Window bridge was the first windows screenreader I got for my first windows computer, which was a Gateway 2000, with windows 98. Pam.

-----Original Message----- From: David Goldfield via Talk
Sent: Monday, October 17, 2016 11:52 PM
To: Jeff Samco ; Window-Eyes Discussion List
Subject: Re: history of window eyes

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


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