Questions about setting up a new computer

Janina Sajka janina at
Sun Jul 17 00:47:38 UTC 2016

Hi, John:

You've already gotten excellent advice on list about modern Linux
installations, so I'm not going to repeat all that. Suffice it to say
that what you're trying to achieve is pretty much the default install
these days, i.e. the tmpfs in ram, etc., etc.

My question to you is what kind of machine? Are we talking about an
office tower here? Or is this going to be a laptop?

If the former--then there's lots to talk about. But, if it's a laptop, I
strongly suggest you consider getting it from an outfit like Emperor

You'll pay a bit more for the machine than you would pay for the same
model elsewhere, but it will have Linux installed to your
specifications, and you'll have their support as you learn to use your
new machine. That's worth the price difference, imo.

PS: Go ahead and have them install everything you need to run the
graphical desktop with Orca's braille support, but tell them you want
the console to be your default boot environment. That's a very simple
systemctl command these days, and leaves you with all the flexibility
you can ever want, i.e. you can start the gui with a startx command
whenever you do want to run Firefox, or something else on the desktop.


John J. Boyer writes:
> I've more or less decided to replacer my ten-year-old Linux machine. It 
> is giving error messages intermittently. Most of them are about sector 
> errors, but others seem to have nothing to do with the hard drive. It 
> may be more and more troublesome, even if the hard drive is replaced. 
> Besides, it would be nice to get more up-to-date hardware.
> I'm thinking of getting 32 GB of ram. 8 GB will be for normal use. The 
> other 24 GB will be in a ramdisk. Do I need a paging file? 8 GB of 
> available ram should be more than enough. The paging file on my present 
> machine always shows 0 usage, even with only 4 GB of ram. How do I avoid 
> setting up a paging file during installation? I'm using Debian Jessie.
> How do i set up the ramdisk? I want to assign the temp directory to it. 
> It might be nice if the bin, sbin and usr directories were loaded onto 
> it at boot-up.
> Thanks,
> John
> -- 
> John J. Boyer; President,
> AbilitiesSoft, Inc.
> Email: john.boyer at
> Website:
> Status: 501(C)(3) Nonprofit
> Location: Madison, Wisconsin USA
> Mission: To develop softwares and provide STEM services for people with 
>          disabilities which are available at no cost.
> _______________________________________________
> Blinux-list mailing list
> Blinux-list at


Janina Sajka,	Phone:	+1.443.300.2200
			sip:janina at
		Email:	janina at

Linux Foundation Fellow
Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup:

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Chair, Accessible Platform Architectures

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