Has any solution for blind to run windows under linux?

marbux marbux at gmail.com
Mon Jan 12 02:17:40 UTC 2009

On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 6:14 AM, Aldo <info at brlspeak.net> wrote:
> You're right tahts as absurd as going to a chinese restaurant and asking for
> a big mac!
> Aldo.
> On Sun, Jan 11, 2009 at 07:18:52AM -0500, Jude DaShiell wrote:
>> Really, that's as bad as running windows on the mac!  In both cases why
>> accept the security problems and waste the disk space?

Can't agree here. There are valid reasons to run Windows too. I run
WinXP Pro as a VM atop Kubuntu 8.04 using Virtual Box for productivity
reasons. E.g., there are no word processors available on Linux that
include a grammar checking module. And for complex documents, I am far
more productive using WordPerfect than OpenOffice.org, by at least two
orders of magnitude. As consultant Ross Kodner says, "friends don't
let friends process words without Reveal Codes." :-) And OOo (and
Microsoft Word) are sorry pieces of software when it comes to
developing complex documents.

As another example, as a retired lawyer who still does a fair bit of
legal research and brief writing as a secondary source of retirement
income, I only have a choice between Word or WordPerfect add-ons if I
want to use profession-specific software such as case management

And for citations, in under one minute I can run a free add-on that:
[i]  checks citations for common errors and repairs them; [ii]
hyperlinks each citation to the cited document on the Westlaw or Lexis
online legal research databases; and [iii] builds my table of
authorities, a required form of bibliography in briefs over 20 pages
in every U.S. jurisdiction I've worked in. See West CiteLink,
The format requires citations to be categorized and indexed with all
page numbers that cite each authority.

On OOo, all I can do is create the table of authorities, but there is
no automated recognition of citations. I must manually mark each
citation, entering both its long and short form. So about 2-3 hours
for a typical opening appellate brief of 50 pages just to mark the
table of authorities before generating it, with no automated ability
whatsoever to check citations and add hyperlinks to their online full

On top of that, I have nearly 40 years worth of legal research and
writing stored, searchable, and largely recyclable  in WPD format. The
WPD import library used by all FOSS word processors I'm aware of that
offer WPD import is still a long way from being ready for prime time.
The import is lossy. So even more hours wasted manually checking every
bit of WPD content imported into OOo for data loss. A law firm's
archive of previously performed legal research and writing is one of
the firm's most valuable assets. Those who do not recycle such
information have a very large competitive disadvantage.

Should I run Windows and pass on the WordPerfect-related productivity
gains to my clients, or should I bill them for the rather incredible
number of extra hours it takes me to perform the same tasks with OOo?
I have moral and ethical issues with doing that, not to mention the
fact that some tasks I need to perform simply can't be done with OOo.
In addition, I can't compete on price if I use OOo for my work.

It's all too easy to fall into the mental trap of assuming that what
works for you will work for everyone. I've been there and done that
myself. But there is no one-size-fits-all-needs software solution on
either the Linux, OS X, or Windows platforms.  While the Linux
platform can now boast a fairly complete repertoire of general purpose
software, the platform is far less ready when it comes to profession-
and industry-specific software tools. Some of those deficits are
rather fundamental; e.g., there is not yet an off-the-shelf
full-featured accounting package that can match the power of packages
available for the Windows platform.

I am not a Microsoft cheerleader by any means. There is much that
company has done that merits long prison sentences for its managers.

But I think you damage your own credibility if you make the error of
suggesting that everyone's software needs can be completely fulfilled
on the Linux platform. Too many people know that it is an error. The
last relevant statistics I read say that something like 65 percent of
Linux desktops are on machines that also run Windows.

Not trying to pick a fight here, just trying to be helpful. All of us
benefit from constructive criticism, especially me. :-)

Best regards,


Universal Interoperability Council

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