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 Welcome to the Cisco Academy for Vision Impaired Linux Wiki.


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I am the alternate media specialist at De Anza colllege in Cupertino California. In plain english, this means that I prepare textbooks for print-impaired students.

I have worked previously as a technical support specialist and a software engineer, but my favorite job was as a technical writer. I love documenting and explaining.

As a blind person, I am very lucky that I've worked both for access technology companies and in the mainstream. I've trained court reporters in how to use computer aided transcription. I've documented video synchronization systems for the courtroom. I've supported Windows and Braille displays for TeleSensory and trained blind people in the use of JAWS. I've even written spyware for a defunct dot com and was the lead technical support specialist for the OmniPage OCR application.

I am also the creator of Video Voice, the fourth DOS screen reader for the IBM PC, which I wrote back in the early 1980s. I got my start in computers using a TRS-80 and went on to contract as a developer in the PC-based Clipper database language.

I am married to Robert Armstrong of the creator of the SB6120, a working replica of the PDP-8. I have also ported the firmware for his open MP3 player from a closed-source to an open-source compiler. My wonderful, ultra-geek husband is one of the best things that ever happened to me, and I love coming home to him each day!

I make my home in Silicon valley, where the prices are ridiculous and you never know if you will have a job next year. But the people are smart, and the culture is open and enlightened. My dream job would be doing Linux-based technical writing from home.

I also love to cook, garden and train dogs. I am a dedicated volunteer for Norcal golden retriever rescue at and have fostered many goldens in my home, helping them become adoptable pets. I am an enthusiastic guide dog handler, and am partnered with Maxwell, my sixth guide, who quite naturally is also a golden retriever!

I make occasional updates to my facebook page at: and my snarky blog at and am known as debeearmstrong on Twitter and skype. However, I'm very much an introvert, preferring to read, write, putter in my yard, play with my dogs or hack up something on my computer, to having to deal with people. So don't expect me to IM you any time soon.

I admit to being a bit of a crabby misanthrope, who would much rather post to a wiki than keep her friends updated about her status!

I am currently taking ITE because most of what I think I know is depricated! I completed the beginning Linux course, but still need to finish the lecture notes I promised to post. Much more organized than the procrastinator I used to be, I still suffer from perfectionism , and the desire to avoid posting anything until I feel I have it just right.

If you are taking a course at Cavi, and particularly wish me to explain something, email me your request to d

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Page last modified on July 20, 2012, at 02:30 AM