freebsd as the basis for something better?

Alex Zbyslaw xfb52 at
Mon Jun 27 10:50:00 GMT 2005

el-sino at wrote:

>i'm sure we could do something innovative with:
>for instance, just having a hot voice reading my command
>outputs would already be darn cool to me.
I worked there for a while, and know a couple of the people who worked 
on this project -- certainly talented individuals, though, sadly, 
Richard Caley is no longer with us.

That aside, one of the things I hated was being in a roomful of people 
coming up to demo time, all babbling away into headset mikes while 
another set of people had their computer babbling back to them, sounding 
like Steven Hawking.  Enough to drive you up the wall.  If I wanted 
that, I'd work in a call center.

And, of course, much of the software I worked on was developed using 
good, old keyboard and mouse, running good, old CLI Unix, with maybe a 
GUI C/C++ development environment (though mine was mostly emacs).

There are applications where speech input or output are undoubtedly 
useful.  But as a general replacement for keyboard and mouse?  No 
thanks.  When people speak to you, they are usually capable of picking 
up visual and verbal clues that, for example, that tell them when to 
shut up.  Computers are a long, long way from that.  And which would you 
rather do to edit the last command you ran?  Type "^P ESC-b ESC-b Del 
Del 2 SPACE" or have to say "Redo last command, substitute final 1 for a 
2"?  Time yourself and see which is quicker :-)  Then make the example 
more complicated :-)

On the other hand, if I could get my PC to listen in on a technical 
phone call, and manage to take notes (even verbatim) of what was said, 
that would save lots of typing up minutes afterwards trying to remember 
what was actually said.  Of course, recognizing telephone quality, 
technical speech, spoken at normal speed and with the software not 
trained on the speakers, is, as far as I am aware, several pipe-dreams 
rolled into one.


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