FSCast #184 FSOpenLine

May, 2020


RACHEL BUCHANAN:  Hello, everyone, and welcome to FSOpenLine, Freedom Scientific’s global call-in show, in this episode for May of 2020.  And my, how the world has changed since last we met on this platform.

But before we get into introducing my co-hosts – and I’m Rachel, as you probably know – let me tell you a few of the little housekeeping details that will help you connect with us during the show.  If you’re using JAWS in Windows to join us today, go ahead and use ALT+Y, Yankee, to raise your hand.  If you’re joining us dial-in by phone, to raise your hand you’ll press *9, pretty quickly, back to back, *9.  And then if you’re on the iOS app, all you do is double-tap on the Raise Hand button.

Now, once your hand is raised, we will call on you and unmute you.  You don’t need to do a thing except for ask your question when your time comes.  If you’re dialing in, we’ll call your number.  And then if you’d like to ask your question in text, just go ahead and ALT+H on a Windows machine and type in your question and press ENTER.  We’ll take a look at it in the chat box and answer it via text if that’s what you prefer.

So those are the little details you need to know to participate in today’s show.  And we’re so glad that you’ve all joined us.  Now, with all of that out of the way, my co-hosts are here, that practically need no introduction, Glen Gordon and Eric Damery.  Hey, guys.

GLEN GORDON:  Hey, Rachel.  Great to be with you again.

RACHEL:  Yeah.

ERIC DAMERY:  Hi, Rachel.  And hello, Glen.  Good to hear your voice again.

RACHEL:  Well, do you guys have some news to start off with?  Or how do we want to start off today’s show?

GLEN:  We should talk about the new feature that got introduced by someone who we first got to know on an earlier FSOpenLine.  His name is Mohammed Laachir.  He was just a participant a year or so ago.  We started talking to him.  He had some great ideas and has now joined our Freedom Scientific development group.  He’s with us in Florida as I speak.  And he found a problem that he created a good solution for.  This is a problem that a lot of others of you have found, as well, which is that with some of the newer soundcards, where they’re running on laptops, there’s a real desire to conserve on power.

And so if you’re using those soundcards, or you’re using, like, earbuds or other Bluetooth headsets, there’s a tendency when using JAWS for the beginnings of words to be cut off.  And we’ve added something to what will be in the JAWS June update where you can enable this feature, which basically says don’t chop the beginnings of words.  I know some of you have been using a standalone utility called Silenzio to accomplish this.  But now it’ll be built into JAWS.

ERIC:  And the public should look forward to getting that update in the month of June, probably the week of the 15th we should hit with that.  And another feature that’s rolling into this update is something that I probably mentioned for the first time a couple of years ago, something that we’ve had on the roadmap and wanted to get done, and that is a new Braille Viewer/Text Viewer feature, which for a JAWS user who isn’t using the screen at all, you wouldn’t really interact with the Braille Viewer.  It opens a window up above your other application window so it doesn’t cover anything up if someone’s looking at your screen.  But it gives a textual representation of where the active cursor’s located.  And the line above the text you’ll see the dot representation that would be sent to a braille display, if in fact you had one hooked up.  And if one is hooked up, you’ll still see the representation there.

So great tool for a TVI to be able to assist in looking over the shoulder.  Or if they’re working on Teams or in Zoom with a student, and they share their screen, they’ll be able to see the braille output that the student is seeing and the textual representation.  And you can change the size of the fonts.  You can change the colors of the text and the background.

And if you’re running in Fusion, and you’re not interested in seeing the braille aspect – which you can still see in Fusion, of course, because JAWS gives it to you – you can just use it as a text viewer to give a window at the top of the screen where any text being read, no matter what size the font is, or color, or whatever the attributes are, they’ll be honoring the attributes that you set up in that text viewer at the top of the screen.  So it’s a great solution to be able to always look someplace and have the setup that works for you to be able to see exactly the text output.  So watch for that feature.

GLEN:  Are you saying that you’ve added features for the blindness impaired now?  You’re actually making this look good.

ERIC:  Yes.  And, you know, this is important.  I mentioned teachers.  I think it’s really important for teachers to be able to view what’s going on.

RACHEL:  Oh, it’s super important as a student who has a sighted teacher.  Man.

ERIC:  Yeah.  And we had this discussion last night when we were talking about the ElBraille on ACB Main Menu, and the importance of a teacher being able to have a screen connected and see the visual output from the ElBraille and to be able to turn on the Braille Viewer in JAWS so that the teacher can also see exactly what’s being written and so forth.  It’s a great feature.

And it’ll also be helpful for script writers.  If you’re on a job somewhere, and somebody is going to write scripts for you to improve the experience of that job, make you more efficient, one of those things is going to be braille output, what you get in speech and what you get in braille.  You may not need the same thing.  And they can test their script writing using the Braille Viewer.  So it’s a good feature.

GLEN:  Sounds great.  How about if we start taking calls?

ERIC:  Yeah, that’s a good idea.

RACHEL:  We already have some hands in the air.  So Eric?

ERIC:  Hello, Oleg.  How is Moscow these days?

OLEG:  Well, Moscow is gradually releasing the quarantine, in a pretty strange way.  But it’s happening.  But we’ve learned a lot of new skills for the last two months, basically working from home.  And that’s where my question actually comes from.  One of the things I’ve had to do with JAWS is to experiment and use some new applications.  And I’d like to bounce an idea off you because in some situations what I’d like to happen would be some scripts or settings developed for an application that’s not currently supported by Freedom Scientific.

But the problem is I cannot, for example, pay a thousand dollars or whatever to a script writer to do something like this.  So basically an idea where we as users could say, “Okay, here’s what I need done.  Here’s how much I’m able to pay.”  A script writer says, “I can do this.  Anybody else who wants this?”  And in a 15-day period people say, “Yeah, me, too.  Me, too.  Me, too.”  And something is born out of that.  Would there be a...

RACHEL:  Kind of like crowdfunded scripting; right?

OLEG:  Crowdfunded, yes, exactly.

RACHEL:  Interesting.

GLEN:  Yeah.  That’s kind of cool.

RACHEL:  That’s an interesting idea.

OLEG:  I need scripts for OBS.  That’s what I need badly.  But I cannot – I don’t have the resources to pay a scripter.  But maybe 10 more people need scripts for OBS.

GLEN:  Some of us who aren’t in the know have no clue what OBS is.

RACHEL:  Right?

OLEG:  OBS Studio is something that we use to stream on YouTube streaming.  And with my almost blindness, some of that stuff is pretty difficult.  But much of that could be scripted.  But maybe there are 10 more streamers who need the same thing.

RACHEL:  It might be possible.

GLEN:  Yeah, no, it’s a really – it’s a really good idea. 

RACHEL:  I love it.

GLEN:  It’s a good idea.

RACHEL:  Yeah, it is.

GLEN:  And the question, of course, will be where do we put it to make sure that people who are wanting these things know to look there.  But that’s just, you know, that’s an implementation detail.

ERIC:  Yeah.  If we had the right place, we could socialize it, I’m sure, and make it a popular thing, yeah.

RACHEL:  Right.  I do have a mailing list of people interested in scripting that I’ve been gathering.

GLEN:  I actually installed that software, but I haven’t done very much with it because I don’t broadcast on YouTube, and I don’t have that much audio equipment to connect.  So I did look at it briefly.  And yes, its accessibility could use some improvement.

OLEG:  C minus.

RACHEL:  So I know that from researching that there’s quite a large community of blind YouTubers.  Have you reached out to any of them?

OLEG:  Yes, but this is basically streaming.  We have a blindness channel on YouTube for Russian speakers.  And we’re doing broadcasts seven days a week now.

RACHEL:  Live stream, okay.

OLEG:  Yeah, live streams.  We have to do things quick.  That’s the point.

RACHEL:  Right.

GLEN:  So Oleg, I think you get the award for best-sounding microphone on FSOpenLine.

OLEG:  Well, after you, after you, Glen.

RACHEL:  We just started.  We just started.  Yeah.

GLEN:  That’s true.  You may get pushed out of the number one place.  But at the moment you win the award.

OLEG:  When Jonathan comes.

ERIC:  All right.

GLEN:  Thanks a lot.

ERIC:  Well, thank you, Oleg, for the call.  And glad to see you here.

OLEG:  Thank you.

RACHEL:  Yes, thank you for the great idea.

ERIC:  And let me get back up to the top of the list.  I think I’m going in order.  How about Vaughn?

VAUGHN:  I think that’s me, Eric.

ERIC:  Yes.

VAUGHN:  Vaughn from Australia.  Thank you.

ERIC:  Vaughn, how are you?

VAUGHN:  Well, thank you.

ERIC:  Good.  Long time.

VAUGHN:  Yes.  We’ve all been using Zoom and Teams and all these other platforms, courtesy of the current pandemic.  When you go into Microsoft Teams – which I’m forced to use by work, otherwise I’d be using Zoom.  You go into Teams.  You choose the “Meet Now” function from the calendar.  Someone comes into the lobby, and you have to admit them.  And the box comes down that says “Admit” or “Deny.”  That doesn’t read with JAWS.

GLEN:  I hate to ask this question.  Does it read...

ERIC:  I know what he’s asking.

VAUGHN:  But you’re going to ask it anyway.

GLEN:  Does it read with something else?

VAUGHN:  Glen, please.  I’m an exclusive JAWS user.  I’m monogamous.  I can’t answer that question.

ERIC:  Yeah.  But if you were to ask somebody else, what would they tell you?

GLEN:  Yes.

VAUGHN:  I don’t know.  I’ve never...

GLEN:  Your secret is safe with me.

VAUGHN:  I understand, but I’m purely monogamous.  I have never used another screen reader on Teams in my life.  So I can’t...

ERIC:  Okay.  I’ve written this one down, and we’re going to fix it.

GLEN:  And you don’t eat junk food either; right?

VAUGHN:  Yes, yes, yes.  No, of course.  If I said that, that’s the first lie.  The first one is true, but that is a lie.  Now, is there a hotkey that lets me just – or is there a setting that lets me automatically just admit people who are coming to the lobby; do you know?

GLEN:  I don’t know the answer to that.  We do have a connection with a Teams team.  And we can certainly mention this to them.  I guess I don’t chair enough meetings to realize that you need to admit people in from the lobby.

ERIC:  If you would, drop me an email.


ERIC:  And remind me of this and ask me to connect you.  I know that Sight and Sound, Stuart Lawler and company, are going to be doing a Teams webinar next week out of Ireland and England.  I know it’s going to be a different time zone for you.  But maybe it would be something you could listen in.  And I know they record them.

And we’ve had contact with a Microsoft Teams person, not the accessibility side, but somebody who seems genuinely interested, who’s taking feedback and funneling it back into Microsoft.  I think the first meeting they’re going to do is on some of the basics; so it may not cover some of the things that you’re trying to accomplish.  But I know that Stuart Lawler is doing these things, and he’s really getting quite good at Teams, as I understand it.  So I might be able to get you the answers.

VAUGHN:  No, because I think as blind people this actually raises real opportunities for us.  The issue of having to have clients come in and sit in front of us and have to be in our office, it actually, I think increases productivity for us, the ability to bring people to us remotely.  And so I think it’s something we all need to master.

My second question, ladies and gentlemen, is around OpenBook.  I haven’t seen an update in ages.  And I love it because it’s the quickest OCR program on the market for scanning stuff quickly onto your laptop.  And I for my job read about 400 pages a day of print.  Is there any – am I right in thinking, if I connected it up to an ElBraille, I would get instant braille, using OpenBook?  And secondly, is there anything coming through in that program that’s going to assist or attempt to assist with reading handwriting?

GLEN:  Not in the short run.  The OCR engines that we have direct access to at the moment don’t do handwriting.  The only way you can do handwriting is using our Picture Smart feature, but that doesn’t work really well for lengthy documents.  That would be like a one-shot deal where you get the handwriting in the picture.

VAUGHN:  But would it work, am I right in thinking it would work beautifully with ElBraille?

ERIC:  Yes.  If you install OpenBook on an ElBraille, you’ll get – you will need to have the JAWS component running, obviously, which you probably already do.  Or do you shut JAWS down and just use the OpenBook to read?

VAUGHN:  I’d prefer to use the JAWS to read.  But the OpenBook is taking over.

ERIC:  Yes.  Yes.  So, well, you can change it so that OpenBook will be quiet, and JAWS can read.  And if you’re using JAWS while OpenBook is running, you’ll get braille output, as well.

VAUGHN:  Right.  And is there an update coming to OpenBook?  Or is it one of those products that it doesn’t need any of this stuff?

ERIC:  There is not an update coming for OpenBook.  I wouldn’t anticipate any changes there.  We will continue to evolve optical character recognition solutions for our other products.  But I think, as you say, you’re the type of a user that OpenBook is perfect because you are trying to read so much.  So it’s a good program for you.  So we’re glad to hear it’s still working for you.  And I do apologize we didn’t...

VAUGHN:  Eric, do you want to flick me your email?

ERIC:  Give you what, now?

VAUGHN:  Your email?  Do you want to flick it across...

ERIC:  Oh, yeah, sure, sure.  So edamery@vispero.com.

VAUGHN:  Thank you very much.  Thank you.

ERIC:  And I’ll connect you with the guys in the U.K.  I think you’ll be a good addition to their group over there.  I think you’ll enjoy it.

VAUGHN:  I think I will, too.  Thank you.

GLEN:  Hey, thanks, Vaughn.

ERIC:  Yes, thank you.  And let me see if I can get back, I think I was looking for Les Kriegler.  Les, did I ever get you unmuted?  I don’t hear anybody.

GLEN:  We want more Kriegler.

ERIC:  Les, for some reason I can’t seem to get you unmuted.  But I did get Timothy.  Hello, Timothy.

TIMOTHY:  Hi, Eric.  How are you?

ERIC:  Very good.

TIMOTHY:  So I’m a college student.  I’ve heard you many times on FSCast and FSOpenLine.  And I finished my bachelor’s degree last year at Mercer in Organ Performance.  I’m a music major, currently working on a master’s degree in piano pedagogy, which is teaching piano, at Georgia State University.  And I have a few questions about JAWS.  One of them is music related.  Naturally, being a music enthusiast, I am a big fan of iTunes because it works across both PCs and Macs.  And I don’t have a Mac, but I do have an iPhone.  And the Apple Music subscription for students is really nice.

But there’s one little problem.  iTunes is not the most responsive program in the world with JAWS at the moment.  And I did some research and found where you guys had a webinar on iTunes and discovered that somebody had made some scripts.  I can’t remember the person’s name at the moment.  But when I went to the website link you provided to get the scripts, I couldn’t find them.  They were called Blind Tunes.  And I was wondering if anybody might know where I could get those.

RACHEL:  Well, I think that that webinar is pretty old.  I think it’s taken down.  There may be some lingering documentation out there.  But you guys want to go ahead?

ERIC:  I think part of it is that iTunes changes over the years.  So somebody who did something in the past, it probably wouldn’t  be very sufficient today.  Glen, have you...

RACHEL:  I think there may be some more recent ones.  Go ahead, Glen.

GLEN:  I’m not clear...

ERIC:  Have you got any input on iTunes?

GLEN:  ...that anybody has done a whole lot with iTunes these days.  It doesn’t seem to be where a lot of people are focusing on on the PC.  The last we did some testing on it, after Apple had had some accessibility regressions about nine months ago, they seemed to have resolved those.

RACHEL:  And Timothy, did you write us about this today?

TIMOTHY:  No.  I haven’t written about it.

RACHEL:  Okay.  We had a question about this this morning.  If you write training@vispero.com, we’re currently kind of looking into this to get some resources for people.  So you can shoot us an email, and we will send you anything we find.  Because I think there may be a couple sets of scripts out because Blind Tunes was one, and there was one called jTunes, I think.  I don’t want to send you off on a wild goose chase.  But send us an email, and we’ll follow up.

TIMOTHY:  Yeah, that would be great if you guys could send me some links because, like I said, the Blind Tunes link was broken.  It took me to a dead page.  And speaking of scripts, with the virtual stuff going on this past semester at school, I was having to do piano lessons over web clients.  And at first my teacher wanted to use Webex, and I had to talk him into using Zoom because Webex was so bad that even on the website I had to call Aira to help me sign in because the thing was so inaccessible that I couldn’t even enter my password.  It didn’t recognize that I was on an edit field.

ERIC:  So how did Zoom work out for him?

TIMOTHY:  Zoom was great.  But, see, the problem is the school doesn’t – Georgia State does not provide professors with a paid version of Zoom.  So what I did was I actually purchased a paid version of Zoom for my teacher because I discovered I could put him in the host chair.  If I hosted the meetings, I could throw him back in the host seat once he got on, and then we could have three or more people on a call for our piano pedagogy classes.  And it was fully accessible.

ERIC:  Very clever.

TIMOTHY:  Because otherwise I couldn’t control anything.

ERIC:  Very good.  And I’m assuming that you probably know Bill McCann.

TIMOTHY:  Oh, yes.  We’re very good friends.  In fact, I need to email him today.  My GOODFEEL, somehow the license got messed up, so I’ve got to get that back onboard.  One other thing I want to mention to you, too, and this is particular to my PC.  I have a business rig that – it’s a hybrid PC that my brother and I built.  And he did the building, and I bought the parts.  But this thing has one little issue, software-wise, with JAWS.  When you try to back up your JAWS settings using the import/export wizard that you built in, it keeps crashing.  You open it, and you tell it what you want to do, like export settings, for instance, and you press ENTER, and then it just closes.

ERIC:  I think that is a problem.  I think I remember hearing someone that works with us in the test department mentioning this to me not long ago.

TIMOTHY:  Yeah, I spoke to your tech agents about it.

GLEN:  We’re eager to solve this one.  And perhaps if you call support back and can zip up the settings manually and send them in, that’ll at least give us something to work with.  Because very often these kinds of problems don’t happen to everyone.  They happen based on some specific situations.  And if we can see your settings and put those on our machine as if they’re ours, that might be a good way to duplicate the problem, if it doesn’t always happen.

ERIC:  And Timothy, when you do that, let them know you were speaking with Glen and Eric on FSOpenLine and we asked you to do this, so that they can make sure we get it.  They’ll get it entered into a record, and they can alert us to it, and we’ll discuss it here.

TIMOTHY:  Okay.  So just put – so manually back them up and then send them to you as a zip file.

GLEN:  To the support group.

ERIC:  Yeah, call into the support and just let the support person know that we asked you to do this so that you can get it entered in through support.  It’s always best if it goes to support.  If they send it to us, it may get lost in the shuffle.

TIMOTHY:  Oh, yes.

ERIC:  Okay.


ERIC:  Thanks very much.  Say hello to Bill up there at Dancing Dots for us.

TIMOTHY:  Oh, yes.  Will do.

ERIC:  Okay.  Bye-bye.

GLEN:  Thanks.

ERIC:  And, oh, did I mute Glen?  I did.  Sorry.  Sorry, Glen.

GLEN:  It’s okay.  I know you like taking control of me.

ERIC:  Did we get any...

GLEN:  That’s granted your wish.

ERIC:  Can we hear any more of Les yet?

LES:  I’m here.  Can you hear me?

ERIC:  There you are.  Thank you for waiting.  Sorry it took you so long to get unmuted with us.

LES:  Third time is the charm.

ERIC:  Yeah.  How are you?

LES:  I’m great.  Yourself?

ERIC:  Very good.

LES:  So Eric, you may not remember this, but you and I go back a long ways.  Back in the early days of JAWS, when updates came out, you used to do a recording of the new features where you gave demos.  And to this day I really appreciate you doing that.  I really looked forward to getting them when they came out.

ERIC:  Yeah, we used to do that with a big “What’s New” recording in August and September, when we were packing a lot of features into the software.  And that was very good.  So, yeah, well, we’ll try and do more demos on our FSCast.  At least as new things come out we’ll try and sneak some demos in there.

LES:  And Rachel, I wanted to tell you I really enjoy the braille products and documentation page that I assume you’re involved with creating that?

RACHEL:  Yeah.  So you’re very welcome.  I’m glad.  We did put a lot of new resources up on the training page for braille hardware devices, both ElBraille and Focus, as well as added a bunch of Focus hardware videos to our YouTube channel.  So if you haven’t seen those yet, go give a listen.

GLEN:  And there is an ElBraille mailing list now.  Did you just say that, and I zoned out?

RACHEL:  No, no, I didn’t.  I was waiting on what he...

ERIC:  Why don’t we hang on one second.  I’m going to bring somebody on here, I think, that might tell us more about it.

RACHEL:  All right.

ERIC:  Thanks, Les.

LES:  That’d be excellent.

ERIC:  Bye-bye.  All right.  Let me see if I can find somebody that can tell us more about this list.  Larry, are you there?

LARRY:  Yeah.  You now have to ask permission for me to unmute.  You have to ask me that permission.  That’s a new lovely Zoom update.

ERIC:  Oh.  So you have to do it.

LARRY:  I have to actually unmute myself, yes.

ERIC:  Nice.

RACHEL:  Oh.  Well, that’s good to know.

LARRY:  It just started about a week ago, I guess.

RACHEL:  I need to add that to my repertoire of instructions, I guess.

ERIC:  And how do you do it?

LARRY:  You just – it says “Unmute Button.”  It gives me a prompt, and I just click on it, yes.

RACHEL:  And it says the host is asking you to unmute or something like that.

LARRY:  Yes, correct, mm-hmm.

ERIC:  Okay.  So I’ll try.  I’ll keep that in mind when I try and...

RACHEL:  Yeah.  So they have added some security steps.

LARRY:  Yeah, but if you don’t know that, you won’t be looking for it as a user.

ERIC:  Or maybe some people didn’t get the update yet, and they’re not having to do it.

LARRY:  That could be.  No, that’s probably true.

RACHEL:  Yeah, so...

ERIC:  So what can you tell us about ElBraille?

LARRY:  Oh, I’ll tell you quickly about ElBraille.  Then I had something happen today, and I don’t know if you can solve it, but it was frustrating.  And that’s the term I’ll use here.

ERIC:  Okay.

LARRY:  There’s a new ElBraille list that came about, oh, maybe two weeks ago.  Scott Erichsen, who is a friend who lives down in Australia, who was at CSUN this year so some of us got a chance to meet him for the first time, said, “I have an ElBraille.  I’d like to put together a list.”  And he did.  And users from all over America and Europe and other places came and flocked and joined.  And also Ron Miller’s on that list.  Other people are, too.  It is a very strong list.  Quite a bit of traffic.  But, I mean, if you don’t know anything about the ElBraille, and you just got it, and you need to know information, it is a terrific list to go to.  It really is.

ERIC:  So we’ll tell people to stand by in just a few seconds here, and maybe you can give them the address and how to subscribe to that.

LARRY:  Sure, sure.

ERIC:  And I will tell you that I’ve just subscribed to it today, and I’m looking forward to being on there.  And I heard a lot of good things on Main Menu about it last night.  So how would somebody get into the ElBraille list?

LARRY:  So if you want to subscribe, it’s very simple.  You type “ElBraille,” which is E L B R A I L L E, then the plus sign, subscribe, at iogroups.io.  Sorry, did I do that wrong?  At groups.io, pardon me.  So it’s elbraille+subscribe@groups.io.  I have someone in the background yelling at me, saying, “You did it wrong.”  Guess who it is.

ERIC:  I know who that is.  Well, maybe we can socialize that, too, on our social media.

LARRY:  Sure, sure.

ERIC:  And get it out there and spread the word.  So that’s great.  Thanks, Larry.

LARRY:  Now, I have a question.  You’re welcome.

ERIC:  What was the problem?  What was the big issue?

LARRY:  Well, the big issue for me was frustrating.  And I think we talked about this before.  I don’t think we’ve talked about it on FSCast.  We may have talked about it here.  But as you know, the new Windows Update for 2004 just came out.  And I updated today.  And theoretically, when you go through the process, there are a few housekeeping things you have to do before Windows comes up.  So I flipped on Narrator because JAWS hadn’t come up yet, and nothing.  Nothing happened.  JAWS didn’t come up.  Narrator didn’t come up.  I had to call ElBraille, and they guided – sorry.  I’m ElBraille still on the brain.  I called Aira.  Shut up, John.

GLEN:  I guess these guys interact that way, even when they’re not on mic.

LARRY:  We do.  It’s just for your benefit, I think.

GLEN:  Okay.

LARRY:  So I called Aira.  And what happened, once I got to the desktop I was cool because I got JAWS to come up.  But the soundcards defaulted, both JAWS and my secondary soundcard.  And I have not yet figured out a way, and don’t know if you guys can help, maybe it’s probably a Microsoft issue, so that the soundcards don’t change when there’s a major update like that.

GLEN:  I don’t think there’s anything that we can control about that.

LARRY:  But it wasn’t the first time it happened this morning.  She had gotten other calls from people.

GLEN:  Yeah.

ERIC:  Do you think it was to do with this May update that just came out?

LARRY:  Well, it’s seemingly all updates that are major, and May is included.  Yeah, because this has happened to me probably at least three times before.

GLEN:  I think you can certainly help that with JAWS by going in under, is it Utilities and Soundcards?

LARRY:  Yes, mm-hmm.

GLEN:  And telling JAWS to use a specific soundcard.  Because even then, if the Windows default soundcard changes, you’ll still be using that one that you explicitly specified.  But that’s not going to solve the Narrator problem.


GLEN:  And as you rightly observed, there are times early on after an update that nothing else will run until you finish the housekeeping, and the only choice for accomplishing that is with Narrator.

LARRY:  Correct.  So we do know a few people at Microsoft, and I know that you obviously have partnerships with them.  And I’m thinking maybe that’s the next step, to see if they can figure out why it’s happening.  If they know why it’s happening, maybe there’s a cause for a solution.  I don’t know.

ERIC:  Yeah, you might cc me on a message to the list for the beta team, and let’s see if the beta team is experiencing this.

LARRY:  Okay.

ERIC:  And I’ve made a note of it, and we can raise this up through our support desk to Microsoft, too.

LARRY:  Okay, cool.

GLEN:  They have their Disability Answer Desk.

LARRY:  Yes, yes.

GLEN:  And so you might write to them.

ERIC:  They’re very good.

GLEN:  I think, is it dad@microsoft.com?  It sounds very parental, so that’s...

RACHEL:  That’s right, I think, yeah.

LARRY:  Yeah, I believe it is, yeah.  I will write them, and I’ll write you, too,  Eric, and we’ll just...

ERIC:  Great.

LARRY:  ...write to everybody and see if we can get a solution.

GLEN:  Sounds great.

ERIC:  All right.  Well, thanks very much.  And good to hear your voice.  Bye.

LARRY:  Thank you, Eric.

ERIC:  Let’s try Robert Kaiser.  Robert, are you there?

ROBERT:  Yes, I am.  Can you hear me okay?

ERIC:  We can.

ROBERT:  I do a lot of work with YouTube.  And I cannot do Premium right now.  But what happens is when I want to listen to something I get ads, and the Skip Ad button does not always work.  And so I either have to listen to a long ad or hit F5 several times till the thing, the music selection or whatever I’m listening to comes up.  Is there, or is there a possibility in the future, that there would be a shortcut key that we could use so that we could skip these horrific ads that have become infomercials on YouTube?

GLEN:  The only thing I can think of is tabbing away and tabbing back to the Skip Ad button.  I don’t know if that helps.  And then the other thing is try both SPACE and ENTER to see if either of those helps.  And the third thing to try, if neither of those work, is to turn off the virtual cursor temporarily by hitting INSERT+Z.  And then tab away from back to the Skip Ad button and see if that fixes it.

ROBERT:  Wait, sometimes the Skip Ad button doesn’t even show up.

RACHEL:  And sometimes that’s because those ads don’t have the option.  There are ads that you have to sit through on YouTube because the advertiser paid more for that ad, and you’re not able to skip it.  So that is a possibility also.  Make sure you’re never trying to skip an ad if you ever have it in full-screen mode because that never works for me.

ROBERT:  Right, okay.

RACHEL:  Yeah.  So.

GLEN:  And Doug Lee, someone who we’re going to have on FSCast before too much more time goes by to talk about his various scripting efforts, he has some YouTube scripts.  Someone kindly mentioned this in the chat.  So if you go to dlee.com – I think it’s dot com, it’s either dot com or dot org, I can’t tell you for sure.  Oh, it’s dot org.  We’ve just got corrected.  It’s the benefit of the entire village participating here.  Dlee.org, he has some YouTube scripts.  And knowing the quality of Doug’s work, if it can be done, it’s likely already done in his scripts, so you might want to try those.

ERIC:  Thank you, Robert.  So Rohan Shardha wrote:  “Hi, Glen, Eric, and Rachel.  I just wanted to share this information with you and the community.  It was discussed in the last OpenLine.  Someone asked how to use R and RStudio with JAWS.  Those are not yet accessible.  But a way around for visually challenged data scientists out there is to use the Microsoft VS code and install  R Tools extension from Marketplace to code in R.  It’s very similar to RStudio and is pretty much the same.”  Thanks for that.

GLEN:  That’s great information.  And we’ll also, in the next couple of months, be having some improvements in JAWS for Visual Studio code.  So that’s also in the pipeline.

ERIC:  Great.  So I just tried Danson.  You might need to hit the spacebar to unmute yourself.  There you are.  Hey, that works.  Welcome to FSOpenLine.

DANSON:  Well, thanks.  And actually it’s just the name of my phone.  It’s my guide dog’s name.  But Eric, I took a course from you 20 years ago in Vancouver, BC.

ERIC:  Wow.

DANSON:  Have you guys started doing any work with Wireshark?

GLEN:  We have not thus far.  But remember Doug Lee, who I mentioned less than two minutes ago?

DANSON:  Yeah.

GLEN:  He just released sort of some preliminary Wireshark scripts.  He says they are preliminary.  He was able to leverage some work that he had done with TeamTalk for the Wireshark UI.

DANSON:  Okay.

GLEN:  And I think it does improve some accessibility.  So dlee.org and look for his Wireshark scripts.

DANSON:  Yeah, I actually have his Teams scripts.  And they make Teams a lot better to work with.

ERIC:  Thank you, Danson.  Bye.  All right.  So let’s try and see if we can...

RACHEL:  I’m glad you said that about Wireshark, Glen.  We’ve gotten a couple questions about that.

GLEN:  It’s come up a lot on FSOpenLine.

RACHEL:  It has, really.  Yeah, and last night on Main Menu, actually.

GLEN:  Oh, okay.

ERIC:  So Damon, I just tried to unmute you.  Maybe you have to hit your spacebar.  There you are.


ERIC:  How are you, sir?

DAMON:  The audio guy should know this; right?

GLEN:  Another guy with a good-sounding microphone.

DAMON:  Well, yeah.  So hi, Glen.  Hi, Eric.

ERIC:  Hello there.

DAMON:  I used to work for you guys a few years ago in tech support.

ERIC:  I remember, yeah.

DAMON:  Yeah.  So I had a thought or a question or however you want to frame this, related to the convenient OCR feature in JAWS.  I know you guys were still using OmniPage.  But has anyone given thought to using the OCR engine in Windows 10?  Because I’ve seen it do some amazing work, especially with the way it lays out the text, because I work with a lot of software, music software, where I have to use OCR to see anything on the screen at all.  And JAWS sometimes jumbles a lot of things together, if I’m doing INSERT SPACE and then O and then S or W.  But if I switch to the dreaded NVDA, and I do its recognition, it seems to make a lot cleaner output and be a lot more accurate.

GLEN:  That’s really useful to know because Microsoft in the last year or two has made it much easier for apps like JAWS to consume some of these Windows 10 native apps.  We just didn’t think that it was going to be as good as OmniPage.  So now that you mention this, this is certainly something that we’ll investigate.

ERIC:  And you’ve tried it on text, as well?

DAMON:  I have not tried it on, like, documents, like written documents.  But I was almost thinking that maybe there would be an option to choose the OCR engine.

ERIC:  Exactly.  That’s what I was thinking, too.  Because I have a feeling that the text, and certainly in various languages, is going to be much stronger still with OmniPage.  But I think if we could have an option in there for something like this, that could be a good thing to look at.

DAMON:  Yeah.

ERIC:  Good call.

GLEN:  They call it “zoning,” where you’re actually trying to divide the page into reasonable things.  Is this a table?  Is this a single column?  Is this multiple columns?  And that’s not one of OmniPage’s strengths compared to other things.

DAMON:  Yeah.

GLEN:  And Microsoft may get that better.

DAMON:  Yeah.

GLEN:  So, yeah, thanks for the tip.

DAMON:  No, it really comes in handy because I’m working with things like Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol and certain music plugin software where you have to access a service center application to activate or download products.  And the Windows OCR engine has been really good with putting that information – I wish it was a little better at clicking on the right text.  But, you know, when you want to click on stuff to activate it.  But it would really – I think it would really be helpful if we can have that.

GLEN:  That’s good to know.

ERIC:  Thanks very much.  We’ll look at it.

DAMON:  All right, no problem.

ERIC:  All right.  Good to hear from you.  Let’s see if we can bring in Matthew.  Matthew, there you are.

MATTHEW:  Hello.

ERIC:  How are you?

MATTHEW:  Good evening.  It’s nice to hear you.  Nice to speak to you again.  And nice to meet Glen and Rachel.  Thanks for doing this.

ERIC:  Can I tell a quick story?

MATTHEW:  Yeah, you go ahead.

ERIC:  Okay.

MATTHEW:  I think I know which one it is.

ERIC:  It was Sight Village.  This was one of the funniest presentations I ever did.  It was – I can’t remember...

MATTHEW:  In 2004.

ERIC:  Was it then 2004?  Okay.  So I had been going to Sight Village for a while.  But I was in a big room full of people in 2004, doing a presentation at Sight Village.  And this young kid in the back of the room starts raising his hand to answer the questions for the audience.  And someone said – I think someone recognized your voice or something.  And they said, “Oh, you’re Matthew?”  And it was Young Matthew in the back of the room with his dad.  And Young Matthew has since grown and gotten through school and is a fantastic user.  So it’s good to hear you.

MATTHEW:  Well, it’s great to be here.  I have a couple of question/feature suggestions, one from myself and one from a friend.  And I won’t tell you which one’s which.  So the first one is fairly simple.  The question is can you turn off the emoji processor because it’s very frustrating hearing all of these emojis when you’re going through your social media feeds.  And I do know where the file is to turn that off, but it’s not in a very clever place, and I can’t in good conscience recommend that people play with that file.

ERIC:  So maybe this would be a good thing for our settings center.  Is that what you were thinking?

MATTHEW:  Yeah, it would be.  It would be a useful feature to be able to, I think, certain people who read Twitter and things like that would find it very beneficial to be able to just turn the emojis off.  Even on an app-by-app basis, it would be very useful to be able to do that.

ERIC:  Great.

MATTHEW:  The second one, I’m working in a terminal environment, you know, so I might be using the SSH client in Windows 10 to shell into a server.  And the server sends lots of text back which I don’t really care about, and then a hundred lines later sends back the line that I do care about.  But I can’t get the – it takes ages for JAWS to get to the hundredth line.  So what I quite like to do is, as new text comes into the terminal, JAWS to interrupt itself and read the new text rather than worrying about the old text.

GLEN:  Yeah, that’s an interesting scenario because it really depends on what someone’s trying to read; right?  If you’re trying to get a list of a small number of files, you probably want to hear all of it.  If you’re having a really long listing, you only want to hear the end.

MATTHEW:  Yeah.  So possibly, again, a feature that could be toggled on; and, possibly, if it’s toggled by a script, you could then make something in Keyboard Manager and get a shortcut key for it.  But it would just be nice to have the option.

GLEN:  And how much would you ideally want to hear in that scenario?

MATTHEW:  I basically want it to behave the same as it behaves for all these Zoom alerts, except I wish it wouldn’t do it for Zoom alerts, you know, where it interrupts itself to tell you that somebody’s entered the meeting.  I wish it wouldn’t do it then.  It’s very annoying.  But for the terminal, that’s basically what I want to do.  So it’ll be, you know, extracting packages and things.  And I just – it might be halfway through saying that it’s extracting, and then it updates itself.  So I just want it to interrupt and read the next line.

GLEN:  Got it.  Okay.  No, that’s a good idea.  Thank you very much.

MATTHEW:  Thank you.

ERIC:  And I think there’s a keystroke in JAWS to turn off the announcement of the Zoom alerts every time someone’s coming in and out.

MATTHEW:  Yeah, I think there is.  The alerts themselves are useful.  I just wish they wouldn’t interrupt what JAWS was saying.

ERIC:  Oh, right, right.  Let them queue up.

MATTHEW:  Yeah.  Yeah, yeah.

GLEN:  And thanks to Daniel Montalvo, it’s ALT+WINDOWS+S, apparently.

ERIC:  There we go.  Okay.  Thank you very much, Matthew.  Good to hear from you.

MATTHEW:  Yeah, good to hear you.  Thank you.

ERIC:  Yeah, bye-bye.  And Rachel, with that, can I turn the controls over to you?

RACHEL:  Sure.

ERIC:  And I’m going to bid you guys both farewell.

RACHEL:  Right, Eric, thank you.

ERIC:  And till the next time on FSOpenLine.  Thanks, everyone.

GLEN:  Hey, thanks, Eric.

ERIC:  Yeah.

RACHEL:  Yeah.  And yes, in the chat it is ALT+WINDOWS+S as in Sam.  And then you can shut off all of those annoying alerts from chat and people popping in and out of the meetings.  And you can toggle it right back on if you’re interested.  But if you want to hear what people are chatting, use CTRL+1 through 0.

GLEN:  Also good to know.

RACHEL:  So let’s take – go ahead, Glen?

GLEN:  No, I was just saying that’s good to know, and we have Brian Hartgen to thank for some of that.

RACHEL:  Yes.  All right, Jason.  Do I have you?

JASON:  Oh, do you have me?

RACHEL:  All right.  I do.

JASON:  Okay, excellent.  Thank you both, too, extending this.  I greatly appreciate it.  I’m sure the rest of us do, as well.  Two quick things.  It seems, and unfortunately this one is probably hard to replicate, I’ve noticed JAWS kind of holding old information in the buffer a lot longer in the most recent version of 2020.  So, for example, I’ll open up an email, and initially I’ll hear it repeat something from an email considerably long time before that.  Or a message, or something that was echoed, you know, maybe minutes earlier, that’s actually not even on the screen.  I don’t know.

GLEN:  So I have seen this really occasionally, always in Outlook and always, for me at least, the previous message that I had read.  So I will have read message one, and then open a new one, and I’m getting the same text of message one.

JASON:  Correct.

GLEN:  For me, when I close that message and reopen it, it seems to be correct.  And I can’t make it happen on demand.

JASON:  Yeah.

GLEN:  How close is that to you, to your...

JASON:  I would say that’s dead on.

GLEN:  Okay.  But, I mean, I may see it once a week or...

RACHEL:  And you’ve never had that happen in Internet Explorer?  And I don’t use Explorer anymore.  But I believe it happens there, too.

JASON:  Yeah, it’s possible.  But I’m kind of with Glen in terms of most I remember it happening is in Outlook.

RACHEL:  Right.  Outlook, yeah.  It’s very occasional.  I think I’ve had it happen.

JASON:  Oh, yeah.  It’s bizarre.  And I’ve switched completely to Edge, thanks to Brian and what you guys have talked about.  It’s a huge, huge improvement.  And my second thing is kind of a longstanding thing that I’ve noticed, I just thought to bring up, probably all the way back to XP, I’m thinking.  The reporting of the number of items in a list view in File Explorer or Windows Explorer is not very accurate.

So, for example, let’s say you’re in the Documents folder, and you’re moving down into seven of 12, and you’re moving down eight, nine.  And then it’ll say, like, 14 of 22.  So it’s almost like it’s not seeing everything, or completely getting the total count of items in there.  And I’ve noticed that, I think that’s been going on for a pretty long time.

GLEN:  And you’re running Windows 10 currently?

JASON:  Yes, sir.

GLEN:  Yeah.  This has come up in the last year or so, and I remember actually personally looking at it and not being able to replicate the problem in more recent versions of Windows 10.

JASON:  Okay.

GLEN:  But I admit I haven’t looked at it in the last six or nine months.  Or I may have just gotten it wrong.  So probably worth us investigating again.

JASON:  Yeah, I just noticed it this morning.  That’s kind of what made me think to bring it up.  It’s like, oh, since I’m on here, I might as well ask about that.  I was going through the Documents folder, as a matter of fact, and it was kind of doing the same thing I just mentioned.  So thought that was quite unusual.

GLEN:  We got something from Aaron Spears.  And he said he’s set to Details Mode.  And so am I.  And he said that in Details Mode for him he’s not seeing that problem, where you only get a count of how many items are on the screen, rather than how many items are in the list.

JASON:  Okay.  Okay.

GLEN:  So you might try Details Mode and see if that improves things.

JASON:  Thank you.  Appreciate everybody’s time.  Thank you.

GLEN:  Yeah.

RACHEL:  Yeah, thank you so much.

GLEN:  Thank Aaron.  I take no credit.

RACHEL:  Let’s see if we can get JC.

JC:  Thanks for giving me this time.  My question was about Excel, if I may.  I know that there’s been issues, sluggishness issues.  I still experience those, and they’re quite aggravating.  I was wondering, and I thought I heard in a previous meeting that everything had been resolved.  But it looks like in my neck of the woods I’m still experiencing the issue.

GLEN:  Under what circumstances does the problem happen?  So for instance, if you create an empty spreadsheet, and you put information in one or two cells, is it sluggish when you move between the cells?

JC:  Honestly, I’ve not tried that.  For sure the spreadsheet I use this with is pretty elaborate.  It’s got a load of comments, formulas, macros, and the whole Mary Ann.  So I have not tried with a simpler environment, if you will.  That I have not tried.  I have the feeling it would not do it.  But I can’t certify that.

GLEN:  So where I’m going with all of this is, in our experience, it doesn’t happen with obvious things that those of us who are not Excel gurus are creating.  And so the thing that could help us most would be to have a sample spreadsheet that shows the problem.  And I don’t know whether you can, like, cleanse your data so that you could send us the spreadsheet where you’re seeing it or, you know, come up with something else that indicates what you’re experiencing.  But that kind of thing would help us to investigate.

JASON:  I understand.  Look, I don’t know, if I were to cleanse the data, if it would still behave in a decent fashion that would allow us to – because it’s so intricate.

GLEN:  Okay.

JASON:  You know, like there’s formulas here and there and everywhere.  And one line depends upon the other.  And I don’t know if I were to cleanse the data, if it would still...

GLEN:  Yeah.

JASON:  I could try, but I understand your point.  And you know what, at the end of the day, I mean, you know, you guys are professional.  I’m not quite afraid, and I know you would not share the data or misuse it.  So if that’s going to help the cause, I think, you know, we could arrange, if you give me an email that would not be a public, you know, input email, but I could probably send the sheet like it is.

GLEN:  So write to me directly, and don’t send the spreadsheet.  I want to get a little more detail about what’s on the spreadsheet.

JASON:  Got you.

GLEN:  Because it’s not only protecting you, but it’s protecting us, you know, to get any kind of data that would be questionable.  So let’s have a dialogue off the program, as it were.

JASON:  Sure, sure.

GLEN:  And I’m ggordon@vispero.com.

JASON:  Oh, that’s true.  V I S P E R O, you said?

RACHEL:  V as in Victor.

JASON:  Yeah, yeah.

RACHEL:  Yeah, okay.

JASON:  Okay.  Ggordon.  All right.

GLEN:  FreedomScientific.com works, too.

JASON:  Yeah, because it’s grooved in, you know.

GLEN:  Yeah.  It’s true.  All right.

RACHEL:  All right.  Let’s go...

JASON:  Fair enough.  Thank you.

RACHEL:  Thank you so much.  We have Don here.  Don, are you there?

DON:  Can you hear me?


GLEN:  Yes.

DON:  Terrific.  I put this in the chat, as well.  I’ll just be very brief because I know you guys are stretched.  Glen, is there any movement on the fixing the issue with using column title, row title, or title in an Excel spreadsheet that causes  the Excel background process to stick around and makes it really sluggish?  And the next time you open Excel it opens Book 2, then Book 3.  There’s a real issue with using “title” in the “define name” property.

GLEN:  So not the titles that you get by actually adding them to the spreadsheet, but by doing a custom title with JAWS?

DON:  Using, well, going into the “define name” view.

GLEN:  Oh, okay.

DON:  And you put the word “title” so that JAWS recognizes that as the coordinates of where the row and columns meet so it’ll read the column headers automatically.

GLEN:  So bravo on discovering that that’s the thing that keeps JAWS around or keeps Excel around after you exit.

DON:  Yes.

GLEN:  We are somewhat at the behest of what they call the “Excel object model,” where we’re asking Excel directly for information.  And there are some fields for some inexplicable reason where, if we ask for them, that causes problems with Excel.  I didn’t realize it was preventing Excel from exiting.  But it’s something we will look into.  And this is with 365?

DON:  Yes.  And the only way to deal with it is just to delete the background process each time, or reboot.

GLEN:  Yeah, that sounds very unpleasant.

DON:  Thanks very much.

GLEN:  I’m sorry to not be better equipped to help with this one.

DON:  No, if you know about it, that’s all I care about.

GLEN:  And the good news is it’s really easy to go review FSCasts now that we have transcripts, and there will be a transcript of FSOpenLine coming out at the same time the FSOpenLine episode does.

DON:  Great.

GLEN:  So thank you, Don.

DON:  Thanks.

RACHEL:  We still have some people with questions here, Glen.  And I am sorry if we didn’t get to you.

GLEN:  We will be back.  We will do this again in August; right?


GLEN:  That is the next FSOpenLine.

RACHEL:  The last Thursday in August.  So if you have a question that you need answered, and you think it’s training related, go ahead and send it to training@vispero.com.  If it’s more of a support issue, you know, support@vispero.com.  And, yeah, we had a fantastic turnout.  Thank you guys all so much for joining us.

GLEN:  Thank you all very much.  We’ll talk to you in a few months.

RACHEL:  Yeah, thank you.




edigitaltranscription.com  •  05/31/2020  •  edigitaltranscription.mobi