debian on a laptop?

Geoff Shang geoff at
Sat Jan 15 14:26:40 UTC 2011

On Fri, 14 Jan 2011, Karen Lewellen wrote:

>> From my experience reading and the like, actually Janina told me this ages 
> back, it is a good idea to have someone at your end who is at least vaguely 
> familiar with Linux if devoting an entire machine to this for the first time.

This is not so much the case as it used to be, particularly if it's not 
your only machine and you can use other means to get assistance from the 

> Just reading SOME of the commands one must type makes me dizzy sometimes lol.
> I run both a production and a nonprofit, am a radio journalist and 
> professional singer.  I do not mind tinkering in DOS, because I learned it 
> well when I had more time for learning.
> I have far far less time  to completely construct this system myself from the 
> ground up without  someone used to and familiar with the speech aspects, and 
> the compiling requirements  of Linux nearby to call.

There is less and less need to compile anything these days, unless you 
have very special requirements.  Certainly I have not done a kernel 
compilation in literally years.

> I am not lazy, just honest. I would rather concentrate on learning how to run 
> what I must run, once constructed to make running easy if that makes sense, 
> read documentation with a framework of understanding  that moves me forward. 
> I know what my talents are, and what they are not, or more how I can use my 
> time these days  grin.

I know where you're coming from.  I don't have the luxury of being able to 
mess with things that I used to have.  Fortunately, speech and Braille 
solutions are now part of mainstream distributions, and therefore 
integrate much more nicely into the "easy" way of doing things.

I've only ever used Debian, and others may well evangelise their own 
distributions, but I certainly find it to be good.  Even using the most 
recent stable release from 2 years ago, I was able to install it from 
scratch using Speakup and an external speech synthesiser.  The next 
version of Debian is due to be released shortly.

As for Dectalk, I'm not a big expert on this synth but you're likely to 
need to use hardware for this, and I don't know if it will work with Orca.


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