2018-06-22 19:51:25

yes, correct. both braille me's editor and book reader have some showstopper issues for now. and for now you can get braille output, you must use your computer keyboard for input. see this google document i made.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1gl5ZN … fX4vVip3n0

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2018-06-23 00:47:11

I, too, am very happy for the review. I'm very close to buying an Orbit Reader for myself. I was always drawn more to that project than the others for some reason, and I feel that it wouldn't be a bad decision if I go for it. In a couple of months, I really think I'm going to get one, seeing as how I mainly wanted it for reading books anyway, so the lack of cursor routing buttons isn't a dealbreaker.

As for the number of cells debate, I agree that more is better for serious reading, but you learn to make do on a smaller display if you have to. I had an 18-cell Braille Note MPower, still do, actually, but it's broken, and that didn't put a cramp in my style too much for reading, despite the fact that I had been accustomed to a Braille Lite 40 for quite a few years before that. So, for these low cost displays, I can see why companies want to start smaller until they see how marketable these things are, and how much it will ultimately cost to make bigger displays available.

The glass is neither half empty nor half full. It's just holding half the amount it can potentially hold.

2018-06-23 00:54:18

speaking of the orbit reader 20. I ordered mine at the beginning of the month and really haven't got a clue if they even processed my order or not. The order is there and pending processing but ... come on..., seriously, that much time? or is there an announcement I just never saw?

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2018-06-23 04:04:11

@Turtlepower17: I'm leaning towards BrailleMe, save the issues OP has mentioned. Especially with it's near-instant refresh rate. I don't want to make the same mistake I did with the SmartBeetle though and buy it too early when the blindness market hasn't caught up in terms of support for it yet. Also, I'm interested to see what happens later on. If this trend continues, we'll probably have something even better come down the pipeline soon enough.

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2018-06-23 04:37:52

as of now though, the Orbit Reader20 has the best braille cells. The braille me dots are a bit weak. I was reading with it hooked to my computer today so NVDA could take care of wordWrap and everything like that. With braille me as it is now, some dots are higher than others, and for spaces and stuff dots stay slightly above the face plate making reading a bit difficult on braille me. I did write to the braille me developers about this though.

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2018-06-23 11:41:04

would the orbit be able to coap with subtitles from netflix?

Or is the refresh rate too slow, I know you said it's like half a second, which isn't really a big deal if you're reading a book, but some of those Asian shows, with speech at least, need to be sped up, otherwise you miss things.

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2018-06-23 11:53:53

maybe not if it takes a half second to refresh as stated by other posters. By the time one would appear, scant opportunity to read before the next comes.

One of the best gifts on this earth is the unconditional love of an animal

It is pure, free of judgement, and raises me to the utter height of glory.

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2018-06-23 16:21:25

@joshknnd1982: Thanks for the continued critique of the device. I'm really appreciating your personal experiences with it since you're pointing out issues that would likely be of annoyance to many people. This is really helpful!

@kool_turk: this is my concern with the display also and why I'm digging BrailleMe so far. Seems like most people who are using it are using it for reading and not real-time stuff.

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2018-06-23 19:41:50 (edited by joshknnd1982 2018-06-23 21:43:20)

reading with braille me.
When reading with braille me, it feels like when there are unused dots either in letters or spaces, it feels like someone took a braille eraser on paper braille and did a bad erasing job. The orbit reader20 nor braille lite from the now dead blazie engineering nor braille note and other displays i have used, all of those others do  not exhibit this behavior where it feels like I am reading good braille with a large mixture of erased braille or rubbed-out-dots. I think this is why it is easier to read on the orbit20 and other older piezoelectric displays. Also I can tell on braille me some dots are significantly lower. On orbit20 sometimes a dot may be a millimeter or maybe half millimeter lower, but this does not affect reading. Probably because orbit20 does not give me the feeling of reading good braille with erased braille. many times on braille me I have to go back and say, wait a minute, is this a b? a letter l? is this e-d, or the "and", sign? when reading with braille me i second-guess myself due to the feeling of reading badly erased braille mixed with good braille with some dots higher some lower and some ever so slightly angled.

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2018-07-07 10:13:54

I just had a conversation with the brailleme developers and thought I should report on it specially so, because I had been crying over the 40kb file limit lack of folder support and so on.
Not all of it has been taken care of,but should be pretty soon, according to the developers.
Here is what they said.

brailleme team wrote:

Its a pleasure to hear from you again following our interaction in January this year. We at Innovision had taken your feedback regarding file size limitation
and root folder sub directories into consideration. We are happy to share that the updated version of BrailleMe has resolved both of these issues. Please
find below a list of added functionality in BrailleMe version 2.
Hardware modifications:
- USB based Firmware upgrade feature added
- Increased memory for processing
- Faster SD card support (Helps in reading and writing large files)
- Improved carrying case based on user inputs 
- Improved device foots to avoid slipping on surfaces
- Decreased the size of the charger (now wall mounted)
- Added chip to support USB pen drives in the future
Software modifications:
- Read mode: Ability to open TXT files of unlimited size in grade 1 and grade 2
- Write mode: Increased file capacity to 100kB with grade 1 and grade 2 switching
- Save as braille: In certain languages where the back translation is not good, the user can save the file as a braille file. This will not create any
discrepancy in what the user reads and writes. These braille files can be edited and can be 100kB in size.
- iOS and Android support: Both OSes are now supported.
- Refined braille tables for English and regional Indian languages
- Revamped command table to adhere to legacy commands
The following features are currently under development and are expected to be released by end of July (currently being beta tested)
- Word wrap
- Cut-copy-paste
- context based quick Command guide
- Folder options
In case of any additional queries please let us know.

At anyone that has used both orbit reader and the brailleme, could you suggest me which one to choose? given an option.
I probably have the option to choose between a orbit reader, or a brailleme. the orbit reader is available in limited quantities though,so can run out any time soon, and the seller (an NGO) wont hold itself responsible for the warranty and I would have to deal directly with the manufacturers.
Where as the brailleme guys are located in my city itself, and so if they provide any warranty it should be easy to get to.
Ideas suggestions are welcome.

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2018-07-07 16:51:06

I would choose the orbit reader because the braille on the braille me when i got it feels like reading badly erased braille mixed with good braille.

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2018-07-10 17:20:19

@cool_turk, I'd like to know how you could get subtitles to automatically come up in netflix in the first place, since I haven't figured that out yet. lol


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2018-07-11 06:13:06

There's a couple of ways to do it, the easiest way is when you're playing something with subtitles.

Turn the rotor till you get to media descriptions, you'll see three options, speech, braille, speech and braille, and finally, off.

Funnily enough that rotor option also appears when you invoke Siri, no idea why, but it saves you trying to dig around for it in the settings.

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2018-10-15 01:17:12


I am considering one of these displays. I am wondering if anyone has used one recently, and if any of the complaints have been rectified over time? The only thing I find really concerning is the braille being unclear.

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2018-10-15 04:21:58

I have two orbit reader 20 displays. they work great. I have not used a braille me in several months, so i do not know if they have improved or not.

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2018-10-15 04:26:51

Okay so... I am asking about this specific display. I appreciate that you have had good experiences with the orbit, and would be curious why you switched exactly... BUT... Its sort of like if someone asks about cat care tips, being like, Well I don't know about cats, but I just got a dog! yay dog! Its a little bit tangential to the topic in a way that isn't necessarily useful.

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2018-10-15 05:08:03

Back to the future with file management and SD card support. Great stuff. More of this please. It's almost like we've been trundling round and round and then somebody says, "Hey, how about a braille display that's *cheaper* and also does what you need in the basics department?" Gosh, what a great idea! All those misadventures with Windows CE and the like ...

Just myself, as usual.

2018-10-15 08:46:45

Fuck Windows  CE, that is all...

This... -- Is CNN'.
Well Ted, it sure looks like there's been uh, quite a bit of violence around here
"aaoh, that violence was terrible'!"
Yeah it was, pretty bad.

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2018-10-15 13:54:58

I mean look, I'm not opposed to braille-optimised user interfaces for doing stuff. If a low-cost braille display could have a network connection and run an OS with a minimal footprint that could be programmed, I'd love it.

But Windows CE-based devices were an affront of the worst kind. The worst of the operating systems, with the worst of development kits, the worst of proprietary software and the worst of support for the technologies we actually need in a device. If you can't do it right, don't do it at all. A braille device does the offline stuff perfectly, so it should, and shine at it; you can't even use a BrailleNote as a Perkins emulator.

Like I said, more of this please.

Just myself, as usual.

2018-10-17 09:43:03

Hi all, want to know if the Orbit reader or Braille Me can open Word document as in .doc and docx? Support for file type mentioned in page 1 is only for Braille Me I assume. It would be inconvenient to convert all files before using them on a braille display.
Also, which of these 2 braille display support converting documents into contracted mode? I may not want to go back to uncontracted braille just to use a braille display. Last but not least, does APH ship to south east asian country, because deelers or organizations here are getting it at a much higher price, about 40% of the original price the last time I ask one of the blind organization. Thank you.

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2018-10-17 14:09:10

From what I remember off the top of my head, The brailleme definitely doesn't support doc docx formats, but the orbit possibly does.

Dealers around here are selling the orbit for about $500 $510 including shipping charges, but I guess they are available at all in my country is what I should be thankful for lol.

Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, ‘It might have been.
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2018-10-17 17:43:01 (edited by UltraLeetJ 2018-10-17 17:44:39)

regarding your answers to your post on file conversions and resources for books, there are tons of options available at this thread
I have also done a post (I believe its post 41 or something) which explains the international shipping methods you could probably try and use. Also some posts deal with localization and I did a short review on it on the last posts of that thread. So for anyone interested in buying it hopefully it will help you decide.
Up to this day, the device has been pretty stable and robust... and that says a lot . I use it almost daily.

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2018-10-19 08:31:05

@UltraLeetJ Which company do you use for international shipping and how much do you paid roughly for the shipping cost? I am a bit worry paying 500 dollars and having to risk waiting if my item will ever arive or not, but that is the risk i have to take to get the device cheaper.
Personally I am not looking so much at book conversion but the ease of having typed document converted to grade 2 braille especially during presentations and such.

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2018-10-19 09:53:11

well then the service I had mentioned would be right for you, fact is i get most books as word files through an initiative running in Argentina which carries books of all sorts just like book share does, they operate in similar grounds since they are foundation based initiatives with some strong financial back ups, their name is tifloLibros. I have tested with say, forum posts in the audio world which are gems for producing and mixing music so that works really nicely, too.
As for the shipping to other countries... This one charges me the mandatory 5% in taxes, so add 22.5 dollars on top of the 450 price for the orbit, and then 20 more for the minimum fleet which goes from 0.01 to 12 pounds. So its about 45 dollars, I realize this is a bit more expensive than other methods but maybe you could find something in your country which is trustworthy or quote directly from APH, but they state that international customers cannot use their shopping site so you have to call instead, and of course I did use their shopping site since my address was a courier in the U.s. but I think if you get a price quote directly from them its going to probably be much much more.

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2018-10-21 21:15:12

Yeah. See, I'm not even going to complain about the price here. That's great! Especially since now, people are spending $1200 on phones and computers, $500 seems pretty reasonable for this thing!

Am I wrong, or do they have braille displays with multiple lines out there?

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Have a nice day!