Mac clones and accessibility

Macworld Podcast episode 119

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We’ve hit that “not much happening” period where the long tail of Macworld Expo has finally disappeared and we anxiously await the doings of summer—specifically WWDC and the release of the iPhone 2.0 software with its accompanying enterprise capabilities and Apple-sanctioned third-party applications. Yet weep we do not. This provides us an opportunity to explore long-standing issues that current events sometimes elbow aside.

In this episode of the Macworld Podcast we explore two such issues. The first is the under-reported benefits that OS X brings to visually impaired and blind Mac users. I’m joined by Josh de Lioncourt a blind developer and operator of, a Mac-accessibility Web site, who reveals just how capable the Mac is as a tool for visually disabled users.

The last time Mac clones got this much attention was when the Y-chromosome Clinton inhabited the White House. Just as Bill and Hill have returned, so too has discussion of creating Mac OS-compatible computers from non-Apple parts. In the opening minutes of the podcast, I ponder cloning efforts and what they mean for Apple and the Mac community. Later, Macworld Senior Editor Rob Griffiths and I discuss his Frankenmac, a $1,000 PC that runs Leopard.

Listen to episode 119

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Show notes

Josh’s is a great resource for those visually impaired Mac users but there are others. Apple offers its own accessibility page with links to a variety of resources. Josh also mentioned the Screenless Switchers podcast, a podcast produced by Darcy Burnard and Holly Anderson, two visually impaired folks who’ve moved from Windows to the Mac.

During my news and commentary monologue I mention the OSx86 Project, a clearinghouse for information on running Mac OS X on Intel hardware. I also talk about would-be Mac cloner, Psystar. For greater insight into OSx86 and Psystar, check out Dan Moren’s Attack of the Clones. It’s well worth a read.


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