23/01/11 - Vinux IRC Conference 21:00 GMT 22/01/11:
The online meeting to discuss the future development of Vinux took place last night and we had about thirty participants on and off, although some people had problems using IRC for the first time. It was decided that Vinux would continue to be based on Ubuntu for the time being, but that we would look into the possibility of building upon Debian Mint and/or Squeeze in the meantime. Ten people were elected as Team Coordinators: BuildScripts - Tony Sales, Software Development - Don Marang, Testing - Nimer Jaber, Website - Mobeen Iqbal, Publicity - Storm Dragon, Fundraising - Arianna Sepulveda, Documentation is shared by Nimer Jaber, Krishnakant and Merrill Woolnough, and we accepted offers for Translated Versions of Vinux from Kris (Dutch), Ferdinand/Joey (German) , Cleverson/Rui (Portuguese) and Burt (Spanish).
01/01/11 - Vinux 3.1 Virtual, USB and Torrent Now Available :
Thanks to Mobeen Iqbal Vinux 3.1 is now available as a pre-built VMWare version in the form of a self extracting executable for people who want to run Vinux as a virtual guest OS on a Windows computer. Mobeen has also created a Universal USB edition which can be installed to a USB pendrive from either Windows or Linux. Finally, Eric Oyen has made the whole Vinux 3.1 Collection available as one giant 10.5GB torrent from piratebay, but the effectiveness of this will of course depend upon having enough seeders available at any one time.
21/12/10 - Vinux 3.1 Now Available Via Public FTP :
I have just set up a new public FTP account so that people can download and print Vinux iso images from the vinux.org.uk website using FTP. The FTP links are listed on the Downloads page as United Kingdom FTP and you can download these by clicking on the links in a browser. You will be asked for a username and password, which is ‘vinuxftp’ for both. This should reduce the number of problems while downloading, as FTP allows you to resume a download if the connection is broken and also allows people to download files over 2GB! This will also work with older iso images but I haven’t bothered to provide direct links to these as demand for these is low. If you want to use FTP to download an older version of Vinux simply add the name of the iso file you want to the following URL - ftp://ftp.vinux.org.uk/ - you will be asked for the username and password and then the file will download in the normal way.
17/12/10 - Vinux 3.1 Plus DVD Edition Released:
I have just uploaded the Vinux 3.1 Plus Edition to Tooldude’s server - for some reason it isn’t possible to download files greater than 2GB from this website using the HTTP protocol. This is available in both 32 and 64 bit versions and provides 1GB of extra packages on top of the standard DVD version. These include a wide range of 3D Games, Scientific, Educational and Graphics based packages which are not accessible with a screen-reader, but can be used by partially sighted users with the aid of magnification and/or font/colour changes. Many of the games are in fact playable without magnification because they feature quite large colourful graphics. This version has something for all the family and is just as useful for both visually impaired and sighted users alike.
17/12/10 - Vinux 3.1 USB Versions Now Available:
After extensive testing I have now uploaded two new versions of Vinux 3.1 which are specially built to run from USB pendrives. There are 2GB and 4GB versions which are stored as compressed .xz files which must be downloaded and uncompressed before being copied straight to a USB pendrive. To uncompress an .xz file simply run: xz -dk filename.img.xz - then to copy it to the pendrive use: dd if=filename.img of=/dev/sdx - however the capacity of pendrive must be at least as big or bigger than the size of the image. The 2GB image is 1948896 1K-blocks and the 4GB image is 3905512 1K-blocks. You can check the size of your pendrive using: df - this will list all mounted drives including your USB pendrive at the bottom of the list.
16/12/10 - Special USB Edition of the Vinux 3.1 Live CD:
I have uploaded a specially remastered edition of the Vinux 3.1 Live CD for installing to USB pendrives. This was necessary because it seems that the latest version of Ubuntu boots so quickly from USB pendrives that it causes PulseAudio to lockup and the only way to get it back is to kill PulseAudio and restart it. To get around this I have inserted a 12 second delay into the PulseAudio startup process so that this problem is avoided. However, you cannot just copy this iso image straight to a USB pendrive, it must be installed using the Startup Disk Creator application or some other packages which is designed for this purpose. You can however use this version as a standard live CD if you want, and install Vinux to a hard drive from it in the normal way. So this iso is really aimed at developers, we are hoping to release some versions of the USB Edition that can be copied straight to a pendrive by users in the next few days.
10/12/10 - Small Bug in Vinux 3.1 - Simple Workaround:
I have found a small bug in the latest release - however it is unlikely to affect the majority of users and there is a very simple workaround for those who are affected. Because of a minor typing error in one of the build scripts, the keybinding which was supposed to modify the multimedia keybindings in the event of the sound card being muted wasn’t enabled. The workaround is simply to press Alt+F2, type ‘volume_keys’ (without the speech marks) then press Enter, then press Alt+Y and Enter again. Now you can use Windows+Alt+Right to unmute and raise the system volume. Just to confuse matters further, I also managed to provide completely the wrong keybindings for the new multimedia volume controls in the keybindings.txt file as well. So to clarify, should you need to activate the new multimedia keybindings you should use Windows+Alt+Right/Left to raise/lower the volume and Windows+Alt+Down to mute/unmute the volume.
08/12/10 - Vinux 3.1 Based on Ubuntu 10.10 is Released:
I am pleased to announce that Vinux 3.1 is now ready for download from the Vinux mirrors! It is currently available as a CD or DVD in both 32 and 64bit versions (USB and Virtual versions will follow shortly). It has been a long time coming, but hopefully it will be worth the wait. On top of all the usual Vinux goodies, new features include a Quick Start Guide for beginners (Ctrl+Alt+Q), Autokey-GTK which can insert text automatically as you type based on pre-defined abbreviation, the Parcellite Clipboard Manager which allows you paste text from the clipboard history, X-Tile which allows you to tile windows automatically, Gnome Media Player as an accessible front-end to VLC, Conkeror a keyboard controlled Web Browser, Pidgin the Internet Messenger (with all the plugins) and Gufw a simple but effective Firewall Manager. For more detailed information checkout the full announcement on the Vinux Development Blog!
25/08/10 - New Vinux Development and Support Groups:
I have now split the original Vinux Development Forum into two separate groups because of the significant increase in the number of subscribers and posts. The original list has now been renamed ‘The Vinux Support Forum’ and I have created a new list called ‘The Vinux Development Forum’. On the support list, any subscriber can post once their first message has been moderated, while on the development list only authorised developers can post, although anyone can read messages or subscribe to the list.
02/07/10 - Vinux 3.0 ‘Libre’ Edition Released:
I have just uploaded the first ‘Libre’ edition of Vinux! This is a special version of Vinux 3.0 made for the GNU/FSF which does not contain any non-free software. It is built from Ubuntu using the ‘free software only’ option and I have removed any non-free packages as well as excluding them from the EasyInstall scripts. It does however use the same standard Ubuntu repositories and the default kernel as the main edition.
21/06/10 - Vinux USB And DVD Final Versions Released:
The final versions of the USB and DVD Editions of Vinux 3.0 are now available for download from the website. There are three different versions of the USB Edition. Two of these are simply images of an installed USB Vinux system taken with ‘dd’ which can easily be copied to a USB pendrive of an equal or greater size in Linux. The third version is a ‘Universal’ Edition which can be installed to any USB pendrive of 1GB or greater on Linux or Windows. Full instructions for both of these installation methods will be available soon. The DVD Edition is a slightly modified version of the original Alpha release with a few extra GTK based applications included and without the Firefox Accessibility Plugins, which caused a few stability issues.
15/06/10 - Vinux USB And DVD Versions Available For Testing:
There are now USB and DVD versions of Vinux available for testing from the Downloads page of the website. There are two USB versions for 2GB and 4GB pendrives which are provided in the form of .xz compressed files. The md5sums provided are for the uncompressed .img files. To install these simply run the following command e.g. dd if=Vinux-3.0-2GB-Alpha.img of=/dev/sdb - you obviously need to change the USB drive letter to match the location of your pendrive. The DVD version is the standard version of Vinux with all of the EasyInstall applications pre-installed as well as several other additions including Firefox Accessibility Plugins. These are both experimental but we would appreciate any feedback whether it be positive or negative.
11/06/10 - Vinux Becomes The Unofficial Accessibility Testing Platform For Ubuntu:
Luke Yelavich who is in charge of accessibility at Canonical has announced that he has decided to use Vinux as a test platform for accessibility related features. The plan is to test these features, make sure they are well implemented and then as time and the maturity of the packages permit, they will be merged into the main Ubuntu distribution proper. This work will begin by moving Vinux iso building over to the same framework used to build official Ubuntu CDs. Canonical won’t actually be building the disks, but Luke knows how to set up the framework. This will make the development of Vinux much easier and faster, as this will provide automated daily builds, based on different Ubuntu releases etc. This is a significant step forward for the Vinux Project!
31/05/10 - Vinux 3.0 Released:
On behalf of the whole Vinux community I am happy to announce the 3rd release of Vinux - Linux for the Visually Impaired, based on Ubuntu 10.04 - Lucid Lynx. This version of Vinux provides three screen-readers, two full-screen magnifiers, dynamic font-size/colour-theme changing as well as support for USB Braille displays. Vinux is now available both as an installable live CD and as a .deb package which will automatically convert an existing installation of Ubuntu Lucid into an accessible Vinux system! In addition, we now have our own Vinux package repository (from which you can install our customised packages with apt-get/synaptic) and a dedicated Vinux IRC channel. In the very near future we will also be launching a Vinux Wiki and releasing special DVD, USB and Virtual Editions of Vinux 3.0!
25/05/10 - Vinux 3.0 Release Candidate 6 Available For Testing:
Bill has now uploaded the 6th release candidate of Vinux 3.0, with both 32 and 64 bit versions available and comes with a broadband management software system. This release candidate features the newer version of Firefox and a few other tweaks. If there are no other significant bugs then we hope this will become the final release version of Vinux 3.0 at the weekend. I have also made some more of the earlier versions of Vinux available from the archive. These versions are no longer officially supported but I thought they might be of historical interest and/or of use to someone.
21/05/10 - New Format For The Downloads Page:
I have just uploaded the new version of the downloads page. If you have a look, you will notice that you are presented with the version number of each release, the distribution it is based on, its size in megabytes and the md5sum followed by a list of the available mirrors in different geographical locations. We recommend that you try the mirror closest to you in order to get the fastest possible download speed. I have also made some older versions of Vinux available, primarily for archaeological reasons. However, these versions are no longer actively maintained or developed, and we are unlikely to be able to offer any technical support for them should you choose to try them.
20/05/10 - Vinux 3.0 Release Candidate 5 Available For Testing:
The 5th Release Candidate of Vinux 3.0 is now available for download and testing. It will hopefully become the final release of Vinux 3.0 assuming there are no serious bugs. The only known issue at this stage is the possibility of Firefox crashing sometimes when a tab is closed and some slight delays in Orca response times while navigating certain websites. This is due to the fact that we have been forced to downgrade Firefox to 3.5 temporarily in order to overcome some accessibility problems with the current Ubuntu version 3.6 - If this can’t be fixed by the end of the month, we plan to release Vinux 3.0 and provide a patch or update to fix this as soon as possible.
16/05/10 - New Vinux Website Under Construction:
The old Vinux website that was originally built and managed by Osvaldo La Rosa of meshtech.co.uk has now been dismantled and I am attempting to construct a new one from scratch! The new website will be officially launched along with a new Vinux Community Wiki and a dedicated Vinux IRC Channel when Vinux 3.0 (based on Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx) is released at the end of the month.