(For those new to the column, Forward Migration is our term for companies moving from Wintel machines to Macs — or at least adding or increasing the number of Macs they use. A Forward Migration Kit is an overview of Mac OS products for a particular occupation, such as photography, optometry, etc.)
There’s a whole room full of iMacs at the public library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County’s new Virtual Village, an 11,000-square-foot center in the main facility.
Open to the public Sunday, the village in Charlotte, NC contains “100 of the latest Macs and PCs, a video editing lab, a sound studio and dozens of fancy gadgets” for editing videos, burning CDs, scanning photos, converting videotapes to DVDs and more, according to a report in The Charlotte Observer . And for citizens with disabilities, there are computers you can control with your voice, face and mouth, the newspaper added.
It’s the only public lab of its kind in the country, according to the Chicago-based Public Library Association. And it’s free to anyone with a library card.
“It’s phenomenal,” Eileen Teachout-Smith, assistant director of the Center for Independent Living, which assists the disabled, told the Observer. “It opens the world to people with disabilities.”
Twelve to 14 percent of Mecklenburg County’s population has a disability, said Teachout-Smith, who uses a wheelchair herself. Libraries are increasingly adding Internet access, computers and the newest software in response to public demands, Toni Garvey, president of the Public Library Association, told the Observer.
Bond money approved by voters in 1999 paid for most of the $800,000 center, said library Director Bob Cannon. Money also came from a Microsoft grant and the library’s operating budget, he added. Cannon told the Observer that the library would constantly update the technology to stay current. (Thanks to MacCentral reader Elliot Roth for the heads-up on this one.)
Requests for help
Now it’s time for our weekly requests for help from folks who need your advice and/or assistance in forward migrating — or at least being able to keep the Mac platform alive and thriving in their businesses. Contact the requesters directly at their e-mail addresses.
Kenneth Willardt: “I am having a problem finding the software that will allow me to access the Internet through my Motorola cell phone for my Mac laptop. They only make them for PCs. Where can I find this software for my Mac? Is there a cell phone company that makes accessories compatible with Mac?”
Larry Stevens: “I’m looking for a tool that will let me capture Text-to-Speech on a Mac. Even the Apple Geniuses at the Willow Bend Apple Store were stumped. Can anyone help?”
Do you have a Forward Migration story? Send it our way (firstname.lastname@example.org).