Re: New NVDA user

JM Casey <crystallogic@...>

Hi Brian. Thanks for the response.

I'm already finding some interesting disparity between my two
screen-readers. I use a torrent client and nVDA doesn't seem to work as well
with it as JAWS does, which also doesn't work as it used to with it on the
XP machine/an older version, but never mind. On the other hand I think I
really like using both Outlook 2010 and Firefox with NVDA more than I do
with jAWS. I'm glad to be able to switch back and forth.

I never used Windows 7 except at an old workplace, but I have to say that as
problematic as it can be, there are some things I like about Windows 10,
quite a bit in fact. The new file explorer is kind of great, and I've
enjoyed playing around a bit with powershell. And the compatibility mode
lets you run most old windows programmes that might normally give you
trouble, though the old Qbasic is a write off I guess, so no more Eamon
games for me. *grins*

And yeah, you never know when you're going to find an old XP machine. They
still use them for the kind of stuff I mentioned above. You can isolate it
from your regular network and just use it for testing/training purposes, or
whatever. In that case, a working version of NVDA would suddenly become very
important. I don't think Freedom Scientific makes JAWS 11 (or whatever)
available on their site anymore.


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Brian's
Mail list account via Groups.Io
Sent: November 1, 2017 11:21 AM
Subject: Re: [nvda] New NVDA user

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.
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
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.

Sent via blueyonder.
Please address personal email to:-
briang1@..., putting 'Brian Gaff'
in the display name field.
----- Original Message -----
From: "JM Casey" <crystallogic@...>
To: <>
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

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
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
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
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
I showed up to the interview, foolishly hoping my ole' buddy the shark
save me. Nope! They couldn't even get the demo to run, for some reason
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
machines and start using it, but never got around to it. The closest I
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
that everything worked like a charm! I only had to use three programmes at
that time: notepad, MS Word and a programme for audio
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
around as much as I should have, yet I was very pleased that I was
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
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
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
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.

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