NATURAL SOUNDS BY CHEETAH
CHEETAH MARKETING has produced a speech output device called the Sweet Talker. It is complete in a black plastic box the same size as the 32K RAM pack for the Spectrum. The unit contains a very powerful amplifier and the tape with it not only auto runs to introduce itself but also shows some very good programming practice.
The instructions are very simple and the unit should not clash with any joysticks or other items, is it uses I/O port address 7. That may clash with some Sinclair peripherals - the Microdrive, for instance - as Sinclair tends to use only one bit of an address going low to operate equipment and using port 7 takes all the bits from B7 to B3 low. Cheetah is looking into that and may modify the address.
Programming is done by using phonetic sounds which allow you to produce the sounds necessary to make up a full word. They are put out as numbers to Sweet Talker in sequence from a DATA statement when you want words spoken. Silences can be included to stop the words or to provide pauses between words - of up to 200ms. The Sweet Talker seems to be about eight to 10 times as slow as others available, which makes it sound more natural. There are ZX-81 and Spectrum versions.
Sweet Talker is available from Cheetah Marketing, 359 The Strand, London WC2 Tel: 01-240 7939. John Menzies and Boots also stock it. The cost is £34.95.