moderated Re: Jaws Screen Reader cost?.

Howard Traxler

Is that a very deep grief?  If you'd like, I have for you five original DECtalk boxes, five full-sized DEC ISA boards, and two DECtalk express.  Glad to part with any of them.


On 11/2/2021 2:12 PM, Angel wrote:

I still grieve over the loss of the  Dec-Talk hardware synthesizer.  Which I still believe to be the finest speech synthesizer.  I think it even beats these modern human sounding synthesizers extent.   


Sent from Mail for Windows


From: Dave Durber
Sent: Tuesday, November 2, 2021 3:03 PM
Subject: Re: Jaws Screen Reader cost?.




I used both the DECTALK PC and the Vert+ synthesizers, which in my opinion, wer the 2 clearest of all the synthesizers at the time.




----- Original Message -----

Sent: Tuesday, November 2, 2021 6:01 PM

Subject: Re: Jaws Screen Reader cost?.



Sorry, I stand corrected. How was the speech quality back in those days?  





On 11/2/2021 1:35 PM, Sieghard Weitzel wrote:

I am sorry to disappoint, but saying there was no Jaws in 1989 would be like saying there was no Microsoft before Windows.

When I immigrated to Canada from Germany in August of 1989 and shortly after started University I bought my first PC with the Microsoft DOS operating system from Kirk Reiser and Fred Stam from Intelligent Access Microware (IAM) based in London, Ontario where I went to the University of Western Ontario and where Kirk also worked for the University in the so-called Computer Braille Facility. That 386 IBM clone came with Jaws version 1.1, it had a 3.5 and 5.25 inch floppy drive and for the time a huge 70 Mb hard drive; many of my fellow students still had 286 PC's with 20 Mb or 40 Mb hard drives and only 5.25 inch floppy drives..

I also had an HP Scanjet scanner and the Arkenstone OCR software, a Versapoint braille printer and a very small and portable notetaker with a braille keyboard and its own screenreader called a "Eureka", it had a contact manager/address book, a word processor, a calendar, a calculator and even a music composer and it also had a 3.5 inch floppy disk drive for transferring stuff to the computer and even a built-in modem because I think it may have had an email program as well.

A friend of mine in Germany was studying computer science at a University in Germany and we started using email in late 1989 as well, the program of choice back then was Eudora and Word Perfect was the most widely used word processor, Quattro was the spreadsheet of choice.


Here is a bit of information about Jaws at the time:


JAWS for Windows was originally called JAWS (Job Access With Speech). JAWS Version 1.0 was released in 1989 by Ted Henter, a former motorcycle racer who

lost his sight in a 1978 car accident.


In 1985, Henter along with Bill Joyce, founded the Henter-Joyce Corporation in St. Petersburg, Florida. Joyce sold his interest in the company back to

Ted Henter sometime in 1990.


JAWS was created for computer users who used the DOS (Disk Operated System). A unique feature of the JAWS program, was its use of cascading menus in the

style of the popular Lotus 1-2-3 application.

Unlabeled 1


A significant distinction of JAWS to that of other screen readers of that era, was its use of macros. Macros allowed users to customise the user interface

and so work better with numerous computer applications.


Ted Henter and Rex Skipper wrote the original JAWS code in the mid-1980s, releasing version 2.0 in 1990. When Skipper left the company, Charles Oppermann

was hired to maintain and improve the JAWS program.


Oppermann and Henter continually added minor and major features and frequently released new versions of JAWS. Freedom Scientific now offer JAWS for MS-DOS

as a freeware download from their web site.


In the early 1990s, Microsoft Windows became more popular and Oppermann started to design a new version of JAWS. A principle design goal was to maintain

the natural user interface of Windows and to continue to provide a strong macro facility. It was around this time that JAWS was renamed JAWS for Windows

(JFW) and Beta versions of JAWS for Windows went on show and were demonstrated at many conferences throughout 1993 and 1994.


During this time developer Glen Gordon started working on the JAWS for Windows code, ultimately taking over its development when Oppermann was hired by

Microsoft in November of 1994 and in January 1995, JAWS for Windows 1.0 was released.


In April 2000, Henter-Joyce, Blazie Engineering, and Arkenstone, Inc. all merged together to form Freedom Scientific.


From: <> On Behalf Of Gerald Levy via
Sent: November 2, 2021 9:55 AM
Subject: Re: Jaws Screen Reader cost?.



You have been using JAWS since 1989?  That would be impossible because JAWS was not introduced until 1995.  In fact, I don't think any screen reader existed in 1989, not even Voice Over.





On 11/2/2021 12:36 PM, Sieghard Weitzel wrote:

Steve, as a 54-year old very active technology user who has been using Jaws since 1989 I have tried to use NVDA a few times and I just can't do much with it because of the differences. Yes, maybe some keys are similar, but it still is quite different as well. Of course then again I just have not felt motivated to really spend time learning it to the point where I might feel more comfortable with it since I always keep my Jaws up to date.


From: <> On Behalf Of Steve Nutt
Sent: November 2, 2021 9:02 AM
Subject: Re: Jaws Screen Reader cost?.


Hi Billy,


I don’t think it would.


Many of the keystrokes are similar to JAWS.


All the best




To subscribe to our News and Special Offers list, go to


Computer Room Services

77 Exeter Close




T: +44(0)1438-742286

M: +44(0)7956-334938

F: +44(0)1438-759589

E: steve@...



From: <> On Behalf Of Billy Inglis
Sent: 02 November 2021 15:48
Subject: Re: Jaws Screen Reader cost?.


hi ED, at my time of life NVDA would be too much of a learning curve, as well as the health Issues I have,

but thanks you guys, Billy

From: Edward Green

Sent: Tuesday, November 2, 2021 12:56 PM

Subject: Re: Jaws Screen Reader cost?.


Fi Billy,

The annual subscription mentioned isn’t available tu us in the UK as yet.

However, every summer Sight and Sound reduce the price of JAWS and other FS products in line with sales offered by FS. I can’t remember what the price of a JAWS licence was this year, but it wasn’t over £150 I don’t think.

Hanging on until July/August is likely to be your best bet, though NVDA as has already been suggested is a capable screen reader which may well meet your needs.



On 2 November 2021 10:06:53 "Billy Inglis" <billyinglis49@...> wrote:

hi guys, I have been Informed purchasing the Jaws Screen Reader from Freedom Scientific these days is way to expensive. So I am asking if there are other ways of purchasing the software for us blindys?, Billy


Avast logo

This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.

Join to automatically receive all group messages.