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Note: This document file contains imbedded form feed characters
for printing 8.5" x 11" pages. To print this document from
the DOS command line, type "copy BIGTIMER.DOC prn"
File = BIGTIMER.DOC (ver. 2.0)
* Title : BIGTIMER.EXE Version 2.0 *
* Purpose : A VERY LARGE DISPLAY timer program *
* for use in the lab, darkroom, or *
* home. Originally designed for *
* disabled persons. *
* Registration : $20.00 (FREE for disabled persons) *
* You receive the latest BIGTIMER.EXE *
* version and our newsletter! *
* Credit(s) : Vick Perry, Elizabeth Malinowski, *
* and much help from Audra Johnson *
* Address : P.O. Box 3283 *
* Silver Spring, MD 20901 *
* (or 71220,2122 CompuServe) *
* Date Completed : 8/21/89 *
QUICK START USING BIGTIMER.EXE :
1. Start BIGTIMER.EXE and use the numeric keys to set the
timer clock display. 99:59 is the maximum setting.
2. Press the key or the bar to start timing.
3. The audio alarm will sound when the timer counts down to
Note: The timer can be paused or stopped at any time by pressing
or the bar. The other command keys can be
used ONLY when the timer is paused or stopped. Pressing the
key at ANY time will cause the program to stop and exit
back to DOS.
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COMMAND KEYS FOR BIGTIMER.EXE :
<0,1,...9> - The numeric keys are used to set the timer.
The flashing bar over a clock numeral
indicates which digit will change when the
next numeric key is pressed. The timer can
be started as soon as the clock is set to
the proper time. 99:59 is the maximum time.
, - Start or stop the timer. The key
has the same function as the
key. When the timer is running, ALL other
command keys will be ignored (except for the
key, which will stop BIGTIMER.EXE).
to - Reset the timer to the previous setting.
Pressing a function key will reset the
display for repeated timings.
- Switch ON or OFF the audio alarm. The alarm
status (ON or OFF) will be shown on the
screen. The alarm is always "ON" when
BIGTIMER.EXE is first loaded.
- Applies to COLOR displays only. The key
changes the foreground color. There are 13
different colors. Pressing while using
a monochrome display has no effect.
(Note to photographers: the Red, Brown, and
Lt. Red colors have tested safe for B&W
enlargement paper at a distance of 2.5 feet
from my color monitor; however, you should
confirm this with your setup.)
- Switch the screen between normal and
reverse contrast, i.e. light foreground-and-
black background to black foreground-and-
- Save the current screen color and contrast.
If you press
, then the current screen
color and contrast will be used the next
time that you run BIGTIMER.EXE. The audio
alarm status is NOT saved. The audio
alarm will always default to "ON" at start-up.
- Exit to DOS. Pressing AT ANY TIME
will end BIGTIMER.EXE and return you DOS.
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HISTORY OF BIGTIMER.EXE :
Because of our involvement with fine organizations such as
RECORDING FOR THE BLIND and WASHINGTON VOLUNTEER READERS
FOR THE BLIND, we are aware of the many benefits that a
computer can provide to someone with a handicap.
BIGTIMER.EXE was written to assist a group of computer-
using individuals that are either visually impaired or
mobility impaired. Please remember that a visual
impairment varies in degree and type. Very few visually
impaired persons are totally blind.
BIGTIMER.EXE helps people that have some amount of
remaining sight, but are unable to read normal text or a
computer screen, even with corrective lenses. BIGTIMER.EXE
fills a niche that no other program does - it gives the
user a timer with a very large digital clock along with
easily reachable key controls. The large clock display is
designed for easy recognition and the placement of the keys
is designed for better control by the mobility impaired.
One of our beta testers, only able to use a forehead
pointer or a "mouth stick" to press computer keys, felt
that the arrangement of the keys was excellent. We hope
that the registration fees received for BIGTIMER.EXE will
help offset some of the costs for designing future programs
for disabled individuals.
While BIGTIMER.EXE was being beta tested, other
applications for this program became apparent. For
example, when one beta tester tried the program in her lab,
she realized that many of her experiments could easily be
timed by using a nearby computer. Considering that she
usually had to fight for use of her lab's single GraLab
(tm) timer, BIGTIMER.EXE was a very pleasant surprise. Her
lab manager was pleased that no additional lab bench or
counter space was required.
Our photographer friends tested BIGTIMER.EXE and used it
for negative film, color slide, and B&W print development.
BIGTIMER.EXE is now in constant use in their darkrooms!
If the demand for BIGTIMER.EXE is enough to warrant
additional programming effort, we intend to develop an
event timer for use in the laboratory or the darkroom.
The event timer will allow for the timing of sequential
events, such as film processing or lab experiments. The
user can enter the various timings and the program will
sound (and/or display) an alarm when each event is
completed. Registered users of BIGTIMER.EXE will be
notified of the availability of ALL new software.
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We spend a lot of our time providing volunteer consulting
services to visually and mobility impaired individuals. We
would like to have your help in giving assistance to these
and other disabled individuals. Computers have rapidly
become a great way for many handicapped people to interact
with the rest of the world.
We would especially like to have some "brainstorming"
sessions with other programmers, engineers, designers,
draftspersons, students, and anyone else who is interested.
Your ideas concerning the use of personal computers for the
disabled will be helpful, especially when the ideas involve
hardware that can be purchased "off-the-shelf." Write up
any ideas that you may have and send (or E-mail) them to
us. We'd love to hear from you.
Some of our current programming projects are:
A text screen enlargement program that will
allow a visually impaired person to use
applications such as Lotus 1-2-3. The program
operates by converting a normal text screen into an
enlarged virtual graphics screen. A user then
moves around the enlarged graphics screen.
A simplified keyboard macro program (like ProKey)
for use by mobility impaired persons. (Simplified
in this sense means that very few keystrokes are
required to set up and use a TSR key macro.)
An easy-to-use graphics scanner program to enlarge
graphs, drawings, and photographs from textbooks.
Have you ever tried to verbally describe a complex
graph or drawing to someone that cannot see?
It is a difficult task - this software will help
those that have some remaining sight capability.
We also try to develop Macintosh versions for all
of our software. (Yes, you pure IBMer's, it looks
like the Mac-type user interface has gained a
strong foothold in the PC world. Did you ever
wonder why the latest DOS software looks so much
like the standard Mac software?)
These programs are being written because of requests from
many of our disabled friends. Isn't it about time that you
volunteered to help other people? Why not get your
coworkers involved? How about getting your company
involved? Many companies have matching fund programs;
please keep this in mind when you donate money to your
local charity! Your company will often match (or even
double) the contribution that you make.
- Lizzie & Vick
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| REGISTRATION |
| This is what we ask of you: |
| If you use BIGTIMER.EXE more than 10 times (for |
| other than testing purposes), please send $20.00 |
| to help us to continue to design application |
| programs and hardware tools for visually and |
| mobility impaired persons. |
| In return for your registration fee, we will send |
| to you the latest version of BIGTIMER.EXE and our |
| newsletter. The newsletter provides you with |
| current information about our efforts to assist |
| computer-using disabled individuals. In the |
| newsletter we discuss our successes (and failures) |
| in the field of handicapped computer users. |
| We ask that you send a registration fee for each |
| computer that runs BIGTIMER.EXE. |
| Please send a $20.00 check or money order to: |
| Vick Perry or Elizabeth Malinowski |
| P.O. Box 3283 |
| Silver Spring, MD 20901 |