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First install experience

Hi list,

this a diary-type report of my first emacspeak installation 
experience. I hope it will be of interest to fellow newbies, and 
the pros will see again where a newbie tends to fall on his face. 
Please skip if uninterested.

Today I attempted at last to setup emacspeak on the computer of my 
friend Jacques, who's blind. First I repartitioned his windows95 
drive on the fly, using fips [1], which was super-easy. (I should 
mention that this is my 2nd Linux install ever, and my first one was 
2 weeks ago.) Installed RH5.1 and replaced their broken emacs 
distribution with a good one (it seems a bunch of docs are missing 
from the RH5.1 CD's, and emacspeak won't "make" with it). Installed 
emacspeak and w3 from Hans Zoebelein's Blinux CD's. The CD's are 
invaluable, but more uniform formats (at the moment there are 
.tar.gz, .tgz., .deb and .rpm packages) would be welcome. For 
beginners, it would also be great to have a really basic HOWTO 
explaining what all the stuff on the CD's are, and what is 
immediately useful to get working.

Jacques has lately been using a software DecTalk. I'm trying to find 
out whether it would be possible for him to get a Linux version under 
the same licence that he bought for Windowns. Or even to replace the 
Windows DecTalk with a Linux one. Anyway, for the moment the DecTalk 
is inaccessible from Linux. He has an old Dolphin Apollo and a 
Braille'n'speak. Unfortunately some cables have gone astray, so I 
couldn't test them yet.

I installed festival and mbrola. I'm still feeling my way around 
them, don't know exactly what I can expect. I got some errors 
complaining that for example the fr2 database was out of date, and 
that I had the wrong binary format voice databases for my 
architecture. I did get festival to speak fortunes from 
/usr/games/fortune, and mbrola to recite its demo's. The speech they 
generate is excellent.

Of course, I'm really hoping that they can serve emacspeak, but I've 
heard no mention of any such possibility here, so I guess that's out. 
Festival had a mention of use from Emacs, but only 
"festival-speak-buffer" or something, no AUI.

I attempted to set up dial-up networking (my first time), but had no 
luck at all. 

--jean                                       . .. ..... ///\oo/\\\

[1] http://www.igd.fhg.de/~aschaefe/fips/

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