FSCast #204 FSOpenLine

August, 2021


RACHEL BUCHANAN:  Hello, and welcome to FSOpenLine, Freedom Scientific’s quarterly call-in show.  If you’re hearing my voice now, you obviously have figured out how to connect with us.  We are on Clubhouse and the Zoom platform simultaneously.  You can ask questions on either of those platforms, however you prefer to join.  If you somehow are listening via YouTube Live on the Freedom Scientific Training YouTube channel, or Facebook Live on the Freedom Scientific page, then you will need to switch to Clubhouse or Zoom if you’d like to ask a question or engage with us directly.  Otherwise, you can just listen.

If I didn’t mention it already, I’m Rachel.  Joining me are my colleagues, Glen Gordon, Matt Ater, and Eric Damery.

GLEN GORDON:  Hey, Rachel.  Great to be here.

MATT ATER:  Hey, Rachel.  Lots of fun.  We’ve got, I mean, we’re on five platforms all at one time, and being recorded for a podcast in the future.  This is awesome.

RACHEL:  It is.

ERIC DAMERY:  So maybe I can start today – this is Eric.  And I wanted to just make sure that we bring everybody up to speed on where we’re at with our 2022 releases.  Now, if you’re listening to us live, you haven’t had an opportunity to try out Public Beta 1 yet.  But if you’re listening to this in a recording, we hope you’ve listened to the FSCast already, and I’m certain that you’ve already downloaded Public Beta, and you’ve gotten started with it.

And one of the first things you would have noticed, if you installed on a computer where you previously had a 2021 version or a 2020 version installed, that after the installation it automatically recognized the settings that you previously had been using, and it adopted those settings for you.  It automatically migrated your settings right in.  And if for some reason you were a user who wanted to start with a clean machine, we added a new feature in JAWS 2022 that you can go right to the Options menu, and you’ll find a choice there called “Restore Factory Defaults.”  And if you choose that, it’ll delete anything that had been previously created or migrated.  It’ll clean your user settings and your INI file.  I believe it’ll restart your JAWS.  It’ll put you in the Startup Wizard, and you’ll be starting as if you just installed on a clean machine.  So it’s a real quick way of getting back to a barebones setup.  And then you can start setting that version up the way you want.

But if you’re pretty happy with the settings that you’ve been using, you should have automatically received them, including your braille display setup, whether it’s a Freedom display or one of the other many displays that are used by our customers out there.  All of those things should have been adopted automatically and started to work immediately with your 2022 version.  So we hope you appreciate that new change.

GLEN:  And as someone who’s tried it when installing 2022, it’s so simple, yet it makes things so much easier.  You don’t have to go through the step of the Migration Wizard.  And it just happens behind the scenes.

ERIC:  Yup.  Now, you still have the ability to do an export of your settings or an import of settings that you had previously made.  So if you had some settings stored off someplace else, you can restore to factory defaults and then run the Import Wizard and bring those settings in, as well.  So that capability is still there.

MATT:  So that brings a question to my mind, and that’s does that include bringing over scripts that somebody else may have provided to you or you may have purchased from somebody?

GLEN:  It in fact does.  Initially, if you do the automatic migrate, it brings everything that was there in 2021.  And so that is one possible case where you would want to revert to factory defaults.  If there is a third-party set of scripts that don’t work in 2022 yet, and you’re waiting for it, and for some reason they completely prevent an app from being used, then that might be a case where either you revert to factory defaults, or at least you go in and do more of a surgical operation and delete those scripts until the person you got them from has an updated version.

ERIC:  So that works pretty good.  And I think people will appreciate it.  Maybe we should – any other topics, Glen, you want to bring up before we start taking a few calls?

GLEN:  I want to mention something that seems like it’s out of left field.  And this has to do with Dell PCs and Dell audio.  We’ve not gotten 100% of a handle on this.  But other people have reported it sporadically on forums.  And it seems to have started with the version of Waves Audio Manager that gets installed with many Dell PCs that came out mid-2020.  Not every machine has been updated to this.  But if you have the problem I’m speaking about, after using a screen reader where we’re constantly starting and stopping speech for a few hours, you may find that your computer says “Low on memory, time to restart.”  And if you go look in Task Manager, no one app looks like it’s taking a whole lot of memory.

We have sort of the nuclear option for improving things which essentially is to disable Waves Audio Manager.  That’s the quick fix until we understand technically what’s going on, and we try to get to the right people either at Waves or at Dell.  So if what I’m talking about doesn’t make any sense to you, then you’re not having the problem.  But if you feel like JAWS is spontaneously either completely shutting down, and you can’t manually restart it, and running anything else doesn’t work, you may be hit by this problem.  And if you are, contact our support for more details.

MATT:  Tech support has a way to resolve this at this point as they sort through the future, of solving this?

GLEN:  Yeah.  It’s not a perfect solution, but it is a way to prevent the profound memory leak, which is certainly tripping up a bunch of people.  Or four more specifically I know about.

MATT:  And this is not – this is very specific to Dell computers or Dell laptops; right? 

GLEN:  Yes, yes.

MATT:  Okay.

GLEN:  Yeah.  If it’s Dell laptops, if you have Waves Audio Manager, and the system seems to not be all that stable for all that long, it could be this problem.

ERIC:  So I’ve got a couple of people I’ve already invited onstage.  Oleg Shevkun was first, and Vaughn will be on deck for me on Clubhouse.  So Oleg, can you unmute yourself?  Hi.

OLEG:  Hi.  Hello.  Hello, Eric.  Hello, everybody.

ERIC:  Hi there.  How’s Russia?

GLEN:  Hello.

OLEG:  Russia is good.  Past midnight here, so pretty good.

ERIC:  Excellent.

OLEG:  Yeah, I’ve got two questions, one about verbosity and one about braille.  And the verbosity question has to do with – and I’m having a hard time describing it.  But it seems like there are more and more messages that are sent to JAWS or that are exposed to JAWS by other applications.  And you get more verbosity that you even would like to get, like for example with a web page loading or with web page authors trying to put accessibility information, and you get redundant, like checkbox, checkbox.  And so basically whereas like five years ago, 10 years ago, you could eliminate things in JAWS verbosity, now things are announced, and you don’t have a good idea where these are coming from.

So the question is basically, is there a simple and easy way, when I get a message, and a prompt that I’d like to get rid of, to figure out where it’s really coming from, so who was doing it?  And secondly, would it be possible for JAWS to suppress some of the verbiage that is coming like from web pages where the authors were too zealous to put too much information in?  Or even from applications that are kind of over, shall I say, over‑accessible?

GLEN:  So this is a multipart answer, actually.  The longer term answer is we are aware of this problem, and many of us feel the same pain.  And we’re working on ways to have some kind of notification manager where it’s possible to have finer grain control over a message, you know, to allow you to say “Never show me this message,” or “Never show me messages with this prefix” or with this word or something.  It’s still on the drawing board, so I’m sketching it out quite vaguely.

The more specific issue is that relatively recently Microsoft Edge enabled UIA notification events, and a small number of them come from web page authors, and tons of them come from Edge itself, like page loading, page finished loading, file downloading, page finished.

OLEG:  Yes.  Please mute this.

GLEN:  Yes.

OLEG:  Please mute this.

GLEN:  And we do plan to do that.  That is on the list initially as something for 2022, the initial release.  And it likely will move back to 2021 if we possibly can.  There is a setting in Settings Center called UIA Notification Events, or something very close to that by name.  If you want those to be completely gone for a special app, you can go into Settings Center, change that as an app-specific configuration setting, turn it off, if it’s not already off, and much of that stuff will go away.

MATT:  You wouldn’t want it necessarily for default, but you may want it for specific browsers or specific apps because, if you turned off UIA in Word announcements, you may be hindering yourself; right?

GLEN:  This is just turning off the push announcements.  Like I think that...

MATT:  But now we do bold through that.

GLEN:  Oh, that’s very true.  We did change it, didn’t we.  Because we were saying bold on our own, and then...

MATT:  And then they were saying bold.

ERIC:  Yeah.

GLEN:  Yeah.

MATT:  So we’d say bold bold.  And it was – so do it by application.

ERIC:  Mm-hmm.

MATT:  If I was recommending, rather than by default.

OLEG:  There’s an INSERT+F12 script in JAWS, Say Time.  And it’s tied to speech, so it will display the message on the braille display.  I’d like it to give me a running clock with hours, minutes, and constantly updated seconds so that, like, for example, I should know that it’s, say, 9:00, whatever, 55 seconds.  And basically to go through a revision for braille and to see which of the messages that are currently sent to braille could be modified to be more applicable for braille users.  Whereas in the past they used to be just direct copies of speech messages.

ERIC:  You bring the time to your display because you’re trying to process something, and you’re trying to keep track of the time.

OLEG:  Especially, because I’m speaking, I need to be done speaking...

ERIC:  Got it.

OLEG: a certain second.  It’s at 57 seconds, boom, I’m done speaking.

ERIC:  Okay.

MATT:  If we could show the time in the status cells, where you could actually enable that and turn it on and off, would that be useful?

OLEG:  Perfect.  Yes.

MATT:  Because then it’s, I mean, the status cells, a lot of people don’t use them for much today compared to what they may have used in the past because the windows are different.

GLEN:  That’s a great idea.  That’s such a great idea.

MATT:  It’d be really, I mean, it’d be really cool to just put them in the status cells as an optional item, and you could toggle it on and off or something like that.

OLEG:  Absolutely.  That’s like – that’s almost like splitting display.  Not exactly, but almost like that.  And then you could choose what to show in the status cells, so you could do the minutes and seconds or whatever.  Yeah.

RACHEL:  I’m going to ask David to unmute.  So David, you should be able to unmute now.

DAVID:  Hi, this is David.

RACHEL:  Hi, David.

DAVID:  Thank you for having me on.  I’m going to try to be quick with my comments.  Responding to the last person, the UI automation notifications in the browser, have you guys considered audio notification, you know, sound events?  My comment on JAWS 2022, I wish that you guys would offer a checkbox to automatically import the settings, rather than force that, because that’ll delay me putting JAWS 2022 on my system.  And my real reason I joined today is I wanted to ask a question about Zoom, and I noticed another problem today.  You guys included the Zoom scripts that I believe Brian Hartgen wrote, the basic ones.  And for quite a while they’ve had extra chatter in the user participant list, and notifications have been not consistently notifying for quite a while.

MATT:  So this is Matt.  We do plan to fix that in 2021.  We will have an update to 2021 sometime in September.  If you use CTRL+F5, I think it is, it will reset that announcements in Zoom.  So when you do the ALT+INSERT+S, I think it is, for Zoom, you’re not necessarily getting the announcements while in Zoom, so you have to press the CTRL+F5.  I think once will say one type of announcements, and press it a second time to get the other announcements.

RACHEL:  And that’s ALT+Windows+S.

MATT:  Oh, did I say the wrong one?

RACHEL:  Mm-hmm.

MATT:  Okay.  ALT+Windows+S, followed by CTRL+F5, would cycle between the different types.  Is that what you needed for that, until we get that resolved?

DAVID:  It might.  I’m going to try it out.  I did CTRL+F5 without doing the ALT+Windows+S.

MATT:  Yeah, you have to do the ALT+Windows+S first, and then cycle.

RACHEL:  And make sure the Zoom window is in focus.

DAVID:  I’ll do that after.

MATT:  Yeah.

DAVID:  But the other thing I notice is after you get – it’s neat to see everybody on the Zoom list, participants here today.  But after we got to about 40 the reading of the participants was not very reliable after the highlight went offscreen or, you know, went down lower than the screen.

GLEN:  That’s probably a hard done to debug; right?  Brian’s going to have to have a lot of parties.

DAVID:  I’m sure it is.  Yeah, exactly, exactly.

ERIC:  Invite a lot of people.

GLEN:  Yeah.

RACHEL:  Email us at  I don’t have an issue with manipulating those participants unless the list is in the midst of refreshing because it does refresh as people join.

DAVID:  Oh, yeah.  I am aware.

RACHEL:  So that is the only issue I have.  And I’m navigating that nonvisually.  So email us at and let me know what problem you’re having there.

DAVID:  Okay.

ERIC:  I wanted to come back to the first one you mentioned about you wish we would add a checkbox so you could avoid using your old settings at all in the new version.  So we haven’t been able to do that because we didn’t want to change the installer and make that an option before you start the installer.  But we added this option in the Options menu to restore factory defaults.  And once you’ve done this, you’ll see – this is very quick.  Please don’t hesitate to try and prove me wrong.  But if you install the 2022 version, and you really don’t want those settings that it pulled in automatically, it didn’t slow anything down, it just started to use them, if you just go to the Options menu and say Restore Factory Defaults, within a matter of seconds you’re back to an absolute clean install.  And if you shut down and restart, if you uninstall and don’t remove  your user settings, it’ll never pull any settings in, in the future.  So it’ll only happen that one time, the first time, and you can quickly clean it.

DAVID:  Yeah.  Just I’m not one that likes to put salt and pepper on my steak before I try sampling it or actually...

ERIC:  Oh, I get it.  So that’s exactly why we added that to the Options menu, so you could clean it and try it.  But, you know, lots of users don’t make a lot of changes, but maybe they’ve got voice profiles set up, and they’ve got braille set up, and they’ve been using a braille display, and they don’t want to have to go through and set all of that stuff back up again.  So pulling it in is going to make a lot of sense.

DAVID:  I think it’s an awesome idea.  I just wish we had a little bit more choice in which things we want to pull over.  I like to go and look at the new options and see if there’s any changes to the UI and try it out.

ERIC:  Sure.  Yeah.  By all means.  Go to that Options menu, delete them, and start nice and clean.  It’ll be so quick.  You’ll see it.  Okay?

DAVID:  Thank you.

ERIC:  Thanks, David.  And next up on the Clubhouse side is Vaughn.  Vaughn, there you are.

VAUGHN:  Hello, Eric.

ERIC:  Hey, how you doing?

VAUGHN:  Good, good.  Couple of very quick questions because I know you’re pressed for time.  Would you think of running a power session for professionals and Teams that covers the calendar, the chats, that works for basically the Teams structure for managing documents, et cetera?  I can’t find anything on your website that goes in at the advanced level on Teams.

ERIC:  We should have an advanced Teams meeting; huh?

VAUGHN:  I think so.

MATT:  So I’m all in, Vaughn, on this topic.  This is Matt.  Have you looked at the YouTube channel, just to make sure that we didn’t put some of that stuff out there?  Because we did a lot of Teams content.

VAUGHN:  You’ve done a fair bit, but you haven’t done an advanced session that someone can easily tune into who’s in the workplace, that’s moving towards Teams.  You know, things like screen sharing.  I work in criminal law, so we get police videos.  And because we’re in lockdown, we have to play those police videos over Teams by sharing screens.  Now, I know that’s fairly advanced, but it’s the way of the future.  Everyone’s going to be sharing stuff.

MATT:  I’m actually interested just talking to you about that.  We don’t even have to talk about Teams.  Let’s talk about that.

ERIC:  Yeah, just bring those videos to the meeting.

GLEN:  Exactly.  We can help get you disbarred.

ERIC:  We won’t tell anybody.

MATT:  Vaughn, let’s plan it.  And we’ll have you as a guest; okay?  So let’s plan it.

VAUGHN:  If I send an email to training at Vispero, does that get you, Matt?

MATT:  Oh, they’ll tell me what to do, I’m sure.

RACHEL:  It sure does, yeah.

VAUGHN:  Okay.  And then if you email me offline, we can catch up.  The other thing I was going to ask you very quickly, when you’re on a call, not on Teams, but say you’re on Cisco Jabber or something like that, generally is there a way of adjusting JAWS volume on the fly, or having JAWS – or how do you split it?  Because I’m having terrible trouble hearing the audio coming down the video line and JAWS in the same headphones.  Can you have one in each ear or something like that?

ERIC:  Oh, boy.

GLEN:  Funny you should ask.  You should listen to FSCast when it comes out on Monday.

ERIC:  Wednesday.

GLEN:  Tuesday.  Tuesday.  It’s coming out on Tuesday because it’s going to be FSCast for August, and it can’t come out after Tuesday.

ERIC:  Oh, Vaughn’s going to be – he’s going to be all weekend trying to think, what are they doing?

GLEN:  I know.  Timing is everything.

VAUGHN:  I reckon I might have guessed something.  I’m going to leave you be.  You’ve got lots to get to.  And thank you very much for scheduling this at a time when your friends in the Southern Hemisphere can join you at a civilized hour.

MATT:  I did that for you.  I did that for you.

VAUGHN:  Yes, thank you.  Keep it up, guys.

ERIC:  And Vaughn, do me a favor.  After you try Public Beta 1,  please let us know if you’ve found anything there to help out in that last one; okay?

VAUGHN:  Eric, I never use beta software.  This might be a first.

ERIC:  All right.  Thank you.

VAUGHN:  Take care.

GLEN:  Fortunately, it can sit side by side with 2021 or whatever your current version is.

ERIC:  That’s right.

GLEN:  And so we do a lot of work trying to make sure that that new version doesn’t interfere with the older one.

ERIC:  So next up we have a voice that we first heard on FSOpenLine, and we’ve been hearing more about him and from him within the office.  Mohammed, are you there?

MOHAMMED:  I am, Eric.  Hello.

ERIC:  How are you?

MOHAMMED:  How are you?

GLEN:  You’re even on vacation.

MATT:  I thought he’s on vacation in, like, Morocco or something like that.

MOHAMMED:  I am.  I am talking to you from Morocco.  So I cannot miss an FSOpenLine.  If it’s on while I’m awake, I will join.

GLEN:  Cool.

MOHAMMED:  So I wanted to actually respond to our customer from the Southern Hemisphere.  So until the mysterious announcement on the FSCast or the Public Beta comes out he can use another command to actually lower JAWS volume.

ERIC:  That’s a good point.  But I would think that Vaughn had been listening and would have known about that.  And Vaughn, you’re still here.  I know you’re still in the audience.  And what Mohammed’s talking about is a feature that we added this past year.  So you can do INSERT+SPACEBAR.  For the layered mode, hit V for volume.  And then you can hit J for JAWS.  And now you can use UP and DOWN ARROW or PAGE UP and PAGE DOWN to change your volume level just on JAWS.  So it’ll still – you can kind of hear JAWS in the background, but it won’t stomp over what you’re listening to.  And I think that’s kind of what Mohammed’s getting at, and I think that’ll help you.

MOHAMMED:  Exactly.  That’s exactly it.

ERIC:  Very good point.  Thanks, Mohammed.

MOHAMMED:  No problem.

ERIC:  Go back and enjoy your vacation.

MOHAMMED:  Oh, I’m relaxing.  I’m relaxing and listening to FSOpenLine.

ERIC:  Excellent.

MOHAMMED:  Don’t worry about that.

ERIC:  Thanks, Mohammed.  Bye.

MOHAMMED:  All right.  Bye-bye.

ERIC:  So Ibrahim.  Can you unmute?

IBRAHIM:  I’m just wondering if there’s going to be any improvement to voices or new voice packs in 2022.

GLEN:  Funny you should ask.

ERIC:  Very good question.  That won’t be changing at all in Public Beta 1, but we are in the process of getting the latest and greatest Vocalizer Expressive voices.  And I’m pretty sure that if you keep watching beta versions and the release, you’ll probably hear a lot more about that.

IBRAHIM:  Okay.  And is there any point in the future maybe of incorporating some of the voices that Microsoft Edge uses at all?  Because those are really nice.

GLEN:  So those voices are different.  Those voices are Microsoft Cloud voices.  The ones that we use for JAWS are all locally installed on the PC.  And so we don’t think that the performance is going to be good enough, and also their pricing model doesn’t suit itself to a screen reader because they charge for every utterance spoken.  And so...

ERIC:  Yeah, so if you do a lot of reading, it can get pretty expensive, I would guess.

GLEN:  Yeah, exactly.

ERIC:  All right.

MATT:  And I think that’s why Narrator doesn’t use those voices; is that right?

GLEN:  Not having talked to them, I don’t know.  But yes, it makes sense.

MATT:  Yeah.  But also the cloud part; right?  Because not all computers are connected to the cloud at the time they want to do that.

ERIC:  How about Gary O'Donoghue?

GARY:  Hello, everyone.  Thanks very much for taking my call, and thanks for doing this, as always.  I have one quick observation and a question or two.  Can I say three cheers to Oleg’s idea about displaying the time, and perhaps in the status cells, as Matt suggested.  If there’s a way of doing that, particularly if you’re displaying seconds, I realize this is special pleading as someone who works in broadcasting.  But that would be a super-duper thing for someone who works with time all the time, like me.

GLEN:  So how do you do it now, by the way?

GARY:  Do you know – do you know what I do?

GLEN:  What?

GARY:  I have a small 20-cell HIMS product that is one of the few that actually displays the time with seconds changing.  And I have that separately on the desk.

GLEN:  Ah, yes.  It would be much better to integrate it.

GARY:  It would.

ERIC:  Well, I have this one all logged and ready to go for an enhancement request.  So we’ll get something in.

GARY:  Yeah, that’s really – that’s really cool.  But I have a couple of questions about the Focus 5th Generation, and particularly about the Scratchpad.  For a long time one of the big frustrations for me is the Scratchpad.  And I understand that Scratchpad is what it says it is.  It’s not a full-fledged word processor, not designed to be.  You didn’t design it to be.  But the fact that you’re still not doing word wrap when you type stuff into a document on the Scratchpad, and the fact that you can’t reverse the panning buttons, makes reading back material that you’ve typed yourself, well, I just don’t do it because the word splits over the end of the lines are really disconcerting when you’re trying to read fluently.  And of course you know lots of us braillists reverse the panning buttons.

So I’m wondering if there’s a real technical problem for not being able to do those two very basic things because obviously, if you put a BRF file into the Books folder on the Focus, you can send it formatted for 40 cells, and then you won’t get splits of words, but you still can’t obviously reverse the panning buttons to read a book like you’d want to.  So those would be the two.  Those are questions, and I guess there may be technical reasons why you can’t do it.  But it seems to me something that would make that thing so much more functional.

GLEN:  I know that this was on a roadmap for braille features six months ago?  Nine months ago?  What I don’t know is where this sits.  The biggest technical problem is that this is written for a device that’s not really a full-fledged computer.  It was created as a braille display, and then we sort of added this because people wanted the functionality.  So the number of people who are skilled in the art of modifying this are pretty small.  And so this has become, as much as anything, a resourcing issue to have the right person spend time, rather than the technical impossibility.

MATT:  And I do know that we have some firmware coming out in the next month or so for the Focus.  I don’t know what the changes were.  So I’d have to check on that.

ERIC:  I’ve got it all written up as we’re talking.

MATT:  I mean, I’ll see Rob on Monday, and we can talk and see if that’s an option in the firmware.

GARY:  Sure.  Some braille displays, including the Vario Ultra, allow you – and that is a display with its problems.  But a particular kind of protocol they have, I think it’s called HID, allows that device as Bluetooth keyboards, you know, regular Bluetooth keyboards can, to wake up iDevices.  And I’m wondering if there’s a way you can do that and implement that in the Focus so you can wake up an iPhone when you’re in that sort of braille display mode.

GLEN:  I thought that the braille display can wake up the iPhone.

GARY:  Not the Focus, no.

MATT:  Yeah, ours can’t today.  We have something in test for that.  I don’t believe it’s a final product.  But Gary, let’s stay in touch on that topic.  And I’ve brought it up before because I’m one of these people who, you have the phone in your pocket, well, why would you want to take it out to open it.

GARY:  Yeah, exactly, yeah, yeah.

MATT:  When you have your Focus in front of you.

GLEN:  So Gary, I would never ask you an embarrassing question while you’re here.  But would you be willing to be...

ERIC:  He’s on vacation.

GLEN:  Would you be willing to be an FSCast guest sometime soon?

GARY:  Oh, I’d be delighted.  It would be an honor.  It’d be an honor, Glen.

GLEN:  Oh, cool.

GARY:  Yeah, it would be an honor.

GLEN:  Made my day.

GARY:  Absolutely, yeah, absolutely.  Anytime.  Thanks, guys.  Appreciate it.

ERIC:  Yup, thanks for the questions, and we’ll get some information back to you because those are great, great questions about our displays and being able to use them, and we’ll submit the questions.  And as Glen said, or Matt said, I know I saw some of this stuff was on a roadmap a while back.  So I thought some of it might be there.  We’ll get you an answer.

RACHEL:  I have Steve here.  I was going to ask Steve to unmute.  He has a question.

STEVE:  My comment goes back to – I don’t know how many FSOpenLines, Eric, you’ve been asked this question on.  But I can now tell you, and I was surprised that I didn’t hear it on FSCast.  Maybe Glen didn’t know.  Optelec now have the JAWS Annual Home License in Canada.

ERIC:  That’s right.  We did mention that, yeah, we probably – maybe we didn’t put it out on FSCast.  I thought we...

MATT:  We did it on Clubhouse, but I don’t think we did it on...

ERIC:  Clubhouse.  That’s right.

MATT:  Yeah.

STEVE:  Thank you for bringing back Zoom because I don’t Clubhouse.

ERIC:  And I’ve got some more good news for you in Canada.  In addition to being able to go in now through our store and purchase the Home Annual, if you’re a university student or faculty or staff up there in Canada, and your university has a multiuser license of our software, and it’s current, it’s up to date to the latest version, there’s opportunities for all of the staff, students, and faculty to be able to get access to the Home Annual Licenses for their home computers, as well, at no cost.

STEVE:  Right.  So the same model that you have in the states.

ERIC:  That’s right.

RACHEL:  And I don’t want to interrupt your question, Steve.  This is a question we’ve gotten every FSOpenLine since I started here in 2018.  So this is great, great news.

STEVE:  Yeah, I knew you would remember, Rachel.

RACHEL:  For sure.

ERIC:  Unfortunately, everybody else is going to ask now, what about us?  Well, sorry, we’ve got to remember...

STEVE:  Oh, yeah.

MATT:  But we had to start with our 51st state; right?

ERIC:  That’s right.

STEVE:  Now, now...

MATT:  Just kidding.

STEVE:  Of course, as I pointed out to you, Glen, in one of these OpenLine shows, you know, Optelec is owned by you.  So I never quite understood the problem.  But it’s certainly something that I think people can benefit from here.  And I’ll let – I haven’t been a university employee for 13 years now.  But...

GLEN:  Well, you could go back.

STEVE:  I’ll see how up to date they are.  Ah, no, thank you.  I’ll pass on that idea.

GLEN:  Okay.  Just checking.  Always try to occupy your days.

ERIC:  Well, help to spread the word.

STEVE:  I will.

ERIC:  And most people don’t realize what’s available to them, and it’s hard to get it out.  So we’re trying to pass it around.  Thank you.

STEVE:  And with respect to the seconds, Glen, you may know the answer to this.  If you don’t, Gary would know, I suspect.  Doesn’t Station Playlist have the feature where you can – it’ll count seconds on a display?

GLEN:  I think so.  I think those are in Brian Hartgen’s scripts.

STEVE:  Yeah, I think so.

GLEN:  I don’t know that for a fact, but I’m fairly sure they are.

STEVE:  Well, thinking of an individual you and I know well, I know he uses it, and I’m sure he’s doing it through Station Playlist.

GLEN:  Okay.  You’re not talking about Mr. Mosen, are you?

STEVE:  I could be, yes.

GLEN:  Yes, okay.  Just a possibility.

STEVE:  Just indeed, yeah.  Thanks, guys.  Good work.

ERIC:  Thank you.  So next up on Clubhouse is Kenneth.  Kenneth, can you unmute yourself?

KENNETH:  Okay, I think I’m here.  Can you hear me?

ERIC:  You’re there.  You’re with us.

KENNETH:  Okay.  I was just kind of curious.  On some of these Zoom Room devices that run on like a Windows IoT system, if it’s possible if you had one of these devices and got it unlocked, would JAWS run on that type of system?  I kind of hate to mention company names.  I guess it’s okay.  I don’t know.

GLEN:  Yeah, go for it.

KENNETH:  DTEN, they’ve got a series of D7 systems that are just basically a giant TV with Zoom on it.  They say it’s Windows IoT.  I assume it just means locked down.  If you could get them to unlock that, is there any way to get JAWS on there to navigate that touchscreen?

MATT:  Yeah, I would love to chat with them.  And so you should have them reach out to us or give us some contact info for them because, you know, we have JAWS in other Windows IoT systems.  I mean, you think about Kiosks; right, Glen?  And for those of you who don’t know, you’ll see JAWS in McDonald’s Kiosk going forward.  So you can, as you travel around – and not all of them will have it.  You’ve got to bring your old-fashioned headphones, plug them in, just like an ATM.  And I think there’s about a hundred so far as of the end of July.  And but those are Windows IoT.  So you should see that.  And so if there’s customers who are using Windows IoT, and you need them to chat with us, let’s have them chat.

GLEN:  So I hate to burst your bubble.


GLEN:  There are two kinds of Windows IoT.

KENNETH:  Of course.

GLEN:  There’s Windows IoT which is essentially Windows 10 Pro, or something better.  And then there is Windows IoT the lesser, which really is for smaller devices, perhaps something like a Zoom Room.  That’s not running a complete version of Windows.  It’s a really stripped-down version.  And it’s unlikely to have all the components that JAWS would need to run.  So the first question that we will ask them, or you can ask them if you try to convince them to unlock it, is which version of Windows IoT are they running.  Sadly, the same general name applies to both of them.

ERIC:  I didn’t know you were going to bring your wet blanket today, Glen.

GLEN:  What did I say?  Wet blanket?  What did I say?

ERIC:  No, you just threw a wet blanket on it.

GLEN:  Oh.

MATT:  We were having fun.  We were all positive for a second.  And then you took it down a notch.

GLEN:  I just, you know, I’m the realist.

MATT:  No, there’s honesty.  There’s nothing wrong with it.  There’s no guarantee what we are talking about is going to work for that solution.  But it’s always good to chat with them and figure it out.

GLEN:  Yeah.

ERIC:  All right.  Well, thank you, Kenneth.  And Rachel, back to you.

RACHEL:  No, right back to you, Eric.  You guys go.

ERIC:  Douglas, I invited you up.  There you are.  Douglas?

DOUGLAS:  Hi.  How are you guys?

ERIC:  Good, thanks.

GLEN:  Very good.

DOUGLAS:  I’m not sure if it’s JAWS or if it’s a problem with my soundcard, but I got a new desktop computer a couple months ago.  And when JAWS starts up, sometimes I’ll hear this slight little click sound, and I’m not sure if that’s just normal now, or if it’s...

ERIC:  When you say “when it starts up,” are you saying just the first time?  Are you saying anytime you wake it up, and it’s going to start to speak?

DOUGLAS:  I’m going to say not anytime it starts to speak, but say when I turn on the computer.

ERIC:  The first time, okay.

DOUGLAS:  Because I also noticed it, not just with JAWS, but I noticed it with Windows Narrator because I have that on when Windows starts up.

ERIC:  Hmm.

GLEN:  So are you saying, like every time you start, you hear one click, and then it’s fine until you next start?

DOUGLAS:  Yeah.  Basically.

GLEN:  I’d probably learn to live with it.

DOUGLAS:  I could live with it.  I just wasn’t sure if it’s supposed to do that, or if it’s a problem with the soundcard, or if it’s just JAWS itself.  Because I figured it’s a new computer.  I’ve only had it since May.

ERIC:  It probably isn’t going to be JAWS.  It’s probably something to do with the computer or the sound device.

DOUGLAS:  Yeah, okay.

GLEN:  I mean, it’s really interesting that it only happens once.  That was not going to be what I expected the answer was going to be.  I was thinking you were going to say it’s happening far more often.

ERIC:  And had you said that, we would have fixed it.

DOUGLAS:  Yeah.  I mean, it’s not happening all the time I’m running JAWS.  Like say if I shut it down and restart it, for example, no, it’s not like that.  But sometimes it does happen.  I figured that might have been to do with the other setting, that if it’s asleep for a bit and then when it wakes up or something.

GLEN:  It could be.  You could try turning on that setting.  Have you tried turning that setting on?

DOUGLAS:  Oh, that’s not on by default?  Okay.

GLEN:  No.  And you don’t really want it on if it doesn’t help because it takes a little bit of processing power.  Not an inordinate amount.  But why have some, you know, why turn the light on if you’re not in the room; right?

DOUGLAS:  I do notice, though, when I use Bluetooth on my hearing aids, a while ago with JAWS it would go do-do-do-do.  When it stopped speaking the hearing aids would cut out and would cut back in.  So I guess I should have turned on the feature, then.

GLEN:  Yeah.  It would probably help there.

MATT:  And if you just type “Bluetooth” inside Settings Center, it’ll come up.

ERIC:  You’ll find it.

RACHEL:  Okay.  So James has his hand up.  And I am asking you to unmute, James.

JAMES:  I know you’re doing more with languages in braille with the update for JAWS because Eric Damery kindly sent me an email about that.  So I don’t want to spoil the party.

ERIC:  Oh, good.

MATT:  I’m just going to say that this guy’s talking about Italian.  Am I right; James?

JAMES:  Yes, that’s it, yes, yes.  Could you do a training session on writing in more than one language?  I know you’d love to do that.

ERIC:  Fancy you should ask that because we were just talking about it this past week.  So watch our training schedule, and we’ll see about getting a webinar posted over the next couple of months to help out.

MATT:  Why don’t you just give the date?  I heard it’s October 29th.

ERIC:  Well, we don’t have a date.

RACHEL:  Yeah, we do.

MATT:  I heard it’s October 29th.

ERIC:  Is it?

RACHEL:  Yup.  It’s the 28th, Thursday.

MATT:  28th, okay.

ERIC:  There you go.

JAMES:  Thank you.  In the meantime, do I have to switch the word processor to a different language in order to get everything to work?

ERIC:  That’s a good question.

GLEN:  It depends.  The answer is it depends.  And I think that webinar is going to be the place to discuss it.  Adi Kushner, he doesn’t know it yet, but he likely will be joining us.  He speaks multiple languages and was instrumental in the way we implemented some of these changes.  He’ll be on the webcast and knows lots about these things.  And between all of us who are part of it, I think we’ll be able to tackle your questions.

RACHEL:  But in the next two months, James, if you’d like to send an email to, we can try to get your question to someone who may have a workaround in the meantime.

JAMES:  Okay.  Thank you very, very much for your help.

RACHEL:  Mm-hmm.

ERIC:  Thanks, James.

JAMES:  Much appreciated, thank you.

RACHEL:  Thanks.

ERIC:  Monica Wegner, I just invited you up to the stage.  We’ll patiently wait to see if you can join us.  There you are.  How are you?

MONICA:  Hey, everyone.  I’m good, thanks.  Two really quick Bluetooth headset questions.  First, the “avoid audio cutoff” feature.  I think that’s what it’s called.  Really liking that feature a lot.  When I rotate between headsets, though, when I turn on my Bluetooth headset, JAWS of course flips over there, as it should.  But it doesn’t seem to take the “avoid cutoff” with it.  And I have to restart JAWS.  So just kind of raising awareness of that, if that’s something you all don’t know about.

GLEN:  I think we probably don’t know about that.  And it makes perfect sense that we’re not taking it with us because we would have had to have done something special to make note of the fact that the JAWS audio device had moved.  So I can’t say 100% we’re not aware of it.  But it does make sense that the symptoms you describe are as things are.  And we will get that in as a bug because it is one.

MONICA:  Awesome.  My other Bluetooth question is, so by default, without messing with Windows settings, when my Bluetooth headset connects, it connects in stereo mode.  And then when I go into Zoom, it switches it into hands-free or bidirectional mode.  But JAWS, again, it stops working when that happens.  And in order to solve for that, I’ve had to have Windows always open it in bidirectional mode, which means it’s mono.  And I don’t know if that’s something that can be addressed or not; but, again, just raising the awareness.

GLEN:  So you’re saying you always open in bidirectional mode, and then JAWS uses that device always.  And therefore JAWS doesn’t go away.

MONICA:  Right.  Well, JAWS does go away when I switch to Zoom, for example, which forces it to mono.

GLEN:  So, okay.  I was thinking you were saying you were always putting it in bidirectional mode, and therefore you’d always have JAWS, even when you switched to Zoom.

MONICA:  Right.  No.  It’s more when Zoom switches it because it needs to for the bandwidth, I suppose.

GLEN:  What kind of headset do you have?  I should just buy one.

MONICA:  I have an Aftershokz OpenComm.

GLEN:  Okay.

MONICA:  It’s like the regular Aftershokz except that there’s a boom mic on it.

GLEN:  We think we may understand this issue better than we did before.  Apparently there are two audio devices; and JAWS connects, as you mentioned, to the stereo one.  And then when you start your Zoom call, it switches to mono, and it switches to a different audio device.

MONICA:  Exactly.

GLEN:  And Mohammed Laachir, who called a little bit earlier, I think he said if he could figure out how to change JAWS to that mono device, it actually will play at the same time as the Zoom call.  And that might be something that we could automate.

ERIC:  And Mohammed just woke up down in Morocco again.

GLEN:  Oh.

MOHAMMED:  Yeah, I’m still awake.  Just whiling away my curfew time here.

GLEN:  So can you talk about this, Mohammed?

MOHAMMED:  I can.  Actually I joined specifically because I heard this mentioned.  In order to find all the soundcards that JAWS can play through, you can press INSERT+J to go to the JAWS menu.  You then press U to go to Utilities.  And you then press O to go to the soundcards menu.  It’ll open a menu with all the devices that JAWS can use.  And you’ll find two Bluetooth devices in that menu.  The first one is the stereo one; the second one, the headset, usually it’s called a headset, is the mono one.

So what I tend to do usually when I’m about to enter a call, is I will switch JAWS to probably the default PC speaker so that JAWS keeps talking even though I’m in a meeting.  And then when the meeting starts, I will switch JAWS over, not to the headphones, but to the headset.  And if I do that, you can sort of manually do what we’re trying to do automatically later, which is switch JAWS over to the mono one, to your mono Bluetooth headset, when you’re in a meeting.

ERIC:  So Mohammed was cut in and out quite a bit.  I’m not sure if you got something out of that, Monica.

MONICA:  That totally makes sense.  And I do something very similar.  I just disable the stereo profile entirely, which forces the whole thing to mono.  Which is fine.  It gets around it, just a different way.  But I like your method, too.

GLEN:  And we’ll try to make it automatic.  That would be the best of all possible worlds.

ERIC:  All right.  Well, thanks very much.

RACHEL:  Thanks.

ERIC:  Thank you.

MOHAMMED:  It would be, yes.

GLEN:  Well, this was fun.  We continue to get lots of people who are calling in for the first time, and that’s really gratifying.  Even if the issues you raise are difficult, and we don’t have perfect answers, it’s good to hear your pain, even if it’s painful for us, because it should be.  If you’re suffering through issues, we need to know about them and try that much harder to get them solved.

MATT:  Glen, I’m going to have to send you this song called “Good Pain.”  So how do we do – because we did this for the first time in YouTube Live, which had a few listeners.  It was up and down.  Facebook Live didn’t really achieve anything.  And maybe that’s our first time doing it.  We’re going to have to figure out how to market that.  And I don’t know about Twitter Live.  So we’ll be interested to see how that...

RACHEL:  Twitter Live is called Periscope, just in case.

MATT:  Oh, okay, well, just to be clear, yeah.

RACHEL:  Yeah.

MATT:  We may have had one listener named Brett, and that’s about it.  Just guessing.

RACHEL:  And we had a good crowd on Zoom, and the biggest crowd of all on Clubhouse.  So thank you for everyone who joined us.  This is our quarterly call-in show, as I said.  So we will be coming back, except for not exactly in one quarter.  One quarter from today is U.S. Thanksgiving Day.  So we’ll be getting together on the Thursday before that, which is November 18th.  And the time will be announced as we get closer.

GLEN:  Sounds good.

ERIC:  Wonderful.  Thank you.  Thanks, Rachel.

GLEN:  Thanks, Matt.

RACHEL:  Yeah, thanks, guys.  It’s been good.

MATT:  Thanks, Glen.  This is great.  You guys did a great job today.  And looking forward to next time.  •  09/08/2021  •