Speaking Linux released

Talking penguin sits on top of Windows...

A speaking version of Linux, designed to give the visually impaired an experience of open source computing, has been launched by software firms Slackware and Speakup.

The talking distribution called ZipSpeak, is developed from version 7.0 of Zip Slack, a simplified rendering of Slackware Linux. The distribution is able to talk to its user using text-to-speech application called Speakup developed specifically to work on Linux.

The operating system is relatively small but might not be a favourite choice for experienced Linux users as it is designed, for ease of installation, to install on top of Windows. It does however offer the visually impaired a fully operational, not to mention, fully talking Linux system.

The new OS has already gained much attention on a newsgroup for blind Linux enthusiasts called "Blinux."