Greetings reader!

Today is a very good day for you if you’ve just randomly stumbled upon our site Four Senses- Touch Smell Taste Sound! As you’ll lose yourself in hours and hours of reading, and leave with a long list of things to try, be that restaurants, recipes, products, or stuff to hear or do. Please feel free to click on the different category tags to read all the different posts we’ve accumulated over time.

The majority of posts aren’t time sensitive, so don’t limit yourself to only reading the most recent posts, but check out the vast archive of Restaurant Reviews we’ve compiled (which we’ll keep adding to on a weekly basis).

We’ll keep adding more recipes for you to try, when we can certify that they have been tried and tested by us, and proven not to give us (or you) the runs. Haaha.

Check out our Kombucha journal where we’ve documented our steps to success, and will journal our future batches as we experiment with different flavours and ingredients. Our journal is detailed enough so you can replicate and produce a brew which will rival a store-bought beverage.   

And each time we come across some good products which we think you might also like, we’ll post these things under ‘Product Recommendations’ so you’ll have all the details if you want to check them out.

We’re also known for being eclectic in our listening tastes, which include music albums, podcasts, audio books and rando stuff from Netflix, so we’ll post recommendations as we come across some good stuff which you might like to see and hear.

And there’s just so many things to see and do in Ol’ Sydney Town, so we’ll post up monthly lists of what festivals and activities you can partake in; we have a Live Gig guide which we’ll update on a regular basis; and we’ll explore a Sydney suburb each month and we’ll document each step of the way so you can replicate our travels if you like.

So in short, if you’ve just randomly stumbled upon our site! Happy days! As you’ve just uncovered a whole entire avenue of cool stuff to read, interact with and try! So don’t be a stranger, bookmark our site and check back often as we’ll be uploading posts several times a week. We guarantee that each time you visit there will always be something new for you to Touch Smell Taste and Hear!    

Netflix recommendations- Jewish Matchmaking

I wish I was able to tell you how the series ends!

So, yesterday Netflix enforced ‘No more password sharing’ in Australia. And guess what? We don’t have Netflix anymore! Haaha.

And why am I so openly sharing about my dodgy ways? As I didn’t really see myself as being a freeloader? Sure, sure everyone says that about themselves. But back in the day when my sister and I were comparing Netflix plan prices, having two single user accounts on Standard Definition was more expensive than paying for the multi profile plan with High Definition, so it was a no brainer for us to share. And for years we divided the cost 50/50 between our two families. And these days my sister pays for Netflix, and we pay for Disney Plus, so between two families we cover off a good portion of the streaming content out there. Until last night…….

We both got the Netflix message on our TVs, when attempting to cast to Chrome Cast, and my sister messaged us and says that she’s out! While we’re leaning towards going it alone with the basic $10.99 per month plan on Standard Definition. Although when comparing prices with other streaming services……. I have to admit, the other options out there seemed pretty enticing, considering there’s fewer and fewer things on Netflix that we want to watch ATM.

But when this change occurred, we were 7 of 8 episodes into ‘Jewish Matchmaking’. A fascinating glimpse into Jewish culture, which we found so interesting. Being Christians and reading about Jewish people all our lives, but admittedly we don’t really know their culture. So, for that reason, after knowing about it for so many years, but to now have a glimpse into real Jewish lives? It really drew us in! What I found particularly interesting was seeing how each person had different levels of religiousness or commitment to their faith and how they lived that out. And it was so interesting to see how there are Latin-Jews, South African-Jews, Italian-Jews etc. I found that so interesting, as in our culture (Chinese), you meet one, you’ve pretty met them all. Haaha.

But for those who are less familiar with the show let me back track a moment, ‘Jewish Matchmaking’ is produced by the same Producers of ‘Indian Matchmaking’, a Reality TV series on Netflix. The episodes follow Aleeza Ben Shalom who works as a professional Matchmaker who meets with her clients at their homes (all around the United States and Israel) and gets to know them and what their looking for in a life partner. And then she matches them up with other clients in her roller deck (or contacts list in her Smart phone). The camera crew is invited to film the first date (and sometimes second and third), and then there’s a follow-up session with Aleeza to de-brief on the date, and often-times to adjust the criteria to identify a better match.

It’s just a fascinating glimpse into the real lives of others, and I felt that I’ve walked away being better educated about the Jewish culture. As in Sydney, you tend to stick with your own cultural groups, so I’ve never had much of a chance to meet or interact with Jewish people, and now I’m very curious to learn more, and hoping that can come from firsthand interaction with the culture.

So, after 7 episodes, it doesn’t seem like any of the matches have resulted in anything more than a good-night hug (unless in episode 8, they’re going to tie up all the loose ends). So, maybe the success rate of a matchmaker isn’t all that high….. But regardless of that, we’ve still enjoyed the series for the aforementioned reasons, and I highly recommend the series to others, it’s very insightful into a culture rich in tradition.

To watch ‘Jewish Matchmaking’, just search for it on your Netflix app! If you still have access, of course……..

Netflix recommendations- How to Get Rich

And this isn’t Cryptocurrency Explained!

Before starting this new Netflix series, I thought I was in for an 8-part series on all the different get rich quick schemes out there! Like an extended version of all those annoying YouTube ads. But how wrong was I!

‘How to Get Rich’ is an 8 part series where Finance expert Ramit Sethi meets with a collection of couples and individuals, first breaking down their financial situation (by going through their bank accounts and bills), and once he has understood their financial position, then meets them in person. In the process, learning about them and understanding how and why they’re in their current financial state, and then giving them advice in how and what they could change to place themselves on a better financial path. So, what surprised me was that the show was more about the people and the human side of their stories, rather than a list of methods in how to make more money.

But it does achieve on those points as well, by sharing with us cautionary tales of what not to do. Which was refreshing, as the other method would have been to feature couples who had it all! But who could really relate to those people! Right? And the sad reality is that, that American’s aren’t as rich as we think them to be (heaps of Credit card debt and outstanding college loans), and unfortunately there is no get rich fast scheme, but for the old fashion slow way, of saving all your pennies where you can.

For me, I most enjoyed the way they told the stories. In most reality TV shows of this type, they would feature one family or individual per episode, go deep and then have a resolution by the end of the 30-40 minutes. So, what happens is that, if there is a particularly boring couple, the likelihood that I’m back for the next episode is low. However, ‘How to Get Rich’ starts off with 2-3 couples/individuals, and across 2-3 episodes their stories are told, and when one storyline comes to its natural ending, that couple rolls-off, to be replaced by another new person. And as their stories conclude at different times, so the introduction of new people is less predictable, which in turn keeps the show fresh.

If you ask my wife what she enjoyed the most about the show. Her answer would likely be the fact that she stopped and seriously thought about what does her ‘Rich life’ looks like. A question which Ramit puts to each individual and couple that he meets. As in, why are you doing what you’re doing day in day out? What are you trying to achieve with your life? What do you need to have or what lifestyle do you need to be living, for you to say that you’re rich or feel content in life? And that is such a fascinating thing to explore. And for my wife who hadn’t really thought too much about this topic in the past, now she could articulate what her ‘rich life’ looks like, so this has been a true revelation for her.

So yeah, for that single reason alone, I think ‘How to Get Rich’ is worth everyone’s time! So, if you want to live a more focused, dare I say a more ‘Purpose driven life’, then check-out ‘How to Get Rich’ on Netflix! You never know, your Rich life might not be all that far away!

Audiobook recommendations- Michael Connelly

And why he’s the best modern day crime fiction writer!

Now, whenever I read Michael Connelly’s books which feature Harry Bosh, it makes me feel both joyous and sad in equal measure. Joyous, because although the world changes at a rapid pace and nothing lasts forever, however for Michael Connelly’s character Harry Bosh at least, he’s the one enduring thing in my adult life! And sad, because as each time a Connelly book features LAPD (retired) Detective Harry Bosh, he’s a little older (which reminds me of my own mortality) and like our ageing parents, it’s sad to think that one day they won’t be around anymore. Boo!

The latest Connelly books which I binged this week (after a2–3-year hiatus), were ‘The Dark Hours’ (2021) and ‘Desert Star’ (2022), books 4 and 5 in the Rene Ballard series. A series which started off as its own stand-alone Detective series, after Harry Bosh was seemingly too old even for a fictional character. And then, Michael Connelly brought back Bosch by melding both Rene and Harry’s plotlines together in ‘Dark Sacred Night’. And since then, the Rene Ballard series has been a Ballard Bosch series, which has uplifted the experience for Connelly fans!

In The Dark Hours, Rene’s partner slacks off ditching work for a hot weekend, leaving Rene on her own and turning to dependable friend Harry Bosh for his sage advice and as a trusty back-up. In Desert Star, Rene’s Bosh’s boss in the newly re-established Open Unsolved unit, where Bosh has been recruited onto the team as their most experienced investigator; and although Rene is no longer the rogue Detective (instead playing the authoritative character)- but there’s always Harry Bosh there to bend the rules just a little.

And why I think so many people love Michael Connelly’s books, is down to 3 reasons. Firstly, due to the fast pace of his novels (for crime fiction at least), as crime fiction can be o-so slow! Spending hundreds of pages to investigate one single case. But Connelly in the past decade or so, has started to introduce dual investigations which help the pacing of the book, enhancing its readability.

Secondly, why I think people love Connelly’s books, is that the crimes are based in fact and reality. Too often crime fiction is too fictional! Like the big twist at the end (which never happens in reality), or the eventual criminal being a peripheral character which comes out, out of the blue in the final 10 pages of a book (which again doesn’t happen in reality!). But Connelly’s storylines are always totally believable, and when the momentum of the case builds, it builds and ends in a reasonable amount of time (like a real case, after the first domino falls).

And the third reason why people love his books, or perhaps it’s just me, but what I love the most about Michael Connelly’s books, is the fact that the book is embedded in our current reality. You know, some books pick up where the last book left off, therefore perhaps 3 years have passed in real-time, but in the fictional world, the character is still in the same month or season. Therefore, the character never ages, thus the author could effectively pump out books with the same character until the end of time! However, as Bosh lives in our reality, i.e., in The Dark Hours, Los Angeles has just said good-bye to 2020, after a year of COVID-19 and experienced the aftermath of George Floyd’s death- hearing these modern-day references blew my mind! As this was the first time, I’ve heard of a COVID-19 reference in a fictional book, other authors rather pretend that 2020 never happened. And as sad as it is, but what connects me most to the books, is the fact that Harry is growing older as I grow old. So, as Harry made his first appearance in the Dark Hours, I had this great sense of feeling like I was re-connecting with an old friend, like hearing how an old colleague was doing, after not hearing from them in a while. And the odd thing is that Harry seems so real to me! Like someone who is living, breathing, existing on the other side of the world in LA. Perhaps Michael Connelly is Bosh, and Bosh is Michael’s alter ego, so therefore if Michael’s around, then we also know that Harry’s also around (and vice versa). So, long live Michael Connelly!

So, if it’s been a while since you’ve read a Michael Connelly book, I encourage you to pick one up again. Getting back into the Ballard Bosch series, feels like coming home! And no, this isn’t a Qantas advert.

Netflix recommendations- King of Collectables: The Golden Touch

Obsessive compulsives unite!

We love shows like this! Reality TV! collectables! And Americans with more money than they know what to do with it! And Netflix has tapped into the same method which has seen successes, i.e., bring some cameras into an otherwise mundane workplace, feature some larger-than-life personalities, manufacture some unnatural drama, and turn relatively unknown people into instant celebrities!

Now can you understand why these ambitious businesspeople come running to Netflix, offering Netflix unlimited access to their empires, so both parties’ profit! Netflix gets more content on the cheap, and said businessperson becomes a household name, elevating them to the top of their industries (rightfully or wrongfully so), thus getting and one-up on their competitors. We can see through their motivations, but we’re cool with that in the end, as it means more binge worthy content for us!

For those who are unfamiliar with the new Netflix Reality series, ‘King of Collectables: The Golden Touch’ it follows Ken Golden, who is the owner of a high-end auction house in the States which specializes in Collectables, like sports memorabilia, Trading cards, and items which used to belong to American pop-icons. Over 6 episodes, the Golden team convinces existing owners of rare items, to part with their treasures for a huge pay day (while in the process generating a 20% commission fee for themselves). The show highlights what it takes to market and promote the products, the suspense as they watch auction bids come in,  and it shows how much money people are willing to pay for one-off items which had come into contact with someone famous (no matter how long or brief that contact might have been). While it also shows how one man’s junk (from 20 years ago), can be another man’s treasure in the present day, as old tech (with its original packaging) could attract 6 figure sums in the present. And I was pleased to give my dad a call, letting him know that all those silly American Football cards which I used to collect as a kid, might actually be worth a few bucks to the right person!

But what I most liked about the show was this. It was a tool which I used to educate my wife. Yes, I turned it into an elaborate 6 part counselling session to let her into my psyche- into the mind of an obsessive & compulsive person. As I’ve gotten older,  I’m more self-aware and now I get it, Once I have my mind-set on something, I can’t get it out of my head until I’ve carried out the act. Or once I’ve developed a taste for something, I just can’t get enough of it, and it could go on for months-years). And my latest obsession is with collecting Bass guitars (as you may know, if you’ve been following my blogs for the past 24 months). So, Ken Golden and his clients have been the perfect examples for me to tell my wife: “There are crazier people out there than me! And my obsession with collecting and hording stuff, it’s not actually that bad! Like look at this guy!” ~Refers to collector in Costa Rica who had the basement full of game worn NBA jerseys and absolutely rare sh*t, which had a potential value of upwards of $100 Million! So, the show featured many people who I could point to and say to my wife “at least I’m not as bad as that guy!” Haaha.

So, for this reason alone, I’ve enjoyed ‘King of Collectables: The Golden Touch’. And if you too are a bit of a hoarder like me, and an obsessive collector of the wildest of things, and if those around you don’t understand why you do what you do? Then this show is a must watch for you and your significant other. As this is a great educational tool to let them into your psychological state, and you can always say ‘perhaps my collection might be worth millions as well!?”

To check-out ‘King of Collectables: The Golden Touch’, just search for it on your Netflix app! Now, let me return back to where I was browsing for second-hand vintage basses!     

Product review- Lanovo Yoga S7i Pro Evo 14

Comparing a $1,000 laptop to the MacBook Pro. Which is better?

Rounding out my 3-part series in transitioning back to a Windows device, after 2.5 years with a MacBook Pro- I finish with a head-to-head comparison of the two physical devices.

The challenger: 2022 Lanovo Yoga S7i Pro Evo 14 (Intel 11 Gen i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD)

Purchase price: $1,049

The Defender: 2020 Apple MacBook Pro (Intel 11 Gen i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD)

Purchase price: $3,149

The Body

When it comes to the actual feel of the laptop itself, It’s a tie between the Lanovo Yoga and the MacBook. Both come in a compact chassis, roughly the same size and thickness (although the Yoga hinge sticks out a little bit more). But their form factor is so similar i.e., small and compact, that I’m going to say the first round is a tie!

The Finish

This round goes to the MacBook, Apple just use a more premium material for its products, so they feel slightly better under your fingertips. But by no means am I saying that the Yoga feels cheap, the device is still encased in metal (not plastic), but it’s just a bit rougher and scratchier to the touch.

The Design

Hands down this goes to the MacBook, who can beat the Apple design language, it’s clean and iconic. When the Lanovo doesn’t really have a recognizable design, it doesn’t even have a logo! The design reminds me of a HP or a Dell laptop, so in short it looks like any 14-inch laptop which runs Windows OS.

The Power

Although the Yoga runs on Intel i5 and 8GB RAM, while the MacBook is one step higher on the Intel spec ladder and has double the amount of RAM, I’d say the Yoga with my use of it has enough grunt to meet my needs. To date I haven’t experienced any downsides of having less power, so for this reason I’m giving the power round to Yoga! Just because if a device can complete the same task with half the power, then it should be commended for that!

The Keyboard/Trackpad

I’m all about a perfect keyboard layout, as I’m a 100% touch-typist (due to my blindness), so before purchasing a laptop I spend considerable amounts of time feeling up a keyboard in-store. So, Yoga wins handsomely in this round over the MacBook. Not having the Touch bar is in its favor as hitting the function keys is simple again. The Yoga keys are less springy, so requires less effort to type. Both touchpads were too sensitive but easily deactivated. But overall Yoga takes the win here!

The Screen

Now on a roll, Yoga takes a third win! The fact that the screen is 2 years more advanced, plays into this win. However, it’s the fact that it’s also a touch screen, which makes this round a unanimous win to Yoga! The Yoga screen can also bend back until it’s lying flat against your desk, which enables some huddle work between friends, family and colleagues.

The Sound

The sound quality goes to MacBook, I’ve always marveled at how 3D MacBook made things sound, and how easy it was to turn up and down the volume, with the iconic clicks as audible feedback to how loud you’ve adjusted your device to. While the Yoga has its speakers under the laptop towards the edges nearest to you. This is fine when the laptop sits on a hard surface, but when it’s on your lap, your clothing muffles most of the sound. So, for these reasons, MacBook easily takes this round!

The Battery

Although both devices have an average battery life, but Yoga has a much shorter lifespan. On average, I’m only getting 3 and a bit hours out of a fully charged device. When the MacBook used to give me around 4 to 5 hours. So, both devices leave you wanting, but Yoga is the more disappointing of the two.

The Heat

Yoga runs less hot than the MacBook. Oddly the Mac used to run very hot, give it 5 minutes and it would be quite hot to the touch, while the Yoga can run for several hours and still feel only slightly warm to the touch. But admittedly the Yoga is still a new device, and the battery is still in good working order. But for now, the Yoga wins for being the cooler device!

The Noise

Being a noisy device can be both good and bad in my circumstance, as sometimes when the computer is frozen and is no longer speaking to me, having a device which gives off some fan noise is good (or otherwise I can’t tell if the device is even on). But Yoga is the noisier device, lean in and you’ll easily hear the fan noise. While the MacBook was always whisper quiet. So, to the conventional measure of noise, the MacBook wins this round.

The Weight

Although both devices aren’t heavy at all, but the MacBook is the heavier of the two, as the MacBook uses a more solid metal for its laptop shell, and the Yoga uses a lighter weight metal, the Yoga feels almost weightless in the hands. So, Yoga claws back a win here.

The Durability

And if we were going to hypothetically sit on our closed laptop, to simulate an ‘O crap’ moment when you forgot that you had the device on the couch. I would be more confident that the MacBook survives your butt imprint, due to its more solid metal outer body. While due to Yoga’s lighter metal shell, and already some slight flexing when you press on it a little harder, thus I’m more nervous about the health of the Yoga if I accidently sat on it. So, MacBook takes the final round.

 So, after 12 rounds of head-to-head competition between the challenger Lanovo Yoga, and the defender Apple MacBook Pro……. The Super Light Weight winner is still the MacBook Pro! Winning 18 to Yoga’s 17. A little surprising, as before going through this process my user experience was telling me that I preferred the Lanovo Yoga. But going through each category and scoring things based on its merits, it seems that the MacBook is the more complete package. However, at 3 times the cost, you’d expect it to have an advantage over the Yoga? But for a device at a little over $1,000, the Lanovo Yoga has stood its ground and has represented itself considerably well. And I’m still happy with my decision to make it my new one-and-only.

Product recommendations- Screen reader mega test

Road testing the 3 most popular Screen readers out there, to crown the King of text-to-speech!

So, this year marks 20 years of blindness for me, exactly half of my lifetime, so you can say that I have some experience when we’re talking about ‘Screen readers’. It was 2003 when I first used a screen reader, which was an absolute revelation for me! As the prior 4 years I hadn’t been able to use a computer at all, due to my failing sight. And my first experience with a screen reader was JAWS version 4.1, a relatively new tech at that time. But 20 years on, there’s a few more heavy hitters in the accessibility scene, and in the last week alone I’d used 3 different screen readers, i.e., Apple Voiceover, Microsoft Narrator, and the OG Freedom Scientific’s JAWS, to decide which screen reader could be my one and only. So, I thought to put my thoughts down on paper, in evaluating which screen reader was the best of the bunch!


In my opinion, the most important element of a screen reader is how easy it is to use. Is it intuitive? How much time does it take a new user to learn and to use it proficiently? And how different does it change the normal functionality of your device compared to a non-screen reader user? In this first point of consideration, hands down being the most user friendly was JAWS! Perhaps I’m a little bias as this was the first software I’ve used and after 20 years all the commands are second nature, however I still think the OG set the benchmark for all other screen readers to emulate. Microsoft comes in at second, as they have retained much of the same keystroke commands as JAWS, but with some Suttle differences which super annoyed me when I was attempting to use Narrator for a full day, the annoying part being that Narrator is so similar, but that 10% difference kept popping up and tripping me up at the most inconvenient moment. While by far Apple Voiceover came in last, whenever you’re required to use 4 fingers to enter a keyboard command to perform a simple task which you would perform on a regular basis? That’s asking way too much from a user! And even after 2.5 years of use, I still hadn’t learnt all the key commands in Voiceover.

So, the most user-friendly screen reader? JAWS!

Voice Options

The second element of a screen reader which could make or break an experience is the quality of the synthetic (robotic) voice. I had once downloaded the totally free screen reader NVDA, but within minutes I stopped using it as at that time (5 years ago) the default voice was horrible! For JAWS the default voice is also robotic, but is the most responsive, as in there is no lag between hitting the keys on your keyboard and hearing the speech echoing your commands. While there are now many human-like voices which you can download and use for JAWS, however from this mega test, JAWS is probably still the laggard in this race of quality voice options. Narrator had an average sounding default robotic voice, but the more life like voices were a notch above JAWS. Like I really, really liked the American Jenny voice. Haaha.  While Apple has the best life like voices, the male and female Australian voice options are particularly good, which I think I’ll miss the most about no longer being a Mac user (please see previous post for more details on my MacBook divorce).

So, the screen reader with the best voice options goes to Apple Voiceover!

Compatibility with other programs

The third, but the most important of the elements of consideration is how well does the screen reader interact with other programs. As it’s a little pointless if the screen reader is easy to use and sounds great, but it is clunky and incompatible with other popular software, programs and apps. You would think both Voiceover and Narrator should work seamlessly as they’re in-built software within the Operating System, but Voiceover works horribly with MS Excel, maybe it’s a Microsoft Mac thing. But if you use Excel for work, it’s nearly impossible to use it with a Mac and while performing advance functions.  And oddly enough, the Narrator compatibility with Excel was also weird. The key reason why I decided I could not use Narrator as my one and only screen reader, was due to how strange it read content in Excel. Like it would read the cell reference first, whether you could edit the cell or not, then the cell’s location within the table it was in, before reading you the cell’s content. I tried changing these settings or re-arranging the order in which it read things, but it made things worse. So, after I had to sit through 10 seconds of unnecessary information each time, before it would read out what I wanted to know, I gave up! For me, who works with spreadsheets 75% of my day, this method of getting through Excel content was not efficient and feasible. While I found JAWS, even though it’s a third-party software, it still plays very well with other software and platforms, and they’re always developing it further to become compatible with even more emerging applications.

So, for those reasons, the screen reader which is the most compatible with other programs is JAWS!

Regular updates and improvements

And since we’re talking about incremental improvements of the product to adapt to the ever-changing digital landscape, I think on paper you’d think Voiceover would have this? But sadly, although Apple strives to continually evolve due to their investment in R&D, but unfortunately not all Apple updates have resulted in an improved user experience. The Ventura Mac OS update rendered Voiceover unusable for me, so because of that, I’m placing them last. For Narrator, I must admit I haven’t used it enough to experience an update to the software, so because of that I’m going to place them in the middle as I don’t have an opinion. While JAWS is the most transparent when it comes to updates, on their website it lists all the bugs they have addressed and the improvements they have made with each update, and with a brand-new version each year, it ensures that they make the largest leaps forward to keep up with the changing times.

So, the screen reader with the best track record for regular updates and improving their product, it goes to JAWS!


And the final element for consideration is how accessible it is. Not as in how disabled friendly it is, but how obtainable it is for a person to get their hands on. For this category Microsoft Narrator is the most accessible, just because Microsoft is the most common operating system in the world, and Narrator is a free feature which can be turned on by anyone, with a simple Control + Windows Key + Enter keystroke! Can’t be any easier than that! Because Apple Macs are a more premium product, it makes Voiceover just that little bit more difficult for people to obtain so they come in second here. While by far JAWS is the most inaccessible, sure you can download a free demo version of JAWS, which runs in 40-minute mode, but to buy the product there’s a real barrier at around $1700 Australian dollars. A costly piece of software however you look at it. And the thing which annoyed me the most, is that if you live in the USA, you can pay for a yearly subscription of JAWS at only $90 per year, which also sounds expensive to an average person, but it’s super cheap if you consider the alternatives for non-Americans. The $1700 for JAWS is just for one version (additional cost if you want to buy 2 more upgrades to the latest version for the next 2 years), and realistically an old version of JAWS might last you 3-5 years? Probably the lifetime of 2 laptops? So, in a span of 5 years, you could easily be spending upwards of $5K just on laptops and accompanying software to make them blind accessible.

So, for these reasons, the most obtainable screen reader is Narrator!

So, to the end verdict, looking at my scorecard, we have a tie! With both JAWS and Microsoft Narrator scoring 11 on my scoring system, while Voiceover lags behind on 8 points. Narrator was the most consistent in the 5 categories, coming in second 4 times and first in the fifth category for being the most obtainable! I would almost say, I could have lived with Narrator as my one and only, if the use of Excel wasn’t a part of my day-job. So, if you don’t use Excel much, I think Narrator can easily do the job. And from the full day which I spent with Narrator, I found it read certain elements in Microsoft products which JAWS had never brought to my attention before- which was beneficial and now I wish I had that in JAWS. and overall, it was very good, reminded me a lot of JAWS. Haaha. But because I do use Excel so much, and JAWS is such a solid workhorse, I ended up forking up another $1700 and getting the latest version of JAWS. Yeah, must be nice to be able to do that, but I really do think JAWS is worth the money. It is the superior product in all respects, except for its high price tag! Come on Freedom Scientific, extend the $90 Yearly subscription model to us international users! Please!