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Old 04-14-2008, 08:08 AM
Jude DaShiell
 
Default Reg Blind

grml has xwindows components too provided you can figure out how to get
them installed and talking. Since I have grml on a laptop and myself am
totally blind that's the next project I have in mind. The orca package
may or may not be in the grml archives, I'll have to check or perhaps
gnopernicus is what's in the archives.




On Sun, 30 Mar 2008, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:


On Sat, Mar 29, 2008 at 10:06:28PM -0500, Mumia W.. wrote:

On Sat, Mar 29, 2008 at 09:11:13PM +0000, Suzy Hesketh wrote:

I am registered blind but I do have some limited sight. I have
never used Debian but I have looked at Dream. My IRC administrator
uses Debian and so does my friend who runs the UK server and he has
asked me to be an Operator on the server with him, so the server is
covered while he is not available.

So I have decided to have a go at learning Debian. Would you please
tell me if there is a live version of the programme that I can use
so I can get the feel of it before installing the full package?


I think that grml is also based on Debian but it is primarily text
tools. I suppose it depends if you have a large screen, use a
framebuffer with large fonts, or otherwise can use a text screen easily
or if XWindow is better for you.


Also is there any way for me to change the screen setting on Debian,
so I can make it easier for me to see?



As root, do "dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg" and select the lower
screen resolutions.


Do you want to reduce the resolution? I would have thought the the
higher the resolution, the smoother the images, then just choose larger
fonts. I have never used Gnome so don't know what you can do with that,
but at least KDE and KDE apps, and Xfce4 allow you to change the font
for everything on the screen. IIRC, Konqueror (KDE's browser) has lots
of accessibility settings and it handles font changes on the rendered
screen easily.

The best place to start learning Debian is to do some reading. I hope
that you have tools to assist with this. I would suggest, in order:

1. Debian-reference
available on the website or as a deb

2. Debian Installation manual
ditto

3. Aptitude HOWTO manual. Aptitude is the package manager
recommended in the release notes. There are other package
managers. Note that in some situations it is better to update
packages without the X server running. People who are
comfortable with apt (the predecessor to aptitude) continue to
use it just fine but it lacks the option of a full-screen
(curses) interface.

Once you have read these three, I'd suggest either using a spare
partition on your hard drive or adding a drive and installing real
debian on that. The liveCDs will be set up according to their
designer's ideals and they may not meet your specific needs.


Have a look at the deian website, at the mailing lists tab. You'll find
links to a list (with descriptions) of all the debian mailing lists.
You'll also find the code of conduct so you know the conventions we
follow on this list.

Note that when I say "see" or "look" I mean whatever works for you. I
suppose if you're using a screen reader, it would be "have a listen".

Welcome to Debian.

Doug.


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Old 04-14-2008, 09:55 AM
"Adrian Levi"
 
Default Reg Blind

On 14/04/2008, Jude DaShiell <jdashiel@shellworld.net> wrote:
> grml has xwindows components too provided you can figure out how to get them
> installed and talking. Since I have grml on a laptop and myself am totally
> blind that's the next project I have in mind. The orca package may or may
> not be in the grml archives, I'll have to check or perhaps gnopernicus is
> what's in the archives.

Jude, I am in awe. Until you typed that I hadn't stopped and though
about how difficult it would be to install a brand new operating
system from scratch with out any sight.

Learning and installing Debian for me (while learning linux at the
same time), was a very sight intensive task. reading logs, reading
dmesg, reading the output of commands trying many permeations on
things to get them to work. etc. Installing from scratch until you
have your reading programs installed and working from my point of view
must be a mammoth task.

What do you do if you can't get audio to work or a package doesn't
install correctly or the machine doesn't boot. I'd imagine that
whatever program you use can't read post/bios messages?

I'd like to hear more of your experiences if you'd like to ramble, If
you don't, I'll go and sit in the corner again.

Adrian


--
24x7x365 != 24x7x52 Stupid or bad maths?
<erno> hm. I've lost a machine.. literally _lost_. it responds to
ping, it works completely, I just can't figure out where in my
apartment it is.


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Old 04-14-2008, 01:58 PM
"Douglas A. Tutty"
 
Default Reg Blind

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 07:55:47PM +1000, Adrian Levi wrote:
> On 14/04/2008, Jude DaShiell <jdashiel@shellworld.net> wrote:
> > grml has xwindows components too provided you can figure out how to get them
> > installed and talking. Since I have grml on a laptop and myself am totally
> > blind that's the next project I have in mind. The orca package may or may
> > not be in the grml archives, I'll have to check or perhaps gnopernicus is
> > what's in the archives.
>
> Jude, I am in awe. Until you typed that I hadn't stopped and though
> about how difficult it would be to install a brand new operating
> system from scratch with out any sight.
>
> Learning and installing Debian for me (while learning linux at the
> same time), was a very sight intensive task. reading logs, reading
> dmesg, reading the output of commands trying many permeations on
> things to get them to work. etc. Installing from scratch until you
> have your reading programs installed and working from my point of view
> must be a mammoth task.
>
> What do you do if you can't get audio to work or a package doesn't
> install correctly or the machine doesn't boot. I'd imagine that
> whatever program you use can't read post/bios messages?
>
> I'd like to hear more of your experiences if you'd like to ramble, If
> you don't, I'll go and sit in the corner again.

[not sniped on purpose]

Perhaps debian should have an accessible install CD in addition to all
the different DTE install CDs. E.g. one where sound works on most boxes
and comes up with voice prompts automatically. Ideally, it would be a
whole new installer with question/answer dialogs with a repeat function
as in (say that again?).

Doug.


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Old 04-14-2008, 06:04 PM
Brian McKee
 
Default Reg Blind

On 14-Apr-08, at 9:58 AM, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:

Perhaps debian should have an accessible install CD in addition to all
the different DTE install CDs. E.g. one where sound works on most
boxes

and comes up with voice prompts automatically. Ideally, it would be a
whole new installer with question/answer dialogs with a repeat
function

as in (say that again?).


I'm no expert - but isn't that the wrong approach?
EVERY install disc should have 'accessibility' options built right in
shouldn't they?


Brian
 
Old 04-14-2008, 10:13 PM
Andrew Sackville-West
 
Default Reg Blind

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 02:04:39PM -0400, Brian McKee wrote:
> On 14-Apr-08, at 9:58 AM, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:
>> Perhaps debian should have an accessible install CD in addition to all
>> the different DTE install CDs. E.g. one where sound works on most
>> boxes
>> and comes up with voice prompts automatically. Ideally, it would be a
>> whole new installer with question/answer dialogs with a repeat
>> function
>> as in (say that again?).
>
> I'm no expert - but isn't that the wrong approach?
> EVERY install disc should have 'accessibility' options built right in
> shouldn't they?

I agree with you in theory, but I think in practice it may not work
due to size constraints (especially in the smaller images: net
install, businesscard).

Doug, I think it's a great idea -- I wonder just how complicated it is
to get sound up and working during the install... It can't be that
bad, I think windows does it.

A
 
Old 04-14-2008, 11:39 PM
"Douglas A. Tutty"
 
Default Reg Blind

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 03:13:07PM -0700, Andrew Sackville-West wrote:
> > On 14-Apr-08, at 9:58 AM, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:
> >> Perhaps debian should have an accessible install CD in addition to all
> >> the different DTE install CDs. E.g. one where sound works on most
> >> boxes
> >> and comes up with voice prompts automatically. Ideally, it would be a
> >> whole new installer with question/answer dialogs with a repeat
> >> function
> >> as in (say that again?).

> Doug, I think it's a great idea -- I wonder just how complicated it is
> to get sound up and working during the install... It can't be that
> bad, I think windows does it.

If it turns out to be difficult (perhaps due to size constraints),
perhaps there could be one or two popular (cheap) hardware options for
people who find it doesn't work. E.g. "If you don't hear "Welcome to
the Debian Installer" when you boot the installer, you may attach one of
the following to your computer temporarily during the install: sb
(supports a lot of cards), or perhaps a USB device that is easy to find
and cheap.

I don't know what all would be requried to get sound working on the
install, or how much space it would take. Perhaps the OP (since he/she
has the most knowledge of specific requirements) could forward this
thread to the debian-boot list (who are responsible for the installer).
I wonder if it could be done in time for Lenny.

If it can't be part of the installer, since the installer allows
pre-seeding for automated installs, perhaps a script could be written
that runs under multiple-operating systems (perhaps that means a sh
script and a dos bat file, I don't know) to create the pre-seed file, to
work in conjuction with a pre-made netinst.iso specifically altered to
look for the pre-seed file on e.g. a USB stick or a floppy disk. It
could be a feature of the script to assemble a complete USB hd-media
install to include the boot, the installer, the pre-seed file, and the
netinst.iso (or perhaps a companion CD1 which includes all the packages
required to create an accessiblity system out-of-the-box).

Doug.


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Old 04-15-2008, 04:48 PM
Andrew Sackville-West
 
Default Reg Blind

On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 07:39:40PM -0400, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:
> On Mon, Apr 14, 2008 at 03:13:07PM -0700, Andrew Sackville-West wrote:
> > > On 14-Apr-08, at 9:58 AM, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:
> > >> Perhaps debian should have an accessible install CD in addition to all
> > >> the different DTE install CDs. E.g. one where sound works on most
> > >> boxes
> > >> and comes up with voice prompts automatically. Ideally, it would be a
> > >> whole new installer with question/answer dialogs with a repeat
> > >> function
> > >> as in (say that again?).
>
> > Doug, I think it's a great idea -- I wonder just how complicated it is
> > to get sound up and working during the install... It can't be that
> > bad, I think windows does it.
>
> If it turns out to be difficult (perhaps due to size constraints),
> perhaps there could be one or two popular (cheap) hardware options for
> people who find it doesn't work. E.g. "If you don't hear "Welcome to
> the Debian Installer" when you boot the installer, you may attach one of
> the following to your computer temporarily during the install: sb
> (supports a lot of cards), or perhaps a USB device that is easy to find
> and cheap.

hmm... reading this leads me to think that someone who *needs* sound
(a category that most of us *don't* fall into no matter how much we
think we might) would be particularly conscious of the need to have
compatible sound equipment. It may be that the majority of blid
computer users already think of this -- "I need sound that positively
works" -- and purchase equipment accordingly. But that's only a
guess. My point though is that it may not be such a difficult problem
as we think. Put the most common, most compatible, drivers in and call
it good.

Is there a "standard" sound interface? sort of like there is the vesa
driver in video that works with (essentiall) *every* video card?

and one more thought. Could it be possible to write a video driver
that is essentially a dummy? A blind user does need X to actually draw
on the screen (unless they're working with a sighted assistant). It
only needs X to think it's drawing on the screen...

just some, probably very naive, thoughts on the issue...

A
 
Old 04-15-2008, 06:27 PM
Andrei Popescu
 
Default Reg Blind

On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 09:48:36AM -0700, Andrew Sackville-West wrote:

> Is there a "standard" sound interface? sort of like there is the vesa
> driver in video that works with (essentiall) *every* video card?

The Sound Blaster 16 used to be the standard.

> and one more thought. Could it be possible to write a video driver
> that is essentially a dummy? A blind user does need X to actually draw
> on the screen (unless they're working with a sighted assistant). It
> only needs X to think it's drawing on the screen...

apt-cache show xserver-xorg-video-dummy

Regards,
Andrei
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough.
(Albert Einstein)
 
Old 04-16-2008, 01:30 AM
"Douglas A. Tutty"
 
Default Reg Blind

On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 09:48:36AM -0700, Andrew Sackville-West wrote:

> and one more thought. Could it be possible to write a video driver
> that is essentially a dummy? A blind user does need X to actually draw
> on the screen (unless they're working with a sighted assistant). It
> only needs X to think it's drawing on the screen...

What if their software needs to draw to the screen so that other
software can screen scrape? Or does the dummy driver contain video
memory (or whatever) that the screen-scraper can read. New concept for
me.

Doug.


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Old 04-16-2008, 03:56 PM
Andrew Sackville-West
 
Default Reg Blind

On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 09:30:30PM -0400, Douglas A. Tutty wrote:
> On Tue, Apr 15, 2008 at 09:48:36AM -0700, Andrew Sackville-West wrote:
>
> > and one more thought. Could it be possible to write a video driver
> > that is essentially a dummy? A blind user does need X to actually draw
> > on the screen (unless they're working with a sighted assistant). It
> > only needs X to think it's drawing on the screen...
>
> What if their software needs to draw to the screen so that other
> software can screen scrape? Or does the dummy driver contain video
> memory (or whatever) that the screen-scraper can read. New concept for
> me.

good point. I did google a bit on the dummy driver but found no real
info. It seems to be used primarily for running X benchmarks or
somethings. But I didn't look hard


A
 

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