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March 26, 1985 - Image 5

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1985-03-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

COMPUTERS

The Michigan Daily Tuesday, March 26, 1985 Page 5

Special

computers

aid

the

visually

By SCOTT JOHSTON and
LEO SHARKEY
Many technical advances have been made to remove
barriers for handicapped people. In many areas changes
such as low curbs or braille control panels on elevators
are easily seen.
Now progress is being made in bringing the computer
to the handicapped students. Here at the University, the
Computing Center is involved in assembling various
pieces of specialized equipment into a workstation for
the visually-impaired. ,
GORDON BRESEDEN of the Computing Center Staff is
coordinating the efforts to build this workstation.
Breseden, who himself is legally blind, began working on
the idea as an independent project and was later hired by
the Computing Center to further develop the workstation.
Breseden currently uses an IBM PC-XT that is equipped
with a software package called PC-LENS by Machine
Evolution Corporation. PC-LENS allows a partially-
sighted person to use a very large color monitor to
display enlarged text. Since only a portion of the text may
be displayed at once on this monitor, PC-LENS allows the
user to move the display window over what would be
displayed on a standard8 0'x2 5 monitor.
In the case of totally blind users, the Computer Center
has available a Cybertalker attached to a terminal. The

impaired
Cybertalker is a Votrax-based synthesizer. The Cyber-
talker's voice quality is remarkably good, though it soun-
ds as if it had a thick Norwegian accent. The Cyber is
currently installed in the Union computing station in the
consultant's office.
AT PRESENT, all of the various equipment is not
available in one location. The Computing Center plans to
have the Cyber and the large monitor with PC-LENS sof-
tware integrated with a Zenith Z-150. The workstation
will be available at NUBS computing station in a few
weeks. After initial testing and evaluation the Computing
center will move the workstation to the 4th floor of the
Undergraduate Library.
The Computing Center plans to add another such
workstation in the near future. Also in the works is the
purchase of a braille printer, which will print both text
and braille, graphics. Along with workstations targeted at
the visually-handicapped, the Computing Center is con-
sidering plans for developing aids to students with lear-
ning disabilities such as dyslexia.
Funding for the project is provided by the Computng
Center and the National Science Foundation. IBM has
loaned a computer to Breseden for the program. The
Computing Center hopes to acquire additional funding for
further research into aids for handicapped children.

Gordon Breseden of the Computer Center Staff demonstrates a special terminal for the visually impaired which
enlarges the characters on the screen for better visibility.
BEATING THE APRIL RUSH

Tax programs lend a helping hand

By PATRICK HAGGOOD
It's almost April, yet there is still a
dark cloud looming over to foil the
warming rays of spring. That's right,
its tax time.
Every year its the same thing with'
piles of receipts and the trusty old
calculator on your desk all poised for an
expectedly formidable battle
HOWEVER, AT least for computer
owners, there is an alternative for this.
With one of the tax help programs on
the market and with good planning,
time spent preparing your return can
be kept to a minimum.
On the market today there are many
program that computer owners can
take advantage of to help compute their
taxes. Many include routines that will
allow you to output the final
calculations directly onto your tax
return. Many include an option to
retain a record of your deductions and
income, and automatically enter these
into your return computations.
There are many different tax'
programs on the market, and expec-
tedly, each offering many different
features.' One program, "Swiftax" by
Timeworks, was hailed as "the most
user friendly program used" by
Chelsea Software{ of Ann Arbor.

However, user friendlyness often
comes at the sAcrifice of flexibility.
THE PROGRAM does not allow
listing of items for computation and in-
1040 US .Inolr * lInoe Tex u, 1 84
-F-
F-
serting the result onto the proper line of
the tax form (which is usually the most
confusing part-of a return) and there's
no built in calculator function.
The program explains many different

tax laws and procedures on screen and
in the manual, so you can evaluate the
legality of that questionable deduction
you made, or even make you aware of a
deduction that you didn't know about.
Other programs, such as Ksoft's
"Tax Return Helper" and "Tax Com-
putation" contain features such as prin-
ting out finished tax forms and enabling
you to keep a record of your expen-
ditures during the year on disk, thereby
enabling you to reduce most tax com-
putations to simple "yes" and "no" an-
swers.
WHEN CONSIDERING the former,
you must realize that Federal Law
prohibits you to file a computer-
generated return (but they send us
computer-generated checks!)
Therefore, ydur printed out form would
be for your personal use.
One final feature you will want to look
for when purchasing a tax program for
your computer is availability of yearly
updates. The United States' tax system
isn't the most consistent from year to
year. Many different software com-
panies offer yearly updates for fees
ranging from $10 for L.J. Fisher's
"It's Tax Time" to "Swiftax" 's $24 off.
Some simply offer a certain percentage
off, depending on how much the tax
laws change from one year to the next.
Finally, when making your purchase,
you'll want to consider the time and
money that you will be putting into the
tax program. As with any new piece of
software, there is a certain amount of
time you are obligated to spend with the
software to learn its capabilities. And
when considering price, is it worth
twenty to fifty or more dollars to save a
little time?
COMPUTER
SERVICE
Commodore, Osborne,
Apple, Atari, IBM.
Monitors, Printers,
Disk Drives
ANN ARBOR MUSIC MART
336 S. State 769-4980

One thing to consider, especially for
these year-long tax record programs, is
whether you are committed enough to
do the tasks necessary to properly im-
pliment the program?
Just like the many different check-
book balancing programs out on the
market today, the program is no good if
its not used properly and often enough
to substantiate your investment.
With all this in mind, only you can
determine which is the greater, the
frustration you get from doing taxes, or
the effort you will have to put into your
tax program to make tax preparation a
little easier to bear.
A defense
against cancer can be
cooked up in your kitchen.
Call us.
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY

COMPUTER RENTALS
~ii~ ir We offer a full selection of computers,I
modems, printers, terminals and hard
* drives including IBM, COMPAQ, and APPLE
products. E
Shortand long term rates available.
Full service and quick replacement of inoperative equipment.
Call us today and take advantage of our
for example ... NEW LOW RA TES:
TERMINALS - $39 -month
RENT-A-BYTE Inc.'
* 749 Airport Blvd. Ann Arbor
(Just off State Street near Chi-Chi's)
(313) 761-BYTE - Ann Arbor
. MONDAY - FRIDAY 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
SATURDAY 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Serving Ann Arbor since 1981
m mm m mmmmmmmmmmmm u Mn m mmin

Subscribe to The Daily
Phone 764-0558

'S
u

0
IS Happenings
Tuesday.
Lecture: Introduction to Magnetic Tapes, Part I, 3:30-5 p.m., 165 Bus. Adm.
Lecture:Beginner's Guide to the MTS File Editor, 3:30-5 p.m., 171 Bus.
Adm.
Wednesday
Lecture: Introduction to Magnetic Tapes, Part II, 3:30-5 p.m., 165 Bus.
Adm.
Thursday
Lecture: Using the IBM-PC and Zenith Z-150 with MTS, 10-11:30
a.m., 2346 School of Ed.

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YOUR COST.............$1,099.00
SAVE .........$354. 0
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Fully Customized Samsonite Briefcase $135.00.

)N

/

COMMODORE
COMPUTER
OWNERS
CLASSES
Beginning to Advanced
come down and sign up!
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY ONLY
CHELSEA,
SOFTWARE
334 S. State St.
ANN ARBOR

Ann Arbor's
Apple Dealer is offering
you special savings on all
Macintosh software in stock.
10% off when you buy 2 or more!
featuring:
MICROSOFT Basic
Mulitplan and Chart
Sargon II (computer chess)
Transylvania (adventure)

Epson Standard or Portable Printers Starting At $149.00
(model P-40).
Epson PF-10 Portable, Battery Powered Floppy Disk Drive
with Storage of 320K, Per Disk, Nicad Battery $599.95.
726 Cable $19.95.
Missing Link is a trademark of Marlow & Associates

* Epson factory sponsored student/faculty discounts available here *
51YEARS

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