The Assistive technology Center has recently updated Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh. Students have been using it for a few weeks now and we have made some observations.
I will start by mentioning a few improvements in this version. The most notable improvement is that students now have access to the version of Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh that can scan and recognize documents. Even those students who do not have a scanner on their Macintosh will note an improvement with this version. The recognition engine used for scanning is also used for recognizing text from image-based PDF files. Kurzweil 3000 for Macintosh should now be able to open many more PDF files than it could in the past.
The other improvement with this new version of Kurzweil 3000 is that connecting via VPN is not required when users are on-campus. Users who are off-campus will still need to use VPN. For more information on using VPN go to https://webvpn.purdue.edu/+CSCOE+/logon.html .
Now for the issues we have noticed. We have noticed two items of concern. We have not always been able to replicate these issues so we are still doing research.
When Kurzweil 3000 is installed the default voice is usually set to “Alex.” We have seen a few instances when this voice does not work well with some documents. The “David” and “Kally” voices that are installed with Kurzweil 3000 are also very high-quality and seem to cause less trouble.
The second issue seems to occur occasionally after Kurzweil 3000 is unable to connect to its server. Usually this is either due to a problem with the internet connection or a problem with VPN. No matter the reason Kurzweil 3000 cannot connect, it will give an error that “all licenses of this product are currently in use.” In this case Kurzweil 3000 seems to change its configuration files so that it looks for a type of Kurzweil 3000 license we do not have. At this point, we do not have an easy fix for this issue. We can erase and recreate the configuration file so Kurzweil 3000 will run again. This is not a long process, but does require some skill. Please contact the Assistive Technology Center for an appointment to get this done.
I think the improvements that are part of this new version of Kurzweil 3000 outweigh the issues. We will continue to research solutions to the current issues and keep track of any new issues we notice.