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RevEng

AtariVox Spell & Speak

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post-23476-0-51344200-1304957363_thumb.png

 

spellandspeak.NTSC.20110509.bin

spellandspeak.PAL60.20110509.bin

 

It's a text-to-speech program for the 2600. Type in some words - the swearing variety or not - and it will say them when you hit the SPEAK button.

 

The S buttons save your phrase in 1 of 4 slots, the L buttons load it. Left/Right arrows slow/speed up the speech, up/down arrows raise or lower the pitch.

 

The text-to-speech converter is phonetics-based, so sometimes you'll need to add or change a few letters to get it to pronounce correctly.

 

It should be obvious from the name, but I'll say it anyway - this requires an AtariVox.

 

Enjoy!

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Mike, would you please make a PAL60 version when AtariVox will be available?

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For sure, Phil - a PAL 60 version is definitely on my radar! :)

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The interface is meant to pay homage to a Speak&Spell toy, which is kinda reddish-orange. For NTSC I went a bit more orange and used $39.

 

For PAL colors, do you think the pinkish-red ($69) works better, or the yellowish-orange? ($49)

 

post-23476-0-37121800-1304946878_thumb.jpg post-23476-0-64778700-1304946909_thumb.png post-23476-0-82498200-1304946900_thumb.png

 

I'm leaning toward $49, I think, for the same reason I picked NTSC $39. The red looks too pinkish.

 

Looking at the comparison photos, maybe I'll go darker with both NTSC and PAL too.

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If you leave NTSC version unchanged, I agree that PAL $48 (maybe $46 or $44) is OK.

In some photos Speak&Spell seems bright red, in other dark red, in other orange...

 

Have you tested NTSC $42 and PAL $62?

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If you leave NTSC version unchanged, I agree that PAL $48 (maybe $46 or $44) is OK.

In some photos Speak&Spell seems bright red, in other dark red, in other orange...

 

Have you tested NTSC $42 and PAL $62?

Yeah, I think the manufacturing color control was pretty weak for these things. I always remembered them as being more orange than the one I pictured, but maybe it was a regional thing.

 

I really try to avoid the $#2 registers - on my CRT at default settings, $#0 is black for any color and $#2 is way darker than stella shows. I don't think I'm unique in that either, as I've heard yuppicide and others make the same comment.

 

I tried NTSC $44...

 

post-23476-0-70862600-1304952266_thumb.png

 

...and PAL $64...

 

post-23476-0-01109500-1304952403_thumb.png

 

...a bit of a cherry undertone with both, but better than the pink at the higher luminance values.

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I really like this last round, especially the NTSC colors.

 

If you leave NTSC version unchanged, I agree that PAL $48 (maybe $46 or $44) is OK.

In some photos Speak&Spell seems bright red, in other dark red, in other orange...

 

Have you tested NTSC $42 and PAL $62?

Yeah, I think the manufacturing color control was pretty weak for these things. I always remembered them as being more orange than the one I pictured, but maybe it was a regional thing.

 

I really try to avoid the $#2 registers - on my CRT at default settings, $#0 is black for any color and $#2 is way darker than stella shows. I don't think it's unique in that either, as I've heard yuppicide and others make the same comment.

 

I tried NTSC $44...

 

post-23476-0-70862600-1304952266_thumb.png

 

...and PAL $64...

 

post-23476-0-01109500-1304952403_thumb.png

 

...a bit of a cherry undertone with both, but better than the pink at the higher luminance values.

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I really like this last round, especially the NTSC colors.

Sounds good, lapetino - I've updated the first post with the NTSC and PAL reds.

 

Phil, let me know if the PAL colors work for you.

 

The version in the first post also fixes a scanline bump that happened with some phrases.

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NTSC color's perfect.

PAL color is ugly on emulator but good on my Sony Trinitron CRT!

I can't hear anything!

the.golden.ax, hurry up! :D

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:D I'll be glad when he spins up production too. My breadvox is good enough for development, but I'd prefer to have a nice self-enclosed unit that I could swap between my laptop and the 2600.

 

Anyway, thanks for checking it out on real hardware, Phil! :thumbsup:

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You're always welcome Mike!

Now you have to update your avatar!

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It will work in Stella, but only if you have an AtariVox plugged into a TTL level serial port on your PC.

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I tried it with my Harmony/AtariVox. Absolutely amazing! It works fantastically!

 

Man, you're such a genius.

Edited by Cybearg

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Bump. I'm just trying this out now. The most fun I have had with the Vox for sure.

 

Would it be difficult to make an expanded version with more variables? Like changing tone and volume within a sentence.. like singing? .. Or making longer statements?

 

.. The four save slots are really convenient and useful. This is just such a neat program. Thanks RevEng!

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Bump. I'm just trying this out now. The most fun I have had with the Vox for sure.

 

Would it be difficult to make an expanded version with more variables? Like changing tone and volume within a sentence.. like singing? .. Or making longer statements?

 

.. The four save slots are really convenient and useful. This is just such a neat program. Thanks RevEng!

 

Thanks for bumping this gliptitude. I was not aware of this, but am now enjoying it with the family. :thumbsup:

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Thanks for the kind words, guys! :)

 

Expanding it would be technically possible, but would probably require some on-cart RAM. I wanted to keep this one as a simple 4k ROM. I envisioned it as a simple low-cost pack-in for the vox, but it never garnered that interest. :P

 

I've kicked around the idea of porting it to the 7800. Intonation tricks would easily be possible there, along with a more advanced interface.

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I've kicked around the idea of porting it to the 7800. Intonation tricks would easily be possible there, along with a more advanced interface.

I wonder if it would work any better or worse on Vectrex, or if that interests you? Vectrex homebrews frequently push 32K in size. AtarVox+ works on Vectrex in VecVoice or VecVox mode, whichever the game is programmed for. .. I'm not positive the save key works on Vectrex though. And you'd probably want a different graphic interface to avoid flicker and distortion.

 

Anyway I'm happy with what you provided already. It is quite functional. I'm surprised it hasn't garnered the interest you envisioned. It seems like an obvious starting point with the Vox hardware, and very common interest in appeal.

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I wonder if it would work any better or worse on Vectrex, or if that interests you? Vectrex homebrews frequently push 32K in size. AtarVox+ works on Vectrex in VecVoice or VecVox mode, whichever the game is programmed for. .. I'm not positive the save key works on Vectrex though. And you'd probably want a different graphic interface to avoid flicker and distortion.

The Vectrex could easily handle an uplifted version of Spell & Speak, and can theoretically write to the EEPROM. That said, I only develop on systems I have real hardware for, and I don't have one. Wish I did, but the buy-in has been prohibitive.

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