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Outline of emacspeak and linux as a chroot on android



Hi Folks,

Here is how I have been running emacspeak for a while now.  I have done this on two different models of android phone and two different models of tablet (as well as some other non standard devices) However, it has some drawbacks, the two largest are that the speech server can die and only gives visual feedback to that fact and the speed is fixed and limited by android's top speed.

Ok, but you still want it? So, here is more info.

This is not a "How to install" but rather an outline.  I am finding I have very little time these days, I am hoping that here and there I can pick off each of the steps below and thereby produce the full documentation over the next month or so.  In the meantime you can see whats involved and take a stab at those parts that look easy for you (based on your skills or background).

Assumptions : You have a keyboard for your android device. Either a device that has one or a usb host capable android device and a usb keyboard that works with your device or a bluetooth keyboard that works with your device.  Also, you have enough free space to do this.  The free space will be used by disk images that hold the linux root system and your home space.  My system also has a separate partition for mail, so I have a 2 gig linux root, a 3 gig home directory and mounted under that a 4 gig Mail directory, but that's me, you may get away with much less. 

Remember, the full "how to" will evolve out of this outline. This is not that yet.

1 - You need a rooted android device.
Rooting your device is device specific.  I will not be instructing you how to do that part. 

2 - Add something like Rom Toolbox which will get you busybox, su and jackpal terminal emulator, and add a hook into quick launch on to your android device so you can bind particular keys to launch apps.
I will fill in suggestions based on the particular apps I use.

3 - Add the emacspeak speech server apk to your device
I will add links to that here with some instructions on use

4 - install one of the linux on android linux distributions on your device.
I can tell you about the one I currently use, others you are on your own

5 - modify your linux install to have users (most of them expect you to run as root) and to not do things you don't care about - most start vnc and ssh servers.

I will list the changes I have made to do these things,  I have send most of these changes to the folks maintaining the linux distro so perhaps they will not be needed in the future.  But they still are needed now.

6 - modify the start up scripts to use multiple disk images (for root and home at least) expand modify the linux install to use a separate image for your user's home space, create that image.

7 - clean up some files in the /etc directory of the linux install so df and other standard tools work as you would expect

8 - inside linux install a few files emacspeak and the server need  

9 - inside linux install emacs and emacspeak

10 - configure emacspeak to use the android emacspeak tts

Running Emacspeak

Start the android emacspeak server apk
Then, 
  open a terminal
  become root
  start linux
  start screen
  go to one of the screens running as the user
  start emacspeak

The screen step is important as android may kill your terminal if it thinks it needs the space, but often (not always, but often) the screen session is still running and you can reconnect to it and pick up where you left off.

Ok, this posting is a start.  I will expand on this as time permits.
As I said at the outset, not for the faint of hart.
If someone else has time to create and maintain an emacspeak enabled linux image to simplify the above, that would be great, but until that happens, this is what we have.

-Greg


--

Greg Priest-Dorman
gregpd@google.com



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