Hello, Members and Friends of the R&D Committee:
I suspect you do not subscribe to the BLIND-L list. Here is an
announcement about the long-awaited Speak-Out from GW Micro. It is
nice to know that competition continues within the speech
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 1994 23:48:07 -0500
From: "Michael D. Lawler" <mdlawler@GWMICRO.COM>
Subject: Speak-Out availability announcement
Finally! Speak-Out is alive, well and shipping. For those who
don't know, Speak-Out is our new, external speech synthesizer.
For those who have been waiting, thank you for your patience and
It is an extremely responsive synthesizer. It has both parallel
and serial ports, both are always active and it uses standard
Centronics parallel and 9 pin D serial connectors - NO EXPENSIVE
SPECIAL CABLES ARE NEEDED. Since both parallel and serial ports
are active you can literally connect Speak-Out to two computers
at once. Or, if you are using a computer with only one parallel
and one serial port, you can easily transfer Speak-Out from one
to the other.
There are no EPROMS in Speak-Out. We have the capability to
upgrade the text-to-speech software or add an additional feature
by uploading through the serial port.
It has a rapid charge circuit which allows the batteries in
Speak-Out to be fully recharged in 90 minutes. Because of the
rapid charge circuit even a 15 minute charge provides operation
for a long time. In a pinch you may use the 9V battery adapter
to use a standard a 9V alkaline battery if you have run the Ni-
Cads down and can't get to an AC outlet easily.
By default, upon turning on the power switch Speak-Out announces
whether it is "not charging", "trickle charging" or "rapid
charging". Therefore, if you plug the charger into an outlet
that doesn't work, Speak-Out can tell you.
The carrying case includes a lower section for the AC
adapter/charger, a disk pocket, a belt clip, a short carrying
strap and a long carrying strap which can be slung over the
shoulder or worn around the waist "fanny pack" style.
Many of the Speak-Out's features are available at the touch of a
button using your computer's keyboard. The hot keys include
date/time, voice on/off, speech rate up/down, volume up/down,
punctuation, hyperscan on/off, rewind, fastforward,
pause/continue and enable/disable hot keys.
In addition, Speak-Out has four small round buttons in the center
of the front panel. If you press the left button you will hear
the current time. The up and down buttons activate the rewind
and fastforward feature. You do not have to purchase any
optional devices to use rewind and fastforward. Finally, if you
press the key on the right you will enter the menus.
The menus allow a large variety of settings and configurations.
Two interesting settings are for alarms and timers. The 26
alarms can be set to go off at a specific time and date and even
tell you a message such as "Send aunt Mary an anniversary card".
You can even have the message spoken daily such as "Take your
vitamin pills". The timer feature is for a more short term
events. Suppose you want to know when 45 minutes has elapsed in
order to attend a meeting - Speak-Out can do just that.
Speak-Out supports an exception dictionary so that you may
customize the pronunciation or certain words. This dictionary is
then stored within Speak-Out and travels wherever it goes.
I've tried to be both brief and also complete at the same time
(which is impossible I know). I've tried to list some of it's
most important features. Please give us a call if you want to
-- Michael D. Lawler FIDO 1:236/55 voice 219-483-3625 Internet firstname.lastname@example.org GW Micro, Inc., Product Support
Curtis Chong Internet: email@example.com (personal) or firstname.lastname@example.org (work)
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