moderated Computers for the Blind


Michael Walker
 

Hi,

Have any of you ever ordered a laptop from Computers for the Blind? What did you think of the results? Was the computer in good condition? I understand that these computers are refurbished.

Thank you,
Mike


Les Kriegler
 

Hi Michael,
While I have not ordered a machine from this company, I was assisting someone who received a unit. The problem she encountered was that it took several minutes for her machine to start up. She was with Voc Rehab and I think they contacted the company to resolve the issue.
Best,

Les

On Jul 6, 2021, at 2:32 AM, Michael Walker <michael.walker199014@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi,

Have any of you ever ordered a laptop from Computers for the Blind? What did you think of the results? Was the computer in good condition? I understand that these computers are refurbished.

Thank you,
Mike




David Diamond
 

Years ago, I got a refurbished lap top and it too was slower then molasses in January. I put in a SSD and the loading speed tripled. It turned out that it was originally a windows 7 that had been upgraded to 10. Now, it is so old, HP does not even carry some of the drivers needed to fix it. I naturally don't expect the latest and greatest, however, it would have been nice If I did not have to wait minutes, 5 or more for it to load up. Sometimes I think these agencies that donate computers, just do it for 2 reasons, no one wants them, or they are on their last legs and the company wants to claim it as a charitable donation for tax purposes. When the real truth is they can't be sold and it is the old, "shut up and just be happy with what you got. What do you expect! Attitude. I remember a while back a person fixed lap tops and was selling them for $3 or $400. Big problem was there was no display on the screen. For the sighted, very important. He lamented that no one was purchasing them. I was given one of them and it died with no chance of resurrecting it or repairing it within 6 months of receiving it. Another one, the mother board was shot not to mention the battery lasted for 10 minutes on a full charge. It was suggested it was cheaper just to get a new one.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Les Kriegler
Sent: July 6, 2021 1:20 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

Hi Michael,
While I have not ordered a machine from this company, I was assisting someone who received a unit. The problem she encountered was that it took several minutes for her machine to start up. She was with Voc Rehab and I think they contacted the company to resolve the issue.
Best,

Les

On Jul 6, 2021, at 2:32 AM, Michael Walker <michael.walker199014@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi,

Have any of you ever ordered a laptop from Computers for the Blind? What did you think of the results? Was the computer in good condition? I understand that these computers are refurbished.

Thank you,
Mike




 

While I have never owned a computer from Computers for the Blind, a friend of mine who I served as tech support for purchased a number of laptops over the years.

They are not "the latest and greatest" and, at least up until very recently (if even now), they routinely came with conventional HDDs not SSDs.  But they were solid machines, many business class laptops off of long term lease that were "too old" to sell as refurbished to the broad general market, but with more than enough get up and go to handle routine web browsing, emailing, and office-suite type programs.

Some did not, however, come with full-sized "desktop layout" keyboards, but I think that's likely different now, too, as it's a small minority of laptops that don't have a number pad on them.

Make sure that the features you want are something you request specifically, e.g., having a number pad (or not having a number pad, as the case may be).
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


Richard Turner <richardturner42@...>
 

If someone is buying one of these on their own, and they simply cannot save up for a good new machine; they serve a small market and if pressed, they will fix them when they show up in poor shape; like a laptop with a dead/dying battery.
But, what is truly sad, is that with Vocational Rehabilitation funds getting tighter and tighter, some agencies have started buying clients one of those computers instead of a new machine with a  warranty for at least 3 years, so the person can be functional for a long time.



Richard 
"Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

www.turner42.com


On Jul 6, 2021, at 1:14 PM, David Diamond <Daviddiamond2019@...> wrote:

Years ago, I got a refurbished lap top and it too was slower then molasses in January.  I put in a SSD and the loading speed tripled. It turned out that it was originally a windows 7 that had been upgraded to 10.  Now, it is so old, HP does not even carry some of the drivers needed to fix it. I naturally don't expect the latest and greatest, however, it would have been nice If I did not have to wait minutes, 5 or more for it to load up. Sometimes I think these agencies that donate computers, just do it for 2 reasons, no one wants them, or they are on their last legs and the company wants to claim it as a charitable donation for tax purposes. When the real truth is they can't be sold and it is the old, "shut up and just be happy with what you got.  What do you expect! Attitude.  I remember a while back a person fixed lap tops and was selling them for $3 or $400.  Big problem was there was no display on the screen.  For the sighted, very important. He lamented that no one was purchasing them. I was given one of them and it died with no chance of resurrecting it or  repairing it  within 6 months of receiving it. Another one, the mother board was shot not to mention the battery lasted for 10 minutes on a full charge.  It was suggested it was cheaper just to get a new one.           

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Les Kriegler
Sent: July 6, 2021 1:20 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

Hi Michael,
While I have not ordered a machine from this company, I was assisting someone who received a unit. The problem she encountered was that it took several minutes for her machine to start up. She was with Voc Rehab and I think they contacted the company to resolve the issue.
Best,

Les

On Jul 6, 2021, at 2:32 AM, Michael Walker <michael.walker199014@...> wrote:

Hi,

Have any of you ever ordered a laptop from Computers for the Blind? What did you think of the results? Was the computer in good condition? I understand that these computers are refurbished.

Thank you,
Mike
















JM Casey
 

Yeah, I really don't see the point in using any such agency -- y ou can get
perfectly good cheap laptops, with working displays, much cheaper on ebay
and elsewhere. I paid $200 for my Lenovo -- yeah it's a bit old but it runs
Windows 10 fine and has cool stuff like a CD/DVDr drive and plenty of USB
ports and HDMI and other goodies. Only a dinky processor but that's ok for
my purposes; I have a much more powerful desktop anyway, which I also only
paid around $500 to have built for me. Spend the time to get to know people
and find the right connections and you'll never need these sorts of
organisations.
That said, you are right about the reasons people donate those machiens --
but that's actually fine, because the org is *supposed* to refurbish the
computers, not just pack 'em in a box to send to some poor unsuspecting
blind person. Desktops especially are pretty adaptable.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of David Diamond
Sent: July 6, 2021 04:14 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

Years ago, I got a refurbished lap top and it too was slower then molasses
in January. I put in a SSD and the loading speed tripled. It turned out
that it was originally a windows 7 that had been upgraded to 10. Now, it is
so old, HP does not even carry some of the drivers needed to fix it. I
naturally don't expect the latest and greatest, however, it would have been
nice If I did not have to wait minutes, 5 or more for it to load up.
Sometimes I think these agencies that donate computers, just do it for 2
reasons, no one wants them, or they are on their last legs and the company
wants to claim it as a charitable donation for tax purposes. When the real
truth is they can't be sold and it is the old, "shut up and just be happy
with what you got. What do you expect! Attitude. I remember a while back a
person fixed lap tops and was selling them for $3 or $400. Big problem was
there was no display on the screen. For the sighted, very important. He
lamented that no one was purchasing them. I was given one of them and it
died with no chance of resurrecting it or repairing it within 6 months of
receiving it. Another one, the mother board was shot not to mention the
battery lasted for 10 minutes on a full charge. It was suggested it was
cheaper just to get a new one.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Les Kriegler
Sent: July 6, 2021 1:20 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

Hi Michael,
While I have not ordered a machine from this company, I was assisting
someone who received a unit. The problem she encountered was that it took
several minutes for her machine to start up. She was with Voc Rehab and I
think they contacted the company to resolve the issue.
Best,

Les

On Jul 6, 2021, at 2:32 AM, Michael Walker
<michael.walker199014@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi,

Have any of you ever ordered a laptop from Computers for the Blind? What
did you think of the results? Was the computer in good condition? I
understand that these computers are refurbished.

Thank you,
Mike




 

On Tue, Jul 6, 2021 at 04:35 PM, JM Casey wrote:
with working displays, much cheaper on ebay and elsewhere.
-
Not already configured with software used by a very great many blind people.  That's the appeal, as far as I can tell along with the price.  They're ready to use by someone who's blind and has familiarity with a screen reader right out of the box.  I don't have the last one that was obtained from them, but I did set up Windows 10 on it as it had originally come several years back with Windows 8.1.

Like I said, I have yet to see a truly substandard machine come from them.  It's not that I doubt there have been some, but probabilities are that you'll get a perfectly adequate machine for home use (or light home business use) that could last you at least 3 years or so, often more, depending on what you do.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


David Diamond
 

Brian, any refurbished computer I got, did not have much get up and go and using your listed requirements, did not meet them, as for making a request, it is not always that simple.  You get what you get.  I personally like a # pad on my lap top, but, just got a wireless external keyboard or USB connected one to pair or connect to a lap top.  . 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: July 6, 2021 1:22 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

 

While I have never owned a computer from Computers for the Blind, a friend of mine who I served as tech support for purchased a number of laptops over the years.

They are not "the latest and greatest" and, at least up until very recently (if even now), they routinely came with conventional HDDs not SSDs.  But they were solid machines, many business class laptops off of long term lease that were "too old" to sell as refurbished to the broad general market, but with more than enough get up and go to handle routine web browsing, emailing, and office-suite type programs.

Some did not, however, come with full-sized "desktop layout" keyboards, but I think that's likely different now, too, as it's a small minority of laptops that don't have a number pad on them.

Make sure that the features you want are something you request specifically, e.g., having a number pad (or not having a number pad, as the case may be).
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


Justin Williams
 

From what I understand, at least as of last year 2020 at around march, they were using a solid state hard drive.

 

Justin

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of David Diamond
Sent: Tuesday, July 6, 2021 4:48 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

 

Brian, any refurbished computer I got, did not have much get up and go and using your listed requirements, did not meet them, as for making a request, it is not always that simple.  You get what you get.  I personally like a # pad on my lap top, but, just got a wireless external keyboard or USB connected one to pair or connect to a lap top.  . 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: July 6, 2021 1:22 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

 

While I have never owned a computer from Computers for the Blind, a friend of mine who I served as tech support for purchased a number of laptops over the years.

They are not "the latest and greatest" and, at least up until very recently (if even now), they routinely came with conventional HDDs not SSDs.  But they were solid machines, many business class laptops off of long term lease that were "too old" to sell as refurbished to the broad general market, but with more than enough get up and go to handle routine web browsing, emailing, and office-suite type programs.

Some did not, however, come with full-sized "desktop layout" keyboards, but I think that's likely different now, too, as it's a small minority of laptops that don't have a number pad on them.

Make sure that the features you want are something you request specifically, e.g., having a number pad (or not having a number pad, as the case may be).
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


David Diamond
 

There is also something which is a broad topic, the age of entitlement.  Some do want the latest and greatest.  I’m not one of them, I just want it to meet what Brian outlined in his earlier message.  I don’t want to start supper, sit down to eat it and then put the dishes to wash before my refurbished computer boots up.  Alright, I know I’m being melodramatic here.  But, you still get my point.  Once I literally had to wait 10 minutes for the computer to boot up.  I thought that was normal. 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Richard Turner
Sent: July 6, 2021 1:26 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

 

If someone is buying one of these on their own, and they simply cannot save up for a good new machine; they serve a small market and if pressed, they will fix them when they show up in poor shape; like a laptop with a dead/dying battery.

But, what is truly sad, is that with Vocational Rehabilitation funds getting tighter and tighter, some agencies have started buying clients one of those computers instead of a new machine with a  warranty for at least 3 years, so the person can be functional for a long time.

 

 

Richard 

"Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people." -- Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 



On Jul 6, 2021, at 1:14 PM, David Diamond <Daviddiamond2019@...> wrote:

Years ago, I got a refurbished lap top and it too was slower then molasses in January.  I put in a SSD and the loading speed tripled. It turned out that it was originally a windows 7 that had been upgraded to 10.  Now, it is so old, HP does not even carry some of the drivers needed to fix it. I naturally don't expect the latest and greatest, however, it would have been nice If I did not have to wait minutes, 5 or more for it to load up. Sometimes I think these agencies that donate computers, just do it for 2 reasons, no one wants them, or they are on their last legs and the company wants to claim it as a charitable donation for tax purposes. When the real truth is they can't be sold and it is the old, "shut up and just be happy with what you got.  What do you expect! Attitude.  I remember a while back a person fixed lap tops and was selling them for $3 or $400.  Big problem was there was no display on the screen.  For the sighted, very important. He lamented that no one was purchasing them. I was given one of them and it died with no chance of resurrecting it or  repairing it  within 6 months of receiving it. Another one, the mother board was shot not to mention the battery lasted for 10 minutes on a full charge.  It was suggested it was cheaper just to get a new one.           

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Les Kriegler
Sent: July 6, 2021 1:20 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

Hi Michael,
While I have not ordered a machine from this company, I was assisting someone who received a unit. The problem she encountered was that it took several minutes for her machine to start up. She was with Voc Rehab and I think they contacted the company to resolve the issue.
Best,

Les


On Jul 6, 2021, at 2:32 AM, Michael Walker <michael.walker199014@...> wrote:

 

Hi,

 

Have any of you ever ordered a laptop from Computers for the Blind? What did you think of the results? Was the computer in good condition? I understand that these computers are refurbished.

 

Thank you,

Mike

 

 

 

 












JM Casey
 

Hey Brian.

 

Oh, I’ve no doubt there’sa n appeal – I mean, not everyone has the kind of resources that I was just talking about, and I suppose not everyone knows that they can get narrator up and running quickly, or put NVDA on a usb and have it up pretty fast. Alo, not everyone has people “on standby” who know hardware and can help set things up if needed.

I do know someone who got a computer from this organisation and she said it died within a short time, too. I’m aware all this evidence is anecdotal, but it doesn’t inspire much confidence regardless. Then again, this person didn’t really specify much or know – could have been the motherboard that died but also something simpler like the power supply for all I know.

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: July 6, 2021 04:45 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

 

On Tue, Jul 6, 2021 at 04:35 PM, JM Casey wrote:

with working displays, much cheaper on ebay and elsewhere.

-
Not already configured with software used by a very great many blind people.  That's the appeal, as far as I can tell along with the price.  They're ready to use by someone who's blind and has familiarity with a screen reader right out of the box.  I don't have the last one that was obtained from them, but I did set up Windows 10 on it as it had originally come several years back with Windows 8.1.

Like I said, I have yet to see a truly substandard machine come from them.  It's not that I doubt there have been some, but probabilities are that you'll get a perfectly adequate machine for home use (or light home business use) that could last you at least 3 years or so, often more, depending on what you do.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


 

On Tue, Jul 6, 2021 at 04:55 PM, David Diamond wrote:
Once I literally had to wait 10 minutes for the computer to boot up.  I thought that was normal. 
-
Well, we both know that's not the case.  Either a lemon or someone inadequately prepped the thing and it wasn't adequately tested afterward.

Even back in the early days, a 10 minute boot up time would have been considered exceedingly long.

I'm not trying to paint Computers for the Blind as something it's not, either.  They sell refurbished, used computers pre-configured for blind users at a very reasonable price.  That's a service in and of itself.  If you can afford newer and better and want newer and better then you should buy it.  Just make sure you have someone who can set everything up if you're not already that someone.

I get some of the business I get because it's known that I know how to avoid screwing up accessibility and how to do quick and dirty testing to ensure I haven't.  Many techs have no idea of what accessibility is or how to do any sort of assessment of whether it's working or not.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


 

On Tue, Jul 6, 2021 at 04:55 PM, JM Casey wrote:
I do know someone who got a computer from this organisation and she said it died within a short time, too. I’m aware all this evidence is anecdotal, but it doesn’t inspire much confidence regardless. Then again, this person didn’t really specify much or know – could have been the motherboard that died but also something simpler like the power supply for all I know.
-
And while I don't doubt this, at all, the question is what did she do about it afterward?  Did she contact Computers for the Blind?  Did they offer a replacement or at least to take a look at the machine to see what was wrong?  Did anyone determine whether user error was involved (and it very often is)?

In the world of refurbished computers (or computers in general, really) you will sometimes have something that just dies.  In most cases, what dies is either very, very new or very, very old.  It seems to be the nature of things that certain items fail either "straight out of the gate" or will run for years, then die unexpectedly "of old age."

There can be problems with anything.  My metric is always how the seller handles issues when those occur.  Since I've not had to deal with Computers for the Blind in regard to a "problem machine" I can't answer that question in any way, shape, or form.
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


Glenn / Lenny
 

If they are selling them as refurbished, they need to do a clean install.
If it was that slow from the time you got it, then they did not do the clean install, which is an option with all versions of windows that come from a major manufacturer originally, and the windows key will be on the computer for them to enter after the fresh install.
No new computer is that slow, and when you do a fresh install of windows on any computer, it should boot right up, even if it is windows 95.
It is not until you start installing stuff that they slow down.
And removing programs in older windows does not speed things up, because the registry is still cluttered up and bogs things down.
I would expect them to do a fresh install, and it may look like that to anyone else, because they probably removed the previous user from the accounts and added a new user, or left the administrator and just uninstalled all the programs installed.
All that would be a lot more work, so I don't know why they would do all that when they could just do a clean install, and it would be fast on boot up initially.
Glenn

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Diamond" <Daviddiamond2019@outlook.com>
To: <main@jfw.groups.io>
Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2021 3:14 PM
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind


Years ago, I got a refurbished lap top and it too was slower then molasses in January. I put in a SSD and the loading speed tripled. It turned out that it was originally a windows 7 that had been upgraded to 10. Now, it is so old, HP does not even carry some of the drivers needed to fix it. I naturally don't expect the latest and greatest, however, it would have been nice If I did not have to wait minutes, 5 or more for it to load up. Sometimes I think these agencies that donate computers, just do it for 2 reasons, no one wants them, or they are on their last legs and the company wants to claim it as a charitable donation for tax purposes. When the real truth is they can't be sold and it is the old, "shut up and just be happy with what you got. What do you expect! Attitude. I remember a while back a person fixed lap tops and was selling them for $3 or $400. Big problem was there was no display on the screen. For the sighted, very important. He lamented that no one was purchasing them. I was given one of them and it died with no chance of resurrecting it or repairing it within 6 months of receiving it. Another one, the mother board was shot not to mention the battery lasted for 10 minutes on a full charge. It was suggested it was cheaper just to get a new one.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Les Kriegler
Sent: July 6, 2021 1:20 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

Hi Michael,
While I have not ordered a machine from this company, I was assisting someone who received a unit. The problem she encountered was that it took several minutes for her machine to start up. She was with Voc Rehab and I think they contacted the company to resolve the issue.
Best,

Les

On Jul 6, 2021, at 2:32 AM, Michael Walker <michael.walker199014@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi,

Have any of you ever ordered a laptop from Computers for the Blind? What did you think of the results? Was the computer in good condition? I understand that these computers are refurbished.

Thank you,
Mike




Gerald Levy
 


The overwhelming majority of blind computer users are not supertechies, and buying a computer with JAWS and other software already installed is a big plus.  Not everyone can set up a new Windows 10 computer from scratch without tech savvy sighted help, which is well beyond the technical skill of the average blind computer user. My CFB HP desktop has been working flawlessly for two years and I haven't had any technical problems with it. So what if it isn't the latest and greatest?  It does everything I need it to do.  The free one-year license for JAWS by itself is worth the price of the computer.

 

Gerald



On 7/6/2021 4:47 PM, David Diamond wrote:

Brian, any refurbished computer I got, did not have much get up and go and using your listed requirements, did not meet them, as for making a request, it is not always that simple.  You get what you get.  I personally like a # pad on my lap top, but, just got a wireless external keyboard or USB connected one to pair or connect to a lap top.  . 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: July 6, 2021 1:22 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

 

While I have never owned a computer from Computers for the Blind, a friend of mine who I served as tech support for purchased a number of laptops over the years.

They are not "the latest and greatest" and, at least up until very recently (if even now), they routinely came with conventional HDDs not SSDs.  But they were solid machines, many business class laptops off of long term lease that were "too old" to sell as refurbished to the broad general market, but with more than enough get up and go to handle routine web browsing, emailing, and office-suite type programs.

Some did not, however, come with full-sized "desktop layout" keyboards, but I think that's likely different now, too, as it's a small minority of laptops that don't have a number pad on them.

Make sure that the features you want are something you request specifically, e.g., having a number pad (or not having a number pad, as the case may be).
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


Glenn / Lenny
 


If I needed one, I'd get one from  Computers For The Blind.
I sure don't need the latest and greatest, as long as I have enough RAM for running another OS in VmWare.
Glenn

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 2021 5:27 PM
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind


The overwhelming majority of blind computer users are not supertechies, and buying a computer with JAWS and other software already installed is a big plus.  Not everyone can set up a new Windows 10 computer from scratch without tech savvy sighted help, which is well beyond the technical skill of the average blind computer user. My CFB HP desktop has been working flawlessly for two years and I haven't had any technical problems with it. So what if it isn't the latest and greatest?  It does everything I need it to do.  The free one-year license for JAWS by itself is worth the price of the computer.

 

Gerald



On 7/6/2021 4:47 PM, David Diamond wrote:

Brian, any refurbished computer I got, did not have much get up and go and using your listed requirements, did not meet them, as for making a request, it is not always that simple.  You get what you get.  I personally like a # pad on my lap top, but, just got a wireless external keyboard or USB connected one to pair or connect to a lap top.  . 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: July 6, 2021 1:22 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

 

While I have never owned a computer from Computers for the Blind, a friend of mine who I served as tech support for purchased a number of laptops over the years.

They are not "the latest and greatest" and, at least up until very recently (if even now), they routinely came with conventional HDDs not SSDs.  But they were solid machines, many business class laptops off of long term lease that were "too old" to sell as refurbished to the broad general market, but with more than enough get up and go to handle routine web browsing, emailing, and office-suite type programs.

Some did not, however, come with full-sized "desktop layout" keyboards, but I think that's likely different now, too, as it's a small minority of laptops that don't have a number pad on them.

Make sure that the features you want are something you request specifically, e.g., having a number pad (or not having a number pad, as the case may be).
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


 

On Tue, Jul 6, 2021 at 06:27 PM, Gerald Levy wrote:
The free one-year license for JAWS by itself is worth the price of the computer.
-
Gerald, your entire message said it better than I ever could, but this last point is really important, too.

But having a computer you can use "out of the box" without any assistance (providing you're not someone who's not yet capable of using a screen reader) is just a huge plus in all ways.  But having one year to play with JAWS and being able to add NVDA and having Narrator makes "compare and contrast" to decide what you really like much easier, too.  (And that isn't to say that switching between screen readers is easy.  But if you want to get a real sense of using each of the current majors it's an easy and cheap way to do so.)
 
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


Michael Walker
 

Thank you for your responses. I think I’ll probably look around at different places for laptops. I would like my laptop to be new, so it doesn’t die shortly after I purchase it. I’m planning to get a laptop for my long-term needs. I could handle, on my own, using something like narrator to help me install jaws.

On Jul 6, 2021, at 5:39 PM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

On Tue, Jul 6, 2021 at 06:27 PM, Gerald Levy wrote:
The free one-year license for JAWS by itself is worth the price of the computer.
-
Gerald, your entire message said it better than I ever could, but this last point is really important, too.

But having a computer you can use "out of the box" without any assistance (providing you're not someone who's not yet capable of using a screen reader) is just a huge plus in all ways.  But having one year to play with JAWS and being able to add NVDA and having Narrator makes "compare and contrast" to decide what you really like much easier, too.  (And that isn't to say that switching between screen readers is easy.  But if you want to get a real sense of using each of the current majors it's an easy and cheap way to do so.)
 
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


Dave Durber
 


Gerald:
 
I believe that Glenn was suggesting that, as part of the package, Computers for the Blind, should install a fresh installation of Windows.
 
Dave
 

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, July 6, 2021 11:27 PM
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind


The overwhelming majority of blind computer users are not supertechies, and buying a computer with JAWS and other software already installed is a big plus.  Not everyone can set up a new Windows 10 computer from scratch without tech savvy sighted help, which is well beyond the technical skill of the average blind computer user. My CFB HP desktop has been working flawlessly for two years and I haven't had any technical problems with it. So what if it isn't the latest and greatest?  It does everything I need it to do.  The free one-year license for JAWS by itself is worth the price of the computer.

 

Gerald


On 7/6/2021 4:47 PM, David Diamond wrote:

Brian, any refurbished computer I got, did not have much get up and go and using your listed requirements, did not meet them, as for making a request, it is not always that simple.  You get what you get.  I personally like a # pad on my lap top, but, just got a wireless external keyboard or USB connected one to pair or connect to a lap top.  . 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io <main@jfw.groups.io> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: July 6, 2021 1:22 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Computers for the Blind

 

While I have never owned a computer from Computers for the Blind, a friend of mine who I served as tech support for purchased a number of laptops over the years.

They are not "the latest and greatest" and, at least up until very recently (if even now), they routinely came with conventional HDDs not SSDs.  But they were solid machines, many business class laptops off of long term lease that were "too old" to sell as refurbished to the broad general market, but with more than enough get up and go to handle routine web browsing, emailing, and office-suite type programs.

Some did not, however, come with full-sized "desktop layout" keyboards, but I think that's likely different now, too, as it's a small minority of laptops that don't have a number pad on them.

Make sure that the features you want are something you request specifically, e.g., having a number pad (or not having a number pad, as the case may be).
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide


Jim Weiss <jimweiss72@...>
 

Michael,
You might want to consider something like Dell Outlet.  These are new computers that come with a full warranty.  The only downside is you can’t make any changes to the configuration, they come as they have been built.  When I bought my last Dell I saved about $500 and a Dell Advisor helped me find exactly what I wanted.  I found the website a bit difficult to navigate so I just called the toll free number.  I gave them what I wanted and told them what was a “must have” and what was a “would be nice to have”.  It may take a couple of calls since inventory changes daily, but the savings are pretty good.
HTH,

Jim Weiss



On Jul 7, 2021, at 3:58 AM, Michael Walker <michael.walker199014@...> wrote:

Thank you for your responses. I think I’ll probably look around at different places for laptops. I would like my laptop to be new, so it doesn’t die shortly after I purchase it. I’m planning to get a laptop for my long-term needs. I could handle, on my own, using something like narrator to help me install jaws.

On Jul 6, 2021, at 5:39 PM, Brian Vogel <britechguy@...> wrote:

On Tue, Jul 6, 2021 at 06:27 PM, Gerald Levy wrote:
The free one-year license for JAWS by itself is worth the price of the computer.
-
Gerald, your entire message said it better than I ever could, but this last point is really important, too.

But having a computer you can use "out of the box" without any assistance (providing you're not someone who's not yet capable of using a screen reader) is just a huge plus in all ways.  But having one year to play with JAWS and being able to add NVDA and having Narrator makes "compare and contrast" to decide what you really like much easier, too.  (And that isn't to say that switching between screen readers is easy.  But if you want to get a real sense of using each of the current majors it's an easy and cheap way to do so.)
 
--

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H1, Build 19043  

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

           ~ André Gide