New member with a speakup/emacspeak question

Janina Sajka janina at
Tue Mar 30 13:06:46 UTC 2004

No, no, no. Heavens, no! This is terrible advice. There's absolutely no reason to reboot just to go back and forth between Speakup enabled applications and Emacspeak.
Tony, I think you've lived in Microsoft environments far too long. I recognize that rebooting is what Microsoft users do, but this is Linux and things are different here.

The answer is simple. Learn to use Speakup. Recognize that Emacspeak will run in a single console, whereas Speakup is active across all consoles.

Do you know what a console is? Use Ctrl-Alt-FX to change to another console, where X is a number from 1 to 6 by default. For example, do Ctrl-Alt-F2 to open that console, and Ctrl-Alt-F3 to open that one, etc. Your original console is Ctrl-Alt-F1.

NOTE: It's useful to get the habit of using Ctrl-Alt, though in the world of consoles, the Alt is sufficient by itself. Once we do get access to GUI environments, you'll have to use Ctrl for switching consoles. But, this is a diagression.

Now, simply silence or unload Speakup to launch emacspeak:

Insert Enter on the numeric keypad is your toggle to silence Speakup's automatic speech. The Insert key is also known as Zero, and the enter key, of course, is the tall key in the far right hand corner of the numeric keypad.
The advantage of using this strategy is that Speakup is still available to read and puruse screen contents--something you'll need while trying Emacs with Emacspeak, if this message is an example of your level of expertise with Linux.

The other option is to unload Speakup in the current console using PrintScreen. This key is a toggle. Press PrintScreen again to reload Speakup.

Tony Baechler writes:
> Hi.  This is probably not the best way, but the only way I know of to get 
> Speakup and Emacspeak to work together is reboot when you want to 
> switch.  In other words, your kernel has Speakup patched in and you want to 
> use Emacspeak.  Switch to a non-speaking kernel without the Speakup patch, 
> reboot, and try Emacspeak.  When you are done, switch back to the Speakup 
> kernel.  There are a variety of ways of switching.  I think you can hold 
> down the shift while it is booting and a menu will come up if you are using 
> lilo.  Of course you will not have speech to read the menu, so you could 
> manually edit lilo.conf first.  Either way, make sure to run lilo after 
> changing kernels.
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				Janina Sajka, Director
				Technology Research and Development
				Governmental Relations Group
				American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)

Email: janina at		Phone: (202) 408-8175

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