"...There is a fellow in a wheelchair that lives in the building
where I work. A couple of months ago, he attempted to get down the
stairs unaided and got hurt. I thought he was an idiot. Now I
understand: there is a tremendous amount of frustration that
comes with not being able to do what other people do, go where
other people go, or to use what other people use."
"This brings me to the focus of this article: computers and
software. I realize there are many efforts underway to assist
disabled people in using computers. Before my accident, on
Freshmeat I saw a project whose aim was to integrate speech
synthesis into Linux, to the point where it was initialized very
early on in the boot process. This allows blind people to hear
their boot messages, instead of waiting for the system to boot
completely, and then present them with a user environment tailored
to suit their needs. I thought it was a great idea at the time. Now
I have an enormous amount of respect for these people. But it is
still not enough."
"Remember when your hard disk crashed, and you needed to replace
it? You were sure glad that you kept that old drive in the closet.
You went and got it, yanked the case off your box, replaced the
drive, and changed your BIOS parameters to match. Then you slapped
in your FreeBSD CD, did your slices and partitions, chose your
canned sets, and not too much longer after that you had a system up
again. I bet it took you less than an hour."
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