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Technology allows continued engagement with world

I would be no more than a lump of flesh without technology. With it, I am engaged in the world.

My laptop computer is the foundation for almost everything I do. Of course, there were things technical that long preceded the computer. Electric lights and refrigeration, for example. This is about modern technology. I have very limited vision. I see and recognize forms, shapes and colors up to 6 feet away or so. My other senses help extend that recognition zone a lot, along with being familiar with things.

What allows me to stay engaged in the world and be a “contributor?” Modern technology.

When I want to work – or create – I have to go to a computer program that magnifies my work – the words that I type. Typically, I use ZoomText and magnify everything I write four times. It’s so I can read what I am writing. If I have a bad day, I can use the ZoomText reading program, which reads to me. With ZoomText, I can see or hear the mistakes I have made and correct them.

Writing is just one part of creating. Yes, I don’t know everything. I have to do research to be sure that what I write is accurate. I search Google and Wikipedia on the internet. I can also access written material using a reading machine. My machine will magnify material 40 or more times. With ZoomText, I am currently using about four times. As my vision continues to get worse, I still have a long way to go as far as magnification is concerned.

It sounds like all I will have to do to continue to write will be to turn up the magnifier. I wish that were true. At some point, if I survive, I will not be able to see at all. What then? I will be able to dictate my columns using a program called Dragon.

When that happens, I will have to depend on friends who edit my work now to help me even more.

You may have gathered that I enjoy what I do and intend to keep doing it for at least six or seven more years. As a matter of fact, I have a book-writing project on my schedule that will take that long.

One of these days I’ll tell you what each of us can do to create a personal legacy. I don’t really know why I am telling you all of this, except it has been on my mind. I realize (sometimes more than others) that I am mortal and life ends. In the meantime, I intend to make the most of the time I have left.

Changing the subject: Dear friend Gwen, who is going to have a heart transplant, has asked me to thank all of the anonymous folks who donated to her transplant account and offered prayers. I am doing that, but more important, Gwen is personally expressing her heartfelt thanks to each of you.

Murray Bass of Fairfield can be reached at 720-5139 or [email protected].