Thursday, 18 June 2009

Brave New World: Vinux 2.0 Alpha 1 Released!

I have just uploaded the first alpha release of Vinux-2.0 - it is a very basic release which does not yet have many of the features that Vinux usually has. It is based on Debian Lenny and all I have done for now is to create an Installable Live CD with Orca enabled and configured by default using Alsa and Speech-Dispatcher. I have also made the standard Orca SysAdmin changes so users will be able to run admin apps, but I have not modified the menu launchers so you will have to launch admin applications from the terminal by entering 'su' followed by your password and then type the relevant command.

The primary purpose of this release is for people to test the basic screen-reading performance of Orca with Alsa and Speech-Dispatcher. There are still many things to do and some things I tried to do but could not get to work. The main priority at the moment is to get Orca running and enable ethernet/wireless access, because once you have speech and an internet connection you are then able to sort out most issues yourself.

I have been unable to get YASR working at all, with Eflite, Festival or Speech-Dispatcher, and festival doesn't work with Orca either so I have removed both applications for now. I have installed Brltty and enabled Braille in Orca but I was unable to find the usual /etc/defaults/brltty file which starts Brltty at boot.

I would therefore like feedback on both the performance and stability of Orca and information on whether the wireless connections worked out of the box. If so please let me know the laptop and wifi card details if possible; and if wireless doesn't work or you manage to get it working yourself please let me know how you got it working and I will incorporate this into the next next alpha release. If anyone is brave enough to try installing it then I would like feedback on the accessibility of the new installer - remastersys-installer. This should be launched from the terminal if you require speech, just type 'remastersys-installer' after switching to su, or type 'remastersys-installer intl' if you want to choose a language other than English. This installer uses cfdisk for formatting purposes so you can either use the existing partitions or create/modify the partitions before or during the installation process.