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Chatterbee

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Comments (1)
Muffy St. Bernard - 20/06/2010
I believe this was originally written by a Simon and White independently of "Don't Ask," but the software company was so impressed by what they saw of "Chatterbee" that they published it.

This must be the most prominent (if not only) program that made use of Don't Ask's "Synthetic Automatic Mouth" (or "S.A.M.") speech synthesis program. S.A.M. was amazing because it was the only viable software speech-synthesis program around at the time, but one of the downsides was the need to shut off the screen display during speech.

One of Chatterbee's innovations was -- if I remember correctly -- to keep the bee onscreen during the speech routine. I remember reading a big article (in "Compute!" maybe) about how they managed to do it.

The downside of "Chatterbee," however, is a fatal one: it's unwise to have a tutor who sounds like a German insect who's just had a tracheotomy and is trying to imitate Mark E. Smith. "S.A.M." was amazing but it wasn't exactly legible.

For instance, Chatterbee says "Spell CANKUH. CANKUH your clothes" and you're like "What?!?" It's actually saying "Change."

Still, considering how dull most spelling drill programs WERE, this one was certainly a step up! And it looks like lots of work went into it.
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Screenshots

Chatterbee atari screenshot
Chatterbee atari screenshot

Information

GenreEducation - SpellingYear
LanguageBASICPublisherDon't Ask Computer Software
ControlsDeveloper
PlayersCountryUSA
Programmer(s)

White, Jerry / Simon, Randy

LicenseCommercial
Graphic Artist(s)Medium Disk 
SoundRarity   
Cover Artist(s)Serial
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