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Accessibility, audio, games, Linux and other things, from a visually impaired person's point of view.

Aiyumi.Github.Io (old posts, page 3)

Accessibility, and How I Began Using VOCALOID


It's something that became quite popular in the last few years, but I had no idea of what it was until 2011. I just knew it had to do with music, and for a while I had thought it was the name of a band (hahahaha)! But no. VOCALOID is a singing synthesis software, paid and proprietary, whose engine is developed by Yamaha. The voices are provided by real people, mostly actors or singers. Each voice is represented by a character. The most popular one is Hatsune Miku (I don't like her very much) but there are many others. VOCALOID runs on Windows and Mac.

For detailed information on all VOCALOID voicebanks available, visit the VOCALOID Wiki (which explains all this much better than me :P).

Examples of songs with VOCALOID:


UTAU (meaning "to sing" in Japanese), is the name of another singing synthesis program, however it was developed by a fan. It's also proprietary, but is free (technically it's a shareware, but one of the few "advantages" of paying are just some interface improvements and maybe access to earlier test versions before the "general public", but it works for free with no problems). The voices are also provided by real people, with the difference that anyone can record his/her own voice and put it in the program without relying on contracts, studios and professional singers. So it has much more available voicebanks than VOCALOID, but the downside is that the quality varies greatly depending on the recording quality, the voicebank settings, the intonation and the pronunciation of the person who made the recording. UTAU has a version for Windows, and also one for Mac called UTAU Synth.

Examples of songs with UTAU:

To learn more about UTAU, check out the UTAU Wiki.

Soon I began wanting to use the programs to make my own covers, and that was when the problems started. (Read the full article)

The Power of SlackBuilds

I love SlackBuilds, the scripts to compile programs and create packages for Slackware.(Read the full article)

Installing Orca on Slackware 14.0

I was taking a look at Slackware Current, which now contains the packages that will be in the next version (14.1, if the name doesn't change like what happened with 13.37). I was very surprised to see that AT-SPI2-Core and AT-SPI2-ATK, two very important dependencies for the Orca screen reader, have been included, and their versions are even newer than mine! But I think these weren't added because of accessibility considerations (some other new packages must have these libs as dependencies), since a few SlackBuilds important to Orca still are "./configured" with "--disable-introspection" and "--disable-accessibility" (when I installed Orca on my current system, I had a lot of headaches until I found out that the packages came configured like that by default. I had to enable those options and recompile the programs). Even so, each new Slackware version, more of Orca's dependencies are being incorporated into the default packages. Maybe in just a few versions from now, all (or almost all) of Orca's dependencies will finally have been fulfilled. While this doesn't happen, I gathered the SlackBuilds to compile Orca and its dependencies, and uploaded them to Github. Some are mine (because I didn't find ready scripts for those programs anywhere else), while others are copies of the scripts from Slackbuilds.org or of things provided in Slackware (for the few programs that needed tweaking and recompiling), everything gathered in only one place to make life easier. These aren't the latest versions, but the specific versions that work with the Slackware 14.0 stock libraries (building the newest packages would require compiling a lot of extra things and would be much more work). For those wondering about having to install Gnome, no, it isn't needed. Contrary to what it might seem, despite being part of the Gnome Project, Orca can run perfectly fine without this so heavy desktop environment. Below is a quick guide on how to install Orca on Slackware, without Gnome: (Read the full article)

Twitter and Updates

It may not seem like it, but a lot happened after my last post:

Adventures with a New Computer

My seven year old computer started to show signs of dying, so I bought a new one.

Choosing a Machine

As I also needed to use the computer for work, I chose a little more "professional" machine. I bought a Dell Vostro 270S (Vostro 270 Slim) Desktop. Aside from work, I also need some fun, so I got the one with 1 TB hard drive and an off board video card, for running games and things that the old PC couldn't even dream of running. After some customizations, I got a computer with the following specifications: (Read the full article)