Backing Up Application Data

As we are getting closer to the date the Spring 2018 Windows 10 update roll out starts, April 10, 2018 there is one area of backing up your data you might not know about.
Its the Applications Data folder in Windows 10. This is where your programs keep their settings and data files.
Having a copy of these folders sure makes things get back to normal a bit faster after doing a fresh install.

Its just a matter of after the reinstall process is done, going to where you store your backed up data, USB flash drive, external hard drive, etc.. copy those data files back onto your computer and you are set. Well, of course after you install the program again 🙂 .

There are other folders that are actually quite large where these data folders are stored that we don’t want to backup & restore, such as the Microsoft folder.

I’m going to walk through this as if I was copying the folders from my computer. The three main data folders that I want from my computer are the Mozilla folder which has Firefox settings, bookmarks, & add-ons, Thunderbird folder, & TwBlue. To go to where these folders are stored press the windows key and type: “%appdata%” without the quotes and press enter.

Through the magic of Microsoft you are now in the roaming folder.
It helps to not be currently using the programs for which you are going to copy their data folders, some programs don’t like that.

The first one on my computer I want to copy is the Mozilla folder, just arrow down to Mozilla and press control c to copy.
Either press windows key and r to enter the drive you want to go to & save this folder or press Windows key and e to open File Explorer, arrow to the drive you want and press enter. Once you are at your external drive, press control v to paste the folder. I repeat that for the Thunderbird and the TWBlue folders.

Should the time come that I need to wipe the drive and install Windows 10 from a USB Flash Drive and start over, having these program data folders makes getting up and going again faster.

If that time comes, its just a matter of reversing the steps. Go to your external drive, copy the data folders. Press Windows key and r. Type in %appdata% and press enter.
Unless you have already installed, as in my example, Firefox, Thunderbird, and TWBlue, you shouldn’t see any of those folders in the Roaming folder after a fresh install of Windows. So just paste the data folders from your external drive in the folder.
After you install the programs again, there will be all of the settings for Firefox and the other programs I mentioned in the example of my computer.

After a fresh install of Windows 10, if you installed Firefox and the other programs before copying the data folders from your external drive, just delete the data folders for each program that are in the roaming %appdata% folder. Its not a good idea to copy your backed up data folders over existing data folders, sometimes you get a little of this and some of that which causes problems.

Knowing about the folder that %appdata% takes you two can also be handy if you ever want to clear out a program’s settings and just start over from scratch. You could delete the data folders for Mozilla etc.. and the next time you run Firefox, it will recreate its data folder and act like you just installed for the first time.

There is allot of hidden and system stuff in the Microsoft data folder, so its best to just leave that one alone.

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Accessible Android Apps March 2018

These are the apps that I’m using on my LG G6, which is still running Android 7.0 but I’ve heard sometime it’ll have Android 8.1.
I use a combination of an external keyboard (Logitech K380) and touch to do what I need or want to do.
That combination of options makes these apps accessible to me, so that is why I consider them accessible. Everyone is different & has different needs, so your mileage may vary.
I post this list of apps that I’m using for a couple of reasons. The first is for those either new to Android and looking for some accessible apps to install, or those looking to see what other people are using, maybe someone looking to try a different app. The other is if I ever have to do a factory reset on my phone, I’ve got a list of my installed apps online with links to the play store. I use the My App List app, which you’ll find below to generate the list.
If I can be of any assistance, you can contact me at @blindbites on twitter or steve@blindbites.com via email.

Amazon Alexa
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.dee.app

AquaMail
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.kman.AquaMail

AquaMail Pro Unlocker
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.kman.AquaMail.UnlockerMarket

Authenticator
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lastpass.authenticator

Be My Eyes
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bemyeyes.bemyeyes

Calendar
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.calendar

Clipper Sync Plugin
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.clippersync.android.plugin

Clipper+
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fi.rojekti.clipper

Files Go
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.nbu.files

Find My Device
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.adm

Freemotion change
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.visionandroid.apps.motionsensor

Google Opinion Rewards
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.paidtasks

Google Play Books
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.books

Home
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.chromecast.app

iHeartRadio
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.clearchannel.iheartradio.controller

Keep
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.keep

KNFB Reader
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sensotec.knfbreader

LastPass
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lastpass.lpandroid

Lyft
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=me.lyft.android

MacroDroid
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.arlosoft.macrodroid

Music Folder Player Full
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.zorillasoft.musicfolderplayer.donate

My App List
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.projectsexception.myapplist

Netflix
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netflix.mediaclient

NFC Labeler
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hu.gersoft.nfclabeler

Nova Launcher
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher

Nova Launcher Prime
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher.prime

OneDrive
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.skydrive

ParcelTrack
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.uberblic.parceltrack

Pocket Casts
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.com.shiftyjelly.pocketcasts

Reply
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.area120.reply

SensorPush
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cousins_sears.beaconthermometer

Shouter
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bhkapps.proshouter

Skype Lite
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skype.m2

Storm Radar
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.twc.radar

TapTapSee
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.msearcher.taptapsee.android

Trusted Contacts
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.emergencyassist

TuneIn Radio Pro
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=radiotime.player

Tweetings
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dwdesign.tweetings

Uber
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab

Uber Eats
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab.eats

VLC
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.videolan.vlc

Voice
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.googlevoice

Shared by ‘My App List’ https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.projectsexception.myapplist

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Info On Missouri Blind Pension Lawsuit Agreement

Below are links & info I tweeted this morning in reference to the news I found on a proposed agreement in the Missouri Blind Pension lawsuit.

MO Blind Pension Lawsuit Agreement – FOX 14 TV Joplin
http://www.fox14tv.com/story/37626234/mo-blind-pension-lawsuit-agreement

Here is the proposed agreement in the Missouri Blind Pension Lawsuit that both parties will ask to be approved on March 30, 2018 https://dss.mo.gov/pdfs/class-action-settlement-agreement-022818.pdf

From what I understand by reading the proposed agreement, no later than August 1, 2018 DFS will mail claim letters to all who are eligible. I’m not a legal scholar but there is some text about those eligible not needing to return a claim form, maybe someone more knowledgeable will confirm that wording. Also DFS will post electronic copies of the mailed letters on their web site. I also read that all payments are to be made before May 15, 2019.

 

Update:
This clears up some questions I had earlier about the Missouri Blind Pension Agreement.
State, blind Missourians settle lengthy fight over payments
http://www.newstribune.com/news/missouri/story/2018/mar/01/state-blind-missourians-settle-lengthy-fight-over-payments/715615/

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Be My Eyes Introducing Specialized Help

I received an email announcing a new service from Be My Eyes and wanted to share it with everyone. Maybe you work for a company that would like to be involved in this great service.

 

// Handheld iPhone displays the Be My Eyes app’s Specialized Help feature.

 

Introducing Specialized Help

We are thrilled to announce the newest feature in the Be My Eyes app: Specialized Help – a better way to connect with businesses and organizations when you need assistance with their products or services.

//

 

Hi Steve,

As you know, Be My Eyes is here to help you tackle a wide range of visual challenges as you go about your day. Until today, Be My Eyes has randomly connected you to a volunteer to solve daily tasks. Some tasks, however, require specialized assistance.

Contacting customer support through email or by phone isn’t always ideal. Direct communication with a business’s customer support agent could be a more vision-friendly alternative and less time consuming for you. If someone from the company could see the issue in real time, issues with their products or services could be resolved more efficiently.

So we’ve strategized a way to better assist you: enlisting the help of representatives from companies whose products you use all the time. It’s our sincere pleasure to introduce Specialized Help. This new feature means that a trained company representative is available to answer questions or help you tackle issues with speed and in-depth solutions. Maybe you need help figuring out how to use an unfamiliar product, or you might want to interact on a company’s app or website while on the phone with their representative. With Specialized Help, it’s easy to get in touch with businesses and organizations when you encounter a challenge with their products or services. And as always, it’s completely free.

The next time you update your Be My Eyes app, there will be a second button added to the main screen to take you to the Specialized Help Menu. Clicking “Specialized Help” will lead you to the list of companies with representatives available to answer your call and assist you through a live video connection. Each business profile will include descriptions of their services, hours of operation, and supported languages.

// Handheld iPhone displays the Microsoft company page under Specialized Help

 

Microsoft is first to join

Microsoft is the first company joining our platform to offer Specialized Help and maintains their mission to empower every person on the planet to achieve more. Included in that mission is a program aimed at offering free technical support to the disability community – Microsoft Disability Answer Desk.

*“Be My Eyes provides a new and innovative way for our customers to get technical support,”* said Neil Barnett, Director Disability Answer Desk, Microsoft. *“With a simple tap, customers can access the Disability Answer Desk from their phone to get the help they need with Microsoft products and services.”*

Be My Eyes is on a journey with Microsoft to help more people utilize technology as a means of empowerment to achieve more in their daily lives. Starting today, Microsoft agents will be available through Be My Eyes Specialized Help to users in *Australia, Canada, UK, Hong Kong, Ireland, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, South Africa and the United States* offering assistance in English. If you need help with Windows or Office products just give them a call.

//

 

Who Would You Like Us to Bring Onboard Specialized Help?

At the present moment, you have the option to contact Microsoft. Improving the customer service experience takes time, rest assured, but more companies from a variety of fields will join the Specialized Help platform soon. Your feedback is of tremendous value to us. If there are businesses and organizations that you may seek assistance from and would like them to a part of the Specialized Help platform, please let us know, and we will do our best to include them. You can simply respond to this email or write us at info@bemyeyes.com <mailto:info@bemyeyes.com>. It is our hope that Specialized Help will provide a better way to connect you with businesses and organizations.

Best regards,
Hans Jørgen Wiberg, Be My Eyes Founder

 

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My Chromebook Accessories

Chromebook Accessories
Below are items I have purchased as accessories to my Samsung Chromebook Plus. They are items that either make things easier or just are helpful to have.

This is just my personal opinion, not anything based on personal use. There are USB Flash Drives from several brands that have a USB C connection on them. If you read the reviews for each brand, there is one thing in common. Several reports of part of the drive’s case breaking off after a short time. So I decided to just use a regular USB 3.0 Flash Drive and use an adapter so it will connect with a USB C port.

All of the items below were purchased at Amazon.com. The shortened links will take you to the product page for each item. I’ve tested all of the links, but just in case one doesn’t work for you, a search of the item name should help you find the item. Prices are current as of the day this is posted.

AmazonBasics USB 3.1 Type-C to 3 Port USB Hub with Ethernet Adapter.

$23.99
https://goo.gl/fygEg3

This hub has three regular USB connections on top, along with an Ethernet connection on one end, and on the other end is a wire with a USB C connector on it. This will allow you to use a wired network connection with your Chromebook along with connecting three USB devices all from one USB C port.
Often I will have my wired headset (see below) into one of the USB ports on top and maybe a Flash Drive if I need to copy a file to or from my Chromebook.

AUKEY USB C Adapter, USB C to USB 3.0 Adapter 2 Pack
$7.49
https://goo.gl/fiCREK

These will attach to the end of a regular USB Flash Drive and will let you plug it into a USB C port.

Logitech USB Headset H390 with Noise Cancelling Mic
$32.95
https://goo.gl/j1sDYQ

I use this headset with the hub I mentioned above. Its great for Skype calls or voice conversations on my Chromebook. The Chromebook I have along with most newer models available will run Android apps. Skype is also available from their web site interface, which is very accessible.

USB C to HDMI Adapter (4K@60Hz) by uni
$19.99
https://goo.gl/F4KxeY

This will let me connect my Chromebook to a larger monitor or television. I don’t do that often. The main reason I bought this, if I ever need my Wife to look at something on the screen for me, I can put it on a larger display which makes it easier for her to see.

HSEOK Laptop Sleeve Case for 13-13.3 Inch
$9.99
https://goo.gl/hnKQLA

This is the sleeve I put my Chromebook in when I take it out of the house. My Chromebook Plus fits in there and its not so tight that one has to stretch the case in order to close the zippers but at the same time there isn’t so much free room inside that the Chromebook is going to be in constant motion. Its just right. There is an outside zippered pocket that has plenty of room for your charger, a few extra cables, the hub, the HDMI adapter and a few USB drives.

Sandisk Ultra 128GB Micro SDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter.
$39.99
https://goo.gl/2Ebn59

Most modern Chromebooks will accept up to a 256 GB Micro SD card but for my needs the 128 GB cards are just fine. There is a big price difference between the 128 GB and the 256 GB cards and for now, I’ve got plenty of space available on my smaller 128 GB card.

If you have any questions or if I can be of any further help, please feel free to send an email to: “steve@blindbites.com”

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Accessible Android Apps I’m Using & A Rant About Accessibility

Below is a list of apps that I’m currently using with my LG G6. As of when I’m writing this, my phone is still running Android 7.0.
I use a combination of touch and an external bluetooth keyboard (Logitech K380) and that is what makes these apps accessible to me.

I want to take a moment and talk about some thoughts and beliefs I’ve seen going around lately as I think this is important.
First, as a person who is totally blind I believe that both smartphone platforms, Android & IOS are accessible. Accessible can mean many things to different people. That is because we all have abilities and skills that may vary as we are all different in one way or another.
That in no way indicates that one person is better than another because they have a skill somebody else doesn’t have, its just part of what makes us individuals.

I’ve read many messages and tweets from a person who has been using one smartphone platform for many years, then they briefly try to use the other one. Some people will think they should be able to use the same way of interacting with the phone as they are used to with their own device. The person will soon become frustrated as this other device doesn’t work the same. They’ll soon give up and declare the different device needs to be fixed before they would call it accessible or even useful. This goes both ways with Android & IOS, as I’ve seen it from both sides.

Just because they are both smartphones should not imply that they work the same. That would be like giving someone who has used one brand & model of coffee maker for the past five years, a different brand and model of coffee maker to use. The buttons are different, they do different things and if you use the thinking of, I pushed the top left button on my old coffee maker, I’ll just push the top button on this new coffee maker and it should do the same.

The person needs to take the time to learn how to use the new coffee maker as they realize pushing that top button does not give them the same results.
There are some people that choose to not learn how to use the new coffee maker and make a decision that it doesn’t work right and it needs to be fixed. There is no way a person could make coffee with this piece of junk.
They will tell people, Oh I used that coffee maker once, it doesn’t work, so I went back to my coffee maker I’ve been using for the past five years, it works great and is accessible.

However, that coffee maker they say is accessible, may not be accessible to you. Maybe you cannot lift your hands high enough to press the buttons, or maybe you don’t have the feeling in your fingers to know if you pushed the button or not. The person claiming it is accessible doesn’t know that it is not that way for you.
It takes time and learning to use something different. To use something different from what you are used to and not learn how to work with the new device then claim it doesn’t work is not fair to others as they read your comments and that person isn’t being fair to them self.

One last example and I’ll end this rant.

A person has been driving a car with automatic transmission for the past 10 years. Their car needs some repair and while their car is in the shop, you loan them your car that has manual transmission. Its the car you have been driving for the past ten years.
Your friend has never driven a car with manual transmission and they think it should work just like their car with automatic transmission does. They don’t ask any questions or check to see if there is anything different they need to do.
They get in the car with manual transmission, turn the key and the engine doesn’t start. They start pushing the gas pedal, moving levers and switches and can’t get the car running. After several tries and several words, they get the engine started but don’t know what this stick coming out of the floor is used for. They take another 10 minutes as steam is rising from their ears, bang their fists on the dash, and say this thing doesn’t work. It isn’t accessible and has a long way to go before it would be useful. They turn the car off, remove the keys and go inside.

This is what I’ve been reading lately in email and on Twitter and this sort of thinking needs to stop.

Now on with the apps that I’m using.

Allo
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.fireball

Amazon Alexa
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.dee.app

AquaMail
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.kman.AquaMail

AquaMail Pro Unlocker
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.kman.AquaMail.UnlockerMarket

Authenticator
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lastpass.authenticator

Be My Eyes
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bemyeyes.bemyeyes

Calendar
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.calendar

Clipper Sync Plugin
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.clippersync.android.plugin

Clipper+
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fi.rojekti.clipper

Files Go
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.nbu.files

Find My Device
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.adm

Freemotion change
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.visionandroid.apps.motionsensor

Google Opinion Rewards
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.paidtasks

iHeartRadio
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.clearchannel.iheartradio.controller

Keep
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.keep

KNFB Reader
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sensotec.knfbreader

LastPass
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.lastpass.lpandroid

Lyft
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=me.lyft.android

MacroDroid
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.arlosoft.macrodroid

Music Folder Player Full
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.zorillasoft.musicfolderplayer.donate

My App List
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.projectsexception.myapplist

Netflix
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.netflix.mediaclient

NFC Labeler
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hu.gersoft.nfclabeler

Nova Launcher
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher

Nova Launcher Prime
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teslacoilsw.launcher.prime

OneDrive
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.microsoft.skydrive

ParcelTrack
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.uberblic.parceltrack

Pocket Casts
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=au.com.shiftyjelly.pocketcasts

RideKCFreedom
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mtdata.ridekcfreedom

Shouter
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bhkapps.proshouter

Skype Lite
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.skype.m2

TapTapSee
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.msearcher.taptapsee.android

Trusted Contacts
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.emergencyassist

TuneIn Radio Pro
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=radiotime.player

Tweetings
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dwdesign.tweetings

Uber
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab

Uber Eats
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab.eats

VLC
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.videolan.vlc

Voice
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.google.android.apps.googlevoice

Weather Timeline
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.samruston.weather

Shared by ‘My App List’ https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.projectsexception.myapplist

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A Request To Online Sources Of Tech News & Information

My Request To Popular Tech Sources

I have a request for places like Twit.tv, The Verge, arstechnica, and other popular sources for tech information. Produce a few articles or segments now and then about the technology making lives better for people with a disability.
I’m not asking for a weekly or even monthly item, but maybe focus on one area of disability a couple times a year.

This is why I’m asking. There was a time in my life when I did not have a disability. Contrary to what some out there may think, not every person who is blind was born that way.
I had a job at a small alarm company here in Kansas City. I usually worked the midnight shift and things were often pretty quiet around 4 AM, especially on a Sunday morning. I would have the television on, just for some background noise, as I was the only person in the office at that hour.

I remember a early morning, community interest show one Sunday. They interviewed a local guy who is blind and showed how he could still use a computer. Remember, at the time I had 20/20 vision and no disabilities.

That show stuck in my head, as I was a long time computer geek. I said to myself, if I ever become blind, at least I’ll still be able to use a computer, life won’t be so bad.

Fast forward about two years and I’m in the emergency room after going from perfect eyesight without glasses, to having no vision in one eye. That happened in less than twenty four hours. Another twelve hours or so later and I was totally blind in both eyes.

The one thing that stuck in my mind was that early morning community interest show and I told myself, you can still use a computer, life isn’t so bad.

That was all twenty four years ago and while the two rare forms of lymphoma I had back in 1994 are long gone, I’m still totally blind and am still using a computer. Yes, life isn’t that bad.

So I’m asking these popular sources of technology information to help share info from time to time. There are many disabilities out there and technology that can help make life better for each category, even things for people who have more than one disability.

Maybe there will be someone like me, or a friend or family member who sees your article or episode and files it away in their brain until the time comes they can share it with someone.

This is an amazing time in history to have a disability. My focus of course is what I know and use. To live in a time when both smartphone platforms have free built-in accessibility services, broadcast television has tv shows that include a descriptive audio channel so I know what is happening visually in what I’m listening to. Even streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video produce new shows & movies and include description for their content. Talking thermostats, blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, digital assistants like the Amazon Echo or Google home are all available.
I use many of the same smartphone apps that you use. I send & receive text messages, help whoever is driving navigate to our destination, and even sometimes make a phone call.

Many people who have a life changing event may not know of what is available. When I became blind in 1994, I didn’t know anything about being blind. I didn’t have any family members or friends who are blind. It was that one show that got me started and that is why I ask these sources of tech info to produce and share the information to help others.

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