am sorry to disappoint, but saying there was no Jaws in
1989 would be like saying there was no Microsoft before
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..
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.
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.
is a bit of information about Jaws at the time:
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
his sight in a 1978 car accident.
1985, Henter along with Bill Joyce, founded the
Henter-Joyce Corporation in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Joyce sold his interest in the company back to
Henter sometime in 1990.
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
of the popular Lotus 1-2-3 application.
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
so work better with numerous computer applications.
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
hired to maintain and improve the JAWS program.
and Henter continually added minor and major features
and frequently released new versions of JAWS. Freedom
Scientific now offer JAWS for MS-DOS
a freeware download from their web site.
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
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
and Beta versions of JAWS for Windows went on show and
were demonstrated at many conferences throughout 1993
this time developer Glen Gordon started working on the
JAWS for Windows code, ultimately taking over its
development when Oppermann was hired by
in November of 1994 and in January 1995, JAWS for
Windows 1.0 was released.
April 2000, Henter-Joyce, Blazie Engineering, and
Arkenstone, Inc. all merged together to form Freedom
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.
11/2/2021 12:36 PM, Sieghard Weitzel wrote:
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.
I don’t think it would.
Many of the keystrokes are similar to
All the best
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
Sent: Tuesday, November 2,
2021 12:56 PM
Subject: Re: Jaws Screen Reader
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@...>
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