RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling
2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed
formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit
design engineer. The World Wide Web (Internet) was largely an unknown entity at
the time and bandwidth was a scarce commodity. Dial-up modems blazed along at 14.4 kbps
while typing up your telephone line, and a nice lady's voice announced "You've Got
Mail" when a new message arrived...
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While watching the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie,
at some point when one of the computer voices was speaking, a memory of the "This Is DigiTalker" voice suddenly came to mind. Back in the
mid-1980s while working at Westinghouse in Annapolis, Maryland, a couple of the engineers brought a DigiTalker prototype experimentation
board into the super-classified area where I worked. According to National Semiconductor's datasheet, it was introduced sometime around 1980.
The programmable digital voice IC was a big deal in that unlike other devices that had a fixed set of phrases (see
my frightening Clarance the Stack-A-Round Clown),
DigiTalker had a large list and could,
in later versions, potentially speak almost anything. It was a big deal at the time. DigiTalker went on to become "The Voice of the Elevator Industry."
National Semiconductor' MM54104 DIGITALKER
Datasheet for National Semiconductor's DT1050 DIGITALKER Vocabulary Kit
Posted October 12, 2015
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