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Tag Archives: speakup
I am not vane enough to imagine that anyone missed me, but because it has been a while since I wrote anything I thought I would explain why. My old PC that was becoming a daily test of my patience and commitment to purity of thought and speech has now become my new toy. I recently bought a new desktop, so I got two for one. I’ve been itching to get my hands on Linux for several years, but the obstacle was always that it didn’t have a screen reader. The only thing I knew of was an operating environment called Emacspeak. From the sound of it you need applications that are coded for it. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a replacement OS, though ditching Windows wouldn’t bother me in the least. I certainly wasn’t looking for one for which access to applications would be limited. I decided to wait until someone came up with a better solution.
In the last couple of years, thanks to building the web site for the church and foreseeing a need to become more expert in the most likely OS for building out servers in the future, I’ve become interested again in trying it out. I ran across Speakup, an integrated solution for making the GNU Linux console speech enabled. Fortunately I still had my old Dectalk serial speech synthesizer, since most of the installs that are speech enabled require a hardware synthesizer. That includes the one I chose. I didn’t really know what I was doing. I still don’t. The Speakup modified distribution of Fedora I chose basically because I recognized the name didn’t just start talking when I put in the DVD I had burned. Right in the middle of my effort the site where I got the image disappeared, so I couldn’t get to the documentation. It should have been a red flag when the link from the Speakup site to the documentation didn’t work the first time I tried it.
With a little trial and error and the knowledge that all the flavors have similar command sets, I was able to get the install talking. Once done and rebooted, it stopped talking. I worked that out too, but I have yet to learn how to make it boot that way every time. Now I’m ready for the adventure. I went and found a few beginner Linux books to get me started. I had hoped for a speech enabled graphical environment, but the power of Linux is in the command line anyway, so maybe being forced to learn it up front will serve me well.
So, if I remain silent, you’ll know where I am.