Gimp-gear Suppliers & Inventors, etc.

NuJak uses exclusively AssistiveWare

software products for on-screen typing & Speech

Invacare

KnewJach uses exclusively Invacare Powered Wheelchair products for getting around n’ stuff.

People seem fascinated by my working conditions and process.

so it occurred to me to make this short video (Here) as a demo.

as if you were hanging out at my studio. Sitting beside me.


Having been an Apple user since the early '80's  - in a professional capacity (film editing, sound design, animation, illustration & music) I was hooked on macs. . While I occasionally used PC's (even Amiga my friends)

- at that time creative software for media was somewhat more advanced on the Mac - but that's all ancient history as you know. 

When i was diagnosed with ALS I realized immediately that my life would be inextricably tied to a computer of some kind. I also knew that it would somehow have to be an Apple - i simply have too much time invested! . While I found that by far the PC platform was much more well supported for assistive software  - my research showed that much excellent development has recently occurred for the Mac platform. 

So, okay - here's what I do: 


Gimpgear


The HeadMouse® Extreme & Beam by Origin Instruments

http://orin.com/index.htm


This replaces the standard computer mouse for people who cannot use or have limited use of their hands when controlling a computer or augmentative communication device. The HeadMouse translates natural movements of a user's head into directly proportional movements of the computer mouse pointer. The HeadMouse has a wireless optical sensor which tracks a tiny disposable target that is conveniently placed on the users forehead, glasses, hat, etc. It works just like a computer mouse, with the mouse pointer being moved by the motion of the users head.


The USB Overdrive 

http://www.usboverdrive.com


though not particularly sexy - this little app (which David Niemeijer of Assistiveware turned me onto....) allows extensive remapping of keystroke information, making the three measly buttons ican control (mounted onthearms of my wheelchair, communicating by infared fromthe "Beam"  unit to the Headmouse unit) context sensitie depending on the active app. 

it makes it ALL possible! 


KeyStrokes, LayoutKitchen & Proloquo

http://www.assistiveware.com


KeyStrokes is a fully-functional advanced virtual on-screen keyboard that allows you to type with a mouse, trackball, head pointer or other mouse emulator to type characters into any standard Macintosh application. It’s awesome.

KeyStrokes provides advanced multilingual word prediction. Thanks to its revolutionary PolyPredix™ word prediction engine it can do word completion, next word prediction and even multi-word prediction in any Roman language as well as many other languages. The PolyPredix™ prediction engine offers many unique, time and effort saving features allowing significantly easier and faster typing. PolyPredix™ can reduce typing efforts by 50 to 70%.  See?  It knew I was going to type that...


For those who can position the pointer, but not click the mouse buttons, the integrated Dwellix™ system-wide dwell-based utility allows mouse button clicks to be entered by simply holding the cursor motionless for a programmable period of time. You can even type without clicking!

On Mac OS X KeyStrokes provides SmartTransparency™ technology to provide you with an optimum use of your screen real-estate and make sure the virtual keyboard never gets in your way.

With KeyStrokes virtual keyboard a person who can only use a mouse or mouse emulator can have complete access to the Macintosh, the Internet and by extension the World.


LayoutKitchen

which allows users to design their own virtual keyboards. Such virtual keyboards can be used not only for typing, but also to launch applications, speak, run AppleScripts and much more.


i attached two screenshots of keyboards i use a lot...... 














Proloquo

Proloquo is a multi-purpose, multilingual speech solution for Mac OS X that provides: (1) a full-fledged communication system (AAC) for people who cannot speak; (2) improves accessibility of Mac OS X for people with visual impairments; (3) provides speech feedback in any application while typing for children and people with learning disabilities; (4) can serve as a talking word processor; (5) provides text to speech for people who prefer listening to reading; (6) can be used as a tool to learn the pronunciation of foreign languages; (7) provides an advanced, multilingual speech engine for our KeyStrokes® on-screen keyboard and our SwitchXS® switch access solution.


Proloquo includes natural-sounding Infovox iVox voices for a language of choice. The languages currently available are American English, British English, American Spanish, Canadian French, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish. Infovox iVox provides voices that work not only in Proloquo but system-wide. Finally, Proloquo of course works with all the built-in voices of Mac OS X.


Proloquo is different from Apple’s excellent VoiceOver technology for Mac OS X Tiger in several ways. VoiceOver is a screen reader primarily intended for people who are blind. Proloquo, instead, is a multi-purpose speech solution that also includes certain features geared towards people with limited vision (such as the ability to speak what is below the cursor and to echo what the user types). Additionally, Proloquo works with high quality voices in multiple languages and works on both Mac OS X 10.3.9 (Panther) and Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger)


Proloquo can be used to create a complete personalized Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) system using simple drag and drop (or copy and paste) of phrases into lists organized by topic. Proloquo can also be combined with LayoutKitchen®. With LayoutKitchen users can design their own speech panels for Proloquo with colorable and resizable buttons containing text and/or images in a variety of formats


New! (ish)

Wiretap Anywhere & Skype!

now I can talk on the phone with no hands and no voice!

Although technically this is not new - never has it been easier!

My typing on KeyStrokes triggers Proloquo or Apple voices right? Now i can have that system audio piped into Skype or any other “voice over IP” phone software using Wiretap Anywhere by Ambrosia Software.  yippee èt voila!  i can annoy at a distance once again - and so can you!  Seriously, now i can call my caregiver on the cellphone. Most liberating.


Here's how to get Wiretap Anywhere to send your speech voice to Skype's internet phone system. 

You'll need Wiretap Anywhere <http://www.ambrosiasw.com> and Skype. <http://www.skype.com/>


In addition, if you want to call cellphones and landlines you will have to arrange a account with Skype.

The default service that comes with free Skype software only allows computer to computer connections. 


Configuring the Wiretap Anywhere software to pick up your system audio is absurdly simple, 

simply add a new device, using the handy apple "plus"  button at the lower left.  

After that?  Umm.... i thought there must be more to it, so i went back to check. Nope, that's it. 

You should immediately see audio levels on the  Wiretap Anywhere indicators

showing any audio activity in your computer, such as itunes or system/ 3rd party voices. 


You will need to go into Skype / preferences / audio and for Skype's "audio input" choose "Wiretap:untitled"


Your first call should be to Skype's built in "test call" service to confirm that skype is receiving your synthetic voice audio. 

Whatever is happening on your comptuer will be included in the audio of your call. 


There you are! You're ready to make phone calls on the net using a synthetic computer generated voice. 



And of course - no gimp - gear listing for Mac enthusiasts would be complete without a link to....


Ricky  Buchanan and ATMac





Here 's a list of some other favorite non-gimp software i rely on heavily.... 


Audio


µ Midi controller

http://www.musicunfolding.com/

Onscreen, user assignable midi controller panes. They could use some upgrading in the programming interfaces but they’re perfect for headmouse & 3 buttons &/or midi footpedal thingie.


Noatikl 

http://www.intermorphic.com/

is a generative (MIDI) music engine. It creates musical information in the form of MIDI notes, and can also generate and send MIDI controller information to generatively control settings of your favourite synths, FX units and samplers.

Noatikl is not a toy. Noatikl is a flowing river of sound, a polyphonic flamethrower of music with a deceptively simple interface. Try the demo and you're hooked. GnuJaques says watch out.


Absynth 3:

  Version:3.0.1.015


Always In Key:

  Version:0.6


Critters1.5:

  Version:0.1on:


FretPet:

  Version:1.0.2


Logic Pro:

  Version:8.0.1

 

Midimouse:

  Version:0.4


Reason:

  Version:4.0

 

ReMIDI:

  Version:


String Studio:

  Version:1.1.1



Grafix (I had almost forgotten how much i loved color)


Synthetik Studio Artist

http://www.synthetik.com/

an auto drawing AI, vector/raster based natural media (& more)  paint animation app!  frustratingly deep. 


ok..... Here's a list of other grafic tools i use frequently


Comic Life:

  Version:1.2.4 (v554)

 

FlySketch

  Version:1.6.3

 

iWeb:

  Version:1.1.

  

Second Life:

  Version:1.19.1.4

 

Snapz Pro X:

  Version:2.1.1

 

VoodooPad

  Version:3.5.1



you see - it is a challenge but you mustn't despair.

i love you all.

see you next time.

any questions?