Getting started with Linux

Tony Baechler tony at
Sat Oct 25 09:39:38 UTC 2008

Thank you!

I don't like overquoting, but I'm leaving the below quotes because 
that's exactly what I'm trying to say.  I am also not a slave to my OS.  
That's why I'm running Windows 98, XP, Linux and attempting to install 
NetBSD in a virtual machine.  I've also used Mac OS.  However, until I 
find something as accessible and responsive as Sound Forge and until I 
find a way to not be stuck with software speech, I am afraid I can't 
switch to Gnome and Orca for any serious work.  Again, perhaps it's my 
mindset as you say or perhaps I've been around Windows too long, but I'm 
comforted by the fact that I can generally count on at least a general 
level of accessibility in most Windows apps with Window-Eyes and XP.  
True, some things just don't work at all, but in 90% of cases, I can use 
my mouse pointer to get most things done and one (not me) can develop 
sets or scripts to make up for what doesn't work out of the box.  Again, 
until Orca provides similar functionality and I have good access to 
professional audio software, I'm afraid that at least one machine here 
will have to run Windows.  I have no particular like for Sound Forge, 
but I have yet to find anything else that works well for my needs and 
does what I want an audio editor to do.

On a different but related subject, are there any MIDI sequencing 
packages that work with Orca and are accessible?  I'm not a musician, 
but I do like being able to change instruments in MIDI files.  I like 
Timidity and recommend it, but it is primarily a player and is a little 
limited for what I'm wanting to find.  Again, if there's something like 
Cakewalk or Sonar for Gnome, I would like to switch to it.  I'm not 
aware of anything though.  I've looked at a couple command line programs 
but I found them difficult and couldn't get them to actually do 
anything.  I found an app for KDE which the same sighted person says 
works well, but I don't think KDE has any degree of accessibility, at 
least I've not read about it.  There is an accessibility package though, 
but since I've never seen it commented on here, I'll assume it doesn't 
work very well.

Stephen Clower wrote:
> krishnakant Mane wrote:
>> I use only ubuntu for my daily work and I am a busy IT consultent so I
>> can't sacrify work at the cost of non functional free software.
>> So the point is that since ubuntu 8.04 in particular I find no reason
>> i should tell people to still use windows.  I find no reason why
>> people should not migrate to the world of technology freedom with
>> linux.
> While a commendable goal, the graphical Linux desktop still has a ways 
> to go before I am comfortable enough to switch to it on a full-time 
> basis. Radical software mind-sets aside, I have found Window-Eyes on 
> top of a nicely tuned XP system to be considerably more responsive 
> than Gnome and Orca. I'll admit that sound card/speech synthesizer 
> preferences would likely need adjusting, but the basic computer user 
> should not have to tweak these settings just to have responsive speech.
> Additionally, we have access to the more common tools, E.G. web 
> browser, word processor, E-mail, and so on with both platforms; 
> although I have yet to find a commercial-grade multitracking editor 
> that supports ASIO, VST effects, and is accessible inside GNOME. Until 
> this last fact changes, switching to Gnome full-time would limit me a 
> great deal in terms of how I want to use my computer for both work and 
> leisure.
> I am not a slave to my operating system or assistive tech, and neither 
> will I deny the obvious fact that Linux accessibility is superior in 
> many respects to that of Windows. Gnome and orca have really come a 
> long way over the past few years, and I sincerely hope work will 
> continue to improve application accessibility where possible. For now, 
> I love the philosophy behind GNU/Linux, but the presently accessible 
> applications (or lack thereof) in the graphical environment leave me 
> no choice but to stick with Windows for most of my work. I am very 
> glad that we have compelling choices on all major platforms, and 
> competition between them all can only benefit everybody involved. 
> Perhaps one day in the not so distant future, even I may have what I 
> need to switch to Linux permanently; with open-source software, 
> anything is possible.
> Regards,
> Steve
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