ardgedee's profile (website)

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Name: Art Delano
Joined: November 3, 2006

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MeFi: 112 posts , 6716 comments
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About

What's the deal with your nickname? How did you get it? If your nickname is self-explanatory, then tell everyone when you first started using the internet, and what was the first thing that made you say "wow, this isn't just a place for freaks after all?" Was it a website? Was it an email from a long-lost friend? Go on, spill it.

An easier way to quote other people in your comments: Metafilter Quoting Bookmarklet. [March 8, 2015: Updated for Modern Theme compatibility!]

The old Mac operating systems -- before OS X -- had many wonderful but little-used features. Among my favorites was the text-to-speech interpreter, complete with one or two dozen different voices ranging from silly to believable-over-a-bad-phoneline.

There aren't many good uses for a text-to-speech interpreter. In general we sighted lot are more comfortable with visible than audible feedback.

I was in a small circle of friends who began using text-to-speech voices to read ongoing chat sessions, so we could keep up with chatter and still get work done. There was a T-to-S compatible session client, and we played with settings and exchanged voice customization tips. The text-to-speech interpreter did a game job with all kinds of unusual words -- not usually right, but normally understandable in context -- and during slow moments we would feed it random words to see how they sounded.

And that's how my current nick was born: It's a speech-to-text transcription of an obsolete software's attempt to pronounce my intials as a word.

The current version of the Macintosh text-to-speech has improved enough to merit a bit part in Pixar's Wall-E. Despite its new fame, it's not as entertaining as the old System 8 version.