Vision impaired software on FreeBSD?

Julian Stacey jhs at
Thu Jan 25 16:39:01 UTC 2007

> From:		des at (Dag-Erling =?iso-8859-1?Q?Sm=F8rgrav?=) 
> Date:		Thu, 25 Jan 2007 14:35:25 +0100 
> Message-id:	<8664avcjqa.fsf at> 

Dag-Erling =?iso-8859-1?Q?Sm=F8rgrav?= wrote:
> "Julian H. Stacey" <jhs at> writes:
> > One problem: (last I knew), FreeBSD only has a graphical installer,
> > not Ascii text mode. So you might need somoene else to install it
> > for you.
> On the contrary, FreeBSD does not have and has never had a graphical
> installer.  Sysinstall is text-based and is rumored to work well with
> screen readers.

Depends what one means & understand by graphics.  There was previous
discussuion on topic of FreeBSD installer use by the blind many
years back: a short while after Jordan gave us the nice colourful
boxed (what I call graphical) installer, a blind person wrote in &
asked if there was a plain text installer, his answer was no,
get someone else to install.  It'll be in webed mail archives.

As the BSD installer is not a pixel X11 Xwindows graphics installer,
just ascii strings with escape sequences for pcterm/ vt100 whatever,
maybe modern blind equipment might cope with (ie ignore) sequences .

The cursor does rather jump around during the install, whereas a
clasical command line tool does not, so it may be harder to retain
everything in human memory though.

A near blind German girl (Linux user I think) told me in English long ago:
 - Braile transducers for the blind cost a fortune,
 - Did limited mapping of 1 line of 40 chars to a pixel map for fingers.
 - Braille varies completely between countries (ie far more than just umlauts),
   so hinders import competition to force price down, so even if Jim Vaglia
   has a device that copes, it may not be usable for others.

A case report from Jim would be interesting, if he can try it, & report
back, FreeBSD could document it to web site for next enquirer.
Jim, if no luck with the FreeBSD installer, try NetNSD installer.

Julian Stacey.  BSD Unix C Net Consultancy, Munich/Muenchen
Mail Ascii, not HTML.		Ihr Rauch = mein allergischer Kopfschmerz.

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