Speakup and Braaille Lite 40: results of experiments
chomiak at charter.net
Fri Oct 15 06:25:16 UTC 2004
Ok, when I first saw some of these posts, my first impulse was to start
typing fast and furiously. but I decided a couple hours of experimenting
might make my input more accurate. Here to the best of my knowledge are
the answers to John's questions and related ones. Please note that I did
not go all the way through an install--just through the cd integrity
tests, the anaconda loading and hardware detection; I stopped at the
screen where you choose your monitor settings.
what I used in this test:
a brltty.iso made from the boot.iso of the speakup-modified FC2 isos,
dated October 7th
speakup-modified FC2-i386-disc1.iso dated October 11th (but same set as
also tried a brltty.iso made from the FC2-i386-disc1.iso: don't do it;
will explain later on.
a braillelite40 on my first serial port.
a doubletalk-lt on my second serial port (not used for all experiments)
a debian unstable linux system
rhmkiso script from brltty-3.5.tar.gz
1. Can you use the speakup-modified cds without a braillified cd and get
If at boot of the FC2-i386-disc1 cd you type
you will after a while get output on your display; you will be able to
read some of it as it goes by. However, you won't be able to review it,
control it or navigate it. this probably wouldn't be a lot of help.
2. Can you use a braillified iso and run the speakup-modified FC2
contrary to the theories I read, at least as far as I went, on my machine,
it was quite possible. However, see below for instructions; you must be
careful which cd of the speakup-modified set you modify and you must be
sure that the braillified cd is made from the boot cd of the installation
set you want to use.
I was able to type at boot:
text brltty=bl (I didn't need other parameters; you might)
and was able to choose my language, keyboard and installation method. I
then had to change to the first speakup-modified cd. I tested the
integrity of the cd. Anaconda (the installer) was loaded; hardware
detection took place; I went as far as the monitor settings and then
turned back. I had no problems in navigating or in using my advance bars;
there appeared to be no interference from speakup. I do understand the
theories set forth in some posts that speakup would start and interfere
with brltty. I can't explain to you why this didn't happen to me but it
didn't. the only problem I had at all was that in a couple of trials (I
did several) things seemed to freeze in hardware detection, but on the
next trial everything was fine. So I'm not guaranteeing you this will
work; I'm just saying it worked for me as far as I went.
3. can you use brltty and speakup at the same time?
It appears that you indeed can as long as they are on different ports. I
text brltty=bl speakup_synth=ltlk speakup_ser=1
and had no problems as far as I went. The occasional stall during hardware
detection applies here also.
4. can you use a braillified cd and yet use only speakup?
with my braillelite still on the first serial port, I tried:
text speakup_synth=ltlk speakup_ser=1
and speakup came up talking. Other than a FUN at the beginning on the
braillelite and the AT during the hardware detection, the braille display
didn't do anything as I recall.
If you will look at the documentation in the brltty source (I used 3.5 but
you could also use 3.6 since it's just out) under Bootdisks you will find
README.RedHat.cd and a script rhmkiso. If you will follow the directions
in the readme you can make an iso that will work with the speakup set. I
used this script on my debian unstable system to make an iso.
Do not use the iso on Dave's site as it matches
only the official FC2; do not use the iso on the Speakup site as it does
not match the current updated set of speakup-modified isos. Use the
boot.iso to make your brltty.iso. Do NOt use the FC2-i386-disc1.iso as it
appears the checksums are not updated and you will get complaints about
not being able to verify the cd; with the FC2-i386-disc1 cd I also had a
lockup in hardware detection but as I had random lockups in hardware
detection in other tests I can not conclusively blame that particular cd.
Caveats and miscelaneous comments
1. Note the random lockups during hardware detection I had yet on a retry
with the same procedure I usually did not have a problem.
2. If you accidentally type linux instead of text when booting you will
have an opportunity to change to text mode a bit later so don't panic--I
don't think this causes other problems later but of course I don't know
3. remember that you still will have to think through making sure that
brltty will run at boot when you boot into your new installation. If you
use an "everything" install, it will I believe be on your system but I
don't believe it will come up at boot unless you set that up before you
boot. so think everything through at the end of your install--or better
yet plan ahead; do you want speakup? do you want brltty? do you want both?
Set things up accordingly.
4. On some linux machines there have been problems with the running of the
rhmkiso script; I confess that I have not explored whether these problems
have been solved; I was able to run the script successfully on my debian
I have done my best to run several trials of everything I describe here. I
have done my best to be thorough in my descriptions, though it's very
possible I have left something out or not made it all sufficiently clear.
Nevertheless, if your system breaks following my instructions or if you
are left stranded in the midst of an install, I will cry with you, I will
empathize, i will do anything I can to help BUT I offer no guarantees and
take no responsibility for the end results. A series of tests for a couple
of hours on one machine by one person who did not want to wipe out a
current system to do a complete install--this is better than no test at
all, but many things can still go wrong.
"Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
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