TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Speech Library
Volume Number:7
Issue Number:3
Column Tag:Basic School

Adding Speech to QuickBasic

By William H. Ball, Braintree, MA

Adding Speech to QuickBASIC

After reading Dave Kelly’s review of QuickBASIC, I knew that the time was right to buy a Microsoft BASIC for my Mac. I wanted to create clickable apps, but I also wanted the convenience of an interpreter. Now I have both.

So far I am pleased with QuickBASIC. But I was surprised to find that Microsoft did not include Macintalk support in the compiler. Macintalk is a small resource on disk (about 30K) that can add a nice touch to your programs.

Clear Lake Research has an ad on a back page of the QB manual and offers libraries for speech, 3D graphics, and sorting, mathematical, and statistical functions. I’m sure their libraries are professionally done, well-designed and extremely useful, but I didn’t want to wait; after buying the compiler I wanted to add speech to my programs that afternoon!

Pure-Code Resource Libraries

Anyway, this article presents one way to write what Microsoft calls a “pure-code resource” (as opposed to an “impure-code resource”) for QB. Luckily, LightspeedC users can generate these resources through the Set Project menu item. The details on building your own libraries for QB are in the manual. Basically, you

• create a project to build a code resource of type MBPC

• add your libraries and QB’s BasicLib.lib

• write the code

• compile to a code resource

• use ResEdit to

• set the file creator type to MSBB or MSBD

• set the file type to MSBL

You can add more resources with ResEdit as long as you give each resource a different name and ID. Voila! Your own libraries for BASIC! You can then use the LIBRARY statement in QB to use your collection of routines. Microsoft provides 20 library support routines in BasicLib.lib, which comes with QB, to help you write your own libraries.

A Speech Library

The source for SAY() shows how you can make your Mac talk from QB. The QB program, “test speech,” tests the SAY() routine. Building additional routines for QB looks pretty easy, even for a non-programmer like me. Microsoft made the job a lot easier by providing oodles of technical information in the manual and over 50 example programs on a disk which comes with the compiler. MDS, MPWC, MPWP, and LightspeedC examples are included.

Note that the LightspeedC example on pp. 447-448 in the QB manual will not work if you try to compile it. Why? Because the function prototypes in “BasicLSC.h” as supplied on QB’s examples disk were redefined after the manual went to print. Each argument type in the header now has a leading underscore. You will also have to change some of the casts.

I thought about writing a number of separate speech routines, but instead included the speech rate and pitch in SAY()’s syntax. You may choose to write your own. I wanted to keep things simple, so right now my library “Speech.lib” only contains SAY(). How many routines make a library? Two?

BasicError() Problem?

I also wanted to include more error-checking in the program, but ran across a problem with QB. The QuickBASIC library support routine BasicError(), as documented on page 459 of the manual, does not seem to work correctly. The casual reader (me) would assume that calling BasicError(n), with n representing one of the error codes listed on pp 557-559, would return a QuickBASIC error dialog with the representative error message. This is not the case; instead, an “Unprintable error” dialog is shown on the screen when a syntax error is encountered by a pure-code resource. This happened even with an example LightspeedC program, “AddStrings.c” included on the Microsoft disk, which was intended to demonstrate a pure-code resource with error-trapping. Maybe I’m doing something wrong? I tried trapping the error, but couldn’t correctly identify it. I’d welcome corrections, additions or enlightenments.

The code follows Microsoft’s suggestions, saves some registers for BASIC, and gets three arguments; two integer values for the speech rate and pitch, and a string to speak. Most of the work is done by GetNextLibArg(), a support routine that also tells you what type of argument was read. IntegerArg() converts the argument to an integer, and LoadStringDesc() returns a string with its length.

The general syntax for SAY() is

SAY(rate,pitch,string)

Where rate is an integer or integer variable from 0 to

425, and determines how fast string is spoken

pitch is an integer or integer variable from 0 to

500, and determines how high or low to speak

string is a string variable or string enclosed in

quotes

Make sure MacinTalk is somewhere on the volume, or SAY() will return a “Syntax Error.” If you pass the wrong number or type of arguments -- La Bomba! In fact, if you think that QB is the same, tame BASIC environment you grew up with on your first home computer, forget it. Because you now have full access to the Mac’s ROMs, there are a lot more opportunities to cause those sizzling, screen-splitting system crashes.

Factory Typo?

I was unable to generate a library icon of the speech library for the decimal version of QuickBASIC until I did some poking around with ResEdit. According to the manual on p. 451, you should use ResEdit to set the library’s file creator type to MSBB (for binary) or MSBD (for decimal). Well, everything’s fine if you set the type for MSBB, but not for MSBD! All you get when you return to the desktop is a plain document icon, and not a library icon. If I called the library from a program, the decimal version wouldn’t even show the filename on a GetFile dialog. Microsoft does not provide screenshots of the different icons generated by QB, so you can’t tell the difference between a document, application or library on the desktop until you get familiar with the program.

ResEdit showed me the solution to the problem. If you Get-Info the decimal version, you’ll see that the creator type is MSBA, not MSBD! Is this a ResEdit typo from the factory? Anyway, I figured it was safer to change the library’s creator type to MSBA rather than change the decimal version’s creator type. Once I did that, the decimal version was able to recognize the speech library, and the library had a library icon (which is a different icon from the binary version. Why?).

Drove me crazy for a while.

Printer Hangup

A further problem you might run across in QB is that printer errors are not trapped well by the QB environment. If your printer is off-line, QB will hang if you ask it to print the current file. Putting your printer back on-line gets you going again. Most Mac programs seem to catch this one.

Altogether, it’s great to have an interpreter and compiler in the same environment. One thing I’d like to see in a future version is the ability to edit multiple files. Also, the compiler seems to be a bit untidy, as it can leave a bunch of temporary files on your disk if your compile is aborted. I also ran out of room on my hard disk after a file called “QuickBasic Settings” grew to over six megabytes in the System Folder. This happened after a crash or two, and after I trashed the file QuickBasic came up damaged but with a graceful exit.

Despite the fact that you can now go into La-La Land just as easily as in C or Pascal, if you look back at the capabilities of the early BASICs on mainframes and micros you’ll see that the present QB environment is very nice indeed -- and now talks to you!

Have a happy! And remember, practice safe computing! After November’s virus scare, you never know what you can catch after connecting with another computer.

THINK C Project and Code Type

/* Speech.c -- QB code resource for access to MacinTalk routines 
   Copyright (C)1988 by William H. Ball for MacTutor™ magazine
    
   Usage: SAY(rate,pitch,string) 
   where  [rate] is an integer or integer variable 
     [pitch] is an integer or integer variable 
     [string] is a string variable or string enclosed by quotes. 
   for example,
    hefty% = 100 : wimpy% = 300 : fast% = 200 : slow% = 100
          m$ = “Hello there”
          CALL SAY(slow%,hefty%,m$)
          CALL SAY(fast%,wimpy%,m$)         
          or              
          CALL SAY(100,100,”Hello there”)
          CALL SAY(200,300,”Hello there”)
          
 Caveats: Can cause bombs of ID 2 or ID 10 if you fail to pass the correct 
number or type of arguments.
*/

#include “Macintalk.h”    /* LSC’s header          */
#include “BasicLSC.h”/* supplied with QB     */
 
PUBLIC VOID main() /* see QB manual p. 448*/
{
SpeechErr err;   /* error code*/
SpeechHandle theSpeech;   /* pointer to speech*/
Handle spOut;    /* speech handle  */

INT16   TempFlag,len,type,rate,pitch;
 /* INT16 == short */
StringPtr message; 
LIBARGPTR valptr;

 SAVEREGS();/* Save BASIC’s A4 and A5 registers*/
 
 if ((err = SpeechOn(“”, &theSpeech)) != noErr) { return; }
 
 if ((type = GetNextLibArg(&valptr,&TempFlag)) != _INTARG) rate = 150;
 else rate = IntegerArg();
 SpeechRate(theSpeech,(int)rate);
  
 if ((type = GetNextLibArg(&valptr,&TempFlag)) != _INTARG) pitch = 95;
 else pitch = IntegerArg();
 SpeechPitch(theSpeech,(int)pitch,Natural);
 
 type = GetNextLibArg(&valptr,&TempFlag);
 if (type != _NULLARG) {
 if (type == _STRGARG) {
 if (TempFlag)
 FreeTempDesc((SDRECPTR)valptr);
 LoadStringDesc((SDRECPTR)valptr,&message,&len);
 spOut = NewHandle(0L);   /* allocate handle */
 Reader(theSpeech,message,(long)len,spOut);
 MacinTalk(theSpeech, spOut);
 SpeechOff(theSpeech);
 DisposHandle(spOut);
 } 
 }
 RESTREGS();/* Restore BASIC’s A4 and A5 registers*/
}

‘ QuickBASIC program tests SAY() pure-code resource routine.
‘ Copyright (C)1988 by William H. Ball for MacTutor™ magazine.

‘ Usage: SAY(rate,pitch,string-expression)

‘ Beware!  Will bomb with wrong number or type of arguments! 
‘ Make sure MacinTalk is on same volume, or SAY() won’t talk.

DEFINT a-z
LIBRARY “Speechd.lib”                        
    ON ERROR GOTO 9
    PRINT “Let’s test the SAY() routine:”
    GOSUB talk
9  LIBRARY CLOSE
END

talk:
    rate = 0            ‘ declare integer and string variables
    pitch = 0
    message$ = “”

    INPUT “Enter something to say: “;message$
    INPUT “Enter a rate of speech between 0 and 425”;rate
    INPUT “Enter a pitch of speech between 0 and 500”;pitch

    ‘ Just hit Return? Use a default value
    IF rate = 0 THEN rate = 100
    IF pitch = 0 THEN pitch = 100

    CALL SAY(rate,pitch,message$) 
    
    PRINT  “another?”
    message$=INPUT$(1)
    IF LEFT$(message$,1) = “y” THEN 
        GOSUB talk
    END IF
RETURN

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

calibre 3.1.1 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
Sparkle Pro 2.2 - $79.99
Sparkle Pro will change your mind if you thought building websites wasn't for you. Sparkle is the intuitive site builder that lets you create sites for your online portfolio, team or band pages, or... Read more
Spotify 1.0.57.474. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
beaTunes 5.0.1 - Organize your music col...
beaTunes is a full-featured music player and organizational tool for music collections. How well organized is your music library? Are your artists always spelled the same way? Any R.E.M. vs REM?... Read more
LibreOffice 5.3.4.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
VOX 2.8.26 - Music player that supports...
VOX just sounds better! The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all audio formats you should ever need.... Read more
iFFmpeg 6.4.0 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a comprehensive media tool to convert movie, audio and media files between formats. The FFmpeg command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does all the hard... Read more
Beamer 3.3 - Stream any movie file from...
Beamer streams to your Apple TV.... Plays any movie file - Just like the popular desktop movie players, Beamer accepts all common formats, codecs and resolutions. AVI, MKV, MOV, MP4, WMV, FLV. To... Read more
jAlbum Pro 14.0 - Organize your digital...
jAlbum Pro has all the features you love in jAlbum, but comes with a commercial license. You can create gorgeous custom photo galleries for the Web without writing a line of code! Beginner-friendly... Read more
Apple Remote Desktop Client 3.9.3 - Clie...
Apple Remote Desktop Client is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end users, create detailed software and hardware reports... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

This War of Mine gets a new ending and m...
This War of Mine just got a big new update, featuring free DLC that adds a new ending to the game, among other exciting changes. The update is celebrating the game's two-year release anniversary. Apart from the new ending, which will be quite... | Read more »
Summon eight new heroes in Fire Emblem H...
Nintendo keeps coming at us with Fire Emblem Heroes updates, and it doesn't look like that trend is stopping anytime soon. The folks behind the game have just announced the new War of the Clerics Voting Gauntlet, expected to start next Tuesday. [... | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
iOS publishers are pulling out all the stops this week -- there's a huge number of seriously great games at discounted prices this week. Let's not waste any time and get right down to business. [Read more] | Read more »
The House of da Vinci (Games)
The House of da Vinci 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Enter The House of Da Vinci, a new must-try 3D puzzle adventure game. Solve mechanical puzzles, discover hidden... | Read more »
Solve the disappearance of history’s gre...
Blue Brain Games invites you to indulge in an immersive hands-on 3D puzzle adventure in similar vein to The Room series, with its debut release The House of Da Vinci. Set during the historic period of the Italian Renaissance (when Leonardo himself... | Read more »
Age of Rivals (Games)
Age of Rivals 3.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 3.3 (iTunes) Description: Deep civilization-building strategy in a fast-paced card game! | Read more »
Panthera Frontier (Games)
Panthera Frontier 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Angry Birds Evolution beginner's gu...
Angry Birds changes things up a fair bit in its latest iteration, Angry Birds Evolution. The familiar sling-shot physics mechanics are still there, but the game now features team-based gameplay, RPG elements, and a new top-down view. With all of... | Read more »
Sega Forever is for the retro game fans
Sega is launching a new retro games service titled Sega Forever, in a move that's sure to delight games enthusiasts with a bit of nostalgia. Sega's releasing five classic games for free. The titles include Sonic the Hedgehog, Phantasy Star II,... | Read more »
The Little Acre (Games)
The Little Acre 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

ABBYY TextGrabber 6 for iOS Implements Instan...
ABBYY has announced the release of TextGrabber 6.0.0, an important feature update to the company’s productivity app developed for iOS and Android devices. TextGrabber 6.0 now offers Real-Time... Read more
vPhone, First Smartphone That Can’t Be Lost,...
Austin, Texas based Hypori has introduced the vPhone, a virtual smartphone that affords every business user the benefits of separate work and personal phones, conveniently delivered on a single... Read more
Save this weekend with 2016 refurbished MacBo...
Apple has dropped prices on Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros by as much as $590 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more
New 27-inch 3.4GHz iMac on sale for $1699, sa...
MacMall has the new 2017 27″ 3.4GHz iMac (MNE92LL/A) in stock and on sale for $1699 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
Clearance 2016 MacBook Pros available for up...
B&H Photo has clearance 2016 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $400 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
Apple Ranks 9th In comScore Top 50 U.S. Digit...
comScore, Inc. has released its monthly ranking of U.S. online activity at the top digital media properties for May 2017 based on data from comScore Media Metrix Multi-Platform. * Entity has... Read more
10.5-inch iPad Pros available for up to $20 o...
B&H Photo has the new 2017 10.5″ iPad Pros available for up to $20 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 64GB iPad Pro WiFi: $649 - 256GB iPad Pro WiFi: $749 - 512GB... Read more
Three Off-The-Beaten-Track iOS Apps That Dese...
One of the great things about using iPads and iPhones is the vast selection of apps available for most anything you want or need to do. The three outlined in this article have been in my core app... Read more
Apple No. 1 Spot In Gartner Top 100 Vendors i...
Gartner, Inc. has unveiled the top global 100 vendors in IT in 2016 based on their revenue across IT (excluding communication services) and component market segments. In the Gartner Global Top 100:... Read more
Clearance iMacs available for up to $300 off...
B&H Photo has clearance 21″ and 27″ Apple iMacs available starting at $949, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $1999 $300 off original MSRP - 27″... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* News Product Marketing Mgr., Publish...
…organizational consensus on strategy and vision for publisher tools, authoring, and Apple News Format.Carries this strategy and vision across the organization to Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Security Data Analyst - *Apple* Information...
…data sources need to be collected to allow Information Security to better protect Apple employees and customers from a wide range of threats.Act as the subject matter Read more
Lead *Apple* Solutions Consultant - Apple I...
…integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:Quantitative* Year over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point of Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant till v%u00E5r...
…ethics, integrity, and trust.Success Metrics/Key Performance Indicators:QuantitativeYear over Year growth in Apple Product and Beyond the Box sales in the assigned Point Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.