running linux on laptops

Mike Gorse mgorse at
Sun Aug 14 21:30:46 UTC 2005

Hi Michael,

As long as you have a laptop with say a PII or better (say something built 
in the last six years or so), then it should have the CPU power to handle 
software speech.  I think that the most important thing for you to do 
would be to figure out if Linux supports all of the components you need to 
work on anything you buy.  I have an IBM Thinkpad R40 which I occasionally 
boot into Linux, and the sound card and network card work, although it 
seems that only one program can write to the sound card at a time, which 
can be annoying.  A user-level program such as ESD might theoretically be 
able to overcome this, although the last time I checked it offered no way 
to drain the audio sent to it, which would make it unusable for a screen 
reader that needs to be able to silence the speech.  I have not been able 
to get the wireless card to work (it may be doable with ndiswrapper if 
nothing else, but I haven't tried that).  Anyway, having a multi-channel 
sound card would be nice if possible.

Laptops are a lot more proprietary than desktops.  You cannot simply buy a 
case and motherboard off the shelf for a laptop and add a cpu, memory, a 
video card, a hard disk, etc. as you can with a desktop.  So my guess 
would be that your sister's contact could build you a desktop but not a 

-- Michael Gorse / AIM:linvortex / --

On Sun, 14 Aug 2005, MICHAEL WEAVER wrote:

> I am thinking of purchasing a laptop. This may be a better solution for 
> example if I am wanting support from my local linux user group as I would be 
> able to take a Laptop to Vox Bar where my LUG meets and they may be able to 
> help me get Linux up and running.
> However I have a question.
> How much system resources does speech use when running Linux with 
> screenreaders and software speech?
> I want to be sure that I get a Laptop that not only will run Linux but that 
> will support speech through the soundcard.
> My sister knows someone through her boyfriend or maybe ex boyfriend as 
> recently they were having difficulty who she claims can build systems because 
> he knows about hardware but I am dubious as to whether he would only know 
> about building systems to Windows specifications only.
> I have taken a brief look at the Linux howto through going through the Ubuntu 
> Installation Guide and have had a brief look at the Linux Laptops site as 
> well.
> I wonder if it maybe better to see if my sister's contact does have the 
> knowledge to build a laptop to Linux specs or whether I should just try and 
> find one in a store?
> I was thinking of installing Linux on my PC in my flat which is already 
> connected to my Broadband MODEM which I have backed up but need to be careful 
> as I am beginner to Linux. Dad said he could give me an old desktop only 
> there isn't really any room for it in my computer room and as it wouldn't be 
> connected to my Broadband MODEM, I might have a problem for example if I were 
> to install Ubuntu, I wouldn't be able to do the command to get Gnopernicus.
> Hope someone can give me advice.

More information about the Blinux-list mailing list