Hi Josh,
Gnome 2.20 and Orca 2.20 ship with Ubuntu 8.04 out of the box. There is 
no need to grab Gnome independantly. In fact, if you want to try Linux 
before installing it Ubuntu8.04 comes on a bootible cd  which you place 
in your cd drive, reboot your system, and if you press enter on the 
first two screens it will boot directly to a minimal Gnome desktop. It 
is just one more step to do alt+f2 and type orca, followed by enter. 
Answer Orcas questions do an alt+control+backspace wait for the little 
drumb beat, press enter, and you have a fully functional, and talking 
Gnome desktop. Of course, if you want to add applications such as 
gnome-mud to play muds then you have to install the os to get upgrades, 
get better system performence, add applications, get mp3, wma, 
quicktime, and other plugins to your installation.
Now, I have to agree hear that Linux's screen reader Orca is much better 
with playing muds than Apple's VoiceOver for one very important reason. 
Orca is written in pure Python 2.5, and because it is based on a 
scripting language you can write custom scripts for gnome-mud to read 
out text areas in gnome-mud which you can't do in VoiceOver. Orca's 
scripting capabilities really makes it as powerful as Jaws in that 
respect because if you have the scripting know-how you can make Orca do 
a lot of things VoiceOver on Mac can only dream about at this time. Also 
Orca has a review cursor, similar to Jaws's invisible cursor, that 
allows you to move around the screen and find out what is happening in 
your mud. VoiceOver's lack of an invisible/review cursor seriously makes 
it less than ideal when playing muds and even interactive fiction games 
on a Mac.
In fact, I seriously looked at buying a Mac this passed winter, but in 
the end I decided to buy a Compaq 500 series notebook that I recently 
put Ubuntu 8.04 on. The main reason I chose Linux over the Mac is that 
Orca's scripting abilities and added review functionality in many 
respects makes it the better screen reader, and while I liked VoiceOver 
it has some catching up to do. Also Orca has a special formatting mode I 
can turn on that tells me specifically how my Java source code is 
aligned, and I can easily identify what level of a block statement I am 
in without having to use a braille display. Few screen readers offers as 
detailed virble feedback on the formatting of C, C++, Python, and Java 
source code as Orca does.

Orin wrote:
> Hmm. It's too bad Macs don't have a mud client that reads automaticly yet. 
> Then again, I guess Linux is the better OS here again in terms of the screen 
> reader because it's been worked on even before VoiceOver even existed. I do 
> suppose with each OS release VO is getting better but I think it'll be a 
> long way from Orca and such. Also, I wonder how with VMware Fusion how to 
> install Linux. I'm seriously thinking of trying it out, thing is I just want 
> linux, and there's so much packages available. I just wish there was a self 
> installer that'd just install the gnome thing and be done with it.

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