Switching to Linux

John G. Heim jheim at math.wisc.edu
Thu May 9 10:01:28 EDT 2013

All I did was to do a talking install  the current debian stable. Orca 
came up talking on the login screen when I rebooted after finishing the 

Some recommendations:
1. Go with debian stable.
2. Consider doing a dist upgrade to stable backports. This gets you a 
3.2 kernel.
3. Use firefox and thunderbird from mozilla on sourceforge. Do not use 
the equivalent debian packages.
4. Gedit is more than adequate as a replacement for notepad.
5. Consider buying voxin. Voxin is eloquence for linux. You get the same 
voice as jaws. It costs $6 from the oralux project. (Google it.) Voxin 
may not be as stable as  espeak but I like the voice much more.

On 05/09/13 02:27, Tony Baechler wrote:
> Hash: SHA256
> What changes did you have to make to your daily routine when you made the
> switch?  I already use Firefox and Thunderbird here, but I'm still
> primarily on XP.  I use my Linux server daily, but I purposely haven't put
> X on it.  I have a small 10 GB installation of Debian unstable with X and
> experimental, but Orca fails to work, or at least I don't have speech when
> I try to start it.  Speakup, of course, works great.  I pretty much had
> the same bad experiences with Orca as other people and I didn't try to do
> anything fancy.  In fact, Vinux crashed almost constantly in Orca but not
> Speakup.  I had to use a Speakup console to kill my Orca session and
> reboot.  I read on the Debian accessibility list to enable experimental to
> bring in the latest Orca improvements, but it didn't seem to help.  If
> anything, it made things worse as I had a constant stream of broken
> packages.  Now that Wheezy is out, I'll try again one of these days
> soon-ish.  I'm not worried about moving my profiles over from Windows, but
> I'm more wondering about changes made from an accessibility point of view.
>   In other words, if someone with little to no Linux experience (not me,
> but someone else) wanted to make the full-time switch to Orca, how well
> could it be done and what adjustments would they have to make compared to
> doing things the Windows way?
> On 5/8/2013 10:57 AM, John G. Heim wrote:
>> Huh, you're the second person in this thread to say that about orca.
>> But I just decided to switch to linux full time a few months ago and it
>> was pretty much a breeze.  I had been using that other operating system
>> too but almost all the end users I support use linux (all good
>> mathematicians do).  So I felt I was cheating by not using linux. But I
>> have had little to no trouble switching to linux with orca. I use
>> thunderbird & firefox constantly. It's not quite as good as
>> Windows/jaws but honestly, I made the transition fairly easily.
>> I am really shocked to hear all these complaints about orca. Not to
>> doubt you. It's just   that it doesn't jibe with my experience at all.
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John G. Heim, 608-263-4189, jheim at math.wisc.edu

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