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 Make your PC Respond like "JARVIS"

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shadowmatrix
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PostSubject: Make your PC Respond like "JARVIS"   Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:57 am

Required Materials:

* Windows 7 or Vista based computer (32 & 64-bit both work). I can't promise these steps are exactly the same for Vista (who uses Vista anyway?) so you're on your own if you're stuck with that crappy OS.* At least 2 gigs of memory. I believe it will work with 1 gig, but the more the merrier... and trust me, you want to have lots of memory for this feature.* At least a dual-core processor. Again, might work with less... but it's going to be brutal.
* A microphone. If you have a laptop with one built in, that's perfect... if you're on a desktop, something with good sensitivity would be best. A headset is fine I guess, but you're not going to be very cool trying to give your computer commands from across the room unless you have a wireless headset.
* Windows Speech Recognition (it's built in... I'll tell ya how to enable it)
* Windows Speech Recognition Macros
* An imagination (this is the difficult part, if you don't think outside the box... it's not going to be as impressive).
* Speakers (yes, I know this seems obvious... but you never know).


You now have Speech Recognition working, and if you did the tutorials like I suggested... you're probably trying out all kinds of cool voice commands to make your computer function without even touching your mouse/keyboard. Surprisingly, yes... it's THIS easy! This is just the beginning of the fun though. Using Windows Speech Recognition Macros you can automate almost any function on your computer. So let's go ahead and install Windows Speech Recognition Macros. Just double-click it from where you saved the download (for fun, see if you can do it without touching your mouse/keyboard using only your voice). Then follow the proper prompts. Once you have it installed, make sure you have it create a desktop shortcut. Once this shortcut is created, I highly suggest copying it into your startup folder. To access your startup folder quickly, you can just pull up your Start Menu, click "All Programs, " scroll down to "Startup," right-click and choose "open." Then copy your Windows Speech Recognition Macros shortcut to this location. By doing so, you allow the program to automatically start whenever you boot your computer.

So what exactly is this Windows Speech Recognition Macros thing you've just installed? To put it in simple terms, it's a cool little program that allows you to create custom automations for windows that execute whenever you say a trigger word or phrase. This is where you're going to want to put your imagination to use. This is also where you "Teach" your computer how to talk back to you. I'm going to show you a couple little scripts you can make to get you started.
Let's start with something simple. Think of a name for your computer... for this example I'm going to name my computer Jarvis (it seems only fitting). First, make sure your Speech Recognition is enabled, and Windows Speech Recognition Macros is running. In your task manager (the bottom right-hand corner of your task bar) double-click the Windows Speech Recognition Macros icon and when the window pops up asking "What should the macro do?" click "Advanced." For those of you familiar with creating websites, this should be a welcome site. WSRM uses XML for commands... which makes creating custom commands relatively simple. For those of you who aren't aware of XML, it's still easy. Here's a quick synopsis of what you're looking at:

<speechMacros> - This is the starting Tag, it just tells the computer that this XML file uses the Speech Macros to execute.

<command> - This is the command to be executed. Each command is basically one action... in most cases you will only need one, but for some automations you'll want to include more than one. You'll see an example of this later.

<listenFor></listenFor> - This tells the computer what word or phrase to listen for in order to do an action. Notice that there is a closing tag (</listenFor>), this tells the XML that this spot in the code is where to stop doing whatever function... in this case stop listening for a word or phrase once the computer hears it.

</command> - The closing tag for the "Command" tag... again, in XML every tag will have an opening/closing tag and what happens between the two is how it knows what to execute. In this case it knows that the command is finished once the word/phrase has been detected.

</speechMacros> - By now I think you can figure out why this is here.

Since I'm going to name my computer Jarvis, I'm going to tell my computer to listen for it's name by changing the <listenFor> tags to say the following:

<listenFor>Jarvis</listenFor>

The entire macro looks like this now:

<speechMacros>
<command>
<listenFor>Jarvis</listenFor>
</command>
</speechMacros>
So my computer is now listening for it's name, Jarvis... but nothing is going to happen. We have to give it a way to interact, so we're going to add the <speak></speak> tags which allow for the computer to speak whatever text we insert between the tags back to us. I want my computer to have a bad attitude, so I'm going to add the following:

<speechMacros>
<command>
<listenFor>Jarvis</listenFor>
<speak>You're not Tony Stark! ALERT! ALERT!</speak>
</command>
</speechMacros>
Go ahead and hit "Save" then "Create" and then "OK." You might want to make sure you know where WSRM is saving your macros before you hit "Create" though... I just save mine in My Documents under a folder called "Speech Macros." Once you save these you can easily edit them by just double-clicking on the macro file.

You've now created your first speech macro. Now let's test it out! If you don't have your computer already listening for voice commands, just say "Start Listening." Once your computer has acknowledged that it's in listening mode, Now say "Jarvis." If you've done everything correctly, your computer will say "You're not Tony Stark! ALERT! ALERT!" in a female voice. If you're not a fan of the female voice, back in your control panel where you setup your speech recognition, on the left hand side there's an option called "Text to Speech" click on this and under the "Voice Selection" tab there's a couple you can choose from. Hopefully more people will start using speech recognition and force Microsoft to release cool voices. Wouldn't it be awesome if you could have Jarvis' actual voice or Darth Vader... or something cool like that? Go ahead and play around a bit with the <listenFor> and <speak> tags and create some macros that give the sense of interaction with your computer. On my old system... since I worked in a bar full of foul-mouthed rockstars, I had various four letter words programmed in so when someone would cuss, my computer would say "You shut your mouth when you're talking to me!" Just a little example of some of the fun you can have.

Making your computer respond with words is fun, but it can get old quick. So let's have your computer do some other functions using voice commands and macros. One of my favorites is a weather script I modified (it was originally on a Windows 7 forum so I don't take credit for writing this... only for modifying it for my own needs). This script is a little more in depth, but look through it a bit and see if you can figure out what it's going to do. Notice it's a two-part macro. (in case the pasted script doesn't work properly due to spacing/cut-n-paste factors, you can just download this macro here and extract it using winzip or some other utility.)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-16"?>
<speechMacros>
<command>
<listenFor>Pull up the weather in [CityName]</listenFor>
<run command="http://www.weather.com/weather/local/{[CityName.zipCode]}"/>
</command>
<command>
<listenFor>Is it cold in [CityName]?</listenFor>
<speak>Let me check... just a moment.</speak>
<script language="JScript">
<![CDATA[
<var xml_doc = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLDOM");
<xml_doc.async = false;
<xml_doc.load("http://www.rssweather.com/zipcode/{[zipCode]}/rss.php");
<var titles = xml_doc.getElementsByTagName("title");
<var descriptions = xml_doc.getElementsByTagName("description");
<Application.Speak(titles.item(2).text + " in {[*CityName]}");
<Application.Speak(descriptions.item(2).text);]]>
</script>
</command>
<listenForList name="CityName" propname="zipCode">
<item propval="65201">Columbia</item>
<item propval="37201">Nashville</item>
</listenForList>
</speechMacros>
This macro does 3 things:
* Listens for the phrase "Pull Up The Weather In [City Name]" thus, starting up your default browser and sending it to weather.com with the city you named.
* Listens for the phrase "Is it cold in [City Name]?" thus, reading you the weather forecast for the mentioned city.
* Assigns the city name specified to the proper zip code so the computer can retrieve weather information for the designated city.

This macro also uses javascript to decipher some of the functions... but that's not important right now. I'm not a huge fan of javascript myself, and I certainly don't expect you to use it for your everyday macros, but in this macro it serves it's purpose. Now if you've actually looked at the code, you'll notice it has some serious limitations. First of all, it's only designed to choose from one of 2 cities... Columbia, Missouri (where I currently live... yes, feel sorry for me) and Nashville, Tennessee (where I used to live and should have stayed... AWESOME town!). So if you want this macro to choose from your own choice of cities, you need to change the city names and zip codes in the <item> tags. Someone who knows more about actual Javascript can probably come up with some better code that listens for any city and converts it into the proper zip... but obviously the author and my own skills are limited, so we'll just work with what's available. Besides, if you don't tell people... nobody will know that it's just simple scripting. It's not how the magic trick happens... it's how amazing the illusion seems to the target audience.

Having the weather forecast read to you is pretty cool, I've experimented a bit with some other text-to-speech automation scripts using RSS feeds (News, Sports, Etc) and I've found that while it actually works... most RSS feeds toss a lot of code into the descriptors, so sometimes it can sound pretty messy. You'll have to play around a bit and see what works best for you. If you come across anything cool along these lines, please let me know. I'm always looking to improve my speech macros. I'm also going to spend some time cleaning up our RSS feeds here at Torching Igloos and I'll create a macro for those so your computer can read you the Torching Igloos news.

While I was researching the various speech recognition functions of Windows 7, I was appalled to discover that some of the most common Windows tasks aren't supported (or are difficult to find information on). Some examples: Restart, Shutdown, Volume Up/Down, Empty Recycle Bin. You would think that as basic as these tasks pose to be, Microsoft would have included them in Speech Recognition. Well, if they did I certainly couldn't figure it out (hell, Einstein couldn't tie his shoes so it is completely possible that I'm just missing something obvious). So, here's a few macros to make some of these tasks simple. Unfortunately a few of them do require some outside assistance in order to function properly.

Restart Computer: (You say "Nuke It" and the computer acknowledges and restarts your system.)

<speechMacros>
<command>
<listenFor>Nuke it</listenFor>
<speak>Restarting Windows</speak>
<run command="C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe" params="-r -t 00"/>
</command>
</speechMacros>
Shutdown Computer: (You say "Shut It Down" and the computer acknowledges and turns the system off)

<speechMacros>
<command>
<listenFor>Shut it down</listenFor>
<speak>End Of Line</speak>
<run command="C:\Windows\System32\shutdown.exe" params="-s -t 00"/>
</command>
</speechMacros>
** Trash It (delete file): **

<speechMacros>
<command>
<listenFor>Trash It</listenFor>
<sendKeys>{DELETE}</sendKeys>
<speak> File Deleted</speak>
</command>
</speechMacros>
System Volume Macros & Recycle Bin:

These require a little program called nircmd that executes windows command-line functions in the background. Unzip to c:\nir\ or change the command line in the macros to reflect your nircmd.exe location.

Volume Up:

<speechMacros>
<command>
<listenFor>volume up</listenFor>
<run command="C:\nir\nircmd.exe" params="changesysvolume +5000"/>
<speak>Volume Up</speak>
</command>
</speechMacros>
Volume Down:

<speechMacros>
<command>
<listenFor>volume down</listenFor>
<run command="C:\nir\nircmd.exe" params="changesysvolume -5000"/>
<speak>Volume Down</speak>
</command>
</speechMacros>
Volume Mid:

<speechMacros>
<command>
<listenFor>volume mid</listenFor>
<run command="C:\nir\nircmd.exe" params="setsysvolume 30000"/>
<speak>Volume at medium listening level</speak>
</command>
</speechMacros>
Volume Low:

<speechMacros>
<command>
<listenFor>volume low</listenFor>
<run command="C:\nir\nircmd.exe" params="setsysvolume 10000"/>
<speak>Volume at low listening level</speak>
</command>
</speechMacros>
Mute:

<speechMacros>
<command>
<listenFor>mute</listenFor>
<run command="C:\nir\nircmd.exe" params="mutesysvolume 1"/>
<speak>Volume muted</speak>
</command>
</speechMacros>
Unmute:

<speechMacros>
<command>
<listenFor>unmute</listenFor>
<run command="C:\nir\nircmd.exe" params="mutesysvolume 0"/>
<speak>Mute Off</speak>
</command>
</speechMacros>
** Empty Recycle Bin: **

<speechMacros>
<command>
<listenFor>Empty Recycle Bin</listenFor>
<run command="C:\nir\nircmd.exe" params="emptybin"/>
<speak>Your junk has been recycled</speak>
</command>
</speechMacros>
Some other cool things to note while we're playing around with speech recognition, "Mouse grid" which brings up a grid for mouse movement, and a cool Firefox add-on called Firesay which allows you to control many of Firefox's functions using voice commands. With all of these new tools, and some creativity you can have your computer saying/doing all kinds of cool things. Try setting up play lists to suit your moods so when you come home from work, you can just tell your computer what kind of mood your in and it will automatically load up your favorite music player with the songs you want to hear. Invite over your girlfriend and impress her with music cued to certain words you say during a romantic dinner you've prepared for her (btw I'm single ladies). Setup your media center to start movies just by saying "I want to watch (insert movie name)" the possibilities are endless, and the ability is now yours. Now go impress somebody with your new found wizardry!

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PostSubject: Re: Make your PC Respond like "JARVIS"   Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:42 pm

Thanks! lol!

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