just how much can you do with?

Christopher Chaltain chaltain at gmail.com
Mon Mar 4 02:02:26 UTC 2013

I'll answer some of your questions below.

On 03/03/13 16:41, Bryan Duarte wrote:
> 1. is ubuntu 1210 going to be my best option of linux OS?

Ubuntu 12.04 is a better solution right now for accessibility.

> 2. Is orca my bes sounding and easy to use screen reader?

Orca is your only choice for a screen reader on the Linux desktop. Use
the help feature in Orca, with the key sequence Orca+h, the Orca
documentation, and the tabs in the Orca preferences to learn more about
how to use Orca. Once you get the hang of it, I find it easier to use
than JAWS or NVDA.

If by better sounding, you're referring to the speech synthesizer, then
you have a few options, such as Voxin, which is the same synthesizer
used by Eloquence.

> 3. Why is orca so annoying to use in the terminal window? Are there
> special commands to navigate in the terminal window when using orca?

I don't find Orca so annoying to use in the terminal window. Why are you
saying it's so annoying? I'm not aware of special commands to use in the
terminal window, but I find I use the screen review commands like
Orca+u, Orca+k, Orca+. and so on the most.

> 4. I would like to use linux to write code, and compile and run
> programs, will I need more than one screen reader for this? I read
> somewhere that I would need a different screen reader to navigate in the
> terminal window.

You don't need another screen reader to write code in Linux or use in
the terminal window. To write code, you'd use an editor like gedit with
Orca and then compile your code in the terminal, using the screen review
commands I mentioned earlier to review the output of your compile.

Maybe you've heard that you need a screen reader called Speakup in the
console. This is true if you're using the console instead of the
terminal. Using the console does have some advantages, and you may want
to look into doing this with Speakup.

There's also Emacspeak if you're going to use the editor Emacs to write
your code. Emacs with Eamcspeak does provide a pretty impressive code
writing environment, but you'll need to learn to use Emacs, which some
claim is a pretty steep learning curve, but I find it well worth it if
you are going to be doing a lot of editting and code writing.

> I appreciate any help and please feel free to email me off list with any
> questions and comments. I am not sure how off topic this all is for this
> list. My email is:
> bryan.duarte at asu.edu <mailto:bryan.duarte at asu.edu>
> skype twitter are in my signature. Thanks again...
> Bryan Duarte
> 1 Corinthians 9:24 Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs,but
> only one gets the price? So run to win
> !
> Arizona State University
> Software Engineering student
> twitter: @blindambitions
> skype: bambryan
> On Mar 3, 2013, at 2:21 AM, Tony Baechler <tony at baechler.net
> <mailto:tony at baechler.net>> wrote:
>> Please see my answers below.  I'll deal with your points one at a
>> time. First, it's not as hopeless as it sounds.  Yes, Linux has a
>> learning curve and it's certainly not the same as DOS, but it's much
>> more powerful once you get used to it.  I stayed with Dos and Windows
>> 98 for years because I didn't want to give up the flexibility, but now
>> that I'm pretty familiar with Linux, I wouldn't go back.  If you have
>> DOS programs that you want to use, you can probably still run them in
>> Linux.  I've used Debian and Linux in general since about 2000 and I
>> wouldn't call myself an expert.  There is a lot to learn.
>> On 3/2/2013 10:13 AM, Karen Lewellen wrote:
>>> Let me ask this simply. I hope I can go back and locate the last knight
>>> here, who was providing amazing wisdom on media options with Linux,
>>> but for
>>> now let me see what can be learned.
>> I can probably help you.  I regularly download podcasts and record
>> streams.
>>> I have a debian box here, using squeeze. I have no intention of
>>> upgrading to
>>> wheezy any time soon...this one is bad enough lol.
>> Unless you have a hardware synthesizer, you should consider upgrading
>> at some point.  For now, Squeeze is still the official, supported
>> stable release and it's a good option, but eventually it will no
>> longer be supported after Wheezy is released.
>>> While I remain deeply thankful to the person who basically put
>>> squeeze on a
>>> hard drive and sent it to me, the disadvantage is this.
>>> I have no idea what I have, and I have no simply way of learning what
>>> I have.
>> Run the following command:
>> dpkg -l
>> That lists all of the installed packages.  There are probably quite a
>> lot of them.  You can safely disregard the libraries for now.  There
>> are other ways of looking at your installed packages, but let's keep
>> it simple for now.
>>> My frustration is that there is no, or not that I can find simple single
>>> basic Linux source book.
>> Actually, there are several.  If you have a Bookshare subscription,
>> look there as I've seen quite a few.  Even if you don't, Debian itself
>> has a pretty comprehensive set of documentation.
>>> something like the old windows for dummies books. I do not mean
>>> documentation built into the os itself. That assumes you already now the
>>> basics of the os.
>>> If there is such a source, please direct me to that source.
>>> Nor do I mean a tutorial program. That mode of learning forgets some
>>> human
>>> fundamentals. All people learn individually. To generalize what a person
>>> needs to know, usually written from the abilities of the person doing the
>>> tutorial is not a firm way either in my view.
>> http://www.debian.org/doc/
>>> This is what makes hands on training so special. Those in class get the
>>> uniform basis, but a teacher can speak to the individual needs of the
>>> student before them.
>> You could look at cucat.org which seems to have an intro to Linux
>> course. There are also many beginner Linux podcasts.  I assembled
>> several of them for someone else.  Contact me privately if you want me
>> to send them to you.
>>> Personally? I learn best with someone sitting physically with me
>>> doing the
>>> teaching. Linux can have rather the learning curve for some...if not
>>> individualized.
>>> i would pay for that sort of training gladly.
>>> and if I can find someone brave enough with a local Linux users
>>> group, if I
>>> can find that at all, I may see how well they do at learning how to
>>> use the
>>> screen reader plus Linux together to train me.
>> I can offer some training.  I primarily offer support by email, but I
>> can try to work with you and answer some of your basic questions.  I
>> might be able to offer some interactive training as well via the
>> phone, depending on your availability.  I offer a Linux help and
>> support service for $99 per year.  All support is done by email to
>> keep costs down and all support is individualized for your needs.
>>  Interactive support, such as telephone and ssh is billed at $15 per
>> hour with a two hour minimum.
>>> The speakup manual i have references keys I cannot even find on the
>>> keyboard
>>> due to the names given them.
>> Can you give an example?
>>> and there is simply too little basic guide information on Linux in
>>> general
>>> that I can find.
>> Oh, there is lots of documentation out there.  If in doubt, you can
>> ask almost anything of Google and it should find something.  As you
>> say, the problem is that it isn't all in one place.  However, there is
>> the Debian Handbook which is very complete.
>>  http://www.debian-handbook.info/
>>> How much can one accomplish using the equivalent of .bat file work in
>>> Linux?
>> A lot more than in DOS.  Can you give an example of what you want to do?
>>> I have already decided that what I will be able to do with this
>>> machine may
>>> be confined to one or two functions only, media that I cannot access
>>> others,
>>> and extra word processing, assuming the Linux edition of wordperfect
>>> I have
>>> can be incorporated into debian.
>> No, it isn't accessible.  You would have to either use an editor like
>> Emacs or install X Windows, Gnome and LibreOffice.  Your machine can
>> do a lot once you learn.  If you have Wordperfect for DOS, you can run
>> it in Linux and it's accessible.
>>> Oh and that my printer will work lol.
>> Printers can be a challenge.  If it works in DOS, it probably works in
>> Linux as well.
>>> Using something like Ice Wiesel, the debian equal of firefox, can I
>>> manage
>>> things with scripts prepared in advance for the effort?
>> What do you mean by this?
>>> My computer is not a toy, it is a tool. I require my tools to function
>>> efficiently without having to rebuild them once a day. part of why I
>>> never
>>> went to windows. the risks was just too great for me professionally.
>>> If I cannot learn Linux as I learned dos, by which I mean sit in the same
>>> room with a person, learn how to do some basic tasks and where to go for
>>> help, then I must work around what I do not now.
>>> that might? mean using scripting for those basic tasks, if those can be
>>> created then edited to plug in the ever changing locations.
>>> Thoughts?
>>> Karen
>> Debian itself is generally very stable, even if you run testing.  I
>> totally understand that you don't want to fight with your machine.
>>  Squeeze is very stable and shouldn't require much maintenance unless
>> your drive goes bad or something happens outside of the norm.  One
>> thing I can say about Debian stable releases is that they're rock
>> solid.  I ran them on a business server and never had a crash due to
>> the packages.  I don't know what you do professionally and what kinds
>> of scripts you need, so I can't comment on what will be a better
>> choice for you.  I can say that not every DOS program has an
>> equivalent in Linux and a lot of things work very differently.  If you
>> can use a shell account, you've already learned a lot.  If you're
>> starting from scratch with only a DOS background, plan on a lot of
>> trial and error.  It took me a few years before I really felt
>> comfortable with using Linux on an almost daily basis.  If it helps,
>> you can probably go back to DOS if you just can't get anywhere with
>> Linux, but please give it lots of time and patience.  You can probably
>> do almost anything you want once you learn the basics.  linux is very
>> powerful and has a lot of tools.  There are books just on shell
>> scripting, for example.  For now, let's just take a small step at a
>> time and start with the basics.  I hope you'll take advantage of my
>> support services.
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Christopher (CJ)
chaltain at Gmail

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