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New user



Hi all

I'd like to introduce a new emacspeak user to the fold. He's Laurent 
de Fontenay <12925683@rgo.sun.ac.za> and he'll be on this list as 
soon as he gets some subscription gremlins sorted out. (Ann Parsons: 
if you're reading this, Laurent told me that he's willing to try 
Linux partly because of something you wrote.)

Installation report follows. Skip this if you're in a hurry.

I did the installation. Machine: Pentium 75 - 200, 133Mhz, 53.25 
bogomips; 32Mb RAM. At first I tried Debian, because I like the 
thorough documentation and the deb package format, and because I 
wanted to try it. Also, our university is a Debian mirror. After a 
couple of days, however, I gave up on Debian for now. 

Reasons: 

first, the stable distribution includes only emacspeak-8 and I wanted 
to install 10. When I added unstable to the places apt looks for 
packages and selected emacspeak-10, this precipitated a cascade of 
installs and upgrades, and also revealed that the local mirror of 
unstable is incomplete. The resulting installation was wonky as hell. 
Eventually it even rebooted in readonly mode, and fsck spewed pages 
of complaints. 

second, a tool like RedHat's sndconfig seems to be missing and I 
didn't have the time or knowhow to configure kernel sound modules. 
The advice I got was mostly "recompile the kernel!" but I know that 
shouldn't be necessary anymore.

Anyway, so I installed RedHat 6.0 (also mirrored locally, wow). This 
went smooth as butter. I ran emacspeakconfig, selected Dolphin 
Apollo, entered emacspeak, and got the greeting. Fantastic. Auditory 
icons also work. (Soundcard: SoundBlaster 16 PnP)

This isn't an Apollo II, though. Problems were: speech stopped upon 
encountering a comma, a colon, a quotation mark (sometimes). The 
first letter of the block to be spoken wasn't pronounced. Rapid 
movement confused the synth. 

Luckily Laurent has a Braille'n'Speak as well. I selected it using 
emacspeakconfig and it's working fine with none of the Apollo's 
hangups. 

I haven't perceived any voice-lock functionality yet. Perhaps it 
needs more configuration and RTFM.  

I installed w3 and it seems to either work fine or not at all, 
telling me stuff like 

    Could not contact host: google.com / 80 Attempted using gateway
    method: native ---- Error was: ---- File error: "connection
    failed", "connection refused", "google.com", "WWW 

It reached the w3 homepage with no trouble. 

At the moment, the way it draws tables and frames seem obstructive. 
I'm sure the docs tell how to fix this. 

cheers,
--jean                                       

PS I'm also going to try mbrola with emacspeak again (bart -- any 
newer drivers?), as well as screader with festival. Festival 
segfaults at the moment. I installed mbrola, screader and festival 
from RPMs on October 1998 CD's of the blinux archive. 

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