I'd like to add a few tidbits to this most fascinating thread. In addition to the Windows screen readers which were mentioned, Synthavoice's Window Bridge came out sometime in 1992, if my memory is correct. While I have not used that screen reader, another one that many have forgotten is Windows Master, which was produced by Blazie Engineering for Windows 3.1. I began working for Blazie Engineering in May of 1991 and, at that time, they had a DOS screen reader called Speaksys. Speaksys cost $150 and only supported the Braille 'n Speak as a synthesizer. However, it was unique in that it also allowed the Bns to be used for Braille input to a PC and I believe it even supported Grade 2 input. Eventually, the screen reader was enhanced with new features to try and bring it in line with other DOS screen readers at that time. Its name was changed to PCMaster and its price was raised to $395. Eventually, a talented programmer named Daehee Lee was hired to write a Windows version of this screen reader, which was called Windows Master. It also used a Bns for output (and I think input) and supported the SSIL library of synthesizers as well. I believe Windows Master came out in the summer of 1992 and may well have been the third or fourth Windows screen reader at that time, although I'm certainly willing to be corrected if this is incorrect. Actually, I vaguely remember hearing about what I think was the first Windows screen reader before Window Bridge, although its name now escapes me and I don't think it lasted more than a few years.
This thread reminds me of a blog post from Chris Hoffstader (sp) who talked about the importance of those of us who have memories of this technology to document it online for posterity. I thought he had established a wiki for that purpose but my recent searches aren't locating it. David Goldfield, Assistive Technology Specialist Feel free to visit my Web site WWW.DavidGoldfield.Info On 10/17/2016 11:18 PM, Jeff Samco via Talk wrote: > Yes, Malcom Holser wrote the original Vocal-Eyes for my use. Malcom > was very gifted in many ways. He was a coworker as I worked as an > interpretive ranger in Yosemite. In 1985 we went in together and > purchased a used IBM PC 8086 with 256 KB of RAM and 2 double-sided > 5.25-inch floppy disc drives. Since it was used it only cost us > $3,000! Malcolm learned to program in assembler in writing Vocal-Eyes. > I also believe I was the first user of a screen reader to use Word > Perfect and alerted them to how well it worked with a screen reader. I > offered various suggestions to improve its accessibility. Many screen > reader users used this elegant and powerful word processor. > > Jeff > > At 11:41 AM 10/17/2016, you wrote: >> I might add that Malcolm, who worked as a ranger at Yosemite near >> Fresno where I lived at the time, initially called his PC >> screenreader Vocal-Eyes and I was one of the beneficiaries. He had >> originally designed it for a fellow ranger at Yosemite who was only >> partially sighted. I still see his name on the lists occasionally. >> Bill Grimm was then naming all his software releases Whatever-talk, >> so when Malcolm teamed up with Computer Aids, the program was renamed >> Screen Talk. When Doug Geoffrey took over Computer Aids, he named his >> screen reader Vocal-Eyes. Apparently Malcolm had no objection to >> that. Actually Doug wasn't even aware that the name had been used by >> Malcolm. Later GW Micro released Window-Eyes for Windows as, as you >> know, Vocal-Eyes was a DOS screen reader. >> >> Dave >> >> At 04:02 AM 10/17/2016, you wrote: >>> I don't have time to write a very long message, but here's a little >>> of the story. >>> In the early 1980s Bill Grimm formed a company, Computer Aids >>> Corporation, to create software for the Apple II family of >>> computers. They teamed up with Malcolm Holser to create a screen >>> reader for DOS called Screen-Talk, which was released in 1985, which >>> I bought and used. In 1986 Screen-Talk was linked with ProKey, a >>> macro program, and its functionality was extended. Somewhere in >>> there, Doug Geoffray was hired as a programmer. In 1988 Computer >>> Aids released the Sounding Board, an ISA-compatible speech >>> synthesizer that used the SSI-263 speech chip that was common in >>> those days. Dan Wyrick did major work on that project. Near that >>> time Bill Grimm died. >>> Dan and Doug put together a new company, GW Micro and marketed the >>> new-generation DOS screen reader as Vocal-Eyes. >>> The first Windows 3.0 screen reader was OutSpoken, released in the >>> summer of 1992. Later came Automatic Screen Access for Windows and >>> JAWS for Windows. Window-Eyes 1.0 came out quite late, in late 1995. >>> It worked with Windows 3 and 3.1, even though Windows 95 was already >>> out and had no screen reader support from anyone at first. >>> Window-Eyes 2 was the first W-E version to support Windows 95, and >>> came out in the spring of 1997, I think. >>> The revision history of Window-Eyes is on the GW Micro website, >>> going way back; it is instructive to read it to see where we have >>> come from. >>> >>> >>> Lloyd Rasmussen, Kensington, MD >>> http://lras.home.sprynet.com >>> -----Original Message----- From: Drew Clark via Talk >>> Sent: Monday, October 17, 2016 3:56 AM >>> To: Window-Eyes Discussion List >>> Subject: history of window eyes >>> >>> hi, >>> >>> i am interested to find out the history of window eyes, who created it >>> and how it was started. is there any webpage/audio podcast that >>> interviews the g and the w behind gw micro? >>> >>> thanks >>> >>> >>> -- >>> Sent using window eyes. >>> >>> _______________________________________________ >>> Any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of >>> the author and do not necessarily represent those of Ai Squared. >>> >>> For membership options, visit >>> http://lists.window-eyes.com/options.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com/lras%40sprynet.com. >>> For subscription options, visit >>> http://lists.window-eyes.com/listinfo.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com >>> List archives can be found at >>> http://lists.window-eyes.com/private.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com >>> _______________________________________________ >>> Any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of >>> the author and do not necessarily represent those of Ai Squared. >>> >>> For membership options, visit >>> http://lists.window-eyes.com/options.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com/dave%40basden.us. >>> For subscription options, visit >>> http://lists.window-eyes.com/listinfo.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com >>> List archives can be found at >>> http://lists.window-eyes.com/private.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com >> >> _______________________________________________ >> Any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the >> author and do not necessarily represent those of Ai Squared. >> >> For membership options, visit >> http://lists.window-eyes.com/options.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com/jsamco%40jps.net. >> For subscription options, visit >> http://lists.window-eyes.com/listinfo.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com >> List archives can be found at >> http://lists.window-eyes.com/private.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com >> >> >> ----- >> No virus found in this message. >> Checked by AVG - www.avg.com >> Version: 2016.0.7797 / Virus Database: 4664/13227 - Release Date: >> 10/17/16 > _______________________________________________ > Any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the > author and do not necessarily represent those of Ai Squared. > > For membership options, visit > http://lists.window-eyes.com/options.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com/david.goldfield%40outlook.com. > For subscription options, visit > http://lists.window-eyes.com/listinfo.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com > List archives can be found at > http://lists.window-eyes.com/private.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com _______________________________________________ Any views or opinions presented in this email are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Ai Squared. For membership options, visit http://lists.window-eyes.com/options.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com/archive%40mail-archive.com. For subscription options, visit http://lists.window-eyes.com/listinfo.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com List archives can be found at http://lists.window-eyes.com/private.cgi/talk-window-eyes.com