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More fun.....




I got a really interesting problem occur today which has frustrated
the hell out of me. 

I decided to switch to using my dectalk express while I try to work
out the problems with ViaVoice. All was going well until all of a
sudden, the dectalk is no longer speaking words or lines of text. 

this is really odd as it still speaks most of the minibuffer commands
(though it doesn't speak 'quit' when you hit C-g anymore, but will say
"end-of-buffer" when you move to the end of the buffer. Characters are
spoken when you move over them, but not words, lines or paragraphs of
text. The startup messages are spoken and other bits of text, many of
which are multi-word bits of speech. 

I've checked my cable, I've checked I can get blocks of text to be
spoken when running directly from the tcl prompt, I've tried both
emacs 21 and 22, I've reverted to older versions of emacspeak, I've
even successfully sent a text file to the serial port with cat. I even
got so desperate that I rebooted the system (yep, I reverted to
Microsoft Windows problem solving approach!). I've checked the serial
port settings and they seem to be unchanged and I've verified blocks
of text work fine when using Viavoice (apart from the known bug and
the fact it crashes ever few words). 

I've now given up to allow my subconcious to work on the problem over
night. I did try to get dtk-debug to work, but there seems to be a
problem there which I 'll try to sort out tomorrow. 

This is a real pain as the dectalk was my backup system I use at work.
Until I get either ViaVoice or the Dectalk to work, I'm pretty much
dead in the water. As it is, I'm probably going to have to switch to
eflite or speech dispatcher while I get this fixed, which is
frustrating. Worse still, I have a mountan of work at the moment, so
once I'm back up and running, I probably won't even be able to find
the time to fix this for a while. 

I've also now got to make a decision as to whether I should put the
time into getting the dectalk based setup working or the ViaVoice one! 

I am wondering if it could be something odd with locales - the default
for debian these days is to use a UTF8 locale. I seem to remember the
dectalk can only handle basic ascii - still, it was working fine for a
day or so and I've not changed anything on the box. Thats what has me
really stumped - I was actually in the middle of reading an e-mail
message when it just stopped speaking lines of text. 

I'm now spiral diving and need to step back from this to clear my
head. I guess I should remember that in around 9 years of emacspeak
use, this is the first time I've encountered a problem which has
pretty much crippled me from using emacspeak. I just know tonight I'm
going to have nightmares about learning rediculous Jaws or Window-eyes
key combinations and getting frustrated trying to come to grasp
windows - an OS which has just never meshed with my way of thinking. 

This weekend, I'm going to spoil myself with a really nice bottle of
red - there has to be some up side to life!

Tim

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