Eric Auer wrote:
> Hi Karen,
>> it can take say two or three screen readers to equal the 
>> functionality of one Dos based one.
> Interesting, what makes the DOS ones so user friendly?
>> screen readers for windows 
>> are in the dictionary for richly problematical.
> In what way? I remember them often being commercial
> and pricy. Which is why indeed I was talking more
> about Ubuntu, free system with free screenreaders.
>> screen readers problematic in DOS?
> What I meant is that with multitasking, you can
> have one program running, a second collect the
> screen contents, a third transforming them into
> speech and a fourth sending that to your sound
> card or even USB sound device. In DOS, you have
> one program running and the screen reader TSR or
> driver has to do all other tasks. This means if
> you have a nice DOS version of, say, MBROLA or
> festival text to speech systems, you cannot use
> them "in the background" for your screen reader.
> Instead, you can only use the voice system which
> is built into the screen reader already, if any.
>  > Never mind that tsrs even for dos programs have been moot since windows
>  > 3.0, with dos applications, including screen readers employing
>  > alternatives for task management.
> I agree that with Windows 3.0 you can indeed run
> several things more or less at the same time and
> I even once had voice input and output software
> for Win 3 which came with my Soundblaster AWE32
> but I would not call that DOS voice software then.
> As somebody else already said, playing audio on
> a CD is something the drive does almost fully
> in hardware, so it does not need multitasking.
> I even once wrote a tiny DOS tool to play CD in
> a simple command line way, or stop, eject etc.
> I am impressed to hear that not only ISA sound
> cards and serial port devices but even USB voice
> synths come with DOS drivers, if I understand
> you correctly? Is this only for dedicated voice
> hardware or are there also screenreaders which
> can output speech via any AC97, HDA or USB sound
> card, with "one size fits all" hardware drivers?
> The problem with ISA is that only computers until
> the times of Pentium 3 and AMD K6 routinely came
> with ISA slots. Newer computers only have ISA if
> you use special mainboards, for example industry
> and PLC oriented ones. Similar for laptops and of
> course for netbooks. Which by the way run FreeDOS
> okay: It does not care if the disk is flash and
> the display is LED... However, sound and network
> will be problematic on a netbook for DOS, wireless
> network being the worst as far as DOS drivers are
> concerned. A potentially interesting URL about the
> driver issue:
> - has some
> older USB driver, AC97 sound driver and the Sioux
> web server which also has a number of third party
> network drivers linked from the page.
> By the way, I agree that recent Ubuntu versions
> have a bad reputation about sound. I think this
> started between half a year and two years ago...
> However, this is not because it is Linux. Instead
> it is because Ubuntu designers made a bad choice
> in making things based on a weak pulseaudio driver
> on top of the more stable ALSA driver. So you can
> delete the extra layer in theory - in practice, it
> takes extra effort to get back simultaneous output
> of multiple sounds with DMIX while you got it for
> free with pulseaudio.

Hi Karen, Eric,

I can confirm that there where problems with PulseAudio in previous
Ubuntu releases. Currently I am testing The Beta of Lucid Lynx, which
will become Ubuntu 10.4 on April 29'th. The problems with PulseAudio are
solved in this version. I for one can use skype now, which I could not
use under Ubuntu 9.10.

Another interesting project is Adriane Knoppix:



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