Another newbie

Janina Sajka janina at
Sat Nov 24 11:01:36 EST 2001

On Sat, 24 Nov 2001, Jack Daniels wrote:

> >> I have a very small PC installed with
> >> Redhat 7.1, kernal 2.4.2-12 running on a P133 with no CDROM.
> >> What I want to be able to do is to insert a floppy with Speakup and any
> >> necessary boot files and have Linux  come up talking.  Is this possible?

It seems to me you could get this working with the standard installation 
floppy that one would create using boot.img. There are such on the speakup 
website and they already have speakup built into them. You need two files 
from the speakup site to test this: the appropriate boot.img and 

1.)	rawrite.exe is a DOS executable for creating floppy disks from 
image files like boot.img. Shutdown your Windows to MS-DOS before using 
rawrite for best, most reliable results;

2.) Get boot.img via anonymous ftp from:

Regretably, the rawrite.exe isn't there, and perhaps that's an oversight. 
Bill, are you listening? If you decide to try my suggestion, perhaps 
someone can point you to a download location closer to home, but you can 
certainly get it from It'll be in a dos_utils directory. There 
should be no problem using 7.2 disks on your 7.1 system, by the way;

3.)	You need to be careful about your speech synthesizer while using 
rawrite. Generally, it's a good idea to kill speech while rawrite is 
creating your floppy. So, as you hit enter on the last rawrite prompt, 
which is the third prompt it gives you, be ready to kill your speech 

54.)	If nothing went wrong in the rawrite floppy you'll have a bootable 
floppy that you can try on your linux system. As you boot, monitor the 
floppy disk for activity. If your system beeps as it begins to load the 
OS, that will help. There will be a brief amount of floppy disk activity 
at this point and then the disk stops. You're at a boot> prompt which 
doesn't talk (though it could, see below); At this point type:

	linux -s speakup_synth=dectlk speakup_ser=1

I believe that even with the mismatch in installation versions this should 
still come up talking. If it does, you can certainly look around natively, 
and you can begin to contemplate getting a native kernel with speakup onto 
your system. But, that's a topic for another day.

Certainly, there will be a good number of things that won't work because 
of the kernel mismatches. But, you should have enough to get started with.

PS: The boot> prompt can be made to speak to any serial device with an 
appropriate lin in the sysconfig file on the floppy:

would be the appropriate lin in this instance, and you could certainly 
insert this line using a DOS text editor. It goes just above the first 
"label" statement.

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