LHS Show Notes #059

Introduction:

  • Apologies for the delays in releasing new episodes.
  • This episode is an interview with Jonathan Nadeau of Frostbite Systems and a user of the Linux screen-reading program, Orca.

Interview:

  • Orca is a screen reading program integrated with the Gnome desktop. It’s available for most Linux distributions.
  • Russ and Jonathan discuss how a sight-impaired individual might install Linux. There are a couple of Linux distributions that have screen-reader support during the installation: Talking Arch Linux and Vinux.
  • Speakup is another accessibility tool, but one that speaks the command line.
  • Vinux is an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with Orca built-in, allowing a sight-impaired individual to install it from the CD. Vinux is the distribtion Frostbite Systems normally installs for it’s sight-impaired customers.
  • Slackware has a Speakup kernel, and more distributions are including the Speakup module as well. Several distributions can be installed using Speakup. Some instructions are available at the Speakup site.
  • Russ mentioned the Quick Learning Techies Show (QLTS) that also occasionally discusses accessibility issues.
  • Jonathan discusses the pros and cons of Vinux, as well as his concerns about it being Ubuntu-based.
  • Richard asks Jonathan for more details about how Vinux talks a new user through the install.
  • If the application is GTK-based, it will likely work with Orca; if it’s QT-based, it probably won’t work with Orca.
  • Ted’s software (WA0EIR), including PSK31LX, works via ssh, so the programs are controllable from the command line and would work with the Speakup module.
  • Meanwhile, Russ attempts to install Orca during the show.
  • Jonathan mentions another podcast he does, This Week in Fedora, and says there is an amateur radio Fedora spin. (I could not find a link to a specific spin of Fedora for amateur radio, but there is a Special Interest Group. -Ed.)
  • Frostbite Systems sells desktops and laptops with Linux pre-installed. Customers can choose from Debian, Fedora, Linux Mint, OpenSuse, Ubuntu and Vinux. A portion of each sale is donated back to the distribution chosen.
  • Russ asks Jonathan about the hardware he uses in Frostbite systems. All of the laptops/notebooks have all-Intel hardware, while some desktops have nVidia video cards. All are completely Linux-compatible.
  • Russ then examines the specifications of some of the Frostbite computers.
  • Jonathan also produces several podcasts through Frostbite Media:
    • Frostcast: interviews with project leaders of various GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source projects.
    • This week in Fedora: interviews with people involved with the Fedora project.
    • This week in Debian: interviews with people within the Debian community.
    • Orcacast is on hiatus, but should resume in the not too distant future.

Contact Info:

Outtakes:

Russ Woodman, K5TUX, co-hosts the Linux in the Ham Shack podcast which is available for download in both MP3 and OGG audio format. Contact him at [email protected].

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