FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ....................(9/10/2002)
Tips from the development team.
Be sure that the SS-ACCESS Interface Cable is plugged into a serial port (preferably the COM1 port) BEFORE starting up your SS-ACCESS or WinSCAN software. Failure to plug the cable into the computer first may cause the program to appear to hang up indefinitely on newer computers as it tries automatically to find the cable plugged into a port.
Your computer must be equipped with a standard serial port and and properly configured serial port driver software. USB serial ports and other serial port multipliers or extensions will not work.
Tips reported by users in the field.
If you are using SS-ACCESS, check the Windows Task Bar at the bottom of the screen to insure that only ONE COPY of the program is running. If multiple copies are running, close them all. Then try again. A restart may be necessary.
Occasionally my computer seems to freeze using SS-ACCESS with multi-media software.
Multi-media software, particularly when playing sounds and animations, place heavy computing loads on your PC. On the other hand, today's newer PCs run far faster than do older models. SS-ACCESS and WinSCAN feature an adjustable "Switch Repeat" rate. This adjustment changes the DELAY between repeats. Set to "None" or "Fast as Possible" means no delay. In this case, SS-ACCESS sends a mouse click or key command repeatedly as fast as possible as long as the user holds down the switch. Unfortunately, this sometimes can overwhelm the multimedia program and cause an error. The solution is to set the repeat delay to be longer (e.g.: .5 or 1 second) for users who may have difficulty releasing the switch.
Hardware problems reported from the field.
The SS-ACCESS single-switch PC serial interface has been thoroughly tested on many different desktop and laptop PCs. So far only two problems worth noting have surfaced. Some manufacturers introduce OEM modifications to Windows to work with non-standard hardware configurations. We have found that SS-ACCESS will not work on the SONY VAIO Slimtop PC. (Oddly, SS-ACCESS was developed on a SONY VAIO computer and works fine on other models.) We have also found that SS-ACCESS's built-in "Test Switch" function does not work correctly on a few HP Pavilion PC models. However, the switch emulation works fine on the HP Pavilion when the SS-ACCESS program is running in the background. Thus far, these are the only hardware problems reported from the field.
What do I do if WinSCAN or SS-ACCESS reports that it can not locate the switch interface cable or I get no report but the switch doesn't appear to work?
The most likely reason is that the SS-ACCESS single-switch PC serial interface cable is not plugged into one of the computer's serial ports - i.e., COM 1, 2, 3, or 4. Check this first. Next, possibly the serial port that you are attempting to use may have been disabled. [The fault may be in the BIOS setup procedure accessed during the power-on startup sequence. Also check Windows "System Properties" by right-clicking on the My Computer icon.] A third reason may be that the cable is plugged into a serial port already assigned to and/or in use by another serial device, such as the mouse or a modem.
Hardware conflicts are probably the most common problems encountered when new devices are added to a PC computer. Moreover, in the field of assistive technology and control access, often the computer and/or peripheral equipment in question are not the very latest models and/or have already been adapted in a variety of ways (e.g., other hardware add-on devices, operating system software modifications, terminate and stay resident (TSR) programs configured to load and run automatically, etc). This makes the job of installing new equipment and software more interesting, to say the least.
We have prepared a brief "white paper" on some of the technical aspects involved when connecting multiple serial devices to your PC. WinSCAN owners receive this material in Chapter 8 in their User's Guide. SS-ACCESS owners can view this document on-line or print it to add to their own User's Guide. Click here to access this document.
I am using SS-ACCESS for DOS and having difficulty getting my switch to test properly.
Chances are that you have your mouse plugged in COM1 and SS-ACCESS cable in COM2. This should work OK (and does on most PCs). Sometimes, however, SS-ACCESS for DOS will only work in when plugged into COM1. Try turning your PC OFF, plugging your cable in COM1 and your mouse in COM2, and powering up again. For those who have difficulty, this typically fixes the problem.
When I run the SS-DEMO program, I don't see the graphics.
The problem is that the current or working directory must be the same as the directory that contains the ssdemo.exe program. For example, if ssdemo.exe is installed in your c:/ssaccess/ssados directory (the default location), then at the c:/> prompt, first type cd c:/ssaccess/ssados to change to this directory, then type ssdemo.exe. If you are creating a Windows program icon to run ssdemo.exe, but sure to fill in the "working directory" data field - e.g., here you would enter c:/ssaccess/ssados. Remember that SS-DEMO is a DOS program and to work with a switch requires use of SS-ACCESS for DOS.
The Macintosh versions of Dino-GAMES and/or Multi-SCAN seem to run too slowly.
The newest Mac versions of Dino-GAMES and Multi-SCAN are v3.0 or higher and require MacOS 8.0 or higher. We recommend upgrading now. This problem occasionally occurred with earlier versions on older 680X0 Macs, particularly ones that loaded lots of extensions and other extra stuff into memory on startup. Try restarting your Mac without loading extensions (by holding down the SHIFT key while restarting until your desktop appears). With extensions OFF, your single-switch game should run quickly and respond promptly to mouse button, keyboard, or alternative input.
How to configure Multi-SCAN, v2.5, and SS-ACCESS for DOS properly to run under Windows 95/98.
We recommend upgrading to Version 3.0. Multi-SCAN (version 2.5 and earlier) was a hybrid program written for Windows 3.1 and DOS. It expected to find SS-ACCESS in the DOS directory or in a directory specified by the PATH environmental variable. To run correctly under Windows 95/98, with or without SS-ACCESS, certain Multi-SCAN DOS program components must be edited and configured manually. We have prepared a detailed Technical Note to help you accomplish this task. Click here to access this document.
The PC version of Multi-SCAN, v2.5 or earlier tells me that "it can not open a window" during the installation procedure. What do I do now?
Prior to May, 1997, ASI shipped the PC version of Multi-SCAN on six high-density diskettes. Some users reported this problem. The fix is to install the program manually. Do this by first creating a subdirectory called c:/multscan on your hard disk. Then use the DOS copy command (or a program like File Manager) to copy all of the files on all six disks into the multscan directory. Beginning May, 1997 until Fall, 2000, ASI shipped Multi-SCAN on three HD disks with a different installer program. Now, Multi-SCAN, v3.0, for PC and Mac ships on a CD-ROM and no installation problems have been reported.
I just bought a brand new PC that came with Windows 95/98/2000 pre-installed. But when I run ADLS, all of the text appears as "garbage characters" on the screen.
You are using a very old, out-of-date, version of ADLS-on-Disk. Contact ASI at 1-800-VIA-ADLS to upgrade to version 1.8 or higher on CD-ROM or access ADLS-on-the-Web from the ASI home page.