Re: Old Braille Displays

Deborah Armstrong <debee@...>

I have used a PB40 and a Navigator for years with NVDA. Not quite as polished as JAWS support, but quite good, especially when you do object nav.

The trick is to choose brltty as your driver and configure brltty. Now that brltty is part of Windows 10 it's even easier. But basically you want to look at

    c:\program files (x86)


which is its configuration file. It's a linuxthing. kind of like .ini files in old versions of Windows, these conf files.

The last two lines should read

braille-device serial:com1

braille-driver ts

of course you'd change your port if it's not com1.

Brltty has no parallel port support at all. My husband who is sighted actually wrote a parallel port driver for the PowerBraille, because he worked for TSI at the time. But they never released it and when Freedom bought the PowerBraille it became their property so unfortunately it's not possible for him to share the code. That has saddened him over the years, but breaking the law isn't something we do.

The items in a conf file that follow pound (number) signs are comments. The automatic configuration (pick "configure brltty" from the start menu is rather poorly written and does make mistakes. In particular it doesn't know if the file already has configurations for other devices.

You'll have to piece together how to do all this with the Nvda documentation on brltty and the brltty docs itself which are very Linux-centric. But I can help and it does let Nvda support anything that Brltty can support, which is most of those old displays. There are two-letter codes for each display in the brltty docs.

And one good thing is that any usb to serial adapter that works with Windows is good enough for brltty. It's not picky.

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