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Montana Carol

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Mike and Pappy, I downloaded the InvTool and Model Talker software, and am recording words and phrases (some of 'em are SO silly!:) like crazy! Thanks for making me aware of this resource! My Windows XP has shut down twice, though, with scary blue screens that made me think I'd lost everything in my computer. I updated the sound driver the first time, but it happened again, and I e-mailed the SRL guy (software source) for advice. Am waiting for an answer. Anybody have that experience?

I sure hope I can fix it -- this voice-banking seems like a godsend to me, since my speech has been my main symptom, along with swallowing, and only since about Jan. 07 have I had weakness in my right hand, and muscle cramps. I've had a tentative diagnosis of ALS, but I'm going to Seattle for another opinion. Maybe this will turn out to be PBP. In any event, I am thrilled to think I'll have my own voice recorded and ready to use, and I want this software to work on my computer.
 

Montana Carol

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Here's the URL

Here's the URL for the voice-banking software website:
<http://www.asel.udel.edu/speech/>

Maybe this is old news to most of you, but I hope it will be helpful to newbies like me who are worried about losing their speech. Carol
 

Wes_E

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I read all the info on the link Capt Al sent me about that site. I'll download it today.
Did you download it onto a laptop or desk top? What is your operating system? I have windows vista.
Please let us know when you receive the answers from the tech support people.
Wes
 

MtPockets

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I'm using windows xp on a desktop, but after recording all the phrases plan to transfer it to my laptop. Ther are some really weird phrases.

God Bless
Capt AL
 

Montana Carol

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Windows XP

Wes, I'm using Windows XP. It came with a microphone, but it doesn't have a USB 2.0 connector. It plugs into the back of the computer with a plug like an audio/video cord uses. I've got all but 100 words and phrases recorded, in spite of the Windows shut-downs. The software people figured the soundcard driver update would solve the problem, but it didn't. I'm thinking the microphone is incompatible somehow; but I'm just plowing ahead, getting 100-150 phrases done and uploaded at a time. Each time it shuts down, I get a different message. You probably won't have any trouble at all. Nobody else has reported any problems. I'm so excited to get done recording and see what I'll be able to do with it.

Al, do you have to be able to type to use ModelTalker? What if the ol' hands give out?

Carol
 

MtPockets

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Yes when the hands go that can be a problem. Probably the best person on the site to ask about that would be QuadBliss. Somehow he communicates using computer without his hands I believe.

God Bless
Capt AL
 

ccox

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I guess I'm missing something. I opened the website and searched it, but couldn't find anything about banking your own voice. My mom's ability to speak is leaving quickly. She struggles to make what's in her head come out of her mouth. She sees an ALS specialist on Monday, whom I'm sure will hook her up with all the latest technology, but I'd like to have as many options for her as possible.
 

MtPockets

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Go to this site http://www.asel.udel.edu/speech/

You will see a link on the right
Researcher Index:
Download ModelTalker


Just click on "Download Model Talker", download this file and install it on your computer. This is the program that you store your own voice in. You do not Bank your voice online, but on your own computer.

You can also choose to use a synthetic voice if you cannot record your own voice and just type on the computer what you want to say and it comes back out the computer speakers.
I hope this helps.

God Bless
Capt AL
 

Montana Carol

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Improved ModelTalker

I posted earlier about the problems I was having recording my speech with Model Talker and InvTool. Well, it seems there was a bug in the program, and after I downloaded the new version, InvTool 3.2.13.6 build 7/10/07, I was able to finish my recording, including over a hundred custom words/phrases of my own, without any further computer hangups. I'm all done now -- waiting for the folks to make me a program I can use when and if my voice goes away. They tell me it will work with any computer or voice synthesizer that supports Windows/SAPI 5.

CaptAl, you said you were doing this too, didn't you? How're you coming along? Good, I hope.

Carol
 

MtPockets

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Funny how timing works sometimes. I was just copying my model talker program to my new computer when I went to their site and saw there was a new version, and download is now from different company. Then I get this note from you one minute later.

I guess when they finish the Beta version they probably will sale it to people. I used mine the other day with the computer voice and it wasn't near as good as if it were my own voice.

I am about 50% through recording the phrases. Did they tell you to send it in and they would send you a program back? I thought we could just begin to use it when we finished recording.

Thanks for the info.

God Bless
Capt AL
 

Montana Carol

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Send It In

Hi, CaptAL: After you record your phrases, you click on Tools/Upload; put in your ID and password and wait for the "Connected" sentence to appear; and upload all that you've done. I uploaded mine after about every 100 items, because I was having that problem with the computer crashing. It was a good thing, too, because I actually lost my inventory file with about 80% of my recording done; and so they sent me back a copy of the file I had uploaded at that point, and I was able to continue recording. If you have the InvTutor, you can read that/print it out to get more info on uploading; but it's easy.
Good luck.:) Carol
 

Montana Carol

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What kind of laptop did you get?

Capt AL, tell me what you got for a laptop. I'm thinking a laptop is what I want, too, rather than a dedicated voice machine like Dynavox. Beth (lunarruna) was saying that's what her husband uses, with the ERICA eye-gaze software now that his hands don't work, and he can operate the TV remotes and light switches with it too. I'm hoping that I can buy one of the less-expensive laptop models, maybe. Are you getting pretty close to needing speech augmentation, or just preparing ahead of time like me?
 

joelc

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Carol,

Sorry for butting in here, but computers have been my life for many years and would like to make a recommendation. Hope you don't mind.

Get a laptop, they have really come down in price over the last year, you can get a really great one for between $800 to $1000. Get one with a dual core processor, with 1gig ram, 100gig hard drive (at least) and Vista Premium operating system. They all come with networking capabilities, lots of USB ports, DVD Burner, bluetooth, etc.
The operating system comes with excellent built-in software for people with disabilities. This includes speech recognition, and on-screen keyboard.

Hope this helps.
 

Montana Carol

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Thanks, joelc. I appreciate your recommendation. I'll print out your post and keep it for when I start shopping. Do you recommend Dell, or ... ? Or maybe it's not appropriate to specify brands. I'm thinking I should get as lightweight a machine as possible, for greater portability and ease of use. Carol
 

joelc

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Carol, rather than recommend a make, I would like to recommend purchasing one locally from a reputable dealer who offers a good warranty on their products. Talk to them about what happens if you have a hardware failure. Mail order companies usually make you send it to them and you could be without your computer for 6 weeks to 2 months.

If you want to email me with further questions please feel free to do this. I am here to help whenever I can.
 
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