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Progress with AsteR installation



Thanks to Raman's efforts in releasing AsteR and making it run on a modern
version of Clisp, I now have it installed, and I've tested it to the point at
which it will read the test document included in the distribution.

Here's what I've done so far.

1. Checked the code into a private Git repository. I like git - that's my only
excuse.

2. Made trivial code changes so that the directory location and the serial
device can be specified by environment variables - not fully tested yet.

For anyone who is interested, you will currently need a DECTALK Express
synthesizer, Emacs, and Clisp installed.

I'll gladly help anyone who meets the above prerequisites and wants to get
AsteR running.

The next development project for AsteR would be to rework the speech code so
that it supports an Emacspeak speech server. Also, the OpenTTS project (a fork
of Speech-Dispatcher) apparently has a Common Lisp interface, which it may be
possible to extend and use. OpenTTS is likely to become a significant generic
interface to speech synthesizers under Linux and possibly other free operating
systems.

If this is to go ahead, the project will need a maintainer and people who have
time to work on it. I'm volunteering to help, but I'm also well aware of my
lack of appropriate background and qualifications. I have been reading a few
books on Lisp programming which should certainly be beneficial.

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