How did people here learn GUIs

Jude DaShiell jdashiel at
Wed Jul 20 16:51:02 UTC 2016

Had you stayed with orgmode, the only area where orgmode has 
inaccessibility is the pdf files it exports.  That could be corrected if 
developers would get together with adobe's accessibility team but to 
best of my knowledge that has yet to happen.

On Tue, 19 Jul 2016, Paul Merrell wrote:

> Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2016 21:53:45
> From: Paul Merrell <marbux at>
> To: Jude DaShiell <jdashiel at>
> Cc: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at>
> Subject: Re: How did people here learn GUIs
> On Tue, Jul 19, 2016 at 4:33 PM, Jude DaShiell <jdashiel at> wrote:
>> Paul,
>> Have you tried orgmode for an outliner yet?  Also, have you tried cinnamon
>> yet?  If you haven't, org-mode is part of any current version of emacs and
>> you get to its documentation by running info org.  Cinnamon is a flavor of
>> operating system offered by debian fedora and other distributions.
> Yes. I've tried it but didn't get into it because I found my home with
> NoteCase Pro and its embedded Lua scripting interpreter.  On Cinnamon,
> I've booted it (the Linux Mint version) from a live DVD a few times.
> But I'm looking for continuity in an OS/desktop for productivity
> reasons, so have stuck with the Mate desktop.
> Best regards,
> Paul
>> On Tue, 19 Jul 2016, Paul Merrell wrote:
>>> Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2016 15:22:01
>>> From: Paul Merrell <marbux at>
>>> Reply-To: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at>
>>> To: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at>
>>> Subject: Re: How did people here learn GUIs
>>> I guess I'm going to show my age here. I began my computing experience
>>> running a DEC PDP8 with a proprietary operating system (punched paper
>>> tape days). That was followed by several computerized phototypesetting
>>> machines made by Compugraphic, including one of the very first area
>>> composition systems, the Compugraphic ACM 9000. (My first career was
>>> as a typographer.)
>>> My first personal computer was a KeyPro IV portable (26 pounds), which
>>> came with a CP/M operating system. I quickly discovered Rex Conn's
>>> ZCPR modifications for the CPU that enabled more versatile batch
>>> programming. I stuck with CP/M until MS DOS was at version 5.0, at
>>> which time I switched to DR DOS with the 4DOS extensions. 4DOS (also
>>> by Rex Conn) gave DOS approximately the capabilities of the UNIX KORN
>>> shell of that period. Later I added WordPerfect Corp.'s Shell 4.0 for
>>> my GUI. Shell was roughly the equivalent of Windows 3.11 but was menu
>>> rather than window and icon based. And unlike Windows it was fully
>>> programmable and had task switching memory management that was vastly
>>> superior to Windows 3.11 (I used to run Windows 3.11 as an app under
>>> Shell 4.0.)
>>> Eventually, I was forced onto Windows 98 as program support for DOS
>>> faded away. But Win98 was full of bugs and I never liked the
>>> window/icon graphical user interface (I have the same issue with OS
>>> X).  Many of my DOS programs (including Shell 4.0) could no longer be
>>> used because they lacked long file name support and would convert long
>>> file names created by Windows and programs to 8.3 format, which would
>>> bring the system to its knees.
>>> Windows XP was next. There were a lot fewer critical bugs than Win98.
>>> I regained a lot of the batch processing versatility by running Rex
>>> Conn's TakeCommand on top of XP. At the time, TakeCommand used a
>>> menu-driven paradigm.
>>> I was forced to take a medical retirement in 2002 (I had been a lawyer
>>> in my second career) because of an injury that vastly curtailed my
>>> brain's working memory. At that point I had been aware of Linux for
>>> several years and after cursing a dual boot setup with Kubuntu for a
>>> few months bought a second PC for it and switched the XP machine to
>>> Win7. By this time, TakeCommand had largely switched to the
>>> windows/icon paradigm but Win 7 was far more stable for the must-have
>>> Windows programs. And I stuck with Kubuntu until KDE 4.0 was imposed.
>>> The productivity hit from all the KDE 4.0 eye candy and gadgetry sent
>>> me running for a new Linux desktop. I wound up using Linux Mint with
>>> the Mate desktop because of the developers' commitment to keeping the
>>> Gnome 2 desktop experience alive and there's access to all of the
>>> Ubuntu distro's packages. Since my retirement, my need for Windows
>>> programs has largely subsided and I mostly use the Mint box plus a
>>> laptop that also runs Mint.
>>> Because of the brain injury, use of an outliner for taking notes
>>> became important. I wasted a few years looking for an outliner that
>>> was both cross-platform and capable of a minimalist HTML export with a
>>> hyperlinked table of contents.  I finally found the one I was looking
>>> for in NoteCase Pro. I fell in love with it to the extent that my
>>> retirement hobby for the last 5 years or so is assisting in its
>>> development as a volunteer, improving its accessibility (still a long
>>> way to go there), writing its Help file, and writing extensions for it
>>> in the Lua scripting language. I suspect that because of its
>>> extensibility it is among the geekiest of outliners out there.
>>> I love Linux because of the powerful command line with the BASH shell.
>>> Windows, icons, and mouse pointers at the OS level have all seemed
>>> like giant leaps backwards to me. But the advertising myth that they
>>> boost productivity seems unstoppable. Linux at least offers me a
>>> choice.
>>> Best regards,
>>> Paul;
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Blinux-list mailing list
>>> Blinux-list at
>> --


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