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Computalker
- History
This was the board that launched the Computalker company.

CT1e

The COMPUTALKER Model CT-1 Speech Synthesizer was a high quality voice generator unit designed for the standard S-100 bus. The synthesizer was controlled by acoustic-phonetic parameters transmitted to the board on the S-100 data bus. These parameters controlled the perceptually and physiologically fundamental aspects of speech as determined by contemporary phonetic research of the time (late 70's). With the COMPUTALKER Model CT-1, sound were defined in real time under software control. Parameters which represent the phonetic structure of human speech were transmitted to the CT-1 at a rate of 500 to 900 bytes per second, depending on the data compression techniques used. This allowed the production of highly intelligible and quite natural sounding speech output. Speaker characteristics and language or dialect variations were retained in the output.

The board however did require a large block of I/O ports. Sixteen in total which could be placed on any 16 byte boundary using a 4 bit selector switch on the board.

An extensive manual was supplied with the board. A summary version can be obtained here.
Apparently there were Newsletters as well called  "The Word".   Here is the first issue.
Loyd Rice presented a  paper at the First West Coast Computer Faire in 1977 regarding Speech by Rules and used the CT-1 as an example. It can be seen here.
A program called CSR1 was supplied with the board that allowed one to generate speech using phoneme input. The documentation for this program can be seen here.

 

Computalker  S-100 Boards
CT-1    CompuFone

 

This page was last modified on 10/25/2013