[Nfbmo] KnfbReader Mobile pricing and seminar announcements

Matthew Sievert msievert at sbcglobal.net
Sun Jan 31 08:39:09 UTC 2010

Good evening everyone,

I want to share the story of my first experience with a Kurzweil Reading Machine.

My first experience was with the Kurzweil Model 3 reading machine. It consisted of two very large boxes. Each box was the size of a table top photo copier. Each box had "handles" on  each end, of course the handles did not indicate it's ability to be considered "portable" by any stretch of the imagination. It took two people, one on each end to lift each conponent.

This new technology was incredibly expensive.
Just the magnetic data tape that held the software was 25,000 dollars.  

It was 1984, and I was living in Saranac Lake, New York, which is a small village of then 5000 people. Saranac Lake is located in the Adirondack mountain chain, and is 10 miles from Lake Placid, New York. Lake Placid is where the 1980 winter olympics were held. For reference, Albany, New York is six hours away and New York City is almost 9 hours away.

I was 14 years old and had first seen the Kurzweil machine on a trip down to Glens Falls, New York for an advanced  mobility training session. I found it very neat, but there was no way I could ever get one for personal use way up in the small village Where I lived. 

A few Months went by and my mobility teacher started talking to me more about what I would do with a kurzweil machine. I told her I could use it to read text books, and other class material. Especially since Recordings for the Blind had just started, and their turn around time was a bit lengthy. Large print bound books were still hard to get in a timely manner. 

The fall of 1984 the local library was undergoing a remodeling project. One of the additions was a glassed-in media room, which access could be controlled by the librarian with a key. My mobility teacher, Paula A. Charnesky, who is now teaching in Sedona, Arizona, worked very hard and was able to have a Kurzweil machine loaned out to our local library. The machine would be located in the new media room, and I would have access to the room and the machine anytime the library was open. I spent a year and a half learning and using that wonderful machine, until I moved away from New York. The Kurzweil Reading Machine is an amazing tool.

I look back at that heavy device with the giant control unit filled with keys which had no markings on them, since blind people didn't need markings on their input devices. I am amazed how far we have came. 

A reading device with voice can now be as accesible and portable as any consumer device. The price, and availability is also truly amazing.

I can go visit a conference or a convention and for less than $2000 leave with a device that can read just about anything. No heavy three ring training binders, no giant input keyboards, and no special built rooms located in libraries.

Blind and visually impaired folks with the help of the NFB and Kurzweil have come a long long long ways.

Thank you for your time, and I wish all of you a good evening.

I especially want to thank Paula Charnesky for all the work she did for me. I did not appreciate or see the importance back then. But now I understand.

Matt Sievert


On Jan 30, 2010, at 9:06 PM, David Andrews <dandrews at visi.com> wrote:

You have bitched about this previously, and I have answered you previously.  I don't like it either, but I allow the bandwidth usage, because I did it myself.  We are working on a better solution -- but it is more difficult then first thought.


At 09:37 AM 8/2/2009, you wrote:
got this message on ten different lists.
why isn't everyone automatically subscribed to nfb-announce when signing up for any of the other nfb net lists?
why do people refuse to use nfb-announce/only send it once and why does the moderator allow bandwith to be wasted?

----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Hingson (by way of David Andrews<dandrews at visi.com>)" <info at michaelhingson.com>
To: <david.andrews at nfbnet.org>
Sent: Sunday, August 02, 2009 5:54 PM
Subject: [Nfbmo] KnfbReader Mobile pricing and seminar announcements

Just before the NFB national convention I announced that the price for the
KnfbReader when purchased from the NFB and The Michael Hingson Group was
decreasing.  Since there have been some questions about pricing after the
convention I want to clarify that this price decrease is permanent so long
as we continue to receive our present costs from our suppliers.  The pricing
is as follows:

The Basic KnfbReader Mobile including software and the Nokia N82 phone,

Talks screen reader optional add-on when purchased at the same time as the
Reader, $225.00.

Talks screen reader when purchased at another time, $295.00.

MobileSpeak screen reader purchased at any time, $295.00.

WayFinder Access GPS option for the KnfbReader system, $395.00.

NEW!  Extended battery for the Nokia N82, $35.00.

New!  Bluetooth headset with ear buds, model BH-201, $50.00.

New!  Nokia Bluetooth headset with ear covers, $75.00.

New!  Nokia Bluetooth keyboard model SU-8w, $125.00.

All prices are plus shipping and tax in California.  If you have questions
about the Reader or would like to order one please email me at
info at michaelhingson.com and I will get back to you or have one of our NFB
KnfbReader dealers contact you.  Also, don't forget that the National
Federation of the Blind has a %3 low interest loan program for those who
need help in purchasing the Reader.

I also want to ask if anyone would be interested in attending either an
upcoming online audio seminar or a conference call teleseminar to demo the
KnfbReader Mobile?  If so, please email me off list at
info at michaelhingson.com and tell me some times convenient for you to attend
either demo and which one you would be interested in attending.

Finally, over the summer many readers were sold at the various national
organizational conventions.  We are contemplating holding online or
conference call training sessions to help people get started using their
Readers.  Please email me at info at michaelhingson.com if you would like to
attend either kind of seminar.  Please include times convenient for you to
attend and which kind of seminar would be best for you.  All seminars are
free to everyone.  I will announce the status of the seminars as soon as I
get a sense from you about when and how to hold them.

Please send this on to others whom you think might be interested in knowing
more about the KnfbReader Mobile.  Happy reading to all.  Thanks for your
attention and time.


Michael Hingson

The Michael Hingson Group
    "Speaking with Vision"
                Michael Hingson, President
                        (415) 827-4084
                  info at michaelhingson.com

for info on the new KNFB Reader Mobile, visit:

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