Thumbs up: One thing about diehard Apple fans: They live for a new release.

A byproduct of this -- oh, let's call it what it is -- compulsion is a drawerful of gadgets, all perfectly fine in every detail minus the fact they're not the latest.

Throw them away? That's insane. These are Apples. Disconnect them, and they're merely works of art.

But now these aficionados can put their previous-generation iPhones and iPads to a better use -- by sharing the wonders of Steve Jobs with those who likely will benefit far more from the devices than the original owners ever did.

Spring Garden Township-based ForSight Vision is collecting donations of old iPhones and iPads so blind and vision-impaired residents in York can benefit from the voice-over mode technology.

Tony Heath, director of access technology at ForSight, said whenever he or his blind or vision-impaired friends purchase technology products, they have to pay hundreds of extra dollars to have the product modified to accommodate their needs.

But the Apple products come with the technology standard; no upgrades are necessary.

"If you would have told me five or 10 years ago that a totally blind person would be able to use a touch screen I would have told you that you were crazy," said Heath. "It's just amazing. Apple is ingenious."

Anyone is welcome to donate iPads or iPhone 4 or higher at ForSight Vision, 1380 Spahn Ave., Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4:30 p.m. For more information call Bill Rhinesmith at 848-1690 ext. 103.


Thumbs down: To Congress, for dragging its feet on renewing the farm bill and leaving dairy farmers like June and Thomas Boyer of Jackson Township in the lurch.

The bill expired at the end of September, killing an killing an assistance program that paid dairy farmers when milk prices fell to low levels.

The Boyers, who milk their 44 cows twice a day and ship the product to Maryland and Virginia, last month received their final check from the federal Milk Income Loss Contract Program.

"This affects everybody. Some people don't realize where their food comes from," June Boyer said.

Hint: It doesn't come from farmers who can't afford to produce it.