[Accessibility] Sip & Puff software

Matthew Wilcox willy at fc.hp.com
Wed Mar 3 11:29:44 PST 2004

----- Forwarded message from Rod Pike <r.pike at gmx.net> -----

From: "Rod Pike" <r.pike at gmx.net>
To: <willy at debian.org>
Cc: <Thomas.Sienkiewicz at rogers.com>
Subject: OCLUG IRC Chat followup concerning Open Source Weekend
Importance: Normal
Resent-From: willy at parcelfarce.linux.theplanet.co.uk
Resent-Date: Wed, 3 Mar 2004 19:14:39 +0000
Resent-To: willy at hp.com
Resent-Message-Id: <E1AybpH-00018b-M6 at www.linux.org.uk>
Resent-Sender: <willy at www.linux.org.uk>

Hi Willy,

Here's a little background on the open source development I'm involved in.
I do volunteer work for the March of Dimes.


Last year a request was made from a person with muscular distrophy to help
with her computer system at home.  She has full use of her head and neck
muscles but very little else.  She has an existing Windows 98 based computer
with some very expensive hardware for tracking head movement to move a mouse
and associated software.  She cannot use a keyboard.  She uses a breath
switch (commonly called sipp & puff) to create morse code that is fed into
the computer through another bit of hardware.  This hardware called Adapt2u
is fairly old, consists of several boxed including a vt100 type terminal and
is no longer available, as far as I have been able to determine.  She can
access her computer from her wheelchair but was looking for some way of
accessing a computer from her bed.

She had tried different systems in the past but had mixed success.  She had
an old laptop that she had never been able to use.  I immediatly thought
that *nix with it's heritage in text based applications might give some
additional benefit and even allow her to use a computer while she is out of
her home.  This would be very useful for her as she is working towards
completing a university degree.

I looked around the internet and came across the following open source


It didn't quite meet her needs but I hoped that if I could collaborate with
the developer, I would be able to get something working for her.  I've got a
hardware background and am a licensed amateur radio operator.  Pehr
Anderson, the developer originally created the software for a stroke victim
who could only tap the morse code with his finger and a single switch.  My
client uses what is called keyer and two switches.  Using a microcontroller
I implemented an interface that my user could plug into her breath switch
and use MorseAll.  Eventually the microcontroller function should be
implemented in software but for now we have a working system.

I was thinking that this project would be of interest at the Open Source
Weekend.  I'd be willing to put together a presentation and have a
demonstration available.  I will need to check with March of Dimes but I'm
sure there won't be a problem.  Please let me know your thoughts.

Check out the attached email.  Check out the attached mp3.  It's amazing!

Rod Pike

From: "Rod Pike" <r.pike at gmx.net>
To: <janderson at daktel.com>,
	<pehr at pehr.net>,
	<brians at daktel.com>
Cc: "Connie Oxelgren" <coxelgre at sympatico.ca>
Subject: A "Morse Excellent Day"
Importance: Normal

Hi Folks,

I couldn't sleep before getting this off to you.  Connie and I had a great
afternoon with the new version of MorseAll.  I've still got some tweaks to
do on the keyer code and the morseall.conf file, but it's looking very good,
even in it's current prototype state.  Here's a sample of the text that
Connie did as I introduced her to using Vi (Vim)on her RedHat 9 Laptop
running MorseAll.

## Everything below this line
February 4, 2004.


Well, I am typing this letter as I lay in bed looking at my laptop computer.
The fellow from Design Ability who is setting up my new laptop computer
arrangement for me is Rod Pike.  It is quite interesting to have him come
over each time and see the sip + puff system get better and closer to what I
want and am used to using.  The only drawback is that I am going to have to
learn how to use a different type of software package
## And above this one if from Connie.

I've attached an audio (mp3) file that I recorded as she got used to the new
version of MorseAll and the keyer.  She goes through 3 different speeds
before arriving at her most comfortable speed.  Make sure you listen right
to the end.

I'd like to thank you all for the help so far.


----- End forwarded message -----

It's always legal to use Linux (TM) systems

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