RACHEL BUCHANAN: Hello everyone, and welcome to FSOpenLine, Freedom Scientific’s global call-in show. We are so glad you can join us for our February 2020 episode. My name is Rachel, as most of you know. And before we get started chatting with my colleagues, let me remind you of a few details that will help you, especially if you’re new to FSOpenLine, of how to connect with us during the show.
If you’re on Windows, and you’d like to type in your question, you’ll need to open the chat box. You can do that with JAWS by pressing ALT+H. The chat box will pop open. You type in your message, press ENTER, and we’ll be able to read it.
If you’d like to ask your question verbally, go ahead and raise your hand. You can do that by pressing ALT+Y, Yankee. If you’d like to raise your hand on the mobile platform, just double-tap the “raise hand” button. And then, finally, if you’ve joined us via telephone, to raise your hand you’ll just press two keys back-to-back, *9, pretty quickly, back-to-back, *9. Your hand will be raised.
Once your hand is raised, we will call on you and unmute you. You don’t need to unmute yourself. In fact, it’s easier for everyone to hear if you just stay muted until we unmute you. We really appreciate your participation and your cooperation.
Now, let’s get started talking to Glen Gordon and Eric Damery. How are you guys?
GLEN GORDON: Doing well, Rachel. How about yourself?
RACHEL: Doing really well, actually. Having a great night.
ERIC DAMERY: Good evening, Rachel.
RACHEL: Hey, Eric.
GLEN: I always really like it when, looking at the roster of people who have joined us, there are always new people. And that’s a wonderful thing.
RACHEL: It is. It means we’re going to get some great questions.
ERIC: Yeah, we’ve got a good turnout tonight, up to 47 folks right now. And maybe before we get to the questions we should just talk a little bit about what’s coming up over the next couple of weeks here. Rachel, you and I are both going to be in California. Glen, I think you’re going to skip this year.
GLEN: I am skipping this year. It’s hard to think that that may be the case because I’ve attended most CSUNs since the mid‑‘90s.
GLEN: I’m sitting this one out.
ERIC: Well, we’ll be out there starting the 9th of March arriving. And I think, Rachel, you and I will probably be there all week.
RACHEL: Yes, I’ll be there.
ERIC: So we hope to see the folks. And I know that Larry and John Gassman of FSCast will be roaming around and interviewing different people. So if you’re there, make sure you seek them out, say hello. I also wanted to mention that we’re going to have something brand new at CSUN this year that we really haven’t shown before and that are some JAWS-powered Kiosk stations. There’ll be four of them set up at the CSUN convention this year that we’ll be showing. And I hope everybody has an opportunity to come by the booth and get their hands on one of these JAWS speaking Kiosks. They’re really easy to use, and someone will give you a walkthrough.
GLEN: This is the kind of thing you’d see if you went to the Social Security Administration, or you went to an airline to check in, or to a bank or something where you’re registering...
RACHEL: Or to a lot of fast food restaurants.
GLEN: Oh, that’s right.
RACHEL: And just to give people an opportunity to check out the Kiosks, we have a little JAWS quiz. So you can come to the Kiosk and test your JAWS knowledge. At the same time, you can answer a few questions with the Kiosk and get a feel for using it. It’ll be really fun.
GLEN: And I guess I’ve said something about myself that I didn’t think about fast food restaurants. I don’t think I’ve been in one for a while.
RACHEL: Yeah, me neither. I’ve just heard things.
GLEN: It’s not even on my radar. One of the things that’s come up periodically from people is a question of how to listen to FSCast, and by extension the recording of FSOpenLine using your smart speaker, that one from Google or that one from Amazon. And there’s a great podcast skill for that Amazon device. It’s called AnyPod. And AnyPod does a much better job of understanding FSCast, or Freedom Scientific FSCast. So if you’ve been befuddled by why your smart speaker won’t play our podcast, try asking that woman who shall not be named, “Enable AnyPod,” and then at that point you can ask AnyPod to play FSCast or play Freedom Scientific FSCast, which I think works a little bit better. And it tends to be much more accurate, as well as being a pretty well full-featured podcast app for that device.
ERIC: I was sitting here trying to wonder why you wouldn’t say her name, and then I realized that it probably wouldn’t be going over too good at this moment.
RACHEL: Yes. Glen and I were trying to have a conversation earlier with my smart speaker talking in the background. It almost caused quite a bit of confusion.
GLEN: Maybe I should order something on everyone’s device. Please, young woman, would you order 10 copies of JAWS. Anyway.
ERIC: Well, Anil, are you there?
ANIL: I’m there, Eric. There are three quick questions. First one is can you change the naming of JAWS updates, like 2020.1, 2020.2, et cetera, instead of naming some random internal numbers?
GLEN: Well, that’s a good question. I don’t think we can change the naming conventions. And we’re trying to follow – so it’s 2020, and then it’s 2002 came out in February of 2020. So the 20 and the 02 is for February of 20. And then the build number of the build that month, whenever we released it. So any time that you do see a full version like that, you’ll be able to tell the year and the month and the build number. And that’s why they use those.
ERIC: And the reason we need the build number is because, although you only see an update once every month or once every six weeks, we go through a whole lot of interim builds that our beta testers test, and that we test internally until we get something that’s good enough to release. And so those numbers make sure that people don’t download the wrong version and, more importantly, that we don’t put the wrong version up on the website if they were to have the same names. So that’s why.
ANIL: Okay. My second question is what is the situation of JAWS OCRing directly to Microsoft Word?
ERIC: So that is not an option at the moment, but it’s on my list. I would certainly like to see us get there so that – what you’re asking about is if you’ve got a PDF that you’ve got or an image on your computer or you’ve taken a picture with a PEARL camera or something, you want to be able to have it sent straight to Microsoft Word and read it there. And we’re not at that point yet, but it is on the list. And your third question?
ANIL: Yeah. I am expecting that because you have said it in your last FSOpenLine that you are working on it. So I thought of...
ERIC: Getting it on the list and getting it worked on are two different things. We’re going to try and get to it, but we haven’t got a projected date yet.
ANIL: Okay. That’s what I got. Thank you.
ERIC: Mm-hmm. And your third question?
ANIL: Yeah, my third question is what is the status of releasing JAWS annual subscriptions to other nations?
ERIC: We are still very much focused on getting that to happen. We’re continuing to make the modifications necessary to work in that direction. But I don’t have a date yet when that’s going to happen. But we are committed to make sure that that will occur, so stand by. Okay?
ANIL: Okay. Thank you.
ERIC: Thank you, Anil. And why don’t we try Saddam’s iPhone. Hello.
SADDAM: Hello there, Eric, Glen, Rachel. Hope you guys are doing well.
ERIC: Very good.
SADDAM: I had a question. I’m actually interviewing for a job tomorrow. And the company uses visual diagrams like charts. It’s called Lucid. So it’s like software charts. And I’m wondering if anyone’s come across that company, or how well JAWS would work with charts, visual charts.
ERIC: I’ve never heard of it. Glen, have you heard of that one?
GLEN: I have not heard of it. I think there’s a good chance it does not work well at the moment. The only way it would likely work well would be if they actually have given attention to accessibility. And they may very well have. Oh, we just got a note from Mohammed, who said he thinks it’s pretty accessible.
ERIC: Actually, actually, Glen, he said...
RACHEL: No, he says “unaccessible,” Glen.
ERIC: ...it’s very unaccessible.
GLEN: oh, it’s very unaccessible.
SADDAM: Very unfortunate. I got excited.
GLEN: It’s just those two letters. Can’t we get rid of those two letters, those “un”?
GLEN: To not say the whole thing.
SADDAM: Well, thanks, guys. Thanks for answering the question.
ERIC: All right. Well, thank you, Saddam. And good luck. Hopefully there’ll be some alternative there.
SADDAM: Oh, thanks so much.
ERIC: Thanks. Well, that was...
GLEN: I’ll get out from under the table.
ERIC: That sounded like good news for a minute.
GLEN: Yeah. I heard the message, and the “un” got lost in my mind. I was so excited.
ERIC: Yes. Well, let’s welcome, and I’m sure I’m pronouncing it wrong, “Thabo”?
THABO: Wow. Wow, Eric, you tried it. It’s “Tabo.”
THABO: Yes, I’m glad you did that, than “Thay-bo.” That’s nice. Yeah, well, first of all I just wanted to give you a hand, friends. I’ve been having a nice interaction with you, the feedback as well as the updated training material. And, you know, I’m – like I have purchased my certificate. So it hasn’t been – it hasn’t arrived yet in Botswana. But as people are seeing the JAWS logo in my emails, they get to respect me, you know, the lecturers and all that. So it’s something that I am jazzed over, and thank you so much for that.
GLEN: Well, thank you for taking the certification.
THABO: Yeah. And in case of the updated training material, I have a friend who can see, and she’s excited that now she can see how long or how much time will she take on one lesson because she’s keen to learn JAWS. So thank you for that.
But then in the issue of suggestion, I do not know if this is possible. How about we have a feature whereby maybe I am reading a document, then for some reason maybe I’m tired or what. Then I fall asleep. After some time then JAWS tries to find out if you are still there, like how would YouTube do it because they will pause a video and see are you still watching. Then you could press Yes. So I was thinking even with JAWS we could have a keyboard command which we can say to JAWS, yeah, I’m still there. Continue reading. Or if it figures out that there is no response, then it can even stop right there. Then I can continue the following day.
GLEN: So let me guess. You listen, and you fall asleep a lot.
THABO: Yeah, it happens a lot.
GLEN: It’s an interesting idea. Are you thinking like a sleep timer that some apps have where they’re playing a book for you, and you have it automatically turn off after a certain amount of time so you don’t completely lose your place?
THABO: Exactly, Glen. That’s what I’m thinking. I’m thinking of that.
GLEN: It’s an interesting idea.
ERIC: You know, it is a good idea, and there aren’t that many people in your average use that are going to start a “say all” and let it go for more than 30 minutes at a time. Probably worth pausing and, “Excuse me, are you still there?”
THABO: Yes. Yeah. So I think it would be nice to have it in place. And also, I don’t know, is it possible to, like, read a document and import it as an MP3 or something like that, after reading it with JAWS?
GLEN: We don’t do it with JAWS. You can do it with OpenBook, and I think you can do it with ZoomText. Is that right, Eric?
ERIC: Yes, you can do it with ZoomText. And I was just speaking with someone today about this, that if you’re running as Fusion, you can’t use that feature. And it is something that we ought to try and bring into JAWS in the future, as well.
THABO: That will be lovely. And then the last thing is can we have JAWS, like, when I launch it, can we have it start with a sound, and even when exiting it?
ERIC: Yeah. So you’d like to hear a sound when it starts up rather than “JAWS for Windows is ready.” You just want to hear it launch.
THABO: No, I was thinking maybe it could be an option. One would prepare it to say “JAWS for Windows,” the other one maybe might prepare a sound, like myself, yeah.
ERIC: Sure. Mm-hmm. That is possible. It’s not too difficult, either. And probably a good move for us. Especially now on the exit that we have the ability to just let it exit without having to query you with the dialog box. It would be good to put a sound in to make sure you know what happened.
THABO: Exactly, yeah.
THABO: Well, it was nice talking to you, Eric, Glen, and Rachel. I’m so happy.
GLEN: It was great talking with you, as well.
RACHEL: Yeah, thank you so much.
GLEN: And thank you for getting up so early to join us.
THABO: Yeah, I couldn’t wait. And I kept waking up and checking if the time hasn’t passed.
ERIC: All right. Well, we look forward to seeing you again in the future. Thank you. Bye-bye.
THABO: All right, bye.
ERIC: Well, interesting call. I see a name from the past, Mitch Green.
MITCH: Can you hear me?
GLEN: I can.
MITCH: Yeah, it’s been a while. I was talking to somebody about the old days. Back in probably ‘95 or ‘96 was the first time I talked to Glen. I was working at Weston Hotels, and this was back before the JAWS scripting language. It was JAWS macros. And I’m fairly certain that I was one of the reasons you increased the buffer or the number of lines that can be included in a macro sheet.
GLEN: Are you talking about JAWS for DOS?
MITCH: No, this was JAWS for Windows, probably version...
GLEN: Oh, the early days.
MITCH: My serial number was so old that when I went to work for Freedom for a while, the serial number was 0238. They couldn’t reproduce it. It was funny because nobody believed I had that serial number until Beth Serrano one day went back into the archives and found it. She says, “Oh, my gosh, we can’t reproduce this anymore. You can’t have it back.”
GLEN: You were, as they say, an “early adopter.”
MITCH: I was. I really was. And have stuck with it ever since. I have a question for a company environment. I know you have the “silent install” for Fusion, the /silent et cetera. But are there plans, or is there a possibly little-known way, maybe an MSI installer or a way to install the Fusion packages with group policy? I looked for an extraction on the command line switches.
GLEN: Yeah, you know, you may be right. We had that in the old installer. And then when we changed a couple of years ago I think that may have gone the way of the dodo. But it’s probably something we should think about because, you know...
MITCH: It gets really – especially you guys are updating a lot more often than you used to. And one of my associates – I run an IT department now. One of my associates is actually on, Joanna Jang. She gets really tired of going to all these different machines every month or two.
ERIC: Yeah. Mitch, would you do me a favor? Drop me a line, and maybe if we can do this after CSUN because I’m kind of busy the next week or so leading up to it. But after CSUN, drop me a line. Let’s get together. I want to schedule a call with you and one of the developers that works on the installers.
MITCH: Sure. Absolutely. I will be happy to do that.
ERIC: I think this would be a good conversation to get with Andrew. Glen, what do you think?
GLEN: I think it’s a great idea.
ERIC: Yeah. So let’s do that, Mitch. Catch me after CSUN, and we’ll schedule a call.
MITCH: And when are you back from CSUN?
ERIC: I’ll be back from CSUN on the 16th of March.
MITCH: Excellent. Good talking to you guys.
ERIC: Thanks, Mitch. See you. Let’s try Janna Jackson. It is Janna or Jana?
JANNA: Janna. Can you hear me?
ERIC: We can.
RACHEL: Yeah, we can.
JANNA: Awesome. Thanks for taking my question. I actually have a couple. Two of them are related. Number one, I’m real excited about the new ElBraille that is either – I don’t know if it’s been released or if it’s coming out soon. Has it come out yet?
ERIC: They’re threatening. You know?
RACHEL: It is very, very soon.
JANNA: That’s what I thought.
ERIC: Yes. There’s been a couple of little minor glitches that have prevented it from actually shipping out the door.
ERIC: But I heard they’re piling up, and I know there are a lot of people waiting for it to ship. And I’m pretty sure they’re committed to get these things shipping before we leave for CSUN. And I know there are several people that will be at CSUN carrying them around, if they do ship.
JANNA: Yes. Well, my question is, in relation to my current ElBraille, I have been trying to – I now have the Home Annual License for JAWS, and I had it activated on my two computers and my ElBraille. But for some reason with the ElBraille it started going into 40-minute mode and telling me that my license was for an earlier version. And the only way I could get it to not do that was to go back to JAWS 2019 for right now, until I could find some answers because, when I called Freedom Scientific, I actually spoke with a JAWS person, and they told me, well, that it shouldn’t be doing that. It’s wanting me to make sure that something is not a read-only file. Have you guys run into that before, where somebody can’t use the Home Annual License?
ERIC: So there’s no reason that that should happen.
ERIC: So I don’t really know what could be going on. I would like you to get back on with the support department.
JANNA: Okay. All right.
ERIC: So we can figure out what’s going on there.
JANNA: Okay, with the hardware, probably; right? With the ElBraille people.
GLEN: I think the first thing you should assume is that it’s a software problem, and we should probably give it a second try.
JANNA: Okay. All right.
GLEN: And if nothing else, we can blow the authorization away and get you reauthorized, and that might help, unless they’ve already tried that.
JANNA: No, I don’t think anybody’s tried that. They just told me, well, it shouldn’t be a read-only file. But nobody told me how to correct that so it wouldn’t be a read-only file.
GLEN: One of the nice things is that have this thing called JAWS Tandem.
GLEN: So if you’re willing to let one of our support people tandem into you...
JANNA: Oh, absolutely.
GLEN: They can actually help with that. And if it’s a read-only file that needs to be changed, they can help and do that.
GLEN: So don’t give up, as the old Petula Clark song was: “Don’t give up, don’t let it get you down.”
JANNA: That’s right. All right. Well, thank you guys so much.
GLEN: Thank you.
ERIC: Thank you. All right.
GLEN: Eric, I want to jump in here. I never really thought that I would say the words “Intuit” and “accessibility” in the same sentence and be positive about it. Intuit sort of has a storied past with Quicken and QuickBooks. QuickBooks has slowly gotten more accessible over the years, but it’s taken a while. But I was shamed into starting to use TurboTax this year. Essentially, I was using a tax preparer for a long time, mostly because I was afraid to try TurboTax. And my tax preparer fired me. She said, “You should just use TurboTax. You don’t need me.” And so I was shamed into trying it. And I have nothing but really good things to say about it. It’s quite accessible.
I’m speaking now of TurboTax Online. And one of the side benefits that I hadn’t even considered is if you work for a reasonably large company or a company that interacts with large payroll providers and other folks, you often can import a lot of your information automatically, which means it does not require reading printed material and trying to decipher the information. So a 1099 for Interest, your W-2, and other things that you would need to bring into your tax return could often be imported from those other folks. I found it really good and have not found any places where accessibility was really weird, and I had to fight to make it happen.
The one thing I will say, if you have not tried this before – I realize I’m probably late to the party, and the dinosaur, and everyone else has been doing this for years. But if you’ve not tried it before, a good tip is when the screens change, go to the very bottom of the screen and then arrow up because they tend to ask individual questions. And all of the standard boilerplate stuff is at the top of the page, and at the bottom comes the things that you’d normally interact with. So arrowing up from there or doing H to move to the prior heading, or SHIFT+H to move to the prior heading, tends to get you to the area where you’re most likely to be needing to input information. So there is my unpaid endorsement for doing your taxes yourself with TurboTax.
ERIC: And you’ll appreciate it more so next year, Glen, because it’ll remember all of the things that you do, and next year it pre-populates it for you and asks you did this change, did this change. So things that remain the same will already be filled in for you. They do tend to, I think, ask are you sure about this, and you have to keep going through some of the same things over and over again. But I agree, in general the system seems to work very good, and I’ve always thought, not that I’ve used accessibility on it to do it, but the web-based version always looked like it probably worked very well.
GLEN: Yeah. I figured that was going to be more accessible, and I’m delighted to have been proven right.
ERIC: Yup, that’s great. Well, let’s see if we can get Douglas in here. Douglas, are you there?
DOUGLAS: Hi. Can you hear me okay?
ERIC: We can.
DOUGLAS: Hi, Eric, Glen, and Rachel. Hope you’re all well.
GLEN: You must be from Canada.
GLEN: You gave it away.
ERIC: Now, how did you know that?
GLEN: It was one of those words. I don’t know whether it was “hope” or “well” or something. Or “all.” Maybe it was “all.”
DOUGLAS: I didn’t say, “I’m Canadian, eh,” so...
GLEN: So welcome to FSOpenLine.
DOUGLAS: Thank you very much. Glad to be here. My question is, I use some websites, and when you go to log onto them remotely to use their software, such as Geek Squad, it’s not working correctly. And I spoke to them about it, and they’re like, “Well, you need to speak to the company that makes your accessibility software.” But I thought that it was their responsibility to make things accessible, if they’re not. If I’m correct, isn’t it mandatory for them, if there’s a problem, to fix it?
GLEN: Well, I mean, there’s the letter of the law and the spirit of the law; right? I mean, yes, yes, in theory it is mandatory. And if you force the issue and take the time to go through it, ultimately you may get remediation. The question is are you going to still need it by the time you get the remediation. You know, it depends very much on the attitudes of the people who are making the software. A lot of companies are very eager to make accessibility improvements, and some others not so much.
DOUGLAS: Their attitude was, well, you can go to your local Best Buy store, and they can fix it for you. And it’s not that I’m not appreciative of them, if I took it in; but it’s a matter of having the independence of, yes, if someone’s logging on remotely, that’s fine, but I’m a paying customer. I feel that I should have basically the same access as anybody else should.
ERIC: And depending on what your problem is, I mean, if this is a Windows OS type issue, don’t hesitate to use the accessibility desk at Microsoft. They can remote into your computer, and they’re pretty good.
GLEN: That’s a good idea. I’d forgotten about that.
ERIC: Yeah, I would definitely encourage you to try that. They’ve been very good over recent years here, and a lot of good feedback.
DOUGLAS: And they also can fix something if it’s your computer? Because I was having a problem with the antivirus settings.
ERIC: I can’t promise you that they can solve it, but I think that is a good place to start. And it won’t cost you anything to find out.
DOUGLAS: All right. That’s greatly appreciated, for sure. Thank you to all of you.
ERIC: All right.
GLEN: I will jump in with one more thing, and I think a lot of people are beginning to come to the same conclusion. And that is, for the most part in this day and age, Windows Defender that’s built into Windows 10 is just as good as any of the pay-for-play antivirus software. Now, none of the antivirus software will protect you from being stupid.
DOUGLAS: No, very true.
GLEN: But presuming you’re not stupid...
GLEN: ...Windows Defender has become quite good, it’s quite screen reader friendly, and that might be a good option for you. And Microsoft will certainly help you make sure that Windows Defender works. And it’s free.
DOUGLAS: And they should be able to get rid of trojans, too, like – not that you do, like I don’t do stupid things. But sometimes for some reason it picks up a trojan or something, I don’t know how.
GLEN: Oh, yeah. The problem is that the people who write the viruses are getting much more sophisticated. Where in the old days, a trojan on your machine would look exactly the same as a trojan on mine, they now morph. And that’s why a lot of the antivirus software can’t pick things up from person to person because the people who are writing it have come up with a way around it.
ERIC: All right. Well, thank you, Douglas. Thanks for joining us.
DOUGLAS: Thank you very much.
ERIC: Yup. All right. And we have another call here. How is Mike doing tonight? Mike, are you there?
MIKE: Which Mike are you referring to?
ERIC: That one.
MIKE: Ah, okay. I’m good. My question is regarding the spelling error buzzer and announcement. Is there a way to turn that off temporarily? Because I was reading a document, and it had a table in it, and every time I read one of the names of a device on that table, it would say the buzzer, or it would buzzer at me and then say “spelling error.” And I was just curious if there was a way to turn it off. And if there isn’t, could that be something you guys could put into a future version of JAWS?
ERIC: Sure. You’re on 2020 now, I assume?
MIKE: That is correct, latest build came out on 2/4.
ERIC: So you should be able to disable it. I think you can do it through Quick Settings. Have you looked in Quick Settings?
MIKE: Well, that’s part of the Settings Center; is it not?
ERIC: No. If you go into INSERT+V and type in the word ”spell.”
ERIC: And I think you’ll find it there, and you can disable it.
MIKE: Okay. And I would reenable it when I was done, then.
ERIC: Yes, you would. And I’d have to go in and do a little experimentation. But we certainly made it so that you can disable this, turn it on, turn it back off. And putting it in the Quick Settings usually makes it pretty fast to get to it once you’ve got the handle on where it is.
MIKE: Yeah, okay. I’ll give that a try. I usually normally use Settings Center. I never think of Quick Settings.
GLEN: Well, they get at the same stuff, just Quick Settings we’ve tried to isolate the items that are most commonly changed.
ERIC: All right.
MIKE: I’ll give that a try. Thanks.
GLEN: Thank you, Mike.
ERIC: All right. And Nolan Parish. Nolan, I think this is your first time with us.
NOLAN: Hello. This is Nolan. How are you doing this evening, Eric?
ERIC: Very good.
NOLAN: Good, good, good. Hey, I just wanted to follow up on a couple things. One, also the Amazon Alexa does now support the Apple Podcasts subscription if you go into the Amazon Alexa app on your iOS device, and you can sign in with your Apple ID, as well.
GLEN: Does that mean that if you’ve subscribed to the podcast in Apple Podcasts, that Alexa will play it?
GLEN: That’s great to know. I had seen yesterday that my iPhone said that I could now listen to music and stuff through “that woman.” It didn’t occur to me that you could do podcasts. But it makes good sense.
NOLAN: Yeah, you can use Apple Music and Apple Podcasts on there, as well. All you have to do is got to go in, and you’ll have to pay for your Apple Music subscription. And then you’ll have to – Apple Podcasts is free, but for Apple Music you would have to pay.
GLEN: Yeah, that’s great to know. Thank you.
NOLAN: That’s all I have for now. I may have to come back in a few minutes and make one more reminder.
ERIC: All right. All right, Nolan.
GLEN: Sounds good.
ERIC: Thank you.
NOLAN: You’re welcome.
ERIC: How about Joanna Jang?
JOANNA: Hi. Can you hear me?
ERIC: Yes, we can. Go ahead.
JOANNA: Oh, great. I’m so glad to talked to Mitch Green earlier, actually, because I am the one that was spending quite a lot of time messing around, trying to wrap that EXE in an MSI wrapper and get it to silently deploy. So I’d love to sit in on that call with your developers and talk about that.
JOANNA: But my question for this evening was, will you be having a more in-depth introduction to Microsoft Teams? Because from what I’ve heard from people I work with, the introduction you did for JAWS and Microsoft Teams wasn’t that in-depth. And some people would like quite a detailed deep dive into it.
RACHEL: Yes. In fact, we’ve gotten some requests already. We did do kind of an introduction, and it was just like, introductory navigating, being able to chat, really basic functionality. And we are going to be covering some more advanced tasks. So that’ll be on our schedule. But until then subscribe to our YouTube channel because we’re going to be releasing some tutorials on Teams, individual tasks. And we’re going to cover some more advanced tasks, as well, on YouTube.
JOANNA: That’s great. Thank you very much.
ERIC: Thank you. All right. Let’s try, is it Mathus?
MATHUS: Ah, good day, everybody. I ask two questions, and then also compliments to the team. And let me start with a compliment. I just want to say that I’m using JAWS on the SAP platform, so just I have a suggestion for people out there that it is possible. Although SAP is quite a monster, it’s possible there’s some JAWS scripts that you can download on the SAP marketplace. So a good job and a good job done by the Vispero team. Thank you very much for having JAWS available to anybody.
And then my question is I’ve upgraded to Windows 10. And now I have a problem. I can’t access the Settings menu in Windows. JAWS just doesn’t read it. Is there a way that I can solve that, or try something?
ERIC: What is the version of Windows 10 now that is updated?
MATHUS: I do not know. I’ll have to check.
ERIC: So do a “winver” in the Run dialog, W I N V E R.
ERIC: And if you’re not at 1909, do check for updates. Or even download the Windows Update Assistant and let it update it.
MATHUS: I’m definitely going to try that, for sure, because it’s quite annoying. Then the second question – sorry?
GLEN: There are a small number of people who have the problem that you’re reporting with settings. And it is on our radar. I can’t tell you when we will try to come up with a workaround. It’s been befuddling to us because it’s a very small number, but people who are very much inconvenienced. So stay tuned.
MATHUS: Well, that’s good to know. So, no, that’s quite good. The second question, it’s a web-based program. We’re using the service center. So I’m not sure if it’s related to how that specific website was written. But if it refreshes, if I do something, I have to press, what is it, Numpad Plus again to get out of forms mode. Is there something else that I can possible try? Or is that most probably – it’s not happening on other websites.
GLEN: So you should write to me because two people wrote to us within a very short, short period of time saying could you have an option in JAWS that would force application mode to be ignored? It sounds like the author of the pages you’re talking about have put the contents of the web page in what’s called an “application region.” And when that’s done, that tells screen readers like JAWS to always be in forms mode.
MATHUS: Oh, good.
GLEN: And I think that, if you were to turn that off on this particular page, it would solve your problem. But it’s an undocumented option, and it is in JAWS as of the update that we did in January. So if you write to me, that’s ggordon, G G O R D O N, @vispero.com.
GLEN: I will send you detail. I don’t guarantee that it’ll work.
MATHUS: I will do that.
GLEN: But it’s probably worth a try.
MATHUS: No, for sure. Thank you very much, everyone.
ERIC: Sounds good. Thank you.
RACHEL: All right, Eric. Before you move on, I was just going to jump in with a few text questions really quick.
ERIC: Okay, go ahead.
RACHEL: So Cornelius was asking about whether or not there was a tutorial on SPSS in JAWS. And I don’t know of one. Do you all? Have you heard of that?
ERIC: I don’t...
GLEN: Well, I can actually speak to this because I’ve been interacting with someone about SPSS. And the picture unfortunately is not terribly pretty at the moment. If you run SPSS, you will notice that it appears to be extremely accessible. And I in fact went through those steps myself until you realize that you can’t actually read the output.
So SPSS is statistical software. And, you know, you’ll enter samples, and you can run all sorts of statistics on them. And typically you’ll get the output in tables. The program is very accessible until you get to the output, in which case it’s not accessible at all. And we’ve tried to interact with IBM, who are the developers of SPSS now, and haven’t been able to get a lot of traction on making it more accessible.
RACHEL: Keep me in the loop on that because we do get a lot of college students who this comes across our email.
GLEN: So I think the best option currently is something called R. So R is an open source statistical package. And it comes in two versions. There is a command line version, and the command line version basically means a window opens up, and you enter commands, and text will appear on the screen that JAWS can read. That at the moment is the most accessible option for statistics.
There is something called R Studio, which is a nice UI for R. It historically has not been terribly accessible. I’ve been interacting with the developer of that in the last couple of months, and they continue to make headway on making it more accessible. There are some things we need to do in JAWS to make R Studio accessible. But it’s on my personal short list of things to get done in the next six months. So R and R Studio. If you need to do statistics now, I realize it’s a slightly different path than some of your contemporaries may be using. But there’s a fair amount of discussion on it in the various blind discussion groups, and it’s generally thought to be pretty accessible.
RACHEL: Cornelius asked that you spell the name. Is it just the letter R, Glen?
GLEN: So, yeah. So the product is called “R,” the letter R. And then the UI for it, which at the moment is not totally accessible, but it’s in process, is called “R Studio,” so the letter R and Studio.
RACHEL: So R as in Rachel.
GLEN: Yes, in fact. Rachel Studio. Maybe they’ll rename it.
RACHEL: All right, Eric. If you want to pull people off the raise hand list, we can go on. I think there are still a few hands raised.
ERIC: Mitchell, are you there? I tried you earlier, and I think I got you.
MITCHELL: I’m here.
ERIC: All right.
MITCHELL: Okay. I love your OCR feature in JAWS. How do I use that with a standalone scanner?
ERIC: So if you have the right scanner, and I say the right one because I don’t know all of them work. But I think if it was a scanner that works with OpenBook, certainly it’s going to work. You’ve got that plugged in. You can go into the OCR piece, and you choose Acquire, if I recall. And you can get access to the scanner through the Acquire menu. I could be forgetting something here. Rachel, have you done this before? It’s the same way you can acquire from the camera, I think you can acquire from the scanner, if it’s plugged in.
RACHEL: Yes. I think that’s all correct, Eric. I haven’t done it that way in a long while.
ERIC: So INSERT+SPACE+O for OCR and then A for Acquire, if I recall.
RACHEL: Yup, that’s correct.
MITCHELL: Okay. And another question, is there a way to arrange the Favorites in Edge, in the new one, to show up in alphabetical order like they did in IE, when you would add them to the Favorite folder with that?
RACHEL: So is it not exactly the same as the Chrome Favorites?
MITCHELL: Exactly. Mine show up, like I’ve got stuff that begins with the letter A and so on. The Edge, it’s one long mixed list.
RACHEL: Okay. So I know that in Google Chrome it’s fairly easy. So ahead and send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll write you out some steps. I’ll take a look at that. I haven’t tried sorting favorites on the new Edge yet, but I’ll definitely take a look at it.
MITCHELL: Right, thanks.
ERIC: I just took a quick look, and I don’t know that that’s possible. There is a place to manage Favorites, but I don’t see anything that leaps out at me as far as changes.
RACHEL: Do Favorites open like in their own tab, like they do in Chrome?
RACHEL: And there’s not – because in Chrome you can just tab to like a sort button.
ERIC: I didn’t see it as I looked at it.
ERIC: All right. Well, thank you, Mitchell. And let’s try Jessica. Jessica, are you there?
JESSICA: Yes, I am. Hi, guys.
JESSICA: So I have a bunch of questions, and I put them in the text chat.
GLEN: But now that we have you, why don’t you ask a couple of them? We’re probably not going to be able to get to a long list, but we can certainly get a couple of them.
JESSICA: Okay. One of which being that right now, when you guys are talking, if I have my JAWS unmuted, as I have had almost this whole time, I can’t hear you and JAWS at the same time, and I have it set so that it will duck the audio. Like if I’m listening to music or something. But apparently that doesn’t apply in Zoom.
RACHEL: So when you’re in Zoom, there are going to be a lot of notifications spoken, which you’ve probably been hearing, people entering and leaving the room. You’re hearing people in the text chat. Is that right?
RACHEL: Okay. So you’re able to mute those notifications and go through them one by one. And how you mute them is using WINDOWS+ALT+S, Sam. So WINDOWS and ALT held down together, and then tap the S as in SAM. And it’s a toggle. So you should hear JAWS speak “Alerts enabled,” “Alerts disabled.” And when those are disabled, JAWS won’t speak out the notifications for Zoom. And what you will be able to do instead is press CTRL through 1, 2, 3, 4, all the way to zero. And you can read back those notifications in order.
RACHEL: So that should probably help a lot because I know that it drove me crazy when I first started using Zoom, and I couldn’t hear the speakers for JAWS telling me everything.
JESSICA: Yeah. I find that weird, that JAWS wouldn’t do that, that it wouldn’t duck the audio of you guys.
GLEN: I think it has something to do with the fact that Zoom is considered a telephony application, like Skype is. And by default you wouldn’t want that ducked. And so it sort of fits into a different category than music. So thank you very much, Jessica.
ERIC: All right. And let’s see if we can – ah, I did get Jason. Jason, are you there?
JASON: Yes. I’m there. Here. How’s everybody doing?
JASON: Excellent. Thank you so much for having these. They’re very helpful to us, and hopefully to you guys, as well.
JASON: The main thing I wanted to ask is if some time could maybe be put into looking into improving Firefox somewhat. Just overall I would say it works pretty well, but I notice some issues where occasionally, for example, you click a link, and it’ll just put you nowhere. Or if you ALT+TAB away, occasionally when you come back in, you’re not where you left off, you know, you may be thrown back to the top of the screen. But I’d really like to see potentially a little bit of time put into it, just because nowadays it’s kind of a big thing to have some options as far as web browsers, and they’re a little more privacy-based than maybe Chrome would be.
ERIC: So one thing, Jason. If you have reproducible issues where something seems to happen, and each time you do this it happens, submitting those with the steps to us are something that we’ll take a look at.
ERIC: Firefox is – probably we’d call it the number three browser at this point behind Chrome. And I think even the new Edge is really, I think, going to probably start to take a lot of market share, now that it’s out there and accessible. But Firefox is still used by a lot of people, and we do try and put work into it and keep it up as best we can.
ERIC: All right.
JASON: I appreciate it.
ERIC: Thank you. Bobby, are you there?
ERIC: Hello there.
BOBBY: When Windows 10 2020 arrives is what I’m trying to put. Will Edge ship with the Windows operating system? Like let’s say for some reason the OS doesn’t work properly, and I have to install from scratch. Will I get the new Edge or the old Edge?
ERIC: They’re basically rolling that out now to people, even before the next Windows update comes along. But eventually that’s going to be part of the Windows OS. Whether it happens this spring or in the fall, I’m not sure which one. But it will be occurring soon. And to date most people, if you want to get it, you have to go and download it to install it because it hasn’t rolled out to most people yet.
BOBBY: Oh, yeah. I did that. Now, another thing, will Edge and the new 2020 update for Windows, will JAWS work with the new ISO images? Not the new ISO images. I’m trying to talk straight. The new operating system is what I mean.
GLEN: Absolutely. Several of us are Windows Insiders, devoted Windows Insiders, making sure that it continues to work.
ERIC: Bobby, not only are people within our organization and others who run the Insider but Microsoft themselves are also using our software up there. And they have people running against the new versions, too. So we’re all very focused on making sure that when they roll something out, it’s going to work with their technology and the third-party technology like JAWS.
BOBBY: Wow. Well, that sounds very good. And Eric, I want you to keep up the good work.
ERIC: All right, Bobby. Thank you.
BOBBY: You’re doing a very, very good job on keeping everything accessible.
ERIC: Great, thanks. Bye-bye.
ERIC: All right. And let’s try Londa.
LONDA: I am working with someone, and I set up her computer, so I know everything is up to date. Her JAWS is up to date; her Windows is up to date; her Outlook is up to date. Her autocomplete list, you know, when you’re in the To: field of a message, and you start to type, her autocomplete list sometimes works. Sometimes JAWS reads the whole flipping thing, and she can’t DOWN ARROW through it. It just reads the whole thing again. She can’t tell where she is. Any idea what might be causing that?
ERIC: Could I ask, is this which version of Outlook?
LONDA: It’s 365.
ERIC: And Windows. This is Windows 10?
LONDA: Yes. Brand new computer.
ERIC: I’m pretty sure that this stuff happens because there are some – there’s some update that’s missing. And I would definitely make sure you update Office, update Windows, make sure everything is up to date, and then call support, especially if you can show it to them.
LONDA: How would you go about updating Office? Because I thought it was supposed to update with Windows. But I’ve...
ERIC: You know, I think it is supposed to, too, but I don’t think it does. And I go to the File Menu and to Accounts, and I think you tab forward one time, you can get to the Update button.
LONDA: Oh, like in Word. Okay.
LONDA: Okay. I can do that.
ERIC: Yup, you can do it Word or Outlook or whatever, yeah.
LONDA: I will check.
GLEN: My experience is that it does update, but it updates lazily. So if you never exit, it won’t update. It won’t update for you until at some point you reboot your computer and restart Office, and suddenly you’ll find you have a new version. That’s my personal experience.
LONDA: Yeah, and I have a feeling she doesn’t restart very often.
LONDA: And then I have – I actually have another person with me. Amy is with me. She has a question about Notepad++.
GLEN: Oh, it’s very close to my heart.
AMY: Well, I am a new computer science major. Java is the first class that I am taking. And via another blind friend who is about to graduate, suggested that I skip Eclipse and go with Notepad++. However, it seems like I can type along fairly fine in computer braille. But if I need to move around, like go up and down some lines to make sure that I’m correct in what I’m doing, it just totally kills JAWS.
GLEN: That’s very unexpected.
AMY: But I was a little – because I’m like, well, he suggested it, so I’m not sure what’s going on.
GLEN: I’m going to sidestep the issue because I think this is another one where interacting with support is probably going to be your best bet because I don’t know how to diagnose it on the phone.
GLEN: I do want to suggest that you think about trying IntelliJ.
AMY: IntelliJ? All right.
GLEN: So IntelliJ is a Java IDE.
AMY: Oh, that’d be better.
GLEN: You’ll want to remember to go in and turn on accessibility. And if you turn on accessibility, it will autocomplete names of symbols for you.
AMY: Oh, nice.
GLEN: And if you’re doing programming, especially if it’s a new language to you, and you don’t know all the keywords, and you don’t know exactly how things are spelled, having that autocomplete functionality really is a time saver.
AMY: Okay. All right. I’ll do that. All right.
GLEN: So, you know, I’m told by someone who used it a lot in his day job that it has some quirks, but that it works quite well with Java once you’ve enabled accessibility. It’s a paid product, if you want it to be. But there’s sort of a free personal edition that you can download, and that’ll be certainly good enough for your classes. It’s called IntelliJ.
AMY: IntelliJ, all right.
LONDA: How do you spell it?
AMY: I N T E L A J A Y?
GLEN: Like intelligence, with a J at the end. So IntelliJ.
AMY: Thank you very much.
GLEN: All right. Thank you all for sticking with us for this program.
RACHEL: Yeah, we had a great turnout.
GLEN: It’s always fun to chat with you.
ERIC: It is.
RACHEL: It is.
ERIC: It’s a good time.
RACHEL: And we will return in May for our quarterly FSOpenLine.
ERIC: And do we have the date on that yet?
RACHEL: It’ll be the last Thursday in May.
ERIC: The last Thursday.
RACHEL: Which I think is the 28th.
ERIC: I think that’s right before I go on vacation.
GLEN: Oh, you’ll be highly motivated.
ERIC: I will. I’ll be so excited about it because we’re having a big family reunion vacation starting that weekend. So I’m very excited. Okay. Well, thank you both. And we’ll talk next time.
RACHEL: Yeah. Thanks, everyone who joined us. Talk soon.
GLEN: Thanks a lot.