[jaws-uk] End of Freedom?

  • From: Colin r. Howard <colin@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: bcab@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, access-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, avios@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, NTExpress@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, jaws-uk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 05 Jun 2010 01:30:13 +0100


I am posting the main text from a thread just seen on the Blind Audio List
which I am surprised not to have seen on the BCAB or AccessUK groups.

Ought we to give much credence to this?

I, for one, would welcome any comments from Sight and Sound.

From: "Otto Zamora" <donttreadonme@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 05:44:14 -0400

In an advocate meeting yesterday, the subject came up reference Freedom
Scientific, the company that among other things sports JFw.
Because the company is in the state of Florida, it came up on  a flag by an
Seems this company is having bad money troubles, not surprising given the
economy, but talk is that they are now looking to sell off some of their
division, mainly their JFW area.
I am not sure who if anyone will buy this division, considering that there
is an entity now selling a fully integrated package for only $700.
Besides a comprehensive screen reader, if the user chooses to get the
package, there is a browser, along with a customed and fully accessible web
sites, word processing, and E mail.
all of this can apparently be accessed either on line, or as individual
ad to that, the entertainment mogill, and you have a powerful tool indeed
for the kind of money they are asking for.
Another side of the equation is the apple company, now selling computers
already with speech on board right out of the box and off the shelf.
Put these two aspects together, and you have a deadly combo that might very
well result in a abrupt end to the JFW program.
Considering the way that technology is growing, older versions of JFW, will
only work for a short while until the programs controlling the OS, begins to
outgrow the application.
In seeing this package, one of the things which was pointed out to me, was
the learning curve, which for the new package being sold by Mr.. Mike Calvo,
is very short.
The user has the option to learn as little or as much as they want without
real loss. From: "Alison Trelfa" <codamusic@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 15:36:47 +0100

Hello, Otto,

I wonder whether many jaws users would move to another speech program as yet
as many of the packages that are not standard probably wouldn't be supported
by the out of the box speech. I run Sonar and Sibelius 5.25, both of which
are using scripts that have been written by folk who specialise not only in
Jaws, but only in the two programs. I suppose those people who only need
computers for basic commands may well get away with speech such as you
describe, but I don't think that Jaws would just be dismissed out of hand
because Freedom is going. I think Jaws has changed hands once before if I'm
not mistaken? Correct me if I'm wrong there.

I would be very sorry to see Jaws go under, but I'm not worried yet. There
is a huge following for Jaws and I believe that someone would take it over.

From: "Otto Zamora" <donttreadonme@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 10:49:36 -0400

You are correct, I am just stating that from what we were told, they are
having a hard time finding someone who will take on the project,especially
since as you point out, most people are  not using anything that is high
end, and from what we also have heard, people are tired of having to pay
$1500 and change, when there now is a program which will do speech and more
for only $700.
Given the economy, for many people, the sedition may be financial.

From: Geoff Long <geoff@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 2010 16:20:04 +0100

Hi Alison, I wonder how many JAWS users have to 
pay for their own equipment.  I use window-eyes, 
which is considerably less expensive, and as I 
had to pay for my training and kit from my own 
pocket, it makes a big difference.

From: "Dr Norman Waddington" <normanwaddington504@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 16:36:22 +0100

Hi Geoff,

I need no introduction to you on this list.

I am a Jaws user and have paid all the way through out of my own pocket from
version 3.5 methinks if I remember correctly.

From: Anders Holmberg <anders@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 2010 17:37:37 +0200

Also we have nvda as a very good and free alternative.
And Hal or supernova which costs less money than jaws.
From: "Mike Stewart" <stewart_1@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 04 Jun 2010 10:58:45 -0600

The entry price is steep, but upgrades only run about $100-$140 or so...

From: "Alison Trelfa" <codamusic@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 21:31:33 +0100

Hi, Geoff,

It is expensive to get jaws I agree with that. The problem I have is that
there are no other programs that support the music side as far as I know. If
all programs worked as well as microsoft office or outlook express then I
think Jaws would really be struggling. Most of the other programs that I
know of don't support many programs apart from the basics. 

From Colin Howard, for whom a small place near  Southampton in 
Southern England, has the honour of providing a home.
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