Sweet Juliet, Free of Planned Obsolesce

A Blind Woman Brailling Like It's 1995

This Juliet embosser helped me through college and law school. She followed me from Portland to Boston to Oakland, and dents along her surface commemorate each trip. Newer, lighter, flashier Braille printers exist, but this still works for me.

Descriptive Transcript

I’m feeding paper into a large machine, about two feet long and a foot deep. A keypad on the right has print and braille.

Haben: This is a Juliet Braille Embosser. She’s 16 years old. It’s impressive it still works.

(Haben presses keys.)

Juliet Embosser: (Buttons beeping) (Machine gears turning, paper scraping) Printer (inaudible) out of paper. Press EV to stop tones. Paper out is clear. The Printer is online.

Haben: It still pounds out braille so people can read braille.

(Loud mechanical pounding. Haben reaches behind the embosser and reads a few words on the page.)

Haben: And by people I mean me. A lot of tech these days is designed with obsolescence and it stops working almost immediately. It’s my hope that we’ll get more tech that lasts 16 years, 30 years, so people can keep using products that help make their lives better.