Re: [orca-list] Vibuntu the most accessible Ubuntu Linux live cd

      I see your point.  For me it's only kind of made them work side by side.  I do updates, install packages, and run applications that I know how to from the command line.  I guess I need to learn more of it yeah.  but  haven't had a nead to for it yet either.  As someone that's come from windows, it helps soffen the blow between the opperating systems.  I do, however, think you're right.  What do I really need to start learning on the command line to be successful?  Like to help how my learning progress proceedes.  I've found learning linux not to be as easy as windows, but  can do daily tasks on it...I'm just unsure of where I wanna go with it now.
----- Original Message -----
To: orca
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2008 5:21 AM
Subject: Re: [orca-list] Vibuntu the most accessible Ubuntu Linux live cd

Interesting to hear your comments as someone coming from Windows, it might be good for people to compare notes so that a "starting distro" can be made and be made even better for that group.

I started switching to linux a number of years ago, before orca came on the scene (gnopernicus was the gnome screen reader but it didn't seem to have the same momentum and I never really got into it as distros didn't tend to be so desktop orientated). This meant I was starting out on the command line after having used windows whilst I was at school. Now my comment would be that to learn how to use speakup took hardly anytime at all (I think I read the speakup docs in slackware and this gave me the basics and I was going with speakup within 5 minutes). Now that was very quick for how to use the screen reader, the problem was when I booted the system I got placed at a bash prompt with a cursor and no more help, what should I do? Now this is the problem of a command line, but this isn't a problem because of me needing to use a screen reader, it would be a problem for anyone with no Linux knowledge being put at that bash prompt.

Now compare this to a gnome desktop: a lot more like windows except some keyboard shortcuts are different and some of the menu structures are different, and some other small differences. Orca whilst it is good and getting better, it is more complicated than trying to use speakup (this is due to the task it is doing).

I also personally feel that the command line is where the real power of Linux lies, although the gnome desktop is not bad for some day to day tasks (eg. I am writing my email in gnome at this very moment, I do use orca with firefox, I do use openoffice for viewing word documents (although sometimes I do use catdoc at the command line), etc).

My question is whether the gnome desktop is the best place to start on Linux, as to gain the full benefit you will have to learn the command line and by just giving you a "windows like" desktop helps you just put off learning that command line?

Any comments, particularly those who have learnt things in a different order to me (IE. my order being windows to Linux bash to gnome).

Michael Whapples

On 23/12/42 20:59, Tj wrote:
Ok.  I'll speak my bit.

Not even 2 weeks before, I said "What the hell?" and found the Wubi
installer. I installed ubuntu, with very limited knowledge in linux (I've
taken an opperating systems class in 10th grade of highschool with gnopix,
if that tells you my limits), so I knew the basics like cd, md, ls, man,
yatta yatta.  But listening to Darragh's walkthroughs back in 8.04, and
8.10, I decided if I wasn't going to try it I'd never learn.  Then, Anthony
released Vibuntu.  Now, I know the orca can work with the panel menus, and
that pleases me.  It got to me knowing I couldn't do my admin settings stuff
like I could in windows, and not knowing the sudo commands to run in a
terminal to do things, I got kind of discouraged.  With my newbie questions,
I know I'll get the hang of it, and figure out how to make my vibuntu 1.1
release talk with those panel menues (I won't upgrade cause I've got stuff
that I don't want to lose and redo just now), however, if I get the
instruction I seak I won't have to.  Now, if there was a talking bootloader,
I'd be confident enough to run linux and windows side-by-side.  As it is
now, I still ahve to ask sighted people to assist me with the boot loader
(Tips welcome on how to use it).  But that'll just take memorization.  As it
is now, I'm beginning to like the free open-sourced OS that I never thought
possible to use.  As luke said, I didn't know how to get the ball rolling so
to speak.  With vibuntu, people like me can essentualy get their feet wet,
and move up to more customized distributions with more luck, and more
knowledge.  Or even make the one they ave do what they want.  It's an
awesome tool to have for someone like me.  I know from first hand
experience.  A friend and i took the challenge of learning linux together,
and I keep telling him to just use vibuntu until we know how to do the
things vibuntu does for us.  Then, we can learn and do what we want, and how
we want to do it.  For that, I can't thank Anthony enough.  I feel i'm
getting somewhere, and, who knwos.  I might be the next one saying, "What's
windows?"  I even got my own keystrokes to work.  Like control+alt+F for
firefox.  Go me!  Unfortunately, it's one of the things that are up in your
face, but it's a stepp up that mountain of learning I've still got to do.

----- Original Message -----
From: "luke Davis" <speakup lists tacticus com>
To: "Anthony Sales" <tony sales rncb ac uk>
Cc: <ubuntu-accessibility lists ubuntu com>; <orca-list gnome org>
Sent: Sunday, December 14, 2008 11:44 PM
Subject: Re: [orca-list] Vibuntu the most accessible Ubuntu Linux live cd
for theVisually Impaired EVA III

>I have avoided chiming in on this one to date, and I will probably avoid
> it in future, but I wanted to say this...
> I am a person who reads those stock and investment plan (some would say
> scheme) newsletters, such as the stuff produced by the Sovereign Society
> and S&A Research (basically the whole Agora family) for fun and amusement
> (and the odd useful piece of investment information).
> If you know what I'm talking about, then you know that I know whereof I
> speak, when I say that I have seen copyrighting and "creative"
> advertising, ranging from the absolutely absurd, to the world class.
> While claiming Vibuntu as "the first fully accessible version of
> Linux...", or variations on that phrase, is certainly hyperbolic and
> rather overdone, it may have some effect with the target population.  and
> isn't that the point of marketing?  Getting a foot in the door?
> I probably would not have said it, but then I have never been good at
> selling things.
> Systems like Slackware, and I think even Redhat, have been fully
> accessible (or at least as accessible) for years, _if_ you knew how to get
> started.
> But that's the problem: if you need a howto in order to get it going, even
> if it's a relatively short one, you're already behind the ball, in trying
> to get your foot in the door.
> I believe it can be said to be true that most blind people using Windows,
> had a sightie do the installation. By the time the blind user got to the
> system, it was likely already talking, or could be made so with relative
> ease.
> With Linux, having someone else do the install is rarely an option.  So,
> you start out, when promoting it, in "catch up" mode.  Add to that, having
> to go to some web site, and follow a possibly complex set of instructions
> in a howto (complex to someone who has only ever used Windows, or never
> used anything), when they have never actually heard of a HowTo, and aren't
> convinced that "this Linux thing" is worth all the trouble, is not at all
> a good beginning.
> I have nothing invested in VIbuntu (except that I like the name:)), and am
> not myself convinced that it is a necessary project on its own (I.E. that
> it might not be better for it to either absorb, or be absorbed into,
> another project).
> I have seen (and been a part of) too many projects driven by a need and a
> key personality (I.E. not driven by a team), that started out with a bang,
> but then flamed out just when they had a chance, because they did not have
> enough of a foundation in the community they existed to operate within and
> support, so I am cautious.
> However the need is real, and since this does seem, at least as I
> understand the situation, to be a reasonable way of going about things for
> a quick launch of a good idea (which, unlike many other good
> ideas, has a substantive product behind it), I say why not?
> Yeah it has bugs.  Yeah there are things I think could and should be
> changed about the way it operates.  Yeah remastersys is probably not the
> best way to roll a distribution.  Who cares?  It works, it is out there,
> and it is constantly being worked on--I do not believe that the
> self-proclaimed deluded megalomaniac has claimed that it is complete and
> perfect yet.
> Anthony may eventually decide to merge Vibuntu with something else.  We
> may even discover that it does not appeal to the intended target audience
> for what ever reason.
> Ubuntu may even recognize the value in adding at least a beeping
> bootloader, and a less tricky installation process for disabled users.
> That would go a long way to eliminating the need for this project, I
> think, and is probably the way I would rather see things go.
> But so what?  Are we not all about offering alternatives and choices?  Too
> many choices can be a bad thing.  Are we even close to having too many
> choices yet?
> I have seen many people confused by which distribution to get into; but I
> have seen more of them struggling through the trials of getting their
> chosen distribution up and talking fully in a productive way, to think
> that there is no value in what Anthony is doing.  "Put this CD in, boot it
> up, and follow the spoken or brailled or magnified instructions", is not
> usually the response given to such questions.  Maybe soon it can be.
> That is probably simplistic--one must still understand partitioning and
> multi booting and such, but that is well documented in simple ways.  To
> me, the holy grail of Linux deployment is "it just works".
> Am I likely to use VIBuntu for anything other than a lark, or to aid with
> development?  No.  I've been using Linux for twelve or more years, and
> unixes longer than that.  I'm used to the hardships and hitches, and
> know where to find help, and what questions to ask.  but then, it wasn't
> meant for me, was it?
> Regards,
> Luke
> On Sun, 14 Dec 2008, Anthony Sales wrote:
>> Hi Tom, its the self-deluded megalomaniac who thinks he has solved all of
>> the
>> world's problems with a simple remix of Ubuntu. I think the key here is
>> to
>> remember that this distro is not really aimed at Linux users at all - but
>> visually impaired users who maybe haven't even heard of linux before. I
>> am
>> trying to 'sell it' (for free remember) to teachers, trainers, colleges
>> and
>> institutions in the UK who probably have never heard of or used Linux
>> before.
>> When promoting something it is usually to emphasise its strengths rather
>> than
>> weaknesses. No one is going to sell many cars if they use the slogan,
>> 'its
>> OK, its pretty much like other models really'. In the same spirit that
>> Carlsberg claim to brew 'probably the best larger in the world', I have
>> claimed to have produced 'the first fully accessible version of Linux for
>> visually impaired users who have never used Linux before'. It has
>> certainly
>> got peoples attention and a bit of a debate going! You know that I don't
>> take
>> myself that seriously, but I think you would have to agree that Vibuntu,
>> even
>> though it still needs lots of work, is probably the only Linux distro
>> that
>> you or I know of that could be booted and experimented with by someone
>> with
>> no experience of Linux, who would have no chance of being able to
>> configure
>> it themselves without support and/or sighted help. I think a lot of
>> people in
>> the Linux VI community forget just how difficult it is to get into Linux,
>> and
>> the fact they they are so technically competant themselves etc makes them
>> lose sight of the fact that the vast majority of VI users are not hackers
>> and
>> have no ambitions to be so. They just want to browse the web, send a few
>> e-mails or write a letter etc. If Vibuntu helps just a few people kick
>> their
>> dependancy on microsoft than I will consider it a time well spent. (What
>> would you rather be doing - translating T3 scripts into Welsh or
>> tinkering
>> with Ubuntu?) Yours in humble modesty, drbongo.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: ubuntu-accessibility-bounces lists ubuntu com on behalf of Thomas
>> Lloyd
>> Sent: Sun 14/12/2008 22:02
>> To: ubuntu-accessibility lists ubuntu com
>> Subject: Re: Vibuntu the most accessible Ubuntu Linux live cd for
>> theVisually
>> Impaired EVA III
>> I also agree that the claim of the first accessible Linux is a tad far
>> fetched and maybe the most accessible Ubuntu Linux live cd for the
>> Visually Impaired. Is more accurate? We all fall victim to claims of
>> self grandeur at times, especially when it our baby.
>> I think that the proof is in the pudding as Tony has said himself the
>> community will decide. I have no issues with slightly misleading
>> marketing if it saves any disabled people money and opens up more
>> opportunity for them.
>> This is not to undermine what has been done in the past by other groups
>> and if there are better products for those people they will find them.
>> But we all need a starting point and if you are forced to spend a small
>> fortune to start on a computer many people who can, either can not or
>> don't.
>> So all in all keep up the good work make sure you add in a feature that
>> forces the user to change their password at least and maybe their
>> username after an install and I will stop worrying about security.
>> NL
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