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Locked-in Syndrome


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CNT & PNC Review

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Point-N-Click & Click-N-Type

These two programs together with SmartNAV (or similar) allow complete control of a computer completely hands-free. Point-N-Click (PNC) is a dwell-clcker and Click-N-Type (CNT) is an onscreen keyboard.

Although they have similar styled names, they come from two completely different authors - PNC is from www.polital.com/pnc/ and CNT from www.cnt.lakefolks.com although, judging by the many links to each other, they must be very closely connected.

I must stress that both these programs are completely free, so if you found them elsewhere and paid for them, try and get your money back.

I stopped using CNT when I got LUCY but I still use it on the Tablet on my wheelchair. The great advantages of Lucy are that it's faster and (more importantly) it doesn't need an Operating System (computer 'sees' it as a standard keyboard) - in fact one can install Windows without ever touching the computer (I do). The keyboard can be set to auto-hide, leaving only one edge of an (adjustable) number of pixels.

CNT is highly configurable and it can be set up just how you like it. The only drawback is that it takes up valuable screen space (which any onscreen keyboard does). This inconvenience can be minimized by auto hiding it and making it semi-transparent.

PNC is a dwell clicker and is also highly configurable. With a dwell clicker, you put the mouse pointer over a specific area for a set time (adjustable), the mouse gets 'charged' with a specific function (like left-click) and then put mouse pointer where you want to click using that function and keep it there for the 'dwell time' - and it unloads. It is a bit complicated to explain but after using it for a few days, it becomes second nature. The selection panel can also be docked and hidden as shown in the images (click on them to enlarge).

The only thing (in my opinion) they both lack is a save/restore profile option - it would be very useful when reinstalling after a format. Obviously it can be done by saving some registry values but a simple mistake n the registry can make the whole computer unuseable. A simple menu option would be much easier and safer.

Early this year (2014), I began using Windows 8.1 and I unfortunately noticed some problems with both CNT and PNC. Both programs should stay 'on top' but for anything to stay on top requires certification from Microsoft - which entails an annual fee. Since they are both free, it doesn't make sense for the authors to pay for certification. In certain cases (like when using Metro screen instead of the usual desktop), they don't remain 'on top' and can't be used.

Since I got Lucy, I don't use CNT any more but if you rely on it, you have a problem. If you call the Metro screen, CNT will disappear and you have no way of exiting from it. With Lucy I just type Ctrl-Esc.







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