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Today I attended the opening of the newly revamped First Class passenger lounge at Edinburgh Waverley station as a MACS representative.  No-one else was available to attend and as I've used the lounge previously and remember what it was like I accepted the invitation to go along. 

The lounge is situated in the same location as previously on the first floor and directly above the East Coast reception and main passenger assistance meeting point.  Access is via an unmodified lift and stairs as previously along a corridor and through an access door past the main reception desk.  the lounge is available to passengers in possession of a qualifying First Class ticket or who have purchased a lounge supplement.  The lounge is also open to First Class Caledonian Sleeper passengers under an agreement with Serco.

David Horne, Managing Director for Virgin Trains East Coast gave a speech at which he stressed the importance of the new lounge within the train operating company's strategy for enticing passengers away from travelling between Edinburgh and London by air, particularly given the frustrations presented to business passengers due to reduced effective work time whilst travelling.  He also highlighted the opening as the beginning of added improvements to East Coast services this year given the start of 42 new services per week between the two capitals starting in May including a half-hourly service frequency and the refurbishing of High Speed Train set interiors at the Craigentinny depot.  Someone from one of the Edinburgh football clubs (I forget her name or that of the club) formally opened the lounge as a representative of the business community.

The lounge is split into colour-coded areas with each designated for a particular type of user.  On entry to the lounge a sectioned area serves as a work hub for business passengers providing workstations, iPhone charging points and dedicated wireless charging pods for compatible Android devices.  A degree of noise isolation is achieved through deployment of a screen and thick floor cladding which eliminates almost all noise from the surrounding station.  It was highlighted that the noise isolation was as a direct result of a suggestion made by an Edinburgh Waverley station employee.

A kitchen is provided for use by staff only.  Adjacent to this is a catering area featuring a fridge offering complimentary water and soft drinks, two coffee machines and access to complimentary food for lounge users.

Lavatories are provided including showers.  The disabled lavatory is particularly spacious with room for wheelchair users to manoeuvre completely even with the door closed.  The unit includes a wet floor and shower.  It was noted that the lighting here was particularly bright without causing undesired glare.  The shower facilities were included after consultation and agreement with Serco for Caledonian Sleeper passengers.

The central area features many single and multi-seat chairs with tables.  Most chairs have standard backs although some, more comfortable types have backrests reaching above head height when the user is seated.  Fine touches are included such as lamps with shades made from antlers and similar materials used on some furnishings.  The flooring throughout is almost all carpet which again helps to reduce noise, although sounds from trains on some nearby platforms can still be heard.  Contrast is provided between furniture and the floor and lighting is relatively evenly distributed throughout.  The remaining area of the lounge is separated into a section for single passengers and families.

The lounge is significantly more spacious than previously and an unobstructed view is provided for screens showing the status of arriving and departing trains.  It should be noted however that as this information is sourced from the same feed as for other screens throughout the station, the same issues relating to data integrity i.e. short notice provision of platform announcements are present.

Overall, the new First Class Lounge features significant improvements over its predecessor in terms of design, comfort and usability.  In particular, additional space promotes ease of movement and the provision of a quiet area with technological additions will appeal to business users.

The event started at 10:00 and was over by 12:00.  I stayed in the lounge and had a few cold soft drinks, however I wasn't feeling up to sampling the few sweet treats that were on offer owing to a pounding headache.  Afterwards, I went to see Kayla for a few hours in Stirling.  We went to the Quorn Exchange where I finally indulged my desire for macaroni cheese which I've had since yesterday evening.  I also collected the walking boots I purchased on Friday which I had left with Kayla as I didn't want to be lumbered with the bag whilst running around the country like a crazy thing all weekend.  After leaving on time for once I was home by 19:45, pleasantly tired and with a relatively quiet week ahead on the cards.
After yesterday's running around I had a good night sleep at the Ibis hotel in Carlisle and headed back to Edinburgh in good spirits.  I decided to stay in Carlisle as the Ibis in Edinburgh at which I normally stay wanted an exorbitant price for the overnight stay, probably due to a combination of Easter holidays and the weekend.  The hotel in Carlisle was much cheaper, and I like the chain because all their premises are accessible, the staff are marvelous, the rooms are the same layout, lighting is fantastic, the shower's great and most importantly they have an on-site restaurant.

My task for the day took me to Galashiels to meet up with RNIB Scotland's Haggeye group, the group for young blind and partially sighted young people in Scotland aged 12-25 (although they also have a Haggeye Juniors group as well).  I was asked to talk a little about RNIB Connect, but I also wanted to demonstrate how Haggeye could play a role in it and in fact expand the profile of what they do and how they could engage more with the local community.  As it happened, it was nearly lunchtime before I arrived due to trains being cancelled owing to a faulty rear engine - drivers are not allowed to run services unless both engines are fully powered and operative.  Fortunately, I wasn't the last person to arrive - Katrina, one of the founding Haggeye members who lives in the Borders turned up shortly after myself.  Steven, one of the Haggeye volunteers who is also a Digital Engagement Officer at RNIB Scotland was there to meet me at the station and escort me to the meeting lace, just next to and above the bus station.

Lunch was really good with a selection of cheese, egg, tuna, corned beef and ham sandwiches, crisps, apple turnover, fruit and bottles of Irn Bru.  Someone clearly went to the effort of ordering a good feast and I wonder if this is any reflection on the budget available to the group?

It was good to see a couple of faces I recognized since I became too old for Haggeye in 2014.  Approximately 12-15 people were present and t was great to see young people enjoying themselves in an atmosphere that was not too institutional.  After lunch, Sophie, one of the RNIB Events Coordinators and myself talked about RNIB Connect and then split everyone into smaller groups, asking them to design something that represented their ideal activity, something they may want to do within RNIB Connect and in their local community.  Whilst watching this, I got into conversation with Khafsa, a whiz at social media and one of Sophie's colleagues whom had done a talk about using social media to connect Haggeye with the rest of the RNIB community across the UK.  I had fun looking over her Braille note-taker, a BrailleNote if I recall.  It's slightly more fancy than the Baum I am receiving thanks to Access to Work funding, but having also briefly seen the latter I think I prefer the one I'm getting.  We also agreed to keep in touch and it's good to make a new friend who also has a finger on the pulse technologically speaking.

Time seemed to fly by and before I knew it was time to go.  I'd much rather have stayed even though I technically wasn't part of the activity however I had commitments in Edinburgh and an appointment to keep.

Later in the evening I met up with Kayla in Edinburgh and after browsing through one of the shopping mall for nothing in particular we went for dinner.  The first place we tried, the Slug and Lettuce, was full and had a waiting list an hour long.  We then tried and successfully found a table at Frankie and Bennies.  I enjoyed a cheeseburger with fries on the side, one scoop of chocolate ice cream and a cocktail.  Kayla had nachos (how anyone likes them I don't know) and two cocktails.  Unfortunately, Kayla wasn't feeling too well which was a little disappointing but it was still great to be together and the atmosphere was pleasant.

I hoped to travel back to Stirling with Kayla, see her safely off at the station and then travel home with connections to Portlethen, thus avoiding a large taxi bill I probably couldn't have paid.  We left the restaurant very late and thus missed the Stirling train by two minutes, something which I admit got me a little worked up.  We always seem to be rushing for transport whenever we have to leave after meeting up, and I just wish time was better managed to avoid this unneeded stress.  As a result of this I couldn't travel to Stirling with Kayla as I would have missed the last connection.  I thus took the direct train to Aberdeen, made the connection home in time and was home by 22:52.  Kayla did reach home safely but I wish I could have gone with her, especially with the Saturday night crowd as it probably was.

It's been a good but long two days and I'm glad to be back home.  I'm just ready to roll into bed and continue reading the unabridged version of 'Sahara' by Clive Cussler.  Tomorrow's a work day for me with MACS reports to finish before off to Edinburgh on Monday for the opening of the new Virgin Trains East Coast first class lounge.
Today I attended RNIB Scotland HQ at Hillside Crescent, Edinburgh for an informal lunch with the newly appointed Director, Campbell Chambers.  It was our second time meeting, the first having been at his interview with other members of the RNIB Scotland Committee on 18 February.  The lunch was open to committee members and member representatives and was a chance to get to know Campbell a little better prior to his official start date of 18 April.

It was a pleasant change for me to be able to eat lunch in a more relaxed way.  Normally when I attend committee meetings at Hillside I usually arrive as the lunch which is offered before the meeting is attending due to train times, and as I don't want to get there overly early.  I enjoyed a nice selection of sandwiches and tomato soup followed by fruit cake, all prepared in the Cafe Tiki social enterprise which operates in the same building.

First impressions of the new director are favourable and I look forward to seeing the direction he leads RNIB Scotland in during his upcoming tennior.  The lunch only last for an hour, however even given the five-hour total travel time from Aberdeen and back I felt this was a worthwhile investment. 
28th-Mar-2016 04:26 pm - Inverness Holiday 2016 Day 2
Day 2 of our holiday to Inverness started with breakfast at 10:00.  I've never been a fan of big breakfasts however today I enjoy an almost full Scottish breakfast of sausages, potato fritters/hash browns, egg, mushrooms and toast.  The food was good and the staff very helpful; in particular, there was one person who couldn't have done enough for us.  The hotel is a converted church and the breakfast hall must have been where the old church congregation hall was situated.  Mum commented that the old windows had been retained and had a nice effect.

We then decided to go and do some shopping and, of course Mum just had to visit the large Tesco in Inverness.  We caught a local bus there and I was surprised how far away from the town center the store, part of the larger retail park, was located.  I needed a new suit jacket as the one I have now is too short and looks a little scruffy.  We had some difficulty find one with a material I liked, and when we did it was grey, not one of my favorite colors.  Just when I thought I'd have to settle for a grey jacket and grey trousers, Mum spotted a black one that fit the bill at a price that wouldn't break the bank.  We bought a few snacks intended for eating in our room back at the hotel (dinner is not served until 7:30PM) but which we in actual fact ended up taking home.  We looked though some of the other stores in the retail park but nothing quite took our fancy.  I wanted to treat myself to a new Bosch electric screwdriver for use with the new workstation I bought yesterday, and although Argos had it in stock I didn't see the point of carrying the extra weight around with me.  We did look into some of the other clothing shops but the prices were enough to send us hurtling out of the door again!

We returned to town and had lunch at the Filling Station.  It's an American diner and one of the first places Kayla took me to dinner after we started going out.  I had my usual Caesar salad and a side order of fries, and Mum a cheeseburger.  There was a funny moment when I remember the last time I was here with Simon talking about Adventures Unlimited Scotland.  We came for a working dinner and the stick stuck through the center of the burger just about poked my eye out if it wasn't for Simon's timely warning.  We enjoyed our meal and returned to the hotel for a nap. 

We had hoped to go out for dinner but Mum was feeling a little queasy so we opted to remain within the hotel.  I wasn't overly hungry so had two starters; the potato and leek soup (which I haven't had for ages and which was delicious) and a regular prawn cocktail.  Mum opted for a delicious chicken tikka sizzler and a dessert.  Again, the food was good, and it was better as the restaurant wasn't as crowded as yesterday.  A couple next to use were doing a quiz that had something to do with the number 60.  I enjoyed answering some of the questions in my head, and was so tempted to go over and help when a question about binary numbers came up that I solved in just a few seconds, but I resisted.

We had another early night after watching a documentary about the life of our current queen.  It was interesting from an abstract point of view even though I've never been crazy about this topic before.  The birthday message from President Obama which he recorded was a nice touch - I wonder if Donald Trump would have done the same if he was in the White House at that time?

Tomorrow we return to Aberdeen arriving around lunchtime.  It's been a good weekend in Inverness, nothing fancy but a chance for a change of scenery and most importantly a chance for Mum to put her feet up and rest for a couple of days.  Her next holiday isn't until July when we travel to Tanzania.
28th-Mar-2016 04:08 pm - Inverness Holiday 2016 Day 1
For the first time in a while and to co-inside with her birthday Mum had a few days off from work and, as I was free also, we decided to spend the weekend in Inverness.  We like the city as it's so compact and relatively quiet, easy to get around and become familiar with.  Mum had booked a deal with the Royal Highland Hotel just beside the railway station that included bed, breakfast and I think dinner as well.

We travelled to Inverness on the 10:13 train departure from Aberdeen.  The journey was uneventful other than some drama caused by the seat reservations being out of sync.  A group of girls that may have been out on a hen do or similar brought their own drinks, but as they were seated in different coaches and in airline-style seats, were pacing up and down our coach trying to borrow someone else's table.  There was a funny moment where one of the girls had poured a shot but as the intended recipient wasn't there, went around asking everyone if they wanted it now that it was poured.

On arrival at Inverness we found that we were about an hour early to check into the hotel.  We opted to sit and have a coffee at the Ash restaurant where we enjoyed watching the staff going about their work.  they were all foreign other than a Scottish manager, and it was funny watching one of the Polish staff trying to show her importance and acting as if she was the only one doing any work when everyone else was out of earshot.  When we finally got to our room we found it was on a mesa nine level half way between the first and second floor.  I hated the walls as they had this tactile mosaic on the which felt tacky and I cringed every time I had to touch it when reaching for the light switches.  The lighting in the room was adequate but there was a distinct shortage of natural light given that the station overlooks the railway station and seems to form part of one side underneath the station roof.  The beds were high but comfortable although mine squeaked every time I moved.  Mum liked the room though and that was all that mattered to me.

Dinner in the evening was noisy with the restaurant full.  There was nice Scottish music playing in the background and the staff were attentive but difficult to pin down.  I had chicken liver pate for my starter and roast Brie and goat's cheese with chicken, salad, apples and an onion sauce for the main course.  This was washed down with a glass of Prosecco but unfortunately it wasn't chilled which detracted from the taste.

We had an early night and were in bed by 10pm.  Due to the age of the building, thick floors and walls, phone signal was poor throughout the hotel which made calls difficult.  Free Wi-Fi was available after a short registration but this was painfully slow.  I had thought about renewing my Netflix subscription before leaving home, but am glad I didn't as it wouldn't have been much use given the connection speed.  I also left the laptop behind for the same reason and also to cut down on the weight I'd need to carry around.  All in all, though it was a good day and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
Today I attended the Scottish Vison Strategy conference hosted by RNIB at the Stirling Court Hotel (formerly the Stirling Management Centre) in Bridge of Allan.  This is my 3rd or 4th time attending this annual event.  The conference mainly focuses on ways to improve healthcare for those with visual impairments, speed up diagnosis, improve efficiency within the sector to reduce avoidable sight loss and similar themes.

I travelled to the conference with my friend Amanda who is also one of the RNIB member representatives for Scotland (although we were not acting in that capacity).  The keynote address highlighted findings from the MyVoice research that was recently carried out and in which I participated.  This demonstrated the wishes of blind and partially sighted people wishing for a better quality and more accessible life.  It also indicated the increasing level of sight loss particularly within older generations.  The presentation was quite statistic-based but what was heartening was that RNIB have created an online tool to allow deeper extrapolation of the data to answer specific queries.  There followed a talk about the review of the registration system for those diagnosed with sight loss.  This review was commissioned by the Scottish Government and I assume the findings will be implemented into national policy in the future.

After a coffee break we had a presentation by James Adams (RNIB) and Dr William Wykes which I felt was the best that I heard during my time at the conference.  The presenter was engaging, had a sense of humour and made it possible for me to understand the concepts he was explaining by way of using simple language and real-world examples.  He showed the problems faced by eye clinics trying to handle increasing numbers of patients within set time constraints and measures that are being taken to improve the quality of service delivered to patients.  For example, nurses are now able to undertake more minor procedures, ophthalmologists are seeing patients instead of them having to travel long distances to hospitals and 'virtual' clinics are being used to allow patients to be seen quickly at weekends whilst doctors look at the results of their eye tests and form diagnosis during the week.  The latter ensures a better use of consultants' time.  The last presentation before lunch rather went over my head.  A lot of medical terminology was used that I did not understand, there were many statistics that I could not place in context and the presenter was not as engaging as a result.  No doubt those from the health and support sector that were present gained useful insight from it but it wasn't for me.

Unfortunately, I had to leave the conference before lunch due to other commitments but one of my fellow RNIB Scotland committee members who was present kindly gave me a lift into the city centre.  I wanted to stay to listen to a piece on emotional support, but fortunately I know the presenter and will be seeing her again soon so it’ll be easy enough to ask her for a brief run-down of the key points.  I thought the conference was well worth the time taken and that the presenters were definitely a credit to the event.  Admittedly I personally did not gain much of help to me but it is still good to have a finger on the pulse on what is going on in the eye care sector, especially given the increased pace of medical and technological advancements.
10th-Mar-2016 06:58 pm - RNIB Scotland Member Forum Glasgow
Today I attended the RNIB Scotland member forum held at the Teacher Building in Glasgow.  It was our first big forum event since last year and the start of the Single Community (now RNIB Connect) pilot in which we have been engaged.  Up until now the pilot has featured smaller, shorter events in more outlying areas such as Falkirk, Galashiels and Kilmarnock, however we as member representatives along with the RNIB Scotland Chair felt it was important to bring as many people together as possible to seek their feedback on how they felt about the pilot and lessons we can take moving forward.

I travelled to Glasgow from Edinburgh having stayed at the Ibis on South Bridge following the Cross-Party Group on Visual Impairment, Hearing Loss and Stroke AGMs last night.  I was only able to stay for an hour due to having to return to Aberdeen for my appointment with my Access to Work assessor in the afternoon.  After the welcome and introductions, I gave a short talk on RNIB Connect and what it would mean for members in Scotland.  In hind sight, I think I could have done a bitter job, and perhaps this was reflected in comments some members made of which I was later made aware.  Apparently my apology that I wasn’t able to stay for longer, and particularly due to a work commitment, wasn't taken well.  I think some members thought I left them in the lurch.  I actually did want to stay for the entire day to hear for myself the feedback from members, as well as to listen to the talk from someone from the Electoral Commission on voting in the upcoming Scottish Parliament elections, but as anyone who has dealt with anything relating to the Department of Work and Pensions will know, they are not to be messed about with and I really had no choice.  Perhaps I'll redeem myself at a later time!
My training for the British Acoustic Rifle Shooting Championships has started in earnest, or for what it's worth anyway.  The competition takes place as usual at the West Midlands Regional Shooting Centre in Wolverhampton on the weekend of 27/28 February 2016 although my fellow shooter Ali and I plan to travel on the Thursday before and use Friday for recovering from the long journey before the actual shoot. We'll both be competing in the stand-assisted and the harder free-standing disciplines.

Unfortunately, my shooting over the last year has been sporadic at best as I rarely get time to attend the club on our regular shooting night, don't want to inconvenience coaches and when I do get time I'm often too sore in the fingers to bear the weight of the rifle for free-standing practice.  Unfortunately work has taken most of my Thursday evenings due to the distance I have to travel but realistically speaking if it were a contest between paying work and shooting the former must win.

However, our coach Jim kindly offered us an extra session earlier today which I gladly accepted.  We were at the club for over four hours during which I was able to complete an entire 60-shot free-standing match including sighting shots, achieving a very worthy and confidence-inspiring score.  It was just three points off my personal best achieved five years ago and if I shoot like this at Wolverhampton I'll be delighted.  I'm moderating my expectations though as health and other factors may rain on my parade, and I'd rather not build myself up for something that may not happen.  I'd much prefer a pleasant surprise which would also make Jim happy.  He was pleased with my shoot and from him that's saying a lot.  Unfortunately, Ali's results weren't quite so good but Jim also pointed out that there were some good elements there too.

I took the suitcase I used for carrying the rifle to Wolverhampton last year to the club and packed all the kit before bringing it back for storage.  That's partly so I could practice disassembling everything and ensuring it all fits in the case, and partly as insurance against lock out from the club due to bad weather.  We've planned another practice for next Tuesday, and I’m hoping to squeeze in one more the week after as I'll miss all the regular shooting nights between now and then.  Either way, signs are promising and pellets crossed this continues.  Thanks to Jim for coming through for us and for his continuing time and support, without which all this wouldn't be possible.       
Today I attended the first meeting of the RNIB Community Advisory Group, affectionately named CARGO although don't ask me where that came from.  I previously expressed an interest in being part of this group although to be honest I'd forgotten about it until I received the meeting confirmation email last week.  The group's purpose is to discuss and help implement issues related to the start and initial running of the new RNIB single community, now named RNIB Connect.  The work of the group has been linked to that of the RNIB Customer Council on which I already sit, and thus it was formed of three other council members in addition to myself together with a link person from RNIB who is overseeing this work.  We met in the RNIB HQ in London and spent the first hour discussing the role profile for the Key Connector, formerly known as the Volunteer Community Coordinator - I must say someone really enjoyed making these titles a mouthful!  The person elected for this role will along with 1-3 others lead and support a wider network of local people who will run activities, member events and campaigns in each region according to what the members in that region desire.  The new community gives regions some autonomy as to how things are run as opposed to the centralisation that occurred previously.  The hope is that this will better gel with the different diversities in various parts of the country, including geographic factors, member interests and campaign requirements.  The document for the role profile that was circulated to member representatives at the community conference in November was if I say so myself, rather dry and difficult to understand in places, however the new version is much softer, more welcoming and better clarifies what the role entails.  I did however ask for two additions; the number of people needed for this role in each region in order to better manage applicants' expectations and a point on whether health and safety, insurance liability and other administrative matters will be the responsibility of and supported by the applicant or RNIB.

We were then joined by the new editor of the RNIB Connect magazine, Jay Paul and her colleagues and we spent some time looking over and giving opinions on the new logo for the community.  This was interesting with two totally blind people in the room but with some good descriptions we managed and have provided feedback that will give the editorial team food for thought.  The logo will form part of both internal and external branding.  I was also explicitly asked if I wanted to be part of the editorial group and have affirmed this as I both enjoy writing and also believe that things need to be kept simple and easy to understand; particularly important for people who struggle to read, those with some learning difficulties, those who do not understand corporate language and for whom English is not their mother tongue.

The meeting started at 11:00 and lasted for two hours followed by a buffet lunch, although I only had some cake as my fingers were sore and I didn't feel like eating.  The journey back to Aberdeen was uneventful with assistance working at all points.  I tried a Thameslink rail service and was impressed at the presence of power sockets in standard class, something that Scotrail do not have on most of their services in Scotland, although the way the train moved very slowly between some stations and quickly between others for no apparent reason including signalling was just odd.

The next meeting isn’t until April, but I expect to keep in touch with matters by phone or email in the interim.
After using Supernova Magnifier and Screen Reader (formerly Supernova Access Suite) for over 15 years as my access technology of choice on my computers I have finally decided that enough is enough and am looking at purchasing options for switching to JAWS (Job Access with Speech) and Magic (the magnification software also produced by Freedom Scientific).  It's been at the back of my mind since December but a chat with a friend last week who is considering the same gave me the final push I needed.  That, and the mounting list of outstanding tasks that need completing and for which Supernova is just not cutting it any longer.

I have always found Supernova to have an acceptable feature set for my needs, relatively easy to use and adaptable.  A couple of years ago I completed the scripting and mapping course offered by Dolphin that would allow me to use Supernova's training mode to make applications or windows recognisable and therefore accessible by Supernova (where the original application developer had implemented the appropriate API's and where the right programming language was used).  Nevertheless, I now find that it is becoming increasingly unfit for purpose especially when working in Microsoft Office.  Performance is no longer acceptable as it often takes seconds after each key press on the keyboard before I receive a response, the screen reader often does not echo what I am typing or what is visually on screen and it crashes and causes spontaneous restarts for no reason.  All this has made it very tedious to complete work, often doubling or more the time I would otherwise take to complete it, and I find myself causing more errors due to the mismatch between input and output.  Further, the crashes mean I often lose data even though I've set Office to save a backup every minute.  Overall, it's just unreliable now and not what I need when trying to complete tie-critical work.  It also causes unnecessary frustration which then impacts on quality.

I've always had something against JAWS, perhaps due to it being a screen reader only and thus not offering everything I require for accessibility on my computer.  However, one thing it has always had going for it is better performance than Supernova where it matters.  For a home/business user like me this is essential.  I'm not interested in any 'fancy' features other than those that allow me to get my job done.  Supernova doesn't seem to respect this.  Dolphin have spent a lot of time developing additional features to their product to bring in access to external resources such as books, newspapers, the weather, podcasts and so on, and whereas this is great, it's not mission critical.  It's something that would be nice to have, but I wouldn't buy the product just because it's there.  But by doing this Dolphin have taken focus away from the important aspects such as performance, reliability and ease of use.  At the end of the day it is meant to be a screen reader and magnifier, but it doesn't read the screen reliably, without errors and without causing more frustration to the user.

I've now tested the demonstration version of JAWS and the difference is like night and day.  There are forms for claiming expenses that I have to fill in from December but I've been putting off doing them as Supernova has just been too sluggish and it takes forever to get things done.  Now with JAWS I actually enjoy doing these administrative tasks and I'm making headway where it matters.  I no longer have to worry about making inadvertent mistakes or whether the system will throw a wobbly at the slightest provocation or if I try to quickly switch between applications.  It's a joy to use and has cemented my decision to seek a way to get the full version.  Magic is great as well, and the response time even when using magnification, colour inversion, focus highlighting  and transition effect features is barely impacted on at all.  That's how things should be.  I'll be sorry to  leave a product I’ve become used to and that has served me well since I was in high school but the lack of focus on priority aspects that lots of customers have complained about for a long time has just reached the point where I can’t go on with it any more.  I'll still use it for testing and comparisons but the main focus will be moving to Freedom Scientific.  I do have issues with their slow technical support and charging for add-on features such as remote desktop but generally the prospects look good.  I'll also have to learn a new hotkey set as there isn't one that mirrors that used by Dolphin but I'm up for the challenge.  Wish me luck.
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