Re: Article on Screen Reader History (including NVDA)

Luke Davis

On Jul 16, Shawn via wrote:

I had a Commodore 64 in the early 90s with the BB Talker word processor and Sam Say, some Sam games that also used Software Automatic Mouth. I also had
another software screen readers that would let me play some conventional games and text based games, I can't remember the name of it, but it used the same
voice and cartridge that the Intelligent Talking Terminal used. I had that too, but I didn't have a license for that, and it couldn't be cracked.
I would have killed for any of those back in the late 80s and early 90s. I never (until just now) knew that any of it existed. I loved the C64, and later the C128, when I had enough vision to use them (slowly, reading one. Character. At. A. Time.). But that vision never extended to some of the text heavy programs like word processors or online services like Compuserve or the BBSes.

It was very hit or miss in what I could and couldn't do with them. Programming in BASIC was fine, as long as I could keep the screen in 40 character, high contrast mode. But some of those alternate text and graphics modes, made even reading text impossible. Meanwhile I could do some graphics well enough to design colored sprites, though never to do anything useful with them other than amuse myself by moving them around the screen and interacting with each other.

Even made my own windowing system, in BASIC, at one time, which looked slightly like very early Windows dialogs and UIs, though I had never seen any of those.
(As in: outlined box with a title bar, a reverse video info bar, and a soothing background color window with text and outlined buttons and such.)

If I could have gotten a C64 to talk outside of the few games that did it from time to time, that would have been delightful.


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