by
creating a file that has many blank "pages"?
 
But the time will no doubt come when you do need to add a "page" to an
existing file.  The Braille 'n Speak lets you add space to a file, but only in
chunks or "pages" of 4,096 characters worth of space.  Let's see how this
works.
 
First you might want to check how much room there is left in your file.
Unless you've gotten a "File is full" message when you try to write, or a "not
enough room" message when you try to copy or insert, you're still okay.
 
Let's work with your "address" file.  Press an r-chord from anywhere within
your file to see how much room you have left.  Chances are, you have plenty.
Now open the Help file with the shortcut, th-sign-chord (dots 1-4-5-6-chord).
 
Another way to check how many characters are in a file is through the Files
menu.  Bring it up with the usual o-chord followed by an f and write a wh-
sign-chord (dots 1-5-6-chord).  The Braille 'n Speak says something like,
"Help 20,785 bytes, enter file command."  Remember, the number of characters
counted includes everything in your file: control characters, spaces,
decorative characters, formatting strings, and so on.  But it does give you a
very accurate reading of the size of the file that you're pointing to from
within the Files menu.
 
Bring up the Files menu again and this time write just a wh-sign.  The Braille
'n Speak says, "Enter filename".  Write "address" and press an e-chord.  The
Braille 'n Speak tells you its size even though you haven't pointed to it with
dot 1- or dot 4-chords, and even though the "address" file is not currently
open.  If you answered the "Enter filename" prompt with a wildcard
description, such as the ones we described in the previous section, the
Braille 'n Speak would tell you the sizes of all the files fitting the
wildcard pattern you wrote.
 
In any case, you can use a wh-sign-chord from the Files menu to get the size
of the open file, and just a plain wh-sign to get the size of the file you're
pointing to even if it's not open, or the sizes of a group of files with
similar names.
 
Now leave the Files menu with an e.  You should be back in the Help file.
Since the last file you had open before you got into the Help file was
"address", and since you got into Help with the th-sign-chord, pressing a z-
chord should reopen "address".
 
Run through this example a couple of times for practice.  We jumped around a
lot just to show you how flexible your Braille 'n Speak is about leaping from
file to file and giving you information about them quickly and efficiently.
 
Now we're going to make our "address" file bigger.  Even though right now it's
big enough, let's practice adding a "page" to it.  First we have to Unprotect
it because otherwise the Braille 'n Speak won't let us do anything to the
file.
 
Find the file "address" from your Files menu and open it, if you're not
already there.  Don't worry that the Braille 'n Speak tells you the file is
write-protected.  Get into the Files menu and Unprotect the "address" file
with a u at the "Enter file command" prompt.  The Braille 'n Speak should say,
"Unprotected; enter file command."  Now just write an e to exit the Files menu
and get back into your "address" file.  Check out how much room there is left
in the file at this point with an r-chord.  It should be considerable, over
thirty-five hundred characters worth, anyway, unless you have entered lots of
names and addresses.  Under normal circum stances, we'd say, fine.  Leave the
file as is and don't add to it.  But for practice, let's make the file bigger.
Get into the Files menu and at the prompt, write a b.  The Braille 'n Speak
says, "Enter number of pages to expand."  Press an e-chord.  The Braille 'n
Speak says, "Okay."  And where do you suppose you are?  Yes.  Right where you
left off within your "address" file.  The Braille 'n Speak simply gave you
another "page" worth of memory and put you back where you were in the file.
 
If you want to increase the size of your file by more than one page at once,
answer the prompt with a dropped number, indicating how many extra pages you
want.  But unless you know that you're going to be filling a file with a lot
of data quickly - such as a file from your computer - it's probably better to
increase pages one at a time so that you don't waste valuable Braille 'n Speak
space.
 
How much room do you have in the "address" file now?  Press an r-chord.  The
number should be well over eight thousand.
 
Let's return the "address" file to its original one-page size.  This is really
too big for our purposes right now.  Get back into the Files menu and write an
s at the "Enter file command" prompt.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter
number of pages to subtract".  Press an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Okay" and once again leaves you back in your file, just where you had left
off.
 
If you want to decrease the size of a file, answering the prompt with the
number of pages you want to remove deletes them from the end of the file.
 
Did you get that?  When the Braille 'n Speak adds or subtracts "pages" from
your file, understand that the block is being added to or subtracted from the
end of your file.  You can't, for example, be five lines into a file, and
decide that you want a blank chunk of space between where you are and the next
block of text you already had in this file.  Or, that you have a chunk of text
you no longer want and therefore you'd like the Braille 'n Speak to subtract
that block using the commands just described.
 
How do you add and delete text?  We covered that earlier.  You use the Insert
command or the Delete command within your file for those kinds of activities.
The commands described in the present section have to do with big chunks of
Braille 'n Speak memory.  Can you see how crucial it is to keep track of free
space in a file and to know how many characters are actually in that file
before removing pages from the end of your file?
 
Just as with previous commands within the Files menu, you can make a file
bigger or smaller, adding or subtracting Braille 'n Speak "pages", when those
files are not open.  As with other Files menu commands, you point to the file
first and then issue a b-chord or s-chord (for bigger and smaller
respectively) and follow the prompts to make the file being pointed to bigger
or smaller.
 
Now that we have more than one file of personal data in the Braille Lite,
let's see how to copy an entire file into the one you have open.
 
* 6.10 Copying an Entire File into the Currently Open File
 
Well, by now you should have at least a "practice" and an "address" file in
your Braille 'n Speak.  Be adventurous and create a couple of other files,
too.  Or, start adding information to your "calendar.brl" file.
 
What we'll talk about in this section is how to copy an entire file into the
one you currently have open.  Let's take an example.
 
Suppose you're writing a school paper in a file called "paper" and have all
your bibliography information in another file called "bibliography".  You were
very diligent when you wrote your bibliography notes in that file and you made
sure that it was alphabetized and punctuated properly.  Who wants to have to
retype all that into your actual paper?  So we'll copy that bibliography file
into this one.
 
The first step is to find out how many Braille 'n Speak pages your currently
open file contains.  Remember?  You can do this by entering the Files menu and
writing a t to hear the Braille 'n Speak report information about this file,
including how many Braille 'n Speak pages it contains.
 
Next, you'll need to know how many pages the "bibliography" file contains.
Assuming you're still in the Files menu after you found out the number of
pages your currently open file has, move to the "bibliography" file by
pointing to it with dot 1-chord or dot 4-chord until you hear its name.  Then
press a c-chord to hear a report about information on this file.
 
Remember that your currently open file is still "paper".  All we've done here
is point to the "bibliography" file to check out the number of Braille 'n
Speak pages it contains to make sure we have enough room in the file we do
have open to accommodate it.
 
Return to your currently open file now by pressing an e, e-chord, or z-chord.
Any of these keystrokes will exit the Files menu and put you back into "paper"
again where you left off in that file.
 
If the "paper" file you're working in isn't big enough, you'll need to make it
bigger so it can accommodate the incoming file.  Review Section 6.9 to see how
to do that.
 
Assuming your currently open file is big enough, or that you've made it big
enough, to fit the incoming file, move your cursor to the place where you want
to insert the incoming file.  In our case, this is a bibliography so we'll
make sure we're at the end of the currently open file with a dots 4-5-6-chord.
 
It's critical to place your cursor exactly where you want the insertion to
take place because the file will be copied wherever your cursor is located.
Even if where you want the new file to be is at the end of the current one,
you should probably write a carriage return or a hard page break at the point
where the new file is to be inserted.  Otherwise, the new file may align
differently once it's copied into your current file than it did when it was a
separate file.  Words may wrap differently and page numbering may be way off
from what you expect.  So be clear about where you want the new file to go in
your current document or you could have a mess on your hands.
 
The good news though is that you can delete large chunks of text as we saw in
Section 5.6.  So in case you end up with the wrong file or it's in the wrong
place, you can recover.
 
Okay, we're ready to copy.
 
Press an ing-sign-chord (dots 3-4-6-chord) and you'll hear, "Paste what?"
Write a letter f (for File) and the Braille 'n Speak says, "File, enter
filename."
 
Write the name of the file you want to insert ("bibliography" in our example)
and press an e-chord.  The file is instantly inserted at your cursor position
and, if Interactive mode is turned on, the Braille 'n Speak begins reading its
contents to you.  If the Braille 'n Speak starts chattering away the contents
of the file, you can shut up the speech with a z-chord.  And you might want to
do just that if the file you've just inserted is long.
 
In the event you miscalculate the number of Braille 'n Speak pages you need
for the incoming file, when you try to insert it, the Braille 'n Speak says,
"Not enough room" and leaves you back in your currently open file exactly
where you were at the point where you expected the file to be copied.
 
Also, remember that all you've done is copy the file, not removed it.  The
original is still intact, thank goodness.
 
Practice awhile with the commands we've gone over in these last few sections.
We've covered a great deal.  The next thing we need to do is to find out how
much room we have free in the Braille 'n Speak.
 
* 6.11 Free Space in the Braille 'n Speak
 
* As you add and delete files and change their sizes, the amount of free space
in the Braille 'n Speak varies.  From time to time, it's good to check out
just how much free space you do have left, especially if you're about to add a
biggie.  This way you can find out how many "pages" you have left in RAM as
well as how much memory you have left in FLASH.
 
* From the Files menu, simply write an f at the "Enter file command" prompt.
The Braille 'n Speak reports that you have x-number of "pages" left and how
much "flash" memory you have left.  For example, you'll hear something like,
"184 pages remaining; 2045K FLASH; enter file command".  Of course, this
example is for an empty Braille 'n Speak.  No doubt, your unit will say
numbers that are very different.
 
* And since we have so much room to work with, why not set up our files into
more organized groupings for easier access.  After all, who can remember the
names and numbers of up to 127 files in RAM and up to 992 of them in Flash.
The facility to create folders will help a lot.  So let's look at this next.
 
* 6.12 Working with Folders
 
Recall from Section 1.2 that we mentioned you can organize your files into
folders for easier use.  Now that you know how to create your own personal
files and work with them, you'll find that your files list may rapidly grow
out of control.  In other words, there's no reason why you couldn't have a
phonebook file, followed by a letter to a friend, followed by a file
containing your notes from class, your recipe file, and so on.  And what about
external programs like the checkbook writer and BrailleBase, GraphIt, or
BrailleTerm, that you might also have loaded onto your unit.
 
Such a hodgepodge  is okay for a while but who can keep track of it all after
twenty or thirty files have been created.  With the expanded capacity of your
Braille 'n Speak, there's no telling how many files might be floating around.
 
Let's return for a moment to our description of the Braille 'n Speak as a
"binder" with tabs separating each group of pages into "files".  As we said in
Section 1.2, you might decide to separate groups of related files into
different "binders" or "folders".
 
For example, your recipes file, your diet chart, and your restaurant menus
could be in a folder called "food".  Your checkbook, budget information, bank
statements and the like could be in a folder called "money".  And how about
all those games you downloaded from our BBS to play in your spare time?  Why
not put them all in a folder called "games".
 
As you can see, having folders can make life much simpler once you have more
than just a few files in your Braille 'n Speak.  Let's see how it all works.
 
* 6.12.1 Running in Folder Mode
 
The first thing you need to understand is that when you create folders and put
your files into them, you're not really making extra copies of your files.
When you have "Folder mode" turned on, it simply means that you can access
your files in a more organized way.  But there is still only one copy of each
of your files in your unit.
 
To insure that you don't think you've lost files you thought you had, we've
made "folder mode" a setting you can toggle from the Status menu.  If you're
an old-time user, it's important to realize that if the feature is turned off,
your unit will behave as it always has, allowing you to view your files
through the Files menu as we learned earlier in this chapter.  But when
"folder mode" is turned on, you have the option of flipping back and forth
between viewing your files in the standard way we explained in Section 6.2, or
in the new way, a folderful at a time.
 
To turn on "folder mode", enter the Status menu with the usual st-sign-chord
(dots 3-4-chord).  Now jump to the setting that toggles this mode on and off
with an f-chord.
 
From the factory, we have set the "folder mode" to "off" so you should hear,
"Allow folder mode, off" the first time you bring up this setting in the
Status menu.  To turn it on, write a y.  Any time you want to disable "folder
mode", simply toggle it off with an n.
 
While "folder mode" is turned on, you'll be able to move files in and out of
folders you create with ease.  And we provide an initial couple of folder
names for your convenience.
 
 
Now that we have toggled "folder mode" on from within the Status menu, let's
look at how it affects the way we can view and bring up our files.
 
* 6.12.2 Navigating through Folders
 
Once folder mode is in effect, you can flip between viewing your files as you
always have or viewing them in their respective folders.  To do this, enter
the Files menu from wherever you are in your currently open file.  Pressing
the spacebar toggles between "all files mode", which is the way you've been
viewing your files up to now, and "folder mode", which is the new way to view
your files in whatever folders you put them.
 
Go ahead and try this now.  We'll assume you're in your "practice" file so
we're all starting from the same place.  Bring up the Files menu with an o-
chord, followed by an f.  At the prompt, "Enter file command", press the
spacebar.
 
Since this is the first time we've invoked folder mode, you should hear,
"Folder mode, RAM startup, RAM  folder, enter file command".  In fact, when
folder mode is in effect from within the Status menu and you have toggled the
Files menu to view your files in their folders, whenever you bring up the
Files menu, you'll hear the name of the current folder before you hear the
familiar prompt, "Enter file command".
 
Now, what is this RAM startup folder?  Since your unit is equipped with RAM
and Flash memory, and since you can have folders in either memory area of your
Braille 'n Speak, the default names of your RAM and Flash folders are "RAM
startup" and "Flash startup".  Make sense?
 
At the moment, the "RAM startup" folder contains all your files because we
haven't moved any of them to another folder, and we haven't created new files
in another folder.  Your "Flash startup" folder is present but has no files in
it since we haven't moved any files from the RAM area into the Flash memory
area.
 
To move from file to file in the current folder, you can just use the same dot
1-chord to move back a file and dot 4-chord to move forward a file that you've
always used when looking at your files list.  To move from folder to folder,
press dots 2-3-chord to move back a folder and dots 5-6-chord to move forward
a folder.
 
Right now, all you can do is flip back and forth between your "RAM startup"
and your "Flash startup" folders.  From the Files menu prom, "Enter file
command", press dots 5-6-chord.  As we said, the "Flash startup" folder has no
files at present and so the Braille 'n Speak reports, "Flash startup" folder;
folder is empty, enter file command".  Flip back to your other folder with a
dots 2-3-chord and you'll hear, "RAM startup, RAM  folder, enter file
command".
 
To hear the name of the currently open folder, from the "Enter file command"
prompt, write a dots 2-3-5-6-chord.  Right now, you'll hear either "RAM
startup, RAM folder selected, enter file command" or "Flash startup folder,
Flash folder, selected, enter file command".  But once you have a few folders
set up, this feature will come in handy.
 
Just as you're able to jump from file to file if you know a file's number, you
can jump from folder to folder when you know a folder's number.  You can have
up to twenty folders in your Braille 'n Speak and you can jump through the
first ten of them using dropped numbers from 0 through 9.  The "RAM startup
folder is numbered 0 and the "Flash startup" folder is numbered 1.  When you
start creating your own folders, as we'll show you in the next section, each
one will have its own number.
 
Finally, to jump to the first folder in your folders list, press dots 2-3-6-
chord and to jump to the last one in the list, press dots 3-5-6-chord.
 
Next, let's create a couple of folders with more personal names and start
putting our files in order.
 
* 6.12.3 Creating a Folder
 
The Braille 'n Speak lets you create up to twenty folders.  But it's very
important to make sure you're in folder mode before attempting to create a
folder.
 
In other words, make sure that the setting "allow folder mode" in the Status
menu is turned on, and upon entering the Files menu to create a folder, set
your unit to view files by their folders by pressing the spacebar to hear,
"folder mode, RAM startup, enter file command".
 
(Incidentally, the Braille 'n Speak remembers how you left these settings when
you turn it off so you don't have to put them into effect every time you power
up your unit.)
 
Once you're sure you're in folder mode from within the Files menu, you're
ready to create a folder.  Press the ing-sign (dots 3-4-6).  The Braille 'n
Speak says, "Enter folder name".  Let's make a money folder so we can keep all
our financial records in one place.  Write "money" and remember to spell out
each letter.  Don't ever use Grade 2 braille contractions in file or folder
names.  Press an e-chord.
 
Now you should hear, "Enter f for Flash or r for RAM folder".  For practice,
we'll write an r, meaning that this folder will be stored in the RAM portion
of your unit.
 
Why choose RAM for the location of the "money" folder?  Since one of the main
things you'll be doing with the files in your "money" folder is editing them
to reflect hopefully your growing, not dwindling,  bank account, the folder
that contains your financial records must be in RAM.
 
Once you respond to the last prompt, the Braille 'n Speak creates the folder
and places you back at, "Enter file command", ready to accept your next
command.
 
Now, simply follow the steps we've just taken to create the "money" folder to
make yourself a "food" folder.  But place it in the Flash portion of your unit
instead of in RAM where we put the "money" folder.  Why?  Well, you probably
won't be editing recipes and restaurant menus much.  And hopefully, not even
your diet chart.
 
Okay, the next step is to begin organizing your files into specific folders.
Of course, our files ("practice", "address", and so on) are just samples.  You
can call your files anything you want.  We suggest you create a few files with
junk data in them so you can practice how to put files into folders, .  When
you're through practicing moving them in and out of folders, feel free to
delete them or fill them with real data, if you prefer.
 
Before you move to the next section then, create yourself a few files like
recipes, diet, menus, checks, savings, credit, mortgage, and stocks.  Put some
junk data into each one.  Any file you create is placed into the RAM portion
of your Braille 'n Speak's memory, not the Flash portion.  Remember, you can
only store files in Flash, read them, and move them from folder to folder, but
that's all.  The junk files you're creating for practice are all in your "RAM
startup" folder for the moment.
 
Once you've created some files to play with, you'll be ready to move onto the
next section where you'll see how to put all these files where they belong.
 
* 6.12.4 Moving a File into a Folder
 
Throughout this section, we'll be using sample filenames for our examples.
Let's say we want to move the "recipes" file into the "food" folder.  Logical.
The first step is to point to the "recipes" file.
 
If you're not already in it, open your "practice" file so we're all starting
from the same place.  As we indicated in the last section, any file you have
created thus far is in the "RAM startup" folder because you haven't moved into
another folder yet.  So the "recipes" file is currently in your "RAM startup"
folder, as well.
 
Starting from your currently open file, "practice", bring up the Files menu
and find "recipes" by using dot 1-chords and dot 4-chords until you hear its
name.  Now press a gh-sign-chord (dots 1-2-6-chord).  The Braille 'n Speak
prompts, "Select a folder, RAM startup, RAM  folder".  So not only are you
asked to choose in what folder you want this file to be placed, you're also
given the name of the folder where the file is currently located.
 
To find the folder where you want the file to go, press dots 2-3-chords and
dots 5-6-chords to move backward and forward respectively through the names of
your existing folders.  When you hear the name of the folder where you want
the "recipes" file to go, in this case, "food", press an e-chord.
 
The Braille 'n Speak says, "Please wait,", pauses for a second, and then,
finishes with, "Enter file command".
 
Make sure you're clear about what's happened here.  The file has not actually
been moved in the Braille "N SPEAK itself unless you've moved it from a folder
in RAM to a folder in Flash.  You do not have two copies of the file, one in
the "RAM startup" folder and another in the "food" folder.  What you do have
now is the "food" folder with the file called "recipes" located in it, and no
longer a file called "recipes" in your "RAM startup" folder.  But you are
still in the "RAM startup" folder and the file you have open is still the
"practice" file.  Just because you moved the "recipes" file into the "food"
folder doesn't mean you moved there and opened a file within that folder.
You're still sitting in whatever file you had opened before you pointed to
"recipes" to move it into the "food" folder.  In our case, that's the
"practice" file, and that file happens to be in the "RAM startup" folder.
 
Now let's see what to do if you want to put a bunch of files into a particular
folder all at once.
 
* 6.12.5 Moving Groups of Files into a Folder
 
Suppose you have a bunch of related files that you want to put into a
particular folder.  Wouldn't it be nice if you could just pick up the whole
bunch and plunk them down where you want them to go all at once?  Here's how.
First, we'll take a step-by-step example, then run through some shortcuts.
 
Let's begin by opening the "practice" file, if you're not already in it.  As
an example, we'll put all our money-related files, like checks, savings,
mortgage, etc., into the "money" folder.
 
Bring up the Files menu and this time write a gh-sign without chording it.
The Braille 'n Speak says, ""practice" is not marked".  What this means is
that the file currently being pointed to, in this case, the one that's open,
is not tagged for being moved into another folder.  To tag this file so it can
be moved into our "money" folder, press the spacebar or a y.  Otherwise, press
a dot 4-chord or dot 1-chord to point to another file in your files list and
see if you want to tag that one.  Who wants to put a "practice" file into the
"money" folder.  We'll skip "practice" and press dot 4-chord to see what else
there might be to tag.
 
And by the way, if you mark a file and later decide to unmark it because it
was the wrong one, say, or because you don't really need that one after all,
you can point to the file and press an n.  This unmarks that particular file.
Then you can move on with a dot 4-chord or a dot 1-chord to tag or untag other
files in your files list.
 
Back in our example, we'll say the next file the Braille 'n Speak sees in your
files list is "stocks".  The Braille 'n Speak says, "stocks" is not marked".
This time go ahead and press the spacebar to tag the file for moving into our
"money" folder.  The Braille 'n Speak confirms with, "stocks is marked".
 
Okay,  now press another dot 4-chord and let's suppose the next file you point
to is ""mortgage" so the Braille 'n Speak reports, "mortgage is not marked".
Again, it makes sense to put this file into the "money" folder so press a
spacebar to tag the file.  You'll hear, "mortgage is marked" to confirm the
file is tagged for moving.
 
 
Another dot 4-chord brings us to "diet is not marked".  We'll skip this one
because it doesn't belong in the "money" folder.
 
One more dot 4-chord points us to, "savings is not marked".  Yes, this one we
do want to tag so press a spacebar and you'll hear, "savings is marked".
 
Sooner or later you'll come to the end of your files list or decide that you
have enough files now in the tagged list.  When you're finished tagging the
files you want to move into the "money" folder, press an e-chord.  The Braille
'n Speak says, "Select a folder, RAM startup, RAM folder".  You're being
reminded what folder you're in right now and being asked to what folder you'd
like to move these tagged files.  Press dots 5-6-chords and dots 2-3-chords
until you hear the name of the folder where you want the group of files to go.
 
Once you hear, "money folder", press an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Please wait, okay, enter file command".
 
Where do you suppose we are now?  Are we in the "money" folder?  No.  We're
still in "RAM startup".  And what file is open?  Press a t and you'll hear
something like, "practice, 1 page, braille file, is open, enter file command".
Why?  Remember that all we've done is to move a group of files into another
folder.  We've not actually gone into that folder and opened up a file within
it.  That's easy to do.  And we'll do that next, now that we have some files
in other folders to open.
 
To verify where you are, exit the Files menu with an e or e-chord and you'll
see that you are indeed still in your "practice" file, wherever you had left
off within that file.
 
As we said at the beginning of this section, there are a few shortcuts to mark
groups of files you want to move into a folder.  After you write the gh-sign
and hear that your currently open file is "unmarked", don't press the spacebar
or y to mark it, or move through your files list a file at a time to decide
which ones to mark.  Here are some things you might do instead.
 
You can press a y-chord to mark the currently pointed to file and jump
immediately to the next one without having to press a dot 4-chord to get to
it.  You can press an r to mark all the files in the RAM portion of your
Braille 'n Speak's memory, or an f to mark all the files in the Flash portion
of memory.  You can even press an m to mark all the files in your currently
selected folder.  A u unmarks them all in case you change your mind about
moving all the files in your currently selected folder into another folder.
 
And finally, you can mark (and unmark) similarly named files in your currently
selected folder. To do this, press an m-chord to mark, a u-chord to unmark.
The Braille 'n Speak prompts you with, "enter filename" and waits for a
filename pattern with a wildcard in it.  (See Section 6.8 for a full
discussion of wildcard characters in filenames.)  Press an e-chord after
writing in the wildcard pattern.  All the files with that pattern get marked
and are ready for moving to a folder.  If you decide to unmark a group of
similarly named files, write a u-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak prompts you for
a filename and again waits for a wildcard pattern.  This time when you write a
wildcard pattern and press an e-chord, all the files in your currently
selected folder having that pattern get unmarked.  They aren't tagged and so
they won't be moved into another folder.
 
Once you've selected the files you want to move and press the e-chord that
prompts you to select a folder, you can find that folder by moving through the
folder list a folder at a time as we saw in our example above, or you can jump
to the folder you want if you know its number from 0 through 9.
 
So you see, if you have a lot of files to move around, and a lot of folders to
juggle, there are some shortcuts you can take to move bunches of files all at
once.
 
Now let's go and look at how our stocks are doing.
 
* 6.12.6 Opening a File in a Different Folder
 
Since we're still sitting in the "practice" file, all we have to do to get to
our "stocks" file is to select its folder, "money", then point to the file and
open it.  Let's go through this example step by step for clarity.
 
Starting from "practice", which is in the "RAM startup" folder, bring up the
Files menu and press dots 2-3-chords and dots 5-6-chords until you hear,
"money, RAM folder, enter file command".
 
at this point, if you write a q, say, to hear a "quick" listing of your files,
you should hear only the names of the files in the "money" folder.  Press dot
1-chord and dot 4-chord until you find your "stocks" file and then open it
with the usual o-chord.  That's all there is to it.  And if you're lucky,
you'll be reading about how those stocks you bought yesterday are soaring
toward a record high.  Maybe it's time to sell before the market takes a dive.
 
Seriously though, the only potential confusion you might run across in finding
files in their respective folders is that when you're in the Files menu
looking through your files list for a particular file and you don't see it,
you might think it's gone somehow when in actuality, it's just in another
folder.  One way to clear this up right away is to toggle out of "folder mode"
temporarily with a spacebar to hear, "All files mode".  At this point when you
go through your files list, you'll hear the names of all your files regardless
of what folders they're in and regardless of whether they are in RAM or Flash
memory.
 
But what do you do when you have a file you want to edit or a program you want
to run, and it's being stored in a Flash folder.  We'll look at this next.
 
* 6.12.7 Moving Files between RAM and Flash
 
Now that you understand how to move your files into specific folders, and that
those folders can be stored either in RAM or Flash, what happens when you want
to work with one of those files that's stored in a Flash folder.
 
If you'll recall from our earlier discussion of Flash memory, you can store
files in Flash memory and you can read them from there but you cannot edit
them.  And, if you want to run an external program that's stored in Flash,
you'll have to bring the program file into RAM in order to run it.
 
As you've seen, it's not hard to move files from one folder to another,
whether the folder is in RAM or in Flash.  But what if you don't really want
to dig around looking for the folder in which a file is located.  You just
know that you want to add something to your "recipes" file, for example.
 
Whether you're in "folder mode" or "all files mode", which you can toggle from
within the Files menu, there are many ways to get to the file you want.  But
when that file is in Flash and you want to edit it or run it (if it's a
program), you have to bring it out into RAM.  Here's how.
 
From your "practice" file, the currently open file, bring up the Files menu.
Since we're in "folder mode", you'll hear something like, "Files menu, RAM
startup, RAM folder, enter file command".  Let's toggle out of "folder mode"
with the spacebar.  You should now hear, "All files mode", enter file
command".
At this point, your Braille 'n Speak will behave as it always has.  In other
words, you won't be able to go to a particular folder, just run through your
files list.  Write a q to hear your files list now.  Notice that your Braille
'n Speak tells you when a file is in Flash by saying "Flash file" after
announcing its name.
 
In our example, "recipes" is in the Flash portion of your Braille 'n Speak's
memory.  We want to add that scrumptious new, not-for-calorie-counters,
chocolate cheesecake recipe into the "recipes" file.  So we need to pull the
file into RAM in order to be able to add to it.
 
Point to the "recipes" file from within the Files menu as you normally would
with a dot 1-chord, dot 4-chord, dot 3-chord or dot 6-chord.  When you get to
it, the Braille 'n Speak says something like, "recipes" Flash file".  Now
press a gh-sign-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "recipes, Flash file, move
to RAM; enter y or n?".
 
Press a y to move the file into RAM.  The Braille 'n Speak asks you to,
"Please wait", pauses for a moment, and then confirms, "Okay, enter file
command".  If you had changed your mind and had pressed n at the prompt, the
Braille 'n Speak would have said, "Abort, enter file command".
 
In either case, where do you suppose we are now, in "recipes"?  No.  We're
still in "practice", where we were before starting this procedure.  All we've
done is move the "recipes" file into RAM so we can work with it.  But we
haven't yet opened it.  To do that, bring up the Files menu, point to the file
using one of the several methods we've discussed, and then   open it with an
o-chord.  Now you can add that delicious cheesecake to your arsenal of waist-
expanding desserts.
 
That's all there is to it.  Once you're done adding to the "recipes" file, you
may return it to Flash using the same method we just described.
 
Note that if you move the file you have open into Flash, that file will no
longer be the currently open file.  The Braille 'n Speak places you in the
Help file the minute the file you had open is moved into Flash memory.  The
reverse is also true.  If you're reading a file that's stored in Flash memory
and decide to edit some of its text, when you move the file into RAM you won't
be in that file any longer.  Instead, you'll be in the Help file and you'll
need to go and open the file in the usual way in order to work with it.
 
Okay, just a couple more housekeeping commands to learn about folders and
we'll be done with this chapter.
 
* 6.12.8 Changing the Name of a Folder
 
Suppose you have a folder whose name is no longer useful or you misspelled the
name you wanted it to have in the first place.  Just as there's a way you can
rename a file, so too is there a way to rename a folder.  Here's how.
 
Bring up the Files menu from wherever you are in your currently open file.
Let's change the name of our "food" folder to "diet".  After that cheesecake,
we'll need one.  Find the "food" folder with dots 2-3-chords and dots 5-6-
chords.  Once you hear its name, press a ch-sign-chord (dots 1-6-chord).  The
Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter folder name?"  Write the new name "diet" and
press an e-chord.  The name of the folder is instantly changed and you're
returned to "Enter file command".  It's as easy as that.
 
The final thing to cover is how to get rid of folders you no longer need.
 
* 6.12.9 Deleting a Folder
 
First of all, remember that folders are simply pointers of sorts, allowing the
grouping of your files into logical categories that make sense to you.  When
you delete a folder, it must be empty of all files.  As we saw in the last
section, it's quite easy to move files between RAM and Flash and from folder
to folder.  So when you decide to delete a particular folder, you must first
either delete all the files it contains or move them to another folder for
safekeeping.
 
It's critical you realize that when you delete a file, it's deleted from your
unit altogether, regardless of whether you're in "folder mode" and regardless
of what folder the file is in, or even whether the file is in RAM or Flash.
Once you've deleted it, it's gone.  Sometimes you can recover a deleted file
if you move fast (see Appendix A).  But in general, once you've deleted a
file, it's gone.
 
So if you plan to delete a folder but keep its files, move them first.  The
Braille 'n Speak will not let you delete a folder that has files in it.  If
you try, you'll hear, "Folder is not empty, enter file command".
 
Now let's say we want to delete our "money" folder since we're broke anyway.
Those stocks took a nose-dive this morning.
 
Bring up the Files menu from your currently open file and find the "money"
folder with dots 2-3-chords and dots 5-6-chords.  When you hear its name,
check out the names of the files in the folder with one of the methods you
know, say, q for a quick listing of the files.  You might want to keep some of
them, like the "checks" or "savings" files.  So first move them to some other
folder, maybe just to your "RAM startup" folder temporarily.  Delete that
"stocks" file and make sure the folder is empty before proceeding.
 
Now, still  from the Files menu, write a dash (dots 3-6-).  Since the folder
is empty, the Braille 'n Speak says, "Okay, enter file command".  The "money"
folder is now gone.
 
Well, that's about it for folders.  You're done with this chapter - at last!
 
 
SUMMARY
 
We've covered a vast number of ideas in Section II.  It's worth reviewing them
carefully until you're thoroughly comfortable with them.
 
There are other Files menu commands yet to examine, believe it or not.  And,
there are other things we can do within files: add a date from the calendar,
or a calculation result from the calculator, figure out the number of physical
braille or print pages that are in a file, etc.  We'll cover these
sophisticated concepts in detail in the next two sections.  We'll examine a
bunch of very handy features the Braille 'n Speak provides for you.
Nevertheless, if you've mastered the concepts of the present section, you're
well on your way to making the Braille 'n Speak an indispensable tool.
 
                  SECTION III: WORKING WITH OTHER TOOLS
 
                               INTRODUCTION
 
Now that you've mastered working with the most important feature of the
Braille 'n Speak - reading and writing files - it's time to learn about some
handy Braille 'n Speak tools.
 
Think of the Braille 'n Speak as if it were your desktop, complete with all
the tools you usually find there: a notepad, a calendar, a calculator, a
looseleaf binder, a clock, even a telephone.  (Well, the Braille 'n Speak
isn't a telephone; but it does let you hook up to one.  We'll leave that for
Section IV.) For now, we'll learn about the other tools that come already
built into the Braille 'n Speak.
 
The chapters of this section cover the clock and the calendar, the stopwatch
and the timer, the calculator, and a few other handy features, including the
macro and word-exceptions utilities.
 
For the most part, the functions we'll examine are choices from the Options
menu, just as the Files menu is.  So let's get started.
                   CHAPTER 7: THE CLOCK AND THE CALENDAR
 
We all rely on our watches, clocks, and calendars to keep us on track.  So the
Braille 'n Speak has both a built-in clock and calendar for your convenience.
Not only can the clock tell you what time it is right now and the calendar
check how many days away you are from that long-awaited vacation, the clock
also tracks the time and date when you last changed a file and the calendar
even "tickles" your memory about when important things are happening.
 
Let's look at the clock first.
 
* 7.1 The Clock
 
The Braille 'n Speak's clock does what most clocks do.  You can check and
reset the current time, and have the time announced on the hour.  You even
have a choice between announcement in American or European time.
 
With American time, hours are announced from one to twelve a.m.  or p.m.  With
European time, hours are announced from zero to 23 and a.m. and p.m. are not
spoken.
 
If you have set punctuation announcement to Most Punctuation from the Speech
Parameters menu, hours and minutes are announced separated by the word
"colon".  If you have it set to Some Punctuation, time is announced just as a
person might say it. 
 
* 7.1.1 The Current Time
 
First, let's check out what the Braille 'n Speak thinks is the current time.
We'll work with an example.  It's anybody's guess how your unit might be set
from the factory.
 
Enter the Options menu from anywhere in your currently open file with an
o-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Option".  Write a t.  Then it says
something like, "The time is 1 a.m".  You'll still be right where you left off
in your file.
 
* 7.1.2 Switching Between American and European Time
 
Now let's see how easy it is to switch between American and European time for
you jet-setters out there who are forever jumping across the Pond.  Press an
o-chord and at the "Option" prompt, write the letter s.  The Braille 'n Speak
says, "Set."  Now write a dropped number 2.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"European time set."  Check the time with an o-chord t.  The Braille 'n Speak
should now say something like, "The time is 1."  Notice that it did not tell
you whether it's a.m.  or p.m.  That's because we set the Braille 'n Speak to
the European method of announcing the time.  When you're setting the time in
this mode, you are not prompted for a.m.  or p.m., of course, since you're on
a 0 to 23 hour cycle.
 
By default, your Braille 'n Speak comes set to American time, the twelve-hour
cycle.  So let's return to that setting.  Press an o-chord s and at the "Set."
prompt, write a dropped number 1.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "American time
set".  For our examples, we'll use this mode for announcing the time.
 
* 7.1.3 Setting the Time
 
Let's set the clock to the real time, shall we?  We'll use an arbitrary time
here, but set your Braille 'n Speak to the real clock so that files you create
will have accurate times associated with them.
 
Press an o-chord and at the "Option" prompt, write an s followed immediately
by a t, no spaces.  You're telling the Braille 'n Speak that you want to set
the time.  The Braille 'n Speak prompts you with, "Enter time hhmm".
 
Write something like, "1215" (remembering to use dropped numbers).  If you
make a mistake while you're writing the time, you can backspace over it with a
b-chord and correct your error.  Once you've written a valid time, the Braille
'n Speak says, "Enter a or p for a.m.  or p.m."  Write p.  The Braille 'n
Speak confirms, "The time is 12:15 p.m".
 
* 7.1.4 Changing the Time
 
Anyone who travels across time zones a lot knows all about jet lag and the
confusion over what time it is versus what time your body thinks it is.  Your
Braille 'n Speak experiences the same time lag you do unless you reset it when
you travel.  So here's a quick way to handle this.
 
Press o-chord s, t.  But this time answer the prompt with a plus or minus
(dots 1-4-6 for plus and 3-6 for minus) followed by a four-digit number that
represents how many hours backward or forward you want to go.  You don't even
have to press an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak immediately sets the new time
and announces it.
 
Here's another example of when this feature comes in handy. When we in the
eastern part of the country "spring ahead" by an hour in April, we'll press o-
chord, s, t, +0100.  The Braille 'n Speak resets its clock ahead by an hour
and we're all set until we have to "fall back" an hour in the autumn.  Or
until we travel west and have to subtract two or three hours to get on
Chicago's or L.A.'s time.
 
* 7.1.5 Hourly Announcement of Time
 
Many of us like to be reminded what time it is by our talking clocks.  As long
as your Braille 'n Speak is turned on, you can now set it to announce the time
to you on the hour.  Here's how it works.
 
Get into the Status menu with an st-sign-chord (dots 3-4-chord) and press an
h-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Hourly announcement, off", which is the
default.  Or it may say one of the other choices, of course, depending on how
you last set this option.
 
To change the current setting of hourly announcement, you can cycle among the
four choices by pressing the spacebar until you hear the one you want, and
then press an e-chord to exit the Status menu.  Or you can specify your choice
by pressing a dropped number 1 for "bell only", 2 for "voice only", 3 for
"bell and voice", or n for "off".  Then press an e-chord to exit the Status
menu.  (Note that this option is only available through the Status menu, and
not through the Parameters menu as so many other options are.)  And remember
that this option only works if your unit is on at the time the hour changes.
 
It's important to note that the bell is relatively loud, louder than those
annoying pagers and watches we've all gotten used to hearing.  They're fairly
unobtrusive by comparison.  You may have to deal with some disgruntled
colleagues if it happens right in the middle of someone's presentation, or
horror of horrors, during a chorus rehearsal or a final exam.  Be very aware
of how you have hourly announcement set in these types of situations.  On the
other hand, it may serve to wake people up, so you decide which you prefer.
 
And speaking of waking people up, let's look at the alarm feature next.
 
* 7.1.6 The Alarm
 
The Braille 'n Speak can now act as your alarm clock.  This is different from
hourly announcement of time of course because you can set the alarm to any
time you want, not just on the hour.
 
Note: At the time of this writing, the alarm only works when your unit is
turned on.
 
Now, here's how it works.
 
From anywhere within your currently open file, enter the Options menu with an
o-chord.  At the "Option" prompt, write an s.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Set".  Then write an a for alarm.  You'll hear, "Enter alarm time, hh:mm".
Using dropped numbers, write in the time you want the alarm to go off.  You
must always write in four digits for the time, so for instance, to write in 9
o'clock, you'd write "0900".
 
Let's say we want the alarm to go off at noon so we know when it's time to
quit for lunch.  Write "1200".  You don't have to press an e-chord at this
point.  Once the Braille 'n Speak sees a valid time, it immediately asks you
for a.m. or p.m.  In our example, write a p because we want to have the alarm
go off at noon, not midnight.  Then you should hear, "Enter alarm date,
mmddyy".  Enter today's date (or tomorrow's if it's already past noon today).
Again, you won't need to press an e-chord.  The moment you finish writing the
date, using dropped numbers - something like "010197", the Braille 'n Speak
confirms with, "Okay" and leaves you back in your currently open file.
 
If you forget how you've set the alarm, you can check it out from anywhere in
your currently open file.  Just enter the Options menu with the usual o-chord
and press a y.  The Braille 'n Speak announces the current time and date
setting of the alarm.
 
 
Well, assuming you know what time it is, and the Braille 'n Speak agrees with
you, how about the date?  Let's look at the calendar next.
 
7.2 The Calendar
 
The Braille 'n Speak's calendar runs like a clock in the sense that it
automatically keeps pace with the clock as each new day arrives.  It's
important that the date be set correctly to maintain accuracy, of course.
 
The calendar has some great features: For example, not only can you check
today's date, you can also check on what day of the week a certain date falls,
go backward or forward a number of days to see what the date was or is going
to be, insert a particular date in your personal calendar, and nicest of all,
set the Braille 'n Speak to remind you when an important date arrives on your
personal calendar.
 
7.2.1 Checking Today's Date
 
To see today's date, simply press an o-chord d.  The Braille 'n Speak says
something like, "The date is December 25, 1996".  It should be set correctly
from the factory but, like the clock, this is not always the case.  So let's
look at how to set the date next.
 
* 7.2.2 Setting Today's Date
 
To set the date, press an o-chord to get into the Options menu.  Now write the
letter s and the Braille 'n Speak responds with, "Set".  Write a letter d and
the Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter date, mm/dd/yy".  Write today's date, using
only numbers and no spaces, something like, "010197".  You don't have to press
an e-chord.  You immediately hear, "The date is Wednesday January 1, 1997".
 
From now on, the Braille 'n Speak will count forward based on the current time
and change dates as the clock cycles through each twenty-four hour period.
 
Since we're approaching the year 2000, we've added a new wrinkle to setting
the date.  When you are prompted for a date using the o-chord, s d command, if
you write a two-digit number for the year that is between 89 and 99, the
Braille 'n Speak assumes you want a 20th-century date.  But if you write a
two-digit number for the year that is between 00 and 88, the Braille 'n Speak
will think you want a date in the 21st century.
 
But let's suppose you want to check back on a date or see on what day of the
week a future date falls.  Since the Braille 'n Speak knows today's date, this
is quite simple for it to calculate. 
 
7.2.3 Getting a Date from the Calendar
 
Let's say you want to know on what day a certain date fell because you think
you have an extra charge from your hairdresser, who you visit only on
Wednesdays.  We'll assume our sample date of December 25, 1996 as today's
date.  Press an o-chord for the Options menu.  Now write a letter g to "get a
date" from the calendar.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter number of days or
a date mm/dd/yyyy".  Depending on what you enter, the Braille 'n Speak
responds differently.
 
First, what happens if you just pressed an e-chord?  Try it now.  The Braille
'n Speak should say something like, "Day number 360."  Oh, it's telling us
that today, (Christmas Day in our example) is the 360th day of the year.
That's a handy feature to have. 
 
But let's continue with our example.  Press an o-chord followed by a g again
and at the prompt, "Enter number of days or a date mm/dd/yyyy", write
"11201996" and press an e-chord.  Remember to write all the numbers in ASCII
(dropped numbers) and without spaces.  The Braille 'n Speak should answer,
"The date is Wednesday November 20, 1996."  Oh-oh.  Guess you did have an
appointment that day.  Better pay this bill.
 
What about if you know how many days away from today's date a date is and want
to enter it into your calendar.  Let's see another way to get a date from the
calendar.
 
Suppose you just got a call from your boss who wants to set up a meeting for
the day before New Year's.  Have to go over those end-of-year budget figures
one more time.  What a Scrooge, calling on Christmas Day for such a thing.  Oh
well.  Better put it in the calendar.  Let's see.  That makes it six days from
today since New Year's Day falls exactly one week from Christmas Day.
 
Press an o-chord g and at the prompt, "Enter number of days or a date
mm/dd/yyyy", this time simply enter a dropped number 6 and press an e-chord.
The Braille 'n Speak should say, "The date is Tuesday December 31, 1996".
 
Incidentally, you can have the Braille 'n Speak count backward a number of
days by preceding the number with a dash or minus sign (dots 3-6).  Sighing,
you decide to enter this meeting into your personal calendar.
 
7.2.4 Inserting a Date into Your Calendar
 
The Braille 'n Speak comes with a file called "calendar.brl".
Let's get into that file now so we can insert some dates.
 
Press an o-chord followed by the dropped digits 02.  Assuming you haven't
deleted it, the calendar file set from the factory is the third file in your
Braille 'n Speak.  If you can't find it, or if you have deleted it, go ahead
and create yourself a file called "calendar.brl".
 
A quick way to insert today's date and/or time into a file is with the
ing-sign-chord (dots 3-4-6-chord).  In Chapter 5, we talked about this command
at length with regard to pasting text from the Clipboard.  You can also use
the ing-sign-chord to paste today's date or the present time into a file.
Press ing-sign-chord and at the prompt "Paste what?", write a d (for date) or
a t (for time).  The Braille 'n Speak pastes the information into your file
and (if Interactive is on) speaks it to you after saying, "Okay".
 
Moreover, you can insert any date other than today into your currently open
file, using the ing-sign-chord followed by a g.  At the prompt, "paste what?",
write a g.  You should hear "Enter a number of days or a date, mmddyyyy".
Does this sound familiar?
 
As an example, let's say you want to paste the date January 20, 1997 into your
calendar file.  At the prompt, write "012097" followed by an e-chord.  That
date is now pasted in your file.
 
Now, suppose you have pasted various dates into your file and you need to see
if a particular date is there.  Here's an easy way to find it.  Press an f-
chord.  At the prompt "enter text to find", write a g-chord.  You should hear
the prompt asking for a number of days or a date.  Enter the date you want to
find.  To find January 20, 1997, for example, write "012097" and then press e-
chord to search for the date going forward or th-sign-chord to search going
backward in your file.
 
We suggest that you enter three hard carriage returns (dots 4-6-chords)
between one date and the next on your calendar.  After each date, you'll want
a carriage return followed by whatever notes you make to yourself about that
date.  But after you finish making notes about a date, add three carriage
returns.  This is a good idea because the Braille 'n Speak replaces the
character under the cursor at the point of insertion with a space when it
inserts a date.  The easiest way for you to avoid confusion is to place three
carriage returns between dates.
 
This way, to move from date to date in your calendar is very simple.  You can
move forward or backward through your calendar by pressing dots 5-6-chords or
dots 2-3-chords (the next and previous paragraph commands respectively).
 
Practice the calendar commands before moving on to our next topic - how to get
the Braille 'n Speak to remind you of a date on your calendar.
 
7.2.5 Calendar Alert
 
The Braille 'n Speak can be set to remind you of important dates you've
written into your calendar file.  You can turn this feature on and off through
the Status menu.  When Calendar Alert is activated, every time you turn on the
Braille 'n Speak, if today's date is marked in your calendar file, the Braille
'n Speak warns you that you have something marked for today and asks if you
want to look at it immediately.  Let's see how this works.
 
To set up an example, let's enter today's date into our calendar file and make
a note to ourselves.  Turn your Braille 'n Speak on and open the calendar
file.  Now press ing-sign-chord g e-chord.  When you read the current line,
you should see today's date (in our example, "Wednesday December 25, 1996").
Enter a carriage return followed by a note that says, "Today I am learning
about the calendar."  Follow this with three carriage returns.
 
Now enter the Status menu with an st-sign-chord (dots 3-4-chord).  The Braille
'n Speak says, "Status menu" followed by whatever setting you last checked in
the Status menu.  Write the letter j.  The Braille 'n Speak should tell you
the status of calendar alert.  So it should say something like, "Calendar
check off".  We want to activate it.  So write a y.  The Braille 'n Speak
should then say, "Calendar check on."  Exit the Status menu with an e-chord
and turn the Braille 'n Speak off. 
Now turn the Braille 'n Speak on again and listen carefully to what it says.
You should hear something like, "Braille 'n Speak ready, Calendar alert.  Do
you want to open the calendar.  Enter y or n?"  The Braille 'n Speak will not
let you do anything else until you have responded to this prompt.  We'll write
a y because we want to see what's so important about today in the calendar.
 
The Braille 'n Speak says today's date and immediately places us at that point
in the calendar.  If you check your current line, you'll see that it is right
on today's date and the following line says what you wrote as a message about
today.
 
Okay, you may go ahead and erase this, if you like.  Or, if it's important for
you to keep old calendar dates around for a time, you might want to keep it.
Just remember that for today at least, every time you turn on the Braille 'n
Speak, you'll have to respond to this question about the calendar.  The
Braille 'n Speak isn't smart enough to know that you've already checked the
calendar once today.  Besides, you might just want to check it again later in
the day to make sure you did everything you had written for today.
 
Now suppose you had answered the prompt with an n.  In that case, the Braille
'n Speak would act as it always has in the past, placing you in the file where
you last worked and with the cursor where you last had it.
 
To turn the calendar alert feature off again, simply re-enter the Status menu
with an st-sign-chord and write a j.  At the prompt "Calendar check on", write
an n.  The Braille 'n Speak now says, "Calendar check off."  Press an e-chord
to return to your currently open file.
 
When active, the Calendar Alert feature can be somewhat annoying if you have
something in your calendar for today and you're constantly turning the Braille
'n Speak on and off.  But its benefits far outweigh this small inconvenience.
And you can always turn it off temporarily.  We suggest that you activate the
Calendar Alert feature, unless you don't plan to use the calendar very much.
 
Even if you do have the Calendar Alert feature turned off, you can still check
out whether you have something marked for today in your calendar.  Basically,
this is a choice from the Options menu and works essentially the same way as
we described a moment ago.
 
Press an o-chord a (for alert) from anywhere within a file and you'll hear the
familiar Calendar Alert prompt, "Calendar alert, do you want to open the
calendar; enter y or n?"  Of course, you'll only hear this prompt if something
is marked in the calendar file for today.  If not, nothing happens and you're
right where you were in the file before you issued the o-chord a command.  You
respond to the prompt just as we've described above.  This is a good
alternative to having the calendar alert feature active from within the Status
menu.
 
As pointed out earlier, you can insert any date you wish into your calendar,
not just today.  So when that date comes up, the calendar can alert you to
check your notes for that date.
 
7.3 Information About Your Files
 
Before we leave the clock and the calendar utilities altogether, let's look at
a very handy "side effect" of the built-in clock and calendar.  You might need
to know the date on which you last modified a file.  Maybe you want to replace
it with new content or delete the file altogether but you're not sure how old
the file is.  Or maybe you have a backup of a file on a floppy disk and want
to compare that file's date or size with that of a file on the Braille 'n
Speak to see which is more current.
 
Bring up the Files menu in the usual way by pressing an o-chord f and at the
"Enter file command" prompt, first write a t to see what file you currently
have open.  For sample purposes through out this section, we'll say you have
the Help file open.  This also means that you're pointing to that file from
within the Files menu, unless you press dot 4- or dot 1-chords to point to
another file.  Now press an i-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak should say
something like, "Help 6 pages; Date 11/13/96; Time 20:27; 20,785 bytes; enter
file command".
 
Not only do you get information about the exact date and time when this file
was last changed, but you get the number of Braille 'n Speak pages in the
file, how many "bytes" (characters) it contains, and for files which are
write-protected, you would get that information, too.  If the file were a
braille file - that is, a file in Grade 2 braille with braille translation on
- you would also hear that information.
 
If you want detailed information about a file which is not currently open or
to which you're not currently pointing from within the Files menu, simply
write the letter i at the "Enter file command" prompt.  The Braille 'n Speak
says, "Enter filename".  Write the name of the file you want to check and
press an e-chord.  You immediately hear all relevant information for that file
as in our example above, ending with the prompt, "Enter file command".  As
always when leaving the Files menu, write an e to exit and return to your
currently open file.
 
In addition, you can use this command to get information on a group of
similarly named files by using the wildcard characters we discussed in Chapter
6 (the asterisk and question mark).
 
What if you just want the time and date - the stamp - for a file?  From the
Files menu, write an m-chord (for the file to which you're pointing) or just
an m (for a file to which you're not currently pointing).  Point to the Help
file with an l-chord, then press an m-chord and you hear the file's name, date
and time stamp.
 
If you write the letter m, instead of chording it, the Braille 'n Speak says,
"Enter filename" and waits for you to tell it which file you want checked.
Once you write the file's name, say, the "address" file we created back in
Chapter 4, the Braille 'n Speak should tell you the last date and time that
file was changed, then leave you back in the Files menu.  Exit from the Files
menu with an e or an e-chord.
 
Just like the i command from the Files menu that gives you detailed
information about your files, the m command from the Files menu also works
with the wildcard characters we discussed in Chapter 6 (the asterisk and
question mark).
 
 
Now that we've seen all the different ways to get file information, let's
check out some other bonuses, the stopwatch and timer.
                  CHAPTER 8: THE STOPWATCH AND THE TIMER
 
The stopwatch and the timer work "hand in hand" on the Braille 'n Speak.
Basically, the "Watch" choice on the Options menu lets you use either the
stopwatch or the timer.
 
Interestingly, the function of a stopwatch is in effect the opposite of the
function of a timer.  While a stopwatch times the duration of an event for
you, the timer counts down the duration you have set for an event.
 
8.1 The Stopwatch
 
The Braille 'n Speak's stopwatch does everything you'd expect: it counts down
the time you set, it tells you how much time has elapsed since you set it, and
so on.
 
To enter the stopwatch mode, press an o-chord to bring up the prompt,
"Option", then write a w (for watch).  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Stopwatch
ready".
 
When you're in the stopwatch mode, you can perform only stopwatch tasks.  That
is, you cannot ask for the date, the time of day, perform calculations, read
or write text, etc.  In order to perform those functions, you have to exit the
stopwatch mode with a z-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak confirms, "Exit" and
leaves you back in whatever file you were last working.
 
8.1.1 Starting and Stopping the Stopwatch
 
You can run the stopwatch without setting it to a specified time.  Enter the
stopwatch mode with an o-chord w and at the "stopwatch ready" prompt, press
dot 6.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Running".
 
Sit back, relax.  Count backward from ten slowly, then press dot 6 again.  The
Braille 'n Speak announces a time interval followed by the word "stopped",
something like, "25 seconds 3 tenths stopped".  Next, press dot 6 again.  The
Braille 'n Speak says, "Running".
 
As you press dot 6, start naming the days of the week.  When you finish, press
dot 6 again.  The Braille 'n Speak says a number followed by the word
"stopped".
 
Notice that the number is bigger than the number spoken when you timed your
count-down.  The stopwatch has added the time you took to recite the days of
the week to the time you took to run your count-down.
 
An excellent use of the stopwatch is for calling "time-out" during an event.
 
8.1.2 Reading Elapsed Time
 
Let's repeat our count-down from ten backward.  Start the stopwatch by
pressing dot 6.  Once the Braille 'n Speak says, "Running", recite your
count-down.  After speaking each number, press the spacebar.  Each time you
do, the Braille 'n Speak announces a new time.  You are observing the passage
of time.
 
Each time you press the spacebar, the stopwatch announces the time at the
instant the key is pressed.  With the stopwatch in the stopped condition, if
you press the spacebar, the Braille 'n Speak announces the present time
followed by the word "stopped".  It might say something like, "7 seconds 8
tenths stopped".
 
Now, suppose you've pressed the spacebar to read the stopwatch but were
interrupted by a slamming door.  Write a c to hear the most recent time
announced again and again.
 
Press c as often as you like.  Even with the stopwatch still running, the time
you heard last when you pressed the spacebar is announced.
 
Go ahead and press the spacebar again.  Notice that some time has elapsed
since we started.  Probably you'll hear something like, "5 minutes 30 seconds
3 tenths", for example.
 
But how do you stop the watch from running and how do you set it?  Let's check
that out next.
 
8.1.3 Stopping and Resetting the Stopwatch
 
We have learned that pressing dot 6 stops and starts the stopwatch without
resetting the time to 0.  The final stopwatch command we'll look at does both.
 
With the stopwatch running, press dot 3.  The Braille 'n Speak says the time
elapsed since you started the watch running followed by the words "stopped
reset".
 
Suppose you didn't hear the time announced.  Writing a c will let you hear it
again.  What happens if you press the spacebar?  In that case, you'll hear the
message, "stopped".  Pressing c again also makes the Braille 'n Speak repeat,
"Stopped".
 
By the way, the stopwatch operates even when the Braille 'n Speak is off.  If
you have the stopwatch running when you turn off the unit, when you turn it
back on, the stopwatch will pick up its time right where it left off.  The
stopwatch has a capacity of 23 hours 59 minutes 59.9 seconds, although chances
are, you won't need it to be running for a whole day.
 
8.2 The Timer
 
In a sense, the count-down timer is similar to an alarm clock or kitchen
timer.  Once you start the count-down timer, you can cancel it but you can't
put it on "hold".
 
You need to be in Stopwatch mode to use the timer.  Press an o-chord w if
you're not in it already.
To start the timer, enter a braille number-sign (dots 3-4-5-6).  The Braille
'n Speak says, "Enter count-down minutes".  Using "dropped numbers", write a
2, then write an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter count-down
seconds".  Write the number 15, then press an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak
should now say, "Counting".
 
Now just sit back and wait.  In one minute and fifteen seconds, the Braille 'n
Speak will say, "one minute".  If you continue to wait, at the end of two
minutes fifteen seconds, the Braille 'n Speak will say, "time is up, stopwatch
ready".
 
8.2.1 Finding out Time Remaining
 
Let's see how to check the time left on the timer.  Enter 2 minutes 15 seconds
again.  Then enter an e-chord and listen for the Braille 'n Speak to say,
"Counting".  After a few seconds, press the spacebar.  The Braille 'n Speak
might say something like, "0 minutes 30 seconds remaining".  Pressing the
spacebar repeatedly tells you how much time remains to be counted down.
 
8.2.2 Timing in the Background
 
If you are timing an event, you may have better things to do than pressing the
spacebar every so often to see how much time remains.  As long as the Braille
'n Speak stays on, you can time an event while you write or read text and
perform other activities.  To do this, just end your count-down request by
writing an e-chord twice.  Here's an example.
 
Set your count-down timer to 1 minute 20 seconds.  When you have written the
20, write an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Counting".  Write another
e-chord and the Braille 'n Speak says, "Okay".  You're back in the file you
had open in the exact place you had left off before you brought up the Timer.
 
Even if you're just reading in a long file, at the end of the minute and
twenty seconds, the Braille 'n Speak will stop reading and say, "time is up"
and sound an alarm.  But it won't say, "stopwatch ready", as it did when you
were in the Stopwatch mode.  You're still at the place in your file where the
timer interrupted to let you know time was up.
 
If you want to check out how much time is left, simply press an o-chord
followed by the number sign (dots 3-4-5-6).  The Braille 'n Speak will tell
you the time remaining on the timer or say, "Stopped", if time is already up.
 
How nice not to have to stand in the kitchen, waiting for the microwave timer
to "ding".  Set the Braille 'n Speak's timer instead and keep working in your
back yard.  When dinner is ready, the Braille 'n Speak will let you know.
                         CHAPTER 9: THE CALCULATOR
 
The Braille 'n Speak's calculator is now scientific!
 
This powerful built-in calculator does much more than a standard one: Not only
can it add, subtract, multiply, divide, calculate percentages and extract
square roots, it can perform algebraic expressions, trigonometric functions,
etc.  You can even store calculation results in its 26 memory locations to
make it easier to work with complicated computations.
 
9.1 Basic Operations
 
The calculator uses Nemeth braille symbols for all its functions.  Here are
most of the braille symbols you need to know:
 
addition + (dots 3-4-6)
subtraction - (dots 3-6)
multiplication * (dots 1-6)
division / (dots 3-4)
percent % (dots 1-4-6)
square root (dots 3-4-5-chord)
decimal point .  (dots 4-6)
left parenthesis ( (dots 1-2-3-5-6)
right parenthesis ) (dots 2-3-4-5-6)
comma , (dot 6)
 
To enter the calculator mode, you make a choice from the Options menu as
usual.  This time you press an o-chord c.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Option,
Calculator ready".  When you're finished with the calculator, you can return
to the file in which you were working by simply pressing a z-chord, and the
Braille 'n Speak confirms, "Exit".
 
Now let's run through some examples.  We'll assume you're in calculator mode.
 
To perform any computation with the calculator, you write an expression
including all appropriate operations symbols (like a plus sign, for example)
and end the expression with an e-chord.  Never include spaces in a
computation, as you might do when writing one out on a piece of paper, and use
only "dropped" numbers to calculate.
 
Write 2+2 followed by an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak responds, "4" or "four
period".  The response varies with how your speech parameters for punctuation
announcement are set.
 
To do another calculation, you don't have to clear the calculator.  The
Braille 'n Speak assumes that you're starting a new computation when you enter
a number after pressing an e-chord for a result.
 
Write 375-157 followed by an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak responds, "218".
 
If you want to be absolutely sure that the calculator is cleared for another
computation, simply press a 0-chord (dots 3-5-6-chord), and the Braille 'n
Speak confirms, "Clear".
 
Now go ahead and try a few sample calculations on your own, using some other
operations, like multiplication.  Try decimals, try big numbers.
 
A couple of notes: When working with negative numbers, you must clear the
calculator between one computation and the next.  (Negative numbers are often
used in algebraic expressions.  If you're not familiar with their use, don't
worry about it.) Otherwise, the effect of your calculations is cumulative.
Also, when you enter the sign of operation for addition, subtraction,
multiplication or division, the Braille 'n Speak announces the word "plus,
minus, times, or  divided by" before you enter another number.
 
9.2 Setting Precision
 
So far, our sample calculations have come out even.  There have been no
remainders.
 
But if you divide 100 by 14, the Braille 'n Speak's response varies according
to the number of decimal places to which your calculator is set.  This is
referred to as the "precision" of the calculator.  Usually, two decimal places
is enough since that's all you need for currency.  But occasionally, you'll
want a more precise response.  Here's how to change the decimal precision on
the calculator.
 
From within calculator mode, press a p-chord.  At the Braille 'n Speak prompt,
"Enter precision", write 3 followed by an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak now
says, "Okay" to confirm your new setting.
Now the calculator is set to three decimal places.  Let's check it.
 
Write 100/14 followed by an e-chord.  You should hear, "7.142".
 
You can set the calculator to a maximum precision of twelve decimal places.
However, be aware that the calculator drops 0's at the end of a result.  For
example, if you divide 300000 by 1190 and you have precision set to 2, you get
252.1 as a result.  If you set the precision to 3, you still get 252.1.  When
you increase precision to 4, you discover that your result is 252.1008.  The
second and third decimal places were 0 and were not spoken when precision was
set to just three decimal places.
 
9.3 Inserting Calculation Results into a File
 
Work in your file as you normally do, writing text, cutting and pasting,
inserting and deleting.  When you're ready to insert the result of a
calculation into your text, simply enter Calculator mode and perform your
calculation.  Then exit the calculator with a z-chord.  Finally, press an
i-chord followed by an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak remembers that you just
computed something and immediately inserts it into your open file.  You're
left where you were before you performed your calculation.
 
Note that the Braille 'n Speak uses the braille decimal point (dots 4-6) even
when referring to an integer.  So if you insert a result of 25 into your file,
the period will look like the Nemeth braille decimal point (dots 4-6) and not
like the literary braille period (dots 2-5-6).  You may have to edit your file
accordingly.
 
Furthermore, if you have calculations written in a file for which you need the
results, you don't have to write them over again from within Calculator mode.
Get onto a new line in your currently open file with a hard carriage return.
Then write a calculation that you want in your file and which you want the
calculator to compute.  (Make sure you write the expression using only
computer braille notation.  And, by the way, here you can use spaces.)
 
Now press an o-chord followed by a k to hear the result of the computation.
While the answer is not automatically inserted into your file at the end of
your written expression, you can certainly add it to the end of the expression
by writing an equals sign and then pressing i-chord e-chord to paste the
calculator's answer into your file.
 
Caution:  As we mentioned a minute ago, everything has to be in computer
braille here, and your result is, too.  You may want to put "do not translate"
formatting strings around the calculation and its result in your file so that
when you print the file, the calculation will print properly.  See Section
15.2.1 for details on how to turn the braille translator off for a portion of
a file.
 
9.4 Performing Percentage Calculations
 
Many people find dealing with percents baffling, to say the least.
Nevertheless, we provide a couple of examples here for your convenience.
Besides, we all use percentages far more than we realize in daily
transactions.
 
Enter Calculator mode, if you're not already in it.
 
To determine what percent one number is of another number, first write the
value of the percentage, then write the percent sign, and finally, the number
whose percentage you want to calculate.  As usual, finish the computation with
an e-chord.
 
For example, to find 50 percent of 26, write 50 % 26 e-chord (remembering not
to put spaces in between each part of the expression).  The Braille 'n Speak
responds, "13".  Make sense?  Fifty percent of something is half of it; so
clearly, thirteen is half of twenty-six.
 
By the way, those of you adventurous enough to try algebraic calculations,
trigonometric functions, natural logarithms and the like, get set.  We're
about to dive headfirst into those deep waters.  But first, let's see how to
store items into the 26 memory locations in your calculator.
 
9.5 Storing and Using the Memory Locations
 
The Braille 'n Speak calculator has 26 memory locations where you can store
results of computations.  These memory locations are labeled A through Z.  One
special memory location, R, always stores your last result.  All the others
store and save results, even after you exit the Calculator mode and turn off
the Braille 'n Speak.
 
There are two ways to store a number in a memory location:  First, write an
arithmetic expression and press an e-chord to compute its result.  Then press
an s-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Store".  Write the letter of the
memory location where you want to store it, for example, A.  The Braille 'n
Speak confirms, "Okay".  Second, start with a cleared calculator memory and
simply write a number followed by an e-chord.  Then press an s-chord followed
by the letter of the memory location where you want it stored.
 
To read the contents of a memory location, simply write the letter of that
location followed by an e-chord.
 
 
If you have stored a number in a memory location, you can use that number
within a calculation.  Write the letter of the memory location where you
stored the number as part of the expression to be calculated.
 
For example, write 3-2 followed by an e-chord.  At the response, "1", press an
s-chord A to store the result in memory location A.  Write 3-1 followed by an
e-chord.  At the response, "2", press an s-chord B to store this result in
memory location B.
 
So now you have numbers stored in memory locations A and B.  Write a+b
followed by an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak looks up the number stored in
each memory location and calculates, "3".  You were able to add the numbers
using only the letter labels of the memory locations.
 
As we said above, R is a special memory location.  The most recent result you
got from pressing an e-chord is always stored in R.  You can use the number
stored in R just as you use the other memory locations labeled A through Z.
 
With a bit of practice, you can use the memory locations to store long
numbers, or important ones (like the amount of your paycheck), so you can
track how it's dwindling as you go through the week.
 
9.6 Extracting a Square Root
 
No, not nearly as painful as a root canal!
 
To extract the square root of a number, write the number whose square root you
want, then press an ar-sign-chord (dots 3-4-5-chord).  No e-chord is required.
For example, to extract the square root of 25, simply write "25" followed by
an ar-sign-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak immediately says, "5".
 
* 9.7 Complex Functions
 
The Braille 'n Speak has many built-in functions for performing algebraic,
trigonometric, and even statistical functions.  Basically, the functions have
names like "sin" for the sine function, and arguments that you provide within
parentheses separated by commas.
 
For your convenience, we'll go through a few examples of how to enter
functions correctly into the calculator.  But for a complete listing, refer to
the Help file or to Appendix B, the Quick Reference guide.
 
* In addition, if you've upgraded your unit from a Braille 'n Speak 640,
you'll be pleased to know that we've added base conversion to the scientific
calculator.  These are especially useful to programmers who may need to
convert from, say, binary to hexadecimal.  We've added six conversion
functions altogether and you can check them out in Appendix B under the
section on scientific calculator functions. 
 
As you've seen, the calculator is very handy for plain arithmetic.  In the
following discussion, we'll assume you're familiar with the terms "function",
"argument", etc.  This section may not be for you if your head starts spinning
at words like "exponent" and "sine of pi radians".  But if you enjoy tinkering
with higher math, the following few examples should be enough to whet your
appetite.
 
Let's first take something simple.  How about if we find the average of three
numbers.  From within Calculator mode, write avg(3,5,7) and press an e-chord.
Remember to write in dropped number notation and to write the parentheses in
computer braille.  The Braille 'n Speak should respond, "5".  Easy enough.
 
Let's try something a little more daring.  Calculate the sine of 90 degrees or
pi/2 radians.  Write sin(90) and press an e-chord.  You should hear the
correct answer, "1".  Since the calculator's default is in degrees, you're
okay.
 
But let's switch to radians.  Simply press an r-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak
says, "radians".  Now write sin(pi/2) and press an e-chord.  Not surprisingly,
you also get a response of "1" since the calculator computed pi/2 and then its
sine in radians.  To get back to degrees, press a d-chord.
 
Now, for those of you who are real risk takers, how about calculating the
value of e.  First let's reset precision to something like 5 to get a better
computation.  Press a p-chord and at the prompt, "Set precision", write a 5
followed by an e-chord.  Now write exp(1) followed by an e-chord.  You should
hear, "2.71828".  Sound right?  Yes, e is somewhere around that.
 
How about a statistical function?  Calculate the median of a group of numbers.
Write median(5,6,7,8) followed by an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak answers,
"6.5".
 
Of course, there's no reason why you can't add like functions together, as in
sin(90) + sin (45), etc.  But we'll stop here.  By now, you should have the
general idea, or be totally at sea.  If you find you're having problems
calculating some of these complex functions (like certain trigonometric
functions), call us for help.
 
9.8 Error Messages and Tips
 
If you set the calculator an impossible task, such as dividing 17 by 0, the
Braille 'n Speak rejects the expression with, "Error, division by 0".
 
If you use an incorrect chord for an e-chord, the Braille 'n Speak says, "not
valid calculator command".
 
You can use the backspace (b-chord) to make corrections.  For example, if you
want to add .5 and .5 but write .4 as your second entry, press a b-chord to
erase the 4 and then write the 5 followed by an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak
responds to your corrected entry with, "1".
 
If you haven't pressed an e-chord yet, you can hear the calcula tion you have
written thus far by pressing a c-chord.  Once you press the e-chord however,
pressing c-chord does nothing.
 
* Finally, pressing an f-chord toggles the voice between speaking numbers as
digits or full words from within Calculator mode.  (Note to upgrades: This
command no longer affects the announcement of numbers in your files, only
numbers spoken by your calculator.)
 
 
As you can see, the scientific calculator is quite a bonus.  Now let's turn to
some other useful tools in the Braille 'n Speak.
                    CHAPTER 10: OTHER HELPFUL FEATURES
 
10.1 Word Exceptions
 
The Braille 'n Speak is obviously a very handy device for so many tasks.  But
oh, how frustrating that it can't pronounce certain things just right! Well,
that's the price you pay for mechanical speech, isn't it?.
 
Not really.  You can get the Braille 'n Speak to pronounce things just the way
you want.  The word exceptions dictionary takes care of funny-sounding words,
proper names and abbreviations.
 
You can create a special file containing unusual words or letter combinations
(acronyms) that the Braille 'n Speak may not recognize.
 
Take, for example, the letters "USA" - a very common abbreviation, isn't it?
Yet, the Braille 'n Speak can't be expected to take everything into account.
 
Get into an existing file or create a new one for practicing with this
concept.  For our example, we'll use our "practice" file from Chapter 4.  Get
into it now.
 
Let's start with a clean slate.  We'll assume your "practice" file is empty.
If it isn't, delete whatever practice junk you have in it at this time.  Write
"USA" and notice that the Braille 'n Speak says, "use-ah", as if it were a
word.  We'll create a file called "word.fix" to keep track of such anomalies
so that when we write the abbreviation, the Braille 'n Speak will pronounce it
correctly.  Make sure to write the filename with a computer braille period
(dots 4-6) and not the braille period (dots 2-5-6).
 
Bring up the Files menu and create a file called "word.fix" having one Braille
'n Speak page and having braille translation "off".  Within this new file,
write in ASCII only, not in Grade 2 braille, the letters "USA" just as before,
except this time follow the letters immediately by an ASCII equals sign (dots
1-2-3-4-5- 6) and then write each letter, separated by spaces.  So your text
should look like this (we spell this out precisely in braille terms for
clarity):
 
"usa dots 1-2-3-4-5-6 u space s space a"
 
Now press a carriage return (dots 4-6-chord).  You have just created your
first "word exception".
 
Return to your "practice" file where you had the text that caused this havoc
in the first place.  Does the Braille 'n Speak now say "U.S.A."  or does it
still say "use-ah"?  It may or it may not.  That depends on whether the
Braille 'n Speak is awake and looking out for word exceptions.
 
Check the Status menu to see whether Word Exceptions is "on".  Bring it up now
with the usual st-sign-chord and jump to the setting by writing an e (for
Exceptions).  The Braille 'n Speak should say something like, "Exceptions
check on".  To turn it off, simply press an n; to turn it on, press a y.  Exit
the Status menu with an e-chord.
 
 
What's important about the word exceptions dictionary is that you must be
using computer braille when you write in it.  You write the word, phrase, or
acronym followed immediately by an ASCII equal sign and then the correction.
 
The word exceptions checker is especially nice for proper names and for all
those alphabet soup acronyms floating around nowadays.
 
10.2 The One-Handed Braille 'n Speak
 
Some people need to use the Braille 'n Speak with one hand, rather than two.
For those special cases, the Braille 'n Speak can be turned into a
"one-handed" device.
 
To make the Braille 'n Speak accept keystrokes for one-handed use only, simply
press a dot 6 as you turn on the unit.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "One-hand
mode on, Braille 'n Speak ready, (filename) now open".  From now on, the
Braille 'n Speak works like this:
 
The spacebar is your focal key.  To write a character that involves only dots
to either side of the spacebar, simply write the character, for example, an l
(dots 1-2-3) followed by a space.  The space is not entered into your file,
just the l.
 
To write a character that involves dots on both sides of the spacebar, say a
g, write the left half first (dots 1-2) and then the right half (dots 4-5)
followed by a space to enter the character into your file.  You could have
written the right half first, then the left half, or you could have pressed
each key individually.  The important thing to remember is that the character
is entered only after you press the spacebar.
 
Entering chords is a little more complicated.  You enter a chord by starting
with a space.  Then you press the appropriate dots on either side of the
spacebar and end with another space.  For example, to get to the end of the
file, normally a dots 4-5-6-chord), you press the spacebar, then write dots
4-5-6, then press the spacebar again.  Only then does the Braille 'n Speak
say, "End of file".
 
We suggest you only use one-handed mode if you truly require it.  For most
users, this mode is unnecessary and potentially confusing - especially, if you
enter it accidentally.
 
To return the Braille 'n Speak to two-handed mode, simply press a dot 3 when
next turning on the unit.
 
10.3 Review Only Mode
 
If you want to review the contents of a file but don't want to bother with
chords to read paragraph after paragraph, you can place yourself temporarily
in Review mode.
 
Press an o-chord and at the "Option" prompt, write an r.  The Braille 'n Speak
says, "Review on, okay".
 
Until you issue another chord command, any chord will do, you can write dot
combinations you normally execute with the spacebar.  For example, dot 4 reads
you the next line.  Dots 1-4 or the letter c, reads you the current line, and
so on.
 
Exit Review mode by simply pressing any chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Off".  Or, turn the unit off altogether to return it to normal use.
 
 
The next chapter examines macros, and no, we don't mean fish.
                            CHAPTER 11: MACROS
 
If you're already familiar with the concept of macros, you may skip this
introductory section and move directly to the specifics on how to create and
play macros.
 
11.1 What's a Macro, Anyway
 
Have you noticed that there are some key sequences we perform all the time?
For example, we're always telling you to "get to the Files menu", which
usually means pressing an o-chord f.  Big deal.  That's only two keystrokes.
But what if you check your calendar several times a day, for example, or if
you jump in and out of a certain file all the time to look up a phone number?
The numerous keystrokes involved may be a nuisance to repeat and maybe you
just don't have the time.
 
Granted, the Braille 'n Speak shuts up as soon as you press a key during the
processing of a command.  You don't necessarily have to listen to it speak an
entire prompt before you respond to it - a time-saver.  But it's even more
practical to use a two-keystroke command instead of a multi-keystroke command.
 
For example, suppose you're constantly looking up phone numbers in your
"address" file.  Ordinarily, you'd do the following, as you'll remember from
Chapter 4:
 
Press o-chord.  At the "Option" prompt, write an f.  At the "Enter file
command" prompt, write an o.  At the "Enter file to open" prompt, spell out
the name of the file followed by an e-chord.  At the "filename now open"
prompt, press an l-chord to get to the top of the file.  At the "Top of file"
prompt, press an f-chord.  At the "Enter text to find" prompt, write the name
of the person whose number you want to find.  Then press an e-chord.  Assuming
the name is found, the Braille 'n Speak says the name.  Then press a dot
4-chord to hear the phone number following the name.  Then press an o-chord
followed by an f followed by an o followed by the name of the file you were in
before, followed by an e-chord to get back there.  Fatiguing, isn't it -
especially on a regular basis.  A macro can make the whole business much
simpler.
 
Yes, you could eliminate some steps if you know that the address file is file
number 5 and you press an o-chord followed by a dropped "05" to get there,
etc.  But overall, you're still talking about a lot of keystrokes to get one
piece of information.  A macro can reduce significantly how many keystrokes it
takes to do a task you perform repeatedly.  Now let's see how it all works.
 
11.2 Recording a Macro
 
When you create a macro for the first time in the Braille 'n Speak, it
automatically creates a file called "macros.sys" and places it at the end of
your files list.  The "macros.sys" file stores the macros you create so that
when you want to play them, the Braille 'n Speak can find them.
 
You can create up to 64 macros and each can contain up to 63 keystrokes.
While recording a macro, about six keystrokes before the 63-character limit is
reached, you are alerted with a beep.
 
You can name a macro with a letter of the alphabet, or with any braille
symbol, like the-sign (dots 2-3-4-6).  But we suggest sticking to meaningful
alphabet name designations.  For example, a macro for your calendar should
probably be named by the letter c.
 
A word of caution: When you are creating (or recording) a macro, that is
literally what you are doing.  You are performing the sequence of keystrokes
that you want to automate and "recording" that sequence at the same time.  So
we strongly recommend that you record a macro very slowly and carefully to
avoid writing erroneous keystrokes.  This is especially important if part of
the macro is supposed to edit text or manipulate files.  Imagine your surprise
if you accidentally delete the wrong file as you're recording your macro.  It
could be a costly mistake.  Oh, it won't matter by the time you go to play the
macro.  You'll already have deleted the file.  So remember that recording a
macro is like recording on your tape recorder with a live microphone.  Just as
unwanted conversation or extraneous noises can creep into a recording,
unwanted keystrokes can creep into a macro if you're not careful.
 
We'll start with a very simple example of recording a macro.  Let's get into
the file called "practice" and go to the end of the file.  We'll create a
macro that simply adds one day to today's date and inserts that date into our
file.  You might use this at the end of each day to "move" your calendar
forward a day.
 
Start by checking today's date.  For sample purposes, we'll say that today is
Wednesday January 1, 1997.
 
To begin recording the macro, we suggest that you first run through all the
steps of the macro to make sure each step does exactly what you want.
Remember that when you're recording the macro, you are in fact performing the
steps you're recording.  So, it's best to plan carefully.
 
The steps in the present example are: ing-sign-chord (dots 3-4-6-chord) g,
followed by a "dropped" 1, e-chord.  Those steps do the following: ing-sign-
chord prepares you for pasting something; g gets you into calendar mode.
Writing the "1" moves the calendar forward a day from today's date.  Pressing
an e-chord inserts the date spoken by the Braille 'n Speak into your file.
 
Now let's perform the actual recording.  Make sure that you're at the end of
your file and that the last three characters are hard carriage returns.
 
To start recording a macro, press an n-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Macro, enter a character."  We'll enter a letter c (for calendar).  The
Braille 'n Speak says, "Recording."  Go ahead and perform the steps we
described above and don't worry about the Braille 'n Speak prompts.  If you
make a mistake during the process, simply abort the recording with a z-chord.
Press another n-chord to complete the recording of this macro.  The Braille 'n
Speak should say, "Macro end."
 
Notice that the last line of your file is indeed tomorrow's date.  So, as we
warned, the Braille 'n Speak not only recorded your macro, it also executed
the steps it recorded.
 
Now let's look at how to "play" this macro.  We'll pretend that it's now
tomorrow and that we want to add the following day to our calendar.
 
11.3 Playing an Existing Macro
 
You play a macro with two simple keystrokes - a j-chord and the letter (or
other braille symbol) by which you named your macro.
 
If you want to incorporate an existing macro into one you're recording, don't
press an n-chord to complete the recording process. Instead, press a j-chord
at the point you want the old macro to "take over".  Then write the character
that represents the name of the old macro.  This is sometimes called "nesting"
macros.
 
Let's see how to play the macro we just recorded.  Get to the end of your
"practice" file and write in three hard carriage returns.  Play the macro for
calendar update by pressing a j-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Macro".
It's waiting for the character designation (or key definition).  Now write the
letter c.  Whether the Braille 'n Speak actually voices each step in the
processing of the macro depends on whether it's set to speak macros.  For now,
we'll assume it is speaking the steps as it performs them.
 
Notice that the Braille 'n Speak finishes the whole process far faster than
you could have.  You should be at the point in your file that says tomorrow's
date.  What?  Shouldn't it say the day after tomorrow?  Well remember, we were
pretending that tomorrow is already here and that we were adding another day
to our calendar.  The Braille 'n Speak doesn't know about our game and so it
simply added one day to today's date and inserted that date into your file.
Since the Braille 'n Speak keeps time, try this macro again tomorrow and
you'll see that it works as we suggest.
 
Incidentally, we told you to add those extra hard carriage returns in the file
between running each sample macro because the Braille 'n Speak inserts a date
by replacing the last character in your file with a space.  If you had not
placed those hard carriage returns at the end of your file, you might have
ended up with the date being part of the last line of text that was already in
your file.
 
11.4 How to Check a Macro
 
Whether the Braille 'n Speak voices the steps of a macro as it plays is up to
you.  From anywhere within a file, you can "Kill" macro speech with a k-chord
or "verbalize" macro speech with a v-chord.  You can even include k-chord and
v-chord commands in your macro as you record it.  Once you become accustomed
to using macros, you'll probably want speech off as you run them.
 
 
Certainly, a macro runs much faster if the Braille 'n Speak doesn't have to
voice prompts as it's performing the task.  But until you're very comfortable
with macros, we suggest that you press a v-chord to have the macro voice what
it's doing.  This is also helpful if you forget what a macro is supposed to be
doing.
 
Next, we'll talk about pausing a macro as it's playing so you can respond to a
prompt or enter text and then let the macro continue.  This is where the full
power of macros becomes self-evident.
 
11.5 Pausing a Macro
 
In our introduction to macros, we suggested an example of a macro to search
for a phone number from your "address" file.  The macro has to pause long
enough for you to enter the name of the person whose phone number you want,
and then it has to go and find it for you.
 
To make a macro pause while it's playing, you include a special command as you
record the macro at the point where you want it to pause.  To make the macro
wait for you to enter a single character, press a ch-sign-chord (dots 1-6-
chord).  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Pause".  To make the macro wait for you
to enter a full line of text, press ch-sign-chord twice.  The Braille 'n Speak
says, "Line pause".  Then instruct the macro to continue processing by
pressing an e-chord, at which point the Braille 'n Speak confirms your
instruction with, "Pause end".  Let's go through an example.
 
Suppose you have to keep a log of all messages that come into the office - for
over forty people.  Each person has a voice mailbox where callers can leave
messages.  With that many names, you can't memorize all the extensions; so,
you have them in a file called "staff".
 
First, set up the files on your Braille 'n Speak.  Create a file called
"staff" and write some names and phone number extensions in it as follows:
name, hard return, phone number, two hard returns, next name, hard return,
phone number, two hard returns, etc.  (The purpose of placing two hard returns
(as we've pointed out often) is to separate each entry by paragraphs to make
it easier to read through such a file.
 
Now create yourself a "messages" file where you place the time and date when
messages come in for the staff.  Our macro does the following, assuming we're
starting from within the "messages" file.  (We separate each command with
spaces and commas only for readability.):
 
hard return (dots 4-6-chord) - Separate current entry from previous one.
o-chord, f, o, staff, e-chord - Open "staff" file.
l-chord - Go to top of file.
f-chord - Find text command.
ch-sign-chord twice - Pause macro for you to enter desired name.
e-chord twice - First to end the pause, second to go and find the name.
m-chord - Mark the beginning of the entry.
dot 4-chord - Read phone extension so you can transfer caller to it.
dot 4-chord - Place cursor at end of entry.
gh-sign-chord (dots 1-2-6-chord) - Copy entry to Clipboard.
o-chord, f, o, messages, e-chord - Return to "messages" file.
space - Append space at end of file.
ing-sign-chord (dots 3-4-6-chord), c - Copy entry from Clipboard.
ing-sign-chord, d, ing-sign-chord, t - Copy date and time for current entry.
 
That's the end of the macro.
 
Since this macro has prompts we need to hear, press a v-chord to verbalize
macro speech before starting the recording process.  Go ahead and record this
macro just as we list it above, starting and ending with an n-chord and naming
it with the letter l (for log).  As you record it, answer the prompt, "Enter
text to find" with nothing.
After pressing the final n-chord that completes the recording of your macro,
read what's in your file.  You should hear nothing except today's date and the
current time because you didn't ask the macro to find a name while you were
recording it.  But, as we've mentioned several times in this discussion on
macros, it does execute as it records.  That's why today's date and time are
in your "messages" file.  Go ahead and erase them, if you like.  Or, just
leave them in for a minute until we run this macro to see what happens next.
 
By the way, caution is advised if you include commands in a macro that take
you to the end of your file - such as a dots 4-5-6-chord command.  Macros stop
processing when they reach the end of a file.  You won't notice anything
special going on as you record a macro with a dots 4-5-6-chord in it.  But
when you try to play such a macro, it will process your commands only up to
the point where it encounters the dots 4-5-6-chord.  At that point, it will
stop, and you may think something is wrong with the macro because you won't
hear an error message of any kind.
 
This situation may also arise if you include a Find command or Search-and-
Replace sequence within a macro.  Such a macro will run well as long as text
is found.  However, if the text you're looking for is not found (which means
that the whole file was searched and the end of the file was reached without
finding your text), the macro stops processing immediately upon reaching the
end of the file.  We're not suggesting that you never use the Find or Search-
and-Replace commands in a macro.  Only, be aware that macros always stop
processing when the end of a file is reached.
 
Let's play the macro in our example with a j-chord l and see what happens.
You should hear, "Top of file, enter text to find, line pause."  Write a name
that's in your "staff" file - say, "John" - and press an e-chord to let the
macro continue.  You'll hear, "Pause end".  Then you should hear something
like, "extension 25, marked, copied, Option, Enter File Command, Filename,
"staff" is open, Paste what, Tuesday July 4, 1996, Paste what, 12:15 PM".
 
All of the Braille 'n Speak prompts speak as the macro is running.  Kill
speech during macro execution with a k-chord and run the macro again, looking
for a different name, if you like.
 
Now, the only thing you should hear is, "Enter text to find".  Write "Jane"
and press an e-chord.  The macro will run through the same steps as before but
won't chatter as it's doing so.  The only things you should hear are the
extension for Jane, and the date and time.  Certainly, this is much simpler
than having to run through all those steps manually each time a call comes in,
and at the end of the day, you can print out today's log for your boss.  Just
think how efficient you'll look.
 
What happens if the name you are searching for is not found?  The macro simply
aborts at that point.
 
11.6 Write-Protecting Macros
 
Since we've created such a masterpiece, let's make sure we protect it.  What
if you forgot, for instance, that you already have a macro labeled with the
letter l.  You could accidentally start recording a new macro, erasing the one
you so painstakingly created before.  To avoid this pitfall, you should
consider protecting your macros.
 
Press an n-chord as if you were going to record a macro.  At the prompt,
"Macro, enter a character", press a p-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Write-protected".  Now if you try to write over an existing macro, the
Braille 'n Speak stops you with, "Write-protected".  In fact, you won't be
able to create any new macros while in this mode.  It's similar to
write-protecting your important files.  When you try to write anything into a
write-protected file, the Braille 'n Speak says a similar message, "File is
write-protected".
 
By the way, the "macros.sys" file is always protected.  You couldn't write in
it even if you wanted to do so.
 
To be able to create new macros or replace old ones, you can Unprotect them
with an n-chord u-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak will simply say, "Unprotected"
and you'll be able to create new macros once again.
 
11.7 Adding your Own Messages to a Macro
 
One thing we might have included in the macro we just wrote is a message that
says, "The extension is".  That way, you hear a complete sentence when you
hear the extension.
 
As you record the macro, at the point where you want such a message to speak,
press a dots 2-3-6-chord.  Write the text of your message in computer braille
and end it with an e-chord.  Then proceed with the rest of the steps you want
the macro to perform.  When you play this macro, your message will be spoken
at the appropriate point in the process.
 
A very effective use of writing your own messages into a macro is when you
want the macro to prompt you to do something.  It's true that the macro says
the normal Braille 'n Speak prompts like "Enter text to find".  But in the
macro that runs your name and phone number search, you could have it say
something like, "Enter a person's name from your 'staff' file" to remind you
exactly what it is you're supposed to find.
 
To make sure the macro speaks a message you wrote in it, activate macro speech
with a v-chord.  Then run the macro and you'll hear your message at the
appropriate point in its processing.  Otherwise, your message won't speak.
 
* 11.8 Start-Up Macros
 
This section is not for the inexperienced user.  Wait till you're very
comfortable with macros before tackling it.
 
The concept of a start-up macro is rather simple but if you mess up while
recording such a macro, who knows what will happen - and it will happen every
time you start up your unit - unless you catch your error before you turn it
off and erase the macro before it can screw up your work.
 
In essence, a start-up macro is one you create to play every time you power up
your Braille 'n Speak.  If you find that you're always looking up phone
numbers and addresses in your database, say, as part of your job, you may want
to create a start-up macro that runs your BrailleBase program (a neat and
easy-to-use database program you can order for your Braille 'n Speak).
 
To record a start-up macro, first be very clear about the steps you want the
macro to perform, as always when creating a macro.  Write down the exact
sequence of steps and/or execute them by hand first to make sure they work
just right.
 
Now, from wherever you are in your currently open file, press an n-chord to
begin recording a macro.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Macro, enter a
character" and waits for a keystroke from you to define the macro.  If you
press the spacebar at this point, you'll hear the message, "Create start-up
macro; are you sure (y or n?"  If you write an n, the process aborts and the
Braille 'n Speak confirms with, "Abort macro".  If you write a y, the Braille
'n Speak says, "recording", and waits for you to write in the keystrokes you
want the macro to perform.  End the recording in the usual way with another n-
chord.  The Braille 'n Speak confirms that you're finished recording with,
"Macro end."
 
From now on, whenever you turn on your unit, the macro you just created is run
automatically.
 
If you should decide to erase this macro, or any other one you have created
for that matter, simply press n-chord, the key that defines the macro, and
another n-chord.  This in effect empties out the key definition of the macro
and makes it unplayable.  So if you find you no longer need your start-up
macro, just press n-chord, spacebar, answer the prompt with a y, then instead
of writing anything for the macro to perform, simply press another n-chord.
The start-up macro will have been redefined to nothing and therefore nothing
will play the next time you turn on your Braille 'n Speak.
 
The start-up macro can be a powerful, time-saving tool.  Just be sure you know
what you're about when you're creating one.
 
 
Clearly, macros greatly enhance the flexibility of the Braille 'n Speak.  Now
we move on to another very useful feature, the Spellchecker.
                       CHAPTER 12: THE SPELLCHECKER
 
The spellchecker program (or application, in computerese) was probably already
loaded into your Braille 'n Speak from the factory.  It's in a file called
"spell.dic", which takes up 86 Braille 'n Speak pages.  If you deleted this
file, thinking you wouldn't have enough room for other large files in your
unit, refer to Section 1.3 which discusses the expanded Flash memory in your
machine, and check out Sections 14.4 and 15.5 to see how to load this external
program back into the Braille 'n Speak.
 
The advantage of having a dictionary always at your fingertips may be worth it
- well, not exactly a dictionary.  The spellchecker inspects your files for
spelling errors and suggests corrections for the misspelled words it finds.
It also allows you to create a secondary, personal "dictionary" with words
that are spelled correctly but that aren't part of the "spell.dic" file.
 
* And now that you have Flash memory available, you can actually store the
spellchecker in Flash so it doesn't take up any room at all in the RAM portion
of your unit.  As you'll see in Chapter 16, external programs generally need
to be in RAM in order to run but we made the spellchecker an exception since
it's such a vital program.  This is the one external program you can run from
Flash.  Now let's see how it works.
 
12.1 Running the Spellchecker
 
To load the spellchecker into memory, from your currently open file, bring up
the Options menu and write a ch-sign (dots 1-6).  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Spellcheck what?"  Write a w to check the word currently under your cursor or
write a z to check your entire document, starting from your current cursor
location.
 
If you want to Spellcheck the entire document from beginning to end, make sure
your cursor is at the top of the file.  If you decide to discontinue
spellchecking the document, you can abort the process with the usual z-chord.
In that case, the document is checked only to the point where you cancelled
the process.
 
* When a word is not found, you've either spelled it incorrectly - it doesn't
match a word in the spellchecker - or it may not be a word found in a standard
dictionary, like a proper name.  In such a case, the spellchecker has options
for you.  If the Braille 'n Speak says, "Not found" and spells out the word in
question, it then presents you with a set of options.  Let's look at these one
at a time.  If you get stuck and can't remember the available options, write
an h to hear them repeated.  Or just run through them with dot 4-chords and
dot 1-chords as you would any other menu of options in the Braille 'n speak.
 
12.2 Adding a Word to Your Personal Dictionary
 
Choose Option a for adding a word to a "custom" dictionary called
"personal.dic" - a file the spellchecker automatically creates for you and
places at the end of your files list.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Okay" and
keeps searching the file for other misspellings.
 
12.3 Bypassing a Word for the Rest of the Document
 
Suppose you have "XYZ" in a file.  This is the way you want to spell this
"word".  You don't want to add it to a personalized dictionary and you don't
want to have the spellchecker continue to warn you every time it finds it.
Choose Option b from the spellchecker menu and the word is bypassed for the
remainder of the Spellcheck process.
 
12.4 Reading a Word in Context
 
What if you're not sure whether a word is correct but you would be if you
could hear surrounding text.  This might be true of an abbreviation or
acronym.  Choose Option c to hear the word spoken as part of the current line
of text in your file.
 
12.5 Correcting a Word
 
If you realize that the word is spelled wrong, choose Option e.  The Braille
'n Speak prompts you to, "Enter correct word".  When you've written it, press
an e-chord and the Braille 'n Speak says, "Okay", confirming that it has
replaced the word for you in the file.  Then it continues to spellcheck the
document.
 
12.6 Repeating a Word
 
Let's say you're not sure what spelling the Braille 'n Speak gave you for the
word in question.  Choose Option r to have the word spoken and spelled again.
Press dots 3-6-chord to have the word spelled out phonetically.
 
12.7 Overlooking a Word
 
If the word the spellchecker thinks is wrong is really okay, but you do want
it to be checked throughout the rest of the document, choose Option o.
 
12.8 Suggested Replacement Words
 
If you think you might have chosen a better word or you want to hear possible
spellings for the word, the spellchecker provides you with its best guesses of
what it thinks you meant to spell.  Choose Option s.  The spellchecker lists
several possibilities:
 
Move back a choice with dot 1-chord and forward a choice with dot 4-chord, to
the top of the suggestion list with l-chord and to the end of it with a dots
4-5-6-chord.  Writing a c reads you the current choice, and pressing an
e-chord replaces the incorrect word with the current choice.
 
To leave this submenu without choosing a replacement word, simply abort it
with a z-chord.
 
 
A note of caution: While the spellchecker can check through a Grade 2 braille
file, when it replaces a word in such a file, it does so in computer braille.
In other words, if the replacement word is, say, "word", you will find that it
is spelled out, not contracted, in your braille file.  While this does not
affect the reading of the text, it may affect your ability to search for that
word later.  You could look for the contracted version of the word for a long
time and never find it.
 
The spellchecker does take up a considerable amount of Braille 'n Speak space,
but if you write a great deal with the Braille 'n Speak or have no other word
processor at your disposal for printing perfectly spelled documents, it can be
a lifesaver!
 
And speaking of printers and other computers, we turn to them next.
 
                                  SUMMARY
 
This section has covered a staggering array of utilities and tools available
in the Braille 'n Speak.  We suggest you review those chapters that are
especially important to your daily use of the Braille 'n Speak before moving
on to our next challenge, telecommunications.
 
This subject can scare some.  Don't worry.  We'll keep it as simple as
possible.  You'll find that hooking up the Braille 'n Speak to other devices
can only broaden your horizons.  Take a deep breath - and let's move on.
 
                 SECTION IV: CONVERSING WITH OTHER DEVICES
 
 
                               INTRODUCTION
 
Up to now, we've looked at the Braille 'n Speak as a "stand-alone" device.  In
computerese, such a device can perform tasks on its own, without being hooked
up to any other devices.  And we've seen how powerful the Braille 'n Speak is
all by itself.  We now begin to explore how much more you can do when you hook
up the Braille 'n Speak to other devices: printers, computers, disk drives,
and modems.
 
No doubt, you've heard that things get real technical when words like "cable",
"serial versus parallel", and even that big word, "telecommunications", come
on the scene.  Consequently, many shy away from exploring what
telecommunications can mean to them.  It is indeed very easy to slide into
jargon when discussing the subject.  The good news is, you don't have to be a
techie-whiz to hook up your Braille 'n Speak to another device.
 
As with previous sections of this manual, we assume that you may not be
familiar with telecommunications and that an introduction will help to
demystify the subject for you.  If you're already acquainted with the jargon,
we suggest skimming over the first section anyway, and then looking over the
rest of the chapter more carefully, because we discuss customizing
telecommunications settings in the Braille 'n Speak.  Then you can skip
directly to those chapters of special interest to you.
          CHAPTER 13: INTRODUCING TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND SETTINGS
 
What happens when you're using your telephone or watching your television?
Why, information is being sent and received, of course: voice through the
phone and pictures through the TV.  Telecommunications is simply the ability
to send and receive information to and from one place to another, from one
device to another.  It is accomplished through cables linking the devices and
by matching up various settings on the devices being linked.
 
13.1 Cables
 
The Braille 'n Speak comes with a cable that you can connect to many printers,
computers, even modems.  At times, you can make the connection without
additional adapters or connectors.  But more often, you need to connect cable
adapters or additional cables between the Braille 'n Speak cable and the other
device.
 
Let's clear up some of the mystery around cables right off.  You don't have to
understand the technical details surrounding cabling issues, just be aware of
what kind of connectors you may need.
 
There are four things to consider when linking the Braille 'n Speak to another
device: serial versus parallel, gender, number of pins, and null modem cable
requirements.  Don't be scared off by these terms.  We promise not to get too
techie.
 
13.1.1 Serial versus Parallel
 
The Braille 'n Speak is a serial device.  You must determine whether the
device to which you want to link the Braille 'n Speak is serial or parallel.
(The manual that came with the device should tell you and the dealer can give
you this information even before you purchase the device.) Most printers today
are parallel devices or have both parallel and serial options.  If you want to
link the Braille 'n Speak to a parallel device, you'll need to get a
serial-to-parallel converter cable before you can do anything else.  Since the
Braille 'n Speak is a serial device, we'll assume that you're linking it to
another serial device and focus on the myriad settings you can change on a
serial connection.
 
* 13.1.2 Gender
 
* Another thing to determine about cables is the sex of the connector and the
sex of the port to which you're linking it.  The ports on the Braille 'n Speak
2000 are female and accept only male DIN connectors.
 
(Note:  If you've upgraded to a 2000, notice the new ports.  Your old cables
will not work with your new Braille 'n Speak 2000 because the connectors are
entirely different.
 
* From our physical exam way back in Chapter 1 you should recall that the
ports on the Braille 'n Speak 2000 are on the left side of the unit within a
long rectangular opening and are separated by two little vertical bars.  They
feel like two small round objects with tiny holes in them.  The Braille 'n
Speak cable can be plugged into either port for use with another device.
 
* Now let's examine each end of the  Braille 'n Speak cable.  Notice that you
have a small round connector at one end and a larger rectangular connector on
the other end.  The housing of the small round connector, which is the one
that plugs into the Braille 'n Speak, has one flat side.  This side faces up
when you plug the connector into your unit.  Also, the rim of the connector is
semi-circular with tiny pins on the inside of the rim.  These tiny pins fit
snugly and precisely into the tiny holes in the port on your unit.  This type
of connector is called a DIN connector.
 
* Let's check out the other end of the cable.  It may be male or female.
Depending on its gender and that of the port to which you're connecting it,
you may have to get a gender changer.  You plug the opposite sex end of the
gender changer to the Braille 'n Speak cable, then plug the other end of the
gender changer into the port on the device and tighten the finger screws on
either side of the connector. 
 
Your machine comes with two gender changers - one male and one female.  But if
you need to, you can usually get serial gender changers from your local
computer store.  However, to avoid a costly mistake, make sure you're specific
when telling a salesperson the sex of your connector and the sex of the port.
 
* 13.1.3 Number of Pins
 
* Yet another issue is the number of pin locations on the connector that plugs
into a device and the number of pins that the port on that device can accept.
This number must match exactly or, once again, you'll need an adapter.  The
standard cable that comes with your Braille 'n Speak 2000 has a 25-pin
connector for plugging into other devices.  Since 9-pin connectors are
becoming more common these days though, you may opt for a Braille 'n Speak
cable with a 9-pin connector instead.  (Call Blazie Engineering for the
alternative cable or adapter.)
 
* if it's convenient to have both options at your disposal, you can get by
with an adapter that converts your 25-pin connector to a 9-pin connector.
Adapters can be purchased at your local computer store or from Blazie
Engineering.  Here again, it's not crucial that you understand the technical
details.  But you do need to know what kind of connector you have and what
kind of port you're trying to link with so that your salesperson can sell you
the right adapter.
 
13.1.4 Null Modem Cable Requirements
 
To connect the Braille 'n Speak to a modem, to another Braille 'n Speak or
Braille Lite, and to some computers, you need a special cable called a "null
modem" cable or adapter.  Some Apple computers, for example, require one,
although an IBM PC-compatible does not.  The important pieces of information
to note here are the genders and the number of pins each connector and port
needs in order to match up precisely.
 
When you purchase a Braille 'n Speak, an interface kit containing gender
changers, a null modem adapter, and even a minitester comes with the unit to
help with technical problems.
 
 
Now that we've established the cable requirements, let's look at what you need
to do to prepare the Braille 'n Speak for stepping out into the world of other
devices.
 
13.2 Telecommunications Settings
 
Assuming you've cabled everything correctly, you still need to make sure that
your Braille 'n Speak telecommunications settings match those on the other
device.  Often times, trouble arises from simply having mismatched speeds or
duplex settings or whatever.  In this section, we look at how to determine the
status of these settings and how to change them.  Both devices you are linking
together must "talk the same language" and be polite enough to "listen" to
each other without interrupting.  It's also crucial that they communicate at
the same rate of speed so that one isn't overwhelmed by the dizzying rate, or
turned off by the sedate pace, of the other.
 
Before you start hooking things up, check the manual of the other device for
the status of telecommunications settings preset from the factory on that
device (referred to as the "default" settings). If you need to change any
settings, chances are, it'll be easier to do from the Braille 'n Speak's side
of the link than from the other side.
 
To see the status of telecommunications settings in the Braille 'n Speak, you
look them up in the Status menu.  From there, you can change them, or simply
exit the Status menu with either a z- chord or e-chord.  On the other hand, if
you just want to change a setting but don't need to see its present status,
you can change it from the Parameters menu.  We'll show you both as we go
through the telecommunications settings one at a time.
 
13.2.1 Baud Rate
 
The speed at which characters are transmitted to and from a device is called
the Baud rate.  It is preset to 9600 Baud, or 960 characters per second, in
the Braille 'n Speak.  To see the present value of this setting, get into the
Status menu with an st-sign-chord (dots 3-4-chord) and enter a b.  The Braille
'n Speak tells you the current setting, in this case, "9600 Baud".
 
You can write the first digit, or the first and second digits, of the setting
you want instead (using dropped numbers, as always).  The possible settings
are: 150, 300, 600, 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600, 19200, and 38400.
 
Where the first digit is not specific enough to identify the desired rate, you
may need to write the second digit as well.  For example, if you need to set
the Braille 'n Speak to 150 Baud, you must write 15 since 19200 is another
possible Baud rate and the Braille 'n Speak can't guess which of the two you
want.  However, if you need to set the Braille 'n Speak to 2400 Baud, you can
simply write a 2 and the Braille 'n Speak understands.  Remember to exit the
Status menu with an e- chord to return to your previous work area.
 
If you just want to change the Baud rate without checking its present value,
bring up the Parameters menu by pressing a p-chord from wherever you're
working.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter parameter".  Write a b and at the
"Enter Baud rate" prompt, simply write the first digit, or first and second
digits, of your choice.  The Braille 'n Speak doesn't repeat the Baud rate
you've entered.  It just says, "Okay."  However, if you write an invalid
setting, it says, "Invalid input" and leaves you back where you were last
working.  You'll need to start all over again with a p-chord b to issue a
valid setting.
 
13.2.2 Parity
 
Parity works to keep your transmission error-free.  All you need to know is
that it can be set to Even, Odd or None.  The default is None.  Get into the
Status menu with an st-sign-chord and write a p.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"No parity".  To change it, write an e for Even or an o for Odd.  Exit the
Status menu with an e-chord.
 
To change parity from the Parameters menu, press a p-chord.  At the "Enter
parameter" prompt, write a p.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter parity, None,
Even, Odd".  When you write the first letter of a choice, the Braille 'n Speak
simply confirms, "Okay" and leaves you back in your previous work area.
 
13.2.3 Duplex
 
This setting deserves special notice because it affects what you hear during a
transmission as well as what exactly is being transmitted.
 
There are three choices: Half duplex, Full duplex and None.  In the following
discussion, we assume that your Braille 'n Speak is set to transmit data.  In
other words, its serial port is "active", ready to send and receive data. 
 
 
When duplex is set to half, the default value, everything you write - your
responses to prompts, for example - is stored in your currently open file, as
well as sent out the serial port to another device.  If you accidentally fail
to press the spacebar when pressing a chord, a character (the non-chorded
keys) is appended to the end of the text in your currently open file.
 
When duplex is set to full, everything you write is sent out the port and
nothing is stored in your currently open file.  Therefore, full duplex is
generally more desirable.  If you have your Braille 'n Speak connected to a
computer, you'll usually want to set the Braille 'n Speak to full duplex mode.
 
When duplex is set to none, what you write is stored in your currently open
file but it is not transmitted to the other device.  This is most useful when
transmitting a file from the Braille 'n Speak directly to a printer.
Otherwise, each time you send a carriage return or whenever the printer
receives all it can handle, it might print before you are ready.
 
Enter the Status menu and write a d to hear the current setting of duplex.
Change it by writing an f or an n.  Then exit The Status menu with the usual
e-chord.
 
Or, enter the Parameters menu and write a d.  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Enter duplex: half, full or none".  Enter a choice by writing its first
letter and the Braille 'n Speak responds, "Okay", leaving you back in your
currently open file.
 
13.2.4 Data Bits
 
The next setting to consider is the data length, or "data bits" setting.  The
possible options are 7 and 8, with 8 being the most commonly used setting.
 
To see the present status of data bits, enter the Status menu with an
st-sign-chord and write a dots 4-5-6 character.  The Braille 'n Speak should
say, "8 data bits".  You can change it, if necessary, by writing a dropped 7.
That is your only other option in this case.  The only time you need to worry
about this setting at all is when the device at the other end requires a
setting of 7 instead of 8 data bits.  Remember to exit the Status menu with an
e-chord.
 
To change the data bits setting from the Parameters menu, press a p-chord and
at the "Enter parameter" prompt, write a dots 4-5-6 character.  The Braille 'n
Speak says, "Enter data bits".  It assumes that you know your choices.  If you
write an invalid entry, the Braille 'n Speak says, "Invalid input" and kicks
you back into your currently open file.  To set a valid data bits setting, you
must start the process over again.
 
13.2.5 Stop Bits
 
This telecommunications setting has only two choices: 1 and 2.  Generally,
devices require only 1 stop bit.
 
To see which way the stop bits parameter is presently set, enter the Status
menu with an st-sign-chord and write an s.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "1 stop
bit."  Change it to 2, if necessary, by writing a dropped 2.  Exit the Status
menu with an e-chord to return to the file in which you were working.
 
Or, if you just want to change stop bits, press a p-chord to enter the
Parameters menu.  At the prompt, write an s and the Braille 'n Speak says,
"Enter stop bits".  As always, an invalid entry kicks you back into your
currently open file.  To restart the process, you need to re-enter the
Parameters menu.
 
13.2.6 Handshaking
 
Handshaking refers to a sort of traffic cop, telling one device to stop
sending while the other deals with information it has received.  For example,
if the Braille 'n Speak keeps sending to a printer which is not able to
process the information coming into it, you could lose text.  So, handshaking
keeps the flow of information on track.
 
The three choices are None, Software handshaking and Hardware handshaking.
What's important here is to match the Braille 'n Speak's setting to what the
other device expects.
 
Enter the Status menu with an st-sign-chord and write an h.  The Braille 'n
Speak may say any one of the three choices, something like, "Software
handshake".  To change it to one of the other two, simply write the first
letter of your choice.  Exit the Status menu with an e-chord.
 
You may also set handshaking from the Parameters menu.  At the "Enter
parameter" prompt, write an h.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter Hardware,
Software or None".  Write the first letter of an option and the Braille 'n
Speak responds, "Okay", leaving you back in your currently open file.
 
When transmitting from a PC to the Braille 'n Speak, we recommend not using
the "None" handshake setting because it will cause loss of data.
 
Next, we'll look at a few parameters that affect how your data appears when
it's sent and how your Braille 'n Speak is affected by transmission of data.
Though you don't have to match these parameters on both ends of the link, you
should understand how they can be of use, and how they can create potential
snags if they're set incorrectly.
 
13.2.7 The Interactive Mode
 
Recall from Chapter 4 that, in order to have the Braille 'n Speak echo what
you write, the Interactive mode must be "on".  The easiest way to enable or
disable it is with a g-chord.  When you enable it, the Braille 'n Speak says,
"Interactive, okay" and when you disable it, the Braille 'n Speak says, "Off,
okay".
 
To see the current status of Interactive mode, enter the Status menu and write
a g.  The Braille 'n Speak tells you its status.  Change it with a y (for on)
and an n for off) and exit the Status menu with an e-chord.
 
So what does all this have to do with communications?  When interactive mode
is "on", not only is the text you write spoken, text coming into the Braille
'n Speak through its serial port is also spoken.  This can be especially vital
when you're connected to a bulletin board through a modem, for example.
 
If you want to listen to everything coming in, you can.  However, this slows
down the whole transmission process.  Even with speech set to maximum speed,
the Braille 'n Speak's voice lags behind the transmission.  On the other hand,
having Interactive mode on means that you'll know when transmission has
stopped or when you are being prompted by the other device.  It also means
that if you halt speech with an e-chord and data continues to transmit, the
voice will resume and you'll be able to "catch up" - so to speak.
 
13.2.8 Rejecting Ornamentation
 
This is the parameter that controls what kinds of characters are accepted as
part of a transmission.  Computer networks can generate cute graphic
characters (like smiley faces and Greek symbols, and even characters that draw
boxes around text).  You can lock out such characters from ever intruding into
your file.  Most likely, all you want is the content in your Braille 'n Speak,
not the fancy squiggles sighted readers find so aesthetically pleasing.
 
When you set the Reject Ornamentation parameter "on", the Braille 'n Speak
effectively screens out strings of three or more spaces, stars, or any other
characters that produce ornamentation in the text or affect the layout of the
text in some way.
 
To check the status of the Ornamentation parameter, enter the Status menu and
write an o.  You change the setting on and off with a y or n.  Most of the
time, you'll want to keep it "off" unless you're hooked up to a device that is
constantly sending you extra stars and the like.
 
You can also change this setting by pressing a p-chord to enter the Parameters
menu.  Write an o and the Braille 'n Speak prompts, "Reject ornamentation
characters; enter y or n."  Respond according to your need at the time and you
hear, "Okay", finding yourself back in your currently open file.
 
Now that you have an elementary understanding of telecommunications settings
and how to match them to the device you're linking with your Braille 'n Speak,
you are ready to skip to the chapters of this section that particularly
interest you.
                    CHAPTER 14: THE PORTABLE DISK DRIVE
 
We spend very little time explaining standard computer terms - formatting a
disk, operating system, textfile, etc.  We assume you're familiar with these
basic computer terms or have access to training on them.  Rather, our focus is
on the Braille 'n Speak's interaction with other devices.
 
The portable disk drive is the Braille 'n Speak's passport to the world of
computers.  It lets you work with standard 3-1/2 inch disks formatted for an
MS DOS (IBM PC-compatible) computer.
 
You can load text documents (ASCII textfiles) into the Braille 'n Speak, read
them, edit them, even transfer them back onto disks.  You can load programs
(applications) specially written for the Braille 'n Speak - such as the
checkbook writer and spellchecker - adding even more power to your unit.
 
You can list the contents of a disk (a directory), format a disk (prepare it
to receive information), delete files on the disk, create new ones, etc.
 
The disk drive can format and read either 720K or 1.44MB (low- and high-
density) disks.  When you command the drive to format a disk, it determines
whether the disk is low- or high-density and formats accordingly.
 
* 14.1 How to Operate the Disk Drive
 
* NOTE: Freedom Scientific now has a new, slimmer version of the portable disk
drive.  You may have an older model.  Check out Appendix E for details on
which chargers work with the new disk drive.  In addition, the cable that
connects the new disk drive to your Braille 'n Speak 2000 is different from
the one you may already have, so check with Freedom Scientific for details on upgrading
your older model.
 
* The disk drive connects to either of the Braille 'n Speak 2000's ports.  A
cable comes with the drive when you purchase it.  The connector that fits into
the Braille 'n Speak feels identical to the DIN connector on your serial
Braille 'n Speak 2000 cable.  (See Section 13.1.2.)
 
* Now let's see what this drive looks like before we start messing with file
transfers between it and the Braille 'n Speak.
 
Position the drive with the slot where the disk goes facing toward you.  Rest
the unit on a flat, stable surface - like a desk.  Now look at the back of the
device.
 
* Starting from the left, the first thing you find is a rocker switch.  This
powers up the disk drive.  It comes in the "Off" position from the factory,
rocked to the right.  To turn on the disk drive, you rock it to the left.  But
don't do that just yet.
 
* Now feel along the back of the unit to the right, past a rectangular object
(which is the port for the cable that connects the drive to your Braille 'n
Speak).  Continue to the right until you find the jack for the drive's 12-volt
charger.  The disk drive can be operated from its internal battery, much like
the Braille 'n Speak, and it should be fully charged when you purchase it.
Nevertheless, you might want to plug your charger into the unit the first time
you run the drive.
 
* The battery in the disk drive is identical to the battery in the Braille 'n
Speak.  In fact, the two battery chargers are interchangeable.  The disk drive
needs only two to four hours to attain a full recharge and it can run for
three to five hours before needing another recharge.
 
* Move back now toward the middle of the back side of the disk drive until you
feel the rectangular object we mentioned a moment ago.  As we said, this is
the port that connects the disk drive cable to your Braille 'n Speak.  In
order for the drive to power up, you must have the cable connected to the port
on the drive and to one of the ports on the Braille 'n Speak, and the Braille
'n Speak itself must be turned on.  If you try to turn on the disk drive
without first inserting the cable into the port, connecting it to your Braille
'n Speak, and then turning on the Braille 'n Speak, nothing will happen.
 
* Let's examine the cable more closely.  One end, as we pointed out at the
beginning of this section, has a DIN connector.  The top of the housing of
this connector is flat to help you align it properly to your Braille 'n
Speak's ports.  The rim of the connector is semi-circular and there are tiny
pins located on the inside of this rim.  These pins fit snugly and precisely
into either of your Braille 'n Speak's ports.
 
* Now, the other end of the disk drive cable fits into the rectangular port
located in the middle of the back side of the disk drive.  Those of you
familiar with parallel printer cables will notice that this port and connector
are miniature variations of the Centronix port and connector found on a
parallel printer.
 
* Align the connector with the port and gently push until the connector mates
snugly with the port.  You'll hear a distinctive click when the cable is
properly seated in the port.  Although there is no marking on the connector,
it can only go into the port one way.  So if you find you're having trouble,
turn the connector around and try again.
 
* Notice that on either side of the housing of this connector are two small
clips.  To remove the cable from the drive, simply squeeze these clips
together and the cable will come loose.
 
* Once the cable is properly connected to both the disk drive and the Braille
'n Speak, you may go ahead and turn on the disk drive.  You'll hear three
distinct tones to indicate that the unit is active.  Insert the disk that came
with the drive, braille side up and with the characters facing away from you,
into the slot in the front of the machine.  The disk should click into place
and a small, square button to the right of the slot should pop out toward you.
When you're ready to extract this disk from the drive, simply push that button
in and the disk will pop out.
 
 
Mostly, you'll be storing and retrieving files between the disk drive and your
Braille 'n Speak.  So we'll go through examples of each type of transmission.
 
14.2 Retrieving a File from Disk
 
First, you need to create a space in the Braille 'n Speak to receive the
incoming file.  But how do you know what size to make it, and what if you make
it too small?  Won't you lose some of the text in the file, or couldn't you
end up with a huge, empty space in your Braille 'n Speak?
 
If you know the size of a file in bytes (and remember that a Braille 'n Speak
"page" holds up to 4,096 characters), you can then "guestimate" how many
Braille 'n Speak "pages" are required for a file.  But if you guess wrong,
you're still okay, as you'll see.  Let's go through a simple, concrete example
of retrieving an existing file from the disk that came with the drive.
 
Let's create a file called "disk" six Braille 'n Speak pages long with braille
translation turned off.  Once you're in the file, press an s-chord.  The
Braille 'n Speak says, "Storage".  Now write an l and at the prompt "Load,
enter filename", write the word "disk".  Press an e-chord to start the
transmission.
 
You'll hear some clicks from the disk drive and some hissing noises from the
Braille 'n Speak.  Within a very short time, the Braille 'n Speak will say,
"File is full" and, if Interactive mode is on, it will start speaking the text
of the file.  Shut up the Braille 'n Speak by writing a dots 4-5-6-chord to go
to the end of the file.  Check how much room you have left with an r-chord.
You should hear something like, "Room left is 11".
 
You can read this file in the usual way.  Go ahead and do that now, moving to
the top of the file and either listening to the complete text or skipping
around in the file.  Do you have the complete file saved on the Braille 'n
Speak?  Well, one way to find out is to read the current line at the end of
the file with a c-chord.  In the current example, you'll hear something like,
"by R".  Doesn't sound like the end of a document, does it.
 
Actually, the disk drive emits a single tone when it completes sending a file
to the Braille 'n Speak, and the Braille 'n Speak itself says, "Okay".  Since
this didn't happen, we can assume there is more text in the file that hasn't
been transmitted yet because the Braille 'n Speak ran out of room.  The disk
drive is smart enough to know when the Braille 'n Speak can't take any more
data and stops sending text.  Let's see how to continue getting more of the
file from the disk drive.
 
Make the Braille 'n Speak file bigger by 1 Braille 'n Speak page, say.  Then
go to the end of the file.  (This is still just after the last character the
file had before you expanded it.  The difference now is that there are another
4,096 empty spaces that can be filled with data from the disk drive.) Now
press an s-chord.  At the "Storage" prompt from the Braille 'n Speak, write an
r (for resume).  This time, the disk drive should emit a single tone,
indicating that it has finished sending the file, and the Braille 'n Speak
should say, "Okay" to acknowledge that it has received a complete file.
 
Of course, this process doesn't work if you turn off the disk drive (thinking
you got the whole file), and then turn it on again (when you realize you
didn't).  The disk drive isn't that smart.  Once you turn it off, and then on
again, it can't remember what file it had been sending, and certainly not at
what point it had stopped.
 
Once you hear the "Okay" prompt, you can proceed as before, reading the file
in the usual way.
 
Incidentally, you've probably noticed a couple of tones from the disk drive
every few minutes.  Don't worry; it's the drive's way of reminding you that
it's still on, just as the Braille 'n Speak has a Power Reminder feature that
says "Hello" when you've left it inactive for a few minutes.
 
Now, how about if we want to save a file onto disk from the Braille 'n Speak.
 
14.3 Saving a File to Disk
 
There are several ways to save a file from the Braille 'n Speak to a disk.
Three common methods include: saving a file merely for backup purposes; saving
a file as a "print" file ready for a printer or word processor to handle; and,
saving a file as a "braille" file ready to send to a braille embosser.
 
The simplest way to save a file from the Braille 'n Speak to a disk - mostly
used for backup purposes - is to press an s-chord from within the file and at
the "Storage" prompt, write an s (for save).  The Braille 'n Speak says,
"Save; enter filename".  Use the MS DOS file naming conventions to name the
file and press an e-chord.  The disk drive spins and the Braille 'n Speak
hisses and clicks.  Shortly, a single tone from the disk drive followed by an
"Okay" from the Braille 'n Speak tell you that your transfer was successful.
 
You can check the status of braille translation through the Status menu, but
this method of saving files facilitates that.  You don't have to think about
which way your braille translator is currently set.
 
Another method of saving files is this: From within the file you want to save,
press an s-chord.  At the "Storage" prompt, write a t to save the file
translated from Grade 2 braille into normal, English text (a textfile), or
write a b to save the file as a Grade 2 braille file to be printed on a
braille embosser or sent out to a braille display device.  For clarity, you
might answer the "Enter filename" prompt with "filename.txt" for "print" files
and with "filename.brl" for "braille" files.
 
The Braille 'n Speak goes through its usual clicks and hisses and the disk
drive spins.  Your transfer is complete when you hear, "Okay" from the Braille
'n Speak and a single tone from the drive.
 
A note of caution: In our present discussion, we haven't addressed the issue
of physical page layout - page length, margins, centering, etc.  Before you
save a file to disk as a "print" or "braille" file you intend to send to a
printer or braille embosser, you must set up the appropriate page format for
the file.  Otherwise, your file is translated into print or Grade 2 braille
but its page format may be a mess.  Review Section 4.9 for a full discussion
of formatting strings you can include in your files, as well as format
parameters you can set from the Status menu.
 
Whether you're transmitting an application (computer program) or a textfile to
or from the disk drive, or perhaps a group of files, here's another, more
sophisticated transmission method.
 
14.4 Transmitting Textfiles or Applications
 
First, let's take a look at how this optional transmission process works,
regardless of the type of file being transferred.  In the next section, we'll
deal specifically with transferring "programs" or "applications" to the
Braille 'n Speak.
 
Enter the Files menu and press a t-chord (for transfer a file).  The Braille
'n Speak sees that the disk drive is connected and prompts you with, "Disk
drive, enter s to send or r to receive".  If you press an s or an r, you hear
the names of the files as they are being transmitted.
 
14.4.1 Sending Files to the Disk Drive
 
Write an s to send files to the drive.  The Braille 'n Speak prompts you with
the name of the file to which you're pointing in your files list and tells you
whether that file is "marked".  Marking the Braille 'n Speak files you want to
send prepares them for transmission.
 
You can navigate through your files list to hear which files are marked.  If
you don't want the file you're pointing to sent to the disk drive, unmark it
with an n.  Then move through your files list, unmarking files with an n:
forward with a dot 4-chord or backward with a dot 1-chord, to the beginning
and end of the files list with an l-chord and dots 4-5-6-chord as usual.  When
you find a file you do want to send, write a y to "mark" it for sending.
 
There's a quicker way to mark and unmark files.  When you find a file you want
to mark, press a y-chord to mark the file.  This automatically moves you to
the next file in your files list.
 
Finally, if you want to send all the files in your Braille 'n Speak files
list, write an m to mark them all at once.  Write a u to "unmark" your entire
files list all at once and select individual files to send.
 
You can also use "wildcard" characters to mark groups of files with similar
names.  (See Section 6.8 for details on wildcard characters.) Press an m-chord
or u-chord to mark or unmark a specific group of files that have similar
names.  For example, suppose you have several files with names like,
"names.brl" and "books.brl".  Press an m-chord followed by the characters
"*.brl" (that's an asterisk, a period, then the letters brl).  All files with
names that end in ".brl" are marked for sending to the drive.  Similarly, a
u-chord followed by "*.brl" unmarks that group of files so that they are not
sent.
 
And, are you remembering to use computer braille - dots 1-6 for the asterisk,
dots 1-4-5-6 for the question mark, and dots 4-6 for the period?
 
By the way, you can toggle between marking and unmarking the file to which
you're pointing by pressing the spacebar.
 
When you've marked all the files you want to send to the drive, press an
e-chord to let the Braille 'n Speak start sending files.  You hear the drive
spin and nothing much from your Braille 'n Speak until it finishes sending.
Then it prompts you with "Okay, enter file command".
 
Remember, you started this process from within your Files menu; the Braille 'n
Speak knows that.  So it leaves you there when it completes the transmission.
 
 
14.4.2 Receiving Files from the Disk Drive
 
From the Files menu, press a t-chord.  At the prompt, "Disk drive; enter s for
send or r to receive", write an r.  The Braille 'n Speak prompts, "Enter
filename" and waits for you to write the name of a known file on the disk in
the drive or a group of similarly named files.  Press an e-chord to let the
Braille 'n Speak start receiving.  You may use wildcard characters for
similarly named groups of files, as illustrated above.
 
After you press the e-chord to signal the Braille 'n Speak to begin receiving
files from the drive, you should hear the drive spin and eventually the
Braille 'n Speak say, "Okay".  Files from the drive are appended to the end of
your Braille 'n Speak files list.
 
However, if there is already a file in your Braille 'n Speak with the same
name as a file you're trying to transmit from disk, you hear a prompt, "file
exists.  delete, skip rename or abort."  Choose d to delete your Braille 'n
Speak file and replace it with the incoming file.  Choose s to skip the file
and move to the next one on disk to transmit. When you choose r for Rename the
Braille 'n Speak still transmits the file, but it also adds a .0 extension to
your old file to distinguish it from the new one.  Choose a for abort to
cancel the entire transmission procedure and return to the Files menu on the
Braille 'n Speak.
 
Next, let's see how to receive a file that is a program or application, not a
textfile.
 
14.5 Adding an Application to the Braille 'n Speak
 
Up to now, we've been talking exclusively about sending and receiving
textfiles - that is, files with text you can read in them.  As you may know,
the other type of file a computer uses is a "program", a file that instructs
the computer on how to do something, like run a word processor or a
spreadsheet application.  For the Braille 'n Speak there are new applications
being developed all the time that you can add to your unit - for example, the
checkbook writer.
 
You can send to the Braille 'n Speak an application - or binary file - using
the Transfer command just described.  We'll use the handy financial calculator
as our example so you can find out how much interest you're actually going to
pay on the loan you just took out to buy your Braille 'n Speak.
 
Insert the disk whose label starts with, "checkbook" into your drive.  From
the Files menu, press a t-chord, as before.  This time, answer with an r.  The
Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter filename".  Respond, "fcalc.*".  This way, both
the "fcalc.bns" and "fcalc.doc" files will be transmitted.  The Braille 'n
Speak recognizes files with ".bns" extensions as programs and the file with an
extension of "doc" is probably the file that tells you how to use the program.
Press an e-chord.  The disk drive spins and eventually the Braille 'n Speak
says, "Okay".
 
Obviously, if the file is not on the disk, you hear an error message.  As
you'll see in a minute, you can check what files are on a disk.  For now,
we'll assume that things worked fine and you have the files in your Braille 'n
Speak.
 
Go to the end of your files list to see their names.  You should hear, "file
number x, fcalc.bns, external program" (where x is the number of the file in
your files list).  Press a dot 1-chord to back up one file and hear, "File
number x, fcalc.doc".  The Braille 'n Speak knows that the file with the "bns"
extension is not a textfile.  Press a dot 4-chord to point to it again and
open it.  You'll see that when you try to read it, you hear gibberish.  That's
because this file is meant to be "run", as you run your spellchecker, and not
"read" as you would read your address file.
 
 
To run this special calculator program, you'll need to read its user guide,
called "fcalc.doc".  There are two ways to run the program:
 
Simply press an o-chord to get into the Options menu, then write an x.  The
Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter program to execute".  Write "fcalc" and press an
e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak loads the program and gives you its first
prompt.  Quit this particular program with a q from its main menu.  You'll
then be back in the Files menu at the prompt, "Enter file command". 
 
Or, bring up the Files menu and point to the "fcalc.bns" file by pressing dot
4-chords until you're on it.  In our example, you could just press a dots 4-5-
6-chord to reach the last file in your files list, which is the file we want.
Then press an x-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak loads the program and it gives
you its first prompt.
 
As we said above, the Braille 'n Speak recognizes files with the ".bns"
extension as external programs and automatically write-protects them.  Files
with extensions .bin, .bns, .com, .dic, .exe, and .sys, are also
write-protected automatically.  You can delete such files, but you cannot
write in them.
 
If you're not ready to explore the financial calculator, delete it at this
time, or save it for when you're more comfortable with your unit's overall
features.
 
14.6 Reading the Directory from a Disk
 
We cover the directory command here since you must know what's on a disk to
use it effectively.  But we won't describe all the commands you can use with
the disk drive - such as Format a disk, or Kill a file on disk.  These
commands assume an understanding of MS DOS.  They all begin with the s-chord
and are followed by the first letter of the command.  For example, s-chord
followed by k is the command for "killing" a file on disk.  A list of disk
drive functions is in the Braille 'n Speak Help file and in Appendix B.
 
From anywhere within your currently open file, press an s-chord followed by a
d.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Directory; enter filename".  Respond with an
e-chord for a complete list sorted alphabetically and with file size
information only.  Or respond with the specific file on the disk whose name
you know, or a specific group of files whose names all end with, say, "bns",
using wildcard characters.  Then press an e-chord.  Add /n after the d to get
an unsorted list of files.  Write a /w after the d if you want the files
alphabetically sorted and you want to see the dates and times they were last
modified.
 
Whichever way you invoke the directory command, momentarily, the Braille 'n
Speak will have received the directory, and if Interactive mode is on, it will
start saying, "Volume label is . . ."  and begin listing files.  Is this list
being transmitted into your currently open file?  No.  Luckily, the Clipboard
- that scratchpad area that holds things for you in the Braille 'n Speak - is
receiving the directory list.  You can read through it from the Clipboard file
as you read any other text.
 
One new trick is that you can load a file into your Braille 'n Speak directly
from the Clipboard as you read through the directory of files.  Bring your
cursor onto the file you want to load, then press s-chord g.  The file is
automatically loaded into your Braille 'n Speak at the end of your files list.
 
Check out the section on sophisticated modem protocols in the next chapter
because you can also use the s-chord command with the ymodem protocol.  And
using it can save you time.
 
 
The disk drive opens up a whole new infinite realm of possibilities for you to
explore.  Printers let you communicate with others by physically producing
your work on paper.  Computers and modems - especially modems - can broaden
your options even further.  And speaking of printers and other computers, we
turn to them next.
 
                CHAPTER 15: PRINTERS, MODEMS, AND COMPUTERS
 
15.1 Transmission Considerations
 
Your Braille 'n Speak is preset from the factory for 9600 Baud, 8 data bits, 1
stop bit, no parity, half duplex, and software handshaking.  If you're
unfamiliar with these terms and you don't know what your other device expects
these settings to be, review Section 13.2 before continuing.  It might save
you countless hours of aggravation the first time you try to transmit data
between the Braille 'n Speak and another device.
 
And while we're about it, if you bypassed the discussion of cables (Section
13.1), we suggest you take a minute to skim over that section, as well.  Wrong
cables account for a considerable amount of technical support questions and
needless frustration.
 
Now let's talk about a couple of settings on the Braille 'n Speak we
deliberately left out of Section 13.2 to avoid confusion.
 
15.1.1 Activating the Serial Port
 
To conserve power, the serial port on the Braille 'n Speak is normally turned
off.  Before you can communicate with any external device through this port,
you must activate it.  The longer the serial port is active, the greater the
drain on the Braille 'n Speak's battery.  If you make heavy use of the port,
the battery drains quickly.  Don't think anything is wrong with the battery if
you start getting "Battery low" warning messages after only seven hours of
use, for instance.  So check your battery drain periodically.  (See Section
1.5.3 for details.)
 
There is no reminder that the serial port is active once your unit is turned
on.  If the serial port was left active the last time you turned off the
Braille 'n Speak, when you next turn it on, the start-up message says,
"Braille 'n Speak ready, serial port".  So it's important to turn off the
serial port immediately upon completing communications with another device to
save battery power.
 
Of course, you can check whether the port is active.  Enter the Status menu
with an st-sign-chord and write an f.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Serial
port, off."  To turn it on, write a y.  To turn it off later, write an n.  Or,
press a p-chord to bring up the Parameters menu.  At the "Enter parameter"
prompt, write a dots 2-6-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Serial port,
enter y or n".  Whatever your choice, the Braille 'n Speak may only squeak in
response, although most of the time, you'll hear the confirming prompt,
"Okay".  This setting is hard to change on purpose to avoid accidental
activation of the serial port.
 
15.1.2 Appending Linefeeds
 
 
Back in Chapter 4, we explained the difference between a carriage return and a
linefeed and why it is that you don't really need to have linefeeds present in
your files on the Braille 'n Speak.  Let's revisit this briefly to see how it
applies to transmitting text.
 
In effect, a carriage return moves the cursor to the left margin of a line.
In the Braille 'n Speak, it doesn't affect your reading because you are not
physically moving up and down a piece of paper to read.  So the carriage
return serves only as a marker.  A linefeed, on the other hand, moves the
cursor to the next line on the page.  Once again, in a Braille 'n Speak file,
linefeeds are meaningless because you're not physically moving vertically
along a piece of paper.
 
However, it's clear that when you print the contents of a Braille 'n Speak
file, you need both carriage returns and linefeeds.  Otherwise, a printer will
simply print the first line of text, then return the carriage to the left
margin and print the next line, and the next, and the next, without ever
moving down the page.  And you can guess what a jumble of letters you'll have
- all on the same line.  (Some printers actually refuse to print at all if
they don't receive pairs of carriage returns and linefeeds.) Luckily, there's
a provision built into the Braille 'n Speak to deal with this.
 
Enter the Status menu with the st-sign-chord.  Write an a.  The Braille 'n
Speak says something like, "Add linefeed when transmitting, off".  Turn this
parameter "on" with a y and "off" with an n.  Unless you're transmitting,
you'll want it off.  Or press a p-chord to bring up the Parameters menu.
Write an a for "Add linefeeds" and turn on the setting before you transmit
your file.
 
A word of caution: The Add linefeeds setting is not file-specific, even if the
setting to make parameters file-specific in the Status menu is "on".  This is
important because, if you forget to turn it off when you're through printing,
all your files will retain linefeeds and that may cause other transmission
problems.
 
Next, let's quickly revisit page formatting to make sure your printouts come
out just right.
 
15.2 Physical Page Format Considerations
 
When sending text directly to a printer, braille embosser, or computer, you
want it to look right in that environment.  In other words, if the text is
going to a printer, you probably want the page length to be 54 lines with top,
bottom, left, and right margins of about an inch, for example.  If the text is
going to a braille embosser, on the other hand, no doubt you'll want something
like a page length of 25 lines, a line width of 40 characters, and Grade 2
braille.
 
As you'll recall, these format considerations can be handled simply by
including special formatting strings in your file as you write, and by setting
certain parameters at transmission time.  Review Section 4.9 for a complete
discussion of formatting strings and parameters.  Here we'll only focus on
settings and formatting strings that affect the actual process of printing or
brailling.  All of these formatting strings can be added temporarily and
removed once the commands they initiate have been performed by the printer or
braille embosser.
 
15.2.1 Printing Text Without Translating
 
There may be times when you want a portion of your file not to be translated
from Grade 2 braille because you've written it in computer braille, instead. 
 
For example, say your document explains how to write a certain MS DOS command
that has slashes in it.  If you do nothing to warn the Braille 'n Speak when
it prints your file to an ink printer, every slash will be printed as an "st".
In fact, you should be aware of this even as you write it because the Braille
'n Speak will pronounce things like "/w" as "s t w".
 
To prevent the Braille 'n Speak from accidentally translating something you
don't want translated, you have two options for temporarily stopping
translation.  Place a ' $brl+ ' just before the text you want to print
untranslated, and a ' $brl- ' just before the place where you want translation
to resume.
 
Or use the symbol, dot 4 followed by a dash (dots 3-6) at the beginning of a
group of characters you don't want translated, and a dot 4 followed by an l
when you want translation to resume.  Like the $ formatting strings, the dot 4
symbol requires spaces around it.  So you'd write something like, "space, dot
4, dash, space, Do not translate this text., space, dot 4, l, space".  Either
method works.  It's just a matter of preference.
 
If you just want one character not to be translated - say, an asterisk (dots
1-6 in computer braille) - place a dot 4 before the character.
 
15.2.2 Finding out What Page is Being Printed
 
There are two ways to find out what page is being printed.  You can either
insert the string ' $st ' at the place where you want specifically to hear
what page is being printed.  As it's printing, the Braille 'n Speak will
announce, "Status directive encountered on Page x, Line x" at the place you
wrote the formatting string in your file (the x's being the actual number of
the page and line printing at the time).  Or, you could always just press the
spacebar as you're printing at any time to hear what page is being printed.
This way you don't have to add a special string into your file at any
particular point in the file.
 
15.2.3 Transmitting a Portion of a Document
 
Although we covered this in Section 4.9.6, we review it here for clarity.
There are two ways you can limit how much of your document actually goes to
the printer or braille embosser.  For example, you might just want to print
out Page 1 to see how your text is lining up in the columns you set up.  At
the point where you want the printer to stop, write a ' $ef ' in your file.
When you transmit your document to the printer, it will stop at the place
immediately before your ' $ef ' string.
 
But what if your printer jammed on Page 4 and you need to start from there.
Just before the place where you want the printer to skip the text, write a '
$( ' into your file.  Just before the place where you want the printer to
start paying attention again and begin printing, write a ' $) '.
 
Even if you're not sure of the physical location in your file where the
printer would begin Page 4, there is a way to find that out before you
actually insert the strings we've just described.  In the next section, we'll
show you how to figure out where the word you're on would print on a physical
page and line.
 
15.2.4 Double-Spacing a Document on the Fly
 
In Section 4.9.4, we described how you can place a formatting string into your
file so that your document prints out with a blank line in between each line
of text.  This type of printout is often used in a school setting where a
professor wants to be able to add comments to your paper or exam.
 
In some cases, you'll want to have only a portion of your document print
double-spaced, and then the rest print out single-spaced (which is the
standard way to print out a document).  The formatting strings discussed in
Section 4.9.4 are best for that scenario because you can place them exactly
where you want the text to print out double- and single-spaced respectively.
 
But if you want the whole document to print double-spaced, it's quicker to use
the Status menu setting for double-spacing.
 
Enter the Status menu with the usual st-sign-chord (dots 3-4-chord) and jump
to the setting with an ar-sign.  Double-spacing is set to "off" from the
factory.  Write a y to turn it on.  Now, when you print your document, or when
you check out how many pages the printed document would contain, you'll get a
very different answer because, of course, it's as if the document were itself
doubled in size.  The good thing is that it doesn't take up any more room in
your Braille 'n Speak since the setting in the Status menu controls the
additional blank lines.  It's just like the Add Linefeeds setting in this
respect.  It doesn't change the way your Braille 'n Speak's voice reads the
file. It just affects the printout of the file.
 
Unless you have the setting that makes parameters file-specific turned off,
double-spacing is only in effect for the currently open file.  That's probably
the way you want it because, otherwise, all your documents would print out
double-spaced.
 
15.2.5 Previewing Where Text Will Print
 
Remember from Section 4.9.5 that you can control page numbering for both print
and braille files with format strings.  Also, recall that there's a setting in
the Status menu that you can turn on to number your pages if you don't want or
need to include format strings in your file.  You can check how many physical
print or braille pages your file would contain before you actually print or
braille it on physical paper.
 
By now you know how essential it is to set up your page format parameters to
get accurate margins and page lengths, etc.  Always check page format
parameters in your currently open file before you transmit it to a printer or
braille embosser to make sure the settings match your expectations.
 
Let's look at an example.  Suppose you want to print a file containing 500
characters of text all in Grade 2 braille.  We can't be exactly sure how many
print or braille pages that file turns into without knowing how many blank
lines you have and how many carriage returns you physically put into the file.
But even beyond that, if you set your page format parameters for "print" with
say, 66 lines per page and 65 characters per line, when the Braille 'n Speak
counts the number of pages, it will determine a very different number than if
you had set your page format parameters to a page length of 25 and a line
length of 40, as for a braille file.
 
The whole business can be confusing.  But you can stay on top of it by
checking whether the file is a "braille" or "print" file, by checking your
page format parameters before checking how many physical pages will be printed
or brailled, and certainly before transmitting the file itself.  Even with
Page Numbering turned off in the Status menu, as long as you have a print or
braille page length greater than 0, you can get a reading on how many physical
pages your file will contain when it's printed or brailled.
 
Working with our example of a 500-character, Grade 2 braille file, go to the
end of the file and press an sh-sign-chord (dots 1-4-6-chord).  The Braille 'n
Speak says, "Enter p, b, or a".  Once you write either a p or b, the Braille
'n Speak hisses for a couple of seconds.  Eventually, it says something like,
"Page 2, line 17".  Assuming you responded with a p, you now know that when
you actually print out this file, it will contain two pages and the second of
the two will be only about a third of the way full of text.  If you had chosen
a b response and you got this reading, you could assume that the file would
braille out as a two-page document with the second page almost two-thirds full
of text.
 
If you choose the "a" option, you'll get a reading on how many "absolute"
Braille 'n Speak pages there are in your file up to the point where your
cursor is resting.  In our 500-character file, you're still on Braille 'n
Speak page 1, of course, since a Braille 'n Speak "page" is 4,096 characters
long.
 
There can be a problem if you don't have Page-numbering turned on and you have
a braille or print page length of 0 set in the Status menu.  In this scenario,
when you invoke the sh-sign-chord and choose the p or b response, you hear,
"No page format set".
 
We suggest you try a few test runs, setting up page format parameters and
using the page-numbering setting as trials, before you actually trust that
things will be printed or brailled as you expect.  All printers and braille
embossers, especially printers, have quirks that may require different values
than we recommend for the settings.  Nevertheless, once you get these page
format issues under control, you should be transmitting virtually flawlessly
formatted documents all the time.  It's a matter of practice.
 
Now, we're finally ready to tackle actually transmitting blocks of text from
the Braille 'n Speak to another device.
 
* 15.3 Sending Blocks of Text to Another Device
 
In this section, we deal specifically with sending blocks of text from the
Braille 'n Speak to another device, such as a printer.  Naturally, a block of
text can be a whole file.  But it can just as easily be less than that.
 
Of course, you can use the commands discussed here to transmit blocks of text
to other devices as well as printers.  But look at Section 15.5 for more
sophisticated ways to transmit files to and from computers.
 
When you're sending blocks of text directly from the Braille 'n Speak to a
printer, you must choose the format (braille or print), and you must consider
things like page length, line width, and page numbering - as we discussed in
the previous section.  Formatting the text from the Braille 'n Speak is less
important if you intend to edit the text with a word processor after you've
sent it to a computer.  But certainly, you'll want your format to be just
right if you're going to transmit directly to a printer.
 
A telecommunications program can facilitate adjusting telecommunications
settings to match those on the Braille 'n Speak.  Furthermore, such a program
can perform error-checking during the transmission.  There are several
shareware versions that work well with speech synthesizers and screen access
programs.  And Blazie Engineering even has a program for $99 called PCDISK
that uses almost all the same commands as our portable disk drive, including
ymodem transfer commands.  For our discussion, we'll assume you have such a
program and are familiar with its use.
 
Remember to address those essential, physical page format parameter
considerations before you send text to a printer or you may find the resulting
printout very strange indeed.  Now, let's go through the mechanics of the
transmission process.
 
* You can send text from the Braille 'n Speak to another device in the
following ways: the entire file, a single line, paragraph or a block of text.
Each of these options starts with a t-chord.  Writing a certain letter after
the "Enter transmit parameter" prompt sends the desired amount of text to the
other device.  If you want the entire file to be sent to an ink printer,
choose the letter a.  To send the entire file to a braille embosser, choose
the letter b.
 
* However, if you just want to send a smaller portion of the file - a line,
paragraph, or marked block of text - when you press its corresponding letter
(an l, p, or m), the Braille 'n Speak is going to ask if you want to send the
text in print or braille.  Answer with a p or b, and your text is on its way,
using appropriate formatting for print or braille.
 
 
* Here are some details.
 
* When you're ready to send text from your currently open file, place your
cursor where you want the transmission to begin, then press a t-chord.  The
Braille 'n Speak says, "Enter transmit parameter".  Write an l, p, or z to
indicate whether you are sending from the current cursor position to the end
of the current line (l), paragraph (p), m (marked block), or entire text from
the cursor forward (z).
 
* of course, to send a block of text that does not extend to the end of the
file, you need  to define the block.  Before issuing the t-chord, you must
"mark" the block to be transmitted.  Find the final character you want to
include in your transmission.  Move beyond it one character with a dot
6-chord.  Mark the place by pressing an m-chord.  Then move to your starting
point, the first character you want to include in your transmission.  Now that
you have defined the block to transmit, press a t-chord.  At the "Enter
transmit parameter" prompt, write an m.  Then choose either p for print or b
for braille and All the text from your current cursor location to the mark is
transmitted.  The nice thing is that appropriate print or braille margins are
honored for ink printers and braille embossers respectively.
 
The commands t-chord a or t, t-chord b, and t-chord s reduce the number of
steps you need to perform in order to transmit text.
 
t-chord a or t automatically moves the cursor to the beginning of your file
and transmits everything within that file.  Any format conditions you have in
effect are honored respective to whether you're transmitting to print or
braille: margins, line and page length, etc.
 
t-chord b sends text from the beginning to the end of the file but it turns
off the braille translator.  It is the command of choice to transmit text
directly to a braille embosser.  Any format values you may have set are in
effect.  If page numbering is on, braille page numbers are included in the
printout in literary braille notation.
 
t-chord s performs steps which are essential if you want to send "clean" text
to a device for backup purposes only.  If you want no format considerations,
no braille translation, and all of your text sent, then use t-chord s.  It
sends your cursor to the beginning of the file, turns off the braille
translator, if it is on, and sets all format parameters to 0 before
transmitting the entire file.
 
Those are the different ways to send blocks of text from the Braille 'n Speak
to another device.  But wait.  Don't try printing just yet.
 
Anyone who does a lot of printing knows how much paper is wasted in printouts
that didn't come out right for one reason or another.  One final thing you can
do before actually transmitting a file to a printer or braille embosser is to
print the file to another file.  What?  How could that be of use, you might
wonder.
 
What we're suggesting here is transmitting your file with all of its
formatting strings - as if it were going to a printer or braille embosser - to
another file in your Braille 'n Speak.  Transmitting the file as if it were
going to a real printer means that all formatting strings are replaced by the
actual physical layout of the text - with pages numbered, say, with headers
maybe, with indented sections, etc.  Then you can examine the layout carefully
and make any necessary corrections to the file that still has the formatting
strings.  It might also save a few trees. 
 
To print to a file, from wherever you want to start in your currently open
file, press a t-chord.  At the prompt, "Enter transmit parameter", write an f.
The Braille 'n Speak repeats, "Enter transmit parameter".  At this point you
can choose any of the options we've just described (a, b, l, m, p, s, or z).
The Braille 'n Speak then prompts, "Enter filename".  Write a filename like,
"test1" and press an e-chord.  Your file is transmitted to the file called
"test1" and the Braille 'n Speak says, "Okay" when it's done.
 
However, if there is already a file in your Braille 'n Speak called "test1",
you hear a prompt, "file exists.  delete, skip rename or abort."  When you
choose d, the currently open file replaces the old one.  When you choose r for
Rename the Braille 'n Speak still transmits your file to "test1", but it also
adds a .0 extension to your old file.  When you select s or a, the whole
transfer process is cancelled.
 
15.4 Modems and Other Computers
 
Modems are special devices that link two computers together through the
telephone line.  You hook up a computer to your phone line by connecting the
computer first to the modem and then the modem to the phone jack (or to the
phone itself).  The computer you're calling is similarly linked to a phone
line through a modem.
 
We won't spend time on how modems work.  These devices, too, have manuals
which describe their setup and detail the commands to which they respond.  For
example, you can tell a modem to dial a phone either by tones or by dial
pulses, to dial 9 first, wait for a specified period before dialing the rest
of the other computer's phone number, to answer the telephone when it rings
and on which ring to answer, etc.
 
The computer on your end of such a connection could easily be your Braille 'n
Speak.
 
Now turning to computers, if you have a computer and want to transmit data
between it and your Braille 'n Speak, you need to run a telecommunications
program in that computer.  This program sets up the computer to receive
information from an outside source - in this case, your Braille 'n Speak.  As
with printers, having the correct cable goes a long way toward making things
easy.
 
Blazie Engineering has telecommunications programs for the IBM PC and simple
file capture programs for both the IBM PC compatible and the Apple families of
computers.  Also, there are several shareware products that work well with
screen access programs.
 
In addition, we have programs that come with our external disk drive - such as
the checkbook writer and the financial calculator.  Since these programs come
on an MS DOS compatible 3-1/2 inch floppy disk, even if you don't have a disk
drive, you can still load them into your Braille 'n Speak by using a PC.
Check with our Customer Support staff to find out how to obtain any of these
programs.
 
Now let's see how to connect the Braille 'n Speak to devices other than
printers.
 
To link your Braille 'n Speak to a modem, to another Braille 'n Speak, and to
some computers (like some Apple models), you need a "null modem" cable or
adapter.  As we mentioned in Section 13.1, matching up the right cables really
eases your connectivity challenges.  Make sure you get a null modem cable with
the right attributes to match your Braille 'n Speak cable and the serial port
on your modem or computer.  (The manual for your computer or modem should
indicate whether you need a null modem cable, and certainly the dealer that
sold it to you should be able to provide this information.
 
We'll focus on the IBM PC compatible since it is the computer of choice for
most visually-impaired users, and since it doesn't require a null modem cable.
Assuming you've connected the cables properly and have a telecommunications
program running in your PC, you should be all set to transmit data.
 
One last thing: before you start attempting to transmit data:  Remember to
make sure your telecommunications settings match (Baud rate, parity, data
bits, stop bits, duplex and handshaking).  In Section 13.2, we detailed all of
these for you and explained how to change them, if necessary, on your Braille
'n Speak.  Naturally, we can't explain how your particular telecommunications
program allows you to change such settings.  We suggest that you go through
the manual for your telecommunications program to verify what the default
telecommunications settings are, and that you check out how to change them in
your telecommunications program, if the need arises.  Again, transmitting data
can be a breeze, but only if all the settings match on both your Braille 'n
Speak and the other device, and only if your cables are the proper cables.
Overlooking any one of these issues can cause you needless frustration and
confusion.  Setting it up right the first time will save you many headaches
later.
 
Next, we look at using modem protocols to transmit data between your Braille
'n Speak and a computer.
 
15.5 Using Sophisticated Modem Protocols in Transmission
 
So far in our discussion of transmitting data from your Braille 'n Speak to a
computer, we've talked exclusively about using the t-chord command.  There is
a simpler way to transmit data when you're dealing with whole files.
 
A telecommunications program helps you to match telecommunications settings in
the PC with those in your Braille 'n Speak,.  It also helps to transfer your
files in the most error-free manner possible.
 
Telecommunications programs vary in their levels of sophistication.  But even
the most basic ones ask you whether the file you're transmitting is in ASCII.
Recall that the ASCII character set is made up largely of the alphabet,
punctuation marks, numbers, and so on.  It is possible to transmit a file that
is a program written in binary or machine language (which is not in ASCII
characters) from one computer to another, and most telecommunications programs
have provisions for transmitting such files.
 
For the most part, however, files you transmit from your Braille 'n Speak to a
computer are ASCII files, even if they're in Grade 2 braille.  When your
telecommunications program is ready to receive a file from your Braille 'n
Speak and asks you whether you are sending it an ASCII file, you can answer,
"yes" and use your t-chord command on the Braille 'n Speak followed by the
appropriate letter - b for a braille file, for example. 
 
However, most telecommunications packages now have more flexibility, and so
does your Braille 'n Speak.  When it's ready to receive your file, a
telecommunications program may also ask you whether you want to use a "modem
protocol", such as xmodem, ymodem, zmodem, and even kermit.  Most of the time,
any of these options is probably a better choice than a straight ASCII
transfer.  (Note: The Braille 'n Speak does not support zmodem.) Basically,
what these options do is to take the transmission in chunks rather than one
character at a time, and to perform error-checking on each chunk before
accepting the next chunk.  This explanation oversimplifies the concept, but at
least it gives you a feel for why you might want to use a modem protocol.
 
Let's go through a couple of examples of electing to use modem protocols for
transmitting files between the Braille 'n Speak and your PC.  Here again, we
assume that all cables are connected properly, that you have matched Baud
rates, parity, data bits and stop bits, etc., and we further assume that you
are running a telecommunications program in your PC.
 
First, let's look at a transfer going from the PC into your Braille 'n Speak.
From the Files menu in the Braille 'n Speak, enter a t-chord (for transfer).
The Braille 'n Speak prompts, "Enter s to send or r to receive".  If you press
an s or an r, you hear the names of the files as they are being transmitted.
 
Now the Braille 'n Speak gives you some options to consider, "Enter x for
xmodem, y for ymodem, g for ymodem g or k for kermit".
(Note: ymodem g does not work with 38400 Baud for a file longer than one
page.)
 
If you write an x (for xmodem), the Braille 'n Speak asks, "Enter filename".
Write the filename followed by an e-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak confirms your
choice with, "Start the transfer."  Obviously, on the PC side of things, you
must choose x for xmodem as well in order for the transfer to work properly.
 
If you choose y (for ymodem), g (for ymodem g), or k (for kermit), the Braille
'n Speak does not prompt you for a filename because it gets that information
as part of the transfer automatically.  It creates the filename in your
Braille 'n Speak as it receives it from the PC.
 
(Incidentally, remember the s-chord command for the disk drive?  You can use
the y option with that command as well to transmit files to an attached disk
drive.)
 
Now let's make sure you understand how to approach this process from the PC
side.  From within your telecommunications program, you select the "Upload"
option.  When the program asks how you want to send this PC file and offers
the various choices we've just discussed, you select the one that matches what
you've chosen on the Braille 'n Speak.  So choose x for xmodem if you selected
that on the Braille 'n Speak, for example.
 
The telecommunications program asks you for the name of the PC file you want
to send.  Type the filename and press the appropriate key in your
telecommunications program to send the file, usually the Enter key on your PC.
When the Braille 'n Speak has received the file, it will let you know with an
"Okay" prompt, followed by "Enter file command".  Why that prompt?  Well,
remember that you issued the t-chord from the Files menu.  You're still there.
 
If you want to see the contents of the file you just received, press a dots
4-5-6-chord to bring you to the last file in your files list and then press an
o-chord to open it.
 
Now let's say that something went wrong and the transfer was aborted.  In such
a case, the Braille 'n Speak says, "Transfer canceled; enter file command".
You'll probably see some kind of error message on your PC, as well.
 
If you use the xmodem) option for transmitting files, you can only transmit
one file at a time.  However, with ymodem or kermit, you can receive multiple
files, and you can even use  the wildcard characters detailed in Section 6.8
and Appendix A for groups of files with similar names.
 
For example, when your telecommunications program asks you for the name of the
file you want to send, you could type "*.txt".  All files that have a "txt"
extension in your current PC directory are queued up and sent to the Braille
'n Speak.  Each one is added to your files list with its own name as it is
received.
 
Our whole discussion so far assumes that there are no duplicate filenames
between the files you're trying to send from the PC and your Braille 'n Speak
files.  But whenever the Braille 'n Speak sees an incoming file that already
exists, it stops and says, File exists, delete, skip, rename or abort."  If
you select d for Delete, your PC file replaces your Braille 'n Speak file.
When you choose s for Skip, the PC just moves on to the next filename you
marked for it to send to your Braille 'n Speak.  When you choose r for Rename,
your PC file is still sent to your Braille 'n Speak, but the Braille 'n Speak
adds a .0 extension to your old file's name to distinguish it from the one
coming in from the PC.  Choosing a for Abort cancels the entire transfer
process.
 
Now let's look at sending a file from the Braille 'n Speak to the PC, using
modem protocol options.  We'll use the file called "practice" we created in
Chapter 4 as our sample file to transmit to the PC.
 
Enter the Files menu and then press a t-chord.  This time, respond with an s
to the prompt, "Enter s to send or r to receive."  Now you are prompted to,
"Enter x for xmodem, 1 for xmodem 1K, y for ymodem, or k for kermit."
 
We didn't see the option "1 for xmodem 1K" in the options for receiving files
from the PC because the Braille 'n Speak can distinguish whether it is
receiving a file with plain xmodem or with xmodem with 1K protocol.  Also,
notice that you don't see the option "g for ymodem g" here.  If you had set
your PC to receive the Braille 'n Speak file with ymodem g, simply choose the
ymodem option on the Braille 'n Speak side to send the file to the PC.  If you
choose either the x or 1 options for the two available xmodem choices, you can
send only one Braille 'n Speak file at a time to your PC.  However, if you
choose either y (for ymodem) or k (for kermit), you can send a bunch of files
from your Braille 'n Speak to the PC.
 
When you choose the y or k options for sending files from the Braille 'n Speak
to the PC, the Braille 'n Speak places you in your files list so that you can
"mark" the files you want to send.  Marking files in your files list prepares
them to be sent.  We'll see how in a minute.  After you've marked the files
you want to send, press an e-chord to start transmitting.
 
There are several ways to mark files for transmission.  One way is to move
through your files list with dot 1-chords and dot 4-chords.  You can press a
c-chord to hear the name of the file you are pointing to repeated, and you can
use l-chord and dots 4-5-6-chord to move to the beginning and end of your
files list, as usual.  When you come across a file you do want to send to the
PC, "mark" it by writing a y.  In other words, you're saying, "yes, I want to
send this file".  The Braille 'n Speak responds, "filename is marked".  Now
you can continue through your files list, marking other files to send to the
PC.
 
As you move through your files list in this marking process, the Braille 'n
Speak tells you whether the file you're pointing to is already marked.  If a
file was already marked from a previous transmission that you don't want to
send at the present time, you can "unmark" it by writing an n.
 
A faster way to go through this marking process is to press a y-chord to mark
a file and automatically move to the next file in your files list.
 
The fastest way of all is to send every file in your list to the PC, say, for
backup purposes.  In that case, simply write an m to mark all files except
Help and Clipboard.  Press a u to unmark all your files at once.
 
Yet another way to use the marking feature is to press an m-chord or u-chord
to mark or unmark a specific group of files that have similar names.  For
example, suppose you have several files in your Braille 'n Speak with names
like, "address.brl" and "practice.brl".  You can press an m-chord followed by
the characters "*.brl" and all files with names that end in ".brl" are marked
for sending to your PC.  Similarly, you can press a u-chord followed by
"*.brl" to unmark all such files so that they are not sent to your PC.
 
By the way, pressing the spacebar toggles between marking and unmarking the
file to which you are currently pointing, also.
 
Remember, throughout this whole discussion of marking files, we've been in the
middle of the transmission process.  In other words, you entered your Files
menu, pressed t-chord to transmit and then wrote an s for sending files from
the Braille 'n Speak to the PC.  You then chose either y or k for your modem
protocol.  And finally, now you have marked the files you want to send.  To
tell the Braille 'n Speak that you're finished marking files, as we said
earlier, you press an e-chord.  That says, "Okay, I'm done choosing the files
I'm going to send, Braille 'n Speak.  Now go ahead and send them, please".
 
The Braille 'n Speak says, "Start the transfer."  This means that it's ready
to send and is waiting for a signal from your PC that says, "Okay, I'm ready
to receive".
 
So now, on the PC, select the "Download" option in your telecommunications
program.  When prompted, choose the same protocol as you chose on your Braille
'n Speak - for example, y (for ymodem).  You should hear clicking and hissing
from the Braille 'n Speak and the disk drive spinning in your PC as files come
into it.  In fact, you'll also hear numbers coming across your PC screen.
Don't worry, these are error checking signals being emitted and it's an
indication that all is well.
 
Should things go wrong, the PC and Braille 'n Speak will both issue messages
telling you that the transfer has been aborted.  In the case of the Braille 'n
Speak, you'll find yourself back in the Files menu at the prompt, "Enter file
command".  You can either try the transfer again or check to see whether all
your telecommunications settings match up, whether there's enough room in your
PC to accept files, etc.  See Appendix A for more help.
 
Now we turn to another convenient feature of the Braille 'n Speak.  It can
double as a speech synthesizer with a screen access program on your PC.
 
* 15.6 The Braille 'n Speak as a Speech Synthesizer
 
 
The Braille 'n Speak can perform double duty.  Not only can it serve as your
traveling notetaker, recordkeeper, and calendar, it can be your portable
speech synthesizer, as well.
 
As long as you have the appropriate cables and a screen access program in your
PC that supports the Braille 'n Speak, you can link the Braille 'n Speak to a
PC just as you would any other external speech synthesizer.  (See Section 13.1
for a full discussion of cables.) Let's see how it works.
 
First, we assume that you have a screen access program in your PC and that you
understand its use.  There are numerous screen access programs on the market.
Blazie Engineering even has one of its own, called PC Master.  We won't get
into the mechanics of how your screen access program works here.  But we'll
explain how to link the Braille 'n Speak to your screen access program so that
you can use the Braille 'n Speak as a speech synthesizer.
 
Check whether the vendor of your screen access program supports the Braille 'n
Speak as a synthesizer.  If so, you may have to set up the screen access
program with a Braille 'n Speak driver supplied by that vendor.
 
You'll need to hook up the Braille 'n Speak to the serial port of your
computer, as previously described, and all the telecommunications parameters
we detailed earlier, Baud rate, handshaking, and so on, must match.  (You may
need to use a telecommunications program to set those parameters properly on
your PC or you may be able to use the MS DOS "Mode" command.  Check your DOS
manual for details.)
 
But since most screen reader packages preset telecommunications ports to 9600
Baud, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit, and no parity, if you set your unit  to match,
your screen reader will probably work fine with the Braille 'n Speak as a
speech synthesizer.
 
To use the Braille 'n Speak as a speech synthesizer, get into the Speech
Parameters menu with the usual ar-sign-chord (dots 3-4-5-chord).  Then press
an s-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Speech box mode on, exit."  You don't
even have to press an e-chord to exit the Speech Parameters menu.
 
For the most part, the Braille 'n Speak cannot accept input from its keyboard
now.  You can't check your calendar, perform a calculation, etc.  In effect,
you've turned the Braille 'n Speak into a "dumb" device that can only accept
information from your PC.  The only input your Braille 'n Speak accepts from
you directly on the Braille 'n Speak keyboard is an ar-sign-chord to re-enter
the Speech Parameters menu followed by an s-chord to turn off speech box mode
and exit the Speech Parameters menu.
 
Let's practice this much.  Even if you don't presently have your Braille 'n
Speak linked to another device, you can test out this process.  Press an ar-
sign-chord followed by an s-chord.  You'll hear "Speech box mode on, exit".
c-chord.  Nothing happens.  Your Braille 'n Speak is waiting for something
from your PC.  Even if it isn't hooked up to one, it thinks it is and
patiently waits and waits.
 
Re-enter the Speech Parameters menu with an ar-sign-chord.  Whew! That does
work and you hear the usual prompt, "Enter speech parameters."  Now press an
s-chord, and you hear "Speech box mode off, exit".  You're back in business.
The Braille 'n Speak should now respond normally again.
 
Assuming your Braille 'n Speak is hooked up to a PC, a screen access program
that supports it is properly installed to work with the Braille 'n Speak, and
you've turned the Braille 'n Speak into a speech synthesizer, here's what
happens:
 
As we just said, the Braille 'n Speak is now "dumb", patiently waiting for
something from the PC.  It monitors your interaction with the PC.  Depending
on how your screen access program is set up, every time you type a space or
punctuation mark, the Braille 'n Speak may voice the word you just typed, or
it may echo every character as you type it.  If you issue a command for the
screen access program from the PC keyboard - such as "read me the whole
screen" - the Braille 'n Speak says the contents of your PC screen to you.
 
A more sophisticated way of using the Braille 'n Speak as a speech synthesizer
is to turn speech box mode on with a for-sign-chord.  If you enter the Speech
Parameters menu and press a for-sign-chord, the Braille 'n Speak gives you a
choice about how it should read from the PC.  Let's try it now.
 
Again, you can test this out without having your Braille 'n Speak actually
hooked up to a PC.
From the Speech Parameters menu, press a for-sign-chord.  The Braille 'n Speak
says, "Enter l for line or b for block handshaking."  Now don't confuse this
prompt with our earlier discussion of handshaking and telecommunications
settings.  After you write an l or a b in response to the prompt, the Braille
'n Speak says, "speech box mode on".  Then you can exit the Speech Parameters
menu in the usual way with an e-chord.
 
The choice of Line or Block handshaking is really subjective.  If you choose
Line handshaking, the Braille 'n Speak reads you text from your PC a line at a
time, pausing at each carriage return.  In fact, the computer will not send
more text until the Braille 'n Speak has read to you the present line of text.
In many cases, you'll find it desirable to have the Braille 'n Speak read this
way - when you're programming, for example, or reading through a list.
 
Choosing Block handshaking, on the other hand, means that the Braille 'n Speak
reads you blocks of text up to 256 characters at a time.  It doesn't look for
carriage returns as it reads to you.  Using this choice creates a smoother,
more natural sounding speech from the Braille 'n Speak, with more natural
pauses and inflections, rather than pauses controlled by the physical ends of
lines on the screen.  You'll probably find this a more useful choice for
reading through a document where it is not important that you know precisely
where one line ends and the next begins.
 
Another interesting feature of speech box mode is "indexing".  This capability
only works if the screen access program you're using supports indexing.
Indexing means that the Braille 'n Speak is so closely linked to the PC cursor
as it's reading that, if you issue a "stop reading" command on your PC, the PC
cursor and the Braille 'n Speak will both stop at the same place.  In other
words, the last word uttered by the Braille 'n Speak is the same word as where
your PC cursor rests.  This can be very handy when you're editing, for
example, using a word processor in your PC.
 
If your screen access program has the capability to change speech parameters -
rate of speech, volume, and so forth - you can change how the Braille 'n Speak
reads to you from your PC keyboard.  Here is a brief list of the speech
parameters you might be able to control from your PC if your screen access
program lets you do it:
 
-    Volume - Control e x v, where x represents a volume from 01 to 16, 01
     being the lowest volume.
-    Pitch - Control e x p, where x represents a pitch from 01 to 63, 01
     being the lowest pitch.
-    Speech rate - Control e x e, where x represents a rate from 01 to 16, 01
     being the slowest speech rate.
-    Frequency - Control e x t, where x represents a tone from 01 to 25, 01
     being the lowest.
-    Punctuation level - Control e followed by a, m, s, or z, where the
     letters represent All, Most, Some, or No punctuation, respectively.
-    Index marker - Control f.
-    Silence command - Control x.
 
If you're working specifically with Blazie Engineering's screen access program
(PC Master), you should enter speech box mode in a special way to insure that
all the telecommunications settings are set properly.
 
Bring up the Speech Parameters menu with an ar-sign-chord.  Then press a p-
chord.  You'll hear, "Speech box mode on, exit".  You're now ready to interact
with PC Master.  Some Status menu settings are changed to make PC Master and
your Braille 'n Speak communicate better.
 
When you exit speech box mode, it'll be important to do so by the same method
you entered it.  In other words, press an ar-sign-chord and p-chord.  Exiting
speech box mode in some other way may cause problems because the settings
changed in the Status menu won't revert to what they were before you entered
speech box mode to work with PC Master.
 
The Braille 'n Speak's ability to perform as a portable speech synthesizer can
come in handy if you have to interact with many computers or are on the road a
lot and can't take extra equipment with you, or you can't take a PC apart to
install an internal speech synthesizer.  Now, we're going to look at going in
the opposite direction.
 
15.7 Sending Braille 'n Speak Output to Your Computer Screen
 
You can have what you write in your Braille 'n Speak be displayed directly on
your computer screen.  That screen may be your PC screen or it may be another
Braille 'n Speak, a Braille Lite, a Personal Touch, or a Mini Braille.  (These
are braille display devices sold by Blazie Engineering.)
 
To turn your Braille 'n Speak into a remote device, all the usual
telecommunications settings previously described must match up and cable
requirements must be met.  Press a 0-chord (dots 3-5-6-chord) on the Braille
'n Speak.  It says, "Remote".  Write a b for linking it to the Personal Touch
as a braille display.  Write an m for linking it to the MiniBraille as a
braille display.  Write a dot 4 to send output directly to a computer screen.
You'll hear, "ASCII".  To turn off remote mode, turn off the Braille 'n Speak.
 
                                  SUMMARY
 
We have certainly come a long way in this section.  We suggest you review the
steps outlined in those sections that meet your needs and not dwell on those
that don't.  Telecommunications can be wonderful, but the staggering array of
possibilities can daunt even the heartiest among us.
 
Take your time learning about telecommunications and use Appendix A, COMMONLY
ASKED QUESTIONS, to help you when you get confused.  Usually,
telecommunications challenges arise from simply forgetting a step in the
process.  Once you've mastered the process though, you'll definitely reap its
rewards.
                  CHAPTER 16: RUNNING EXTERNAL PROGRAMS
 
In Section 14.5, we saw how to load programs into your Braille 'n Speak to add
even more flexibility to the machine.  We showed you an example of such a
program when we demonstrated how to load the financial calculator from our
portable disk drive.
 
* You could just as easily load a program into your Braille 'n Speak from your
PC or from a bulletin board or the Internet using a modem.  In fact, we at
Blazie Engineering maintain a bulletin board and Internet WEB page not only so
we can share Blazie news with you, but also to provide you with another way to
download any of our free programs that run on your Braille 'n Speak.  If you
have a maintenance service contract with us, we are able to send you upgrades
as file attachments via E-Mail.  (See Appendix A or look in your Help file for
the phone number of the BBS and the Internet address of our WEB site, or call
us to see about a service contract.)
 
* One external program you'll definitely want to read about is the one that
allows you to update your Braille 'n Speak.  We're always looking to improve
and add to what your Braille 'n Speak can do so we update its software
periodically.  Check out Section 16.1 for details on how to update your unit.
 
* And if you're into foreign languages, check out Section 16.2 where we
discuss how you can turn your unit into a bilingual device.
 
External programs for the Braille 'n Speak must have extensions of .bin, .bns,
.com, .dic, .exe, or .sys.  Most have .bns extensions.  You can review the
details about how to load them into your Braille 'n Speak by reading over
Section 14.5.  In the present chapter, we focus on just two external programs:
the update program and the foreign language update option.  But the good news
is, exciting external programs are being developed for the Braille 'n Speak
all the time.  We hope you consider trying them out.  And who knows, maybe
you'll write one yourself to add to our ever-growing arsenal.
 
A few notes before we start learning about the first program:
 
From the Files menu, point directly to an external program by pressing dot 2-
chord to move to the previous one in your files list, or pressing dot 5-chord
to move to the next one in your files list.
 
* For information about an external program to which you're pointing, press a
th-sign (dots 1-4-5-6).  After hearing a brief description of the program,
you'll be back at the Files menu prompt, "Enter file command." 
 
To execute (or run) an external program, press an x-chord.  If the program can
accept arguments (we'll get into what that means later), write an x instead of
an x-chord.  Enter arguments in computer braille, separated by commas, and
then press an e-chord to run the program with your arguments.
 
 
* Finally, if the program you want to run is being stored in the Flash portion
of your unit, you'll need to move the program file into RAM in order to run
it.  Program files stored in Flash cannot be run from there.  (See Section
6.12.7 for details on moving files between RAM and Flash.)
 
These are all the things you need to know to get started.
 
* 16.1 Updating your Braille 'n Speak 2000
 
 
You can update your Braille 'n Speak using a special program called
"bs2eng.bns" that you load into your machine from disk.  If you have a
maintenance service contract with us, you can receive the update file as an
attachment to E-Mail.  Or of course, there's always "snail mail" - that is to
say, you can call us over the phone and order the update program to be sent to
you on disk by mail.
 
However you obtain the update files, updating your unit is relatively easy but
we encourage you to take some precautions before trying it.
 
It's essential that  you back up your existing files and programs to disk.
Read over the relevant sections in Chapter 13 about file transfers to a PC, or
the relevant sections in Chapter 14 about file transfers to a disk using the
portable disk drive.
 
The update process will probably erase your existing data files and programs,
so unless you really don't care about what's presently in your unit, back up
everything you want to keep before proceeding.
 
Once you've loaded the "bs2eng.bns" program file into your Braille 'n Speak,
you may run the program just as you would any of our other external programs.
 
Now let's walk through what you can expect to happen when you run the update
program.
 
The first thing you'll probably  hear when you invoke the update program is,
"WARNING!  This program should only be used to upgrade a Braille 'n Speak
2000.  Enter any key to continue or any chord to abort."
 
If you press a chord, say an e-chord, you'll hear, "Aborted" and find yourself
back in the file you had last opened before running the update program, as if
you hadn't run it at all.  If you press a key without chording it, you should
hear the Braille 'n Speak say, "WARNING!  Updating your machine may destroy
all of your files.  Do you want to update your machine?  Enter y or n."
 
We give you plenty of chances to back out of the process here.  Even if you
type a y in response to this prompt, you'll once again, get a confirmation
message, "Are you sure?  Enter y or n."
 
When you enter a y at this point, your Braille 'n Speak starts the update
process and reports things to you along the way.  You'll hear, "Ready to
install your Braille 'n Speak update."  Even before your unit is tested and
validated, a process which takes about thirty seconds, the Braille 'n Speak
warns you that the entire update process will take about three minutes.
 
As it performs each step in the update process, the program reports what it's
doing.  So you'll hear something about Superflash being detected and then
you'll be asked to choose a primary language option, "Enter a for first
language, b for second.".  (See Section 16.2 for details on this option.)
Whether or not you have a second language installed in your unit, you must
answer the prompt.  So go ahead and type an a to choose English as your
primary language.
 
At this point, the update program alerts you that the remainder of the update
process will take about two more minutes.  Listen carefully to the
instructions it provides because it's crucial you follow them to the letter.
The update program reminds you that when you hear a continuous long tone, the
update process will have been completed and it will be safe to turn off your
unit at that time.  It also warns you that if you hear rapid beeps instead of
a continuous long tone, the update will have failed and you should call Blazie
Engineering for help.  Finally, you are warned very specifically not to do
anything at all to your unit while the update is in progress.
 
You'll know the update program has begun working because you'll hear progress
clicks as it performs the update.
 
Once the update process has been completed    successfully and you hear the
continuous long tone, turn off your unit.  Don't be startled if when you turn
it on, you hear garbled text coming from your machine.  This happens on some
units occasionally.  Don't panic.  Here's what you have to do to fix the
problem.
 
If you find that you hear garbled text when you turn on your machine just
after updating it, you must do a cold reset.  As we warned you at the
beginning of this section, data files are generally lost completely when you
update, especially if you have to use these drastic measures.  A cold reset
will also change most settings in your Status menu back to our factory
defaults.  So keep those in mind when you are forced to perform a cold reset.
 
Through the entire re-initialization process of a cold reset, the Braille 'n
Speak prompts you twice to make sure you are answering each prompt the way you
really want.
 
Okay, let's begin.  To invoke a cold reset, turn off your machine and then
power up by pressing an i-chord simultaneously as you flip the rocker switch.
The first thing you hear is,"Initialize file system, enter y or n."  If you
respond with a y, you hear, "Are you sure, enter y or n."
 
Pressing y at this prompt causes the machine to say, "System initialized.
Initialize Flash system, enter y or n."  Answering y to this produces another,
"Are you sure, enter y or n."  For sample purposes, we'll continue to answer
with a y.
 
At this point, you hear, "Please wait" and eventually, "Flash initialized" as
the update program reconfigures the Flash memory in your machine.
 
It's important to note that initializing Flash means all files previously
stored there will be erased permanently.  So make sure they're backed up
before you update your machine.
 
The next prompt is about folders.  "Initialize folder system, enter y or n."
Let's assume you do want this option, so again write a y.
 
The Braille 'n Speak finishes processing this step and says, "O, Braille 'n
Speak ready; Help is open; delete all data in your file area, enter y or n."
It's best to answer with a y at this prompt so you resume working with a unit
that is pristine.  When you write the y, you'll get a confirmation with, "Are
you sure, enter y or n".  Writing another y will cause your unit to start
cleaning out all your old data and you'll hear a series of progress clicks to
let you know the process is working properly.
 
Finally, you'll hear, "Braille 'n Speak ready, Help is open."
 
By the way, your update program gets deleted when you do this cold reset but
if you were lucky enough not to require performing a cold reset after
updating, the program is still on your machine.  You'll probably want to
delete it right away to avoid any confusion later, and besides, it does take
up a bit of room you could use for your own programs and files.
 
Once you've successfully updated your machine to the latest version, it's a
good idea to read through the new version of the Help file that is now on your
unit, and to take a look at the file called "update.txt" or "update.brl" that
should be included in your update package.
 
Now we'll move onto the last external program of this section, the language
option.  Actually, once you've updated your unit to include a second language,
the program itself resides in your unit's Flash ROM so you won't have to run
it as you run the other external programs we've discussed so far in this
chapter.  You'll be able to flip instantly between that second language and
your primary one with a simple command. 
 
Let's see how you can turn the Braille 'n Speak into a bilingual machine.  Too
bad we can't become bilingual so fast ourselves.
 
* 16.2 The Bilingual Braille 'n Speak
 
At the time of this writing, the Braille 'n Speak can instantly learn over
fourteen languages, and there are more languages on the way.  The machine can
become bilingual in a matter of minutes since it can hold two languages in its
memory at any given time.
 
The default language for the unit is of course English but there's no reason
why you couldn't make the default be something else if you so chose.  Each
additional language costs $99.  Call Blazie Engineering for a current list of
available languages.  The most popular ones include Spanish, French, and
Japanese.
 
As we said, you can run only two languages at a time in your unit, thus,
making it bilingual.  You can even have several language program files on
disk.  When you want a different secondary language in your unit, you can
transfer one of the language programs from disk to your unit and update your
system to make that language the secondary language.  Of course, this means
running the update program for the particular language when you want to use
it, but it is an option that lets you have more than one secondary language
available to you.
 
A language comes in the form of a program file that you run like any other
external program in your unit.  Each language file is specific to the Braille
'n Speak or the Braille Lite so you must be clear about which version you want
when ordering.
 
Since Spanish is just about the most popular one, we'll walk through how to
update your unit to run in this language. When you get the language program,
notice that the name of the file reflects the language, in our example,
"bs2spa.bns".
 
Load the program file into your Braille 'n Speak, using either our portable
disk drive or a PC to transfer the file.  Now let's see how to run the update
program.
 
Bring up the Files menu and find the "bs2spa.bns" file with dot 4-chords.
Recall that pressing a th-sign should speak information about the program file
to which you're pointing.  However, in this case, pressing a th-sign yields
something that sounds like gibberish.  This is because the text of the
information about this particular program file is in Spanish and your poor
Braille 'n Speak still only knows English right now. So its Spanish accent
leaves a lot to be desired.  Let's see if we can fix this by giving this
English-speaking unit a crash course (well, hopefully not crash as in computer
crash).
 
Here's how it works.
 
From the Files menu, still pointing to the "bs2spa.bns" file, press an x-chord
to run the update program.   The Braille 'n Speak starts jabbering away in
heavily English-accented Spanish, basically telling you the same things the
normal update program tells you in English.  (See Section 16.1 for details.) 
Since the sound of this Spanish is somewhat mangled due to the fact that the
Braille 'n Speak is still using its English pronunciation tables for speaking
the text, we suggest only those very familiar with Spanish attempt the
installation.  Otherwise, you might not answer the prompts correctly.  As is
the case with the English update program, you must answer the prompts as they
come up and you must not touch the unit at all during its update process,
which lasts about three minutes altogether.  The significant difference in the
"y or n" prompts is that in Spanish these prompts are "si o no", meaning that
you respond with an s for "si" (or "yes") rather than with a y as you would
for the English update program.
 
One prompt asks you whether you want this language to be Language a or
Language B.  Up to now, Language A has been English, and most of us will want
to keep that as the primary language.  So generally, you'd respond to this
prompt with a b, indicating that you want Spanish to be the secondary language
in your unit.
 
Assuming you answer all the prompts correctly, and the update process runs
smoothly, after three minutes or so, you should hear the long tone which
indicates the update was completed successfully.
 
Depending on how you answered the prompt about which language bank is to hold
the Spanish language (a or b), when you next turn on your unit, you may hear
English or Spanish spoken.  For sample purposes, we'll assume you told the
Braille 'n Speak to put the Spanish language in language bank b.
 
When you hear the long tone, just as with the English update program, you
should turn off your unit.  Then turn it on again.  Do this now.  And let's
see what we hear.
 
If all went well, you should hear, "Braille 'n Speak ready, Help is open" in
English.  Whew!  That's good.  At least we're still all talking the same
language.
 
Now how do we bring up the Spanish language?  Let's create a new file we'll
call "practica", which is Spanish for "practice".  Get into the file in the
usual way.
 
Now press a p-chord to bring up the Parameters menu.  At the "Enter parameter"
prompt, write an l.  In the blink of an eye, the Braille 'n Speak switches to
Spanish and reports the name of the currently open file, the fact that it has
one page and that it is a braille file.  That's it.
 
From now on, any command you execute, and any text you write in this or any
other file, results in Spanish speech, this time with a more realistic
sounding accent.  The unit even recognizes the braille accent marks for
commonly used Spanish letters like the n with a tilde over it (dots 1-2-4-5-6)
and pronounces them accurately.
 
Assuming you're familiar with the Spanish language, go ahead and write some
text now to play with this bilingual unit.  Bring up the Files menu and run
through its various options to see how the Braille 'n Speak refers to things
in Spanish.  Although you'll find that translations of prompts and commands
are not exact, and there are occasional glitches in grammar, for the most
part, the unit has learned how to translate all your English Braille 'n Speak
commands into Spanish quite well in a matter of a few minutes.
 
And you can flip back and forth between the two languages in your machine
simply by invoking the Parameters menu again with a p-chord and writing an l.
The Braille 'n Speak then instantly switches back to English until the next
time you do a p-chord l.  However, if you turn the unit off, the Braille 'n
Speak reverts to its primary language, in our case, English, and you need to
do another p-chord l to switch back to Spanish again.
 
 
That's the update procedure for adding a second language to your unit.  And
this is the end of our chapter on external programs, although, as we mentioned
at the outset of this chapter, there are many more external programs available
than we had room to show you here.  Make sure to call for details.
 
 
 
SUMMARY
 
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU'VE DON IT! You've worked your way through this mammoth
manual.  We really tried hard to trim the fat; but we also made sure not to
discard any of the real meat.  By now, you really know your Braille 'n Speak,
don't you?
 
Well, just in case you run into a snag, ahead are four appendices to help you
- especially, Appendix A, where we answer most of the questions we usually
get.  Nevertheless, always remember, we're here if you need our personal
touch.
 
                   APPENDIX A: COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 
By now, you are no doubt comfortable with the general operations of your
Braille 'n Speak.  However, what if something goes wrong?  So often, manuals
tell you how to do things but not how to fix them.
 
What if you hit the wrong key during a procedure?  What if you issue a
command, then need to cancel it before it finishes doing something?  What if,
horror of horrors, your file disappears?  And finally, what if any of these
things happens at three in the morning when you really can't reach for the
phone to get help?
 
All these "what-if's" are real possibilities whenever you have a computer.
It's a simple fact of life.  For most of us, though, reaching for the phone,
even though it may mean a toll-call, is easier and less scary than trying to
deal with the problem ourselves.
 
Our purpose in this appendix is to show you that many potentially devastating
problems really aren't, that you just might be able to solve them yourself
after all.  And think how good you'll feel for having done so.  We reached
into our files for the most commonly asked questions of the technical support
staff and list them here with possible solutions to try before panicking.  Of
course, we are here if you should really need us.
 
But chances are, when you call, already having tried to solve the problem
yourself, we won't have to walk you through the basics and your phone bill
will be smaller.  We're not trying to discourage you from calling for help
and, in fact, we invite your feedback.  But we are confident that we can serve
you even better if you can first troubleshoot the problem yourself.
 
Incidentally, some solutions suggested below come directly from those of you
brave enough to challenge the murky waters of troubleshooting.  We commend you
for helping all of us.  And now, on to the questions:
 
TELECOMMUNICATIONS QUESTIONS
 
1.   How do I connect my Braille 'n Speak to my (brand name) printer,
     computer, or modem?
 
     You must connect the right cables and match telecommunications settings
     between your Braille 'n Speak and the other device.
 
     We offer a wide range of cables which connect the Braille 'n Speak to
     the most commonly used computers, printers, and modems.  For example,
     there are cables for the PC/XT and PC/AT series of the IBM PC and
     compatibles, as well as cables for the Apple family of computers and
     printers.  In addition, we offer the serial to parallel converter cable
     for use with parallel printers.  Refer to Section 13.1 for general
     information and to Appendix C for technical information about cables.
 
 
     The Braille 'n Speak is preset with the most commonly used
     telecommunications settings.  To see how they are set, check them out
     from the Status menu.  For a full discussion of these settings, see
     Section 13.2.  For a listing of the default settings, refer to Appendix
     B.
 
2.   I connect my cable to my modem.  It fits but I cannot communicate.
 
     The cable may fit, but you need a null modem adapter to talk to the
     modem.
 
3.   I am connected to my modem with a null modem adapter.  When I try to
     communicate, I hear, "Waiting on serial device".
 
     Carrier Detect must be changed.  It is low and must be made high.  Try
     "at ampersand c1" from a PC, then "at ampersand w" to save the
     configuration.
 
4.   My Braille 'n Speak cable fits into my PC's serial port, but it will not
     communicate.
 
     If the cable that comes with your Braille 'n Speak fits into your port
     with no adapters, then you probably have it in the parallel port.
     Serial ports are usually male, so you'll need a gender adapter.
 
5.   I hear "File is full" and I'm hooked up to a computer, a bulletin board
     with my modem, or a printer.
 
     If you're in a mode of duplex where material is stored and/or echoed
     back from the other device, and therefore appended to the end of your
     currently open file, you might run into a "File is full" error message.
 
     Turn off the serial port and check the file's contents, deleting any
     extraneous text.  Also, it might help to change the duplex or Echo
     feature of the device in question.
 
6.   My Braille 'n Speak doesn't speak the last character it receives from
     the PC or bulletin board to which I'm connected with my modem.
 
     You need to set the Interactive Timeout parameter, normally set to 0 (or
     "off).  Set this parameter from the Status menu.
 
     Speech devices require specific signals - for example, carriage returns
     and spaces - in order to speak data they have received from another
     device.  Occasionally, the final signal sent from an external device is
     not what the Braille 'n Speak needs to see.  For these cases, the
     Braille 'n Speak produces a signal of its own.  The interactive timeout
     parameter sets the amount of time the Braille 'n Speak waits before
     generating this signal.
 
 
     Enter the Status menu with an st-sign-chord and write an x.  You hear
     something like, "Interactive timeout, 0", which means "off".  You can
     change the length of time the Braille 'n Speak waits before issuing the
     signal to speak the data it has received from 1 to 255 tenths of a
     second.  So setting it to 10 means that the Braille 'n Speak waits one
     second before speaking data it has received.
 
7.   When using the Braille 'n Speak as a remote device with the Personal
     Touch or the MiniBraille, how do I match up the telecommunications
     settings?
 
     For the MiniBraille, the default settings are: 9600 Baud, no parity, 8
     data bits, 1 stop bit, software handshaking.
 
     For the Personal Touch, the default settings are: 4800 Baud, even
     parity, 7 data bits, 1 stop bit, software handshaking.
 
     Finally, make sure you've activated the serial port before issuing the
     0-chord command to turn the Braille 'n Speak into a remote device.
 
* INTERNET CONNECTION QUESTIONS
 
1.   What do I need to connect my Braille 'n Speak to the Internet?
 
     First, you'll need to connect your Braille 'n Speak to an external modem
     through its serial port.  The cable that comes with your unit should
     connect to most Hayes-compatible modems.  Make sure the modem and
     Braille 'n Speak are talking at the same BAUD rates before trying to do
     anything else.
 
     Next, it's important to have the right telecommunications software in
     order to make the connection to the Internet work smoothly.  If you are
     already familiar with Blazie's product called BrailleTerm, or are using
     it successfully to connect your Braille 'n Speak and modem for other
     types of services, it will also work for connections to the Internet.
     The Internet works best with VT100 emulation.  So you'll need to set up
     your telecommunications package for that type of emulation or you might
     try another package we offer called V-Term.
 
     Upload the software into your unit and run it from the Files menu or
     Options menu.  See Chapter 13 for details on uploading external programs
     and Chapter 16 for how to run them.
 
     Call Blazie Engineering for further information on how to obtain
     BrailleTerm and V-Term.
 
2.   What kinds of files can I download to my Braille 'n Speak from the
     Internet?
 
     It's important you understand that the only program files that run on
     your unit are those which have been specifically written for the Braille
     Lite or Braille 'n Speak.  Such program files end in a .bns extension.
     You'll be able to download textfiles into your unit as well, but files
     written for word processors like MS Word for Windows and even
     WordPerfect 5.1 or 6.0 for DOS won't be readable.
 
     If you do have textfiles or say an article from a WEB site that you want
     to download, you'll be able to transfer them to your Braille 'n Speak
     fairly easily using one of the telecommunications programs we've
     mentioned above.  However, if you want to download a group of files that
     is compressed into a single zipped file (in other words, a file with a
     .zip extension), you'll need to uncompress them into your home directory
     on your Internet provider's system with their file compression utility.
     Then you'll be able to transfer them into your unit one at a time or as
     a group using wildcard characters, depending on how the files are named.
     Check with your service provider if you're unclear about how to zip and
     unzip files on their system.  The Braille 'n Speak does not have a file
     compression utility of its own.
 
PRINTING QUESTIONS
 
1.   When I try to print, my printer won't move to the next line.
 
     Add linefeeds is off.  If you turn this setting on, a linefeed character
     is sent to the printer with every line that is printed.  See Section
     15.1.2.
 
2.   When I try to print, the Braille 'n Speak says, "Waiting on serial
     device".
 
     The printer is probably off-line.  Turn the printer on-line.  If this
     does not work, connect a minitester in between the Braille 'n Speak and
     the printer.  (The minitester comes with Blazie's interface kit.  Call
     for more information.)
 
3.   When I try to print, the Braille 'n Speak says, "Okay", but nothing
     happens.
 
     First, check whether the telecommunications settings on both devices
     match.  Check Baud rate, parity, data bits, stop bits, and handshaking.
     Next, try turning on Add linefeeds.  Some printers need a linefeed
     character with every line or they'll refuse to cooperate.  Next, check
     the pins in the serial ports of both devices to see if they are bent or
     broken.
 
4.   When I print either to a PC or printer, I get garbage - mainly x's, p's
     and at signs.
 
     Most likely, Baud rates don't match.  Check the Baud rate on both
     devices.
 
5.   When I print, my document is missing characters.
 
     This is probably a handshaking problem.  The Braille 'n Speak's
     handshaking may be different from the printer's.
 
6.   I can't send or receive files from my disk drive and I am properly
     connected to it.  If I press a t-chord, I don't hear the "disk drive"
     message before the prompt, "Enter s to send or r to receive" and if I
     press an s-chord from within my file, I hear, "Storage device missing".
 
     Check that the disk drive is turned on.  If turning it on does not solve
     the problem, then turn the Braille 'n Speak off and on again.
 
7.   I'm connected to a computer or bulletin board through a modem.  When
     data comes in, I can hear it but I can't read back the last piece of
     information that has come in from the other device and I can't read back
     what I  write when I'm responding to a prompt from the device.
 
     You probably have cursor tracking turned off.  So the Braille 'n Speak
     isn't keeping track of where you're writing and reading, even though
     you're probably writing at the end of the file and are not in Continuous
     Overwrite mode.  Pressing dot 4-chords from wherever you are will
     probably start reading you the information that has been transmitted.
     If you want to go directly to the last bit of information sent by the
     other device, you can jump to the end of your file with a dots 4-5-6-
     chord, and then read the current line.  But it's going to save you a lot
     of confusion if you simply turn cursor tracking on again.
 
     Bring up the Status menu with an st-sign-chord and jump to the setting
     with a c.  Write a y to turn on cursor tracking.  Exit the Status menu
     with an e-chord.
 
     From now on, you should be able to read back what you've just written.
     When information comes into your Braille 'n Speak from the other device,
     your cursor" will zap to the end of your file so that when you press a
     c-chord, you'll be able to hear the last line of information the other
     device sent.
 
8.   I'm connected to a computer or bulletin board through a modem, but
     whatever I type is doubled, even though information coming into my
     Braille 'n Speak is fine.
 
     Your telecommunications program and some modems let you turn off the
     "echoing" of your keystrokes.  You're actually not transmitting double
     characters to the other device.  It's just that it thinks you want to
     see each character it got from you and so "echoes" it back.  It'll
     probably be quicker and easier to turn off echoing from the Braille 'n
     Speak side than from the PC side of the link.  What you want to do is
     change your duplex to "full".
 
     Enter the Status menu with an st-sign-chord and jump to the setting by
     writing a d.  Then write an f to select "full" duplex.  Exit the Status
     menu with an e-chord.  From now on, what you type should sound fine.
 
CRASH AND RECOVERY QUESTIONS
 
1.   All of my files have become gibberish, and when I go into the Files
     menu, the titles are incorrect.
 
     This rarely happens to our newer revisions, but this sounds like a
     crash.  In other words, there may be something wrong with your unit, but
     it may be fixable.
 
     Try a "warm" reset.  If that does not work, you must do a "cold" reset,
     the i-chord.
 
     * You do a "warm" reset to return all Braille 'n Speak settings to their
     default values (except for the battery timer and voice configurations)
     and without loss of data.  Voice configurations are retained but your
     unit reverts to Voice 1.  When you press a for-sign-chord (dots
     1-2-3-4-5-6-chord), the Braille 'n Speak says, "Warm reset, please
     verify".  When you press a second for-sign-chord, it says "Okay".
 
     CAUTION: Do not use a warm reset within another command or while data
     are being transmitted.
 
     You can also do a warm reset when you turn on the Braille 'n Speak.  To
     issue the command, turn off the Braille 'n Speak.  Then hold down all
     seven Braille 'n Speak keys as you turn on the power.  Once power is on,
     continue to hold down the keys for about a second.
 
     Use the "cold" reset procedure only as a last resort.  All settings are
     reset to their defaults and all files you may have created, as well as
     their data, might be lost.
 
     For about 2 seconds, press an i-chord as you turn on the power to the
     Braille 'n Speak.  You hear questions about initializing the system
     files, folders, and Flash.  Eventually, you hear  the prompt, "delete
     all data in file areas, enter y or n?"  If you answer, "Yes", it says,
     "Are you sure?" to really force you to think.  If you still answer,
     "Yes", you hear beeps while the Braille 'n Speak "cleans up" things.
     Your data is irrevocably lost.  This process insures that no one can
     recover your personal data - a good idea when exchanging your Braille 'n
     Speak for an upgrade or a repaired machine.
 
2.   When I turn on my Braille 'n Speak, it gives the correct message, but
     every time I press a chord or key, it either says, "space" or "file is
     write-protected".
 
     You may have write-protected the currently open file and don't remember
     having done so.  Get into the Files menu and press an i-chord to hear
     the status of the currently open file.  If it is write-protected,
     Unprotect it with a u-chord.
 
     Or, you may be in One-Handed mode.  Hold down dot 3 as you power on.  If
     that still does not fix it, hold down all seven keys when you power up
     to perform a "warm reset".
 
3.   When I hit a chord, the Braille 'n Speak resets, saying, "Braille 'n
     Speak ready".
 
     This rarely happens, but a warm reset usually fixes the problem.
 
4.   My Braille 'n Speak turned on and is dead.
 
     A warm reset usually fixes this problem.
 
5.   I have deleted a file (or portion of a file) accidentally; is
     there any way to get it back?
 
     This depends on whether you've done anything since your deletion.
     If you have not created another file, or performed another
     deletion, there is hope.  Here are a couple of scenarios:
 
     First case: You've deleted text from the current cursor position
     to the end of the file.
 
     Recall that the Clipboard is a "trash can".  The text you just deleted
     is there, or at least the first 4,096 characters of it.  The rest of the
     text, if there was more than one Braille 'n Speak "page" worth of text,
     is in another place in Braille 'n Speak memory.  Remember our analogy to
     the binder.  It's as if the Braille 'n Speak put the first page of the
     text you deleted into the Clipboard and the rest of the pages at the
     back of the binder.
 
     To bring them back where they belong into your currently open file,
     first press an ing-sign-chord (dots 3-4-6-chord) c to copy the contents
     of the Clipboard back into your currently open file, thus recovering the
     first "page" worth of text.  Then from the Files menu, write a for-sign
     (dots 1-2-3-4-5-- 6).  The Braille 'n Speak says, "Recover file, enter y
     or n".  Entering y should recover the rest of your text into your
     currently open file.
 
     Go to the end of the file and check the location of the cursor, as well
     as how much room there is left.  If you see numbers that don't make
     sense or unwanted text, it probably means that you've recovered
     extraneous text.  Press dot 1-chords and dots 2-3-chords to move
     backward through the file until you find the text that should have been
     the end of the file.  Delete from that point forward to eliminate this
     junk from your file.
 
     Second case: You've just deleted the last file in your files list.  You
     can recover the file from the Files menu using a similar procedure to
     the one just described.  But you now have no file to fill with text.  So
     the first step is to create a file with the appropriate number of pages
     you threw away.  (If you're not sure of this number, then start with a
     one-page file.  You may have to keep making the file bigger a page at a
     time and then performing the recover operation repeatedly until you have
     recovered the complete file.)
 
     Suppose you have a two-page file called "junk" you've just deleted by
     mistake.  When you move through your files list, it's just not there.
     To start the recovery process from the Files menu, write a c to create a
     new file.  Name the file anything you want.  (The file's name is
     irrelevant to the Braille 'n Speak.  Just naming it the same name as the
     deleted file won't recover it.)
 
     Go ahead and answer the usual prompts for creating a new file.  You
     should now be in an empty, open file.  From the Files menu, write a
     for-sign (dots 1-2-3-4-5-6).  At the prompt, write a y.  You should
     recover the file, although you may have extraneous text to delete at its
     end.
 
These are tricky maneuvers, but they may save important data for you.  We
suggest that you practice this procedure with a junk file before attempting it
with real data.
 
BRAILLE TRANSLATION QUESTIONS
 
1.   I am using the Braille 'n Speak as a speech synthesizer.  When I hit a
     key on my PC, I get the Grade 2 equivalent, like do for d, can for c,
     etc.
 
     Speech box mode uses the Clipboard as a buffer.  Go into the Clipboard
     and switch off the translator.
 
2.   I am trying to use the Braille 'n Speak calendar alert feature.  I
     pasted the date correctly but I still don't hear the alert when I turn
     on the unit.
 
     If you entered the date in computer braille, the translator in the
     calendar file must be off.  If you pasted the date in Grade 1 braille,
     the translator must remain on in the calendar file.  See whether the
     date is written in computer braille or Grade 1 braille, and then make
     sure the translator is set to match.  Also, see whether Calendar Check
     is "on" from the Status menu.
 
* RAM AND FLASH QUESTIONS
 
1.   Can I load a file directly into Flash memory?
 
     No.  All files you transfer to your unit from another device must first
     come into the RAM portion of the machine.  Then you can move them into
     Flash if you want.  From the files menu while in "all files" mode, use
     the gh-sign-chord command.  While in "folder" mode, use the gh-sign-
     chord to move a single file or the gh-sign to move a group of files.
 
2.   When I go through my files list from within the Files menu, I don't hear
     the numbers of the files I have stored in Flash.  How are files numbered
     when they're stored in Flash?
 
     Due to the nature of Flash memory, the files stored in Flash get
     shuffled around quite a bit (for technical reasons).  We decided to save
     you the confusion this might cause by not announcing their numbers.  The
     lowest numbered file in Flash will always be 128 since the RAM portion
     of your unit's memory can contain up to 127 files.  Since the order in
     which files in Flash are listed changes every time you delete a file or
     even when you read one, you'll find it easier to locate a file in Flash
     either by using the o command from the Files menu and actually typing
     the file's name, then pressing an e-chord to open it.  Or, if you can't
     remember the file's exact name, you can always search your files list
     with dot 4-chords and dot 1-chords or dot 6-chords and dot 3-chords and
     then press an o-chord once you hear its name spoken.
 
3.   I'm trying to move a small file into Flash but I get an error message
     that there isn't enough room in Flash to fit the file.  Yet, when I
     check the number of bytes free in my unit from the Files menu using the
     f command, there appears to be plenty of room to accept the file I want
     to move into Flash. 
 
     One possible solution is to juggle some files around a bit.  First, move
     the largest file currently stored in Flash temporarily into RAM.  Then
     move your small file into Flash, then return the large file you just
     moved into RAM into Flash.  This procedure should shift things around
     enough so that your file fits into an available chunk of Flash memory.
 
     Example: You have a file that's about 10K in size called "little" that
     you want to store in Flash.  When you check free space in your unit from
     the Files menu with an f, you hear that you have 2000K in Flash.  But
     when you try to move "little" into Flash, it doesn't fit.
 
     The largest file you currently have in Flash is 70K  and is called
     "large".  Move it into RAM temporarily using the gh-sign-chord command.
     Make sure you're in "all files mode" first.
 
  Now move your "little" file into Flash, using the same gh-sign-chord
command.  This time it should fit fine.  At this point, you should also be
able to return the "large" file you just temporarily moved into RAM back into
Flash.
 
     The reason this problem occurs is rather technical.  What appears to be
     reported as enough free memory in Flash may not be completely accessible
     at the time you're trying to move a file into Flash because the free
     space must be in contiguous 64K chunks in order to be accessible.
     Juggling files around usually solves the problem.
 
4.   I just moved a big file from Flash into RAM and yet the unit still
     reports I have the same amount of Flash memory now as I did before
     moving this big file out of Flash.
 
     At the time of this writing, there is no "defrag" facility in your unit.
     Those familiar with this housekeeping utility in the MS DOS environment
     will understand the term.  One possible work-around might be to move a
     file bigger than 64K in size out of Flash to free up a contiguous 64K
     chunk of memory.
 
5.   I have an extra language program and want to store it in Flash for later
     retrieval into RAM so I can update my unit to use that language.  But
     when I try to move the program file into Flash, I'm told it can't be
     done.
 
     At the time of this writing, you cannot move a program file larger than
     128K in size into Flash.  You can however move a textfile that is larger
     than 128K and you can move the spellchecker into Flash.  In fact, the
     spellchecker is the only program you can run from within Flash at this
     time.
 
MISCELLANEOUS QUESTIONS
 
1.   The o-chord k command gives the wrong answer.
 
     The calculation must be on a line by itself, with no other text.  You
     must write it in computer braille - using dropped numbers and correct
     operator symbols - as though you were in the calculator.  The Braille 'n
     Speak must be in Line Reading mode, not Window or Sentence mode.
 
2.   I've started to issue a command, like Insert text, or Find text, or a
     macro, but want to cancel the process.
 
     Abort with a z-chord.  This command aborts almost any procedure.  If,
     for example, you issue the Insert command and change your mind, a
     z-chord prevents unintended insertion of text.
 
     In addition, a z-chord aborts the transmission of data and releases the
     handshake line in the event of a "handshake hang-up".
 
     If you issue a z-chord from within the Help file, you leave Help and
     return to the file in which you were last working.
 
3.   I don't hear anything when I press a backspace (b-chord).
 
     You might have duplex set to full or none.  Go into the Status menu or
     the Parameters menu and change it to half.
 
4.   The filenames on the disk in my PC or my disk drive are not the same as
     the names of the files that I transmitted from my Braille 'n Speak.
 
     You must use MS DOS file naming conventions when naming Braille 'n Speak
     files that you plan to send to a PC or to the external disk drive.  We
     discussed this subject fully in Chapter 4.
 
     Briefly, the name of a file consists of a "filename" and "extension",
     separated by a period.  The "filename" portion may contain up to eight
     characters, and the extension up to three characters.  You may not use
     spaces or wildcard characters (the asterisk and question mark) in a
     filename.  You do not have to use extensions but most MS DOS files have
     them, especially program files.
 
     Suppose you have a file in your Braille 'n Speak called "phone book".
     When you send it to the PC, it truncates to "phoneboo" because DOS sees
     only the first eight characters and eliminates the space character.  So,
     when you look for the file on the PC written as your Braille 'n Speak
     knows it, you won't find it.  It is there, but it's called "phoneboo",
     not "phone book".
 
5.   How and when can I use "wildcard" characters in filenames?
 
     You can use "wildcard" characters (the asterisk and the question mark)
     as part of filenames and their extensions from the Files menu during
     most commands that prompt you to "Enter filename" - deleting files,
     marking or unmarking files, getting file information, for example.  The
     marking and unmarking process is available only in transmission of files
     with the ymodem or kermit modem protocols.  These transmission options
     are available for the disk drive (Section 14.4.1), as well as for the
     serial port (Section 15.5) with the t-chord command from the Files menu.
 
 
     The asterisk and question mark must be entered in computer braille
     notation: dots 1-6 for the asterisk, dots 1-4-5-6 for the question mark.
     The asterisk replaces either the filename or the extension portion of
     the name of a file; the question mark replaces individual characters in
     either the filename or extension portion of the name of a file.  Also,
     remember that the period must also be in computer braille (dots 4-6).
     See Appendix D for a complete listing of computer braille equivalents to
     the ASCII character set.
Here are two examples:
 
     Suppose you have five files in your Braille 'n Speak named "notes1",
     "notes2", etc. and you want to work with them as a group.  At the "Enter
     filename" prompt, you may write "notes" followed by a question mark
     followed by an e- chord.  All files that start with the letters "notes"
     are affected.
 
     Now, suppose you have several files that all have the extension ".brl".
     At the "Enter filename" prompt, you may write "*.brl" and an e-chord.
     All files having the ".brl" extension are affected.
 
     Of course, you may use the question mark more than once to affect groups
     of files where only some of the characters are the same and still use
     the asterisk for the filename or extension portion.  For example, say
     you have a bunch of files where the filename portions are all different
     but whose extensions all start with a b and have different ending
     characters.  Let's say the extensions of these files represent braille
     files for different states and you're using the two-letter abbreviation
     for the states.  Your files have names like, "customer.bme",
     "vendor.bny", "dealers.bfl".  You can use the wildcard name "*.b??" to
     refer to this group of files.
 
6.   I can't kill a "file" on my disk drive.  When I ask for a directory of
     files, the symbol <dir> appears after the file I can't erase.  Why?
 
     It is not a file.  It is a directory.  While we won't get into a lengthy
     discussion of MS DOS commands and their meanings here, we'll try to
     clarify the difference between a "file" and a "directory".
 
     A file contains data you can access (for example, a letter, a
     spreadsheet), or a program you can run (a word processor or a database
     program).
 
     A directory is a grouping of files.  It may contain only data files, or
     program files, or both.  While the grouping of files in a directory is
     somewhat arbitrary, most people tend to group their program files in
     different directories than their data files.
 
     When program files and data files are related in some way - for example,
     the program files generate the data files - then the tendency is to
     group the data files generated by those particular program files in
     directories that are part of the directory that contains the program
     files.  These are called subdirectories.
 
     Another way to picture it is this: your disk is like a filing cabinet
     with drawers (directories) that contain folders (subdirectories).  The
     folders contain envelopes (files).
 
     In most cases, floppy disks aren't divided for you into directories and
     subdirectories.  But, depending on the complexity of the program and
     data files on a disk, a person who is particular about keeping program
     files distinct from data files may create directories on a floppy disk. 
 
     It's always a good idea to look closely at the content of a disk when
     you first receive it.  Who knows, its arrangement might surprise you.
     But now you know how to figure it out.
 
7.   My Braille 'n Speak's voice sounds very flat and it's not pausing
     smoothly at commas and periods when I read through my files.
 
 
     Somehow your voice inflection setting got turned off.
 
     Bring up the Status menu with an st-sign-chord and write an i.  Then
     write a y to turn on voice inflection.  Exit the Status menu with an e-
     chord.  From now on, your Braille 'n Speak should talk normally again.
 
8.   I can't flip between the last two files I opened.  The Braille 'n Speak
     thinks one of the open files is my "calendar.brl" file.
 
     You must have Calendar Alert turned on.
 
     Whenever you turn off the Braille 'n Speak and turn it on again, it
     looks at your "calendar.brl" file to see if it needs to alert you about
     something in your calendar for today.  Whether or not it finds anything,
     it thinks that file is now the last file opened.  So when you issue the
     command to flip between the last two files opened (ou-sign-chord or dots
     1-2-5-6-chord), the Braille 'n Speak flips between your "calendar.brl"
     file and the last file you opened.
 
     The solution is either to turn Calendar Check off from within the Status
     menu, or not to turn off the Braille 'n Speak at any time while flipping
          between the last two files you opened.
 
                        APPENDIX B: QUICK REFERENCE
 
                               INTRODUCTION
 
The Braille 'n Speak 2000 is a product of Blazie Engineering.  This appendix
is a listing by subject of all the commands for the Braille 'n Speak.  It
assumes that you're familiar with the concepts and just need to remind
yourself of the key sequence for a command.  For details on when and how to
use a particular command, see the appropriate section in the manual that
discusses it.  A section or command that is new from the previous edition of
this manual is marked with an asterisk (*).
 
Our complete address information is:
 
Freedom Scientific
2850 S.E. Market Place #3
Stuart, Florida 34997
Phone: (561) 223-6443
Fax: (561) 223-1102
E-Mail: support@...
 
First, some preliminary information about your Braille 'n Speak:
 
* There are 768 kilobytes in RAM and 2 megabytes of Flash memory in the
Braille 'n Speak and therefore a limit of 127 files in RAM and about 992 files
in Flash.  The Braille 'n Speak page is 4,096  characters.  There are about
185  free pages in the Braille 'n Speak in RAM.  A single file may contain as
many pages  as desired, as long as that number does not exceed the 185-page
limit.
 
A line is defined as a block of text ending with a carriage  return.  A
paragraph is defined as a block of text ending with  two or more carriage
returns or two or more carriage return/line  feed pairs.
 
Page format commands allow you to specify physical line  length and page
length when ready to transmit text to a printer  or braille embosser.
 
A "chord" refers to pressing down  the spacebar simultaneously with a braille
character.  For  example, an e-chord means to press down the spacebar
simultaneously with dots 1 and 5.
 
The phrase "(y, n)" means that you should choose y for Yes or  n for No.
 
Unless otherwise specified, a braille number sign (dots  3-4-5-6) is used only
for clarity and the number indicated should  be written in "dropped" or
lowercase notation.  For example, if  you see a number sign followed by the
letter a, which normally  means the number one, you should write a dropped
number one (dot  2).
 
Spaces in command sequences are used  only for readability.
 
SPEECH PARAMETERS MENU
 
Enter Speech Parameters menu - ar-sign-chord (dots 3-4-5-chord)
Exit Speech Parameters menu saving current settings -  e-chord or z-chord.
 
     Note: The following commands are entered from within the Speech
     Parameters menu.
 
     Softer volume - dot 1.
     Louder volume - dot 4.
     Slower speed - dot 2.
     Faster speed - dot 5.
     Lower pitch - dot 3.
     Higher pitch - dot 6.
     Lower frequency - dots 2-3.
     Higher frequency - dots 5-6.
     Cycle among keyboard modes (key echo, key click, silent  keys) -
          spacebar.
     Toggle between speaking numbers as digits and as words - n.
* Speak status of punctuation setting - p.
     Do not announce any punctuation - z.
     Announce some punctuation - s.
     Announce most punctuation - m.
     Announce total punctuation, including spaces and control characters - t.
     * Switch to previous/next voice - dots 2-3-chord/dots 5-6-chord.
          (Note: Once a voice number is selected, configure speech
          parameters such as volume, rate, pitch, tone, punctuation level,
          announcement of numbers, and keyboard mode.  Exit Speech
          Parameters menu with e-chord when voice is configured to your
          liking.  Voice remains in effect until you select another voice
          configuration.  A warm reset causes your unit to revert to Voice 1
          with factory default settings but such a reset retains all other
          voice configurations you have established.  However, voice
          configurations are lost altogether when you  do a cold reset.)
     Toggle enhanced speech box mode on/off - for-sign-chord  (dots 1-
          2-3-4-5-6-chord).
          block handshaking - b.
          line handshaking - l.
* Toggle speech box mode on/off - ar-sign-chord s-chord.
     Note: All serial input is spoken but not stored in the unit.  Press any
     key from the Braille 'n Speak keyboard or press Ctrl-X  from the
     computer keyboard to silence the voice.
 
     Note: The following commands assume that speech box mode is  on. They
     are used by a screen access program to alter the voice  in the Braille
     'n Speak when it is acting as a speech  synthesizer.
     Volume - Control e x v, where x represents a volume from 01  to 16, 01
          being the lowest volume.
     Pitch - Control e x p, where x represents a pitch from 01 to  63, 01
          being the lowest pitch.
     Speech rate - Control e x e, where x represents a rate from  01 to 16,
          01 being the slowest speech rate.
     Frequency - Control e x t, where x represents a tone from 01  to 25, 01
          being the lowest.
     Punctuation level - Control e followed by a, m, s, or z, where the
          letters represent All, Most, Some, or No punctuation,
          respectively.
     Index marker - Control f.
     Silence command - Control x.
Toggle PC Master speech box mode on/off - ar-sign-chord p-chord.
 
FILE COMMANDS
 
Enter Help file from any other file - th-sign-chord (dots 1-4-5-   6-chord).
     Pressing a z-chord returns you to your previously open  file..
* open a file whose number is known - o-chord ##.
     (## is a two-digit number between 00-99; but you can have up to 127
     files in RAM and 992 files in Flash in your unit.)
Flip to last file opened before currently open file - o-chord l, or dots 1-2-
     5-6-chord.
Enter Files menu - o-chord f.
Exit Files menu - e or e-chord.
     Note: The following commands all begin with o-chord f.  If  wildcard
          characters are permitted, a (w) appears after the  command.
* Bring up File Command menu - th-sign-chord (dots 1-4-5-6-chord).
     (Navigate through list of available Files menu commands with dot 4-chord
     to move to the next command, dot 1-chord to move to the previous
     command, c-chord to hear the command currently being pointed to, l-chord
     to move to the beginning of the command list, dots 4-5-6-chord to move
     to the end of the command list.  Once pointing to a command, invoke with
     an e-chord.  Pressing a z-chord kicks you out of File Command menu and
     out of Files menu itself and back into currently open file.  Pressing an
     invalid keystroke from within the File Command menu returns you to the
     Files menu prompt, "Enter file command".)
Speak name and number of currently pointed to file -  c- chord.
Spell name of currently pointed to file - dots 2-5-chord.
Speak name of previous file in files list - dot 1-chord.
     (Includes number of pages and Grade 2 braille translator status)
Speak name of next file in files list - dot 4-chord.
     (Includes number of pages and Grade 2 braille translator status)
* Speak name of previous file without other file information - dot 3-chord.
* Speak name of next file without other file information - dot 6-chord.
Move to top of files list - l-chord.
Move to end of files list - dots 4-5-6-chord.
Open an existing file - o (filename) e-chord.
* Create file - c, e-chord, ## of pages, e-chord, Grade 2 braille translation
     status.
     (Note: ## is the number of Braille 'n Speak pages you want the file to
contain.  Pressing e-chord without typing in a number creates a one-page file.
Use only dropped numbers.  When choosing Grade 2 translation on or off, either
press a y or an n, or simply press an e-chord to accept the default setting,
which is Grade 2 braille translator, on.)
Delete a file - d (filename) e-chord (w).
Delete group of similarly named files - g (w).
List all files, and number of free pages at end of list - l.
Quick list of files - q.
Verbose list of files - v.
* Copy file list to Clipboard - v-chord.
     (Note: File list is retained in Clipboard only until next Clipboard-
     related activity takes place, such as inserting or deleting text.)
Tell name of currently open file - t.
Tell complete information about currently open file -  i-chord.
     (includes filename, braille translator status, number of  pages, date
     and time when last modified, number of bytes in file, write-protect
     status).
Tell date and time when currently open file was last modified -  m-chord.
Tell size of currently open file - wh-sign-chord  (dots 1-5-6-chord).
Write-protect currently open file - p.
Unprotect currently open file - u.
Make currently open file bigger - b.
Make currently open file smaller - s.
Rename currently open file - r.
Tell complete information for specified file - i  (file name) e-chord (w).
     (includes filename, braille translator status, number of  pages, date
     and time when last modified, number of bytes in file, write-protect
     status).
Tell date and time when specified file was last modified - m  (filename)
     e-chord (w).
Tell size of specified file - wh-sign (filename)  e-chord (dots 1-5-6) (w).
* Tell number of free pages remaining in RAM and free space remaining in FLASH
     memory - f.
Recover currently open file - for-sign (dots 1-2-3-4-5-6).
Open pointed to file - o-chord.
Delete pointed to file - d-chord.
Make pointed to file bigger - b-chord.
Make pointed to file smaller - s-chord.
Rename pointed to file - r-chord.
Tell complete information of pointed to  file - i-chord.
     (includes filename, braille translator status, number of  pages, date
     and time when last modified, number of bytes in file, write-protect
     status).
Tell date and time when pointed to file  was last modified - m-chord.
Tell size of pointed to file - wh-sign-  chord (dots 1-5-6-chord).
Execute external program - x-chord.
Execute external program with arguments - x, arguments, e-chord.
Move to next external program in files list - dot 5-chord.
Move to previous external program in files list - dot 2-chord.
* Tell information about pointed to external program - th-sign (dots 1-4-5-6).
* Enable/disable folder mode/all files mode - spacebar.
     (Folder mode must be active from within the Status menu in order for
     this command to work from within the Files menu.  While in "folder"
     mode, files can be viewed and moved to in their respective folders.
     While in "all files" mode, files can be acted upon in the normal way
     without regard to their folder locations.)
 
* Note: The following commands work while "folder" mode is enabled from within
the Files menu.  Once you're pointing to a particular folder, you can work
with its files and view its files list, etc., using the usual Files menu
commands.
 
* Speak name of currently open folder - dots 2-3-5-6-chord.
* Point to next folder - dots 5-6-chord.
* Point to previous folder - dots 2-3-chord.
* Point to first folder - dots 2-3-6-chord.
* Point to last folder - dots 3-5-6-chord.
* Jump to folder by number - 0 through 9.
     (You can have up to 20 folders but can jump by number only to the first
     ten, using dropped numbers from 0 for "RAM startup" folder, 1 for "Flash
     startup" folder, and on through 9.)
*    Create a folder - ing-sign, followed by folder name, followed by f for
     Flash or r for RAM.
     (Files contained in Flash folders can be  read but not edited and
     programs stored in Flash can be pointed to and moved into RAM for use
     but not run from within Flash.)
*    Move file into folder - gh-sign-chord, followed by name of folder where
     file should be placed.
     (Note: If file to be moved is empty, the process does not work.)
*    Move group of files into folder - gh-sign (dots 1-2-6), followed by list
     of marked files to move, e-chord, dots 2-3-chord/dots 5-6-chord to
     select folder or number from 0 through 9 of folder to where files will
     be moved, e-chord.
     (When you write gh-sign, your files list comes up a file at a time,
     beginning with your currently open file.  To mark or unmark your
     currently open file, write an o.  To mark a file for moving to a folder,
     press spacebar or y.  Otherwise, work backward and forward through your
     files list with dot 1-chord and dot 4-chord to point to each file and
     press spacebar or y on the ones you want to tag for moving.  Or press r
     to mark all RAM files, f to mark all Flash files, y-chord to mark the
     currently pointed to file and jump to the next unmarked one, m to mark
     all files in the folder, u to unmark all files in the folder, m-chord to
     mark a group of similarly named files with wildcard characters, u-chord
     to unmark a similarly named group of files with wildcard characters.
     Press e-chord when you're ready to select the folder where the group of
     files is to go.  Move backward and forward through your folders list
     with dots 2-3-chord and dots 5-6-chord until you hear the folder where
     you want the files to go, or write the folder's number from 0 through 9,
     then press e-chord.  You'll be left at the "enter file command" prompt
     and still be in the file you had open before starting this process.)
*    Move currently pointed to file between RAM and Flash - gh-sign-chord
     (dots 1-2-6-chord).
     (Note: This command works when "all files mode" is enabled from the
     Files menu and whether or not "allow folder mode" is in effect from the
     Status menu.  If file is in Flash, it moves into RAM; if it's in RAM, it
     moves into Flash.  Abort procedure by answering the prompt with an n.
     If currently open file is moved to other portion of memory, that file
     will no longer be open.  You'll have to point to it again from within
     the Files menu and open it with an o-chord.)
* Change name of currently pointed to folder - ch-sign-chord (dots 1-6-chord).
 
* Delete pointed to folder - dots 3-6.
     (a folder must be empty to be deleted.)
 
ENTERING TEXT
 
Note: Any characters you write are appended to the end of  the file unless you
     are in Insert mode or in Continuous Overwrite mode.
Backspace over and erase character under cursor - b-chord.
Speak current cursor position within file - wh-sign-chord (dots 1-5-6-chord).
     (announces column position from last carriage return and  number of
     characters from beginning of file)
Speak current cursor position within physical print or  braille page and line
     number or BRAILLE 'n Speak page - sh-sign-chord (dots 1-4-6-chord).
     (Enter b for braille page, p for print page, a for absolute Braille 'n
     Speak page.)
Speak room left in current file - r-chord.
Toggle words as spoken or silent as they are written - g-chord.
* Select a voice configuration - y-chord followed by a number.
     (Use dropped numbers from 1 to 5. Configure voices from within Speech
     Parameters menu.)
Uppercase only next character to be written - u-chord.
     (Use dot 6 instead when braille translation is on.)
Uppercase lock - u-chord twice.
     (Do not use with braille translation turned on.)
Uppercase unlock - q-chord.
Overwrite current character - ow-sign-chord (dots 2-4-6-chord)
Continuous overwrite mode - ow-sign-chord twice.
     (Press ow-sign-chord again to turn it off or turn unit off.)
Mark beginning of block of text at current cursor position -  m- chord.
Write a control character - x-chord followed by character.
Write "escape" control character - x-chord followed by  ow-sign (dots 2-4-6).
     (a left brace in computer braille)
Write carriage return in control character form - x-chord  m.
Write a linefeed - x-chord j.
Write a formfeed control character - x-chord l.
Tab specified number of columns relative to last carriage   return - dots
     4-5-chord followed by dropped number.
     (Number refers to number of spaces from last  carriage return.)
* Write repeated character string - dots 4-5-chord, followed by character to
     be repeated, followed by number of times to be repeated, e-chord.
     (Note: Use dropped numbers to indicate number of times the character is
     to be repeated.  The limit is 255.  You cannot use a digit as the
     character to be repeated since numbers are assumed to refer to the
     number of spaces to tab.  But you can use the space character itself as
     the character to be repeated.)
 
CURSOR MOVEMENT AND SPEAKING OF TEXT
 
Note: When a single character is spoken, its pitch is higher  than normal if
     the character is in uppercase.
Speak current character - dots 3-6-chord.
Speak current character phonetically - dots 3-6-chord twice.
     (e.g., a alpha, b bravo.  Continue moving back and forward a character
     at a time in this mode until any other chord is pressed.)
* Speak ASCII value of current character - dots 3-6-chord three times.
     (Note: The setting must be activated from the Status menu.  e.g., 65 for
     uppercase a, 97 for lowercase a.  Continue moving back and forward a
     character at a time in this mode until any other chord is pressed.)
Move to and speak previous character - dot 3-chord.
Move to and speak next character - dot 6-chord.
Speak current word - dots 2-5-chord.
Spell current word - dots 2-5-chord twice.
     (Continue moving back and forward a word at a time in this mode until
     any other chord is pressed.)
Move to and speak previous word - dot 2-chord.
Move to and speak next word - dot 5-chord.
Speak current line - c-chord.
Move back and speak previous line - dot 1-chord.
Move forward and speak next line - dot 4-chord.
Move back to previous paragraph - dots 2-3-chord.
Move forward to next paragraph - dots 5-6-chord.
Move to top of file - l-chord.
Move to end of file - dots 4-5-6-chord.
Speak all text from current cursor position to end of file -  er- sign-chord
     (dots 1-2-4-5-6-chord).
* Move specified number of blocks of text - number-sign-chord (dots  3-4-5-6-
     chord) followed by first letter of choice, followed by dropped number,
     e-chord.
     (Choices include: braille page - b, character - c, line - l, mark - m,
     print page - p, word - w.  Cycle among choices with the spacebar.  This
     command takes the reading cursor to point in document relative to
     beginning of document.  To move relative to current location in
     document, place a plus (dots 3-4-6) to go forward or a minus (dots 3-6)
     to go backward, before writing the number of blocks of text you want to
     move.)
* Count number of blocks of text in file - number-sign-chord (dots 3-4-5-6-
     chord) followed by first letter of choice followed by 0, e-chord.
     (E.G., number-sign-chord, w0, e-chord counts the number of words in the
     currently open file.)
Skip blank lines when moving cursor - and-sign-chord (dots 1-2-3- 4-6-chord)
     (y, n).
Speak windows, lines or sentences - w-chord w (windows), l  (lines), or s
     (sentences).
Move to beginning of marked block of text - number-sign-chord (dots 3-4-5-6-
     chord) m.
Switch into review mode - o-chord r.
     (Use strictly for reading through file without chording; for example,
     dot 1 reads previous line, dot 4 next line, dots 1-4 current line.
     Pressing any chord returns unit to normal operation.)
 
FINDING, REPLACING, DELETING, AND INSERTING TEXT
 
Note: The following commands all end with an e-chord but can  be aborted by a
z-chord from anywhere within the process before  the e-chord is pressed (and
for the Find command, even after the  e- chord is pressed).
 
Notes about Find mode:
 
You can search for a block of text up to 63 characters in length.
 
You can use backspace (b-chord) to make corrections in the  character string
as you write it.
 
You can read the character string you have written so far by  pressing a
c-chord.
 
Distinguish case sensitivity of text during a search -  the- sign-chord (dots
     2-3-4-6-chord) (y, n).
     (Case sensitivity is normally off.).
Find text forward from current cursor position - f-chord  followed by text to
     find e-chord.
Find text backward from current cursor position - f-chord  followed by text to
     find th-sign-chord (dots 1-4-5-6-chord).
Search and replace text - f-chord, text to find, r-chord, replacement text, e-
     chord; then r for replace, s for skip, or a for all.
     (If search string is not found, process aborts.)
Find date in currently open file - f-chord, g-chord, date in mmddyy format, e-
     chord.
     (Date must be entered in dropped number notation.)
 
Notes about deleting text:
 
When a block of text (up to 4,095 characters in  length) is deleted, it goes
into the Clipboard temporarily.  The contents of the clipboard is cleared when
Speech box  mode or certain disk drive commands are activated. At such  times,
the contents of the clipboard is related to those  activities.
 
To delete larger blocks of text, and possibly recover them completely from the
Clipboard, you can make the Clipboard bigger, as you can any other file except
the Help file, through the Files menu.
 
Place cursor at beginning of block of text to delete.  All delete commands
begin with a d-chord.
 
Move through the Delete Parameters menu with chords: dot 1-chord to move back
a choice, dot 4-chord to move forward a choice, l-chord to move to the first
choice, dots 4-5-6-chord to move to the last choice, or jump to a choice by
writing its first letter.  To delete multiple blocks of text, follow  the
appropriate letter with a dropped number.
 
* Complete a delete command with an e-chord if you want to empty the Clipboard
before the text you're deleting gets placed there, or complete a delete
command with an ing-sign-chord (dots 3-4-6-chord) if you want to add the text
you're deleting to whatever is already in the Clipboard.
 
* Delete character under cursor - d-chord twice.
* Delete current character(s) - d-chord c e-chord or ing-sign-chord.
* Delete current word(s) - d-chord w e-chord or ing-sign-chord.
* Delete current line(s) - d-chord l e-chord or ing-sign-chord.
     (must have Windows set to Lines)
* Delete current sentence(s) - d-chord s e-chord or ing-sign-chord.
     (must have Windows set to Sentences)
* Delete current paragraph(s) - d-chord p e-chord or ing-sign-chord.
*    Delete from current cursor position to end of file -  d-chord z e-chord
     or ing-sign-chord.
*    Delete from beginning of marked block of text to current  cursor
     position - d-chord m e-chord or ing-sign-chord.
     (Before executing the command, mark beginning of text to be deleted with
     an m-chord.  Then place cursor one character beyond endpoint of block of
     text to be deleted.)
*    Delete block of text - b, search string at endpoint of block, e-chord or
     ing-sign-chord.
     (Place cursor at beginning of text to be deleted.  Then press d-chord,
     b.  Enter string of characters up to which text should be deleted.
     Press e-chord or ing-sign-chord.)
 
Notes about Insert mode:
 
When text is copied into the Clipboard to prepare it for insertion, it is not
deleted from the currently open file.
 
You can insert a block of text the size of the Clipboard file (set to one
Braille 'n Speak page of 4,096 characters).  You can insert even larger blocks
by making the Clipboard bigger.
 
Text is inserted at the current cursor position, instead of being appended to
the end of the file.
 
You can use backspace (b-chord) to make corrections in  the text you're
inserting.
 
You can review the text you're inserting by  pressing any of the reading
commands (e.g., dot 1-chord, c-chord).
 
Insert text into currently open file - i-chord, text to be inserted, e-chord.
Insert today's date into currently open file - ing-sign-chord (dots 3-4-6-
     chord), d.
Insert current time into currently open file - ing-sign-chord (dots 3-4-6-
     chord), t.
Insert specified date into currently open file - ing-sign-chord (dots 3-4-6-
     chord), g, date in mmddyy format, e-chord.
* Paste text from Clipboard into currently open file - ing-sign-chord (dots 3-
     4-6-chord), c.
     (Before executing the command, mark beginning of text to be pasted with
     an m-chord.  Find its endpoint and press a gh-sign-chord (dots 1-2-6-
     chord) to copy it into the Clipboard.  Choose either c to empty the
     Clipboard of all previous text and copy only your marked text into it,
     or choose a to add the text you're copying into the Clipboard to
     whatever is already in the Clipboard.  Then perform the insertion.)
* Copy another file into currently open file - ing-sign-chord (dots 3-4-6-
     chord), f, filename to be copied, e-chord.
     (Your currently open file must have enough room to fit the incoming
     file.  If not, you'll receive an error message, "Not enough room" and be
     back in your currently open file.  Also, make sure to move cursor to
     exact location where file is to be copied into your currently open file
     before attempting this procedure.)
 
FORMATTING TEXT
    
Notes:
 
Formatting strings override Status menu settings.
 
All formatting strings are written directly into file to be formatted for
print or braille output.  They all begin with $-sign (dots 1-2-4-6) and are
surrounded by spaces on either side.  For example, the formatting string to
turn on underlining is written "space $ub space".
 
Where you see "nn" as part of a string, replace it with the appropriate
number.
 
The formatting strings for page number positioning work only for documents to
be printed.  Braille page numbers always appear at top right.
 
Set left margin - $mlnn. 
Set right margin - $mrnn.
Set top margin - $mtnn.
Set bottom margin - $mbnn.
Set page length - $plnn.
Set page width - $pwnn.
Increase left margin by number - $ml_+nn.
Decrease left margin by number - $ml-nn.
Increase right margin by number - $mr+nn.
Decrease right margin by number - $mr-nn.
Increase top margin by number - $mt+nn.
Decrease top margin by number - $mt-nn.
Increase bottom margin by number - $mb+nn.
Decrease bottom margin by number - $mb-nn.
Pause printer for user to press key after each page - $w.
 
New line - $l.
New paragraph - $p.
New page - $f.
Center current line - $c.
No justification - $jn.
Right justification - $jr.
Full justification - $jf.
Number pages in Arabic numerals - $pnar.
Number pages in Roman numerals - $pnrn.
No page numbering - $pnnp.
Print page number at top lef - $pntl.
Print page number at top center - $pntc.
Print page number at top right - $pntr.
Print page number at bottom left - $pnbl.
Print page number at bottom center - $pnbc.
Print page number at bottom right - $pnbr.
Set new page number - $pnnn.
Move to next tab position - $t.
Set size of tab - $tsnn.
Move to column relative to left margin - $tonn.
Outdent left margin one tab position for current line - $out.
Set line spacing - $lsnn.
Begin underline - $ub.
Finish underline - $uf.
Begin italics - $ib.
Finish italics - $if.
Begin boldface - $bb.
Finish boldface - $bf.
Begin doublestrike - $dbsb.
Finish doublestrike - $dbsf.
End text formatting and stop printing - $ef.
Insert current time into text at time of printing - $tm.
Insert current date into text at time of printing - $dt.
Begin running header - $hb.
Disable running header - $h-.
Enable running header - $h+.
Begin running footer - $fb.
Disable running footer - $f-.
Enable running footer - $f+.
End running header or running footer - $-.
Respect braille translator setting for file - $brl+.
Assume file is in computer braille, do not translate - $brl-.
Display status of page number being printed - $st.
     (Use to hear page number being printed at specific point in file, or
     simply press spacebar at any point during printing process to hear page
     being printed.)
Begin strikeout - $sob.
Finish strikeout - $sof.
Begin skipping text (do not print) - $(.
Resume printing after skipped text - $).
 
CLOCK AND CALENDAR
 
Speak current time - o-chord t.
* Set time - o-chord s t followed by a four-digit number.
     (Note: If you make a mistake while writing the time, backspace over it
     with a b--chord and correct your error.  Use only dropped numbers to
     write the time.)
* Set time back or forward by a specified amount - o-chord s t followed by a
     minus or plus followed by a four-digit number.
     (Note: remember to use dropped numbers and precede the digits by a minus
     (dots 3-6) or plus (dots 3-4-6).)
* Set announcement of time to American time - o-chord s 1.
     (12-hour with a.m. and p.m.).
* Set announcement of time to European time - o-chord s 2.
     (24-hour).
* Set hourly announcement of time - st-sign-chord (dots 3-4-chord), h-chord,
     followed by dropped 1, 2, 3, or n, followed by e-chord.
     (1 - hourly announcement, bell only; 2 - hourly announcement, voice
     only; 3 - hourly announcement, bell and voice; n - hourly announcement,
     off)
     (Note: This feature only takes effect when unit is already turned on.)
* Set alarm - o-chord, s, a.
     (Note: This feature can only take affect when unit is already turned on.
     Enter a time using dropped numbers and make sure to use four digits.
     Then enter a for a.m. or p for p.m.  Finally, enter a six-digit number
     for the date, again using only dropped numbers.  You don't have to press
     an e-chord at any point during this procedure.)
* Check alarm setting - o-chord y.
Speak today's date - o-chord d.
Set date - o-chord s d.
     (month, day, year; if two-digit number for year is between 89 and 99,
     20th century is assumed; if two-digit  number for year is between 00 and
     88, 21st century is assumed).
Copy today's date into currently open file at cursor position - ing-sign-chord
     (dots 3-4-6-chord) d.
Copy current time into currently open file at cursor position - ing-sign-chord
     (dots 3-4-6-chord) t.
Copy specified date into currently open file at cursor position - ing-sign-
     chord, g, date in mmddyy format, e-chord.
Get specified date - o-chord, g, date in mmddyyyy format, e-chord.
Get      date a specified number of days from today - o-chord, g, number,
     e-chord.
     (Enter numbers in dropped number notation.  A number by itself is
     counted forward from today and a  number preceded by a minus (dots 3-6)
     counts backward from today;  e.g., o-chord g 90 e-chord counts 90 days
     forward from today  whereas o-chord g -90 e-chord counts 90 days
     backward from today)
Get count of days from beginning of current year to today -  o- chord g
     e-chord.
Check calendar for today's reminders (if any) - o-chord a.
     (If today is in your Calendar file, answer y to the prompt for opening
     the Calendar file.  If you don't want to open the Calendar file at this
     time, write an n.  You'll be back in your currently open file.)
 
STOPWATCH/COUNT-DOWN TIMER
 
Enter stopwatch or timer mode - o-chord w.
Exit stopwatch or timer mode - z-chord.
Exit timer mode with timer still running - e-chord.
Start or stop stopwatch or timer - dot 6.
Reset timer - dot 3.
Read time on timer - spacebar.
Speak last time read - c.
Start count-down timer - number-sign (dots 3-4-5-6), minutes, e-chord,
     seconds, e-chord.
     (Use only dropped numbers.  Press another e-chord to exit count-down
     timer to time in background.)
Check remaining time while running timer in background - o-chord number-sign
     (dots 3-4-5-6).
     (If time is up, unit says, "Stopped".)
 
SCIENTIFIC CALCULATOR
 
Enter calculator mode - o-chord c.
Exit calculator mode - z-chord.
Speak current line - c-chord.
Execute calculation or speak current result - e-chord.
Set precision level to calculate to specified decimal place - p-chord.
     (up to 12 decimal places)
Clear calculator to 0 - dots 3-5-6-chord.
* Toggle between speaking numbers as digits or as words - f-chord.
     (Note: This command no longer affects how numbers are spoken in your
     files, just the calculator.)
Operators accepted by the calculator:
     plus - dots 3-4-6.
     minus - dots 3-6.
     times - dots 1-6.
     divided by - dots 3-4.
     percent - dots 1-4-6.
     square root - dots 3-4-5-chord.
Store current result in memory locations - s-chord followed  by a letter from
a through z, except r.
     (r has latest result computed by pressing e-chord.)
Recall contents of a memory location - the letters a through  z.
Calculate expression on current line of currently open file - o-chord k.
 
Notes on using functions:
 
Enter function name in computer braille with arguments enclosed in parentheses
and separated by commas.  In computer braille, an opening parenthesis is dots
1-2-3-5-6 and a closing parenthesis is dots 2-3-4-5-6.  All arguments must be
entered in computer braille, using dropped numbers, and the computer braille
symbol for comma, dot 6.
 
The expressions "arg1", "arg2", etc. refer to the arguments (numbers or other
mathematical expressions) to be placed within the parentheses.
 
Expressions (including arguments) within parentheses may not exceed 250
characters.
 
abs(arg) - Absolute value of argument.
avg(arg list) - Averages numbers in argument list.
max(arg list) - Computes largest number within argument list.
min(arg list) - Computes smallest number within argument list.
mod(arg1, arg2) - Computes remainder of dividing argument 1 by argument 2.
sum(arg list) - Totals numbers in argument list.
sqrt(arg) - Computes square root of argument.
pi - Computes value of pi to precision level set (e.g., 3.14159).
Degrees mode - d-chord.
Radians mode - r-chord.
tan(arg) - tangent of argument.
cot(arg) - Cotangent of argument.
atan(arg) - Arctangent of argument.
sin(arg) - Sine of argument.
asin(arg) - Arcsine of argument.
cos(arg) - Cosine of argument.
acos(arg) - Arccosine of argument.
log10(arg) - Log to the base 10 of argument.
alog10(arg) - Antilog base 10 of argument (where argument is exponent to which
     10 is raised).
exp(arg) - Computes e to the power specified by argument (e.g., exp(2)
     computes e squared).
log(arg) - Log to the base e (natural log) of argument.
alog(arg) - Antilog base e of argument (where argument is exponent to which e
     is raised; e.g., alog(1) computes to e itself).
round(arg) - Integer part of argument (up if decimal exceeds .5, down if
     decimal is less than .5).
trunc(arg) - Integer part of argument (regardless of decimal part).
div(arg1, arg2) - Integer division of argument 1 by argument 2.
stddev(arg list) - Standard deviation of argument list.
median(arg list) - Median number of numbers in argument list.
faren(arg) - Converts argument to Fahrenheit temperature.
centi(arg) - Converts argument to Centigrade temperature.
in(arg) - Converts centimeter argument to inches.
cm(arg) - Converts inch argument to centimeters.
l(arg) - Converts gallon argument to liters.
gal(arg) - Converts liter argument to gallons.
kg(arg) Converts pound argument to kilograms.
lb(arg) - Converts kilogram argument to pounds.
g(arg) - Converts ounce argument to grams.
oz(arg) - Converts gram argument to ounces.
power(arg1, arg2) - Raise argument 1 to the power argument 2.
root(arg1, arg2) - Compute the argument 2 root of argument 1.
recip(arg) Reciprocal of argument.
fact(arg) - factorial of argument.
* hd(arg) - convert hexadecimal of decimal argument.
* dh(arg) - Convert decimal of hexadecimal argument.
* od(arg) - Convert octal of decimal argument.
* do(arg) - Convert decimal of octal argument.
* bd(arg) - Convert binary of decimal argument.
db(arg) - Convert decimal of binary argument.
 
MACROS
 
Note:  A macro name may be any braille symbol: the entire alphabet plus any
Grade 2 braille symbol.  A key definition may be up to 63 characters in length
and you may have up to 64 macros at one time.
 
Start recording a macro - n-chord.
End or stop recording a macro - n-chord.
* Note: To create a start-up macro that plays every time you power up your
     unit, use the space character to define the macro.  Answering with an n
     to the prompt to create a start-up macro aborts the process.  Answering
     with a y to the prompt allows you to create a start-up macro.  End
     recording in the usual way with another n-chord.  From then on, every
     time you power up, the macro you have created plays.
* Erase a macro previously created - n-chord, macro key definition, n-chord.
Play a macro - j-chord followed by specified braille  symbol of pre-recorded
     macro.
     (e.g., j-chord s plays a macro you  had previously recorded under the
     name s.)
Nest macros - n-chord, macro name, macro commands, j-chord, pre-recorded macro
     name.
     (Include name of pre-recorded macro during recording of new macro to
     reduce number of commands in current macro.)
Kill speech during playing of macro - k-chord.
Voice speech during playing of macro - v-chord.
Record pause for user entry when played - ch-sign-chord (dots 1-6-chord) for
     single character entry, ch-sign-chord twice for full  line entry.
     (Include during recording of macro to generate pause when you play it.
     When you play macro, it pauses for you to enter single character or full
     line.  If your entry is a full line, end it with an e-chord.  e.g.,
     n-chord, s, f-chord, ch-sign-chord twice, e-chord twice, n-chord.  This
     creates macro called "s" that issues a Find command, then pauses  for
     your input.  After you write search string and press e-chord, it
     searches for that text.)
Write-protect all macros - n-chord p-chord.
Unprotect all macros - n-chord u-chord.
Record prompt for user when macro is played - dots 2-5-6-chord, text of
     prompt, e-chord.
     (Include in recording of macro to produce prompt for you to do something
     when you play it.  Include v-chord to voice macro speech in recording of
     macro just before point where prompt occurs, then k-chord to kill macro
     speech after prompt occurs.)
 
SPELLCHECK FUNCTIONS
 
Note: To use the spellchecker, load the file "spell.dic" from the external
disk drive or from a PC.
 
Load spellchecker from disk drive - s-chord, y, r, spell.dic, e-chord.
 
Enter spellcheck mode - o-chord ch-sign (dots 1-6)
Exit spellcheck mode - z-chord.
 
Note: The following commands are performed within spellcheck  mode.
Spellcheck current word - w.
Spellcheck from current cursor position to end of file - z.
     (If word is not found, use following commands):
Add word to personal dictionary - a.
Bypass word for rest of file - b.
Read word in context - c.
Enter correct word - e.
Help - h.
Overlook current word - o.
Repeat incorrect word - r.
Spell incorrect word phonetically - dots 3-6-chord.
Give suggested replacement words - s.
     (Use dot 1-chord, and dot 4-chord to move backward and forward
     respectively through suggestion  list.  Replace incorrect word with
     suggested choice by pressing  e-chord.  Exit suggestion list without
     choosing a replacement  word by pressing z-chord.).)
 
DISK DRIVE FUNCTIONS
 
Note: MS DOS file naming conventions and wildcard characters hold for this
section;  that is, a filename may contain up to eight characters and an
extension up to three characters. See your DOS user's manual  for details, or
review Sections 4.2, 6.7, and Appendix A in your Braille 'n Speak manual.
 
Load file from disk drive - s-chord l.
Save file to disk drive - s-chord s.
     (regardless of file's page format)
Transmit print textfile with page formatting to disk drive - s-chord t
     (filename) e-chord.
Transmit braille textfile with page formatting to disk drive - s-chord b
     (filename) e-chord.
Kill (delete) file on disk in drive - s-chord k (filename)  e- chord.
Format disk in drive - s-chord f (y, n).
Speak directory of files in drive - s-chord d.
     (Add  /n for unsorted files list, /w for time and date information on
     each file in directory.)
Add volume label to disk in drive - s-chord v followed by  label name e-chord.
Make subdirectory on disk in drive - s-chord m followed by  subdirectory name
     e-chord.
Delete subdirectory from disk in drive - s-chord x  followed by subdirectory
     name e-chord.
Load pointed to file from directory into Braille 'n Speak - s-chord g.
     (Directory is in Clipboard.  Find file to load from disk with dot 4-
     chords.  Then execute command to load.)
Resume file transfer from disk - s-chord r.
Transmit file(s) to disk using ymodem protocol - s-chord y, marked
     filename(s), e-chord.
* Transmit file(s) to and from disk using Files menu - o-chord, f, t-chord, s
     to send or r to receive, modem protocol, filename(s), e-chord.
     (If drive is connected and turned on, modem protocols from within Files
     menu t-chord command can be used.  See next section for modem protocol
     options or review Chapter 14 in the Braille 'n Speak manual.  Unless
     you're using Kermit as a modem protocol, filenames are spoken as they
     are being transmitted.)
 
TRANSMITTING DATA
 
Note: Move through Transmit Parameters menu backward a choice with dot 1-
chord, forward with dot 4-chord, l-chord for first choice, dots 4-5-6-chord
for last choice, or write first letter of choice.  Press c-chord to hear
current choice.
 
* After you choose line, paragraph or marked block to transmit, answer with p
for print or b for braille format so that appropriate print or braille margin
settings are honored in the transmission.
 
Enter Transmit Parameters menu - t-chord.
Abort transmission - z-chord.
Transmit all text in currently open file - t-chord a or t.
Transmit all text in currently open file with braille  translation off -
     t-chord b.
Transmit line from cursor to  next carriage return) - t-chord l.
Transmit block of text from cursor to mark  - t- chord m.
Transmit paragraph from cursor  to next pair of carriage returns or carriage
     return /linefeeds) - t-chord p.
Transmit entire currently open file without braille  translation or page
     format parameters - t-chord s.
     (used mostly for backup purposes)
Transmit block of text from current cursor position to end  of currently open
     file - t-chord z.
Transmit block of text with page format considerations to file - t-chord f,
     Transmit Parameter menu choice, filename, e-chord.
     Choose any menu choice: a, b, l, m, p, s, t, or z.)
 
Notes on Modem Protocols:
 
The following commands are issued from the Files menu. Press  o-chord f to
enter it.  If a disk drive is attached to the disk drive port, the  following
commands automatically assume you want to transmit  files to the disk drive.
Otherwise, the following commands assume  that you want to transmit files via
the serial port.
 
To send files using the ymodem protocol, mark them individually with a y,
y-chord or m-chord, unmark them with an n or u-chord as you cycle  through
your files list.  The spacebar toggles the pointed to file between being
marked and being unmarked.  Mark all files at once with an m, unmark them all
at once with a u.
 
Wildcard characters are allowed for sending  or receiving multiple files of
similar names using MS DOS  wildcard character conventions; e.g., "*.txt"
sends all files  with ".txt" extension.).
 
* Transmit files using modem protocols - t-chord s (send) or r  (receive).
     xmodem - x (filename) e-chord.
     xmodem 1k (only for sending file) - 1 (filename) e-chord.
     ymodem or ymodem g - y (filename) e-chord.
     kermit - k (filename) e-chord.
     (Unless you're using Kermit as a modem protocol, filenames are spoken as
     they are transmitted.)
 
OPTIONS MENU
 
Note: The following commands begin with an o-chord.
 
 
Hear current choice with c-chord.  Move backward a choice with dot 1-chord,
forward a choice with dot 4-chord, to first choice with l-chord, to last
choice with dots 4-5-6-chord.  Choose option by pressing e-chord.  Or, write
letter or character that jumps to choice.  In that case, an e-chord is not
needed.
 
Calendar check - a.
Calculator - c.
Today's date - d.
File commands - f.
Smart calendar - g.
Calculate line - k.
Flip to last file opened before currently open file - l.
(    Or press dots 1-2-5-6-chord instead of o-chord l.)
Review mode - r.
Set time/date - st or sd.
Spellcheck - ch-sign (dots 1-6).
Time - t.
Say count-down timer - number-sign (dots 3-4-5-6).
Stopwatch - w.
Execute program - x.
 
PARAMETERS MENU
 
Note: The following commands begin with a p-chord. An  e- chord is not needed
to complete them (with the exception of  the "Window length" parameter).
 
Hear current choice with a c-chord.  Move backward a choice with dot 1-chord,
forward a choice with dot 4-chord, to first choice with l-chord, to last
choice with dots 4-5-6-chord, or write letter or character that jumps to
choice.
 
Add linefeeds during transmission of data - a (y, n).
Set Baud rate - b.
Cursor tracking - c (y, n).
Set duplex - d (h, f, or n).
Set handshaking - h (s, h, or n).
* Switch languages - l.
     (Second language must be installed in unit through an external program.
     Unit reverts to primary language, in most cases, English, when it is
     turned off and on again.)
Reject ornamentation characters - o (y, n).
Set parity - p (n, e, or o).
Speak revision date - r.
Set stop bits - s (1 or 2).
Set braille translator on/off - t (y, n).
Set window length (window, lines or sentences) - w (w, l, or s).
Activate serial port - dots 2-6 (y, n).
Set data bits - dots 4-5-6 (7 or 8).
Serial number - th-sign (dots 1-4-5-6) (user specific).
 
STATUS MENU DEFAULT SETTINGS
 
Notes:
 
The following parameters are reset every time you perform a  warm or cold
reset.
 
Settings are listed here in the same order in which they appear in  the menu
as you cycle through it.  Hear the current choice with a c-chord.  Cycle
forward with dot 4-chords, backward  with dot 1-chords.  Jump to the first
choice with an l-chord, to the last choice with a dots 4-5-6-chord.
 
To jump directly to a setting, see the listing in brackets  immediately
following each default setting.
 
* For most settings, change status on/off with Y or N.  For  those settings
requiring another response, write your choice and  press an e-chord to save
that choice.  Or press the spacebar to cycle among the choices until you're on
the one you want, then press an e-chord to exit the Status menu.
 
Cycle to group of settings backward with dots 2-3-chord, forward with dots 5-
6-chord.  Groups include: Serial Parameters, Miscellaneous Parameters, Format
Parameters.
 
Enter Status menu - st-sign-chord (dots 3-4-chord).
Exit Status menu - e-chord.
Interactive mode - off [g].
Serial port active - off [f].
Baud rate - 9600  [b].
     (Use first or first two digits of Baud rate to change setting.)
Parity - none [p].
     (e for even, o for odd, n for none)
Duplex - half [d].
     (f for full, h for half, n for none)
Data bits - 8 [dots 4-5-6].
     (7 or 8)
Stop bits - 1 [s].
     (1 or 2)
Handshake - software   [h].
     (s for software, h for hardware, or n for no handshaking)
Add linefeeds when transmitting - off [a].
Braille translator - off [t].
Cursor tracking - on   [c].
Revision date - current revision date of Braille 'n Speak [r].
Speak windows, lines or sentences - lines  [v]
     (w for windows, l for lines, s for sentences)
Reject ornamentation characters - off  [o]
     (limits repetitive punctuation to two occurrences; rejects  decorative
     control characters)
Skip blank lines - on [&] (and-sign, dots 1-2-3-4-6).
Distinguish case during find - off [the-sign] (dots 2-3-4-6).
Battery use - number of hours, minutes since battery was  last reset [th-sign]
     (dots 1-4-5-6).
     (Reset timer with dropped 0 (dots 3-5-6).)
* % of charge - x% [sh-sign] (dots 1-4-6).
Beep at column - 0 [q].
Printer is - EPSON-COMPATIBLE [l]
     (Or Imagewriter)
* Print line length - 75.
* Print left margin - 10.
* Print page length - 60.
* Print top margin - 6.
* Braille Line length - 33.
* Braille left margin - 1.
* Braille page length - 25.
* Braille top margin - 1.
Window length - 80 [w].
     (Voice window from 20 to 80 characters in length, no effect  on
     formatting or printing of text)
Interactive timeout - 0 [x].
Double-space - off [ar-sign] (dots 3-4-5).
Voice inflection - on  [i].
Number pages - off [#] (number-sign, dots 3-4-5-6)
Power reminder - on [z].
Ham calls - off   [m].
Calendar check - on  [j].
Word exceptions check - on [e].
Progress clicks - on  [k].
Make parameters file-specific - off [dots 1-2-3-5-6].
Speak words in say-all mode - off [dots 2-3-4-5-6].
* Say ASCII values - off [dots 3-6-chord].
* Hourly Announcement - off [h-chord].
* Allow folder mode - off [f-chord].
 
 
MISCELLANEOUS COMMANDS
 
Power up Braille 'n Speak silently - Hold down spacebar as  you turn on unit.
Enable one-handed mode - Hold down dot 6 as you turn on unit.
Disable one-handed mode and return to normal use - Hold down  dot 3 as you
     turn on unit.
 
Note: Add linefeeds reverts to "on" when a warm or cold reset is executed.
Warm reset with unit on - for-sign-chord (dots  1-2-3-4-5-6-chord) twice.
     (Resets most parameters to default settings without loss of  current
     data in files; press the second for-sign-chord to  confirm.)
Power up with warm reset - Hold down for-sign-chord (dots 1-2-3-4-5-6-chord)
     as you turn on unit.
     (CAUTION: Use as last-resort option to attempt file recovery or if
     machine has stopped working properly.  Files must be recovered using the
     process described in  Appendix A of the manual.)
Power up with cold reset - Hold down i-chord as you turn on unit.
     (Caution: Use as last resort for a crash recovery or when  returning
     unit for exchange unit; wipes out all data.  See Appendix A of the
     manual.)
Enter "Alt" key combination from the Braille 'n Speak into PC -  dots
     3-5-chord followed by dropped number from 0 to 255, e-chord
Turn interactive mode on/off - g-chord.
* Do not translate next character - dot 4 followed by character.
     (YOu do not need spaces before and after this symbol.)
Do not translate text between symbols -  dot 4, dash, followed by text not to
     be  translated,  followed by dot 4, l.
     (Place a space on either side of the opening and closing symbols, but no
     space between the dot 4 and the dash or dot 4 and the l.  e.g., dot 4
          dash Do not translate this sentence. dot 4 l)
 
                  APPENDIX C: TECHNICAL DATA ABOUT PORTS
 
The following technical information provides special  cabling arrangements for
using the Braille 'n Speak with devices for which we do not offer specific
cables.
 
The Braille 'n Speak is a DCE device.  You'll need a null  modem cable to
interface the unit with other DCE  devices.
 
The Braille 'n Speak has two female interface ports. Either can be used for
the disk drive (Chapter 14), a computer, modem, or any other serial  device
(Chapter 15.  Below, we list their active pin assignments  for your
convenience.  (Note that the cable we provide for this port has eight pin
locations on the end which connects to  the port and 25 pin locations at the
end that connects to an  external device.)
 
Pin 1 - DTR
Pin 2 - CTS
Pin 3 - TX
Pin 4 - GND
Pin 5 - RX
Pin 6 - DTX (for disk drive)
Pin 7 - DRX
Pin 8 - DON
 
                     APPENDIX D: ASCII BRAILLE SYMBOLS
 
Note: This is the list of computer braille equivalents for  the ASCII
character set, including punctuation, numbers, etc.  The extended ASCII
character set - Greek letters and the like -  is omitted.
 
In this listing, information is presented in this order:  First, character
name (names of numerals and punctuation marks spelled out and presented in
regular alphabetic sequence), decimal numeric order of character in ASCII
table, the word "dots" followed by the Braille dot numbers  used to produce
braille equivalent of character.  In the  case of control (Ctrl) characters,
dot patterns are omitted.  Items are separated by semicolons.
 
A, Uppercase; 65; dot 1.
a, lowercase; 97; dot 1.
Accent; 96; dot 4 (lowercase).
Acknowledge; 6; Ctrl-F.
Ampersand; 38; dots 1-2-3-4-6.
Apostrophe; 39; dot 3.
Asterisk; 42; dots 1-6.
At Sign; 64; dot 4 (uppercase).
B, uppercase; 66; dots 1-2.
b, lowercase; 98; dots 1-2.
Backspace; 8; Ctrl-H.
backslash, (Reverse Slant); 92; dots 1-2-5-6 (uppercase).
Bell; 7; Ctrl-G.
C, uppercase; 67; dots 1-4.
c, lowercase; 99; dots 1-4.
Cancel; 24; Ctrl-X.
Caret, (Exponentiation); 96; dots 4-5 (uppercase).
Carriage Return; 13; Ctrl-M.
Close Brace; 125; dots 1-2-4-5-6 (lowercase).
Close Bracket; 93; dots 1-2-4-5-6 (uppercase).
Close Parenthesis; 41; dots 2-3-4-5-6.
Colon; 58; dots 1-5-6.
comma; 44; dot 6.
D, uppercase; 68; dots 1-4-5.
d, lowercase; 100; dots 1-4-5.
Data Line Escape; 16; Ctrl-P.
Decimal point (period); 46; dots 4-6.
Delete; 127; dots 4-5-6 (lowercase).
Device Control 1; 17; Ctrl-Q.
Device Control 2; 18; Ctrl-R.
Device Control 3; 19; Ctrl-S.
Device Control 4; 20; Ctrl-T.
Divided by, (Slash); 47; dots 3-4.
Dollar Sign; 36; dots 1-2-4-6.
E, Uppercase; 69; dots 1-5.
e, lowercase; 101; dots 1-5.
eight; 56; dots 2-3-6.
End of Medium; 25; Ctrl-Y.
End of Transmission; 4; Ctrl-D.
End of Text; 3; Ctrl-C.
Enquire; 5; Ctrl-E.
Equals; 61; dots 1-2-3-4-5-6.
Escape; 27; Ctrl-Open Bracket.
Exclamation point; 33; dots 2-3-46.
Exponentiation, (Caret); 94; dots 4-5 (uppercase.  F, Uppercase; 70; dots
1-2-4.
f, lowercase; 102; dots 1-2-4.
File Separator; 28; Ctrl-Reverse Slant.
five; 53; dots 2-6.
Form Feed; 12; Ctrl-L.
four; 52; dots 2-5-6.
G, Uppercase; 71; dots 1-2-4-5.
g, lowercase; 103; dots 1-2-4-5.
Grave Accent, (Accent); 96; dot 4 (lowercase).
Greater Than, (Right Angle Bracket); 62; dots 3-4-5.
Group Separator; 29; Ctrl-Close Bracket.
H, Uppercase; 72; dots 1-2-5.
h, lowercase; 104; dots 1-2-5.
Horizontal Tabulation; 9; Ctrl-I.
Hyphen, (minus); 45; dots 3-6.
I, Uppercase; 73; dots 2-4.
i, lowercase; 105; dots 2-4.
J, Uppercase; 74; dots 2-4-5.
j, lowercase; 106; dots 2-4-5.
K, Uppercase; 75; dots 1-3.
k, lowercase; 107; dots 1-3.
L, Uppercase; 76; dots 1-2-3.
l, lowercase; 108; dots 1-2-3.
Left Angle Bracket, (Less Than); 60; dots 1-2-6.
Less Than,(Left Angle bracket); 60; dots 1-2-6.
Line Feed; 10; Ctrl-J.
M, Uppercase; 77; dots 1-3-4.
m, lowercase; 109; dots 1-3-4.
Minus, (hyphen); 45; dots 3-6.
N, Uppercase; 78; dots 1-3-4-5.
n, lowercase; 110; dots 1-3-4-5.
Negative Acknowledgement; 21; Ctrl-U.
nine; 57; dots 3-5.
Null; 0; Ctrl-At Sign.
Number Sign; 35; dots 3-4-5-6.
O, Uppercase; 79; dots 1-3-5.
o, lowercase; 111; dots 1-3-5.
one 49; dot 2.
Open Brace; 123; dots 2-4-6 (lowercase).
Open Bracket; 91; dots 2-4-6 (uppercase).
Open Parenthesis; 40; dots 1-2-3-5-6.
P, Uppercase; 80; dots 1-2-3-4.
p, lowercase; 112; dots 1-2-3-4.
Percent Sign; 37; dots 1-4-6.
Period, (Decimal); 46; dots 4-6.
Plus; 43; dots 3-4-6.
Q, Uppercase; 81; dots 1-2-3-4-5.
q, lowercase; 113; dots 1-2-3-4-5.
Question Mark; 63; dots 1-4-5-6.
Quotation Mark, (Double Quote); 34; dot 5.
R, Uppercase; 82; dots 1-2-3-5.
r, lowercase; 114; dots 1-2-3-5.
Record Separator; 30; Ctrl-Caret.
Reverse Slant, (backslash); 92; dots 1-2-5-6 (uppercase).
Right Angle Bracket, (Greater Than); 62; dots 3-4-5.
S, Uppercase; 83; dots 2-3-4.
s, lowercase; 115; dots 2-3-4.
Semicolon; 59; dots 5-6.
seven; 55; dots 2-3-5-6.
Shift In; 15; Ctrl-O.
Shift Out; 14; Ctrl-N.
six; 54; dots 2-3-5.
Space; 32; No dots.
Start of Heading; 1; Ctrl-A.
Start of Text; 2; Ctrl-B.
Substitute; 26; Ctrl-Z.
Synchronous Idle; 22; Ctrl-V.
T, Uppercase; 84; dots 2-3-4-5.
t, lowercase; 116; dots 2-3-4-5.
three; 51; dots 2-5.
Tilde; 126; dots 4-5 (lowercase).
two; 50; dots 2-3.
U, Uppercase; 85; dots 1-3-6.
u, lowercase; 117; dots 1-3-6.
Underline; 95; dots 4-5-6(uppercase).
Unit Separator; 31; Ctrl-Underline.
V, Uppercase; 86; Dots 1-2-3-6.
v, lowercase; 118; dots 1-2-3-6.
Vertical Line; 124; dots 1-2-5-6 (lowercase).
Vertical Tabulation; 11; Ctrl-K.
W, Uppercase; 87; dots 2-4-5-6.
w, lowercase; 119; dots 2-4-5-6.
X, Uppercase; 88; dots 1-3-4-6.
x, lowercase; 120; dots 1-3-4-6.
Y, Uppercase; 89; dots 1-3-4-5-6.
y, lowercase; 121; dots 1-3-4-5-6.
Z, Uppercase; 90; dots 1-3-5-6.
z, lowercase; 122; dots 1-3-5-6.
zero; 48; dots 3-5-6
 
                     APPENDIX E: WHICH CHARGER TO USE
 
This appendix is meant for those of you who have upgraded to the Braille 'n
Speak 2000 from an earlier model of the Braille 'n Speak, Braille Lite, and
who may have some model of the portable disk drive.  The easiest way to
explain the charger situation at this time is this: do not use a 9-volt
charger with your Braille 'n Speak 2000.  It only accepts a 12-volt charger.
The new disk drive, Braille 'n Speak 2000 and Braille Lite 2000 can all use
the same 12-volt charger.
 
Below, we describe the various scenarios that are possible with respect to
models and chargers and what works with what.  Read each one and decide
whether you have that scenario.  If you do, pay close attention.  If you
don't, skip that section and move on till you find the scenario that fits your
own situation.
 
The bottom line is that if you plug the wrong charger into the wrong unit, you
could damage it.  So read through this appendix carefully to determine your
particular needs.
 
Braille 'n Speak or Braille Lite Upgrades
 
1.   I got my unit in March of 1996.
 
     You may use its charger with your new unit.
 
2.   I got my unit before March of 1996 and upgraded to the 5-cell battery
     pack inside my unit (factory update).
 
          You may use its charger with your new unit.
 
3.   I have Flash ROM capability in my unit so I can update it myself.
 
     You have to check the serial number on your unit.  From your currently
     open file, press a p-chord followed by a th-sign (dots 1-4-5-6).  If it
     begins with a 5, you may use that unit's charger with your new unit.
 
     WARNING: Having Flash ROM does not automatically mean you have the right
     charger for your new unit.  You may still have a 9-volt charger.  It
     will not work with the new unit.
 
4.   I don't have Flash ROM and cannot update my unit myself.
 
     You have to check the serial number on your unit by having someone look
     for it on the bottom of the machine.  If it begins with a 5, you may use
     that unit's charger with your new unit.
 
Disk Drives
 
The new portable disk drive only works with the new Braille 'n Speak 2000 or
Braille Lite 2000 because the disk drive's cable and the port to which it
connects on the Braille 'n Speak 2000 and Braille Lite 2000 are different from
older models.  In addition, you can get an adapter for the disk drive so its
new cable can work with older models of the Braille 'n Speak or Braille Lite.
 
The portable disk drive used to come with a 9-volt charger but all disk
drive upgrades as of March 1996 use a 12-volt charger which is interchangeable
with the Braille 'n Speak 2000's or Braille Lite 2000's charger.
 
If you do have the new disk drive, DO NOT use your old 9-volt charger with it
or you may damage your unit.
 
How Long Does it Take to Charge Up and How Long Does it Last
 
Depending on how low the battery has drained, it takes from two to four hours
to recharge your Braille 'n Speak, Braille Lite, or disk drive fully.  The
Braille 'n Speak charge lasts from 20 to 24 hours but this may vary
significantly with heavy use of the serial port.  The disk drive charge lasts
from three to five hours.
 
                                   Index
 
Alarm 95
     check 96, 190
     set 96, 190
ASCII 18
     announce value of character under cursor 24, 185
     ASCII values mode 25
     braille equivalents 18, 202
     remote mode 158
     say ASCII values setting 25, 200
     transmitting data 151
Backspacing 54
Battery charger 4, 134
     drain and using the serial port 6
     percentage of battery drain 12
     which to use 205
Bilingual Braille 'n Speak 162
Blazie Engineering 179
     address 179
     bulletin board 179
     E-Mail 179
     Web site 179
Braille translation 18
     and creating a file 32
     and files from the disk drive 135
     and naming a file 32
     and word exceptions file 111
     do not translate portion of text 144
     questions about 173
     switching modes 18, 198
     translation mode 18
     transmitting to a braille embosser 148
Chording 9
Cold reset 16, 17, 161
     parameters that are reset 198
     power up with 161, 200
Commands 179
Control characters 26, 34, 38
Copying and moving text 60
CRASH AND RECOVERY 171
Delete Parameters" menu 56
Disk drive 133
     commands 194
Filenames 32
     naming conventions 32
     questions about 176
     wildcards 77, 176
Files menu 31
     commands 181
Folders 7, 82
     commands 182
Formatting Text 37
     centering 46
     commands 188
     justification 42
     margins 40
     tabbing 35, 42
Insert text 59
Levels of commands 9
Line 23
Macros 114
     commands 193
Memory 8
     Flash 8
     questions about 173
     RAM 8
Menus
     navigate through 10
One-handed use 112
Options menu 10
     commands 196
Paragraph 23
Parameters menu 13, 197
Repeated characters 36
Review mode 113
Sentence 23
Speech parameters 14
     commands 180
     multiple voice configurations 16
     numbers 15
     punctuation 15
     volume, speech rate, pitch, and tone 14
Spellchecker 122
     loading the spellchecker 122
Status menu 11
     default settings 198
Telecommunications program 147
Telecommunications settings 127
     Baud rate 128
     data bits 129
     duplex 129
     handshaking 130
     parity 128
     stop bits 130
Update your Braille 'n Speak 160
Warm reset 16
     and voice configurations 17
     parameters that are reset 171
     power up with 171
     to recover data 171


Gene
 

I haven't checked yet, I'm going through my mail.  But in a lot of cases, old manuals can be found for all sorts of things by doing a Google search.  In this case, try something like Braille 'n Speak manual and the version of the Braille 'n Speak.  If that doesn't work well, try something like download and then use the same search as you did after that word.
 
Gene

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:13 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

Hi David,

Do you have the complete help file?

It has everything that the manual has in it.I will also check to see what I have.

I do have the help file if you need it.

 

 

 

73 N2DYN Angelo

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of david
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:29 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Good morning all;

I realize this is old hardware/software, however, does anyone know where I could obtain a manual for the Braille 'N Speak?

 

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.

 


david
 

Gene

, I do know how to use Google, and to do such searches,

unfortunately, my searching did not yield a copy, never the less one was provided here!

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gene
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 12:26 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

I haven't checked yet, I'm going through my mail.  But in a lot of cases, old manuals can be found for all sorts of things by doing a Google search.  In this case, try something like Braille 'n Speak manual and the version of the Braille 'n Speak.  If that doesn't work well, try something like download and then use the same search as you did after that word.

 

Gene

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:13 AM

Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Hi David,

Do you have the complete help file?

It has everything that the manual has in it.I will also check to see what I have.

I do have the help file if you need it.

 

 

 

73 N2DYN Angelo

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of david
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:29 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Good morning all;

I realize this is old hardware/software, however, does anyone know where I could obtain a manual for the Braille 'N Speak?

 

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.

 


Gene
 

I saw that someone sent the manual to the list, which will save time and trouble.  I wonder if a manual is available on line.  I'll see if I can find it.  I like looking for things that are difficult to find.. 
 
Gene
----- Original Message -----

From: david
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 11:37 AM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

Gene

, I do know how to use Google, and to do such searches,

unfortunately, my searching did not yield a copy, never the less one was provided here!

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gene
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 12:26 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

I haven't checked yet, I'm going through my mail.  But in a lot of cases, old manuals can be found for all sorts of things by doing a Google search.  In this case, try something like Braille 'n Speak manual and the version of the Braille 'n Speak.  If that doesn't work well, try something like download and then use the same search as you did after that word.

 

Gene

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:13 AM

Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Hi David,

Do you have the complete help file?

It has everything that the manual has in it.I will also check to see what I have.

I do have the help file if you need it.

 

 

 

73 N2DYN Angelo

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of david
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:29 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Good morning all;

I realize this is old hardware/software, however, does anyone know where I could obtain a manual for the Braille 'N Speak?

 

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.

 


Norma A. Boge
 

Hi Gene, I ran across this site as a result of my google search for the braille and speak manual. It has that manual in plain text, plus lots of other manuals for old assistive technology. Really an impressive stash of goodies, have a look. Norma

 

https://jeff.tdrealms.com/index.php?page=Manuals/index

 

 

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gene
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 12:45 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

I saw that someone sent the manual to the list, which will save time and trouble.  I wonder if a manual is available on line.  I'll see if I can find it.  I like looking for things that are difficult to find.. 

 

Gene

----- Original Message -----

From: david

Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 11:37 AM

Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Gene

, I do know how to use Google, and to do such searches,

unfortunately, my searching did not yield a copy, never the less one was provided here!

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gene
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 12:26 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

I haven't checked yet, I'm going through my mail.  But in a lot of cases, old manuals can be found for all sorts of things by doing a Google search.  In this case, try something like Braille 'n Speak manual and the version of the Braille 'n Speak.  If that doesn't work well, try something like download and then use the same search as you did after that word.

 

Gene

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:13 AM

Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Hi David,

Do you have the complete help file?

It has everything that the manual has in it.I will also check to see what I have.

I do have the help file if you need it.

 

 

 

73 N2DYN Angelo

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of david
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:29 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Good morning all;

I realize this is old hardware/software, however, does anyone know where I could obtain a manual for the Braille 'N Speak?

 

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.

 


Gene
 

I've come across that site in searches and looked at it a little but not in detail.  I'll take a look.
 
Gene

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 2:28 PM
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

Hi Gene, I ran across this site as a result of my google search for the braille and speak manual. It has that manual in plain text, plus lots of other manuals for old assistive technology. Really an impressive stash of goodies, have a look. Norma

 

https://jeff.tdrealms.com/index.php?page=Manuals/index

 

 

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gene
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 12:45 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

I saw that someone sent the manual to the list, which will save time and trouble.  I wonder if a manual is available on line.  I'll see if I can find it.  I like looking for things that are difficult to find.. 

 

Gene

----- Original Message -----

From: david

Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 11:37 AM

Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Gene

, I do know how to use Google, and to do such searches,

unfortunately, my searching did not yield a copy, never the less one was provided here!

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io <main@TechTalk.groups.io> On Behalf Of Gene
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 12:26 PM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

I haven't checked yet, I'm going through my mail.  But in a lot of cases, old manuals can be found for all sorts of things by doing a Google search.  In this case, try something like Braille 'n Speak manual and the version of the Braille 'n Speak.  If that doesn't work well, try something like download and then use the same search as you did after that word.

 

Gene

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:13 AM

Subject: Re: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Hi David,

Do you have the complete help file?

It has everything that the manual has in it.I will also check to see what I have.

I do have the help file if you need it.

 

 

 

73 N2DYN Angelo

 

From: main@TechTalk.groups.io [mailto:main@TechTalk.groups.io] On Behalf Of david
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2019 9:29 AM
To: main@TechTalk.groups.io
Subject: [TechTalk] Braille 'N Speak;

 

Good morning all;

I realize this is old hardware/software, however, does anyone know where I could obtain a manual for the Braille 'N Speak?

 

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.

 


enes sarıbaş
 

Hi,

The freedom scientific sight had a manual last I checked.

On 8/27/2019 8:28 AM, david wrote:

Good morning all;

I realize this is old hardware/software, however, does anyone know where I could obtain a manual for the Braille 'N Speak?

 

 

       The impossible is the untried,  Never under estimate the power of a dream.