Older Computers and New Speech Engines

Martin martinfc at rogers.com
Thu Dec 11 14:36:03 UTC 2008

Have you had someone verify for you that Orka is indeed being loaded after 
the successful boot up?
Do you have a USB sound device kicking around?  Maybe it could detect that.

> Date:        Thu, 11 Dec 2008 08:21:48 -0600
> From:        Martin McCormick <martin at dc.cis.okstate.edu>
> To:        Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at redhat.com>
> ReplyTo:    Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at redhat.com>
> Subject:    Older Computers and New Speech Engines
>     Over the last several days, I have tried the ubuntu Live
> CD, the alternate ubuntu CD, ubuntu-server 32-bit version and a totally
> different distribution called grml.
>     All were tested on a Dell laptop that is about 6 years
> old but ran Windows XP before. It is pretty powerful in that it is a
> 1-gig processor with 256 megs of RAM and the sound card
> does definitely work.
>     So far, the only distributionthat ever worked with
> speech was the last oralux image. An old GRML which is
> speakup-based showed promise until I actually started to install it at
> which time that spelling bug due to kernel contingencies took over which
> ruled that out as far as I am concerned.
>     The oralux distribution talks well until you connect a
> serial port to something and then it's that spelling thing
> again, probably due to the interrupts that occur as each serial
> character arrives. Again, not acceptable. It is also
> speakup-based.
>     After listening to the very useful ubuntu demo on
> blindcooltech, I tried the minimum start with speech which is to wait
> until the disk slows down, Hit F5, 3, Enter, Enter.
>     There is sound which, according to the demo, occurs when
> you log in and a longer chord which reminds me kind of of a Mac booting
> up that you hear when orca starts. After that, utter
> silence.
>     The latest GRML is also mute. The cheatcodes.txt file in
> the grml directory on that CD tells you to type
> grml swspeak=speechd
>     Again, dead silence after the booting completes.
>     Is it just me or do these newer engines not run on Dell
> computers from around 2000? Actually, as I think of it, one of those
> desktops is a Gateway.
>     I have tried 1 laptop and a couple of desktops that
> already run Debian Linux and sound and do so quite well.
>     I figure if I get one of these to talk properly, I can
> get away from the old DOS, external synth and kermit method.
> That works even on old 8086 systems, but some of that stuff
> could vote and by beer now.
>     I am not afraid to build kernels and hack (positively),
> but it's kind of hard to do that with no way in to a system one is
> working on.
>     Any ideas? Yes, I know I could buy all new computers.
> These I have access to are what we might call middle-aged, not ready for
> the recycling center yet.
> Martin McCormick
> _______________________________________________
> Blinux-list mailing list
> Blinux-list at redhat.com
> https://www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/blinux-list

More information about the Blinux-list mailing list