software speech

Nick Stockton nstockton at
Sat Aug 23 14:02:55 EDT 2008

Yes saddly out of all the windows screen readers I've tryed jaws, 
windoweyes, nvda and system access windoweyes has the werst console support.
Try using jaws or nvda.
nvda uses almost the same layout for it's review commands so it's about the 
closest you can get in native windows to running speakup.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Tony Baechler" <tony at>
To: "Speakup is a screen review system for Linux." <speakup at>
Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 5:47 AM
Subject: Re: software speech

Samuel Thibault wrote:
> John Heim, le Fri 22 Aug 2008 11:59:58 -0500, a écrit :
>> For what it's worth, freedos & jaws for dos work really well as a dumb 
>> terminal for running cursor apps. I don't know of any Windows terminal 
>> emulators that work well enough with jaws to allow you to run cursor 
>> apps.
> putty or cygwin should work just fine.


I can't speak for JFW users because I don't use it, but I can say that
I've never had good results with any telnet or ssh app using a Windows
GUI screen reader.  I haven't tried NVDA or System Access which both
seem to have better command prompt support, but I can say that I had
problems with putty and Cygwin.  Cygwin was far better, but not by
much.  Mostly the problem is that lines aren't spoken.  For example, if
I type something like this:

ssh -l tony

I never hear the prompt asking for my password.  I just have to wait a
few seconds and hope it's there or try to use the mouse keys.  I have
similar problems with my shell prompt, ncftp, etc.  I don't think this
is strictly a Windows problem though as the Mac with VoiceOver did the
same thing, even though I read the manual.  I agree that the best idea
is to get either a live CD or basic Linux system up and running and ssh
from that, go back to Windows 98 and use a DOS screen reader like I've
done, or boot from a live CD which is what Tyler did.  The very old
2004.3 Gentoo and grml live CDs both work well for the purpose.  I've
not used Gentoo 2008.0 because I don't know if Speakup is included or not.

Getting back to comparing Putty and Cygwin ssh, at least I could usually
make Cygwin work with effort.  I could never get putty to work reliably
because it is not a console app.  Even using the mouse reading keys,
often putty would do something weird with the cursor and I couldn't find
my place on the screen, for example I couldn't find my shell prompt.  I
had to turn on speak all to get any speech at all, not so with Cygwin.
Then again, I use Window-Eyes and it doesn't have great command prompt
support generally.  A normal cmd prompt won't read properly most of the
time either.
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