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

Posts about linux

Slint, a Slackware-Based Linux Distribution that's Accessible to the Visually Impaired

As some already know, my Linux distribution of choice is Slackware. However, it isn't an easy distro for visually impaired users to install. The Slackware installer isn't accessible unless the users have a hardware-based voice synthesizer (I don't have one, and most others probably also don't), which means they'd need sighted assistance to install it and then install the screen readers. (Read the full article)

Installing Orca on Slackware 14.2

These are instructions for installing the Orca screen reader on Slackware 14.(Read the full article)

Slackware 14.2, Screen Readers and PulseAudio

After a very long while, I'm finally on Slackware 14.2. It's been almost one year since 14.2 came out, but I wasn't brave enough to upgrade, mainly because when I had tried to upgrade the installation on my netbook (which served as my test subject as usual), it hadn't worked (it's the first time I have problems trying to update Slackware). The system became mute in the middle of the upgrade and I lost access to my screen reader programs that I depend on to do anything on the computer (good thing it was on the netbook and not on my main machine!). I was unable to fix the problem, lost the patience to investigate, and ended up leaving it aside for a long time. Now that I'm on vacation from work and have a little more time, I finally gathered the patience and the courage to try again. (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)

A Basic Introduction to SoX

What is SoX?

SoX (Sound eXchange) is, as the author calls it, "the Swiss Army knife of sound processing programs". It is free, open source and runs under Windows, Mac and Linux.

SoX can play, record, convert, edit, split, join and apply various effects to audio files of many different formats. (Read the full article)