2007-03-10 12:47:40

Hi,
Yesterday, someone gave me HAL version 6.51. I like it, but I have one question:
In JAWS, there is something called the jaws curser. This allows you to moove around the screen using you arow keys on your keyboard. I no on a desktop keyboared the key to do this is the minus key (I think), but I am not sure.
Also, do I have to change my settings to a laptop keyboard?
Thanks.
Elliott Barnes.

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2007-03-10 14:12:39 (edited by dark empathy 2007-03-10 14:23:33)

Yes, I know of the existance of the Jaws curser, ------ and your point is what?

well if that's everything goodbye!

oooooh sorry Elliott, but perhaps this is an occasion where a litle post rereading might help.

to answer the question I believe your implying here, yes, hal most certainly does have a similar function to the Jaws curser. It is known as the virtual focus, ----- or area virtual focus, depending upon the aplication and how it's being used. there are various things you can do with it, and lots and lots of keys to make your life easier, but sinse it's normally activated by the number pad (along with most of Hal's other functions), you won't be able to use it on a laptop until you've done a litle configuration.

So, to answer your actual question, to use Hal on a Laptop you'll need to set it to use the Laptop keyboard.

to do this, open hals' control panel (ctrl space), and find the "Keyboard item" in the configuration menue. In the first list box, select your keyboard, ----- which in your case elliott would be laptop. If you press tab twice, you can get to the list box containing the various default key sets available. Personally, I'd suggest you use the default function key set (I used it myself for many years), but if you've been using Jaws, you might wish to use the Jfw emulation keyset, ----- though this might make a couple of Hal's functions difficult to opperate (I certainly found that in the change from Hal V4 to Hal V5, when I was trying to access all of V5's functions using the V4 keyset).

there are many, many keys associated with the Virtual focus and other functions in Hal, (reading the manual or checking the (hotkeys" item in the configuration menue might be a plan), but I'll just list a few here from the default Function key set that might be helpful to you, of course, if you decide to use the jfw keyset some of these probably will be different.

Activate Area Vf: F2 (will default to plane Vf if no area Vf available).

Move through controls, boxes etc in Vf: Tab (shift tab to go backwards, alt tab to switch windows).

Activate interactive mode (so that you can use Vf to type in text boxes etc): enter.

Move by frame or other large amount of info in Vf: Pg up and down.

Move to start or end of line in Vf: Home/end.

Move to top or bottom of window or whatever in Vf: Ctrl home/end.

Perform click in Vf: Space bar (pressing A or Q will perform left or right mouse clicks).

Toggle Auto Vf: Ctrl 4 (this will automatically go into area Vf or interactive mode when needed, personally I find it slightly annoying, but you might not).

document read: F 11 (continually reads from curser or Vf position, can be stopped with escape, ctrl or F11 again).

Read line: F5.

Read window: F9.

Toggle Voice off: Ctrl 0.

Toggle Hotkeys off: Ctrl 8 (if using the function keyset, you'll need to do this before playing most audio games sinse they tend to use the F keys).

Capslock 1 (also called dolphin key 1): list all links on a page. Pressing tab will lett you choose to left click or route the Vf to the specified link, and change the order in which the links are displayed in the list.

there are various others, but that's probably enough to be going on with for now.

Hope this helps.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2007-03-10 14:53:45

Hi,
Thanks so much dark.

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2007-03-10 15:07:14

I'm using Hal on a laptop with just the desktop keyboard layout. You can press Fn+P to go into the Virtual Focus, or Fn+0 for another useful one.

2007-03-10 15:44:45 (edited by dark empathy 2007-03-10 15:49:26)

No trouble elliott, I'm sorry about the sarcasm, but grammatical precision is sort of typical of professional philosophers.

Davy, I always found switching to the numbpad on a laptop rather clunky myself, especially for using Hal's various read functions, ---- as I do a lot of riting of essays etc, I find myself using read line and document read extremely! often.

But it's all a matter of choice.

Interestingly enough, when I first got my desktop i stil set Hal to use the function key set because that was what I was used to. It was really only playing a lot of audio games that convinced me using the number pad would be better sinse i GOT SLIGHTLY TIRED OF TURNING THE HOTKEYS OFF WHENEVER i WANTED TO PLAY SOMETHING.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2007-03-10 16:30:36 (edited by cx2 2007-03-10 16:31:06)

I think we all have our little quirks with our screen readers. I for example, whilst not using Hal admittedly, keep my key layout set to laptop even on my desktop so I don't accidentally knock caps lock when I'm looking for the shift or control key. I'm quite familiar with the keyboard, but sometimes my brain just doesn't pay attention.

cx2
-----
To live by honour and to honour life, these are our greatest strengths and our best hopes.

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2007-03-10 21:49:12

I certainly appreciate that trouble Cx2, especially sinse Capslock is now the dolphin key and several of Hal's functions are activated through holding it and pressing other keys, I could of course change that, but it does make the list links thing very easy because I only have to use my left hand to activate it, ---- as i've already said, i'm lazy!

Getting used to any new keyboard layout is always a miner pest for me (I'm going to have to do some serious adjusting when i start working on my new Laptop), but i think the most difficult thing my Cerebellum  has had to get used to recently was playing fast paced, real time games with curser keys, sinse I've always been a joystick fan.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2007-03-10 22:32:39

Hi Elliott,
really think you should stick with JAWS if you've been using JAWS. I know nothing about Hal but from that post I get that there are way, way too many keys. It seems to be made more compicated than necessary. So like I said, I've never used Hal, but you should probably stick with the screen reader your comfortable with.

Regards,
Mike
Co-Founder, RS Games
www.rsgames.org

2007-03-11 11:48:44

Mike:
There is never any harm in trying different things out. If Elliott can handle learning a new key layout, potentially for nothing if he decides he doesn't like it but potentially finding something he far prefers, I say go for it.

cx2
-----
To live by honour and to honour life, these are our greatest strengths and our best hopes.

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2007-03-11 13:33:07 (edited by dark empathy 2007-03-11 13:39:03)

Mike, sinse you have never tried Hal, I don't believe you're in the best position to offer advice about it.

Even though I have myself tried Jaws, I didn't spend an extensive amount of time with the program, and thus am not in a position to judge how useful it is. Also, as an extremely long time Hal user, any opinions I offer about jaws will probably be biased anyway.

this is why I would always advise trying both (and window eyes as well), and seeing which one you prefer.

Most of the keys I mention there (such as the tab stuff and the uses of Home and end), are I believe, fairly standard anyway (I certainly found them in my experiment with Jaws). Also, as I said in my post, hal does have a default keyset that emulates the Jfw keys especially for people who are used to working with Jaws.

then, several functions in the virtual focus can be automated (see the Auto vf key I mentioned). I personally find this rather irritating and prefer the extra control of activating things myself, but the option is there if needed (I also noted this in the above post).

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2007-03-12 02:24:28

Yeah I guess ur right. I know nothing about Hal. But i do have a question. What is Supernova? Is that the company that makes Hal? And what is Orpheus, is it the synthesizer for Hal?

Regards,
Mike
Co-Founder, RS Games
www.rsgames.org

2007-03-12 11:44:36

Welll, ---- no problem. As I said, i'm not exactly a Jaws expert, ----- and until this time two years ago I didn't even know window eyes existed!

Heck,  i was even surprised to find Ms Sapi lirking around in my computer's innards.

But to get to your questions, Hal, along with various other accessibility related stuff, is produced by Dolphin Computer access a company based here in England ---- in Wooster I believe.

As well as Hal, Dolphin also produce a screen magnification program called Luna. supernova is a program which runs and operates both Hal and Luna together, which can be helpful for people with a small amount of vision, or people who find reading magnified text difficult, ----- not to mention businesses who just want to buy one program to stick on their networks, not two.

Orphius is indeed the Synthesisor made by Dolphin which is installed along with Hal and which hal will use by Default, other dolphin programs though, such as the scanning program Cicero use it as well. I personally rather like Orphius because it can produce a fairly convincing Uk English voice, though sinse I'm now doing a lot of reading on the net, I'd like to see about buying Realspeak Daniel as an alternative.

Even though hal ships with Orphius, you can change the synth output, ----- and even use a braille display if you have one.

As a side note, I think it's a vague possibility dolphin will switch over to offering the Realspeak voices with hal soon. At the Uk assistive Tech show Site Village last year, I had a look at a new program dolphin had developed called Narrator, which would automatically read text documents and convert them directly to Mp3 or Wav format, and that program came with the Realspeak voices.

while I personally thought the program was slightly pointless, ----- after all, I can just plug my Rowland into my computer and activate document read, I was very impressed with the voices.

Though thinking about it, i suppose for people who don't own digital recorders it might be a good idea.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

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2007-03-12 12:46:15

I think the idea Dark is that ihnstead of activating document read and waiting however long it takes to read it can probably convert it in the space of a couple minutes. I know that is what Dolphin's Daisy publishing software apparently does.

cx2
-----
To live by honour and to honour life, these are our greatest strengths and our best hopes.

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2007-03-12 17:30:57

True Cx2, though as the program costs about the same as a digital recorder, it strikes me as quite a lot of money to pay for some extra speed.

Though because it's assistive tech, it's not exactly going to be cheap, and there probably are people who could make better use of it than I could.

With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)

Thumbs up

2007-03-12 20:15:16 (edited by cx2 2007-03-12 20:18:38)

True. It's possible still though that some people, and more especially institutions, would find it useful and may have no need for a digital recorder. If you are talking about converting potentially multiple hours of audio it would be quite a while to have your computer tied up, then again you could leave it going over night but that hardly seems ideal to me.

And as I understand things Realspeak seems to be popular nowadays where response time is less of an issue, so it is possible Dolphin might make the shift but I wouldn't count on it. I believe Jaws now comes with new voices, it may be realspeak but I don't recall, for when you are using the equivalent of the document read mode but it would be equally possible to set it as your main voice.

cx2
-----
To live by honour and to honour life, these are our greatest strengths and our best hopes.

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