Truth in Cliches

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Curiosity may’ve killed the cat, but the satisfaction of experimenting with great features and low prices brought the beast back. That’s the fuel that’s kept the Serotek engine humming these past eleven years.

There’s a reason that clichés exist, and it’s because they usually contain a lot of truth. “Time flies when you’re having fun.” I can certainly relate to that as I reflect on all that the Serotek team has accomplished recently. I’m astounded to realize I’m only in my fourth week as CEO of this company. In my first post to this community, I made some pretty bold statements when talking about my goals for Serotek, and I’m proud to say that in these past four weeks we’ve made an impressive start to accomplishing those goals.

We began by concentrating our efforts on System Access, and here are just a few of the things we fixed.

  • System Access now reads the list of email addresses available for autocompletion in Microsoft Outlook.
  • Users can now choose from the list of email accounts in Microsoft Outlook from which to send a new message.
  • Enhanced the "Some" punctuation level to speak the Equal and Asterisk symbols.
  • Fixed a bug where the Eloquence speech synthesizer would occasionally disappear on reboot, necessitating a System Access repair.
  • Addressed an issue where some users intermittently lost speech during a System Access session.
  • Fixed a bug which caused a runtime error if uninstalling System Access while the screen reader was still running.
  • Enhanced support for Chicken Nugget, a new third-party Twitter app, to enable faster scrolling in list views.
  • Improved responsiveness in the Windows Event Viewer tree view.
  • Improved handling of punctuation with Neospeech and RealSpeak voices.
  • Enhanced “say all” support for very large files.
  • Improved support for handling large blocks of selected data in Microsoft Excel.
  • Implemented support for the font dropdown menu in Wordpad.
  • Added the Plextalk Linio to the list of supported digital talking book players.

It is incredibly invigorating to work with this team, who can take an idea or a bit of guidance and shape it in to something tangible that is of value to our customers. The guidance doesn’t only come from me, but from the community of people who are quick to tell us when we’ve gotten something right, and just as quick to tell us where we can do something better. Maybe it sounds cliché to say we wouldn’t be where we are without your input, but again, clichés contain a lot of truth.

The value in this community’s feedback is certainly evident when looking at the Socializer. We started out with an idea to make social networking convenient, enjoyable, and easy to use, but the product has grown far beyond our expectations. When we released the update to the Socializer, we tagged the product as a community preview. This meant that we knew we still had lots of work ahead of us, but we wanted our users to get their hands on the product and show us where we could best direct our efforts. The Serotek team, working in concert with our customers, has designed a feature-rich product that makes communicating with friends and family around the world as effortless as picking up the phone or speaking to someone in the same room. In the past few weeks alone, we’ve added support for Twitter lists, viewing of Facebook and Twitter profiles, and tracking the number of retweets, just to name a few features.

At this point, I’m happy to announce that we are removing the community preview label from the Socializer. This doesn’t mean we’ll stop improving the product, or that we won’t continue taking suggestions from our users. It just means that the Socializer has grown from preview software to a solid and full-featured product. If you aren’t using the Socializer yet, now is a great time to find out what you’ve been missing. I encourage you to test-drive our software for a seven-day trial, subscribe to SAMNet, or purchase the Accessibility Anywhere package to access the Socializer and a whole lot more.

As you can see, we’re running full speed ahead at Serotek, and we have no intention of slowing down. I give my sincere thanks to those of you who are running right alongside us. You do so much to keep us energized and inspired. You use and enjoy our products, and you also serve as our ambassadors. When you find something you like, you don’t keep it to yourselves. You talk about it to others, and encourage them to try it too. Your efforts do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. We want to reward you for your efforts on our behalf, and in the next few weeks we will be announcing an initiative to do just that. In the meantime, you can be assured that our team will remain hard at work developing solutions to continue bringing you the best “accessibility anywhere” we possibly can.


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