A FreeBSD Question about Putting a Beep in the CSH Prompt

Martin McCormick martin at dc.cis.okstate.edu
Sat Nov 20 23:31:42 UTC 2004

	What I do right now is use older DOS P.C.'s equipped with
Kermit, a speech synthesizer and screen reader.  There are lots of
variations on this theme, but your P.C. needs to have either one spare
serial port and or an Ethernet connection which you can connect to a
local area network or LAN.

	The name of the game is to have your speech running and then a
telecommunications package like Kermit or anything else that can
emulate or pretend to be a VT100 terminal.

	The FreeBSD or Linux box must either have a serial port
configured to be a login terminal in UNIX or it also needs to be on
the LAN and working before you can use it with this setup.

	I haven't ever tried this, but the BNS has a VT100 mode so you
could use one of those with the proper serial cable to communicate
with a FreeBSD system.  If the FreeBSD system is configured so that
the serial port is a login terminal port, you can communicate with the
system all the way from cold start to shut-down.  The same is true in
Linux, also.

	This is good if your FreeBSD or Linux system is too sick to
work fully.  A person who is blind can operate the system in
single-user mode and fix it like anybody else has to.

	What I am describing also is true if you have a Windows P.C.
and JAWS or some other Windows screen reader.  You will need to run a
terminal emulation program that talks in JAWS and then you can do the same
things that way.  You must have a vt100 emulation as part of the
telecommunication package since that is more or less the standard
full-screen text terminal.
"Nigel" writes:
>  Also does your job role mean its 
>possible for blind people to go into networking?

	Oh yes.  I run our domain name servers and our dhcp servers
plus do lots of shell scripting and C programming to help us automate
the daily grind.

	There are certainly accessibility booby traps in networking
like lots of other fields, but not quite as many and many pieces of
network equipment still allow one to use a command-line interface.
There is a lot of stuff done that uses shell scripts and other types
of scripting and that sort of work needs a good command line interface
to make it possible.

	If I had my whole life to live over again, I would have
majored in Computer science or a related field, but in the early
seventies, those fields weren't as interesting as they are now.  I
kind of got in to this by accident about 25 years ago.
I certainly do not claim to have all the answers and there are gaps in
what I know.  This job keeps you young because there is always
something new to learn or a new problem to solve.

Martin McCormick

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