Make your computer talk and respond similar to "Jarvis" in the Iron Man movies Dec.

25, 2010
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**UPDATED 12/30/2010**

**Added "Trash It" (delete a file) and "Empty Recycle Bin" macros**

Let me start off by saying Merry Christmas to all of my AMAZING Torching Igloos viewers! Your support means the world to me, and seeing as how this is our first Christmas together, I wanted to do something special. So my gift to you is a sweet tutorial on how to make your Windows 7 computer more human-like so you won't feel so lonely during the holidays. This is also a great way to show off for your friends... tell them for Christmas you got a talking computer that does whatever you want it to do. You'll be amazed how simple this is, requiring just a few free downloads, some MINOR scripting (seriously, my 5 year-old nephew can do it), and your imagination.

Before we get started, I have to confess... I originally did this a few years ago when I owned a Macbook. Yes, I know... Blasphemy! While Apple made the process relatively easy to do (even though finding documentation wasn't so easy), once I purchased my PC I found that this task was a little more difficult to address. When I say it was a little more difficult, I don't mean the actual process... trying to find information on how to make it happen was the difficult part. Fortunately for you, I've done the research and testing, so now you can partake with ease. Now on to the good part.

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...

* Windows Speech Recognition (it's built in. I know this seems obvious.. So go ahead and download PDFmyURL. and trust me. you want to have lots of memory for this feature.... 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. but it's going to be brutal. If you have a laptop with one built in. I believe it will work with 1 gig. if you don't think outside the box.... I'll tell ya how to enable it) * Windows Speech Recognition Macros * An imagination (this is the difficult part. If you've been keeping up with Torching Igloos. Again. A headset is fine I guess. it's not going to be as impressive). * A microphone. * At least a dual-core processor. that's perfect. but the more the merrier.. and the speech recognition feature already built into Windows 7 (btw this should also work for Vista). something with good sensitivity would be best. if you're on a desktop. but you never know).com .. you'll remember I featured Windows Speech Recognition Macros in our article "More Awesome programs that are FREE!" we're going to use this program.. * Speakers (yes.. might work with less..* At least 2 gigs of memory.

see if you can do it without touching your mouse/keyboard using only your voice). I highly suggest copying it into your startup folder.Windows Speech Recognition Macros here. it's THIS easy! This is just the beginning of the fun though. You now have Speech Recognition working." Neither is required. you allow the program to automatically start whenever you boot your computer. you're probably on the wrong site). and if you did the tutorials like I suggested. yes." Then copy your Windows Speech Recognition Macros shortcut to this location. While you're at it. An additional bonus you'll get after training your computer to better recognize your . By doing so. Using Windows Speech Recognition Macros you can automate almost any function on your computer. less problems with it responding to ambient noises and other voices in the room... Once you have it installed. make sure you have it create a desktop shortcut. PDFmyURL. Just double-click it from where you saved the download (for fun. you can just pull up your Start Menu. You should also go ahead and visit the section that says "Train your computer to better understand you. you're probably trying out all kinds of cool voice commands to make your computer function without even touching your mouse/keyboard. click "All Programs... Surprisingly. " scroll down to "Startup. So let's go ahead and install Windows Speech Recognition Macros... Once this shortcut is created." right-click and choose "open. Before you install the Macros. Then follow the proper prompts. make sure your microphone is attached and functioning properly (if you don't know how to do that. So go ahead and take the extra 10 minutes to learn these processes. it's a good idea to take the speech tutorial to familiarize yourself with some common voice commands.. but going through the steps provided by these tutorials will help make the process of bossing your computer around a lot more efficient.. then go ahead and enable Windows Speech Recognition in your Control Panel (Start Menu/Control Panel/Ease Of Access/Speech Recognition/Start Speech Recognition). To access your startup folder quickly.

First.. for this example I'm going to name my computer Jarvis (it seems only fitting)... it just tells the computer that this XML file uses the Speech Macros to execute.So what exactly is this Windows Speech Recognition Macros thing you've just installed? To put it in simple . You'll see an example of this later. <listenFor></listenFor> . 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.. This is where you're going to want to put your imagination to use. For those of you who aren't aware of XML.. This is also where you "Teach" your computer how to talk back to you." For those of you familiar with creating websites. make sure your Speech Recognition is enabled. which makes creating custom commands relatively simple. this should be a welcome site. and Windows Speech Recognition Macros is running. 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. Each command is basically one action. but for some automations you'll want to include more than one. this tells the XML that this spot in the code is where to stop doing whatever function. Here's a quick synopsis of what you're looking at: <speechMacros> .This is the command to be executed.This is the starting Tag. Let's start with something simple. <command> ..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>). it's still easy. Think of a name for your computer. WSRM uses XML for commands.. in this PDFmyURL. I'm going to show you a couple little scripts you can make to get you started.. in most cases you will only need one.

. in XML every tag will have an opening/closing tag and what happens between the two is how it knows what to execute. again.The closing tag for the "Command" stop listening for a word or phrase once the computer hears it.. In this case it knows that the command is finished once the word/phrase has been . Jarvis. </speechMacros> .. 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. but nothing is going to PDFmyURL.. Since I'm going to name my computer Jarvis. </command> .By now I think you can figure out why this is here.

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. You've now created your first speech macro.. since I worked in a bar full of foul-mouthed rockstars. We have to give it a way to interact. back in your control panel where you setup your speech recognition.. your computer will say "You're not Tony Stark! ALERT! ALERT!" in a female voice.. I had PDFmyURL. 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." You might want to make sure you know where WSRM is saving your macros before you hit "Create" though. Hopefully more people will start using speech recognition and force Microsoft to release cool voices..happen. Wouldn't it be awesome if you could have Jarvis' actual voice or Darth Vader. Now let's test it out! If you don't have your computer already listening for voice commands. If you're not a fan of the female voice. 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." Once you save these you can easily edit them by just double-clicking on the macro file. I want my computer to have a bad attitude. On my old system.." Once your computer has acknowledged that it's in listening mode. 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. I just save mine in My Documents under a folder called "Speech Macros. just say "Start Listening. Now say " ." If you've done everything correctly..

but look through it a bit and see if you can figure out what it's going to do. So let's have your computer do some other functions using voice commands and{[zipCode]}/rss. <var descriptions = xml_doc.</speak> <script language="JScript"> <![CDATA[ <var xml_doc = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.getElementsByTagName("description").async = .text).com/weather/local/{[CityName. just a moment. Making your computer respond with words is fun. This script is a little more in depth.item(2).load("http://www.item(2).]]> PDFmyURL.) <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-16"?> <speechMacros> <command> <listenFor>Pull up the weather in [CityName]</listenFor> <run command="http://www. (in case the pasted script doesn't work properly due to spacing/cut-n-paste factors..zipCode]}"/> </command> <command> <listenFor>Is it cold in [CityName]?</listenFor> <speak>Let me check. <xml_doc. <var titles = xml_doc. but it can get old quick.. Notice it's a two-part macro. 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. <Application.getElementsByTagName("title")..text + " in {[*CityName]}").Speak(titles.rssweather.php").XMLDOM"). you can just download this macro here and extract it using winzip or some other utility. 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. < <Application.various four letter words programmed in so when someone would cuss. only for modifying it for my own needs).Speak(descriptions..

This macro also uses javascript to decipher some of the functions. but in this macro it serves it's purpose. it's only designed to choose from one of 2 cities...</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. First of all. you'll notice it has some serious limitations. Now if you've actually looked at the with the city you named.. . Columbia. but that's not important right now... Tennessee (where I used to live and should have stayed. So if you want this PDFmyURL. * Assigns the city name specified to the proper zip code so the computer can retrieve weather information for the designated city. starting up your default browser and sending it to weather.. AWESOME town!). * Listens for the phrase "Is it cold in [City Name]?" thus.. and I certainly don't expect you to use it for your everyday macros. feel sorry for me) and Nashville. Missouri (where I currently live. reading you the weather forecast for the mentioned city.. I'm not a huge fan of javascript myself.

if you don't tell people. Some examples: Restart. nobody will know that it's just simple scripting.. Restart Computer: (You say "Nuke It" and the computer acknowledges and restarts your system. but obviously the author and my own skills are limited.) PDFmyURL.. Empty Recycle Bin. So. please let me know. Etc) and I've found that while it actually works.. most RSS feeds toss a lot of code into the descriptors. if they did I certainly couldn't figure it out (hell. It's not how the magic trick happens. Having the weather forecast read to you is pretty cool. 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. I'm always looking to improve my speech macros. so sometimes it can sound pretty messy. so we'll just work with what's . 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. it's how amazing the illusion seems to the target audience. you need to change the city names and zip codes in the <item> tags. Volume Up/Down. Besides. While I was researching the various speech recognition functions of Windows 7.. Shutdown. Well.macro to choose from your own choice of cities. Microsoft would have included them in Speech Recognition. I've experimented a bit with some other text-to-speech automation scripts using RSS feeds (News... You'll have to play around a bit and see what works best for you. Unfortunately a few of them do require some outside assistance in order to function properly. Einstein couldn't tie his shoes so it is completely possible that I'm just missing something obvious).. Sports. here's a few macros to make some of these tasks simple. I was appalled to discover that some of the most common Windows tasks aren't supported (or are difficult to find information on). If you come across anything cool along these lines.. You would think that as basic as these tasks pose to be.

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> PDFmyURL.<speechMacros> <command> <listenFor>Nuke it</listenFor> <speak>Restarting Windows</speak> <run command="C:\Windows\System32\ .

Unzip to c:\nir\ or change the command line in the macros to reflect your nircmd.exe location.exe" params="changesysvolume +5000"/> <speak>Volume Up</speak> </command> </speechMacros> Volume Down: <speechMacros> <command> <listenFor>volume down</listenFor> <run command="C:\nir\ .exe" params="changesysvolume -5000"/> PDFmyURL. Volume Up: <speechMacros> <command> <listenFor>volume up</listenFor> <run command="C:\nir\nircmd.</command> </speechMacros> System Volume Macros & Recycle Bin: These require a little program called nircmd that executes windows command-line functions in the background.

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

com .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> PDFmyURL.<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.

Some other cool things to note while we're playing around with speech recognition. "Mouse grid" which brings up a grid for mouse movement. Try setting up play lists to suit your moods so when you come home from work. and the ability is now yours. 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). and some creativity you can have your computer saying/doing all kinds of cool . 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. and a cool Firefox add-on called Firesay which allows you to control many of Firefox's functions using voice commands. Now go impress somebody with your new found wizardry! Save page as PDFmyURL. Setup your media center to start movies just by saying "I want to watch (insert movie name)" the possibilities are endless. With all of these new tools. .

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