After I arrived home from this morning’s VoiceOver session I received an email that my Mac Mini had turned up (at last — I’d ordered it on 30 June). I figured I could plug it into the TV in order to set it up, so when I got it back home and found I didn’t have the relevant connector my choices seemed clear: go back out again or wait until I could buy a connector. A third option was to ask my neighbours if I could borrow the monitor from their Mac Mini.
After a few minutes though I realised that I’d become slightly adept at using VoiceOver this morning and that I’d set up a bunch of new Macs over recent time, so perhaps this would be a perfect opportunity to put my new found skills into action. I plugged it in and switched on. Apart from a gentle whirring from the hard drive, nothing much happened. I realised it was probably in that musical routine it does at startup so I found some headphones and listened in. Then I hit the key command for VoiceOver and with a fair bit of floundering around managed to make my way slowly but successfully through the entire sequence.
There was a fairly major hitch on the screen where you enter your user information. The tab sequence doesn’t work very well, and I’d left out some information. The next screen helpfully directed me to return and fill in the fields marked with red arrows. Well! [Of course, this kind of thing happens all the time on the web for blind people, I believe.]
Ultimately though I made it, even to the point of setting up filesharing and allowing remote access. Of course, I made frequent reference to my Powerbook to find out where the heck I was in menus and so on, but I had a feeling of amazing achievement by the time I was done.
Then I recalled hearing about the free Chicken of the VNC (I suspect it was something Leo Laporte mentioned on one of his Podcasts). I installed that and connected to the Mac Mini whose desktop popped up on my Powerbook screen just like magic — it’s just like using Virtual PC, only much cooler and sweeter. And what a relief, to be able to once again see what I was doing!