Cygwin was: Re: Linux without sighted help

Lee Maschmeyer lee_maschmeyer at
Mon Feb 4 19:44:47 UTC 2008

I too am sorry if I said anything offensive. It's astonishing how opposite 
our experiences are. I run `screen' from my .bash_profile which I couldn't 
do if it crashed the command prompt window. I'm puzzled and distressed that 
you had such bad luck with it and wonder if it could be a difference between 
speech and braille? Even, though I don't use Jaws braille anymore, between 
Jaws and WindowEyes? Ah! Perhaps: I'm using the version of `screen' that's 
available through the Cygwin installer; this is a program that's quite 
difficult to adapt to Cygwin and they needed, as far as I know, to patch it 
intricately. Perhaps that's the cause?

I used Cygwin when I was a beginner, which is why I suggested it. The nice 
thing is that you can, or at least I could, use the Windows screen reader to 
read the window before I knew how to install programs on a real Linux and 
had next to no access if I didn't do it right. (I've used the Optacon's CRT 
lens a time or three...)

Brltty's ability to be compiled under djgpp is very recent, within the past 
few months. Its ability to be compiled under Cygwin/MinGW is much older - at 
least a year, probably older. When I used Jaws braille I wrote some scripts 
to make it work better but it was still pretty yucky; that's why I like 
brltty so much better. But Jaws braille does work. The very little I played 
with WindowEyes it didn't work as well (don't remember the details), but I'm 
anything but a competent WindowEyes user!

Is it slow? You bet. That's why I've always said for light usage such as 
ssh, lynx, reading books, and beginner-type tasks like checking man pages. 
I'd be interested in looking at 24-hour tasks.

Every operating system has hardware and software it doesn't support. That's 
why there are compatibility lists. Cygwin is no exception and, yes, its 
non-support list is rather larger than most. I still, personally, believe it 
has a place for a beginner. Never having installed a VM I can't compare the 
two. I doubt there'd be any reason to do both. But if one has a couple GB 
free disk space Cygwin is, imho, worth considering.

Lee Maschmeyer
<lee_maschmeyer at>

"Be kind to your fur-bearing friends,
For a skunk may be somebody's brother."
     --Fred Allen

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