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Okay, I promised a more detailed entry today and I want to make sure I deliver on that promise. Yesterday started off pretty much routine. I was doing some work stuff and trying to figure out what I was going to do for the weekend. At about 12:15 I got a phone call from someone who lives here in the building. She mentioned that she'd seen someone using a phone from Sprint that talked. Now, I really like Sprint. However, I've never had good luck getting through to their accessibility department, and I've never gotten anyone who knew anything about any sort of accessible phone. When I got my most recent phone back in November, I purchased cheap because I needed a replacement and I needed it fast. Accessibility was definitely not something I was considering at that precise moment. But, I bought that phone knowing that it was going to be a temporary thing. So, when this person called me yesterday, told me about the phone, and that she was going to be going to a Sprint store to look at it, I knew I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to have a look too. I called into the office and was pretty much given the green light to go take a look at the phone so I took off. We got to the store, and of course since there were three of us interested in the same phone the first thing I asked was how many they had in stock. Fortunately they had enough. We took a look at it, and it took the guy a little while to figure out how to get the voice to start working. Once it worked though, we were kind of playing around with it. For some reason, the store model wasn't speaking the top level menus, which was kind of weird. Now, I know at least some of you have LG phones now, and the biggest complaint I've heard from users is that although the main menu speaks just fine, there is no speech in the sub menus. Well, I would have to say that LG has most definitely outdone itself this time with a phone that absolutely blew me away. The model number, since I'm sure some of you are going to be dying to know is LGLX550 Fusic. The Fusic part means that it has both an FM receiver and an MP3 player. Apparently right now, new subscribers can get this phone for only $100. The retail price is $300, and as an existing Sprint customer I was able to get a discount since I'd fulfilled part of my two-year contract. I had to sign a new two-year agreement, but I have no problem doing this because I've had Sprint for almost four years now and really like them.

So anyway, about the phone. Even though we couldn't get the top level menus to talk we all decided we were going to get the phones. The people I was with here Cingular customers and they wanted to port their numbers over. In order to do that though they needed to have their actual account number. So, while they were working on getting that information, the guy started with my phone. He got me set up easily, and my battery had plenty of charge, so I started playing. He'd turned on the speech for me before giving me the phone, so I was able to jump right in. The first thing I noticed was that on my phone, the main menu was spoken just fine. So, that little problem was pretty much solved. I just started exploring the menus then. The first thing I always like to do when looking at a new phone is to see what ring tones it has to offer. It's got actual Midi files on the phone, not just the traditional polyphonic tones, so I was really excited about that. From there I decided that I was going to see if I could add a contact. To do this you need to know the letters that correspond to the numbers, and be at least fairly comfortable with them. The reason for this is because this is one area that doesn't speak. However, once you've entered the name and press OK, the name is read back to you. So if you make a mistake you can press Okay again which takes you back into edit mode, hit backspace, and fix your entry problem. The first number I wanted to put in was my home number. I had a little trouble with the text entry the first time, but that was due mostly to my unfamiliarity with the keypad. I was able to enter the name and number, and then later set it as a speed dial number. There's a ton of stuff that this phone can do that just blows me away. I've created an audio file that runs for about 41 minutes that lets you hear the phone, and shows you how many of the features works. Once it's finished saving I'll upload it and give the link. It's not perfect, but I think I got rid of most of my ums and brain dead pauses. So, feel free to download it and have a listen, and then if you'd like, comment back here and let me know what you think of the phone. Oh, and sorry about the very low-level hum that is present throughout the recording. My microphone is actually being routed through a switch box that allows me to have both my phone and computer going to one headset, and the box seems to give just a little bit of interference. But, I think it works.

Well, the file should almost be uploaded, so hopefully I'll be able to get the link soon so that I can end this entry and go to bed. I'm tired tonight!

Okay, it's finally uploaded. So, here's the link. Enjoy! The annoying thing, at least in my case, is that it's automatically playing rather than allowing it to be saved. I'm too tired tonight though do work on it. Maybe I'll keep working on it in the morning.

And now, I'm going to go to bed.

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Caroline C

May 2015

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