[Coladam] clearing up the mystery...

Joe Blenkle jblenkle at sacnews.net
Tue Jun 16 02:19:58 CEST 2009

I'm in need of the actual documentation for the Speech Synthesizer though...as I recall it was a little booklet that contained the various data statements you input into the Basic program so that the SS-CC would make words and various sounds. I have about 25 words from the HELLO program on the EVE SS-CC software...typically it looks like this:

10000 REM **** put data below

10010 DATA "Hello ",27,7,45,2,45,53

10013 DATA 99,"",99

10014 DATA "",4,4,99

10015 DATA " ",4,4,4,4,4,4,99

10020 DATA "I ",6,3,99

10025 DATA "am ",26,16,3,99

10030 DATA "your ",25,23,52,3,99

10035 DATA "ADAM ",26,33,21,26,16,3,99

10040 DATA "computer ",42,23,16,9,22,13,52,3,99

10045 DATA "",4,4,99

The words would appear on the screen as the ADAM spoke them. I'm sure a lot of words can be constructed through trial and error, but it would be a heck of a lot easier to have the original documentation. All I remember for sure is that 99 ends each data statement and 4 was a pause of a specified length...don't remember how long...

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Rich Drushel" <drushel at apk.net>
To: <coladam at adamcon.org>
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 5:03 PM
Subject: Re: [Coladam] clearing up the mystery...

> On Mon, June 15, 2009 5:24 pm, Joe Blenkle wrote:
>> While on the subject of old ADAM stuff...I'm still looking for documentaion
>> for the Eve Speech Synthesizer. I had even contacted Hank Szretter awhile back
>> and he promised to see if he could come up with a copy, but he never got back
>> to me again. Anyone got any?
>     Since Rin is moving here on the 22nd, I have been sorting through
> all the stuff in the apartment spare bedroom that was just moved out of the
> basement of the house 4 years ago en masse, and much of which had not been
> touched since the last ADAMcon that I brought significant amounts of my
> ADAM hardware to (namely, ADAMcon 13).  The first task is to get through
> all of the boxes and discard all the junk.  "Junk" does not mean any ADAM
> stuff, fear not.  But once everything is out in the open, I can pack it
> away more logically and more compactly.
>     I thus expect to gain access to a fair amount of documentation that
> I collected over the years, most especially when I was working on SB1.x
> and also the various things I did for HLM-GMK (hard disk stuff, ADAMlink V).
> Plus Richard Clee's entire newsletter collection (which he generously placed
> in my care a few years ago).
>     Off the top of my head, places that might have documentation on the
> Eve Speech Synthesizer:
> (1)  NIAD newsletter
> (2)  Nibbles and Bits (Sol Swift's newsletter; I have at least one complete
> set, maybe 2)
> (3)  The ADAM Survival Guide
> (4)  This is a stretch...but if memory serves, the speech synthesizer chip
> is the common one that "everybody used" in that timeframe.  (E.g., it's
> in the DECtalk module that Stephen Hawking uses for his "voice", in the
> TI-99 speech synthesizer module.)  The device sits at a serial port and
> you write phoneme characters to it, like it was a terminal or printer,
> and out comes speech.  Radio Shack used to have an annual technical catalog
> that contained data sheets on all the chips they sold.  Again, reaching
> back 20 years of memory, he 1988 catalog had complete data sheets for a
> speech synthsizer chip, again I think for this one that "everybody used".
> The chip sold for about $40 back then.  I remember reading that catalog
> over and over, just because it had all kinds of interesting stuff in it
> that I barely understood at the time.  I also remember that the catalog
> from the next year had hardly anything of interest in it (RS was starting
> to morph from a hobbyist/experimenter parts outlet to "Tandy Consumer
> Electronics", where they sit today).  I don't know if I still have that
> RS catalog, but if I find it, I will certainly keep it.
> (5)  If someone has an Eve unit, and could look inside the box at the
> chips, I am sure that the data sheets for the speech chip are online
> *SOMEWHERE*.  Given that Eve had the first serial boards and Orphanware
> copied the design, I would bet that the UART is a Signetics 2651 sitting
> at one of the "common" base I/O ports (68, 76, 84, or 92 decimal), and
> serial I/O driver code is readily available in commented form (e.g., in
> the SB1.x source).  So then all you need is the table of phoneme characters
> to write to the device to get desired speech.
> (6)  Any software that is known to talk to the Eve unit could be
> disassembled.  I like that kind of challenge :-)  ISTR that GoDOS with
> GoBASIC claimed the ability talk to it through a high-level interface.  I
> did find my GoDOS floppy already in my cleaning, but I cannot remember if
> it was password-protected by Sol Swift or not, or if the "freebie boot"
> counter had expired and the software self-modified to be unrunnable.
> Herman and George gave it to me for research purposes.  I do remember
> running it a few times.  I made a disk dump of it once, preparatory to an
> ADAMcon lecture I gave on comparison of different versions of BASIC for
> ADAMs, it was either at ADAMcon 4 or 5.  That file would most likely still
> be living on the hard drive of my Tandy 2800HD 286 laptop, whose transplant
> to an external case was the subject of an early "This Week With My Coleco
> ADAM" article over 10 years ago.  That machine is in the storage locker of
> my apartment (just looked in there last night as it turns out).  The GoDOS
> image could be disassembled in search of the speech synthesizer driver code.
> (7)  ADAMlink of Utah (Alan Neely's newsletter) might have some articles
> about it.  Alan sent me some of his newsletters that had the results of
> his researches into programming the ADAMlink modem.  He certainly had the
> reverse-engineering skill to produce similar technical articles about the
> Eve speech synthesizer, but I have no direct knowledge if he ever did so
> for publication.
> (8)  Brute-force search through Richard Clee's newsletter collection.
> Without looking, I could not list the titles he has.  I imagine he had
> subscriptions to everything he could find.  It is in many heavy boxes.
>     So, all is not totally lost!
>     *Dr. D.*
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