Intro, and the dreaded basic question

Willem van der Walt wvdwalt at
Wed Jan 14 12:00:45 UTC 2009

Good to hear you are finally ready to give linux a go.
IMHO, one of the most painless ways to get a running, talking linux iwith 
most options included, is to go for Ubuntu.
These days, Linux can speak from the console/command-line as it could do 
for a long time, as well as speak from the gnome gui.
I use speakup for speech from the command line and use orca, the gui gnome 
screen-reader when I have to.
Many people these days only use orca, and they are still alive.
Go for the latest version of ubuntu called intrepid.
This is not only because you will have better hardware support on most 
machines, but also because it makes the installation of speakup a lot 
Google for audio tutorial ubuntu orca to find the mail archive on the 
orca-list where you can find the links to audio tutorials prepared by 
blind people from the community on installing ubuntu using its own 
software speech and orca from the live cd.
If you go for Ubuntu, make sure that you get the matching tutorial for the 
intrepid 8.10 version, as there were some changes over time regarding the 
exact installation procedures.
After a standard Ubuntu installation, you will have orca installed, but 
not speakup yet.
Another popular linx these days is called grml, giving you a talking 
command-line linux.
I have not personally worked with that, but by the sound of it, it works 
Linux, at any rate from the command-line, can be made quite 
Orca, the gui screen-reader is moving forward quickly and I am sure with 
time will also be speech-friendly with most applications.
For now, it works very well with some apps and less so with others.
In short, things did get a lot easier over the last number of years with 
regards to linux in general.
Hope this give you enough to start off with.
There is a speakup mailing list and an orca one, both archived, so you 
should be able to find info there.
Because of a lot of changes in the last year, I would suggest that you do 
not look at emails regarding any of these things where the post is older 
than about six months.
Regards, Willem

On Wed, 14 Jan 2009, Larry Higgins wrote:

> Hello listers,
> My name is Larry Higgins from Sycamore, IL. I am a first time poster to this
> list, although I have been subscribed to this list for God knows how long,
> anywhere from 8 to 10 years probably, and have taken only  a passing interest
> in possibly installing Linux of some variety on one of the many computers that
> have past through my life over these many years, but could never find the time
> or drive space to do so. My reason for getting at least serious enough to
> inquire is as follows.
> A neighbor of mine took it upon himself to buy for me for Christmas a Dell
> Inspiron 530 computer that I really didn't need. This thing came with Vista,
> and I thought that after playing around with Vista for the first time over the
> next few days, I might get brave and tackle installing a version of Linux on
> that computer, either running a dual boot, or just removing Vista and starting
> from scratch.
> Of course, my questions are the usual ones that might come from the greenest
> novice.Which version of Linux is best and most popular among Blinux list
> members, and what would I need to make installation as 	convenient, if not as
> easy as possible? I do not have a refreshable Braille display, only speech in
> the form of Window-Eyes, which I know from the outset will do me absolutely no
> good <g>.
> Will I need lots of sighted help in order to get Linux installed, or is there
> anything like a hands off installation routine, or am I dreaming?  After
> getting Linux installed, how speech friendly can it be made to be these days?
> Also, is there any way to make a GUI speak in Linux, one similar to Windows?
> With that, I think I'll wait for your answers. I must say, I have heard some
> nightmarish stories about these kinds of installations, so just hope I'm
> really ready for this. Heck, if I really want to attempt this, I made need a
> mentor or two <g>.
> Any help with these issues will be greatly appreciated,
> Larry
> PS I'm sure you might ask if I have been reading this list over these many
> years, and the answer is no, I am ashamed to say, and I haven't kept an
> archive of my own either. I will proceed to slap myself on the hand real hard
> <g>.        
> _______________________________________________
> Blinux-list mailing list
> Blinux-list at

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