[Blindapple] Apple Talk Reader?

Jeff Weiss jeff-weiss at sbcglobal.net
Thu Oct 19 20:01:12 EDT 2017

Now, if you are reading very long files, like the issues of Open Apple, it will take a couple of minutes for the file to load.
If you are reading the Apple Talk issues, most of the articles are much shorter and should load and start reading quickly.
You can press space to start and stop the reading.  When the reading is stopped, you can review the screen, or enter letters to change the speech:
s for some punctuation
m for most punctuation
f for fast or compressed speech
e for expanded or slow speech

Here are the instructions for the Apple Talk reader which began to be used in october/November, 1988.  Some features are not available in earlier versions of Apple Talk Reader.

           Apple Talk Reader
             by Jeff Weiss
                    Revised October, 1988
                  Changes and New Features
     If you have an Apple 2e with an 80-column card or an
Apple 2c, Apple Talk reader will now use the 80-column
screen when displaying text.  If no 80-column card is
present in the aux slot, the 40-column display will be used.
If you want to use the forty column screen, or if you
are using an external speech synthesizer, deleting line
180 from Apple Talk Reader will cause the program to
use the standard 40 column screen.
     There is now a new option for reading the Apple Talk
articles.  When Apple Talk Reader is run, you will be
asked if you want to "read entire article without stopping."
Answer Y for yes and the entire article will be read without
pausing!  Warning!  The new versions of the Textalker speech
program allow any key that is pressed to silence the speech.
If you think that you accidentally pressed an extra key, immediately
press the space bar!  This will turn the speech back on!
In this continuous reading mode, you can pause the reading
by pressing the space bar.  When you are prompted "Space. "
the E, F, S, M, and B options can be used.  Pressing one
of these options or pressing the space bar will resume the reading.
     There is now a "back page" option at the "Space."
prompt.  Pressing letter B will allow you to go back and
re-read the previous page.  Also, when printing lines
of text on paper, you will be prompted to enter a left margin.
Enter 0 for no left margin--or an integer upto 40 to cause
the program to space over accordingly.
     When the program is run, you will be presented
the file selection menu.  The first choice in the menu
is "Type in File Name".  If you press return, you can then
type in any file name.
     The second choice is to catalog a disk.  Pressing
return will allow either drive to be cataloged.  Be sure
that the last drive that you catalog is the drive that you 
will be reading from.
     The remaining choices in the menu are all of the
articles in this issue of Apple Talk.  Each file name will
be presented, and you can use the up arrow key and the down
arrow key to move through the list of articles.  When you
find the article that you want to read, simply press return.
The program will remember which file you read last.  After
you read an article and come back to the menu, the next
option or text file will be presented.  The instructions
will not be spoken again; however, they are printed
on the top four lines of the screen.  This should facilitate
reading several articles in sequence.
If you are using an Apple ][ Plus or other computer which does
not have the up and down arrow keys, the control j is the same
as the down arrow and the control k is the same as the
up arrow.  Letter D can be used to jump down ten places
in the article menu.  Likewise, letter U can be used
to jump up ten article names.
                 Reading a screen at a time
     When you are reading a text file, a screen full of text
is displayed and you will be prompted "SPACE." for
more text.  Letter B will go back a page if you want to re-read
a page.  Pressing s will change to some punctuation mode.
M will enable most punctuation mode.  E will change to the
expanded or slow rate of speech.  F will change to the fast
rate of speech.  You can also use the textalker review
commands to review the text on the screen.  The text will 
not scroll off the screen until you press the space bar.  
The control x can be used to silence the printing on the
screen; however, the prompt "SPACE." will be given when
the screen is full.  Control c can be pressed to stop
the reading of an article.  Warning!  when using DOS 3.3,
control c or reset should never be pressed when the disk
drive is spinning!  This could cause damage to your disk!
                      The Options Menu
     After you finish reading an article, the following
menu of choices will be presented:
     The N option allows you to read the next article
from the list.  When you hear the name of the article, simpley
press return if that is the article you want.
     The S option allows you to re-read the same article
that you just heard.  Since the article is still in memory,
it can be read again without the delay caused when you load
material from disk.
                      The Review Option
     Pressing letter R to review lines will allow you to
hear any of the lines in the current article.  You will
be prompted to enter a line number and press return.
When the line you select is spoken, the up and down arrows
can be used to scroll through the text.  The left and right
arrows will allow you to spell the current line.  Speech
parameters can still be controlled by pressing the letters
S, M, E, and F--which control punctuation and speech rate.
Letter I will tell you the number of the line you are reading.
Letter L will give you the length of the line being read.
                      The Print Option
     Letter p will allow you to either print selected lines
of text, or you can save selected lines of text to disk using
the append command.  When printing, you will be prompted
for the printer slot.  Specify 0 or 3 to have the entire article
printed to the screen without pausing.  Specifying a number
from 1 through 7 will assume that a printer or other device
is in that slot.  You will be prompted to enter a left margin.
Any number from 0 through 40 can be used.
     When saving a file to disk, the file is opened, closed,
and then your text is appended to that file.  You will be
prompted for the drive number to be used.  After saving
text to a drive other than the one which contains the Apple
Talk disk, the default drive will be changed back to
the one containing the Apple Talk disk.
                       The Quit Option
     Q stands for quit.  The program asks "Are you sure?"
Answer Y for yes and you will be left in basic.  If you
would like, you could then run any of the programs on
the Apple Talk disk.

Jeff Weiss

From: JM Casey 
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 2:05 PM
To: 'Blind Apple Discussions' 
Subject: Re: [Blindapple] Apple Talk Reader?

Hey. Yes, I was able to select articles with the cursor. But is Echo supposed to start speaking when you hit enter on an article/after it reads from the disk? Because I waited for quite some time in about three or four different cases and heard nothing. That’s why I was wondering if there was some other step I was missing.




From: BlindApple [mailto:blindapple-bounces at bluegrasspals.com] On Behalf Of Jeff Weiss
Sent: October 19, 2017 2:28 PM
To: Blind Apple Discussions
Subject: Re: [Blindapple] Apple Talk Reader?


When you arrow up and down through the list and hear what you want,

just press enter to read the article.


Jeff Weiss




From: JM Casey 

Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2017 12:02 PM

To: Blind Apple Discussions 

Subject: [Blindapple] Apple Talk Reader?


Heya. Sorry for what amounts to a real newby question, but how does one actually get this programme to read a text file? I’ve got to the list of articles on disk, and can select them with the arrow keys. Once I do that, though, silence. I’ve tried moving the cursor around with the arrows, but hear nothing. I went into review mode to see if for some reason there was text on the screen which Echo hadn’t spoken. Nothing. What am I missing here? I know there’s an “about apple talk reader” file on many of the disks, but at this point, I would need to use Apple Talk Reader to read it! I honestly can’t remember at all how I used to read text files on the 2 e; I know it wasn’t Apple Talk Reader because I never had any issues of this magazine, though I remember being a bit curious about it. Might have used BEX actually.







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