The following article is an official public notification regarding the
recent update to DECtalk PC. I'm sure you'll find this helpful. Should you
have any questions regarding the DECtalk PC, please feel free to contact me or
subsribe to the new DECtalk PC BBS that is discussed in Section 2 of this
Finally, I will be updating the DECtalk PC Technical Reference Guide so that it
is in pure ASCII form. If you're interested in purchasing this manual, please
feel free to contact me.
Digital Equipment Corporation
Vision Impaired Information Services (VIIS)
Phone: (603) 881-1831
DECtalk PC V4.1 Release.
1. IMPORTANT CHANGES IN THE VERSION V4.1.
V4.1 is the latest version of the DECtalk Speech Processor. Due to the large
number of users of DECtalk PC and the number of the applications in which it
is used, V4.0 software has been vigorously exercised. As a result of feedback
and subsequent analysis, a number of modifications have been made and these
have been incorporated into DECtalk V4.1. In addition, new functionality has
been added. The DECtalk PC was not intended to be a stand alone product. It's
full capabilities can be realised by using a software application that
supports it. A current list of applications can be found in the USERS
CONFERENCE of our BBS (Bulletin Board Service). For more information about our
BBS please refer to section two of this note.
SPEECH FUNCTIONALITY IMPROVEMENTS.
There have been a number of improvements to the speech quality and
functionality of DECtalk V4.1. Speech improvements are an on-going effort and
each successive version of the software should have improved functionality as
well improved intelligibilty and naturalness.
Spelling speed is tied to the speaking speed. No special rules will be used
for spelling more slowly or quickly than the set speaking speed. However, the
speaking rate can be easily increased or decreased in the normal way.
The new speaking speed range has been increased to include rates from 75 to
650 wpm (Words Per Minute).
AUTOMATIC HOMOGRAPH PRONUNCIATION.
Homographs (words which are spelled the same but pronounced differently) are
chosen automatically and should be pronounced correctly in more cases.
For example, if you type the following pairs of sentences:
I'll refuse the refuse.
They'll produce the produce.
You will notice that the correct form of "refuse" and "produce" is chosen
The following changes were made in punctuation pronunciation:
When the "Punctuation None" mode is ON, the "period" is no longer pronounced
in any context, e.g., ellipsis marks, PC file names, etc.
Also, multiple exclamation points and question marks at the end of a sentence
will not cause the proceeding word to be spelled or the punctuation to be
Spell mode will no longer occur exept when a word contains embedded
punctuation, e.g. "sys$system", or if a typo occurs such as not having a space
between the period at the end of a sentence and the first letter of the next
sentence. For example: "This is sentence one.This is sentence two."
The default punctuation pronunciation now processes (but does not pronounce)
punctuation so that ":", ";", "-" and the like will force pauses but will not
Pronunciation of "A" and "To".
The letter "A" and words like "to" will be pronounced differently depending
whether they being spoken as part of a clause or are being spoken as a single
letter or word.
The installation process has been significantly simplified by the elimination
of IRQ and BIOS address settings. Therefore, conflicts with other installed
options has been greatly reduced or eliminated. Also 64KB of upper memory is
now freed up.
It is also important to note that the DECtalk PC memory resident driver
DT_DRIV can be loaded into upper memory. The AUTOEXEC.BAT file will need to be
edited to add the LOADHIGH command to the DT_DRIV command line. For example
the edited command would look like this:
LOADHIGH DT_DRIV -C -L
2. DECtalk PC SUPPORT.
There is a BBS (Bulletin Board Service) available for DECtalk PC. The telephone
number for the BBS is 508-351-4018. In order to use this service you must have
a modem and be willing to register with it and to supply a password of your
choice. There is a USERS BULLETIN, that you can join and find out information
as well as ask questions about DECtalk PC.
3. IBM SCREEN READER SUPPORT.
If you are a user of the IBM SCREEN READER and want to use DECtalk PC with it,
we are now providing an update service. Please send to us one copy of your IBM
SCREEN READER INSTALL DISKETTES in the size you want, either 3 and 1/2 inch or
5 and 1/4 inch. We will update them to include the DECtalk PC DRIVER and
return them to you. PLEASE DON'T FORGET to include your return address!
Please send them to:
Digital Equipment Corp.
30 Forbes Rd. NR05-I4
Northboro, MA 01532
ATTN: IBM SCREEN READER UPDATE.