Hi Karen,

no idea whether price effects quality in screen readers, but
of course it would be bad to spend a lot for a mediocre tool.

About Ubuntu: I know that most people use the fancy Gnome
graphics but as any Linux, Ubuntu also has many programs
which work in plain text mode, which should be nice for
screenreaders.

I disagree about the benefit of all in one screen readers:

If a screen reader can send text to a separate text to
speech tool with good voice quality, why not use that?

I mean why would a text to speech task be worse than
built in text to speech or hardware text to speech?
You seem to prefer the hardware way.

Channeling the process through many hands can be both
good and bad - it can give each hand the work that it
can do best, but it can also cause extra work for the
passing on of data between hands.

By multitasking I meant the ability to run several
programs more or less at the same time, which can be
useful in screen reader context because many pieces
of software can contribute to one work.

It would indeed be interesting to know whether there
are DOS screen readers which use AC97 or HDA sound
but I would not know where to search for them. Yet it
is good to know that at least external USB text to
speech synthesizers are supported by DOS screen readers.

What do you mean by getting freedos to work? It already
does work as a DOS but it does not come bundled with a
screen reader... I understand if people are unhappy with
Windows and screen readers for it, but which tasks would
they be doing in DOS? Can DOS actually handle those? The
strength of DOS is to be small and simple, so you should
not expect for example a firefox and openoffice for DOS.

Why do you insist that a "real" screen reader must use
text to speech hardware instead of a normal soundcard?

My background of text mode screen reading support in a
Linux is about brltty. This supports both Braille and
external and software text to speech. Given that Linux
also has text mode web browsers and word processors, I
get the impression that one software is enough. However,
you are right that things get more complicated if you
want voice output for graphical software because not all
programs will be equally screen reader friendly there.

Eric



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