Archive for the ‘Software Reviews’ Category

Review added for Talking Communities Web Confrensing version 7.5

March 22, 2008

This is an alert to let you know that ccrispin has just added a review for Talking Communities Web Confrensing version 7.5. You may read it by using the following link:


Reviews For Auslogics Disk Defrag version 1.4.12

March 13, 2008

Reviews For Auslogics Disk Defrag version 1.4.12
Average Rating: 4 Based On 2 Reviews
Date: March 13, 2008, 11:13:55am
computer: Intel Celeron D, 3.33GHZ, 2 GB RAM & AMD Turion 64 Mobile, 1.58GHZ, 1 GB
operating system: Windows XP Media Center & XP Pro
screen reader: JAWS 9
rating: 4
comments: Auslogics Disk Defrag is a disk defragmentation program, like Microsoft’s
Disk Defragmenter tool… Start menu, Accessories, System Tools, Disk Defragmenter…
only it’s a great deal faster than Microsoft’s tool.
It’s also free, so the price is right!
Disk defragmentation occurs on your computer over time, as you add and delete files.
Bits and pieces of your files can become spread over various parts of your computer’s
hard drive, so the disk drive head has to move about over various areas of the drive
to access the file, which can produce a noticeable loss in speed of your computer.
Disk defragmentation programs, like Auslogics Disk Defrag, take the defragmented
files and write them back on the drive as the single files they originally were,
so the drive head can access the file later in a single place.
For years, you’ve either had to tolerate the extremely slow performance of Microsoft’s
Disk Defragmenter tool, or you’ve had to go buy software to do the job faster. Auslogics
Disk Defrag is finally a free solution that works, and works well, even with screen
readers, and, as it’s free, you can’t beat the price.
When you run the program, you’re presented with a friendly wizard-type screen that
lists your various drives, along with “Next”, “Help” and “Close” buttons. You simply
select your drive from the list… it’s usually drive C:, and I’ve found this to
be the default… then you can either tab to the “Next” button or press Alt+N for
“Next”, and the program gets started on defragmenting your drive.
You can tab around to various buttons after this, to pause the process, stop it,
get help or close the software. I’m not really sure why there’s both a close and
a stop. I usually pause, stop or allow the program to do its job. I haven’t really
run any benchmarks on the software, but in my experience, whereas Microsoft’s Disk
Defragmenter might take several hours to do the job, Auslogics Disk Defrag tends
to take perhaps a half hour to an hour, so you get some idea of how much faster it
I’ve found the software quite stable, and it seems to do the job it’s designed to
do without causing any strange disk errors or other system problems, which one usually
expects to find with some free system utility software of this type.
The only complaint I really have about Auslogics Disk Defrag is the screen that’s
displayed while the software’s doing its job… the screen with the pause, stop,
help and close buttons I mentioned. If you want to see the various statistics on
what the program’s finding on your system as it’s doing its job, you’ll need to switch
to your mouse cursor to read the screen. This is the reason I gave the program a
4 rating instead of a 5, and maybe I’m being a touch picky here, but it would also
be possible to have the various stats in a read-only edit window so screen reader
users don’t need to use the mouse cursor or other means to read the information.
Had this feature been there, I’d have given the program a 5 rating.
The software does let you display a report once it’s done, which is an HTML file
shown in your web browser, which is nice, because this makes the report accessible.
Caution: Auslogics has changed its installer for this program a bit as of this version,
apparently because they offer some other programs. I noticed that the installer for
this version wants to create an Auslogics program group in your Start menu, with
the Disk Defrag group inside that, which is different from previous versions. Therefore,
I recommend you uninstall any previous version before installing this one, unless
you don’t mind clutter in your Start menu.
Auslogics also has a registry defrag tool, but I tend to stay away from these, as
a general rule, because I’ve never found that they help a lot with overall system
performance or startup, and can sometimes do more harm than good. The reviews I’ve
read on the registry defrag tool would seem to generally back me up on this, but
I’ll leave the use of such a tool up to you.
However, I do highly recommend Auslogics Disk Defrag, for its speed, ease of use
and accessibility… it’s such a joy to find a system utility tool like this that
doesn’t require scripts or other screen reader kludges, that’s just written right,
and does the job for you… and… you can’t beat the free price tag!
Date: March 13, 2008, 1:51:34pm
computer: hp pivillion laptop
operating system: windows xpsp2
screen reader: jaws 7.0
rating: 4
comments: I would also give this program a 4. it slowed my system down for a second
and it’s currently using about 76 percent of my cpu. The installer was fast though
and very easy to use. The web site is at
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Tyson Treasure

Reviews For AVG Anti-Virus version 7.5

March 3, 2008

Average Rating: 5 Based On 1 Reviews
Date: March 02, 2008, 6:45:21pm
computer: Dell Inspiron
operating system: Windows Vista Home
screen reader: JAWS version 9.0.552U
rating: 5
comments: AVG Antivirus has now been updated to version 7.5, and from what I can
tell the program is basically no different from earlier versions. There has been
some tweaking of the virus definitions and other minor enhancements. The program
may be downloaded for free from
http:// Click on the Downloads link and you should find it straight
away. I had to hunt around and have assistance at Grisoft’s website, but I could
independently download the program at the other website.
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Tyson Treasure

Review For Kaspersky Antivirus version 2007

March 1, 2008

Average Rating: 1 Based On 2 Reviews
Date: March 01, 2008, 2:29:23pm
computer: Laptop
operating system: Windows XP Home
screen reader: JAWS 9
rating: 1
comments: This mini review is to basically tell you that, if you like to change settings,
or basically do anything at all with your antivirus or security suite, Kaspersky
is definitely not for you. This program is a full internet security suite, but there’s
really hardly anything to go on as a blind person. You can install the program, but
when you open it via the programs menue, even if you use your other cursors, you
can’t move to anything. There is a system tray icon, but the only option in it was
about kaspersky, you can’t even get to the settings to start a scan, check for updates
or change firewall settings. It will run in the background for you though, and I
know some blind people just bought it and have it on, but I’ve got no idea what they’ll
do if they become infected if the window is inaccessible, nor even if they’ll be
notified in an accessible way that they were infected. I was so disappointed with
this program, that I didn’t even try and see what happens when I try and access the
internet with aplications, to see how the firewall would react. Really sad story
of a totally inaccessible program, this program is really utter rubbish.

Review added for Spyware Terminator version 2.1

February 27, 2008

This is an alert to let you know that gepley has just added a review for Spyware Terminator version 2.1. You may read it by using the following link:

Review added for Replay Music version 3

February 25, 2008

This is an alert to let you know that petrogia has just added a review for Replay Music version 3. You may read it by using the following link:

Mobile Speak SmartPhone 2.0 Review

November 23, 2007

This 35 minute review discusses installation of MobileSpeak SmartPhone 2.0 and demonstrates some of the changes in the latest version.
Download the review here.

My Thoughts On Producing A Tutorial

September 5, 2007

My first effort at producing a paid tutorial is about two weeks old now and I have some thoughts I’d like to post here. First, it was as much fun as I hoped it would be. I love the process of recording and editing; I always have even from the time that I was playing with tape recorders as a little kid. I think many blind people have this in common. We’re not into photography so audio is the most natural choice. Podcasting is fun, but unless you produce a wildly successful podcast like Blind Cool Tech or Republic of Avalon Radio, you don’t get a lot of feedback. Producing a paid tutorial forces a conscientious person to do the best quality work they can. If people buy your product, you know they are most likely going to listen to it.

A program such as Rhapsody is a moving target of sorts because aspects of the software could change at any time. If you produce a tutorial on Office 2007, even if it is 30 hours in length, the Office apps won’t change until the next version of Office comes out. Anyone purchasing Office 2008 knows that your 2007 tutorial may or may not be relevant. Anyone purchasing a tutorial such as Jonathan Mosen’s Skype tutorial or my Rhapsody tutorial is going to be upset if the program is accessible for only two days after they purchase it. That is what potentially could have happened with my tutorial. The first version was based on version 3.1 of the Rhapsody software using Window-Eyes with no set files and some free scripts developed by Chris Nestrud for Jaws users. Real Networks decided last Saturday that users would no longer be able to use versions of their software earlier than version 4.0. With bated breath I installed the latest version. Fortunately, it was every bit as accessible as the earlier version if not a bit more so. Unfortunately, the Jaws scripts were rendered useless by the update. I spent from 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon until 2 am. Sunday morning updating the tutorial. Combined with some glitches I had delivering the content to my buyers upon purchase, I didn’t wrap up the delivery of the updated tutorial until Sunday evening. A bit of a rocky start for my first effort, but it appears to have turned out well.

I have received favorable comments from Toonhead and Anna Dresner among others who have listened to the tutorial, and this encourages me greatly. Anna gave me some tips that I will incorporate into a future update. I have promised purchasers free updates to the tutorial for as long as it is available. I also added an HTML document to the zip archive which lists the table of contents to the tutorial along with some keyboard shortcuts for Rhapsody. I wanted to link the tutorial’s seven MP3 files from within the document assuming the files were all stored in the same directory. Apparently I don’t know the correct code for doing this. If anyone does, please let me know.
I purchased a new headset mic yesterday which should improve the quality of future submissions greatly. It is the Plantronics Audio 350 headset mic. You can get it from Best Buy as well as other places online. I paid $34 for mine, but I’m sure it can be had a bit cheaper if you want to search.

Overall, my experience with producing a tutorial has been quite favorable. Thanks to everyone who has purchased the tutorial up to this point. Until next time, have a great week!

AccessWatch Update for Friday!

May 19, 2007

I’ve missed two Fridays. Sorry about that. Last Friday my wife had a death in her family and we spent the weekend in Kirksville. Yesterday I was at a wedding rehearsal. Here are some reviews I have not posted to this blog. Have a great week.

This is an alert to let you know that jajoehl has just added a review for TypeAbility version 2.1.1. You may read it by using the following link:

This is an alert to let you know that jajoehl has just added a review for AudioBraille version None Specified. You may read it by using the following link:

This is an alert to let you know that JamesScholes has just added a review for AxCrypt version Unknown. You may read it by using the following link:

AccessWatch Update for Friday!

May 4, 2007

This is an alert to let you know that KL has just added a review for Team Talk version 3.3. You may read it by using the following link:

This is an alert to let you know that jajoehl has just added a review for ACB Radio Tuner version 6.5. You may read it by using the following link: