How do I make my Beeb talk to me?

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stevendt
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How do I make my Beeb talk to me?

Post by stevendt » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:56 am

Hi,

I have recently picked up a model B and have seen the speech option mentioned in various places.

Can someone please tell me if there is any other hardware required, apart from the Speech ROM? It sounds too easy to just plug in single EPROM! Apart from additional hardware, is they any new software needed?

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Dave

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1024MAK
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Re: How do I make my Beeb talk to me?

Post by 1024MAK » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:29 am

There are two systems.

The official Acorn system (a hardware system, which needs two chips fitting to the PCB) and the software only version (called Speech!), which comes on floppy disk. I think it comes on EPROM as well (but am not sure).

The Acorn system became obsolete soon after Speech! was released.

I've tried both. But many months apart, so comparisons are difficult due to my flaky memory!

The Acorn system is limited by the words / symbols in the speech memory chip. There was suppose to be extra speech memory chips, but I don't think any / many were released.

The software version was much more flexible, but at the cost of CPU time.

I will dig up some links...
http://www.flickr.com/photos/andysretro ... 385363989/
http://wouter.bbcmicro.net/pictures/har ... index.html
http://bbc.nvg.org/doc/Speech.html
http://www.retro-kit.co.uk/page.cfm/con ... r-Upgrade/
http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewto ... f=2&t=1450

Mark

[links last updated 2013-01-07 01:42][further edited to correct a typo!)
Last edited by 1024MAK on Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

stevendt
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Re: How do I make my Beeb talk to me?

Post by stevendt » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:50 am

Thanks Mark,

Some interesting reading there, I will have to listen to the examples at a more sociable hour, so I'll do that tomorrow.

I quite liked the idea of the Kenneth Kendal voice, but it seems like that is not the best solution.

I'll need to do more reading!

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Dave

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sweh
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Re: How do I make my Beeb talk to me?

Post by sweh » Mon Jan 07, 2013 1:57 am

1024MAK wrote:The official Acorn system (a hardware system, which needs two chips fitting to the PCB) and the software only version (called Speech!), which comes on floppy disk. I think it comes on EPROM as well (but am not sure).
Speech! was relocatable and, yes, came in ROM version. http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewto ... ies#p46549
The Acorn system is limited by the works / symbols in the speech memory chip. There was suppose to be extra speech memory chips, but I don't think any / many were released.

The software version was much more flexible, but at the cost of CPU time.
From memory, the Acorn version sounded better because it used recorded words. I think it was also possible to make it talk off-dictionary, but quality went down a lot. Not many people used it, though, 'cos it was a hardware solution. Speech! won 'cos it was pure software :-)
Rgds
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Re: How do I make my Beeb talk to me?

Post by BeebMaster » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:12 am

I think you could make the Acorn Speech system say bespoke words but it was difficult to do as it involved programming the speech chips directly - it was a serial system and I think you had to poke the bytes in reverse order! I've always meant to look into it a bit more but I haven't got round to it yet. Sprow will know, as he did his own version of the Acorn speech upgrade, but I don't think he's on here.
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richardtoohey
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Re: How do I make my Beeb talk to me?

Post by richardtoohey » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:19 am

You don't need the Speech! EPROM - you can load the program from a disc.

Here is a scan from my Speech! disc from BITD.

The first image is legible if you save it & then zoom (or, in Firefox, right-click, View Image, and zoom)

First time I heard Speech! in action was the Citadel loader ... happy days!

The Speech! disc is here

http://www.stairwaytohell.com/bbc/archi ... Speech.zip

Just downloaded it and run in Beebem - all good!

HTH.
Attachments
speech_fc_scaled.jpg
Speech! Cover & first page of instructions
speech_fc_scaled.jpg (307.06 KiB) Viewed 393 times
speech_bc_scaled.jpg
Speech! Second page of instructions
speech_bc_scaled.jpg (276.02 KiB) Viewed 393 times

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