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Thu, Jul 31st - 2:30PM

Update on Charlie!
Ok folks I've been working hard on Charlie and have to say it's been an experience.  Since I'm controlling what Charlie says I have had to become rather adept at new ways to say the same old thing.  Not my best area.  Charlie is recognizing some speech now (at least with me) but it just goes to prove that your computer has to be trained to recognize your voice (trained well I might add).  This process takes a few hours and is rather boring.  I have no doubt that children will enjoy the process as talking to a computer and having it talk back to you is an experience. 

I will be posting the next alpha on Tuesday of next week for the alpha testers to have a go at and see what it takes to break Charlie.  Since the last alpha was released there have been a large number of changes made to the program.  There is now a section on the opening form that will allow the end user to type in the text that Charlie should say and then either have Charlie say the text or save the text in a wav file that can be played whenever you like.  I am also including 5 themes for the desktop rotator that will give the user a head start on developing themes for their computer.  I have around 50 themes that I've developed now and will probably put them online for the end users to download.  My personal favorite is the pictures I took of the Kansas City Zoo last month.  (I removed the pics of my grandkids first).

This weekend I'm working on getting the text editor working with the speech recognition engine so that the end users will be able to speak and the text editor will type.  (Now if Charlie could just hear what I actually am saying instead of what it sounds like I'm saying things will be alright.)   I finished writing the installer for Charlie yesterday and while it takes a little bit of time to install it does seem to work with out a glitch (Hah wait till the alpha testers get ahold of it).

I'm attempting to give Charlie some personality while I'm writting it.  Problem is my personality is rather dry and sarcastic and I'm afraid that this will show in Charlie's personality.  Not exactly what children want to be exposed to.  I guess we'll let the alpha team decide how best to handle this.  Enough input could help make what is said be more child friendly.

I'm rambling so it's time to cut this episode short and move back into programmer mode.

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