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Deciding what to install and how to set up a system



Hi Jason--
Jason White writes:
A good set of questions--
since you are clearly doing your homework, I'll answer these
in detail below.

 > Currently I am organizing the computer, and the speech synthesizer is on
 > its way.
 > 
 > I wish to raise several questions. Firstly, in a recent message on this
 > list it was suggested that the Emacs keyboard map is easier to use when X
 > has been installed. Is this of any advantage when using Emacspeak, and if
 > so, what are the benefits?
The above is misleading.
Linux has a number of keyboard maps 
--it starts up with a default map but you will find several
 > other keymaps in the kbd directory under /usr/lib
X itself starts up with its own keymap.
How you customize the the linux console keymap 
is different depending on if you are running X--
for the rest of this message I will assume you are not.

The linux console keyboard map is modified by using 
program loadkeys and specifying a keymap file as an argument
--see the mini kbd faq.
If you look in your linux installation under
/usr/lib/kbd/keytables 
you will see a number of keymap files --emacs.map and
emacs2.map are of special interest since they hack the
keymap to turn the alt key into a meta key.

On my emacspeak page at Cornell you will also find a small
tar archive 
that tells emacs to be smart about how to use additional
keys that are available--

 >Also, does it require merely that X libraries
 > be present on the system, 
You just need X --specifically the X libraries present on
 the system.
Emacs can be built either with or without the X libraries --
most Linux installations will install both
 i.e. emacs-with-x11 and emacs-with-no-x11
in general you run into fewer  conflicts 
the version linked with X --at the cost of a larger memory
 >footprint.
You are also better off installing the X libraries 
because tools like ghostscript go looking for it 
even when run from the command line --primarily because the
 font libs need it.

>or does X need to be started before Emacs (and
 > hence Emacspeak) is run?
I never start X on my laptop--
only started it a couple of times to make sure the X install
was correctly configured.
 > 
 > Second question: is it possible to configure a Linux system so that when
 > booted, it will log in as a default user (without root privileges, of
 > course) and run Emacs (presumably via the .profile or .login file of the
 > shell, depending on whether one uses BASH or TCSH)?
I would recommend against doing this.
Instead, have your Linux system configured 
so that when the machine is fully booted it plays 
a sound file --on my system HAL comes up and says 
"I'm completely operational ..."
--this is a simple matter of putting an appropriate play
 > line at the end of 
/etc/rc.d/rc.local

After you hear this, type your login name and password
--have your .profile (linux uses bash as the default shell
and I recommend staying with it)
send out some text to the speech box e.g.
"$user successfully logged in"
or have it play a sound file.

When you hear your login cue, type emacs.

The above mirrors what I do on my laptop.
Once logged in on your laptop you need never logout --unless
you are lending your machine to someone else of course.
Most modern laptops can be told to go into pause mode when
you hit the power switch and this is what I do.
So when you resume work, you neither login or go through the
overhead of starting up an emacs session.

 > 
 > Third and final question: if I install a network card and connect to the
 > university's network, it will be possible to connect to the Unix system
 > through which I receive my mail. This system supports POP and IMAP
 > protocols. Since my laptop computer would only be running and connected to
 > the network during limited periods, I would need to fetch the mail from my
 > Unix account and read it. Using Emacspeak, and taking advantage of the
 > mail protocols available, which mail package would you
 > recommend? I should
I would recommend the emacs mail package vm
simply because that is the one I use.
VM is not part of the emac sdistribution, but downloading
  and installing it is fairly easy.
It can be told to pick up mail from different pop maildrops.
Other terminal based mail readers 
such as pine and elm can handle pop as well,
but using those with emacspeak will turn emacspeak into a
 > fairly dumb screenreader.


 > add that, on the Unix system, I use procmail to filter incoming e-mail
 > into different incoming files.
This is orthogonal to the pop question above.
Note that once 
you have had procmail filter mail into different mail spools
 > (I do this also)
the mail is out of the hands of the pop server.
Here is what I recommend in this situation:

1) Fetch unfiltered mail via pop to the laptop
--supposedly the unfiltered mail is the most urgent

2) For mail automatically filed, I recommend never moving
   that over to the laptop--
instead, run emacspeak
on the remote unix box and have it talk to your laptop over
   a speech server--
again all this is a snap once you are up and running.

I am typing this from home on my laptop--
but the keystrokes are going to a remote emacspeak session
running on my workstation at work.
The message I am replying to was filtered by procmail into a
blinux folder which I am reading using vm in the remote
emacspeak session.
 > 
 > Thank you for your consideration, and I apologize in advance for being
 > such a neophyte. If any of these questions can be readily answered by
 > reading a FAQ, browsing a mailing list archive of reading a manual, please
 > do not hesitate to say so.
 > 
 > Jason.
 > 
 > 
 > ---
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 > Blinux software archive at ftp://leb.net/pub/blinux
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 > with subject line: unsubscribe

-- 
Best Regards,
--raman

      Adobe Systems                 Tel: 1 (408) 536 3945   (W14-612)
      Advanced Technology Group     Fax: 1 (408) 537 4042 
      (W14 129) 345 Park Avenue     Email: raman@adobe.com 
      San Jose , CA 95110 -2704     Email:  raman@cs.cornell.edu
      http://labrador.corp.adobe.com/~raman/        (Adobe Intranet)
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----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are my own and in no way should be taken
as representative of my employer, Adobe Systems Inc.
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