FSCast #168 - Archive of FSOpenLine

March, 2019


RACHEL BUCHANAN:  Welcome, everyone, to FSOpenLine, Freedom Scientific’s global call-in show.  If you missed our blog post on the topic, and you’re wondering where we were in February, FSOpenLine has been moved to a new quarterly schedule, which means the next time you can join us to ask your questions will be in June 2019.  You can get more details about that on our web page.  And if that’s too much to remember, I understand.  Follow us on Twitter @FreedomSci, or subscribe to the Freedom Scientific blog so that you never miss an update.

While we are talking about changes, I should introduce myself.  My name is Rachel Buchanan, and I was brought onto the Freedom Scientific team in 2018 to primarily focus on user education, which means I spend my days connecting with users and trying to figure out how we can best meet your needs through training and documentation.  Which is why I’m excited to be on FSOpenLine, as that’s what this show is all about, talking to you all and connecting.

So joining us today are my colleagues Glen Gordon, who is Vispero’s Software Fellow; and Eric Damery, of course, Vispero’s Vice President of Software Product Management.  There we go.  Hi, guys, how are you?

GLEN GORDON:  Hey, Rachel, good to be with you.  And very nice to not be having to answer questions and host the show at the same time.  So welcome aboard.

RACHEL:  Thanks so much.

ERIC DAMERY:  It’s good to be here.  Hello, Rachel.  Hello, Glen.  And welcome to everybody.  Glad so many people could join us on this wonderful afternoon.  So Glen, maybe before we take any questions, we should talk about a few things.  I know we both participated recently in a very interesting event out in California.

GLEN:  Yes, the CSUN Conference, the one that’s been happening for, I realize now, haven’t we hit – didn’t it hit 30 recently?

ERIC:  I think it did.

GLEN:  Yes.

ERIC:  I know that this, I think, was my 25th year.  And it’s changed a lot.  We went from LAX down to San Diego, and now back to Anaheim.  And it was a lot of fun, and a lot of new people.  I will say in my presentations I always ask, you know, how many of you are here attending this presentation on JAWS for the first time.  And I never quite get to half the room raising their hand.  Well, this time we had over half the people in the room that had never been there before.  So to me that was very exciting.  And I know the Gassman Brothers joined us at the show.  They live right next door, I think.  And they had a lot of fun walking around, introducing themselves to people and having people shout across the room that they recognized their voice, and they know who they are now.  So...

GLEN:  And they even did some recording at the conference at the conference that’ll be part of FSCast in a couple of weeks.

ERIC:  That’s right.  That’s right.  I know they spoke with Terry Bray, one of the beta testers.  And a long-lost friend of ours was at the conference.  It was so good to catch up with them.  Did you get the chance to talk to Jonathan?

GLEN:  I was going to say, he’s not long, and he’s not lost.  He just no longer works for us.  So, yeah, he and I had lunch.  We had a great conversation.  And the conversation the Gassmans did with him was really, really good.  They interacted well, and we learned some stuff about Jonathan and his various roles at Aira.

ERIC:  Yeah, it was wonderful to see him.  He looks great, by the way.  And I know he’s exhausted.  He’s working hard.  He had his daughter, his teenage daughter with him for this trip to California.  And I think – I’m not sure if she was there to really see CSUN or maybe to visit Disney while she...

GLEN:  I was going to say, I think the tradeoff was she walked around with him and was his eyes where that was necessary, and in exchange for that she’d get a day at Disney, which meant that she was probably paid like 25 cents an hour.

ERIC:  Exactly.  So we also did an update in March.  We hit, actually on the Wednesday morning that the CSUN presentations were getting started, the updates came out for JAWS, ZoomText, and Fusion.  And the big hit at the conference, the thing that we showed off, and I hope everyone’s had an opportunity to look at, was the Picture Smart feature, the new artificial intelligence to be able to take your photographs, send them up to the cloud, have them analyzed and described, and send that description back and put it in the virtual results viewer for you to review.

GLEN:  Yes.  This is good.  And we have some other things coming in the April update.  We’ll have – our next JAWS 2019 update will come near the end of April.  And one of the things we’ve been working hard on is sort of giving a facelift to Revisions in Microsoft Word.  So if you’re collaborating with other people on documents, and you’ve wanted some additional and speedier functionality when it comes to reviewing and working with Revisions, I think you’ll be pleased with what’s coming out next month in that regard.

ERIC:  And that Revisions is a pretty advanced feature in Office and Word, and I’m pretty certain that we’ll get Rachel and her team to put together a webinar maybe and really just focus in on Revisions and how to interact with them and understand them and the different options.  So that’s going to be a good feature.  And we’ve also been working on updating our interface to how we navigate headings.  We’ve had a lot of requests over the years, people wanting to be able to use the numbers to move through.

For instance, if you want to move to your Level 3 headings, you don’t want to get stuck in the current section.  And you’d push 3, and you’d say no more headings at Level 3 in this section.  And you just – and you know there are more there.  So we’re giving the ability now for users to be able to press 3, and it’ll jump to that next one, and it will tell you the new Level 2 heading that you just landed in, and then it will tell you the Level 3.  So I think people are really going to like it.

GLEN:  So I’m thinking we should perhaps start taking some calls and then come back and talk about some other stuff.

ERIC:  Sure.  Sounds good to me.  We’ve got a hand up on a phone call.  And how about if I try and start with that one?  There’s a phone number, 570.  Are you with us?

DENNIS:  Hi.  Yes, Eric, I am.  It’s Dennis from Pennsylvania.  Hi, Eric.  Hi, Glen.  Hi, Rachel.

ERIC:  Hi, Dennis.

DENNIS:  A couple questions and suggestions for Screen Shade.  I guess I’ll start with suggestions first.  I understand why you want to have it retain its setting of being on if the computer’s rebooted or JAWS is rebooted.  Could we possibly have a happy medium where, if it was on previously, JAWS will say “Screen Shade was previously enabled.  Do you want to enable it?”

ERIC:  Yeah, that’s one of the things that I think I’ve got on our enhancement list to try and offer that option so that, if you did, as you said, if you had it enabled, and you exited JAWS or rebooted the computer, it could remember that you had it last time and ask you or prompt you, would you like to reenable it when it comes back.

GLEN:  I think it’s probably worth mentioning...

DENNIS:  Would you be willing...

GLEN:  ...that Screen Shade is, for people who have not heard about the feature, a way to work with JAWS and not have someone be able to look over your shoulder and see what’s going on on the screen.

DENNIS:  Yeah.  If the user always wanted it on at startup, would you be willing to add that as an option that the user had to enable?

ERIC:  Probably not.  And I’ll tell you why.  Some user’s going to turn that on, and somebody else is going to have to come and use their computer, and they’re not going to be there to answer that question, and that other user’s going to be stuck trying to understand what’s going on.  And it could lead to some real problems.  So I do like the idea of letting you know that it was on before, would you like to reenable it, if you shut down with it on.  I think we’re going to try and at least get that far.  So I think that might be the happy medium, I hope.

DENNIS:  Okay.  Do you think that will be in 2019?

ERIC:  I don’t know when we’re going to get it in.  But like I said, I’ve got it on the list.

DENNIS:  I have one other quick question, if I could?

ERIC:  Okay.

DENNIS:  The MLB Gameday audio player.  They obviously didn’t test it with Screen Reader because they use the up and down arrows to control volume, left and right to fast forward, et cetera.  Are there any kind of scripts you guys could write to make it work with their player?  I went back and forth  into looking to get a separate volume slider.  You have play/pause buttons that are accessible.  Without turning the Virtual PC Cursor off, and that doesn’t always work 100% of the time reliably...

GLEN:  I think the answer is we’re going to have to look at it.  I mean, and we know...

DENNIS:  Okay.

GLEN:  We know how much people like MLB and like listening to baseball.  And we want to do what we can to facilitate it.  But we haven’t looked at the client recently enough to be able to say if there’s something we can do or not.  But we’ll give it a shot.

DENNIS:  Thank you, Glen.  I appreciate it.

GLEN:  Thanks, Dennis.

ERIC:  Well, and I guess being that this is the first day of the baseball season, I might be able to take a look at that pretty soon, too.

GLEN:  Yes, perhaps, and count listening to your favorite team as part of the job.

ERIC:  Okay.  All right.  Should we take another question?  I see Steve Cutway.  Now, I’m not seeing text messages.  I don’t know if people are entering them or just raising their hand.  I’m going to go down the list here, and Steve Cutway will be next.  So Steve, are you there?

STEVE CUTWAY:  I am, indeed.  Can you hear me?

ERIC:  Yes, we can.

STEVE:  Very good.  Good afternoon Rachel, Eric, and Glen.  Glen, I’m keeping your slot warm for you on The Musical Web.

GLEN:  Thank you very much.  My other life.

STEVE:  Yes, indeed.  I’ve been doing it since you gave up, pretty much two and a half, three, almost three years now.

GLEN:  Okay, cool, thank you.

STEVE:  My question has to do with Excel, and I have a feeling that you’re going to suggest that I should get together on a tandem session with someone who can see at FS, and that would be fine with me.  The situation is this.  I’m using the latest version of Office 365, the latest version of JAWS 2019.  And by the way, folks, that picture feature is unbelievably helpful and useful.  So I thank you very much for adding that.

But in Excel, if I have a cell in which the text is wrapped, so wrapped text is turned on – I believe that’s ALT+V+W – I am unable to edit the cells that have wrapped text in them.  I can edit any other cell with F2.  But when I try to edit one of those cells that has wrapped text turned on, the arrow keys don’t do anything.  JAWS doesn’t speak.  And it’s as if – sometimes it will say “edit mode,” and I still can’t do it.  Sometimes it will say nothing, and escaping doesn’t do anything other than apparently return me to where I was.

Now, I have two Windows – this is in Windows 10, a Dell machine, the latest, well, it’s Build 1803 because I haven’t been offered 1809 for some reason yet.  And I have two Windows 7 machines that are using JAWS 2019, the latest version with Office 2013, and I have no problem with editing those cells.  I don’t know whether this is a JAWS script, an Excel script issue, or whether this is a Microsoft issue.  I talked to your first-level support, and they suggested I talk to Microsoft.  I did because I tried it with Narrator, which also didn’t work, and Microsoft punted it back to you guys.

GLEN:  I think we’re going to have to talk to them.  If it doesn’t work with Narrator, that’s a point in favor of it perhaps being an Office issue.

STEVE:  Absolutely.

GLEN:  But we obviously don’t know till we try it.

STEVE:  Yeah.  So if I can help in any way, I’d be happy to do so in terms of showing you what – because it could be machine-specific.  I recognize that, too.

ERIC:  So, Steve, I’ve got a question for you.

STEVE:  Sure.

ERIC:  You said that you have – you’ve tried this on Windows 7, also with the latest Office 365, and didn’t see the problem?

STEVE:  No, that’s not 365, Eric.  That’s 2013.

ERIC:  I got it.  Got it, okay.  And you said you had 1803 or 1809?

STEVE:  1803.  For some reason I haven’t been offered 1809 yet.

ERIC:  So if you’ll drop me an email,, I’ve got 1809, and I’ll do a quick test.  And we can go back and forth a little bit and let me just verify and see if I can reproduce it.

STEVE:  Okay.  Will do.  Thank you.  Yeah.

ERIC:  Okay.  Thanks, Steve.  Have a good day.

STEVE:  You, too.

ERIC:  All right.  And the next...

RACHEL:  Eric?

ERIC:  Yes.  Go ahead, Rachel.

RACHEL:  Oh, did you say you could or couldn’t see the chat?

ERIC:  I’m not seeing the – oh, I apologize.  I did find the chat.  So we’ve got a chat from Tom.

RACHEL:  Right.  That was what I was going to point out.

ERIC:  Yup.  So “Hello, guys.  I have a question I’d really love to ask.  It’s about translation.”  So let me find Tom here.

TOM:  So this is Tom calling from sunny Italy.  And my question is, my job is very, very common, seems to be very common among blind people.  But we are very, very penalized.  I am talking about translation because translation is dominated by what’s called assistive, assisted technology, assisted computer translation, or Computer Assisted Translation.  And the guide that dominates the market is a software piece called Trados.  And I wonder whether you have ever heard of it, and how long, and how much effort would it take to support such a software in order for translators to be able to do their job.  And the second very quick question is whether you have any update on the availability of Home licenses in Europe.  Thank you.

GLEN:  So let me take the – should I take the Trados question first, Eric?  Or you want to talk about the Home license?

ERIC:  Yeah, no, go ahead, talk about Trados first.

GLEN:  So Trados actually is one of the major players.  They’re also owned by the same people who run a product called Passolo.  Trados we have noticed in-house because we have a lot of blind translators and localizers.  They’ve had issues with more recent versions of Trados, as well.  It’s something that we can’t change on our own.  Some of the fundamentals of the application would make it very hard to do it without the cooperation of the vendor.  When I spoke to them, probably four years ago now, they felt our pain, but they essentially sent us out to a consultant and said, “Oh, someone can write an add-in for you.”  Which clearly would not have solved the problem.  So I don’t have a good answer for you.  It’s a problem that we’re faced with on a daily basis, as well, and don’t have a perfect solution, unfortunately.

ERIC:  And as far as the other question that Tom asked was about our Home Annual Licenses, our ability to deliver the portal solution outside the United States.  And that is on our list.  I don’t have any updated information yet.  But that is something that, you know, when we got into the portal business and delivering software the way we are now able to deliver it with the Home Annual Licenses in the U.S., the goal was to be able to have a solution that we’ll be able to send out through our distribution channel and assist them with delivering their localized versions in their markets in the same manner, as well.  So we’re not there yet, but that is something that we are intent on getting to, and we’ll keep you posted.

All right.  And let’s see.  I want to go back, I want to try and go in order.  Mohammed had a question.  Mohammed, are you there?

MOHAMMED:  Right.  Can you hear me?

ERIC:  Yes, we can.

GLEN:  Hey, Mohammed.

MOHAMMED:  Hey, Glen.  So I saw in the beginning of course in JAWS 2019 that you guys had added a feature where you could send anonymized data to Freedom Scientific.  And I was actually wondering if you have gleaned any interesting information from that.  Were there any applications that were used that you guys did not really track before that?  Or anything interesting, actually.

GLEN:  It’s all really in its infancy.  The biggest challenge was of course getting all the infrastructure in place to start tracking data.  And so that’s mostly what we saw in the early part of 2019.  One of the areas where we’ve added it is with Picture Smart.  And so we’re looking forward in the next couple of months as things, you know, even out and the initial benefit of people trying it sort of wears off.  We’re really interested in seeing how often people are using it, and some of the circumstances in which they use it.  But that’s the first one.

And, you know, we have some others because we’re wanting to figure out what areas should we be investing in and what areas really are only used by a couple of people and so we won’t necessarily remove them, but on the other hand we might be able to stop doing some of that work.

MOHAMMED:  Yeah, that was my second question, actually, because I see a lot of old applications like AOL Instant Messenger in the JAWS scripts.  And I guess...

ERIC:  We’ve been removing it over the years.

GLEN:  We’ve been trying to prune it.  And, you know, it’s really funny.  It’s the, if you leave, you know, you never get fired for betting on IBM used to be the old expression.  You never get fired by leaving stuff in.  If you take it out, and it’s someone’s favorite, then people complain.  So we’ve been slow to remove some of these things.  But the messengers are on our list of things to prune.

RACHEL:  Absolutely.

GLEN:  Since I don’t think it’s possible to run them.

MOHAMMED:  Nice.  It was really interesting to see.  I was going through scripts to see what I needed to do to get some functionality added to JAWS.  But I saw those things, and I thought, oh.

GLEN:  You’re too observant, Mohammed.  You know, have something that’ll make you less observant.

MOHAMMED:  I’m a software developer.  If I’m not observant, I’ll get fired.

GLEN:  Cool.  Thank you very much.

MOHAMMED:  Thanks.

ERIC:  All right.  And Landa, let’s see if we can get you on here.  Welcome to FSOpenLine.

LANDA:  I am here.  Can you hear me?

ERIC:  We can.

LANDA:  My question is that I’ve noticed in UEB particularly some longstanding braille input issues that I was wondering if they are ever going to be resolved.  I’m really starting to become disgusted with – and I know they’re Liblouis.  I’m starting to become very disgusted with typing QK and getting “quicks” instead of “quick.”

GLEN:  So I can give you some answers which will probably be partially satisfactory.  We are slowly beginning to contribute back to Liblouis.  And it’s a process for us because it’s the tradeoff between doing things that benefit JAWS by itself and benefits not only JAWS, but benefits the whole braille community.  But braille is one of those areas, now that Liblouis has sort of become the gold standard, where we feel like, if we begin to help fix some of these errors, it’s going to help, not only JAWS users, but help everybody who’s trying to use UEB in particular.  So it’s on our list.

We’ve offered up a couple of fixes to UEB that have been in JAWS for a while that we thought others would benefit from.  And it is in our plans to begin to help fix some of these things.  I just – I can’t give you an exact date.  But we do feel your pain.  We’ve heard it from other people, as well.  So if you have a couple that are really annoying to you, it would certainly be helpful to know about those, to see if we can give them some priority.

LANDA:  Where should I send those?

GLEN:  You can send them to me.  I’m, V I S P E R O.

LANDA:  Okay.  And then I have a question.  When are we going to be able to have a picture on Facebook and use Picture Smart to recognize it?

GLEN:  Eric?

ERIC:  That’s one of the things that I have high on the list of enhancements.

LANDA:  Okay.

ERIC:  So, yeah, the goal is, if you run across a picture on Facebook, you should be able to instantly, through a keystroke, say grab this one and send it up and tell me something about it.

LANDA:  Okay.

ERIC:  So we haven’t got it there yet, but that’s one of the things on the list.

LANDA:  Perfect.

ERIC:  All right.

LANDA:  Excellent.

ERIC:  Thank you, Landa.  There was another question from – Amy Hardwood had a couple of questions.  One was related to Picture Smart, if they could save descriptions and associate it with the photo.  So that’s also on our list, Amy.  We intend on allowing you to be able to add a tag to your photos so that you can easily come back and recognize what they are.

And you also wanted to know more about the fifth-generation ElBraille Focus 40, what can we tell you about the release, specs, and cost and so forth.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the spec sheet in front of me.  But I will tell you that they had the fifth-generation at CSUN.  They had several of them there.  A lot of people came by, and they really liked it.  The unit, I will tell you, it’s a little bigger.  If you’ve seen the older one, it’s a little thicker and a little taller, but it’s got a lot more horsepower in it.  It’s got an i5 processor, and 8 gig of RAM, and a solid, well, I’m not sure if it’s a solid-state drive.  I don’t think it’s a solid-state drive, but it is a much more robust performance out of this unit.  So the feedback was great.  I think availability is this quarter in the U.S., but I have not got a date on it.

GLEN:  Sounds good.

ERIC:  Okay.

GLEN:  So Rachel, do you want to jump in here a little bit and talk about what’s going on in the training realm before we go on to the next call?

RACHEL:  Absolutely.  So as I said earlier, I have been working in user education, and we’re really trying to get to the bottom of what our users’ needs are as far as training and documentation are concerned.  And I know that documentation question came up earlier, kind of made me smile because we know that there’s a lot of work to do in documentation.  It’s a huge project all to itself.  And so for now we’ve been focusing on training.

You may have noticed that we’ve started doing our live trainings again, webinars, on the first Thursday of the month; and on the third Thursday of the month we’re doing a live interactive training called “FS Skill Building and Review.”  And so basically we do the webinar.  It’s about 45 minutes, more like a solid lecture.  We do some demonstrations.  And then on the third Thursday of the month we have people back to do more of an open classroom environment.  We build on what we’ve learned in the webinar.  And we walk through tasks step by step and give people the chance to interact and ask questions all through that training event.

So we’ve been doing a lot of other things on Twitter and the blog and with our training home page.  So you should definitely check those out.  But that’s kind of the basics of what we’ve been doing as far as connecting and live training.

GLEN:  Now, are we putting stuff up on YouTube yet?  I know we’ve been doing it for ZoomText for some time.  Are we going to do that for JAWS, as well?

RACHEL:  We are.  We are working on that, and working on improving our tutorial videos.  We want to make a lot of short tutorial videos available so that, if people have a question or a task that they need to learn how to do, they can quickly go to YouTube and listen to that or watch that video.  And so very soon – we’ve created a Freedom Scientific training channel.  And very soon you’ll see a variety of different videos that come up on there.  And again, make sure you’re following Twitter or subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss those updates because I know that everyone’s busy, and it’s hard to catch up with all the news.

ERIC:  All right.  We’ve got a call from Adam Morris.  So how about if we bring Adam in?  Are you there, Adam?

ADAM:  Yes, I am.

ERIC:  Welcome.

ADAM:  I have a question regarding JAWS Home versus JAWS Pro.  Someone else and myself from Australia contacted our dealer and got two separate answers regarding this.  We run businesses where we help train people in the use of JAWS and other assistive technology.  And we asked whether we needed to use JAWS Pro or Home.  My friend was told that he had to upgrade to Pro, and I was told that I could stay on Home and not to worry about upgrading.

ERIC:  I like the answer you got better.  All kidding aside, there is an End-User License Agreement, EULA.  If you go to our home page and search for that, you’ll find the JAWS End-User License Agreement.  If you’re running the latest JAWS, and you go to the Help menu, I think you can get to it from there, as well.  And that kind of describes the licensing guidelines for Home and for Professional.  So I would definitely direct you to look at that.

But I will tell you that the Home license is intended to be used on equipment that you own.  Now, some people have their own personal laptop, and they install a Home license on it, and they take it to their school, or they take it to their place of business, and they run JAWS at that place of business.  That’s okay.  It’s on your equipment.  It’s your personal equipment.  You can run it.  Whether you’re training someone or not doesn’t really matter.  If you’re going to install it in someone’s commercial setting, whether it’s a school or a place of business or a training center, then that would in fact have to be a Professional license that gets installed there.

ADAM:  Okay.  Thanks very much for that.

ERIC:  Okay.  Thanks, Adam.

GLEN:  You know, we’ve been doing FSOpenLine now since, what, I can’t remember.  I guess August was the first month.  And one of the topics that’s come up was raised by someone who actually used to work for us, Otis – what’s Otis’s last name?

ERIC:  Otis Wilson.

GLEN:  Otis Wilson.  And he said PowerPoint is very hard to use  these days if you’re really trying to create content or consume it.

ERIC:  Especially 365.

GLEN:  Exactly.  And we took some of that feedback to heart.  And in the March update of JAWS, you should see some substantial PowerPoint improvements, both when creating slides, but in particular when viewing a slide show.  We were a little bit behind in terms of updating some of the techniques that are now available that weren’t available when we did this years ago.  We’ve modernized how we present this information.  It’s much more complete.  It’s faster to get to.  It’s much more reliable.  So if you’re a PowerPoint user, or you want to be a PowerPoint user, the March update of 2019 is a good thing to try.

ERIC:  Absolutely.  And I got good feedback at CSUN from people.  Matter of fact I talked to two different people early in the show who told me, “When are you going to get that working?”  And I said, you know, “Wednesday morning, why don’t you download the update and install it and try it out?”  And they came back to me during the show and said it’s great.  They really appreciated it.  So that was wonderful.

You know, there was an anniversary, I think, that just hit recently.  And I know that Brian Hartgen is out there listening in.  And I think his J-Say product just had an anniversary.  I saw something on Facebook about that.  So congratulations to Brian Hartgen and all the work that he’s done over the years on J-Say.

GLEN:  And if you don’t know about J-Say, it’s a way that combines using Dragon Naturally Speaking with JAWS and adds some JAWS functionality to make those two really work together well.

ERIC:  Yeah.  So Glen, we’ve had some issues with Research It over the years, and they’ve come back to haunt us once again.  I think we’ve run into some issues now with the Amazon app, and there may have been a couple of others.  I know we’re talking about some strategy on moving to a new solution with APIs.  Anything you can share with us?

GLEN:  We see that Research It is something that’s phenomenally popular amongst JAWS users.  Quite honestly, I knew that Research It would be good because it allows you to get information without changing your primary work context.  But I had no idea how popular it would be.  But it is.  And we’re finding that some of our Research It rules aren’t working as well as they used to because the websites that we’re searching have changed.

So we plan to invest in giving a little bit of a facelift to Research It, both in some cases by consuming what are called APIs that people like Amazon provide to allow us to get their information in a structured fashion.  They tell us, if you do X, we’ll give you this kind of information.  That tends to be a little more reliable sometimes than downloading the web page and trying to “scrape,” as the term often is, trying to scrape the data out of the web page because, whenever the web page changes, we potentially risk not being able to gather it anymore.  So that’s one thing we’re investigating, and a couple of other things to perhaps make it easier to write Research It rules, but at the same time make them more robust.

ERIC:  And I would imagine that some of these places, and Amazon’s probably one of them, would be very welcoming to share their API and help you get the information.  I’ve often wondered about others.  I know we have looked at MLB in the past to see if we can get better access to theirs.  And I think they’re pretty protective of the information and make it more difficult.  But we’re going to have to go back and try that again.

GLEN:  And we will be doing it.

ERIC:  Good.  And we’ve got another hand up, so I’m going to bring in Brad’s iPhone.  Welcome, Brad’s iPhone.

GLEN:  I wonder if Brad’s with it.

ERIC:  Oh, I think I muted him again.  Okay, Brad.

BRAD:  Can you hear me?

ERIC:  Yes, we’ve got you now.  Go ahead.

BRAD:  All right.  Hey, guys.  Thanks for taking my question.  It’s minor.  It’s kind of a pet peeve of mine, though.  Every time I update JAWS, or in my case Fusion, I guess it refreshes all the icons on the screen.  And you’ve got to go reset your shortcut keys every time.  Is there a way you guys could do something about that?

ERIC:  You know, that’s a great question.  And someone brought that to my attention just recently.  I couldn’t believe it was happening.  And so that was on the list.

BRAD:  It’s been going on as long as I can remember.

ERIC:  Yeah, that’s what they’ve told me.  So there’s no reason for us to be doing that.  The installer should be smart enough to know that we didn’t change the icon.  This is just an update, and that file shouldn’t be changed, and we shouldn’t have to overwrite it.  So I don’t know when that one’s going to get fixed, but I know it’s on the installation task to get done, and it is one that we absolutely will do.

BRAD:  Cool.

GLEN:  Brad, I can give you a – can I give you a short-term fix?  I don’t know that I can give you a short-term fix.  There potentially is one.  But...

ERIC:  Sounds like a hack to me.

GLEN:  Well...

BRAD:  I’ve done all kinds of little things.

GLEN:  It had to do with – oh, I know what it – I know what you can do.  If you make a copy of the shortcut...

BRAD:  Been there, done that.

GLEN:  ...and give it a different name, and then assign the hotkey to that other shortcut.

BRAD:  I make a folder on my desktop, and I move my JAWS, my Fusion, and my ZoomText icon into the folder.  Then I do the update.  And then when the update’s done, I move them all back.  It’s six to one, half dozen of another.  It’s just as much work to do that as it is to go to each one and just – I’m very, you know, I’ve done it a million times so I’m very, very quick at it.  But nonetheless, I just...

ERIC:  Right.

GLEN:  So much for my great ideas.

BRAD:  Yeah, well, I’ve tried it, you know.  It’s just, I don’t know.  And I’ve noticed that it brief...

ERIC:  Well, Brad, we apologize.  It definitely should not do it.

BRAD:  It refreshes and kind of slightly rearranges them, you know.  So I don’t know.  It does what it does.  But it’d just be nice if it didn’t, if it left them alone.

GLEN:  It should.

ERIC:  All right.

BRAD:  Anyway, thanks for taking my question, guys.  I enjoy the show.  Thank you very much.

ERIC:  Thanks, Brad.

GLEN:  Thanks, Brad.

RACHEL:  Thanks, Brad.  So Eric, it looks like we had a couple questions before he raised his hand.  Did you see Mike H. and Roberta had their hands raised?

ERIC:  I did not.

RACHEL:  Okay.

ERIC:  But I’ll look for them.

RACHEL:  All right.

ERIC:  I still don’t see them.  But I see there is a chat question, or a comment from Brian Hartgen.  We use various APIs in some of our JAWS and Fusion products for news and weather, for example, and it really is the way to go much, much faster.  So that’s good.  There’s some justification for what we should be doing.

GLEN:  So can you find these people, even if you can’t find their hands?

ERIC:  All right.  Well, let’s try Mike H.  Are you there, Mike?

MIKE:  Yeah, actually I just sent a message stating that I didn’t have a question.  But I would like to make a comment, now that you called on me.  Just want to say that I enjoy the new style of webinars that you guys are doing twice a month.

ERIC:  Great.

RACHEL:  I’m so glad to hear that.  Thank you so much.

GLEN:  Can you elaborate a little bit?  What intrigues you about them, and why are they better?

MIKE:  Just because some of them, like the one last week, I believe it was on the 21st I caught the archive, kind of gave me a review of some things that I had forgotten about with voice profiles.

GLEN:  Oh, excellent.

MIKE:  Oh, just kind of a, you know, just a basic refresher.  Because sometimes, if you don’t use something for a long time after you set it and forget it, it kind of goes away.

RACHEL:  I’ve always felt the same way about voice profiles.

ERIC:  Yeah, there are a lot of features I think in the product that we want to get out there and get on the webinars for people to be able to see.  One of my favorites, and I talk about it and show it all the time when I’m doing presentations, is the INSERT+SPACEBAR+J for the JAWS Commands.  It’s such a great tool to be able to go in and just look at some of the things that are in there.  Even if you’re not sure what you’re looking for, type a letter and start looking what’s there.

All right.  We’ve got some great news coming up in the U.S. for the education market.  You know for a number of years now we’ve been delivering solutions through American Printing House (APH) out of Louisville, Kentucky, where students, school districts have been able to acquire licenses through APH for students to use on an annual basis.  Those student licenses work for JAWS or ZoomText or Fusion.  And if they use it for a year, then the school district could issue them another one the next year and so forth.  And it was a pretty good solution.

But we’ve come up with a better way, now that we’ve introduced the software portal, and we’ve created the Home Annual Licenses.  We’ve created annual licenses that can be used by the schools for their students.  So they can acquire one of those licenses, either through APH or direct through our eStore for less than a $100 and set up a student right in the classroom to be able to take advantage of using JAWS or use ZoomText.  So that’s a great new product.

And we’re getting ready to roll out a solution for college students throughout the United States.  If their universities are using our software and are up to date with a multiuser license, that’s going to entitle the students to be able to take advantage of the Home Annual Licenses that we offer, and they’ll be able to get them for free while they’re participating in college and while their college is staying up to date.  So it’s a great new opportunity coming up.  And anyone out there with a college ID might want to keep an eye on our website and watch for the happenings on that solution.

RACHEL:  Right.  And on that topic, Roberta did ask a question about whether or not we’re going to be doing any training for Skype in the future.  And the answer is definitely yes.  Skype is a really highly requested topic for us to go into in training, especially Skype 8.  So for that, as well, keep your attention towards our web page and our training schedule, which you can find at  And we will be doing some training on Skype in the future.

GLEN:  I want to talk about a tool that I have found that I absolutely love.  It’s a little geeky.  I do admit that.  But I always am looking to find files by name.  I don’t really care about most of the search features that Windows has for searching the contents of files.  I know the name of the file.  I don’t quite know where it is.  And I was looking for a tool that was lightweight, that was super fast and really accessible.  I have found one.  The price is right.  It’s absolutely free.  It’s called Everything, developed by a guy named David Carpenter.  I don’t know anything about him other than the fact he’s been doing this for a long time.  It uses standard Windows controls.  It works on everything from Windows 7 up through Windows 10.  It’s really quick.  It indexes files in the background.  It’s a nice add-on.  I know Windows has similar features, but this is lean and mean, as it were.  You can go to, V O I D tools.  And that’s the only thing on there.  So if you’re interested in trying something to allow you to quickly find files, I highly recommend Everything.

ERIC:  And that will also go out, Glen, through things like Dropbox and stuff like that?  Do you know?

GLEN:  It will look at your Dropbox folder.  I don’t know what you mean...

ERIC:  So, yeah.  So if you have a Dropbox folder on your PC, it can find everything in it.

GLEN:  Yes.  It basically will find any file on your PC.  And if you add a file, it gets added to the index instantly, and there it is.

ERIC:  Amazing.

GLEN:  And there are all sorts of ways to search by filename.  It doesn’t look at the contents, just the names.

ERIC:  Great.  All right, Mohammed.  You’re back.

MOHAMMED:  Yeah.  So you said something that made me very excited.  And I thought I’d raised my hand already, but I hadn’t.  So you guys are looking at APIs.  And of course APIs are the way to go for many, many things.  So I was wondering if you guys would be able to get that, not only into Research It, but also into scripting, so that we can use APIs easily from scripts.  Because I know quite a few tools that can be used to test, for example, APIs, but also some websites that have APIs, but that are not very accessible.  And I was wondering if we could use those scripts then to query those sites, both for testing purposes, but also for usage purposes, prior to hot keys.

ERIC:  The answer is yes, but perhaps in a slightly different way.  I think the JAWS scripting language may not be the best place to exercise web APIs, just because of the functionality that we provide or we don’t provide.  But by doing something as a Research It module, I know the term might be a little wrong, but you would potentially have more flexibility to call upon these APIs using JavaScript or a language that’s more natural for them.

MOHAMMED:  Yeah, that would be even better.

ERIC:  And then still be able to call them from the JAWS scripts.

MOHAMMED:  That would be a lot better.  And also I was wondering if you guys are planning on making any convenience features for JAWS scripting for the web because now it’s quite difficult to get some things done, and it takes quite a long time.  But if I would like to, for example, gather all links with a certain HTML class, it can take a while and quite a big function to get that done.  Also some websites hide elements when the mouse is not moving.  So maybe a function that would move the mouse so that those elements become visible again, and we can interact with them.  That would be – those little things would be a great tool to have, as well.

GLEN:  These are good ideas.  You should come work for us.

MOHAMMED:  I would.  I would love to.  But I am not from Florida, though.

GLEN:  Okay.  Well, we do have some remote employees.  I’m in the happy state of Wisconsin.  So we’ll have to talk.

MOHAMMED:  Oh, sure.

GLEN:  These are great ideas, Mohammed.

MOHAMMED:  I’m certainly open to it.

GLEN:  Okay.  Sounds good.  Thanks a lot.

RACHEL:  Thanks, Mohammed.

MOHAMMED:  All right.  Thank you.

RACHEL:  And it looks like we may have missed a couple of questions, before we wrap up, from Amy.  She had a couple follow-up questions, Eric, if you can scroll back in the chat?  They’re just a little ways back.  One about a Lenovo and one about a braille display.

ERIC:  Yeah.  So let’s start with the braille display.  “Have you had any reports of computers changing the input COM port for braille displays from Bluetooth COM 3?”  I have not heard anything about that.

GLEN:  I have not, either.

ERIC:  So let’s try the other one.  “Do you know of any issues related to preloaded Lenovo software on Yoga laptops that could cause issues with JAWS?”  I have had Lenovo laptops.  And I can’t recall any of the specifics.  But I remember saying to myself after the last one – and I don’t think it was related to what it did to JAWS.  I think there was something else.  But I made a decision I’m going to move away from the Lenovo and try a Dell again.  So I did.  But you never know, with some of the preinstalled software, what’s going to happen.

GLEN:  Now, in theory, when you get preinstalled software, you should be able to go into Programs and Features and remove them one at a time.  It’s not guaranteed; right?  If they really want to leave something and make sure it’s persistent, they can come up with ways of not having an uninstaller.  But at least walking through what’s installed and uninstalling the stuff that you’re quite sure you’ll never use is a good place to start.  It may not solve this specific problem, but it’ll certainly make your machine run a bit faster.

ERIC:  Yeah.  And sometimes running a Google about one of the issues or the software that you think might be causing you a problem on the Lenovo, sometimes if you google it you’ll find out some information, as well.

GLEN:  So it sounds like we’ve perhaps come to the end of our ride, as it were.

ERIC:  Yes.  So our next one will be before the summer conventions, I’m assuming?

RACHEL:  Yes.  In late June.

ERIC:  Great.  And I look forward to that.  And do you know, I think we’re going to Las Vegas this year with the NFB Convention.

RACHEL:  We are.

ERIC:  And the ACB Convention’s going to be in Rochester, New York.  So we look forward to seeing a lot of our users out there.  And as always at the trade shows we plan on having some good specials.  We’ll do something special with the Home Annual Licenses for people to be able to participate in that program, if they haven’t already.  So I thank you both for being with us today, and all of the guests that joined in.

RACHEL:  Yeah, it was great.  Thank you guys all for joining us, again.

GLEN:  And Rachel, thanks for being part of this, and welcome aboard.

RACHEL:  Thanks.  It’s a work in process, and it’ll only get smoother, I hope.

ERIC:  Fantastic.

RACHEL:  Thanks.

ERIC:  We’ll see you next time.

GLEN:  Thank you all.  Bye.



  •  03/31/2019  •