[TUHS] Getting Unix v5 to talk

Jason Stevens jsteve at superglobalmegacorp.com
Mon Oct 27 22:06:52 AEST 2014

Have you looked at http://real-votrax.no-ip.org/

they have a votrax hooked up, and yes it'll use your phonemes that speak
It just likes things to be upper case though.


works more like

H E0 L O0 O1 PA1

I wonder if anyone's generated wav's for each of the phonemes, then you
could hook up a line printer or something that'll read it as a pipe and just
play the wav's as needed..

It is rough 1970's speech synthesis, but I had one of those Intellivoice
things as a kid, so I kinda like it.

-----Original Message-----
From: Mark Longridge
To: tuhs
Sent: 10/13/14 8:57 AM
Subject: [TUHS] Getting Unix v5 to talk

Thanks to the efforts of Jonathan Gevaryahu I have managed
to get the Unix v5 speak utility to compile and execute.
All this was done using the simh emulator emulating a

Jonathan managed extract enough of speak.c to reconstruct it
to the point it could be compiled with v5 cc. I believe it
was necessary to look at speak.o to accomplish this.

Jonathan also states that there are more interesting things
that could possibly be recovered from v6doc.tar.gz

One can look at speak.c source here:


Now had we have speak compiled we can go a bit further:

cat speak.v - | speak -v null
  generates speak.m from ascii file speak.v

speak speak.m
 !p         (prints out phonetics for working word)
 which outputs:
 ctrl-d exits

Looking at speak.c we can see that it opens /dev/vs.
Fortunately we have the file /usr/sys/dmr/vs.c to look at
so this could be compiled into the kernel although I haven't
done this as yet.

speak.c looks like Unix v5 era code. My understanding is that
Unix v5 appeared in June 1974 and the comments say 'Copyright 1974'
so it seems plausible.

I'm intrigued by the possibility of getting Unix v5 to talk.

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