It appears the Build 1166 automatic update to JAWS 8.0 may have been pulled this afternoon by Freedom Scientific. I’ve encountered some quirks with the virtual buffer in Internet Explorer 7.0 and Outlook Express since applying this update. Here’s hoping that Freedom Scientific will make some sort of official statement concerning this situation and, further, that they may be able to help us roll back by way of an automatic downgrade.
It has been reported by a reliable source that Freedom Scientific did not intend to release any JAWS updates till at least Tuesday next week. If you are offered this automatic update through the Help > Check for Updates dialogue, you are strongly encouraged not to accept the update at this time.
It seems that Freedom Scientific has quietly released a third automatic update to JAWS 8.0. Labeled as Build 1171 in the auto update dialogue, its Help > About information indicates Build 1166. After running this new build for approximately 10 minutes now, I have not noticed any significant changes. We are all looking forward to the posting of official information concerning this update.
Update: Subsequent checks for updates in the JAWS Help > Check for Updates dialogue continue to offer Build 1171, while actually downloading and installing Build 1166. Caution is urged at this time until Freedom Scientific makes an official announcement concerning this automatic update.
I woke up this morning and things were not good at all from a visual perspective. Everything was very dark, even inside the house. I thought it was a very cloudy day when, in fact, the weather was clear and sunny. After about three hours of it I finally called my retinal specialist. A little over an hour later, I was in his office. He told me the bad news. There is some new scar tissue pulling on my retina. It is starting to detach again. I saw this same doctor just two days ago, and all was fine then. Amazing how quickly things can change with the eye.
So, tomorrow morning at 9:00, I’ll be undergoing my second eye surgery in less than three weeks. Though the cornea remains in good shape, the retinal surgery will be much more complex this time. Another vitrectomy will be performed, along with membrane stripping and replacement of the vitreous with a silicone oil to insure the retina remains attached. Despite the fact that no cornea surgery needs to be performed this time, this operation will last longer than the previous one. It was an hour and a half last time. This time it will take about two hours.
Coming right up on Main Menu in less than 40 minutes, Larry Skutchan from APH will talk about the Icon, BookPort II and many other interesting topics. Don’t miss it!
Here’s a quick reminder to check out Petro’s Podcasts covering the use of the very accessible Replay A/V and Replay Converter applications.
Hello everyone. This is just a quick update. I’m not doing so great today. I decided to do laundry this morning. It is the first time I’ve ventured outside completely on my own for a significant length of time. Sadly, my adventures resulted in disappointment. Though I do have a great deal more vision in the very right side of my eye, the rest of my visual field is just as cloudy, or maybe even worse, than it was before surgery! The results are just way too distorted to be usable. I feel like this situation is much worse than what I had before in many respects. I hope to get some answers when I see the retinal specialist who performed that portion of the operation. That’s coming up on Tuesday the 13th.
On Monday, Feburary 26, I underwent surgery to transplant the cornea and repair a retinal detachment in my right eye. The cornea transplant, my fifth, went very well and I required less retinal surgery than originally expected. The Vitreous was removed, the retina repositioned and lasered back into place. No silicone or other materials needed to be injected into my eye, so the Vitreous will be able to grow back unimpeded.
I am now healing, but there is one concern. When I look out the very right side of my eye, I can see quite clearly. The vision seems to be clearer than I have ever experienced in the past. Unfortunately, I can’t keep my eye in that extreme position for more than about half a second. Otherwise, my central vision seems much more cloudy. The surgeon who performed the cornea transplant portion of the operation says all is going very well, and this issue may be due to the optical characteristics within my eye caused as the cornea changes shape during the healing process. I have seen the cornea specialist three times since surgery. This coming Tuesday I will have a follow up with the retinal specialist, whom I will also consult concerning this issue.
I was able to stay with Jeff and Keri Bishop down in Tucson for almost a week after the surgery. Keri helped me with administering the ointment four times a day as prescribed. Since my return home, Jessye, a junior student at the ASU College of Nursing has been administering the ointment, which has now been decreased to twice per day in the morning and evening. I am thankful to Jeff and Keri, as well as Jessye and the nursing college for their assistance. That’s about all I have to say for now. The pain is very minimal and, overall, my sight is better than it was before the surgery.
There is a new screen reader on the scene. It is called Nonvisual Desktop Access. The coolest aspect of this new screen reader is not only that it is free of charge but, also and more important, it is completely open source. This means that anyone with the requisite computer programming skill and the needed free software development tools installed on their computer can make changes to the code comprising the screen reader. I strongly feel that it is time for a bit of a shake up on the access technology scene, and NVDA could just possibly provide that for us.
At this time, NVDA relies on Active Accessibility, Common Object Model, Document Object Model and similar technologies in order to obtain and present information to blind users. It contains no off-screen model, since it is currently not able to take advantage of Windows display hooks. It is my hope that NVDA will, one day, have an OSM and many other items on a very long wish list. That can happen only if qualified individuals become actively involved in the ongoing development of this potentially revolutionary new screen access solution. In order to acquire off-screen model capabilities, for instance, NVDA needs significant code contributions from programmers experienced in the implementation of GDI and similar Windows hooking techniques. Nonvisual Desktop Access is written in the Python programming language. Please learn more about the development of NVDA and get involved in bringing this tool to greatness within the blind community!
After running the new updated JAWS 8 build 1163 since last Wednesday, I am forced to conclude that issues persist with blank virtual buffers in Adobe Reader 8, Internet Explorer 7 and Outlook Express 6. The issue is encountered more and more frequently the longer JAWS runs. They disappear for a time once JAWS is restarted, only to begin recurring after several hours to a day or so of frequent use. I do observe the problem seems to be presenting itself with significantly less frequency than it did in build 423. It is my hope that Freedom Scientific will be able to find and fix this bug in the next JAWS update. Karen is still running JAWS 7.1 with Internet Explorer 6 due to the existence of this bug. For most blind technology users, I continue to recommend sticking with JAWS 7.1 for the present time.