[Blindapple] Interesting Textalker discoveries

Tony Baechler tony at baechler.net
Fri Nov 8 14:45:46 EST 2013

Hi all,

Before anyone asks, I'm sorry, but I can't share the disk images.  I have
been asked not to do so and I respect the person's wishes.  He is on this
list and can choose to share them if he wishes.  He gave them to me along
with a lot of other material from a business who developed accessible software.

I was looking at some old disks of software for the blind and made a few
interesting discoveries.  First, a while ago, people have asked about
putting multiple versions of Textalker on one disk.  I can confirm that yes,
it can be done.  You will have four files, textalker.ram and textalker.obj
for 3.1.X and textalker.whatever and textalker.ram.obj for version 1.3,
replacing ".whatever" with something unique.  The particular disks called it
textalker.plus.  I was able to confirm that versions 1.3 and 3.1.2 can
happily coexist on a disk together.  I'm not exactly sure why they did it
that way, but there you go.

Secondly, I found an old version of Textalker not yet on any of the
available disk images.  It's 3.1 and doesn't have the APH copyright.  I
remember using 3.1.1 a long time ago, but I've never seen anything between
1.3 and 3.1.1 until now.  I find 3.1 interesting because it was the last
version released by Street Electronics before APH took over development.  In
both versions 3.1 and 3.1.1, speech doesn't stop when a key is pressed.
That was a new feature added in 3.1.2, but other than that, I don't know
what else changed.  Version 3.1 is dated 1985 while 3.1.1 and on are dated
1986 or later by APH.

As I said, I can't actually share these disks due to a request not to do so,
but they're out there.  Perhaps someone should compile a Textalker museum or
something.  I'm still looking for the illusive 2.X if it exists.  I find it
hard to believe that no development was done between 1981 with 1.3 and 1985
with 3.1 and that 3.0 doesn't exist out there.  Ah well, the search goes on.

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