ATFAQ113 – – Q1- Thoughts on the CPen, Q2 – fall detection alerts, Q3 – noise cancelling earbuds, Q4 – Smart pill boxes or dispensers , Q5 – Word prediction software for Windows and iPad , Q6- Wildcard: Donating a computer and deleting data

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Panel – Brian Norton, Belva Smith, and Josh Anderson – Q1- Thoughts on the C-Pen, Q2 – fall detection alerts, Q3 – noise canceling earbuds, Q4 – Smart pill boxes or dispensers , Q5 – Word prediction software for Windows and iPad , Q6- Wildcard: Donating a computer and deleting data

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Intro:
I have a question.

Intro:
Huh.

Intro:
Like what?

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I’ve always wondered.

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What about?

Intro:
Do you know?

Intro:
I have a question.

Intro:
I’ve always wondered.

Intro:
Like, I have a question.

Intro:
I have a question.

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Oh, I have a question.

Intro:
I have a question.

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I have a question.

Intro:
Welcome to ATFAQ; Assistive Technology Frequently Asked Questions with your host, Brian Norton, Director of Assistive Technology at Easterseals Crossroads. This is a show where we address your questions about assistive technology, the hardware, software, tools and gadgets that help people with disabilities lead more independent and fulfilling lives. Have a question you’d like answered on our show? Send us a tweet with the #ATFAQ. Call our listener line at 317-721-7124, or send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. The world of assistive technology has questions and we have answers. And now let’s jump into today’s show.

Brian Norton:
Hello and welcome to ATFAQ Episode 113. My name is Brian Norton and I’m the host of the show, and we’re so happy that you’ve taken some time to tune in with us this week. We’ve got a great lineup of assistive technology questions for you today, but do want to take a moment, before we jump in, to introduce the folks who are in the studio with me. First is Tracy Castillo. Tracy is the INDATA Program Manager here at Easterseals.

Tracy Castillo:
I sure am. Thank you. Hey.

Brian Norton:
Hey. Perfect. Then we also got Belva Smith. Belva is the Vision Team Lead here with our clinical assistive technology team. Belva, you want to say hi?

Belva Smith:
Hey, everybody.

Brian Norton:
Perfect. And then we also have Josh Anderson. Josh is the manager of our clinical assistive technology program, but also the popular host of AT Update, which was just made number one by feedspot.com, and so way to go, Josh.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah. Yay. Hi, everybody.

Brian Norton:
And also want to just take a moment to thank you guys as listeners because ATFAQ is the number six assistive technology podcast on the web ranked by Feedspot, and then our other one, Accessibility Minute was number nine. And so we just learned about that last month, and super excited about that. If you haven’t checked out our other shows, definitely do so. Again, AT Update is a once a week show that talks about news and information, kind of talking to thought leaders in the field of assistive technology about what’s coming down the pike and talking to folks who are manufacturing and making the different types of assistive technologies that are kind of leading us into the next century as far as what they might do for us.

Brian Norton:
And so Josh hosts that show and does a great job with them, and really, really popular, and then obviously, ATFAQ, and then Accessibility Minute. If maybe you’re on the way to work or just need something really quick and fast paced, Accessibility Minute is a one minute show, or right around there, and it covers just something, maybe a piece of news or information or a particular product tips or tools that are about assistive technology each and every week. You can get that and it’s just a one minute show real quickly and it’s a weekly show. So, check those out as well.

Brian Norton:
So, for new listeners, just want to take a moment to welcome you and just give you a little bit of-

Belva Smith:
Welcome.

Brian Norton:
Welcome. Exactly.

Tracy Castillo:
Hello.

Brian Norton:
Just want to make sure you guys know what our show is all about. So, ATFAQ is a question and answer show, or at least that’s the format that it takes, where we look for assistive technology questions that we come across throughout the week, whether that’s on the web, or emails, or voicemails to us, we come across those questions and we kind of put those into a show. There’s a group of us from our assistive technology team here that we try our very, very best to answer those as best we can. However, we also rely on you as our listeners to help provide some feedback and to kind of also help round out our answers, because there may be things that we’re not thinking about or sharing on the air, and so we’d love to get your feedback. There’s a couple of ways to ask questions and give feedback, and those would include a listener line, that’s 317-721-7124, or you can send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org, or send us a tweet with a #ATFAQ. All three of those ways will get your questions and feedback to us and we can include those in the show.

Brian Norton:
If you’d like to share our show with other folks, you can point them to iTunes, ATFAQshow.com, Stitcher, Google Play Store, or really basically anywhere you can find our podcasts. In fact, I think most recently, we’re on Spotify now with at least two of our shows. I’m not sure if ATFAQ has made it up there, but I do know AT Update and Accessibility Minute are up on Spotify, so if you have an account with them, you might be able to look us up there as well. But really, anywhere you can find podcasts, you’ll find us.

Brian Norton:
And so without further ado, we’ll jump into our show today with a bit of feedback, and so we’ll go ahead and take a listen.

Dan:
Hello. My name is Dan calling from California. I’m calling in to respond to Episode 111, first question, particularly, the question about personal voice amplification. I got a solution, may be very affordable. It works very well. There is, in the market, a portable system called a microphone karaoke Bluetooth. It’s made by BONAOK. It’s B, as in boy, O-N, as in Nancy, A-O-K. So, spelling again, B-O-N-A-O-K. They made this for singing so the sound quality is very good, but you don’t have to use it for singing. It’s all in one little device, instead of buying two or three devices, this is all built-in in one. And it’s Bluetooth capability, so you can use that same system to listen to music connected to your phone as well. So, you turn it on and you talk to that microphone that’s built-in to the speaker so your voices can be amplified. It’s very loud.

Dan:
It’s on Amazon within the price range of 50 and $60. That’s it. I hope this is helpful and I wish the whole team of very good holiday season. Once again, my name is Dan, and if you think this feedback is worth for the podcast, then play it. Thank you very much. Happy holidays to you all.

Brian Norton:
Excellent. Thank you, Dan. That was great feedback. I had not heard that one. I think during the episode 111, we had talked about the MiniVox Lite and some other ones that you can get through Amazon, but that’s a great one. Thank you for that. And it seems like it’s a really affordable one at only 60 bucks.

Belva Smith:
I actually had just looked at it over the weekend for my granddaughter for Christmas on Amazon for 30 bucks, but I never considered it for this situation.

Brian Norton:
Yeah, no, that sounds really fun, really cool. Thank you, Dan for that. Dan also had a second smaller bit of feedback, so we’ll go ahead and play that now as well.

Dan:
Hi. My name is Dan again. I just called earlier. This is for ATFAQ regarding the question 111 for Episode 111. I forgot to mention a little fact, that make sure you get the 2019 upgraded one. That’s the only one within that price range, 50 to $60. That’s really good. Okay, thank you.

Brian Norton:
All right, yeah. Thank you again, Dan. That’s great information. Thank you for letting us know. If that’s the less expensive one, 50 or $60, that would be a great way for folks to go. Just again, for voice amplification, I know that’s something that as far as what we deal with here with some clients, we often run into that situation where we just need to be a little bit louder depending on the person’s environment, and so that’s a great, great option for folks. Thank you for that feedback. Appreciate it.

Brian Norton:
All right. So, without further ado, we’re going to jump into the questions that we have for today. And so our first question of the day is, can someone tell me about the C-Pen? Is it worth the money? I’m a dyslexic and was diagnosed with dysgraphia at age 12. Any info would be helpful.

Brian Norton:
And so the C-Pen, I think the first time I came across the C-Pen was ATIA last year, and we’re just about ready to head back to ATIA.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah, we are. I think we got it actually two years ago.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah, I think it was actually two years ago that came.

Brian Norton:
Oh, was it two years? Okay.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah. I remember this because when we brought it back, we brought back one pen, and we put one pen in the library. And there was a little bit of issues with everybody getting their hands on it there. Somebody had it too long and another person-

Josh Anderson:
Belva.

Tracy Castillo:
Belva.

Brian Norton:
Yeah, Belva kept stealing it from the library.

Josh Anderson:
[crosstalk 00:09:04].

Tracy Castillo:
We loved the C-Pen.

Brian Norton:
Yeah, yeah. I mean, it’s a pretty cool device. So, just for folks who don’t know what the C-Pen is, it’s a handheld scanner, that’s a little bit bigger… it says C-Pen, but it’s a little bit bigger than a pen.

Belva Smith:
It’s about the size of a thermometer.

Brian Norton:
There you go, yeah. That’s a good way to look at it.

Belva Smith:
It feels like a thermometer in the hand, and I do remember being really excited about it. And to this individual, I would say that you’ve probably already done enough research to know what the features of the device are, but the best way to figure out if it’s going to be the appropriate device for you before you spend the money would be to try to get your hands on it. So, again, I’m not sure where you’re calling from, but if you’re in Indiana, you would want to try to get ahold of INDATA. Tracy could give you that information so that you could borrow one and actually put it in your environment and find out if it is the appropriate device for you.

Tracy Castillo:
Right. If you want to go online to eastersealstech.com and you can look into our lending library, there’s a video there that’ll show you how to set up your own account, and then you can actually follow the link and it will take you to our online lending library.

Belva Smith:
And if they’re not from Indiana, then from that same website… Tracy, can’t they be directed to there?

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah. I do believe if you put in a /states at the end of it, you’ll go to all the local states.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. Eastersealstech.com/states.

Tracy Castillo:
Thank you.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. Well, and just for those folks who don’t know about the pen, it’s a handheld scanner. You basically run it over top of words, and then it’ll read those words to you. I think depending on the version, I think there’s an exam version and then there’s a regular version, maybe a standard version. You can get a dictionary, you can do some other things with it as well. Is that right?

Josh Anderson:
Yeah.

Brian Norton:
I’m pretty sure, yeah.

Josh Anderson:
And the exam version is more for just kind of schools to use for exams, because it just reads. It doesn’t have any of those other features.

Belva Smith:
Yeah, I don’t think as an individual user, you wouldn’t buy that one necessarily. That’s the one that the school would buy and provide.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah. And really, for me, it would be kind of a question of, is it the right kind of tool for you? It’s how much do you need to use it, because I mean, it’s going line, by line, by line. You scan a line of text, it reads it to you, you scan another line of text, it reads it to you, you scan another line of text. I mean, if you’re trying to do that for a 355 page book, no, it will take you forever to kind of use that.

Belva Smith:
Well, and with dyslexia, I’m assuming all the reading that you’re doing is affected. So, yeah, I think it’s better for getting a specific word-

Josh Anderson:
Worksheets, yeah.

Belva Smith:
… or a line, or a paragraph of text but not-

Josh Anderson:
Yeah, like worksheets, homework, stuff like that, maybe like a page of stuff where you kind of read this and answer some questions, it’s really kind of helpful for that, but big amounts of text, it might not be the best thing.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. I was kind of thinking maybe in a pinch, it would be something that you’d pull out of your purse, or your backpack, or whatever, to be able to use occasionally, but then you probably want some sort of a text to speech program, whether it’s software, or maybe it’s even an app on your phone to be able to take a picture of text to read larger documents. Because it’s not meant for a lot of reading, I don’t believe, and at least I’ve not used it in that way with my folks.

Brian Norton:
It’s about $230, and so as far as is it worth the money? It depends on your situation, I would say. What is your specific situation? Are you running into a lot of times when you need it in a pinch, maybe running to the bank, or maybe running to the grocery store or a restaurant where you maybe you need those types of things? Maybe it would be really helpful. It does work really well. I mean, we ended up purchasing one, like we mentioned earlier, and then ended up adding a couple of two or three more just to kind of round that on our library.

Tracy Castillo:
Right. That’s exactly what we did. We had to add more to the library to avoid the clinical team off getting on each other for the pen.

Brian Norton:
Hey.

Josh Anderson:
Hey.

Brian Norton:
Too many people wanted it.

Belva Smith:
So, I think this question is one of those questions that makes me have a lot of questions. So, my first question for this individual would be, what environment are you trying to do this reading in? Are you in a work environment? Are you in a school environment?

Josh Anderson:
I’m guessing school.

Belva Smith:
Why?

Josh Anderson:
I don’t know. It just says diagnosed at age 12, but I don’t know what that really means.

Belva Smith:
Right. So, how much reading are you trying to do? Because if it’s just quick glance reading, then this could be the appropriate device. But again, it’s over 200 bucks. So, for free, if you’re carrying around a smartphone or a tablet, you probably already have a device in your hand or your pocket that with the appropriate, possibly, free app, you could do all the same things that you can do with that C-Pen. But I would need to know or I would like to know more about your situation before I could say whether it’s appropriate or whether there’s something that you’ve already got that could be appropriate.

Brian Norton:
Very, very true. Yeah, absolutely. We’d love to hear from other folks. Maybe you guys have had some experience, maybe you own a C-Pen. Would love to know how you guys maybe use the pen, what you find it useful for, and maybe not so useful for. Let us know. You can give us a call on our listener line, that’s 317-721-7124, or you can send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. Would love to hear from you. And so, yeah, thank you.

Brian Norton:
All right. So, our second question is, has anyone used an Apple Watch to monitor a loved one for falling? We’re looking for options for my mother-in-law. She lives at home, falls sometimes, and we’re looking into ways that someone can be alerted if she falls or if something else happens to her. She lives in an area that has poor cell reception but does have good WiFi in the house. She has an iPhone 6, but that could be upgraded if needed, and other recommendations are also welcome.

Brian Norton:
I believe we’ve talked about a question similar to this before about falling and different devices that might be useful.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. And I actually have the Apple Watch that has the fall detection. I actually upgraded my watch to include the fall detection since I took a serious fall a while back.

Brian Norton:
Wish you would have had that then.

Belva Smith:
I do. Well, it wouldn’t have saved me, but… I can’t really say that if it were my mom or my grandma, I would feel confident… and gosh, forgive me Apple… I would feel confident that having the watch on would get the information. And the reason I say that is because since I’ve been wearing mine, once, it’s sent a false notification to me that says, “Hey, have you fallen? Do you need assistance?” And I’m like, “No, I’m actually just sitting doing nothing.” And once, most recently, I did fall in the backyard, I lost my balance, and was playing with the dog and I fell, and I thought, “Oh, I got to hurry. My watch is going to…” And my watch did nothing.

Brian Norton:
Didn’t do anything.

Belva Smith:
Didn’t do anything.

Brian Norton:
Interesting.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. And it is set to notify both my son, a couple of people, if I fall. So, I don’t know how confident I would be in just having the watch. Maybe if you have the watch as a second device, that might be okay. But the device that we recently talked about was the Walabot, and that’s actually a device that you just hang on the wall. And it doesn’t record any of the conversation in the room, and a lot of the older generation are a little bit nervous about having something recording things that are being said.

Brian Norton:
Yeah, it doesn’t have a camera at all.

Belva Smith:
No. Actually, it’s safe to be used in the bathroom. I don’t know exactly what it’s picking up on, but it actually watches for a fall, and when it detects that fall, you can have it set up to contact a family member to say that you need help, and then they can actually communicate with you through the Walabot without you having to get to a phone obviously, or anything like that.

Brian Norton:
I’m pretty sure the picture on their website, it’s in the shower, right?

Belva Smith:
It can be I the shower.

Brian Norton:
So, if you fall in the shower or the tub, you’re going to all right.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. Actually, they, right now, are running a special with three different Walabots, so you could have one in the bedroom, the kitchen and the bathroom. The pricing, I found it really difficult to get a good lead on the pricing, but I did get their phone number, and it’s 1-800-835-1590, and then their website is just Walabot, W-A-L-A-B-O-T.com. And they talk about the different products there, they have some videos to show how it works.

Belva Smith:
They do have very good reviews. So, for the individuals that are using it, they’re happy with it. The one thing that I will say about getting the watch is, if you do have the watch on… so, that’s the problem with the wearables, is will you have it on when you fall? But if they do happen to have the watch on and they fall, then they can actually use Siri to contact a family member or a friend or a neighbor to ask for help, or they can actually use that to call 911 to get assistance. So, I’m not counting out the watch, I’m just saying the fall detection thing I think is a little iffy at this point.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. And I’m going to go ahead and agree with you because I play with my dog in our family room, and I hit the floor, and he jumps, and we play around like that, and sometimes when I hit the floor really hard, my watch will go off and think I fell. Which, again, is great, I’m glad it did come up, but for instances like what you’ve mentioned, when you fall down and it doesn’t pick it up, maybe as a secondary device it would be a really good option, but looking at some of these other solutions, and there are other ones.

Belva Smith:
There’s lots of them, yeah.

Brian Norton:
Walabot is W-A-L-A-B-O-T, is that right?

Belva Smith:
Correct, that’s correct.

Brian Norton:
So, look that up if you want to. It seems to have some great reviews and looks like a pretty good product. I don’t have any personal experience with it, I don’t think anybody else here does either, but we have heard some great things about it. So, definitely, take a look at the Walabot. So, any other feedback on that one?

Tracy Castillo:
Well, she mentioned if she did have the iPhone and the watch. I think you can have any iPhone that you want, that would work. And with the watch, what generation did you get, Belva?

Brian Norton:
You have the five, right?

Tracy Castillo:
Do you have the five?

Belva Smith:
I have the current one. Is that the five?

Brian Norton:
I think it’s five.

Josh Anderson:
I thought it was the four.

Brian Norton:
Four?

Josh Anderson:
But then, I don’t [crosstalk 00:20:05].

Tracy Castillo:
Okay. So, does the four have it?

Belva Smith:
Whatever the current… No.

Tracy Castillo:
The four does not have it.

Belva Smith:
To get the fall detection, I had to upgrade.

Josh Anderson:
The three was the first one with the fall thing, wasn’t it? Or was it only the brand new one?

Belva Smith:
I don’t know. [crosstalk 00:20:17].

Tracy Castillo:
Okay. So, I know the EKG one is only on the [inaudible 00:20:21] four.

Brian Norton:
There is a series five now.

Josh Anderson:
That is a series five.

Belva Smith:
And this is a series five that I have.

Tracy Castillo:
But that’ll hook up to any iPhone.

Belva Smith:
Yeah, right. Right.

Tracy Castillo:
You can have a 6 Plus. I noticed that was part of the question.

Brian Norton:
Yeah, no, that’s great. Yeah. Because sometimes, depending on the age of your phone, it’s going to age out, they’re not going to update it anymore with the new operating system, and so sometimes those may drop off as newer phones come out, which seems to be a yearly thing, right around the holidays like we are right now.

Tracy Castillo:
I noticed that the eight right now is running around that 100 and $200 price point.

Josh Anderson:
That’s really good.

Brian Norton:
That’s super good. Well, hey, I just want to open this up to our listeners. Maybe you guys have had some experience with this particular need before. We’d love to hear from you about maybe something that you’ve put in place for your loved one or for yourself to be able to kind of make sure that someone can be notified if something’s happening.

Brian Norton:
The other thing I’ll mention too is there are just general alerts. Those are those, I’ve fallen on and I can’t get up, types of things. I wouldn’t count those out either. I think the things that we mentioned, the Walabot and whatever, send notifications to folks automatically, but if you’re aware enough, if you did fall, you could press one of those buttons, Life Alert and some other types of places. We’ve even got a few in our library that are just simply, they’re kind of like doorbell systems. And so there’s a receiver and a transmitter, and then the person basically who would be the fall risk, wears the transmitter, they press a button, and wherever that receiver is, it’ll go ahead and communicate and send an alert to them. And so just another option there.

Belva Smith:
I will say with the wearables, we did have some experience with that. Todd’s grandmother was supposed to wear one because she got to the point where she was having falls frequently. It was never on her. “Well, I was going to take a shower, so I took it off. Well, I was going to go out,” and it was just never on her when she needed it to be on. So, wearables do have that one downfall.

Tracy Castillo:
And I was just thinking as well. My son has called me from my Dot. So, he’s called my phone, so I’m thinking if you did fall and you had one of the Alexa Dots or Alexa device in your home, you could just have Alexa call one of your loved ones.

Belva Smith:
Yeah, they actually have an alert that you can set up in there so that you can have it text or call two or three different people. And that’s a very cheap solution, in my opinion, to have. One of the Dots is what? Around $25, and you can use put one of those in every other room. And so as long as you don’t get knocked unconscious, that’s definitely a good solution.

Brian Norton:
There’s just so many factors. I had my grandmother over to our house. She was very elderly. She’s not with us now, but when she did spend her time with us, my parents had dropped her off, they went off for a little bit of a trip, they were kind of taking care of her at that time, and she ended up falling into our bathroom, which is a half bath in our hallway, not very large, and she fell behind the door, and so you had to open the door into the bathroom to get into it. And so it was really hard to get in, and I just hadn’t heard from her in a little bit, and I walked back there and she was saying, “Brian.” It was very light and faint, and so I’m not even sure an Echo or those things would have picked it.

Belva Smith:
Would pick it up, yeah.

Tracy Castillo:
Oh, no.

Brian Norton:
But, I mean, all of those different choices or different options might be something to be considered for that particular need.

Belva Smith:
The Jitterbug phone too… I know she mentioned that she has an iPhone, so this probably isn’t a good solution, but I’ll throw it out there. The Jitterbug is a low cost flip phone, they also have a smartphone, but that service includes their five star urgent response. So basically, it has a one button on the phone that you can press to get 911 assistance. And also, going back to the watch, you can make a 911 call from that watch even though you don’t have the cellular plan. Like my watch, it’s not cellular, but I could still make an emergency 911 call from it by holding in my button if I needed to. So, just things to keep in mind.

Brian Norton:
Right. And Siri was a lifesaver for you when you took your fall, right? That’s what you used to call us.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. Even though she didn’t get it just right, she got the message to the person that I was trying to get to. Right, Josh?

Josh Anderson:
Yeah, I still wish I could find what that said.

Brian Norton:
I remember it. It said, “Need help. Parking lot.” And I’m like-

Josh Anderson:
No, no, it didn’t even [crosstalk 00:25:09].

Belva Smith:
I just know that I said, “Siri, text Josh. I’m in the back parking lot and I can’t get up.” That’s what I say.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. And we’re like, “What in the world does Belva want in the parking lot? Good gracious.”

Tracy Castillo:
Hey, guys, I was just on the app store and I located Fall Safely Home. It’s a personal alert. It’s an app. It looks like it’s a free app, but it is running a subscription of 4.99 a month.

Brian Norton:
That’s great. Perfect. Again, I think I started this a little bit earlier, but I want to open it up to our listeners. And if you guys have maybe had some experience in this area, I would love to hear from you about your experience, maybe the different types of technologies you’ve used for your loved ones who may be at fall risk or for yourself, if that’s something that you deal with personally. Let us know what you use so we can kind of make sure folks are aware of that. You can reach out to us on our listener line, that’s 317-721-7124, or send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org, or send us a tweet with the #ATFAQ. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks, guys.

Brian Norton:
All right. So, our next question is, can anyone recommend some good noise canceling earplugs? I can’t handle cafeteria noise or loud noises. I’ve tried a few but haven’t found anything that I’m happy with yet. Before I spend more money, wanted to see if anyone had some recommendations. I’d really like earbuds as opposed to headphones. Just still very sensitive to loud noises and the light. And so just wanted to throw that out. Belva, you mentioned earlier you had a couple, and I think, Tracy, you mentioned the low tech option of cotton balls.

Tracy Castillo:
I sure did.

Brian Norton:
We’ve all used those before.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. I was looking at the Bose QuietComfort 20s.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. Those are amazing.

Belva Smith:
Those are expensive but-

Brian Norton:
Expensive but amazing.

Belva Smith:
… they’ve got great, great reviews.

Brian Norton:
And they do earbuds and headphones, the both, right?

Belva Smith:
I don’t know.

Brian Norton:
I’m pretty sure.

Belva Smith:
I was looking specifically for the earbuds since that’s what our listener was looking for. And then I also found the Sony WF-1000XM3s. Slightly cheaper than the Bose, but again, with excellent ratings. Both were in the $200 price range, so kind of expensive.

Tracy Castillo:
What I noticed also with those Sonys, is you’re going to get wireless whereas with the Bose, you have a wired connection with those.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah. And I did see them. If you’re wearing these all day at work, those Sonys, I think have four and a half hours battery time, so if you’re doing eight hours, it might not be kind of enough for you. And something I looked in there just because they use the word earplugs. Now, I don’t know if that means that’s really what they’re looking for if they’re thinking kind of earbuds, but there’s all kinds of earbuds that could really kind of help. Look for ones that are OSHA recommended because they can keep about 53 to about 70 decibels lower, so you can still sort of hear things, but they’re going to be really muffled. They’re not going to play music or anything like that, but also, they’re going to be anywhere from five to $20.

Belva Smith:
You know what, Josh? I think you read that question differently than we did-

Josh Anderson:
I probably did.

Belva Smith:
No, no, I think you’re appropriate, because it does say earplugs, and what we came back with was ear buds. I don’t know. I’m not sure that this individual-

Josh Anderson:
Well, it also says ear buds later, instead of over the ear headphones. And I use them to mow my grass that are kind of a mix between, they’re earbuds but they have the ends on them that are kind of like ear plugs, and they work pretty well to really keep down the noise, but I mean, if I didn’t have music playing, I would still hear the mower, I would still hear the weed whip, I’d still hear those kind of things. But they do make it to where I don’t have to crank the volume all the way up to be able to hear it over the sound of those things. And there’s a bunch of different kinds on Amazon if you just kind of look Add them. With anything, read reviews. Realize the first five are all lies.

Belva Smith:
You can ran that verifier on them.

Brian Norton:
You must be cautious of them.

Josh Anderson:
That’s true. That is true, yeah. And some people just always write good reviews, some people always write bad reviews, so you got to kind of take a few of those out. But I mean, it really just depends on do you want to listen to music while you’re doing it? If you’re just looking to drown out those loud noises and stuff, then some earplugs might be kind of the way to go.

Brian Norton:
Right. Well, and there are ones for, basically those earplugs, there are ones for when you’re at a target, when you’re shooting guns and whatnot, when loud noises go off, they automatically shut off the noise, so you don’t hear that, but then they instantly go back to allowing you to hear. I’ve seen those. I thought those were just amazing.

Belva Smith:
And if that’s what the individual is looking for, you can actually get those at a gun-

Brian Norton:
A gun range.

Belva Smith:
… store or a gun range. We also used to have a workplace store that was located not too far from us here. I don’t think they’re there anymore. But they carried a lot of OSHA qualified equipment, and you could get your safety glasses and your earplugs and stuff from them. So, I don’t know.

Brian Norton:
That’s great. I didn’t realize we did.

Belva Smith:
Oh, yeah. It was up on New York, just a few minutes from here. Yeah.

Brian Norton:
That’s cool. I wanted to mention one. Libratone. They have in-ear active noise canceling earbuds. I used this with a client, oh, probably two or three years ago, and they were amazing. They actually come with an app on your phone that can control the earbuds to be able to turn them up or down, so you can adjust the actual noise canceling in them. And they’re only about $90. So, a lot less expensive than your Bose headsets. They’re in-ear buds. So, you can get the over the ear kind of style of a headset, but the ones we were using were just earbuds, and they worked really well for this particular student that we’re working with. They come with a lightning cable so you can plug them into your phone, and we just found them to be really, really, really useful for her. And really, it was the price point for us that really made them stand up as we were kind of looking at different ones for her. It was a good price point for her and it worked out really well.

Josh Anderson:
And Brian, you brought up a good point there. Some of the earbuds, especially the wired ones, be really careful because they might actually have an Android and an iPhone version. I think the Bose ones, at least the wired ones, do have a version for each, just because if you get a wired Bose headset with a earphone jack, that’s not going to do you much good on an iPhone if I lost that little dongle that everyone drops out of the box when you first get the things.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah. I accidentally threw mine away because I thought it was broken.

Josh Anderson:
Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. There was a missing part, like, “Oh.”

Tracy Castillo:
No, it wasn’t that. It was the ox cable I was plugging into it.

Josh Anderson:
Oh, that was broken. Yeah, that’ll do it.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah, because it didn’t work on anything.

Brian Norton:
And I have used the Bose QuietComfort. They’ve got a few different versions. I think they just released one that… maybe they’re just the over the ear ones, but they come with Alexa built in. Did you notice that?

Josh Anderson:
I think those are the over the ears right now.

Belva Smith:
Yeah, those are the over the ear, yeah.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah, but they do have new ones that are not wired, that are wireless, for the in-ear, they’re a little bit newer.

Brian Norton:
Okay. Interesting. Okay. Yeah, and I’ve used those, and they’re really nice. The Libratones, they have an app that controls the volume, and you can adjust the noise canceling from within the app. These actually, I mean, you just switch a switch on the side of them or the little on your… I want to say string, on the cord for your earbuds on the string.

Tracy Castillo:
Same difference.

Brian Norton:
String, cord, close. You can just flip a switch on it as well to be able to turn them on and off. So, if you’re having a conversation, you can flick it off, have that conversation, and then when you’re ready to go back to turning it back on, you just flip the switch again. I mean, there’s a lot of choices out there. And it is remarkable how they actually do with noise canceling and being able to cut out that ambient noise that’s around you to be able to kind of help you concentrate and be more focused in loud, loud environments.

Brian Norton:
I want to just make sure we open this up to our listeners. If you guys have dealt with noise canceling earbuds or headsets or anything in that arena, let us know. I’d love to know what you guys use and if it works well, maybe what types of situations you’ve had to use those, and that would be kind of good information to know as well. You can give us a call on our listener line, that’s 317-721-7124, or send us an email at tech@astersealscrossroads.org. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks.

Brian Norton:
All right. So, our next question is, does anyone have any experience with smart pillboxes? Examples of those that this particular person, the caller or emailer, had sent over is EllieGrid or Tricella, I’m wondering how reliable and accurate they are for someone interested in using one to remotely monitor medication compliance for an elderly parent. And so EllieGrid and Tricella, I don’t have any experience specifically with those but I do know we’ve come across a few different smart pill dispensers.

Belva Smith:
We’ve gotten this question a couple of times, and unfortunately I don’t think, or fortunately, any of us have had any personal experience with it. But in researching for today’s show, I found Pria, which to my surprise, is actually made by Black & Decker, so that made me feel a little good about it, because obviously, I think they’ve been around for many years and they make a lot of good products. But it says that it’s easy to set up, and it kind of takes the hassle out of making sure that your medication management is being handled in a way that you feel confident. It has a pill chute, so it makes it easy to load and to set up. It also has two-way video, easy for calling and facial recognition, and mobile alerts. So, what I’m thinking that that means is if mom puts her hand under there and the pills pop out but she doesn’t actually take the pills, it’s going to notify me that maybe I should give her a call and make sure that everything is okay and that she did get those pills.

Belva Smith:
So, I don’t know if it’s possible to get a demonstration, I do know it’s very expensive, in my opinion. It’s like $700.

Brian Norton:
For the device itself?

Belva Smith:
For the device itself. And I believe that there is a monthly… yes, there is a monthly fee for it as well. So, you’re paying $700 for the product, and then $10 a month for the services. I guess, that is the video and audio ability to communicate back and forth. But it’s a cute little device. It almost looks like a little robot sitting on the counter looking at you. So, that was what I found today. It seems to have great reviews. Let’s see. I would recommend just going to their website and checking it out. Now, I found the website as okpria.com, and then they have a bunch of different videos on there, and support, and they also are ready to communicate through chat with you right away to answer any questions that you might have. So, that’s what I came up with.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. So, I’ll tell you something that I use every day. There’s an app called Medisafe. Medisafe is an app on your phone. I think it’s available for iOS or Android. And essentially, what happens with that is I’m able to kind of record in all the medications I take, and then what it’ll do is at different times of the day, it’ll actually bring up a picture of the medication saying, “Hey, did you take your medication?” I can click on the notification, it’ll bring me into the app, and it displays, not only the name of the medication I’m supposed to take, but it also gives me a picture that I’ve kind of used to help describe or gives me a visual look at what the pill should look like. So, if it’s round and white, or round and orange, you can give it a picture there so you can know you’re taking the right type of pill at any given moment.

Brian Norton:
But the most unique piece of that particular app is you can set up what are called medfriends. And so if I don’t tell the app that I took the medication… because I can snooze it. If I’m busy, I’m in a meeting, or I’m doing something else that needs to get done, I can snooze it, and it’ll come back up with another notification a little bit later on. And if I ignore that one and keep ignoring it, after a certain number of times, it will actually send something to my medfriend. And once that medfriend gets it, I mean, it’s sent them a notification saying, “Hey, Brian didn’t take his medication this morning.” And then they can then give that person a call and say, “Hey, did you take that medication?”

Brian Norton:
You can ignore it, but again, if you set up a medfriend, that medfriend is hopefully helping you stay on track and stay on top of taking your medication, because they will get notified if you do not actually click it as taken that morning, or that evening, or whenever you’ve scheduled that medication. So, it’s a pretty good app and does a pretty good job, from what I understand.

Brian Norton:
There’s also helpful information. You can ask your doctor… There’s a connection to doctors who can basically tell you what your medication’s for and you can get information about the medications you’re taking, and what kind of side effects, and what kind of things might interact with it badly or in a good way. So, definitely, take a look at medfriends. That’s an inexpensive app.

Belva Smith:
Medisafe, right? Not medfriend.

Brian Norton:
Oh, I’m sorry. Yeah, Medisafe is the app. You’re right. Sorry about that.

Belva Smith:
No, that’s fine.

Brian Norton:
The other ones I was going to mention that are a little bit more like an appliance like the person was asking about, there are two. I’ve heard of Hero. Hero is H-E-R-O, and it’s a personal home use smart appliance that basically can store, dispense and manage your pills. Basically, you can fill it with 10 different pills, with a month’s supply of each of those, and then basically it will go ahead and on a regimented time frame or different alarms or different periods of the day, it’ll actually dispense the types of pills you’re supposed to take at different times during the day. The thing I’ve always run into trouble with these types of things for clients that I’ve worked with is you need to be home. You can’t take the appliance with you, it’s on your counter, and if you’re not home, you’re not going to get those. And so be mindful of that. But Hero, check that one out if you want to.

Brian Norton:
The other one was Pillo, which is not pillow like the one you put underneath your head in bed. It’s Pillo; P-I-L-L-O. And again, this is another personal home use device. They kind of bill it, from the company, as the smartest and friendliest way to manage your and your family’s health. But basically what it does, it kind of looks like a little robot head, if you will, but it can answer certain questions. So, it’s kind of a smart device where it can answer questions about the medications that you have, it connected directly to healthcare professionals if you need that, but it will do the same thing. It’ll store, dispense, and even order refills when those things are required, but then also send notifications to your loved ones much like Medisafe does, when medications are missed. So, Pillo, P-I-L-L-O, is another one that can kind of help with that.

Brian Norton:
I also believe, if I’m not mistaken, that it also includes voice and facial recognition technology, so that I believe it won’t dispense it unless it recognizes you.

Josh Anderson:
Oh, that’s a cool feature.

Brian Norton:
And again, you can divide your medication into different containers so it can be dispensed at different times. And so take a look at that one as well. Pillo, Hero and Medisafe are the ones that I kind of came across. And I use Medisafe and it helps me a lot. I am notorious for not taking my medication when I need to take it and so that has helped me stay on top of some of those things.

Belva Smith:
Well, then I also think that if you’ve got a personal assistant, meaning the Google device or the Amazon device, that could be used as a pill reminder as well. Of course, it’s not going to spit the pill out for them. I know a lot of people who go and set up their parents’ or their grandparents’ medication boxes for them for a week at a time. I even know one lady who does a whole month at a time. And then you can set a reminder, and that reminder will continue to go off, and go off, and go off, until you actually tell it to stop. So, as a part of taking the medication, then they could tell it, “Stop the reminder.” And then they can always drop you a text using that same device to say, “Hey, I took my new medication,” or “I took my night medication.” So, that could be a cheap alternative and maybe something that you already have in the home.

Brian Norton:
Right. Absolutely.

Josh Anderson:
I was going to say, something really important to kind of remember is that any one of these, you could always just not take it still.

Belva Smith:
Josh, I wasn’t going to put that out there because I had already thought about that. I was thinking about how contrarian the person might be that you’re trying to get them to take their medication.

Josh Anderson:
Well, the kind that Brian uses, it does have the snooze button, but, “Oh, yeah, I’ll take it when I get back to the office,” so you say I took it, then you don’t remember to take it when you actually get back to the office, could kind of be the kind of thing, or I mean, you could always say, “Yeah, sure. I took it. Yeah, sure. I took it. I don’t like those. They make me fell funny.”

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah. I think we’re going to be able to find points of failure in all of them.

Josh Anderson:
Oh, yeah, almost definitely. I’m just saying because they said they want to remotely kind of monitor medication, and I mean, if the individual really doesn’t mind taking the medication, they just forget, then yeah, a lot of these would really kind of work. If they don’t want to take their medication, none of these are really going to make [crosstalk 00:43:55].

Belva Smith:
That’s a kind of a difference problem, yeah.

Josh Anderson:
Totally different issue.

Tracy Castillo:
That reminds me, we have the CreateAbility reminder set up in the-

Brian Norton:
In the lab.

Tracy Castillo:
… in the lab. I don’t know if it’s a reminder, but it does… when you open up the pill bottle, it’ll say-

Josh Anderson:
Oh, yeah, MeMinder kind of thing-

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah, MeMinder.

Josh Anderson:
… with different sayings and stuff on it.

Brian Norton:
Yeah, that’s a good option as well. There are sensors that you can put on people’s pill bottles that if your medication container gets opened, it’ll send a notification to an iPad. And then with the CreateAbility software in this MeMinder software, it has a dashboard that either caretakers, parents, or friends, or family can kind of look at and see what’s the regularity? Did they even touch their medication container today? And it’ll actually keep track of that when that’s been opened or closed. And so CreateAbility is a great company that does some of that. That’s a great point, Tracy.

Tracy Castillo:
Thank you.

Brian Norton:
But I would also mention, Josh, I mean, I think one of those things is when my medfriend gets one, at least someone knows I didn’t take it, and they’re going to-

Belva Smith:
You got some credibility to that individual.

Brian Norton:
Right. So, with Pillo, that’s going to send some notification or alerts, not only to the person who needs to take the medication, but then also to someone who’s monitoring them, and that’s the key, I think, in a lot of these things is, somebody else knows you didn’t take it and they can ride you on it, and then it becomes dual responsibility. They’re responsible for you and you are accountable to them to be able to take that medication. My medfriend, just so folks know, is my wife, and nobody wants to get my wife angry.

Josh Anderson:
Tell me about it.

Brian Norton:
So, I don’t want her to call me and tell me to take my medication because I’ll pay for that later. But yeah, so definitely, I think that’s kind of the key to some of these things is, can it let somebody else know? Because you’re right. If you don’t want to take your medication, you just won’t, or if you forget… I honestly forget sometimes, and it’s not that I didn’t want to, I just didn’t remember.

Tracy Castillo:
Well, what if you thought you took it but you don’t remember if you took it, but maybe that was yesterday?

Brian Norton:
Right, exactly.

Josh Anderson:
Oh, that’s my garage door scenario every morning. Did I close it. I remember closing it. Was that last week I closed it or was it yesterday I closed it?

Brian Norton:
That’s why I put a camera in my garage because now I can just look-

Josh Anderson:
That’s not why, Brian.

Brian Norton:
… and see.

Belva Smith:
You know what? I got rid of that whole… I don’t even have a garage. There you go.

Brian Norton:
There you go.

Josh Anderson:
Oh, no, that’s mad.

Brian Norton:
Just get a carport.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah. You went all the way on that one.

Belva Smith:
Like, oh.

Brian Norton:
That’s awesome. Hey, I’d love to open this up to our listeners. Maybe you guys have had some experience in this area and use either a smart pillbox or medication dispenser, either yourself or someone that you know, let us know what your experience is with some of those things, maybe the pros and the cons, maybe the drawbacks to something like that, like we’ve been discussing here. I’d love to hear from you. You can give us a call on our listener line, that’s 317-721-7124, or send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. We’d love to hear from you.

Brian Norton:
All right. So, our next question is, hi. Well, hello. In your experience, what is the best word predictive software for Windows or the iPad? And that’s kind of two different worlds a little bit, right? Windows with a computer, and then iPad. So, they’re going to be two different types of programs because I don’t think you’re going to find one… Well, there’s a couple that’ll have a software program for a computer and then also an app, but they would be a little bit different in how they operate.

Belva Smith:
So, my mind is blown right now. People don’t use just the default one? What?

Josh Anderson:
So, on iPhone, I usually use the default one.

Tracy Castillo:
I use the default.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah. You type it in, and it kind of learns from you, and puts words after it.

Brian Norton:
Is that a setting that you have to enable for the keyboard or does it just automatically do it?

Tracy Castillo:
When I hit the power button, it just comes on with the phone.

Josh Anderson:
Oh, those settings. How do I get to those?

Brian Norton:
Those are tricky.

Josh Anderson:
And they will kind of learn from you too, because I know, especially when we first got our house, I would type the Home Depot all the time, and I would type home, and it would automatically say, depot. Do you want that word next? And it would capitalize them both for it.

Belva Smith:
And what I’m noticing with the later iOS is that it’s not just doing a word, it’s trying to help me do my whole sentence.

Brian Norton:
Oh, really?

Belva Smith:
Yeah. It’ll throw two… like there’s an email that I send frequently to June, and usually, I type one word and then it’s just touch, touch-

Josh Anderson:
Oh, yeah, it’s word, word, word.

Belva Smith:
… and it just fills it in with the rest of the message for me. So yeah, that’s what I do on the iPhone. The computer is very, very different. And I will say with… I’m sorry, Josh.

Josh Anderson:
No, that’s fine.

Belva Smith:
… with voiceover, none of them.

Brian Norton:
It’s not going to work at all.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah. Well, and if you use the swipe keyboard, so on the new iOS, it doesn’t really predict as much. I don’t think it predicts or does it kind of the same.

Brian Norton:
Interesting.

Josh Anderson:
And then on Windows, what I’ve used a lot is called Lightkey, it’s lightkey.io.

Brian Norton:
Okay. I’ve heard of that.

Josh Anderson:
There’s a free version that you can get, and it’ll give you a predictive text editor, but then there’s a monthly fee one, I think it’s about 3.99 a month or something like that, that gives you kind of like AI powered predictive text. And it will actually, as you’re typing, it will kind of, grayed out, come up with almost like a whole sentence of prediction. And then you just hit space bar or enter, I can’t remember which one, and it’ll pop all that text in there for you. So, you just barely start typing, and it’ll bring those kinds of things up.

Tracy Castillo:
Well, that kind of reminds me. Brian, you were telling me about an app on the iPad that you could set up shortcuts and have text put out. I don’t remember the name of the app though.

Brian Norton:
So, there are some things like that. It’s actually a part of the operating system where you can set up macros where I can type in AD1 for address and it’ll go ahead and throw my address in there. I don’t put my signature line in all the time, I don’t want to for certain responses when I’m doing emails, and so you can do it with the built-in stuff. I can put Sig1, it’s like an expansion, it’ll expand the text out to be my whole address.

Brian Norton:
But there’s also one called Text Expander. Text Expander is basically a keyboard you can download that attaches to a software program where you can create macros, it’s really sophisticated macros, where if I type in ref1, it’ll do kind of a templated email for me where I can just put in… for new referrals, it’ll say, “Dear,” and have a blank, and I’ll just fill in John. And then it’ll say, “Hey, thank you for the referral that you sent over for this particular reason. I’ll be sure to assign it to,” and have a blank where I can say Josh, and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And so makes it real simple to enter text. And so that’s definitely one way to be able to look at that.

Brian Norton:
The other programs I’ll mention too that I’ve used in the past, I’ve used before too, Co:Writer Universal is one. You can use that between devices and have custom word lists, so based on the topic maybe that you’re typing about. So, maybe you’re providing a response about a specific task or subject maybe in school, you can kind of have just predictive text for that particular subject show up for the person and you can move that back and forth between the computer and your tablet. Certainly something to think about.

Brian Norton:
Ghotit. Which is G-H-O-T-I-T Real Writer and Reader. Almost couldn’t pronounce that. Real Writer and Reader, is another one. And then ClaroRead is one for the computer. They have a couple of different apps you can get for the computer. I think there’s Claro ScanPen and some things like that, but that’s just text to speech it. I think the software on the computer has a predictive text piece to it, but I’m not sure if they have something for the iPad that would do that for you as far as predictive text is concerned, it’s mostly usually used for text to speech. And so a couple of other options there as well.

Brian Norton:
All right. So, I do want to just open this up to our listeners, maybe you guys have used a word prediction type of software for the computer or particular tablet, iPad or iOS device. Would love to hear about those. You can give us a call on our listener line, that’s 317-721-7124, or send us an email at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. We’d love to hear from you. Thanks so much.

Brian Norton:
And now it’s time for the wildcard question.

Brian Norton:
All right. So, the next question is the wildcard question, and this is where Belva has a question that she’s prepared and no one knows what it is. Well, not necessarily. I gave her the question.

Belva Smith:
Well, there’s some inside, yeah, there’s some inside on this one today.

Josh Anderson:
[crosstalk 00:52:49] everybody [crosstalk 00:52:50].

Tracy Castillo:
Oh no.

Brian Norton:
But yeah, why don’t you hit us with that wildcard.

Belva Smith:
So, the question is, if you have a computer, and I do get this question frequently, so it’s perfect for the podcast, but if I have a computer that I want to donate or maybe I even want to just let my grandkids play on it, how can I be 100% sure that all of my credit card information, all my data, all my files are totally off of it, and it’s back as if it were brand new? Tracy.

Brian Norton:
That is a good question.

Tracy Castillo:
Wow. I work for this place that takes in donated equipment every single day. Well, let’s talk about this for a second. You said credit card information. If you are on the Internet and you’re browsing, that information is going to be stored on your browser. A lot of the stuff that I get are the hard drives. So, we have hard drives that are in the computers that have physical memory stored on the computer.

Belva Smith:
Hold on. I’m going to stop you right there.

Tracy Castillo:
What’s up.

Belva Smith:
So, are you telling me that if I have gone to the Internet and purchased something, for example, from Amazon, and I wipe my computer, that information is still stored on my browser.

Tracy Castillo:
Yes, ma’am, and especially if you’ve signed into the browser. So, if you’ve signed into Chrome and you’re using your Google information on Chrome, that information is out there in the cloud, dah, dah, dah.

Brian Norton:
Yeah. So, if you signed into Google Chrome and you’re using that particular browser at the time, and then you save your information, how sometimes it can prompt you for that information, it’s going to save it within your settings within Chrome.

Belva Smith:
Correct. But I would have to then log into Google Chrome with my user information for that to be there.

Brian Norton:
Correct.

Belva Smith:
So, the same thing with my Amazon or any other website that I’ve shopped at.

Brian Norton:
You need to log into those websites.

Belva Smith:
It’s not just automatically there in the browser. It’s in my account information, so when I log in, it’ll be there.

Tracy Castillo:
You’re right.

Belva Smith:
Gotcha.

Brian Norton:
Gotcha.

Tracy Castillo:
But if you log out and bring me your computer, I can’t get it, I most likely can’t.

Belva Smith:
Right, because it’s in the cloud. It’s not actually on the hard drive of the computer.

Tracy Castillo:
But you had brought up the credit card information so I just wanted to make that clarification.

Belva Smith:
This is very good that we have this conversation because some people might not have understood.

Tracy Castillo:
I do have this problem. Sometimes people, they give me their computer but they still want their Internet shortcuts or their bookmarks, and I have to explain to them they’re safe on the cloud, but the information that’s on the hard drive when you bring it to me, or if you’re at home and want to get rid of it, is stored on a little disk drive. And the program we like to use is called DBAN, and it’s a Darik’s Boot and Nuke, and it’s freeware.

Josh Anderson:
I didn’t realize it meant that, but Darik’s Boot?

Brian Norton:
Darik’s Boot.

Belva Smith:
Darik is a real person.

Brian Norton:
Ah, Darik, we love you Darik.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah, that’s what I’ve learned.

Belva Smith:
Darik is a real person.

Josh Anderson:
Do you know Darik? You act like you know, Darik.

Belva Smith:
Darik is a real person.

Tracy Castillo:
After four years of saying Darik’s Boot and Nuke, I feel like I know Darik.

Josh Anderson:
Sounds like a wing place.

Tracy Castillo:
You know what? To run the program, so you can do it automatically or you can, if you want to put it in your codes and do it step by step, that’s cool. But to get it to run, it’s called Auto Nuke, and it just blows out the hard drive. It’s like gone.

Belva Smith:
So, is that something that I can buy or do I have to take my computer somewhere to have that done?

Tracy Castillo:
You could download it. I believe it’s just a free download.

Josh Anderson:
Oh, nice.

Belva Smith:
Oh, okay.

Tracy Castillo:
We also, in our depot, we have little devices from, I think, they are StarTech, and you can just plug a hard drive into it. You would actually have to remove the hard drive from the computer and you could plug it into this device, and it runs in different types of scenarios. If it was compatible with Secure Erase, it would run that Secure Erase feature.

Brian Norton:
So, let me ask you this. If you do Boot and Nuke it from Darik… Darik, you’re great. If you do Boot and Nuke it, it’s going to get rid of everything, operating system and all?

Tracy Castillo:
Oh yeah, you’re going to just have a flat disk.

Brian Norton:
You need to then reinstall your operating system, so making sure that you have the right discs, or downloading information-

Josh Anderson:
Serial numbers and stuff like that.

Brian Norton:
… serial number, those kinds of things would be important. Let me ask you this. So, if you’re not wanting to Nuke it, can you just wipe the information or to make sure you get everything, do you need to take the whole operating system off of there?

Tracy Castillo:
I guess it’s who you’re giving it to, how much you trust that end user. If you’re just going to give your computer to your grandson to play games, you will probably just… on Windows 10, they have where you can refresh it, so you can run the refresh and it’ll delete all the software, all the files on it.

Brian Norton:
It’s like iPad reset kind of thing, factory settings or whatever.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah. I’m not sure how much you would trust it to… if you refresh and donate it, I don’t know if I would go with that.

Josh Anderson:
To give it to a stranger or something like that.

Tracy Castillo:
Exactly.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah, because they might be able to get in and find that information if they really knew what they were doing.

Belva Smith:
Yeah. But I think it’s also important to understand too that the average person is not… if you have done any form of cleanup or reset, the average person is not going to be able to get in there and find any of your information.

Josh Anderson:
Probably not on the new kind of versions. Older versions of Windows, even if you kind of got rid of almost everything on your hard drive, stuff’s still there.

Belva Smith:
I was going to say, but if you’re the FBI, yeah, that stuff is never gone.

Josh Anderson:
True, true.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah. So, the best way to destroy the information is to actually just-

Belva Smith:
Take a big ol’ sledgehammer.

Tracy Castillo:
Well, you could probably still find it after that though.

Brian Norton:
Drill, right?

Tracy Castillo:
Drill. We’re going to drill holes through those platters.

Belva Smith:
Through the disk.

Tracy Castillo:
Yeah.

Josh Anderson:
I think we’re teaching people how to hide information. I think we crossed the line here.

Brian Norton:
It’s funny.

Josh Anderson:
Belva, you talked about the FBI like that was from experience.

Belva Smith:
No. But I will say-

Tracy Castillo:
Oh, they’re still calling.

Belva Smith:
But I will say from my days in the tech department, we used to have sledgehammer Fridays-

Tracy Castillo:
Oh my gosh.

Belva Smith:
… where we would take the drives out back and just demolish them with a big ol’ hammer.

Josh Anderson:
Now, that sounds like…

Tracy Castillo:
I’ve seen this, I’ve seen this.

Josh Anderson:
Tracy, can we start doing that with scrap from the depot?

Tracy Castillo:
No.

Brian Norton:
They do. You guys do that.

Tracy Castillo:
Well, we do it on scrap day. We try to keep everybody safe. But you know what we do have though, is this huge magnet, it’s called degaussing. So now we’re a little bit more sophisticated, we use screwdrivers. So, we’ll open up the hard drive, pull out these platters and we’ll run a big degaussing magnet on it.

Josh Anderson:
And that just wipes the storage area.

Tracy Castillo:
Mm-hmm (affirmative). And then someone puts the magnet on something metal, and then we all have fun trying to pull them out.

Brian Norton:
It’s a powerful magnet, for sure.

Tracy Castillo:
It is very powerful. We can hold a volunteer from the ceiling for at least five minutes.

Josh Anderson:
Not that we’ve ever tried.

Brian Norton:
Excellent, excellent. Well, hey guys. Thank you for the show today. If our listeners, if you guys have questions, always looking for questions, always looking for your feedback as well. We’d love to have you contribute to the show. You can give us a call on our listener line, that’s 317-721-7124, or send us a tweet with the #ATFAQ, or email us at tech@eastersealscrossroads.org. I’d love to hear from you. In fact, without your questions or feedback, we really don’t have a show, so be a part of it. Want to thank the folks here in the studio with me today. First, Tracy, do you want to say goodbye to folks?

Tracy Castillo:
Oh, goodbye, folks. Thank you.

Belva Smith:
Till the next time.

Brian Norton:
Till next time.

Belva Smith:
Hey, everybody, have a happy holiday because we probably won’t be back until after the new year, right?

Brian Norton:
Yes, absolutely, yeah.

Belva Smith:
Okay. So, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, everybody.

Brian Norton:
Perfect. Josh.

Josh Anderson:
Yeah. Happy holidays, everyone. Can’t wait to see you next time, I guess next year.

Brian Norton:
Next year, yeah. Our next show will come out the second week of January, so yeah.

Josh Anderson:
Wow.

Tracy Castillo:
Wow. Very fun stuff.

Brian Norton:
What were you going to say, Tracy?

Tracy Castillo:
Happy holidays.

Brian Norton:
Happy Holidays.

Tracy Castillo:
I didn’t get to say it.

Brian Norton:
You didn’t get to say it. Excellent. Yeah, no. Yeah, everybody please have a safe time over the holidays, not only for Christmas, but for New Year’s as well. And again, yeah, like Belva mentioned, we’ll be back after January 1, and our next episode, after this one, releases next week. I guess you guys don’t need to know that.

Tracy Castillo:
Did you just talk in the future?

Brian Norton:
After this episode releases, you won’t hear from us until the second week of January. So, have a great time and we’ll look forward to being back on the air at that point. So, thanks very much. Have a great one. We’ll talk to you later.

Belva Smith:
Bye.

Tracy Castillo:
Bye.

Josh Anderson:
Bye.

Brian Norton:
And it seems like every week we have at least one beeper, so here you go.

Outro:
Ah.

Outro:
Belva.

Outro:
Where are you, Belva?

Outro:
If we say no.

Outro:
You’re going to have to talk me [crosstalk 01:01:45].

Outro:
Is it going to change anything?

Outro:
Shut up.

Outro:
The rainbow circle.

Outro:
Second show is just me today. Everybody else ran out of here.

Outro:
Because of the snow coming.

Outro:
Information provided on Assistive Technology FAQ does not constitute a product endorsement. Our comments are not intended as recommendations nor is our show evaluative in nature. Assistive Technology FAQ is hosted and produced by Brian Norton, it’s editorial helped by Josh Anderson and Belva Smith, and receives support from Easterseals Crossroads and the INDATA Project. ATFAQ is a proud member of the accessibility channel. Find more of our shows at www.accessibilitychannel.com.