ubuntu live CD with Screen Reader not Starting

NoOp glgxg at sbcglobal.net
Tue Dec 16 02:11:27 UTC 2008

On 12/15/2008 02:01 PM, Martin McCormick wrote:
> 	This is not my only method for computer access so I am
> not in an emergency. I am just trying to upgrade to the 21ST
> century before some of my old stuff really bites the dust.
> 	Thanks for any ideas.

First off, you have issues with the graphics & 8.10 (is it 8.10 that you
are testing with - if not, you'll need to ensure that it is as 256MB
won't work with the liveCD and 8.04).

I don't have a liveCD of 8.10 (Intrepid) as I use the Alternate CD to
install. I do however have a 8.04.1 (Hardy) liveCD so I tested on an old
IBM Thinkpad A21M with 384Mbytes of memory. Unfortunately I don't think
that you can try this with your system as I think that Hardy requires
384MB for the liveCD (http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/releasenotes/804).

As one would expect, it takes awhile for the system to boot into Ubuntu
due to the limited memory (about 2 minutes or so), but the desktop comes
up just fine. Sound is working as I get the standard Ubuntu startup
sound. Unfortunately, I get no 'Screen Reader' sound when selecting
'Applications' or other menus. Ditto for
Applications|Accessories|Terminal - the terminal window that brings up a
warning 'To run a command... etc) so I should hear that being 'read' to me.

I checked System|Assistive Technologies' (I'm sighted & used the mouse)
and 'Enable assistive technologies' is prechecked, so I'm assuming that
they 'think' they are working. I even checked to make sure that Orca is
checked - it is and is checked to 'Run at start'. So I check sound:
System|Preferences|Sound and do 'Test' on each - they are all working as
expected - I even had to turn the sound down some as it was too loud
(for me).

Next stop: Terminal & check to see if Orca is actually running - it isn't.

Next I enter Alt-F2 and 'orca' - next think I know the laptop is talking
to me! Again, I had to turn down the sound :-)

Conclusion; for some reason (at least on Hardy), Orca is not actually
starting properly even when you go through the proper steps (F5, select
'Screen Reader'). So, my guess it that there is probably a bug filed for
it on launchpad somewhere.

Apologies for posting such a long reply; hopefully your wife can read so
that you don't have to listen to a synthesizer to get all of it.

Perhaps someone else on the list can confirm with 8.10?

Further, you'll still need to resolve the graphics issues first. Your
wife won't be able to assist you if the graphics aren't working. Then
again, you might try Alt-F2 and 'orca' first just to see if it will talk
to you in 8.10.

My recommendation would be to use the alternate CD and install 8.04
(Hardy) - It will install in 256MB (I have it on a test laptop that only
has 128Mb).

Accessibility guide is here:

Bug reports are here:

Most relevent bug report that I can find regarding your issue is here:
[gnome-orca not speech with Intrepid Alpha4 release]
which doesn't look promising at all as nobody has provide a response at
all since it was filed several months ago.

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