Brian's Mail list account
Well, I have to say that I've never used Jaws, I had Supernova before, but when I completely lost my sight, I did not really need all the magnification stuff and as you say things start to get expensive when Windows is being updated all the time. Up until recently I had two working machines one on 7, this newish one, and an old updated to death one running 10. sadly that latter one died and is beyond salvage having fried its motherboard with a psu fault.
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So I'm using 7 and will not update to 10, mainly due to what you say, all those apps but they are all one offs and need to be made accessible, but I will get a new windows 10 machine soon.
Nvda is great for several reasons. You can run betas and you can ask people who know about this stuff to see if they can fix issues and they get fixed. Also, when or if something des go awry, you can very easily roll back nvda so you can carry on as before. this r4ecently happened for XP as you will probably know the last version was the last to run on XP, and is being kept available as there are as you proved old system still out there. Of course no new software is being made for xp, so the current screenreader will be all you really need on such machines.
I never felt I got this amount of involvement from Dolphin, despite being a paying customer, that is not of course being too critical as they much have a lot more people breathing down their necks over there.
I do however try to donate to NV Access every time a new version comes out. sometimes its quite a lot, others not so much. I am now a pensioner, after all!
Leans on old walking stick, well not quite yet!
So yes, nothing is perfect, as you say Espeak is a bit of a jack of all trades and hence does have some problems, but its even quite easy to tweak and create different voices in Espeak, Quincy is one I made for laptop use, as its not as shrill as the other ones or indeed the default voice. It has never been good at US accents, sounding like a cross between posh New England and Canadian to me.
But in the UK here I find it acceptable.
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----- Original Message -----
From: "JM Casey" <crystallogic@...>
Sent: Tuesday, October 31, 2017 6:21 PM
Subject: [nvda] New NVDA user
Hello folks. I'm sure other people have posted testimonials of some sort
here before, but I fancy some enjoy reading such things, so here goes with
mine. Feel free to ignore this message as I'm not posting for help or
anything like that, though I will end with a question of sorts for the list.
I've been a JAWS user since, roughly, 1999. I recently got a Windows 10
machine (upgraded from XP!) and was able to get new JAWS at a discounted
price from my former employer. I took advantage of the discount just before
they laid me off! *grins*
Well, obviously perhaps, I've been spending a lot of time looking for
employment since then. I recently had an interview where they needed me to
do a test on a computer. They had not much idea about accommodations for
blind folks but seemed very willing to give it a go. With a faint glimmer of
hope, I told them about JAWS: that it was the most professional
screen-reader around; that "yes, I know it's really expensive, but there is
a demo you can run for forty minutes at a time!", etc, etc. 'There's also
this thing called NVDA," I muttered a little under my breath, "which is a
free one; if you can't get JAWS working, I suppose I could work with that."
I showed up to the interview, foolishly hoping my ole' buddy the shark would
save me. Nope! They couldn't even get the demo to run, for some reason (the
test computer was an old one, I think, running XP). So, NVDA it was to be!
I'll back up a bit and say I've known about nVDA for quite some time. I
always thought it might come in handy and that I should get it on one of my
machines and start using it, but never got around to it. The closest I came
was using it on my ex-wife's laptop, mostly to play music. I still don't
like eSpeak, I'm afraid, and I used it on a Linux machine running Orca
before, too. Because that laptop wasn't mine I never really spent a lot of
time with it; didn't realise it would in fact be possible to change the
synthesiser to something more to my liking.
Well, there I was, sitting in this open office, sweating profusely and
feeling tense because I didn't really know what I was doing. I managed to
switch the voice to the XP narrator one, and that was reasonably ok. I found
that everything worked like a charm! I only had to use three programmes at
that time: notepad, MS Word and a programme for audio playback/transcription
that had (thankfully) native keystroke commands. A part of the test was
related to spelling and grammar, so I was able to configure NVDA, without
reference to the user guide or any prior experience, to speak the level of
punctuation I wanted and to indicate capital letters in a way that was
convenient. There was a time limit involved, so I really wasn't able to play
around as much as I should have, yet I was very pleased that I was basically
able to get everything up and working to my satisfaction.
Now I'm at home, running nVDA, and really liking it. I have no JAWS upgrades
left, and that doesn't bother me as much as I thought it would, though I'm
not abandoning it altogether as I'm sure both screen-readers have their
So, I read the user guide. Great. A lot of very familiar keystrokes. Some
small differences, but that's fine and even welcome. I stumbled across the
"switching from jAWS to nVDA" wiki page today and read through it; it
confirmed some of what I'd already noted. I have also been looking through
the add-ons on the official page and just installed the Windows 10
Essentials one. I don't like these modern universal apps much, but, you
know, may as well get used to them if they're the up-and-coming thing, and
maybe they'll actually work better with NVDA than they do with JAWS.
What do you all think, those of you who have expereince with both
screen-readers? Any thoughts that might not have been mentioned on the wiki
over there? I'm not looking to start an argument, obviously, but I didn't
get a lot of feedback when I posted a similar message (without some of th e
sarcasm) on the JAWS list, and I thought it might actually go over better
Also, what add-ons do you all like to use?
Cheers, and glad to be a part of the NVDA community.
P.S.: I didn't get the job. That's ok. I still learned something.