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Re: off site assistance

On Thursday 01 January 1970 12:00 am, Allen Ahoffman wrote:
> Hi:
> I am blind and work in a small data center.
> Since I can't read screens I need to get sighted people to read for
> me. I know what I'm doing on the systems but need readers to tell me
> whats happening.
> I'm looking for suggested hardware to allow me to easily in realtime
> send the screen images from the console screen to a remote user so
> they can read it for me or just tell me the keystrokes to do.
What operating system are we taling about: Windows / Linux?
Any chance of a couple of specifics??

if Windows: there are specialist text-speech readers and also Braille 
text readers that do 80 characters at a time. 
Very expensive: several thousand $ for a reliable Braille display..
Not very reliable: it's a very small market so the software can be 
highly priced and buggy and there's too few users to complain :(

If Linux - do you need X??

> I need at least 640.b480 but would like 1024x768 resolution and
> 30fps. 4 or 5 fps would do really for this application.

VNC server on your machine : VNC client on the co-workers machine.
> remember this has to be usable for only one screen but that screen
> gets connected to many systems during its lifetime.
> I have a beklin video extener to let one coworker stay elsewhere and
> read but thats only helpful for one person.
> What would really be nice is somehting I can just plug the video out
> cable from the monitor port on the computer into and it doees the
> work, like frame brabber / distribution.
There are Keyboard Video Mouse switchers that will allow you to switch 
more than one machine to share one set of keyboard/mouse etc.
There is also an exterder kit for one of them which will allow you to 
remote it over Cat. 5 Ethernet to any point on you LAN. This is 
straightforward hardware but expensive. [I have some at work to allow 
workers to log in to the computer lab racks of machines from their 
desks in another room.]

This ought to be feasible in Linux.  Text-speech using an editor  / 
text only Web browser and either doubletalk (for dedicated speech 
synthesiser) or Festival.

Braille terminals are supported out of the box by S.u.SE because
they have a visually impaired main programmer.  The SuSE installation 
installs text mode apps if a Braille terminal is detected during 
initial boot-up. This is a very limited subset of the whole SuSE 
distribution. It may also be hardware specific to a few terminal types.

A programmer for the RNIB has open-sourced a Braille formatter which 
reads text and outputs contracted Braille for a specialist Braille 
printer (essentially the core of the RNIB Versabraille software IIRC)

Look also at the Ocularis project who are trying to sort the whole 
problem out.

My interest: I'm not profoundly visually impaired - but I help a 
deaf-blind lady who is struggling with the idiosyncracies of a Windows 
based computer, text to speech, Braille display and email.  She hasn't
tried for Web access yet. Windows 98 and Word 2000  minus mouse and 
with text-only keyboard shortcuts is HARD. I have suggested to 
Deafblind UK thtat they look at Linux but they haven't time/specialist 
expertise available to do so - though they were interested in the 



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