Talking Tech
Talking Tech 21st January 2020

Talking Tech 21st January 2020

January 21, 2020

AT Helpdesk and the Vision Store Reminder Opening Hours


Vision Store up to 9PM, and the AT Helpdesk up to 8PM ESDT on 1300 847 466.


Guide Connect with Remote



A Chat about how the simple Guide Connect software for getting online works with a physical remote.

Guide can be purchased from the Vision Australia Vision Store at


Latest Podcast from Me - InsideOne demo 2


In this podcast, I show folks how to switch between the simple Home, and NVDA or JaWS.


Just Purchased a Another HomePod - Must Say Most Forward Smart Speaker to Install


Courtesy of a gift card from my Son’s Karate, I purchased a 3rd HomePod, was again amazed how easy it was to install, and now will be my party speaker for entertaining outside.


Talking Tech 14th January 2019

Talking Tech 14th January 2019

January 14, 2020

CES 2020


CES 2020 seem to be mainly about Connected cars, Smart Home and the Internet Of Things, and AI.


Code Jumper to be demonstrated at this Weeks SPEV Conference in Adelaide


Besides being shown off at CES 2020, Tony Wu from Vision Australia will be demonstrating Code Jumper at the SPEVI conference for educators.


Code Jumper Website:


Still waiting for a release date, it is hoped to be Feb or March.


Completed the MacBook Pro 16 Podcast


I did complete my MacBook Pro 16 podcast, and I still think this is the best MacBook Pro ever for quite a long time, just the keyboard and sound are amazing.


A Note About the Extended Trial  of the Vision Store and AT Helpdesk Operating Hours


For Jan 2020, both the Vision Store and the AT Helpdesk can be contacted by phone up to 9PM for the Store, and 8PM for the Helpdesk ESDT BD via 1300 847 466.


Talking Tech 7th January 2020

Talking Tech 7th January 2020

January 7, 2020

January 4 2020, Celebration of Braille


Yes it is still around, yes it is as important as ever, and advances in technology are making it more relevant.  As myself and others keep saying, It Is Not Going Away.


The Bush Fires


Stephen and I hope you all stay safe over this trying and awful period with these horrific bush fires.


Here are 3 apps in particular that may assist in allowing you to keep track of what is going on, and contacting emergency services.


The Fires Near Me NSW iOS App


Whilst not fantastically accessible, you can at least set watch zones including around your current area,  get notifications when a bush fire starts near you, and change the view to List to get a list of all the Bush Fires in NSW.

This has come in handy a few times for my family over the Christmas New Years break.


Fires Near ME NSW iOs app:




To cover the rest of Australia, the Fires Near Me Australia app works much the same.


iOS version of Fires Near Me Australia:




Have a Battery Operated  Radio with You


Its been pointed out that having a battery operated radio especially if you are near any Bush Fires is the best way to stay in contact with emergency announcements in case the power goes out, your mobile phone is out of service  etc.


Especially if your travelling and you need to switch frequency’s to the local ABC, the Sangean Accessible Radio isn’t a bad idea: this is the very reason why I purchased mine before Christmas.


Accessible Sangean radio link to the Vision Australia Vision Store:


My podcast on the Accessible radio itself:


Some News Items from the Vision Australia Vision store and the Assistive Technology Help Desk


Vision Store phone line will be open to 9PM AEDT business days for the Month of Jan 2020.

Phone 1300 847 466.


Shopping from the online

Vision Store, enter the Promo Code WELCOME2020 (in all caps) when you check out to get free shipping on a specific order.


A reminder from last weeks show, for the Month of Jan 2020, the Assistive Technology Help Desk from Vision Australia will be trialing extended hours to 8PM AEDT business days for the Month of Jan 2020.

Phone 1300 847 466.


Code Jumper to be Released at This Weeks Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2020


Finally will be not only announced but be available via Humanware world wide.


I will go in to more detail about Code Jumper in next weeks show, and also share the link to my evaluation of this amazing product.


I’ll also do a bit of a round up of CES 2020 as well.



Code Jumper website:


Code Jumper tutorials from APH Youtube links (already available):


The Hub


The Code Jumper Windows 10 app


Play and Pause Pods


Selection and Merge Pods


Loop Pod


Extension Cable and Nested Loops




Adding Custom Sounds


Now for my Newest Toy:


The Ryze Tello Edu Drone for use with Swift Playgrounds, yes, people who are blind can fly, well sort of.


Will be doing a podcast on flying the drone myself in the next week or so.


Here is a link to the Apple Online Store if you want to have a bit of a read about the Drone (which is classified still as a toy and a beginner drone).


Other podcasts from me over the Christmas break/new year (and coming up):


Inside One Windows 10 Braille Tablet


Over the Christmas break, I did an initial podcast of the Inside One Windows 10 Braille display which I’m pretty impressed by.


Besides my already mentioned Drone demo (fingers crossed), I have a podcast on a review of the MacBook 16 Pro, a 2nd podcast on the InsideOne, and all going well, a podcast on my review of the Code Jumper system.

Talking Tech 31st December 2019

Talking Tech 31st December 2019

January 2, 2020

In this weeks Talking Tech, Steven and David catch up with Damian Mcmorrow who looks after the Assistive Technology Service at Vision Australia.

Damian goes through what the service offers, how to contact for an assessment or assistance, and outlines the new trial of the AT Helpdesk for January 2020 with extended operating hours up to 8PM Eastern Day Light Time Monday to Friday.

Talking Tech 24th December 2019

Talking Tech 24th December 2019

December 24, 2019

In this weeks Talking Tech, Stephen and David have some suggestions for entertaining yourself over the Christmas and new period, plus some suggestions for getting help with your Apple, Microsoft, and Google products.


David’s Last Tech Friday for 2019 in Newcastle Was a Great Day


With more than 25 attending, we had a great chat about my current tech toys.

Just an item that I did show was the Dot Smart Watch.

Plans for the new year for Tech Fridays - cycling through Newcastle, Gosford, Parramatta, Ashfield, Carringbah, and perhaps Wollongong VA offices as well.


A note - Aira Free Shopping (either online or physically) Offer Until the 10th of Jan 2020


Great Numbers to Have Over the Christmas and New Years Period


Apple Accessibility 1300 365 083


Microsoft Disability Help Desk 1800 283 300


Google Accessibility Help Desk available via the free Be My eyes app.


Apps You May Want to Try Out


The free Be My Eyes app, and the Aira app.


Remember that besides catching up with Talking Tech, you can always catch Vision Australia Radio on your Smart Speaker:

Just say “Magic Words: and then “Play Vision Australia Radio Melbourne” or “Play Vision Australia Radio Adelaide”.



Recommended Entertainment from Me for the Holiday Period


Audible Books


Alison Brownstone series

By Judith Berens

10 books in series


The Last Survivors  Box Set: The Complete Apocalyptic Series (books 1 to 6)  

By Bobby Adair


The Chronicles of William Wilde

By Davis Ashura

5 books in series


Demon Accords series

By John Conroe

18 books in series


Monster Hunter series

By Larry Correia

10 books in series


The Revelations of Oriceran

by Martha Carr and Michael Anderle

24 books in series


The Temeraire Series

By Naomi Novik

9 books in series



Most if not all of the Audible books have Kindle versions as well where you can either save on the purchase of the Audible book if you buy it first or just by the Kindle book which most of the time is cheaper than the Audible book version.


Remember you can always access books, magazines, and Newspapers from the Vision Australia online library.


The best author I can suggest on Apple Books is Terry Brooks, he has written some amazing series.  Check out for example the Black Elfstone: Book one of the Fall of Shannara.




Applevis Podcasts

Dot To Dot

iSee Using Various Technology’s from a Blind Persons Perspective

RNIB Tech Talk

Talking Tech

Talking Vision


Daily Tech News Show

iOS Today

MacBreak Weekly

TWiT News

Vector with Rene Ritchie

Talking Tech 17th December 2019

Talking Tech 17th December 2019

December 17, 2019

In this weeks Talking Tech, Steven and David catch up with Rebecca Clark from quantum Reading Learning Vision (RLV).

Talking Tech 10 Dec 2019
Talking Tech 03 December 2019

Talking Tech 03 December 2019

December 3, 2019

My Review of the Airpods Pro

In the box: wireless charging case (no other option) containing the Airpods Pro, cardboard sleeve containing two ear tip pair sizes (small and large) with the medium tips already on the AirPods, lightning to USBC cable, and getting started guide.

Charging case is much more rectangular in shape than the previous AirPods with the long side containing the lid rather than the short side on the previous AirPods.

Charging case still has the Connect button on the back for pairing to other devices than the iPhone etc.

To pair, simply open the lid near your iOs device and a popup dialog will appear for connection plus info about using the new gestures.

A big simple tip on getting the Airpods Pro out of the case, pull each AirPod Pro forward in the case and it will come out easily, don’t try and grasp it like the older AirPods as this will be quite difficult to do.

The Airpods Pro themselves: the stem is shorter containing the force touch area facing front, and the part that goes in to the ear is more rounded as it contains the attachment for the silicone tips.

To pull the ear tips off, grasp towards the bottom of the ear tip where it clips on to each AirPod Pro and pull.  To put them back on, position the round clip and push down, you’ll will fill a click.

One important thing about the tips, they are just rubber not rubber over a plastic inner tip which means they conform to your inside of your ear much better.

Take time to try out all the tips from the cardboard container to get the best fit.

To confirm you have the best listening fit, with the Airpods Pro connected go in to Settings, Bluetooth, the Info button for the Airpods Pro, and choose Ear Tip Fit Test to test the best fit for acoustic performance.

The Airpods Pro have an inner and outer microphone to balance and monitor sound, especially for noise cancellation and transparency.

The stem press’s  or as I like to call them squeezes are:

Long squeeze, switch between Noise Cancellation and transparency mode: you’ll hear a click to let you know the long squeeze has started and then one tone for Noise or two tones for transparency modes.

One squeeze: start/stop media or answer a call, you’ll hear one click.

Two quick squeezes: next track, you’ll hear two clicks.

Three quick squeezes: previous track, you’ll hear 3 clicks.

Again Apple’s attention to detail, you’ll hear the click of the squeeze in then AirPod you have squeezed: eg left or right.

For those that have used the clicker on the wire of the wired Ear Pods, the 1, 2 and 3 squeezes are exactly the same as clicking on the button of the clicker.

If you find the squeezes a bit hard to do, you can make them slower by going to Settings, Accessibility, AirPods, and change squeeze speed and hold.  Here as well, you can turn on Noise Cancelation if you only have one AirPod in.

You can use Hey Siri with the AirPods.

You can use Airpods Pro with Live Listen, especially with Noise Cancellation which allows you to concentrate on the person speaking in to your iPhone microphone.

Noise Cancellation works extremely well by cutting out low to medium frequency sounds, very useful when on a train, plane, or cutting out sound at home like the tV in the other room etc.

Transparency which allows you to hear what is around you, works extremely well and is in stereo which allows you to identify where sounds are coming from.

In either Noise Cancellation or Transparency Modes, you don’t hear yourself speak inside your head like some other inner Ear ear buds.

The Transparency Mode in the Galaxy Buds if you have ever tried this, work nothing like the Airpods Pro i.e. with the Buds you can’t tell where the sound is coming from and your voice sounds quite loud.

Even if your Airpods Pro are not connected to your iPhone, you can still use Noise or Transparency Modes to block out or listen to what is around you.

A great feature with Siri is that you can say “turn on or off Noise /cancellation” or “turn on or off Transparency Mode”.

With Siri, you can easily check the battery status of the Airpods Pro.

Find My works with the Airpods of course.

As with the AirPods, once you have paired the Airpods Pro, all other devices that share the same Apple ID will have the Airpods Pro listed ready to use.

Airpods Pro will give 4.5 (if Noise or Transparency Mode on) to 5 hours of use, charging case gives 24 hours of recharge, and plugging in Airpods Pro in to case for about 30 minutes will give about 50 percent charge back.

You can still use a standard lightning to UsB cable for the Airpods Pro charger or plug them in to a MacBook that uses USBC ports to charge the charging case.

Sweat and water resistant with an iPX4 rating.

Charging case, Airpods Pro, and ear tips are all white.

Airpods Pro require iOS 13.2, Apple Watch 6, and Mac OS Catalina.  iPod touch 7th generation, iPhone SE and above, Apple TV (known as Apple TV HD), and Apple Watch 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 will all work with the Airpods Pro.  Supported Macs go back a fair time as well, use the following link to find about the technical specifications of the AirPod Pro, and supported OS:

My thoughts:

I have changed my use of AirPods, now with the Pros, I now use both AirPods all the time, not just one.

The ear tips make the Airpods Pro much more useful when in louder environments.

Having the ability to switch between noise cancellation and transparency mode easily for me is a significant game changer, especially when I just want to block out the outside world as it were.

Feel safe when travelling around due to the excellent transparency mode.

The attention to detail with having noise cancellation when only using one AirPod pro, plus the ability to adjust the squeeze gestures is again an example of Apple not necessarily inventing something new, but doing it better.

As with the Apple Watch and the ease of changing bands, Apple has done this with the ear tips, plus the fact you don’t have hard plastic going in to your ear as with other ear phones I’ve tried.

I would have really liked knowledge on how to get the Airpods Pro out of the charging case as I tried to pull them out the same way I did with the previous AirPods which makes it very difficult, pushing them forward to have them just simply pop out is great, but I didn’t know that smile.

Having the ear tip in your ear, makes you feel that the Airpods Pro will not fall out as easily as the AirPods, although I’ve really not had the AirPods fall out.

People report that for Audio Files, there are still better inner Ear ear Phones out there for listening to music, but overall and ease of use, the Airpods Pro still do an excellent job.  As I mainly listen to VoiceOver, audio books, podcasts etc, Airpods Pro do the job exactly.

Airpods Pro retail for $399 in Australia.

Finishing Off Some More Christmas Ideas

Apple Watch Series 3 or Series 5.

Apple TV 4th Generation (Apple TV HD, not the 4K one).

The Ember Temperature Controlled Mug.

The Tile Tag Tracking System.

Talking Tech 26 Nov 2019
Talking Tech 19th November 2019