Re: Is Research It really necessary?

Steve Matzura

Comparing a sighted person's untrained capability / ability to do
anything with their ears would be like asking a 15-year-old to race
NASCAR! Of course they would fail miserably! We don't have what we
have because of biology; we have it because we've trained ourselves,
been coached by others, developed skills sighted people don't need
(but, of course, should have). Listening, just like playing piano, is
just a trainable skill. Some of us are obviously more talented at it
than others, but the bottom line here is, it's something that can be
learned, and it's a blind person's most valuable tool, and many of us
hone it to a fine point.

On Wed, 25 Apr 2012 19:51:24 -0700, you wrote:

Most sighted people I've interacted with are quite inefficient at both
browsing websites, reading, navigating through the menus on the computer,
typing and processing the directions on a page...
I'm sure part of it has to deal with the fact most of my friends aren’t
computer programmers, but most people would rather click on the little box
on the top right corner of their application that half of them can hardly
see to change from one window to another. I can hit alt tab twice and start
typing right away where as the sighted person would have to move their hand
from the mouse to the keyboard, get oriented and start typing. I do grant
that sight is really amazing at getting a view of something without all the
details and reading headings very fast, but a competent Jaws user can
navigate an accessible webpage as fast if not faster than a sighted person,
especially if they know what they are looking for. (Sighted people often
have the capability, but they would rather use their mouse instead of
In reading large documents or webpages though, there is no sighted person I
know that can thoroughly read 500+ words a minute for an hour or two.
With speech output you can probably get a device with the functionality of a
computer into something that can fit into your pocket. I have very little
understanding of computer hardware, so I'm not sure how wise it would be for
me to build my own computer let alone sell them...
Claims that the screen is around $200 and that is fore "a little netbook".
The larger laptops have more expensive screens.
I was on the phone for about 6 hours over a week long with HP trying to
permanently disable my touchpad and the conclusion was that without changing
the fundamental programming structure of my computer, there was no way to
uninstall, disable or otherwise incapacitate my touchpad permanently. I'm
not sure if HP would be able to assist me in removing my screen if they
couldn't remove my touchpad.
I have constantly seen people who are totally deaf and blind to the world
around them when using a phone with the screen. I have a small amount of
vision and I'm able to navigate perfectly fine with ear buds in and my cane
in one hand while operating my PDA with the other. I'm also able to
constantly multitask with very little effort while I'm listening to a large
block of text.
I'm sure if the sighted community was able to use and fully enjoy the
benefits of what we use, they would find that audio has many more benefits
than visual computer navigation and use. I do think that using sight for
some things is necessary and important, but not enough to warrant every
laptop to have a screen... People often ask me if I have special hearing or
something. I tell them no, I actually have mediocre ears, I just use them.
It would be interesting to officially compare a sighted person's speed in
navigating and using a computer with sight and a mouse to a blind person's
navigation with keyboard and speakers. I'm sure the results would be
enlightening to say the least.

Brandon Keith Biggs
-----Original Message-----
From: Farfar,Thinking it's Time for a Long Vacation
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 4:55 PM
To: The Jaws for Windows support list.
Subject: Re: Is Research It really necessary?


I'm afraid that you sound like you have tunnel vision. Why would anyone with
eyesight give up having a screen? It's impractical. That's the most
efficient method they have for receiving information from the computer, via
their eyes.

Constraining them to a non-visual output format similar to what we use is
just butting your head against common sense.

Of course I wouldn't disagree that a laptop without a display would be
lighter weight, less energy-consuming, and simpler, but the market for that
device would be prohibitively small.

Why not just purchase a cheap laptop yourself and remove the cover/display?
I'm sure they can be removed somehow.

Dave Carlson
Tastefully composed and launched near the Pacific Ocean using a Dell
Latitude E6520, JAWS 13.0.718, and Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brandon Keith Biggs" <>
To: "The Jaws for Windows support list." <>
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 14:52
Subject: Re: Is Research It really necessary?

The Human wear products and FS products are not laptops by any stretch of
the imagination.
Perhaps when you can download programs and drivers on the cloud then run
them on those note-takers you can call them Laptops. But frankly I only get
a fraction of the functionality I get from a laptop on any Note taker.
Perhaps a phone will be better, but again, it only has 2 gigs of ram if that
and I really like my speed.
My screen costs a huge amount, adds to the weight and requires all kinds of
stuff that I just don't want to give.
I once gave a speech on how useless and how many negative things happen when
you have a computer screen, including the fact that so many people get
tendinitis from using the mouse and not moving their hands around the
keyboard like we do.
The only rebuttal sighted people were able to come up with was: "But I like
my screen..."
If I was Spock I'd say there was a serious problem with putting screens on
every computer!
And it's because of screens that we don't have as much accessibility. The
screen is the source of most computer evils! :O :P

Brandon Keith Biggs
-----Original Message-----
From: Cristobal
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 2:00 PM
To: 'The Jaws for Windows support list.'
Subject: RE: Is Research It really necessary?

Not to mention those times where you're working on an important document and
for whatever reason Jaws isn't responding or there's some sort of other
issue with the computer where Narrator or NVDA isn't goiing to help and just
randomly closing windows and pressing buttons is not what you want to do.
My old Toshiba laptop's screen gave out about 2 weeks before I was able to
get my new Windows 7 system and instead of forking out the $200.00 or so I
was quoted to replace the screen, I went without the screen. It worked fine
since I have no use for it, but there were times where my sighted wife was
pressed up against the laptop screen with a flash light trying to make out
whatever error message or some other diagnostic text she could. There were
some stressful times in deed and even though I in theory didn't need the
screen, it sure is helpful to have one for just those occasions.

-----Original Message-----
From: []
On Behalf Of Farfar, Thinking it's Time for a Long Vacation
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 1:48 PM
To: The Jaws for Windows support list.
Subject: Re: Is Research It really necessary?


I'm skeptical that there will ever be such a machine. Point is, that the
mere fact of portability means that a sighted user will want to have some
way to see the display away from the desk, and not having one just makes
this a portable keyboard with a processor and memory -- and useless to the
majority of computer purchasers.

Now if there was a transmitter built in that would convert any display or
glass surface within 5 feet of the device into a display, well then we have
something phenomenal. Just think -- I'm standing near a storefront, and want
to look up something. I face the window glass, and the glass becomes opaque
enough to display what the handheld keyboard/computer is showing. Hey, a
person wearing eyeglasses could have the image showing on the inside of
their lens. What a concept, and that makes sense now.

Not very useful to us, but perhaps the next logical step in portable
computers. The cloud connects to the device and the image shows on a nearby

Apple, are you listening? Steve Jobs is talking to you from the cloud, and
saying "Yes, Farfar has a great idea!"

Dave Carlson
Tastefully composed and launched near the Pacific Ocean using a Dell
Latitude E6520, JAWS 13.0.718, and Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

----- Original Message -----
From: "Soronel Haetir" <>
To: "The Jaws for Windows support list." <>
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 13:36
Subject: Re: Is Research It really necessary?

I want to get rid of the screen for reasons of weight far more than
reasons of battery life at this point. Adding more batteries or
turning the screen down don't really solve that problem.

I am actually somewhat surprised that there doesn't seem to be a thin
battery powered computer with built-in keyboard that the manufacturer
expects to be used with an external display, which would basically be
a laptop without a screen.

Unfortunately, given how tablets seem to be the push of the future I
do not expect portable accessibility to improve over the near to
medium term.

On 4/25/12, Farfar, Thinking it's Time for a Long Vacation
<> wrote:

w/r your question on buying a laptop without a screen...if you are posing

serious question and not just toying with Google, it occurs to me that a
laptop without a screen would be one without a cover. If you're wanting to
cut down on power consumption you do have the alternative to turn down the
brightness, turn off Wi-Fi, and other things like Bluetooth. And if you

longer operation, you can with some models like Dell purchase battery

with more cells for greater capacity, and with Dell, even additional

"slices" to insert/affix to increase even more. Not all models, however.

The Dell Latitude D6xx series have a media slot that you can use for a
CD/DVD or remove it and add another battery. The E6520 I'm using has a

battery you can connect to the docking area for additional life.

I can get over 10 hours with Wi-Fi and normal screen brightness with the
9-cell battery and the additional slice. Enough for a full day's work

flying to Europe.

Dave Carlson
Tastefully composed and launched near the Pacific Ocean using a Dell
Latitude E6520, JAWS 13.0.718, and Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brandon Keith Biggs" <>
To: "The Jaws for Windows support list." <>
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 10:40
Subject: Re: Is Research It really necessary?

Google can answer just about any question if you type it into the search
box. It might not be by Google, but the results will bring up the best
Just click on the first or second result and you have it!
Why is the sky blue?
How do you say dance in Italian

The only question I haven't been able to find an answer to is:
Can I buy a laptop without a screen

For some reason no one seems to be asking that question anywhere in the
And if that's a dumb question:
What color are Dorothy's red shoes's_slippers_in_'The_Wonderf

So any research function is mitigated by Google's superior searching
What's the meaning of life?

Sooo, unless research it is better than Google calculator or Microsoft
calculator, I think it's totally useless. I've never found a need to use
Thank you,

Brandon Keith Biggs
-----Original Message-----
From: Farfar,Thinking it's Time for a Long Vacation
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 9:44 AM
To: The Jaws for Windows support list.
Subject: Re: Is Research It really necessary?


Bravo! And I see that Chris Smart made you famous (or infamous) in the
of FS. Amazing what tools we have out there, just waiting for someone
dedicated to discover, organize, and share. Thanks. I may have to switch
default home page to Google instead of Yahoo.

Dave Carlson
Tastefully composed and launched near the Pacific Ocean using a Dell
Latitude E6520, JAWS 13.0.718, and Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

----- Original Message -----
From: "Adrian Spratt" <>
To: "'The Jaws for Windows support list.'" <>
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 08:14
Subject: Is Research It really necessary?

I recently came across a list of Google search suggestions that ought to
save JAWS users from getting agitated every time Research It breaks down,
it invariably does. Below is a list of search functions that I've just
tested. I am based in the US, so some suggestions will be different for
versions of Google in other countries. For example, we in the US will need
to add a state or country after the place name "London," but users of won't when searching for the capital. Unlike Research It,
google isn't US-centric.

1. To find the weather in a particular location, type the city's name
followed by the word "weather." Thus:

san francisco weather

Note. I avoid using uppercase when doing Google searches.

the first Google result lists today's conditions and those for the days

Here are the terms I entered to find out the weather in Prague, Czech

prague czech weather

2. Time works in much the same way. Type the location followed by the word
"time" (not in quotations). Thus:

san francisco time

3. For a word's definition, type the word "definition" followed by a colon
and immediately by the word in question. Thus:


An advantage google has is that if you misspell a word, it automatically
offers a correction.

4. For currency conversion, the crucial word is "in." Beyond that, Google
flexible. I obtained conversions for the following search terms:

$1 in sterling

1 eur in usd

These are just two examples.

5. Google will perform math operations, thus saving you from having to
a calculator. The article gave as an example a sine problem. For my test,
typed the following in the search field:


Google promptly reported the correct answer, 25.

6. As for sports, the article's author is based in India, and the examples
he gave involved cricket. Through a bit of tweaking, I tested Google's
ability to produce baseball results. The terms

baseball scores

produced all of yesterday's results. It's morning here, so today's games
haven't been played.

Note. The list of results I got begins with one result from Monday, April
23. A glitch, but a tiny one.

7. I know from past experience that entering just the tracking number of a
UPS shipment in the google search field will provide the information I
although I add "ups" as a second term to make sure.

This list is hardly exhaustive. Other simple searches for other functions
can be interpolated from these examples.

Conclusion, and relevancy to this JAWS list: FS should divert its
from Research It to applications needed for the workplace.
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
Jfw mailing list

Jfw mailing list

Jfw mailing list

Jfw mailing list

Join to automatically receive all group messages.