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mekkah
March 16th, 2007, 09:29 AM
Hi! I work as an personal caretaker for a disabled guy. Since he suffers from motion disability (he can only move the left arm properly), his laptop means everything for him. The problem is that the laptop is getting very old and serveral errors has occured with XP recently and he finds it harder & harder to use it and he really ain't got the money for a new one

Is there any good OSS solution for motionally disabled people? Then maybe i could upgrade his laptop to Ubuntu, add replacements for his XP apps & improve his computer usage in general, without adding more expenses to his

hardyn
March 16th, 2007, 09:40 AM
this is not the solution that you were looking for im sure... but...

you say 'serveral errors has occured with XP RECENTLY'... the recently part concerns me a little, that coupled with 'very old'... despite him not having the funding for a new machine, it sounds like the problem may not be with the OS but the notebook could actully be starting to fail. most commonly hard-disks, hard disk failures in notebooks are unfortunately not uncommon.

can you find out specifically what errors are occuring?
is it possible that a good-ol re&re on the windows might help?

i am all for moving to OSS don't get me wrong, but this doesnt sounds like a situation that your client can afford any down time with.

what specifially are the requirements of your client? what do phyicialy disabled, or more accurately, your client people need from an os?

Bruce Couper
March 17th, 2007, 07:48 PM
I'm dictating this with speech recognition which, unfortunately, is only really usable under Windows just now. I have installed Ubuntu on two systems, however, and I can administer them remotely. This would be a special application but you should know that I have some experience and I am quadriplegic from MS. So...

I would strongly recommend first trying the FOSS Dasher (http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/). It's elegant. It can be tried first in Windows and if it's appropriate it is, of course, available on Ubuntu.

mekkah
March 18th, 2007, 04:59 AM
this is not the solution that you were looking for im sure... but...

you say 'serveral errors has occured with XP RECENTLY'... the recently part concerns me a little, that coupled with 'very old'... despite him not having the funding for a new machine, it sounds like the problem may not be with the OS but the notebook could actully be starting to fail. most commonly hard-disks, hard disk failures in notebooks are unfortunately not uncommon.

can you find out specifically what errors are occuring?
is it possible that a good-ol re&re on the windows might help?

i am all for moving to OSS don't get me wrong, but this doesnt sounds like a situation that your client can afford any down time with.
d? what do phyicialy disabled, or more accurately, your client people need from a n os?

My client, let's call him mike, has an damage on the brain, causing very limited movement. He can only move the left arm properly. Mike uses the laptop's touch pad for navigation & the tumb for typing. He is your avreage user: surfing the net, chatting on MSN, listening to music, watching movies. He doesn't play games (altough he'd love to). Therefore i'm pretty sure i could replace most Win32 applications with an OSS alternative. The only things i haven't figgured out is webcam support & how to output the laptop screen to an TV (for movies & DVD).

There's no hurry for an solution (yet), but the crashes & blue screens are getting more frequent. Everything runs very VERY slow. I preformed maintenace, defraged the harddrive & cleaned out both virus, spyware & old files from it with limited changes in preformace. So planning solution for the future would be good. I'm probarly gonna suggest it, unless he figures something out or get help another way.

The reason i'm looking for an OSS solution is because his laptop was bought second hand and doesn't have either an warranty or restoration disc. Buying an XP licence (or a new PC) is out of question due to high cost. Treatment, medicines, equipment and so on costs alot of money, especially if you can't work and have to live of allowance. I think that Ubuntu + a few extra apps would certainly do the trick. I'm also looking for a good mousepad replacement (since he can't use a regular one) and maybe some kind of voice controll system for quick launching apps & commands.

This is a private project for me since i'm very intrested in OSS but also care for Mike, he's been really good to me & is a close friend.

frafu
March 19th, 2007, 04:45 PM
Hello,


If the laptop can start from the cd-drive, I think that the best is to try out a LiveCD. You start the laptop from the CD and you have a running Ubuntu. This way, you can try it and see whether it corresponds to "mike's" without touching his Windows OS on the harddisk.

Moreover, you will also see by using the LiveCD if Ubuntu supports the hardware of the laptop.


Further, instead of using Ubuntu, you might consider using Xubuntu that has a lighter Desktop (xfce) and therefore runs better on computers with less power.


Here are the download links of the LiveCDs:
http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download for Ubuntu
http://www.xubuntu.org/get for Xubuntu


In april, the next version of Ubuntu will be released that will have a migration assistant to import the settings from Windows into the new installation of Ubuntu. I don't know yet, whether Xubuntu will also include the migration assistant.


Concerning the webcam support and output to tv: unfortunately, i don't know; may be that searching this forum or wiki.ubuntu.com will turn out some pieces of information.


Finally, Ubuntu is the only distribution that I know a little. In other words, I don't know whether there are other distributions that could better suit what you are looking for.


Francesco

PartisanEntity
April 19th, 2007, 10:24 PM
Hello, I know this thread is 4 weeks old, but one of my best friends is disabled and here in Austria he is entitled to government help. Some years back the responsible city office financed a laptop for him. Surely there must be something similar where you live? Just thought I would mention this. Good luck.

Henrik
April 20th, 2007, 10:42 AM
The original poster appears to be from Sweden where I would imagine government support for hardware is quite good.

That said, frafu's suggestion of trying Xubuntu Live CD is a good one. Xubuntu now also has sticky keys (as does Ubuntu and Kubuntu) which will allow him to type with one finger.

sdebo
May 1st, 2007, 09:40 PM
As regards accessible games (windows and linux based) you may wish to visit

http://www.oneswitch.org.uk/

and

http://www.ics.forth.gr/hci/ua-games/

and

http://www.disabled-world.com/artman/publish/fungames.shtml


As regards using Ubuntu as a permanent OS solution for mobility impaired persons I believe there is stil much work ahead. Two important tools would be usable speech recognition (Like DragonDictate on Windows) and word predication software like (ex: WordQ on Windows).

Hope the above helps.

p.s. If you can point me to Linux based word predication software I'd appreciate it. But to my knowledge none exists yet.

frafu
May 1st, 2007, 10:17 PM
There are at least 2 softwares with word prediction:

1. Dasher: besides the fact that it is conceptualy completely different than an onscreen keyboard, it does not enter text directly into the front window; but I only tried it shortly.

2. gok: I think this has word prediction to, but for a person who is able to use the mouse, it is probably overkill.

By the way, word prediction is one of the outstanding features of onboard (the default onscreen keyboard of ubuntu), but I don't know when it is going to be implemented.

Have a nice day.

Bruce Couper
May 22nd, 2007, 03:01 PM
There are at least 2 softwares with word prediction:

1. Dasher: besides the fact that it is conceptualy completely different than an onscreen keyboard, it does not enter text directly into the front window; but I only tried it shortly.

Just a small clarification --

Dasher, which I also mentioned earlier and linked to, can indeed output text directly to any application if the user chooses.

I would just note that it can be a very good choice for those for whom speech-recognition is not an option (for whatever reason).

Regards

frafu
May 22nd, 2007, 04:50 PM
Just a small clarification --

Dasher, ..., can indeed output text directly to any application if the user chooses.



Could you please tell us how to do it?

Indeed the documenttation talks about "beaming text into a window", but I am not able to find how to do it with dasher 4.4.1 shipped with Ubuntu Feisty.

Francesco

Bruce Couper
May 31st, 2007, 02:48 PM
Could you please tell us how to do it?

Indeed the documenttation talks about "beaming text into a window", but I am not able to find how to do it with dasher 4.4.1 shipped with Ubuntu Feisty.

Francesco

Indeed, Francesco, the latest version of Dasher has changed! I had time yesterday to take only a cursory look but I couldn't figure it out, either. I think I was just missing something because to lose such a feature would seem strange indeed. I will investigate further and post back here as soon as I can. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

On 21 November, 2006 I posted to the Yahoo Groups Dasher "group" the following, which went unanswered:


There is an error in the documentation. Can someone please tell me
how to submit a correction? I will detail below. If it has been
submitted or if someone will do so from this, that's fine.

The latest version of Dasher has a change in Options not reflected in
the help file. What used to be called "Send text to other window" is
now under Preferences->View->Application Style (Windows) or, under
Linux, Edit->Preferences->Application->Application Style.

Regards

Bruce Couper

frafu
May 31st, 2007, 04:03 PM
Indeed, Francesco, the latest version of Dasher has changed! I had time yesterday to take only a cursory look but I couldn't figure it out, either. I think I was just missing something because to lose such a feature would seem strange indeed. I will investigate further and post back here as soon as I can. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.


Indeed, it would probably be quite strange if they removed it. (I say probably because I have never used it and consequently don't know how it worked.)

On the other hand, if it is still there, maybe the design of the preference window should be reconsidered...

Francesco

Bruce Couper
May 31st, 2007, 05:12 PM
Indeed, it would probably be quite strange if they removed it. (I say probably because I have never used it and consequently don't know how it worked.)

On the other hand, if it is still there, maybe the design of the preference window should be reconsidered...

Francesco

Francesco, it does indeed seem this feature is not now in the 4.4.2 version in the repositories. Unfortunately, I must run Windows because I must use speech recognition but the computer I'm accessing with VNC, running feisty, I can experiment with. The man page for Dasher includes "-o” as the switch to output text to a window with focus but starting Dasher with that switch fails -- the switch is seen as a filename!

I will make inquiries as time permits. If anyone wishes to try installing an older version the following link points to the edgy version:

http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/Download.html

frafu
May 31st, 2007, 06:28 PM
Hello Bruce,


I must run Windows because I must use speech recognition but the computer I'm accessing with VNC, running feisty, I can experiment with.

I am also running ubuntu remotely through vnc and through the free edition of nx, which is faster. This is offtopic, but if you don't mind, could you also try nx, because I always get the message that assistive technology could not be started at login. This would confirm the bug that I just filed against at-spi:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/at-spi/+bug/117995

If you decide to try nx, you have to download the nxclient, the nxnode and the nxserver (free edition) and install them in that order. You can find them here:
http://www.nomachine.com/download.php

In any case, many thanks.

Francesco

LollYouSuckZor
May 31st, 2007, 06:29 PM
unappropriate comment deleted by frafu

Bruce Couper
June 4th, 2007, 03:12 PM
Hello Bruce,



I am also running ubuntu remotely through vnc and through the free edition of nx, which is faster. This is offtopic, but if you don't mind, could you also try nx, because I always get the message that assistive technology could not be started at login. This would confirm the bug that I just filed against at-spi:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/at-spi/+bug/117995

If you decide to try nx, you have to download the nxclient, the nxnode and the nxserver (free edition) and install them in that order. You can find them here:
http://www.nomachine.com/download.php

In any case, many thanks.

Francesco

Thank you for the suggestion, Francesco. I will indeed try nx as time permits and mu such discussion to another thread or forum is appropriate (it may well still be accessibility-related).

I have posted to Launchpad a question about Dasher, about the missing feature, and I am open to suggestions about where else we may post a query.

In the meantime the program will remain useful to many with only the additional step necessary of copying all text and pasting to another window but for anyone for whom this would be difficult the missing feature does limit its utility.

Regards

Bruce Couper

frafu
June 4th, 2007, 08:43 PM
I have posted to Launchpad a question about Dasher, about the missing feature, and I am open to suggestions about where else we may post a query.


Have you already looked at this page (http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/Develop.html) on Dasher's website. It tells you where get more information.

Particularly, to ask for missing feature in Dasher, you should go to gnome's bugzilla (http://bugzilla.gnome.org/). Do a search for what you what, and if it is not already filed, you should start a Request For Enhancement Bug to ask for the missing feature. You should begin the title of your bug with the keyword RFE (e.g.: "RFE: Beam text to front window"); so the developer immediately know that it is a request.

Have a nice day.

Bruce Couper
June 8th, 2007, 02:04 PM
Have you already looked at this page (http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/dasher/Develop.html) on Dasher's website. It tells you where get more information.

Particularly, to ask for missing feature in Dasher, you should go to gnome's bugzilla (http://bugzilla.gnome.org/). Do a search for what you what, and if it is not already filed, you should start a Request For Enhancement Bug to ask for the missing feature. You should begin the title of your bug with the keyword RFE (e.g.: "RFE: Beam text to front window"); so the developer immediately know that it is a request.

Have a nice day.

Thank you! I will indeed follow up on this as soon as possible. My time is limited and I do want to check a couple of other things so if anyone else wishes to post first please just leave a note here.

Regards

Bruce Couper