Please allow me to introduce myself, I'm (not) a man of wealth and taste!

Anthony Sales tony.sales at
Tue Dec 2 19:20:21 GMT 2008

Greetings earthlings!
My name is Tony Sales and I currently work as the ICT Development Officer at
the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford. I have recently
released (in the loosest possible sense of the word) a customised version of
Ubuntu called Vibuntu (or Vinux - can't decide!) which is aimed at visually
impaired users. It is still very early days, but I decided to make it
available straight-away so that I could collect feedback, suggestions and
advice from interested parties rather than keep it hidden away until it is
finished (alledgedly).
My vision (or lack of it) is to produce an easy to use fully accessible
version of Ubuntu, that just works out of the box for VI users, and still has
all the glitz and glamour of Ubuntu for sighted users. In other words I am
not trying to create a distro which will only be used by visually impaired
users, but a generic distro that can be used by anybody to do the everyday
kind of things people want to do like browse the internet, listen to music,
send e-mails etc. For example so it could be used in schools, colleges and
homes by those of us who can't afford or just don't want to pay through the
nose for expensive proprietary solutions (no names mentioned). 
At the moment I am using remastersys to modify an installed system and create
a distribution with a pre-configured user account, overcoming obstacles as I
find them. The first issue to deal with is the problem of Orca not wanting to
read out Ubiquity (or any other application opened with root permissions). I
could do this by enabling a root user account for installation and admin
tasks, but because of the security risks this would cause I am working on
simple bash script that stops orca, restarts it in --no-setup mode, runs the
app (e.g. Ubiquity) and then restarts the original Orca session. I already
have a working script but it needs a few tweaks so that it is invisible as
possible to the user. However, someone mentioned that this could be attained
by simply editing one of the orca config files. If anyone can shed any light
on this or other tweaks/tips I would be happy to include them in future
versions of Vibuntu, so other people don't have to.
I want to try and keep to the original Ubuntu releases as closely as
possible, ideally not adding anything that isn't included on the official
release unless absolutely necessary, and only then if it is open-source GPL
licenced (unless permission is granted  by the developers). In a perfect
world Ubuntu would already be fully accessible to VI users and I wouldn't
have to do this, I live in hope! The only app I have added so far is
remastersys, which is absolutely essential at the moment.  I am also very
keen on trying to keep the iso below 702Mb so it fits on a CD, I don't really
want to produce a bloated distro full of everything under the sun. I want to
provide the basics and let people add extra apps and codecs etc themselves.
I would be happy to receive any feedback, suggestions, criticisms, abuse, law
suits  and/or death threats (preferably in that order) about Vibuntu and what
I am trying to acheive!
Tony Sales (aka drbongo)
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