Braille displays

John Heim jheim at
Wed Mar 26 13:28:00 UTC 2008

I've never seen one of these braille displays. Do they replace your regular 
keyboard? If not, then I would imagine you have to switch back & forth 
between the keyboard and the braille display. But I would guess they somehow 
make that easy. It would be inefficient if the display was off to the side 
and you had to turn your shoulders to reach it.   Or maybe you read the 
braille display with one hand and then it wouldn't be any less convenient 
than a mouse. I've always imagined that they're sort of like a laptop 
keyboard with a touchscreen. I don't know if you've ever seen one of those 
but beneath the keyboard on my laptop is a tiny touchscreen that you're 
supposed to use instead of the mouse. I figured that on a braille display, 
the braille is beneath the spacebar. So all you have to do is move your 
hands down a little from the home row. Or it could be above the function 
keys which would have the same effect.

Well, why am I guessing? I should just let someone tell me how they work.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Lee Maschmeyer" <lee_maschmeyer at>
To: <anders at>; "Linux for blind general discussion" 
<blinux-list at>
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 3:25 PM
Subject: Re: Braille displays

> Hi Anders,
> What is it you like about the HandyTechs?
> Getting back to the original question: As for me, I've never had the nerve 
> to ask for an 80-character display so don't miss the (to me extravagant) 
> length. 40 is the length of a braille printed page and I've always found 
> that adequate. (As far as that goes, before the advent of grade 2 books on 
> the internet I was happy with a 12-character display, though I doubt I 
> would be now!)
> I've never seen any of these wireless ones that use Bluetooth but the idea 
> is intriguing. Still, if you're thinking of one that will stay in one 
> place a cabled display isn't a bad idea probably. If you might be carrying 
> a laptop and a display then you might want to see whether there's an easy 
> option to carry them both conveniently.
> But if you're going to be doing a lot of traveling a notetaker with a 
> detachable display might be good. The PAC Mate fits together so solidly 
> you'd never know the display was detachable, but it is and can be used 
> (via USB cable) with a regular computer.
> -- 
> Lee Maschmeyer
> Computing Center Services
> Computing and Information Technology
> Wayne State University
> Detroit, Michigan, USA
> _______________________________________________
> Blinux-list mailing list
> Blinux-list at

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