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

Notion 2.1.9 - A unified workspace for m...
Notion is the unified workspace for modern teams. Features: Integration with Slack Documents Wikis Tasks More guests: invite up to 10 collaborators, friends & family to your pages Page... Read more
Spotify 1.2.0.1165 - Stream music, creat...
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
Thunderbird 102.5.1 - Email client from...
As of July 2012, Thunderbird has transitioned to a new governance model, with new features being developed by the broader free software and open source community, and security fixes and improvements... Read more
Pinegrow 7.03 - Mockup and design web pa...
Pinegrow (was Pinegrow Web Designer) is desktop app that lets you mockup and design webpages faster with multi-page editing, CSS and LESS styling, and smart components for Bootstrap, Foundation,... Read more
Adobe After Effects 2022 23.1 - Create p...
The new, more connected Adobe After Effects can make the impossible possible. Get powerful new features like a Live 3D Pipeline that brings CINEMA 4D scenes in as layers - without intermediate... Read more
SteerMouse 5.6.7 - Powerful third-party...
SteerMouse is an advanced driver for USB and Bluetooth mice. SteerMouse can assign various functions to buttons that Apple's software does not allow, including double-clicks, modifier clicks,... Read more
Wireshark 4.0.2 - Network protocol analy...
Wireshark is one of the world's foremost network protocol analyzers, and is the standard in many parts of the industry. It is the continuation of a project that started in 1998. Hundreds of... Read more
Adobe Premiere Pro 2022 23.1 - Digital v...
Adobe Premiere Pro is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $54.99/month. The price on display is a price for annual by-monthly plan for Adobe Premiere Pro only. Adobe Premiere... Read more
1Password 8.9.10 - Powerful password man...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
FotoMagico 6.3 - Powerful slideshow crea...
FotoMagico lets you create professional slideshows from your photos and music with just a few, simple mouse clicks. It sports a very clean and intuitive yet powerful user interface. High image... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Chained Echoes’,...
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for December 8th, 2022. Today is Thursday, and that usually means an absolute deluge of new releases on the eShop. But the year is winding down, so we’ve only got ten or so to look at... | Read more »
‘Awaken Legends: Idle RPG’ Celebrates th...
Awaken Legends: Idle RPG is adding its first update since the game was soft-launched in November, letting players get their hands on a new hero “Hera Valen". Players can also look forward to the Covenant of the Dark Knight event and the Wishing Well... | Read more »
‘Horizon Chase 2’ Japan World Tour Expan...
Horizon Chase 2 () from Aquiris is getting a major expansion today on Apple Arcade. The Japan World Tour expansion brings in 11 new races across 9 cities and it should be rolling out now as of this writing. I expect it to be available worldwide... | Read more »
Dark Fantasy Visual Novel ‘The 13th Mont...
Originally announced for release in August, The 13th Month from Japanese developer Kobayashimaru and publisher Kodansha released on PC via Steam worldwide this month. The dark fantasy visual novel that reimagines the classic Sleeping Beauty tale, is... | Read more »
Tom Clancey’s The Divison Resurgence ann...
Ubisoft has announced the latest Live Test dates for Tom Clancy’s The Division Resurgence, the hotly anticipated mobile entry in the Divison series. Starting December 8th and ending on the 22nd, the test will offer a huge amount of content for the... | Read more »
‘Easy Come Easy Golf’ New Update Adds St...
Easy Come Easy Golf () from Clap Hanz is one of my favorite games on Apple Arcade. It has been updated quite a bit since launch bringing in new modes and improvements. It recently launched on Nintendo Switch as well. | Read more »
Out Now: ‘Magic vs Metal’, ‘Suzerain’, ‘...
Each and every day new mobile games are hitting the App Store, and so each week we put together a big old list of all the best new releases of the past seven days. Back in the day the App Store would showcase the same games for a week, and then... | Read more »
SwitchArcade Round-Up: Reviews Featuring...
Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for December 7th, 2022. Today can be accurately described as Mikhail Madness, with a whopping four reviews from our pal-est of pals. Football Manager 2023 Touch, Wobbledogs, Soccer Story... | Read more »
Alchemy Stars celebrates 1 and a half ye...
It has been one and a half years since Alchemy Stars launched, and Level Infinite is celebrating in style with a host of new content. There will be a new story mission and even a store to explore, and a whole new mode for those budding idol... | Read more »
Fighting Game ‘Art of Fighting 2’ ACA Ne...
Last week, side-scrolling shooter Pulstar hit mobile platforms as the newest ACA NeoGeo series release from Hamster and SNK. Read Shaun’s review of it here. Today, fighting game Art of Fighting 2 has launched on iOS and Android. Art of Fighting 2... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

New! Details on Verizon’s Christmas/Holiday p...
Verizon is offering discounts on iPhones, Apple Watch models, and iPads with specific promo codes as part of their Christmas/Holiday 2022 offerings. Codes are valid when adding a new line of service... Read more
Apple MagSafe accessories are back on Holiday...
Amazon has Apple MagSafe Chargers and Apple’s MagSafe Battery on sale for up to 24% off MSRP again as part of their Christmas/Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and all models are in stock: – MagSafe... Read more
13″ M2 MacBook Airs on sale again for the low...
Amazon has 13″ MacBook Airs with M2 CPUs in stock today and on sale for $150 off MSRP as part of their Christmas/Holiday Sale, prices start at $1049. Shipping is free. They are the lowest prices... Read more
Get an Apple 16″ MacBook Pro for $400 off MSR...
16″ MacBook Pros with Apple’s M1 Pro CPUs are in stock and on sale today at B&H Photo for $300-$400 off Apple’s MSRP for a limited time. Prices start at $2099 for M1 Pro models with 512GB or 1TB... Read more
Holiday clearance sale! Previous-generation A...
Amazon has 2nd generation 32GB and 64GB 4K Apple TVs with Siri remotes and 32GB Apple TV HDs on clearance sale for $80-$90 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and delivery is available in time for... Read more
Christmas sale at Verizon: Apple AirPods Pro...
Verizon has first-generation Apple AirPods Pro on sale for $159.99 on their online store as part of their continuing Christmas/Holiday sale. Their price is $90 off Apple’s original MSRP, and it’s the... Read more
New Christmas/New Years promo at Xfinity Mobi...
Switch to Xfinity Mobile and open a new line of service, and take $400 off the price of a new iPhone, no trade-in required, through January 10, 2023. The $400 is applied to your account as credits... Read more
Apple iPad Smart Keyboard Folio prices drop u...
Apple iPad Smart Keyboard Folio prices have dropped up to $60 off MSRP at Amazon and Walmart as part of their Christmas/Holiday sales. These are the cheapest prices currently available for these iPad... Read more
Today is the final day for Xfinity Mobile’s $...
If you switch to Xfinity Mobile and open a new line of service, they will take $500 off the price of a new iPhone, no trade-in required. This is the best no trade-in Cyber Monday Apple iPhone 14 deal... Read more
Amazon restocks 10.2″ 64GB 9th-generation iPa...
Amazon has Apple’s 9th generation 10.2″ 64GB WiFi iPads (Silver) in stock and on sale for $269.99 shipped as part of their Christmas/Holiday Sale. Their price is $60 off Apple’s MSRP. Free delivery... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Systems Administrator - JAMF - Activ...
…Administration **Duties and Responsibilities** + Configure and maintain the client's Apple Device Management (ADM) solution. The current solution is JAMF supporting Read more
Cashier - *Apple* Blossom Mall - JCPenney (...
Cashier - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Blossom Mall Read more
Omnichannel Associate - *Apple* Blossom Mal...
Omnichannel Associate - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Read more
Sephora Beauty Advisor - *Apple* Blossom Ma...
Sephora Beauty Advisor - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Read more
Operations Associate - *Apple* Blossom Mall...
Operations Associate - Apple Blossom Mall Location:Winchester, VA, United States (https://jobs.jcp.com/jobs/location/191170/winchester-va-united-states) - Apple Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.