Main content

Alert message

Contents of this page:


This document provides basic information on how to the Blazie Engineering family of note-takers to use E-mail or connect to the Internet. The Blazie note-takers include Braille n’ Speak, Type n’ Speak, and Braille Lite. BNS will be used through out this document to represent any of the devices. This is not a curriculum (although that may come in the future).

What do I need to use the BNS for E-mail and Internet access?

  • Telephone Line
  • Modem - a device that allows computers to send and receive information over telephone lines. Cost is between $75 - $150.
  • BNS Serial cable
  • Null Modem adapter - one was included in the serial interface kit supplied with your BNS. It has a male connector on one side and a female connector on the other (note: if it has a little hole on the top or bottom it is the Tweedle-dump and not the null-modem). If one is not available, it can be purchased inexpensively at most any computer store.
  • BrailleTerm or V-Term software - telecommunication software for the BNS from Blazie Engineering. The software helps the BNS connect with the modem and interact with Internet services. The cost for each is Braille Term - $99 and V-Term - $49. (note: you will need a BNS diskdrive to install this software on your BNS)
  • Internet Service Provider (ISP) - look in the yellow pages "COMPUTERS-ONLINE SERVICES" for a provider in your area. Cost is $10-$20 per month (shop around)
  • Shell Account or Dial-up Access- provided by an ISP. A shell account provides text (non-graphic, non-Windows) access to the Internet through a host computer. Shell accounts usually provide a menu of services (E-mail, World Wide Web, file management, etc.)

How do I connect the BNS to the Modem?

The steps for connecting the cable and null modem to the modem are as follows:

  • Connect the small end of the serial cable to the BNS
  • Connect the female end of the null modem to the large male end of the serial cable
  • Connect the male end of the null modem directly to the modem or to the serial cable of the modem.

What is the difference between Braille Term and V-Term?

From the Braille Term Manual:

Not only can BRAILLE TERM store information for an unlimited number of online services--limited only by your units' memory, but it supports all the upload and download protocols in your unit along with an external Z-MODEM protocol. It has a terminal mode, for emulating a VT100 terminal to a remote computer, and a review mode for examining the screen in detail. A full featured macro language is built into it as well. Other features like session logging, chat mode and a file viewer are also built into this program. Through the use of macros and definable keys, it is possible to fully customize Braille Term to your personal tastes.

From the V-Term section in the Blazie Catalog:

Any cyber-surfer will welcome this, a full VT-100 emulation program developed especially for Blazie notetakers. Your access to on-line services and the Internet has just opened considerably wider! (Full VT-100 emulation is required by some e-mail programs, such as Pine and Elm, and others.)

Look at just some of what you get:

  • Full VT-100 emulation for all keystrokes and cursor keys
  • Voice inflection denotes Web hyperlinks
  • Cursor tracking toggle for quick flicks between reading and editing modes
  • Full support for all functions of Pine and Elm
  • Facilities for entering control characters and function keys
  • Instructions for first-time modem users

How do I install Braille Term or V-Term on the BNS?

Install Braille Term or V-Term on the BNS using the portable disk drive

  • Attach diskdrive to BNS
  • Insert the appropriate disk
  • Enter "o-chord" on BNS - option
  • Enter "f" - file commands
  • Enter "t-chord" - file transfer
  • Enter "r" - receive file
  • Enter file name "brlterm.bns" for Braille Term or "vt100.bns" for V-Term
  • Enter "4,6-chord" - enter key
  • The file will be installed in the BNS's memory

What program do I use for E-Mail?

The most common text based E-mail program available on Shell Accounts is called Pine. There are several tutorials and user guides available on the World Wide Web at the following addresses.