Namal Advert - April 1985
From Personal Computer World
Type and Talk Speech Computer
The Type and Talk Speech Computer was built by Namal Peripherals of Gwydir Street in Cambridge, and distributed by the Cambridge Microcomputer Centre of nearby-ish East Road.
The advert however claims the Cambridge Microcomputer Centre was manufacturing it, which is probably realistic given that Namal Peripherals gave its address as 45 Gwydir Street - a very residential street off Mill Road.
Gwydir Street in Cambridge - Namal's address is give as 45, which puts it in this residential part of the area, which is odd really.Talk and Type was an entire computer in its own right and, unlike its nearest competitors - the Acorn Speech System and Computer Concepts' system, which were both plug-in ROM chips, behaved as if it was a printer, so anything "printed" out to it would be uttered using phonemes.
It was apparently quite artificial-sounding, but was very simple to get working - once the correct settings for its serial link had been sorted out.
A review in April 1986's Acorn User concluded of it that:
"The Namal Type and Talk speech synthesiser is expensive at £171.35, and its handbook needs to be rewritten. The quality of speech is not as good as Computer Concepts’ ROM, but it can be used with little programming effort and knowledge. This lends it to a variety of applications – again, use with handicapped people comes to mind, where it would be expensive to rewrite existing software to use, say, the Speech ROM. The lack of quality, however, limits the range of possible uses".
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