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OK, you techies. I'll handle the newbie questions. You handle the
technical ins and outs of getting this guy totally set up in
Emacspeak. I can't tell him how to configure the sound stuff because
somebody did it for me. So, you do the techie stuff. I'll handle the
Now, old Bill, I have to smile because I, like you kept trying to
equate Linux and emacspeak with Windows. I kept refering to windows
in Linux and I kept trying to make my mind connect what I was seeing
in emacspeak with Windows. I didn't have any other reference except
DOS. DOS was helpful, but it didn't let me see the total picture.
While I was in that state, somebody on this list wrote to me and said,
"Stop thinking in Windows. You're thinking the wrong way!"
I read the message, and I became angry! How could he say this to me!?
How dare he? I was trying to learn, and he was yelling at me!
<grinning> The thing is, Bill, that he was right. You do have to
think in a different way. Emacspeak is not like Windows. There are
some similarities in that you can copy between buffers, but the whole
concept of the Audio Desktop is so fluid, so fantastically right for a
blind person, Windows just can't cut it.
I'm not going to yell at you, Bill. I am going to speak calmly and
clearly, hopefully. First, wipe your mind of all Windows referents.
As you learn, only put back what makes sense to you. Second, think of
the desktop as a series of compartments, rooms, or folders, maybe,
that are all together in front of you. Unlike Windows, this is a
desktop stacked with papers and books that you can put your hands on
and read! There are no visual images here. No menus, no text popping
up in strange boxes that you have to navigate. Nothing like that.
This is a very real, tactile, auditory, environment. You do not have
to stretch your mind at all to understand it.
A buffer is not a "window". Rather, it is more like an entire file or
program. Window implies what you see on the screen. Buffer, on the
other hand, implies that you have the entire contents of a file ready
Now, Here is what you start with on your desktop. You have your
shell, your calendar, your web browser, your mailer, and any other
files or applications you might be working on. Information is flowing
between and among these things. You can send web pages to your
mailer. You can write web pages to a file for future reference. You
can look at your calendar and make appointments as you talk to someone
on the phone. All these things are accessible merely by choosing them
from the list of open buffers or by calling for them.
As for the audible icons, that is exactly what they are, but it's more
than that, more! You get audible feedback when you change buffers.
You can get audible feedback when you quit a program. You get audible
feedback when you enter the buffers list. Not only that, Bill. You
get a change in the Dectalk at the beginning of paragraphs. I
understand that the audible feedback in C mode is astonishing. (I
don't program in C so I'm only speaking from second hand knowledge.)
All the little pictures that your sighted friends get in Windows, we
get in Emacspeak, only they aren't pictures, they're sounds.
One other thing, Bill, before I get thrown out of here for talking
off-topic, you can have more buffers open than Windows ever thought of
allowing you. You can have ten, fifteen, and even twenty open buffers
and Linux just purrs along. Try broadening your mind-set, Bill. I'm
sure you can. I have faith in you.
Ann K. Parsons
email: email@example.com ICQ Number: 33006854
WEB SITE: http://home.eznet.net/~akp
"All that is gold does not glitter. Not all those who wander are lost." JRRT
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