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Watch Your Keys; JAWS Activation Issues Could be a Job Killer!

October 26, 2007 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Imagine this nightmare situation! You work nights and/or weekends. One Saturday morning, you start the JAWS-equipped computer on your desk only to find that, for some mysterious reason, JAWS has decided it is no longer authorized. Even worse, since you have JAWS authorized on three computers, you have no additional activations available. It is time to contact Freedom Scientific, right? Wrong! Freedom Scientific is not open during late evenings or on weekends and holidays! You’ll just have to wait till Monday for Freedom Scientific staff to fix the problem! In the meantime, JAWS will run only in 40 minute demonstration mode. It will be necessary to completely reboot your computer 12 times during your eight hour shift. Will your employer find that an acceptable loss of productivity? What if you are an emergency dispatcher, where your ability to correctly and efficiently process each incoming call may be literally a matter of life and death?

It is long past time for Freedom Scientific to come up with a licensing scheme that protects their precious software while ensuring the highest possible availability to its legitimate, paying customers! An excellent example of a reasonably workable scheme would seem to be the new user-centered licensing system recently implemented by Code Factory. Please, Freedom Scientific, if not Code Factory’s model, then come up with a similarly reasonable scheme to protect everyone’s interests. Most users are not going to be highly technical. They’re just not going to be constantly watching to see if they have an extra key available, just in case the worst happens. Instead, blind employees need reasonable assurances that, barring some sort of catastrophe, their screen reader isn’t going to be the tool that lets them down when they start their work day. Doesn’t JAWS still stand for Job Access with Speech?

Categories: JAWS

10 opinions on “Watch Your Keys; JAWS Activation Issues Could be a Job Killer!

  1. While this is an unfortunate situation, it is the users responsibility to be aware of how many activations they have remaining. As you say, especially if their in a life and death situation, where their an emergency responder. Freedom Scientific shouldn’t have to hold the hands of their users every step of the way.

    However, I would like to see JAWS modified to run for 3 days as a demo, and then revert to 10 minutes of demo mode. Also, maybe an e-mail coulds be sent out each time the user uses an activation that would provide instructions for resetting the number of keys available.

  2. I definitely disagree. I use a computer that constantly updates drivers, and I have never done anything illegal with FS’s precious software, however, in the course of time, I’ve had to get four software resets, and let’s face it, how many times are they gona be that gracious? The other situation would be far more unfortunate than mine, but either way, there should be ways to put keys back on he server when they are removed from computers, or a hassel-free way to update them when drivers and such things are required to be updated.

  3. The JAWS activation scheme is highly annoying. I lose an activation every time I update the firmware in my DVD burner. Now that’s ridiculous!

    Further, when using JFW in a terminal services session, something I do all day long on the job, sometimes, for no reason, I’ll get a message from the remote version of JAWS saying that it is not authorized to run in a terminal services session when it clearly is. At that point I have to log out of the session and completely log back in to be able to get back to work…Annoying!

  4. All I’m going to say is that if that person was using a cracked version of jaws, they would not have this problem. Furthermore, they would not have to reauth everytime they add certain new drivers or memory. I use my copy that I purchased of jaws, but fs needs to remember that if someone needs that kind of reliability, people , if they are techy enough will just look to the cracked jaws for the support. I’ve reset my auth 3 or 4 times in the last year, because I’m constantly switching falty memory out of my box[crutual ddr2-6200 keeps dying on me[I think they sent me the same mem back twice]]
    It’s unfortunet that projects like NVDA aren’t along enough yet, but when they do, FS will be forced to make the changes that everyone thinks they need to.

  5. You could get a authorization dongle as I did. I’d like to see a user based license more like Window Eyes has but realize that FS has the right to protect their software as they see fit. I have to re authorize almost weekly here it seems as I’m a tech and I change things around here like I change my clothes. I agree it is a hassle and would love to see something that still protects FS but allows the customer a bit more flexability.

  6. Question? If one uses their three jaws keys on a current version of Jaws, can they authorize older versions? Like if you’ve only loaded jaws 5.0 on one computer can you load 5.0 on two other computers?

  7. we got the the problem, a client of mine got a dongle for jaws 7.10 and openbook. after a complete reinstall session open book works fine but jaws quits after 40 minutes. without the help hand he was helpless. he paid for the dongle and now its not working anymore. i have read about a special dongle update tool, maybe someone knows about this and can leave us a note

  8. full AK @ anonymous who talks about NVDA. the only reason for using this nitty-critty jaws is the braillé-support for an very old and expensive, yet unsupported screenviewer. does anyone knows how to setup an old unsupported braillé panel with NVD? the "all-in-one"-wonder driver tool from sourceforge isn´t working for this

  9. Well, guess what folks!
    I finally had my JAWS 11.0 unauthorize itself today!
    That is right, unauthorize!
    The machine came up and said, “Activation dialog!”
    I didn’t do anything, did not touch device manager, and this is not the only time I have had the ILM single user license scheme bea chriticle disadvantage!
    I have had to have my share of resets- because I tinker with computers and various Operating systems the way Rick probably does.
    Last time I reset Freedom Scientific exploded.
    They said that they won’t help me again if it comes down to ti.
    They think that someone else, has my license, wich is not the case.
    So I’m out of JAWS authorizations, and Freedom Scientific’s offices are closed on Monday because of the fourth of July!
    I will not have an authorization issue ever again!
    Why didn’t I stick with my GW-Micro WIndow-Eyes payment plan?
    I detest this action!
    Would someone please help me crack the authorization cheme in use by Freedom Scientific for the latest build of JAWS11?
    I would like to be able to crack it all on my own, with remote access support, tandum suport working, and everything else.Has anyone ever written an executible rutene to get around these issues?
    I would like to be able to do it all on my own regardless of JAWS releases.
    I wouldn’t resort usually to software cracking, but in this case, Freedom Scientific deserves to have there copywrites screwd with!
    As long as Freedom Scientific continues to sign drivers on 64-bit, they will never again have a paying customer!
    Perhaps I should just purchase another GW Micro payment plan!
    If anyone wishes to email me, do so at
    Skype: skypedude1234
    Or better still, try Serotek’s System Access! At least htey don’t screw up like Freedom Scientific!

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