Profile Configuration with NVDA

This is the first of some occasional screen reader tips. I got the idea from Brian Hartgen, who is doing this kind of thing for JAWS at Brian’s Tips Page.
On Brian’s page, he outlines how to reduce the volume of JAWS in a Zoom meeting by using voice profiles. I intend here to do the same, using NVDA’s configuration profiles.

So what are configuration profiles?

Configuration profiles give NVDA the ability to customise settings on a per application basis. In our example here, we want to decrease the volume of NVDA when running Zoom. As with JAWS, this is a two part process, in which we first need to create the configuration profile, then apply it to Zoom.

Creating The Configuration Profile

To reach the Profile Configuration menu can be done in two ways. You may either press the NVDA key and N to reach the NVDA menu, then arrow down to Configuration Profiles and press enter, or simply press Control+NVDA+P to get straight there. So the best thing to do is to open Zoom first, then go to Configuration Profiles.
In the Profile name, you can enter what you want, but if you leave it blank, the next step will fill it in for you. So leave it blank for now and press tab. You should reach “Use this profile for” and some radio buttons. Manual is the default, but we don’t want that. Arrow down to Current Configuration: Zoom, or whatever app you have in focus at the time, Zoom in our example.
Next tab to Apply and press enter, then OK and press enter.
Now you have created a profile called Zoom and any changes you make in NVDA settings, will apply only to that profile, while Zoom is in focus.

Setting the volume

Now we can go into NVDA’s voice settings, and set the volume. So press Control+NVDA+V to get straight to the voice settings, and you should hear something like Voice Settings Zoom Configuration. If you hear Normal Configuration, then make sure Zoom has focus before you do it. Now tab to the volume slider and reduce it as much as you like, then tab to Apply and press enter, then OK and press Enter.
Now, every time you are in the Zoom application, the volume should be set to the lower level that you set, increasing again when you alt tab to another application.

Get Notified Quicker In Android

Get Notified Quicker In Android

The Problem

One of the few things that annoys me about the Android operating system is the general delay that occurs when the phone is locked, goes into Dose Mode, and you receive notifications. I sometimes have my iPhone and my Android phone sitting together and notice that the iPhone will receive news alerts, WhatsApp messages, texts etc, very much quicker than my Google Pixel 4XL.

A Partial Solution

So last week, I was listening to Steve Litchfield and Ted Salmon
on the Phones Show Chat Podcast, and they were talking about this very problem.
The partial solution is to do the following:-
Go into Settings, then Battery, and turn off the two options labelled Adaptive Battery and Battery Saver.
Then make sure that all the apps for which you want to receive notifications quickly are not battery optimised.

Conclusion

I say this is a partial solution, because notifications are still not instant, but they do arrive a lot quicker. I agree with what Steve and Ted said in the podcast, that Google need to implement a way to switch off this doze mode, or battery optimisation mode if you like, completely.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Steve Litchfield and Ted Salmon for a great podcast. Keep up the good work guys!

 

Picture of the android setting screen.

Android Tip: Search Settings

This is the first of what I hope to be several tech tips, as I discover them, or tips for things I use on a daily basis.

This one came out of a podcast I was listening to, which I highly recommend, called Phones Show Chat. It can be found at Steve Litchfield’s Site.

They were talking about a setting in Android being hidden deeply in menus, so you had to go way down to find it. The setting in question was Pulse Light Notification. The Co-host, Ted Salmon was talking about this setting being buried deep in menus.

Something I use every day in Android, is the Search Settings feature. This can be found if you open Settings, then look towards the top right of the screen. I don’t know what it looks like visually, but Talkback, my screen reader, says Search Settings. If you tap that, you get a search box where you can start typing a setting. When I typed “Not” without the quotes, the first search item at the top of the screen was, you guessed it, Pulse Light Notification.

I highly recommend anyone who wants to get round settings in Android quickly, use this method, as it is sometimes quicker than clicking down several levels of menu items.

I hope this helps.

What Is DNS Recursion And Why Should I care?

Hello and welcome to an occasional post from me, as a direct result of my working life, and some tech tips I come up with now and again to fix things.

DNS recursion is one of those things I came across when moving my web site from an in-house server to a cloud-based much faster server at Vultr, whom I highly recommend if you want a dedicated virtual private server.

I use a Windows-based DNS (Domain Name System) server called Simple DNS. I have used it for years, but only in-house.

When I moved, I got a new IP address for my cloud-based server, as you would. I then found that oddly, some devices, Emma’s Galaxy S5 was one, would not load any web sites, instead giving an error, something to the effect of bad domain config, or DNS Probe Failed, or other such errors.

I was racking my little brain for a couple of weeks over this. I had written to JH Software, the developers of SimpleDNS for support and they had made a couple of suggestions, which didn’t fix the problem. What was odd though is that newer devices like my Nexus 6P and Angie’s iPhone were going on the web with no problem, but maybe a bit slow.

It seemed that telling my router to use Google’s open DNS servers, which do allow recursion, 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 would work, even for the Galaxy S5, but when I pointed to my own IP address as the primary DNS server from my router, then the S5 couldn’t get out when connected to our wi-fi.

Eventually, I got it. It was DNS recursion. As a security measure, recursion should be disabled on your own DNS server, other than for clients from your own IP address. If recursion is not available to you, then you won’t reach many web sites.

For an explanation of DNS Recursion, please read this article I found here:-

SimpleDNS Recursion

The solution was to go into Tools, Options in SimpleDNS go down to the option called Recursion in the DNS branch and enable recursion from non-local IP addresses, but only for trusted IP’s then add your ISP’s public IP address allocated to you.

I hope this helps some network server admins scratching their heads if they run a DNS server and wondering why they can’t get out on all devices.

New Year, New Things!

Hi all and a very Happy New Year to you.

The purpose of this post is just to let you know that we are migrating to a new web server for all the domains belonging to comproom. Hopefully, this means no difference for you, except that the web site should be a lot faster.

Please bear with us though, if you do get any teething issues, but more importantly, please do report them to us from the contact page.

Many thanks for all your business last year and may we wish you all a wonderful New Year.

From Angie, Steve and Emma.

Introducing Truecall VI – More Than A Nuisance Call Blocking System!

Various aspects of using a telephone are challenging for visually impaired people – in particular the interface of a modern cordless phone is via a screen, so is inaccessible.

trueCall Vi was designed specifically for visually impaired people with a number of key features:-

  • trueCall Vi’s interface is via voice menus rather than a screen
  • When you play back messages, the control is via the familiar telephone keypad rather than an arbitrary array of buttons.
  • trueCall announces callers through its speaker so you know who is calling before you answer the phone.
  • When trueCall announces a caller it can announce them by name rather than just reading out a string of digits (as is the case with existing ‘talking Caller-ID’ systems).
  • trueCall’s nuisance call management features mean that you are not disturbed by the majority of nuisance callers.
  • trueCall Vi has audible alerts telling you how many messages you have waiting.
  • trueCall Vi comes with a large print and audio manual and the serial number in Braille on the base of the unit.
  • trueCall Vi’s optional call recording feature allows you to playback your calls at your leisure. This means that if you are making complex arrangements – travel arrangements; negotiating a mobile phone tariff; etc – you don’t have to worry about taking down notes during the call.

Steve Nutt of Computer Room Services who is blind and who helped to specify and design trueCall Vi said

“Modern landline phones are challenging for blind people – they give out key information like caller-ID visually, are controlled via visual menus, and an arbitrary array of buttons on the base station and handset. trueCall Vi solves this problem by allowing your phone to be controlled through voice menus and prompts. It offers a call recording facility and the most advanced Talking Caller-ID feature available anywhere in the world. All this, and it also blocks nuisance phone calls!”

To purchase Truecall VI, simply visit this link:-

Buy Now!

New product – Giraffe Reader for iPhone

We are very pleased to announce that we are now a supplier of the Giraffe Reader for the iPhone. Hopefully more Giraffe Readers coming soon. This enables you to easily scan and read printed material with the aid of the Giraffe Reader and an iPhone app called Prizmo.

You can find out about Prizmo here:-

Prizmo OCR package for iPhone

Or you can purchase a Giraffe Reader for yourself here:-

Purchase The Giraffe Reader

Of course, there are many other OCR apps for the iPhone, but we know the Giraffe works very well with Prizmo.

For more information about Giraffe Reader, please visit:-

The Giraffe Reader official home page

Please note these will also be available to purchase at Sight Village 2014 in Birmingham and at all the remaining Sight Village events.

Event: Sight Village 2014, Birmingham, UK – 15 to 16 July 2014

Come visit us at Sight Village 2014 at Birmingham, UK

Venue Location


  • Date: 15th July 2014 to 16th July 2014

  • Time: 10:00 to 16:00

Venue: New Bingley Hall, 1 Hockley Circus, Birmingham, B18 5BE, United Kingdom.

The exhibition is open at the following times:


15th July 2014 – 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM

16th July 2014 – 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Teaser

Come see our new products, such as a reasonably priced talking MP3 player, an excellent little Bluetooth speaker and Truecall VI, the ultimate tool for managing nuisance calls, with enhanced Caller ID plus our usual wide range of products and services.

The Bluetooth Speaker, known as the BlueTiger, can already be purchased here:-

Purchase a BlueTiger Speaker right now

Also come see our Boxwave keyboards for Android phones, iPhones, iPads and many other devices. You can find them here:

Boxwave Bluetooth Keyboards

Welcome!

Hello and welcome to our new-look web site.

Here, You will find news, events and product announcements.

We hope you enjoy looking around, but should you have any comments about the web site, how accessible it is, its appearance, anything, please do not hesitate to Email [email protected]