Anouncing Debian installation disks with Speakup!!!

Gene Collins collins at
Wed Apr 19 08:34:54 EDT 2000

Hello all.  I'm pleased to anounce that Kirk and I have finally gotten a
working set of Debian boot disks put together.  The disk images and
associated files are on the Speakup site in the
/pub/speakup/disks/debian directory.  The README file in that directory
describes the files, and how the talking Debian installation with
Speakup differs from the standard Debian installation.  Unfortunately,
we haven't gotten around to updating the html index files yet, so you'll
have to use ftp to download the files for the moment.  We'll post a note
to the list when the web pages are ready.  For those of you who are
interested, I've included the README file below.  If you have questions,
post them to the list, and either Kirk or I will respond.  But I will 
be out of the office until Friday, so Kirk have fun (grin)!  The
standard Debian installation documentation is in the
/pub/speakup/disks/debian/doc directory.  When we get the web pages up,
the installation manual will be available in html format.  For now, you
can download and read the instll.txt file, or read the html file from a
standard debian distribution site such as  Pay
careful attention to the note below about not mixing standard Debian
installation files with the ones from the Speakup site.  Please be sure
to rtfm!  Enjoy!

Gene Collins


Welcome to the talking Debian distribution of Linux installation
directory.  This Debian distribution of Linux has been modified to use
the Speakup screen reading package.  Using the files in this directory,
a blind person will be able to completely install Linux with out sighted

In the following list of files, an asterisk (*) means that a particular
file must be downloaded from this directory, and not from the standard
Debian distribution sites in order for the talking Debian installation
process to work properly.  If these files are downloaded from the
standard Debian distribution sites instead of this directory, the
talking installation process will be broken, or not function at all.

This directory contains the following files:

00-INDEX.html - the html interface to this directory.
README.txt - The standard Debian installation README.txt file.
README - This file, which contains notes about the talking Debian
installation process using Speakup.
* base2_2.tgz - A modified base2_2.tgz file containing the base
installation files for use with the talking Debian installation process.
basecont.txt - A discription of the packages contained in the
base2_2.tgz file.
doc - a subdirectory containing standard Debian installation
documentation in both ascii and html formats.
dosutils - A subdirectory containing DOS utilities for creating floppy
disks and for installing Debian from a DOS subdirectory.  (RTFM)
drivers.tgz - The drivers.tgz file needed to install Debian device
drivers and modules from a DOS subdirectory.  (rtfm)
* images-1.44 - A subdirectory containing modified 1.44 meg talking
Debian installation floppy images.
install.bat - A batch file for installing Debian from a DOS subdirectory.
* kernels - a subdirectory containing Debian kernels that have been
patched with the Speakup screen reading package.  Each kernel supports
one and only one synthesizer.  The kernel that supports the DoubleTalk
is called linux-dtlk.bin, for example.
md5sum.txt - a list of md5 check sums.

How does this talking Debian installation differ from the standard
Debian installation?  We thought you'd never ask!  To start with, there
is not just one rescue.bin or resc1440.bin.  Instead, there is a
rescue.bin image for each synthesizer.  For the rescue.bin for the
DoubleTalk is called rescue-dtlk.bin, and the one for the LiteTalk is
rescue-ltlk.bin.  You will need to download the rescue.bin for your
particular synthesizer from the images-1.44 directory.  These specially
modified diskimages are * NOT * part of the standard Debian floppy disk

The next thing you will need is the root.bin image from the images-1.44
directory.  Although this file uses the standard Debian name of
root.bin, it has been modified to include the special Speakup key map
file.  You must download root.bin from this site to make the talking
Debian installation process function properly.

The third thing you will need is either the drv14-1.bin, drv14-2.bin,and
the drv14-3.bin files from the images-1.44 directory, or the drivers.tgz
file from the directory you are reading this file in.  These are the
standard Debian installation drivers and modules files.  Whether you
need the individual driver disk images or the drivers.tgz file depends
on whether you are installing Linux from floppies or from a DOS
subdirectory on your hard disk.  See the Debian installation manual for
a discussion of the various installlation methods.  This is in the doc
subdirectory and the file name is install.en.html.

If you decide to install from floppies, you'll also need the rawrite.exe
file from the dosutils directory.  A strong hint: do * NOT * have your
screen reader under DOS try to read the screen while you are wawriting
the disk images to floppies.

If you decide to install from a DOS subdirectory on your hard disk, you
will also need the kernel for your synthesizer from the kernels
directory, the rescue.bin image for your synthesizer from the
images-1.44 directory, the root.bin from the images-1.44 directory,
loadlin.exe from the dosutils directory, the drivers.tgz file from this
directory, and the install.bat from this directory.  Read the Debian
installation manual in the doc directory for more details about
installing Debian from a DOS directory.

To get Debian up and running, download the appropriate files from this
site, and make your disk images as described in the Debian installation
manual.  Do * NOT * follow the download links in the installation
manual, unless you want the standard Debian installation with out
Speakup.  If that is what you want, then you should ignore the files on
this site alltogether.  You should rename the kernel and rescue disk
images you downloaded to the standard debian names.  So if you were
running a Dectalk Express synthesizer, you would rename the file
rescue-dectlk.bin to rescue.bin, and the file linux-dectlk.bin to linux.
 Be sure to download all files as binary, except for any text files you
want to read locally.

After you've made the necessary floppies, if any, either boot your
system from the rescue disk you made, or run install.bat from the DOS
directory on your hard disk where you downloaded the installation files.
 If you booted from the rescue disk, press the return key once, and wait
for the system to start talking.  If you ran the install.bat from your
hard disk, just wait, the system should come up talking on it's own. 
Depending on the speed of your machine, this might take a couple of
minutes.  If you are prompted to insert the root.bin disk, do so and
press return.  After the root disk is decompressed on to the ram disk,
you should hear some release notes read to you.  Press return, and the
installation menu should come up.  The first thing you'll be asked to do
is configure your keyboard.  To do this, just press return.  The first
keymap name you see should be qwerty/speakup map.  This is the one you
want, so just press return.  Follow the instructions in the Debian
installation manual from this point.

For more information on Speakup in general, you should visit the Speakup
web page at  You can also subscribe to
the speakup mailing list from the above mentioned web site.

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