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Thursday, September 26, 2013 moving and redirection to new page needs to be fixed

UPDATE Oct 6, 2013 - the new external Website for my OSU history broke the permanent link to it. The new page is poorly laid out compared to the old Wiki technology version and it is unprintable and inaccessible to those with low vision blindness because it overrides the accessibility features already built-in many internet browsers for decades. Even mighty Google made the same mistake until being forced to add better accessibility to the Chrome Browser and Mobile Android operating system Version 4.2.2 in 2013. Even my own Google Blogger blog page still has the same problems with accessibility because it will not allow for text to be selected and then automatically resized and rewrapped by the user's screen width. I have worked around this issue by forcing a small screen width and using a simple template. Many other Web sites have same accessibility problems, which they have worked around by adding an optional printable page of plain text that will display using high-contrast black text on a white background to allow text size color and text margin wrapping to be changed by the user's standard browser program or printer functions instead of forcing a fixed text size or page width that is cut off and forces horizontal scrolling due to poor Web page design. It would have also been better for any new site design to support the old page layout and links to it until articles could be reformatted for the new content management system they are using. Also, automatic redirection from the old permanent link should have been provided since these old links have been referenced by librarians. Broken will cause a loss it readership.

NEW LINK FOR Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University Gay Activism 1969-2004" accessed Oct 6, 2013 contains links to the following poorly laid out sub-pages instead of including everything on one page as the Wiki version did:

I hope to see if I can get this article reposted in a format that is easier to read and also get an automatic redirection from the old link that has been linked to and published by librarians and others.

UPDATE: Sep. 2013 NOTE the Web site is being moved to a new system and there may not be an automatic redirection to the new site nor printable pages and accessible text for those with low-vision blindness. Hopefully, these issues will be fixed soon.

(See previous posts OSU gay history at site (1/16/12) and OSU gay history at (12/7/10))

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Slide rules and trade books at OSU bookstore R.I.P.

Newspaper article on new store for Beavers

PHOTO: newspaper article about the demise of the old OSU Bookstore deciding to stop the sales of trade books and moving to a new Beaver Store location to concentrate on selling OSU logo merchandise next to the college football stadium. (See for "OSU Beaver Store Grand Opening Sat. Sept. 21, 2013 8AM to 5PM" accessed Sept. 16, 2013 and OSU Beaver store hours and "A store for Beavers, OSU's traditional bookstore is no more; here's why students fans and faculty can regard that as good news," online version "A store for Beavers celebrates its new location," posted Sep. 21, 2013, p. A1, A6)

Here is my letter to the editor commenting on the article:

Calibrated slide-rules, previously required for science and engineering students, were missing from the list of products no longer being sold in what was formerly known as the OSU Bookstore, in addition to the trade books and typewriters mentioned by OSU Beaver Store manager Steve Eckrich. (Saturday, Sept. 21 article, "A store for Beavers,")

College bookstores -- including the one at OSU -- were the first stores where Hewlett-Packard sold their revolutionary handheld computers and calculators, instead of only via dedicated traveling salesmen, because in 1972 HP had no experience selling products through retail stores.

A 1954 OSU electrical engineering graduate and the first non-founder president of HP, John Young, led the transformation of HP from designing electronic instruments to selling retail computers and printers worldwide.

In 1976, Young scolded me for asking if his allegiance to OSU played in the decision to build the HP Corvallis Division because he viewed moving near an engineering college only as a practical business decision to benefit from university research and to recruit engineering graduates.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: OSU bookstore among pioneers to carry new HP technology in '70s," Gazette-Times, Sep. 24, 2013)

UPDATE Sept. 30, 2013: I noticed the editor added em dashes to my letter instead of using parentheses. His edit is fine with me, but I had wondered why he was using em dashes so much until I read his editorial: Mike McInally, "Think Too Much :-) There's power in punctuation," Gazette-Times, Sun. Sept. 29, 2013, p. A8 -- the editor grumbles about the default settings of Microsoft Word automatically changing hyphen-hyphen to em dashes and :-) to smiley faces. I agree! I recall the column by James Kilpatrick years ago had some good advice on how to use em dashes as a "that is" type of thought break.

See previous posts:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Logo '1 Girl, 5 gays' apes Dan Savage's 'It Gets Better' with 'Straight Years Project'

Logo TV program One Girl, Five Gays

PHOTO: The reality TV program originally produced in Canada (see "1 Girl 5 Gays," MTV Canada) and now on Logo TV "1 Girl 5 Gays," (See Wikipedia) has in at least one episode of "1 Girl 5 Gays" shown on Logo TV 1:00AM Sept. 14, 2013 that asked the question, "Do you remember the years before it got better?" It also promoted the on with the slogan, "Because we're beyond embarrassment." This site appears to be aping the Seattle columnist Dan Savage's "It Gets Better Project" at that aims at helping gay youth who are coming out. See previous post Survivor of gay mental illness treatments in 'Out' magazine (9/25/12) and also see "MTV Announces New 'It Gets Better' Special," posted Sep. 17, 2012 -- Dan Savage helps gay kids get over the drama put on them by society -- "It Gets Better Project" (See Wikipedia), which says it "is an Internet-based project founded in the United States by Dan Savage and his husband Terry Miller on September 21, 2010.

It is heartwarming to see community efforts to help youth with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity find support that may be missing from their family or school environment. It is too easy to forget in this age of public gay marriages that many youth are still isolated and subject to the age-old practice of bullying by other children, which can seem like the end of the world to a child without anybody to talk to about it positively.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Braille cell phone 'printable page' overrides print preview and prints 25 pages

Braille cell phone article printable page overrides print preview and prints 25 pages

PHOTO: Screen shot of an Internet Explorer browser displaying a very short, one-page article that is virtually unprintable because it overrides the Internet Explorer browser's capability to select a portion of the page and do a print preview of the selection before printing it out to check how many pages it will print out. More and more pages seem to have this defect, including overriding text wrapping so that it gets cut off on the sides unless it is shrunk down to an unreadable size, but even worse, this page has a so-called "print" button, which instead of going to a printable page, where the user can do a print preview as normal, it overrides everything and immediately starts printing out 25 pages of crap, which is unacceptable because this article is only one-page long. I recall in the early days of the Web, Hewlett-Packard literally had to donate software engineers to Microsoft to make sure the HP printer drivers and functions worked correctly. An HP Vice President saw the danger to his business, and called Bill Gates, to tell him the danger if software prevented easy printing by users. I am sure incompetence is the major reason printing World Wide Web pages is so hard to do, especially because only the MS IE Web browser does a good job compared to the other browsers, such as Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox, etc. Although another reason is one I've heard from many software writers who sincerely believe printing should be banned for environmental reasons because it is not need in today's cloud based computing. (See the article by Mark Anderson, "Inside the World's First Braille Cellphone, Bringing Smartphone Capabilities to India's Blind," IEEE Spectrum, NA, p. 25

The numerical keypad has Braille markings for each of the numbers. Users can enter Braille letters, which are formed from a three-by-two grid, by pressing six keys on the keypad in the shape of each letter. A simple and uncluttered design is especially significant for this phone's users, says Sumit Dagar in the above pictured article. "It has bigger buttons and more reference lines," he says, and "a bigger volume rocker on the side that makes it easier to identify." The first-generation Braille phone will have some typical Smartphone features such as a music player, an e-mail client, a calendar, and even GPS navigation. But because the CPU has to power only a 10-character display, it doesn't need to be a typical Smartphone CPU, keeping the (yet to be announced) price low. "Anybody who can afford a phone can afford this phone," Dagar says.

Also mentioned in the article by Mark Anderson, "Inside the World's First Braille Cellphone, Bringing Smartphone Capabilities to India's Blind," IEEE Spectrum, NA, p. 25 are the following links:

The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering's professional engineering newsmagazine article by Mark Anderson, "Inside the World's First Braille Cellphone, Bringing Smartphone Capabilities to India's Blind," IEEE Spectrum, NA, p. 25, recently reported the invention of a Smartphone for the blind, which caught my attention due to the warmhearted memories I have of teaching my grandmother to read Braille when she went blind. I found it much easier to read Braille as a fully sighted person than using only a finger.

However, a much larger number of people suffer from what is called low vision blindness, a very common disability that often only requires larger text sizes or higher contrast black and white text.

The ability of computer screens to provide low vision users more control over text size or contrast was not practical until a few decades ago. When Hewlett-Packard in Corvallis designed and built one of the first of these bit-mapped computer displays, circa 1980, I attended an international computer standards committee to champion its use to provide better computer accessibility to all.

Century old telegraph communication standards predating computers, such as ASCII text, are still being supported by the latest computer internet browsers to provide better accessibility at virtually no extra cost, provided accessibility is designed in from the start.

Unfortunately, design for accessibility seems to have waxed and waned over the years, often overlooked by uneducated or inexperienced computer interface designers who find it too hard to correct their work, after they realize their mistake, especially when they are under pressure of a business manager's deadline.

More rarely, I've seen uncompassionate computer designers or "Dilbert bosses" intentionally ignore accessibility issues.

Everybody should be considering accessibility, even in the real world of non-computer situations. There is no excuse to provide it today given the power of computers.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Medical regulations trump religious beliefs and ex-gays

a bright pink Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form or POLST for Thomas Kraemer Oregon POLST registry number OR19943 is shown next to a refrigerator magnet

PHOTO: a bright pink Oregon Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment form or POLST for Thomas Kraemer POLST registry number OR19943 is shown next to a refrigerator magnet that is supposed to be followed by emergency workers who enter my house and by any hospital or other health care facility that may be treating me. It specifies "do not attempt resuscitation (DNR) and allow natural death (AND), No antibiotics, no artificial nutrition by tube. (See my previous post POLST for Thomas Kraemer OR19943 (7/3/10).

Recent court decisions have forced parents, against their religious beliefs, to provide lifesaving medical care to their child. Likewise, other court decisions have stopped parents from providing medical treatments, based on religion, to convert their child from being gay to straight because mainstream medical organizations consider these treatments to be unnecessary or potentially harmful to a child.

I support freedom of speech and religion, especially in the age of managed care and government-mandated health insurance, but I agree with several judges' decisions that found religious conservatives still have the free speech rights to advocate for sexual orientation conversions or to oppose medical treatments not based on their religious beliefs. One judge added parents should not have more medical rights than their children do. For example, parents are not are not exempt from legally established and rational medical regulations, such as prescription drug regulations, because regulations apply equally to everyone. Thus, parents do not have a right to prescribe for their child any medical treatment that requires the approval of a state-licensed medical care provider.

These decisions have led many religious conservatives to complain it makes them victims of religious intolerance, which is ironic because conservatives are normally the ones who accuse liberals of "playing the victim card" as an excuse instead of taking personal responsibility.

See previous posts and related links: