Emacspeak question

I have installed on my PC, running linux,
emacspeak 6.0.  I am not entirely happy with the
way I can communicate over my modem to a main frame.
I cannot get minicom to speak, so I am running kermit.
It works pretty well (perhaps too slow I think) when I
run it as root, either from the shell or using "term" within emacs.
However, it doesn't work at all when I run it
as another user.
I have tried checking the permissions to files.
they all seem to be ok.
Any hints?  Is there a better communications program?
Many thanks.

PS.  Is it easy to update emacspeak6.0 to 7.0,
or must I essentially start afresh?

Larry Baggett