speak spell

Posted on Feb 5, 2014

A `talking` computer is not necessarily expensive - not if you mate one of the low-cost computers (Sinclair ZX-80, ZX-81, or Timex 1000) with Texas Instruments popularly priced `Speak & Spell` learning device. The combination give you several hundred clearly articulated words that expand the usefulness of the small computer. All you need to make i

speak spell
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t happen inexpensively is a simple interface and some software, all described here. Using these ideas, you might design a lowcost security/firealarm that vocalizes the nature of a problem ("Fire", "Theft", etc). You could also enhance your computer`s portability by making its output audible instead of displaying it on a video screen; write educational programs with truly meaningful student/teacher interaction; spice up computer video games with synthesized speech; create useful programs for the visually impaired; etc. Here`s how it can be done. The Speak & Spell consists of a pushbutton keyboard, microprocessor, display, ROM (contains speech data), voice synthesizer, and loudspeaker. A block diagram of the system is shown in Fig. 1. The microprocessor communicates with the speech units through a 6-line bus with CNTL 1, 2, 4, and 8 forming a 4-bit data bus and PDC (processor data clock) and CS (chip select) forming a control bus. The control commands used in the Speak & Spell are listed in Table I. The ROM contains the binary-coded speech data for synthesis of the spoken word. Each word has a specific starting address. When it is desired to output a particular word, the ROM address of the beginning of the word is sent to the voice synthesizer in five 4-bit nybbles, preceded by the LOAD ADDRESS (code 2) command. The data is then clocked into the voice synthesizer by the PDC signal. Once the 5-nybble word address is loaded,...

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