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How far we have come

Hi all.
I was just routing through my old backup disks that were used at one
time as primary backup to the main systems before I got the hard
drive solutions and larger filesizes.
The rreader outspoken is gone now, but at the time I was doing it as
evaluation for my local blind school.
Said school is part of a large education net with a lot of changes
now, and at any rate though it was an in house report, and a lot of
the sites and info is invalid, also the spelling is crappy, for those
that want to know what I was like back in 2001 here is a sneak peak.
The report was done on a system origional meant for windows95 but
modded for 98 which hastened the departure of its hard drive and power pack.
Late 2002 it happily smoked its way off the plannet though to be
honest it was to slow.
Its still being used by someone at least I think it is unless its
finally exploded.
I traided it for about 4gb music on 2 dvd disks.
I still have the disks but the music is on 2 backup drives so.
My style has not changed from now till kingdom come and I think you
should get a good idea of what happened during the time.
A few things I never mentioned in the origional report.
the system specs read as follows.
toshiba sattelite 310cds pentium first generation, 300mhz p1 300 mmx mobile.
single core with 32mb ram, a 5 speed cdrom drive no write, a 2gb hard drive.
running win98 second addition.
internet explorer 5.5 and later 6.0.
outspoken 3.0 demo.
My reader at the time was hal 4.0 or was it 4.5 I have forgotten, I
know it was not 2 though.
Microsoft office 97 service release 2 with as many updates as I could
find, even though I hacked the school network to get some of the updates.
Current connection at the time was a dule band single isdn gateway
running off 3 servers on unix I think not sure, 64kbps 7.5k download.
The system was better than my dialup but still not as stable as I
would have liked.
I also ran an xircom smart ethanet card pcmcia with a cat5 hub connection.
At the time of writing I was going through a boring indipendance
course which was quite dull and had its own set of issues.
This report was done when multichannel emulation was only on some
cards and not emulated by the os as it is now.
All security had to be done serverside or through various modules
which often bloated and slowed down the system.
anyway here is the article.
note henrichsen is no longer with us, a pitty because it was good.

Outspoken Version 3.0 Paper
By Shaun Everiss

This report covers the outspoken ensemble package. It covers issues
like internet access, shortcuts, accessability, speech and response times.

Before I start I will give the test conditions for this project.

Computer: toshiba Satelite 310cds laptop
Processer: Intel Pentium 200 Mmx
Os: win98
Internet broughsers, internet explorer 5.0 and 6.0
Word Processers: word97 version 8 with Service release 2
Computer memmory: 32mb

For my tests I used outspoken Ensemble 3.0 demo.


For the rest of this report I will refer to Outspoken as Osw. I will
also refer to the numeric pad as the numpad. Windows is refered to
as win. Internet explorer 5 or 6 unless otherwize stated will be
refered to as ie.

Note: I havn’t been able to test the hardware synthesisers that are
supported by the software. I have tested the two software
synthesisers. They are msspeech with Sapi (speech access programming
interface) and lspeech.
I have compared this screenreader to hal95 for responcetimes.
Here are the times for the synthesisers.
Mssapi speech, Text To Speech (tts) engine 4.0 2 Seconds behine hal
synthesisor. Although its slightly slower then hal but fast
enough. There is a small delay but not much. The voice is nice too,
I recommend this synth.
Lspeech is at least 10 seconds slower. The voice is terible, you
will get significent delays but its smaller and loads faster, and
takes up les diskspace.

Internet test: I used ie 5.0, 5.1 and 5.5 for this test.
Osw will read pages in dessending order, allright if you just want to
view links. I don’t seem to be able to read the actual page. It
also doesn’t read the text of a page. This is quite anoying! I
tried withie6 but it still didn’t work.

I could use osw in word, it reads documents quite nicely. It tels
you exactly where you are in a document. In fact it tels you what
everything is, windows, diologs, messages. However you must use the
numpad to read things like the whole document.
Osw is not good with graphics. It tells you exactly what things are
if it knows them but will go technical onyou if it doesn’t know what
an icon, function or graphic is. Eg, Symbol25 my-Computer. Or in the
other case, symbol 22 symbol 19. At first I didn’t know what that
meant. It will also read descriptions of what things are so it is
easy to find text icons. It also reminds you of what things are on
the desktop.

Other features that intrest me

Osw is in the mid range of screenreaders. It isn’t at the top or the
bottem some of it is terible, like the symbols,, however there aree
other features I like. Here is a short list of features with good
and bad points.

1. To read links on web pages from bottem to top – it’s a good
orderly way to read web pages but then where is the actual info on the page?
2. Ability to start when you log on to the network. – If anything
else this is the best feature in this reader. You can put all the
information in the fields and away you go. But why do you need
that? You can just go and get ms tweakui to auto logon for you.
Configuration file. I havn’t found a control panel for this
reader. The configuration file is called osw.ini
Its in the c:\osw folder, edit it with notepad. Only advanced users
can use this feature as you must know the right thing on the .ini
file or you could crash the reader.
Other things to watch out for

I recommend you use a multichannel soundcard or multichannel drivers
for your soundcard. If you don’t forget about playing anythingthing
other than your reader. Although the reader is quite stable it does
ocasionally crash on some tasks, most which are the fault of windows.

Other notes and contact information.

I don’t make promises for the information in this report to be
acriate, its just my opinion. I incourige you give me any feedback
you wish. This is not an extensive report and I may have overlooked
some things about the reader. My email addresses are bellow.
For fast response email to
This address is checked daily
I check this address every two weeks.
If you want the configuration script I have modified you may email me.
I will be posting this report and others on the net on the following addresses.
www.henrichsen.org or www.blindcommunity.com
Shaun everiss

Informazioni sull'articolo

How far we have come was released on November 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm by crashmaster in general-updates-and-announcements.
Last modified: November 3, 2013.

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