Thread Subject: Re: BIOS Accessibility(TETIAC) - from within Windows- HP solution
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From: Peter Korn
Date: Fri, Jul 13 2007 2:15 PM
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Allen, Gregg, Don,
May I suggest a different approach here? May I suggest that we develop
language that explains what aspects of the 508 draft language applies to
making BIOS settings on x86 systems, and provide that language to the
Access Board as suggested text that go into a body of expository text
that accompany the 508 standard?
I recognize that the the overwhelming majority of desktops and laptops
that are purchased by the Federal government today come with a BIOS and
so have this issue. But then, the overwhelming majority of desktops and
laptops that are purchased by the Federal government today come with
Windows XP, and I think everyone would agree that we shouldn't write a
guideline that says "If your product is Windows XP, then you must...".
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
> OK, but that accounts for, oh, lets say 99% of the desktop/laptop market
> today. As one who has used alternatives that do allow access, for
> example through serial connection at preboot, that is fine, and would
> fulfill the requirement in my view.
> Allen Hoffman -- = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; v: 202-447-0303
> -----Original Message-----
> From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Peter
> Sent: Thursday, July 12, 2007 4:47 PM
> To: TEITAC General Interface Accessibility Subcommittee
> Cc: TEITAC desktop/portable (hardware) subcommittee; TEITAC Web/Software
> Subject: Re: [teitac-websoftware] [teitac-general] BIOS
> Accessibility(TETIAC) - from within Windows- HP solution
> Hi Allen, guys,
> Please remember that the BIOS issues we are discussing are an
> implementation detail of x86 PC-based systems. There is no exposed BIOS
> user-interface for almost every other computing architecture and device.
> Not on Macintosh, not on SPARC, not on cell phones, not on copiers, not
> on MP3 players.
> The exposed BIOS user interface is a program running in a limited
> environment - there is no OS yet, there is no platform-defined set of
> themes or color/contrast, etc.
> I believe strongly that it would be wrong for us to write BIOS
> recommendations in TEITAC.
> We should treat the user interaction functionality provided by BIOS
> configuration programs as we would anything else. If the system is a
> "closed" system at the time the BIOS is running (no way to run AT), then
> those provisions should apply. If there are no system-define color and
> contrast settings that the BIOS config UI can draw from, then we have
> other rules that apply. Etc.
> We can also ask the question of whether BIOS re-configuration that one
> can do from a running system (as we're seeing are available from laptops
> from HP, Dell, and Lenovo) is sufficient. Since making changes to these
> settings during the boot process is something you only *have* to do at
> that time when the system is failing to boot, I suggest that the "fix a
> system when it is broken" situation is largely outside of the scope of
> most of the 508 technical standards. Based on that, I suggest that BIOS
> re-configuration programs that you can use on a running system should
> suffice, so long as they are of course accessible.
> Peter Korn
> Accessibility Architect,
> Sun Microsystems, Inc.
>> One more follow up.
>> now that we do know that some BIOS(s) are updateable from post-boot,
>> as i recalled, can we require that, for example and discussions sake:
>> Desktop and portable computers hardware configuration options
>> available at pre-boot time, must also be configurable after boot.
>> This seems broad enough to allow various solutions to meet this
>> I'd think this requirement would go in "hardware".
>> Allen Hoffman -- = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ; v: 202-447-0303
>> *From:* = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
>> [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] *On Behalf Of *Gregg
>> *Sent:* Thursday, July 12, 2007 10:28 AM
>> *To:* 'TEITAC General Interface Accessibility Subcommittee'; 'TEITAC
>> Web/Software Subcommittee'; 'TEITAC desktop/portable (hardware)
>> *Subject:* [teitac-general] BIOS Accessibility (TETIAC) - from within
>> Windows- HP solution
>> We talked about having an application in Windows that would set the
>> BIOS values. HP does this as a standard provision in their current
>> The BIOS provides WMI (Windows Management Interface) for exploring and
>> changing BIOS configuration settings under Windows.
>> The GUI is provided through HP ProtectTools and the plug-in is called
>> BIOS Configuration.
>> The ProtectTools utility is under the START menu in a folder labeled
>> "HP". A screen shot of the utility is provided below
>> Thanks Michael for the pointer and for doing things like this at HP.
>> (Picture courtesy of my own laptop)
>> -- ------------------------------
>> Gregg C Vanderheiden Ph.D.
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