Shawn Kirkpatrick

Go blindly where everyone sighted has gone before.

Software Installer

My fascination, and aptitude, with computers manifested itself at an early age. As a young boy camping out in my Duncan backyard, I wired my tent to receive cable and to have intercom access to the main house. In my current apartment, lights, music and security systems are controlled by self-designed central computer procedures. This propensity for efficiency led me to create a one-stop media solution, where television, Movies, music and photos can be accessed from one computer with a remote control.

In 2009, I installed software into a sleek computer case to create an accessible and aesthetic media PC. This was challenging because I had to make a normally visual medium accessible with speech. This proved especially difficult for DVD playback and this still doesn’t work quite right. It was also difficult for me to ensure that the display quality was clear and the colour was correct. For this, I required sighted feedback. However, this led to me doing my own research on what affected display quality so that I could implement these settings during the initial design. Since I was working with a specialty case, I had to ensure the compatibility of hardware and software components to maximize performance. This required that I augment my knowledge of multimedia technology to configure sound and video settings. Finally, I implemented a speech engine to create an accessible user interface.

Because this was all new territory to me, there was a lot of trial and error. This project really strengthened my patience and my problem-solving abilities. This project utilized my skills in programming, software installation, and hardware assembly. Creating this media PC has encouraged me to research and experiment to customize a product to my needs, as well as the needs of others. For example, shows recorded using this media computer automatically have the commercials removed to increase viewing pleasure. This project has led to many hours of satisfied couch time.

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