Hi Aaron,
Ummm...no. The Apple II series of computers were made in the early 1980's long before such concepts as talking software synthesizers and screen readers existed for that matter. Quite frankly the hardware couldn't have supported them because the early Apple II models shipped with a wopping 1 MHZ processor and 64 KB of ram which was later upgraded to 128 KB of ram. So obviously a screen reader with a software synth, assuming you could even create one on those hardware specifications, would have completely used up all the system resources to run. So what we had for accessibility back in those days was an additional board, an Echo Vox, you iinserted into the machine that was able to speak what ever was presented on screen, and not very well at that. To give you an idea of what computers were like 25 or 26 years ago we need to look at how different things were back then. In terms of my lifetime it doesn't seam all that long, but in the life time of computers, as we now know them, it was an eternity ago. Especially, since most computer users today can't even remember a time when Microsoft didn't exist, but the Microsoft software empire was created and built up from the ground with in the last 30 years. Well within the life time of several people including me.


Apple Computers were the leading PC manufacturer world wide. While IBM held the business market Apple became popular because of their affordable desktop computer systems for schools, homes, and for other non-business uses. The Apple II E was the most powerful PC on the market sporting a 1 MHZ processor and 64 to 128 KB of ram, and could be upgraded for more memory intensive applications. IBm was the world leader in business machines mainly producing large business computer systems such as network servers and mainframes. The leading business operating system was Unix. Microsoft who? Yes, as hard as it is to imagine today Microsoft was an unknown software company that set up in Bill Gates garage and who were still trying to make it to the big time. Microsoft only managed to get there by purchasing a PC operating system called QDOS from a private software developer who was trying unsuccessfully to get IBM and other mainstream companies to purchase it. Bill Gates gambled, purchased the writes to QDOS, and as it turns out it was the right business decision at the right time. It so happens IBM had been breaking into the PC market too, and Unix required to many system resources to run on their PC lines. So they put out the call to software companies looking for an OS that would run on their systems. In steps Bill Gates and Microsoft with PC Dos 1.0 in hand. IBM purchases PC Dos, licensing it from Microsoft, and suddenly Microsoft is rolling in money. What happened next was again the stuff of legend. Other companies such as HP, NEC, Packard Bell, etc came along and wanted to run Dos on their systems too. However, do to some licensing terms Microsoft couldn't give them PC Dos so Bill Gates pulled a fast one on IBM. He took PC Dos modified it here and there, added this, removed that, and released MS Dos 1.0. Bingo now the market was flooded with PC computers running Microsoft Dos, and Microsoft quickly went from a nobody to a household name.
And that, boys and girls, is todays history lesson. Grin.

Valiant8086 wrote:
How about SAM? Isn't SAM just a software speech synthesizer you could install 
on those? I guess there's software somewhere to read the console or what ever 
you need to read right?

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