RE: Introduction & Question

From: Jess Askey <>
Date: Mon May 21 2012 - 23:07:30 EDT

I did a lot of research into the TI Speech program trying to figure out
what it was exactly and maybe hoping that I could find one in surplus
somewhere, but I never had any luck. It was called TI-PASS (? ? Speech
Synthesizer?), I know that Atari bought one in 1983 or 1984 and paid
$25,000 for it! I don't know how many were ever made tho. If Dave has
one, he must of gotten the Atari one via Scott perhaps.


The TMS-5220 used a variant of LPC-10 which is specific to the TI speech
chips of the time. It is different enough to not work with standard
LPC-10 encoding but is very close. Way back in 1997 when I was working
diligently on Return to Vaxx, I talked to Quadravox who had a nitty
gritty LPC encoder and they modified it for me to produce the LPC-10 for
the TMS-5220. I used my own voice and remarkably it did actually work.
If you run 'Return to Vaxx' in MAME, the speech will actually be heard
because I modified the MAME driver to have the 'unstuffed' Major Havoc
speech circuitry. You have to wait for the maze to get down to 3
seconds, then you will hear 'three'... 'two'....'one'.


To be honest, I did that very quickly and was surprised it worked. If
anyone has the need on a specific project, I will be happy to share my
tools with you to see how it works these days.


I halfway completed my own LPC-10 encoder using the Open Source
Hawkvoice LPC library and wrapping it in a C# library with a nice GUI.
It has some bugs however. Im also willing to share that if someone who
is more algorithmic oriented has interest.




[] On Behalf Of Kevin Moore
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2012 10:46 AM
Subject: RE: VECTOR: Introduction & Question


Well as for the ROTJ vector, I personally did not put my hand on it, so
I cannot verify one way or the other.

>From what I recall talking with Dave from ram-controls. It appeared the
code was finished, however sounds were not. I worked with him on getting
some needed files, and information on the TI speech chips, specifically
on how to record speech and program for the chips.

It was also my understanding that the original hardware was not used in
the design, and new hardware was needed.

His plan was to recreate the cockpit model with the hardware needed to
run all three, but as many of you know nothing ever became of the
cockpit project.

Dave had either acquired or knew where the original hardware was to
record sound samples for the TI chips, as it was a special device that
TI kept tight wraps on since they were programming all the Speak and
Spells at the time along with anything else that used the speech chip.
IIRC TI charges $1000 per word to record samples.

So if anyone knows how to contact Dave from ram controls that would most
likely be your best bet to find the ROTJ information.


On May 21, 2012 9:37 AM, "Jess Askey" <> wrote:

Well, I think only in my novice eyes, do I perceive it as a mess. Im
sure Owen understand the Matrix just fine too. :-)

"cause Im the man on the outside looking in" - Pink Floyd

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Neil Bradley
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2012 1:39 AM
Subject: RE: VECTOR: Introduction & Question

> In the Major Havoc source (6502 Assembler, not C in 1981-1983), the
> code is a crazy hot mess (respectfully of course!).

How 'bout I forward this on to Owen? He'd get a kick out of it. ;-)

> It is sort of funny because when I was a teenager, I learned
> everything in Assembly Language (hurray for global variables!) and
> Object Oriented Programming always seemed like a mysterious
> 'backwards' way of doing things. Now that I have been doing OOP for
> 12+ years,

I think a lot of people forget that doing OOP != C++/Java, etc... (i.e.
"C++ Is just C with classes and variables defined wherever!") Object
oriented programming is a design/implementation methodology, not a
language. Sad that so many <10 year graduates don't know that, but I
guess that's what you get when universities are chasing programming
fads. You can do OO in assembly. It's all in how everything is

> looking back on
> the raw assembly language, I can't even comprehend how to prevent a
> litany of bugs due to overlapping memory blocks, bad offsets or scope
> clobbering for temp variables.... whoa Nellie, it is a totally
> different way of looking at things and not a fun set procedures to try

> and track down problems.

Not as bad as it sounds. I co-authored >1MB of 8051 assembly language
for an OS for a Roland Jupiter 6 and you basically have your support
routines use dedicated globals. Just set up a set of rules for how you
use registers and memory locations and avoid using them for the wrong
But as soon as you add in multiple people, I can see it getting ugly

> We all have mostly lived in both worlds... it will be interesting to
> see how the younger generation of programmers deal with that old code
> someday! I wonder if they even will? It may be a lost art at this
> point ehh?

Oh, no, didn't you hear? Pointers are too hard. That's why Java
eliminated them. Just let the garbage collection routines work in the
background and suck up additional CPU power when you don't want it to.
Don't pay any attention to what's going on under the hood.

Why yes, I just was handed a C++ program that had several modules
exceeding 10,000 lines of code, with procedures >3K. Why do you ask? ;-(
I also was asked if we could add a JVM to our embedded system. And no,
it didn't occur to them that it would exceed the available flash space.

Lost art indeed, Jess. I swear that if we forced everyone to work in an
assembly language boot camp before giving them a high level language,
we'd have 90% less programmers out there. I often get disgusted by the
thought of how much extra CPU and electricity is used up by all the CPU
burned by bloatware and interpreted languages (I'm looking at you PHP
and JVMs) </rant>

I guess on the flip side, it just means job security for us embedded
systems guys. And yes, I'm grizzled. Now get off my lawn... ;-)



C. Neil Bradley - Excessive process falsely elevates the incapable and
                  the hands of the exceptional.
** Unsubscribe, subscribe, or view the archives at
** Please direct other questions, comments, or problems to
** Unsubscribe, subscribe, or view the archives at
** Please direct other questions, comments, or problems to
** Unsubscribe, subscribe, or view the archives at
** Please direct other questions, comments, or problems to
Received on Mon May 21 23:07:43 2012

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon May 21 2012 - 23:50:03 EDT