Re: Keeping Up With Technology

Merv Keck <blind5sparrow@...>

I just read this morning that beginning later this year new computers will
begin vastly improving the speed of computers by changing the way graphics
chips work inside the machines. They said this will be a major step forward
for hardware but a major headache for software. This was on a CNET article.
Right away I thought of how my improved GPU on my new machine made using
Magic and Jaws at the same time so much easier. My machine doesn't even get
warm after being on for hours. But I already know that if this new way of
programming software is going to be a major headache for mainstream software
that it will be a migraine for the rest of us. And I also know that there
will be expectations that assistive companies like Freedom and AI Squared
will already have those products available yesterday.

-----Original Message-----
From: Jfw [] On Behalf Of Carolyn Arnold
via Jfw
Sent: Tuesday, June 23, 2015 11:03 AM
To: The Jaws for Windows support list.
Cc: Carolyn Arnold
Subject: Re: Keeping Up With Technology

Absolutely, Brad, I think the exact same thing.

"Whether you think you can or you can't, you're probably right." Henry Ford.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Brad Martin via Jfw" <>
To: "The Jaws for Windows support list." <>
Cc: "Brad Martin" <>
Sent: Monday, June 22, 2015 9:33 PM
Subject: Re: Keeping Up With Technology

I can't really fault Freedom Scientific for this. Designers do crazier and
crazier things with software and websites every day, and the people at FS
aren't psychic. It's been this way since before I got into computers I'm
sure, and that was 1992. You can't redesign software to fix a problem until
the problem exists. So what happens. A new version of Windows comes out,
and then JAWS has to be rewritten to handle the new stuff. A new version of
Office comes out replacing menus with ribbons, and again, the software has
to be rewritten to deal with the new layout. Netflix changes their website,
and again something has to be tweaked to handle the new wrinkle. If the
site designer would use Alt tags on their graphics, graphical links
wouldn't be an issue.

The other side of that coin is that you have to do your part, and that
means updating to the latest version of JAWS if you want the latest fixes
to the latest problems. I don't generally update to every new release,
because for what I do, I can usually skip five or so versions. It's
cheaper that way, and I don't feel like I'm missing out. If you're more on
the cutting edge of technology, you may have to update more frequently.

Which brings me to my final point of the night. People gripe about the
cost of assistive technology, but as rapidly as things change, programmers
are always having to work writing code to accommodate those new features
and problems. And unlike, say, Microsoft Office, which people use by the
millions and millions of copies, assistive technology has an extremely
small market share. People want the very latest and greatest, and they
want the software authors to work for free.

Is what we have perfect? No. But if you were using JAWS back in the days
of Internet Explorer 3.0, you remember when the only way to read a news
article was with the JAWS cursor (there was no virtual cursor), and you
had to read three or four columns of articles at one time with all the
stories mixed together. We've come soooooo far since 1997 when I started
teaching people how to use the Internet. When you step back eighteen
years, it's really quite amazing how rapidly our technology catches up
with the rest of the world compared to how long it used to take.


On 6/22/2015 6:25 PM, Kevin Wollenweber via Jfw wrote:
You know, with all the hardships that I read within this EList,
regarding Netflix and other such sites-I know I'm having my share of woes
regarding these-I think the fault lay not only with sites like Netflix
change configurations as often as they change their underwear, but also
Freedom Scientific for not keeping the programs compatible and current
a lot of new programs and changing graphics. If screenreaders were able
recognize changing graphics, I think things would be a lot more
No one saw this Netflix change coming; I mean, the site is definitely
changed completely to the point where I cannot find my DVD queue; if they
were phasing out the DVD queue, news of this should have been announced
subscribers long ago, but if this is merely a configuration issue where
is made of graphics, well, then I guess that, right now, they'll lose a
of subscribers who can't figure out the situation, but my hope is that
screenreading software is keeping up with the times, because they're
certainly *NOT* slowing down for us.


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