Mario Lang -- Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do you work with Computers if you can not see?

People tend to ask me this question rather often. So I decided to briefly document this here, to shed a little light on the issue.

I am using a Braille display to access the screen content on my computer. Such a device usually consists of 40 or 80 cells, each cell being able to display one ASCII character. A cell consists of 8 dots, 4 down and 2 across, which can either be set (up) or not (down). Since a cell has 8 dots, a byte of data (8 bits) can fully be represented in a tactile manner.

I am currently using a HandyTech Braille Star 40, which is a very nice and ergonomic device. I love it!

Q: If I send you SMS messages, can you read them?

Since several years now, I am the happy owner of a talking GSM phone. So the short answer is yes. Mobile phones based on the Symbian operating system are mostly accessible. There is a third-party application (TalX) available, which includes software speech synthesis capabilities as well as a pretty neat screen reader for the Symbian operating system.

I personally use a Nokia 9500 communicator with Talx.

Are you the Mario Lang from Starmania, and can I have a autograph?

In fall 2006 the austrian public TV station ORF launched the third instance of their "Starmania" series. It is basically a teen-pop-star casting show, as it is broadcasted in many other different countries under various names as well.

Unfortunately, one candidate of Starmania 3 has the same name (first and last name) as I have.

Mario Lang did not win the contest (he came out forth place) but he seems to have quite a fanclub. As you can imagine, I am getting a pretty huge share of his fan phone calls, since I am listed in the phonebook, and he obviously is not. This is extremely tedious since 99% of the callers are female and surely younger than 14. Kids in this age cathegory don't seem to be able to do meaningful phone conversations, to word it very mildly.

So, to answer the question, no, you can't have autographs, at least not if you expect one from the "Pop star" Mario Lang.

If anyone from ORF is reading this, I'd really wish for a bit of compensation for the harrassment that I am being exposed to.

Last Modified: 2007-03-15 20:13:58
You can view the Source Code of this page