The enhancement in the third Version is that it is speech enabled for use by the visually handicapped in all Indian languages and also English, with options for speech echo of keyboard input, letter by letter, word by word, line by line, or of a whole file. Pitch and speed of speech can be adjusted.
The DOS Version is carried on a single Floppy Disk and can work even on a PC-XT. The Win-95 Version is carried on two Floppy Disks and can work even on an entry level PC- 486. The Enhanced Win-95 Version requires 50 MB of Hard Disk storage for the Package, and will work on a Pentium with a speed of 133 MHz or over, with RAM of 32 MB or over, together with a sound card and speakers.
A phonetic code design makes
it possible for the Package to be extended virtually to
any phonetic based language. The DOS version supports Devanagari (for Hindi
and Sanskrit), Gujarati, Bengali, Assamese, Oriya,
Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam,
Kannada, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese and IPA. (The last item is the
standard International Phonetic Alphabet for diacritised English representation of Indian texts). Support for the Urdu script is expected shortly. The Package handles the archaic Grantha script; and support for other ancient scripts like Brahmi are under study.
All three versions follow a uniform file format, making the files transportable between all the versions. Utilities are available to convert an ASCII file to the file formats used by the Software. Supporting utilities are available for enabling use of email and preparing Web presentations in Indian languages. Utilities are also available for adapting other popular keyboard layouts and for conversion to or from ISCI file formats used by other language editor packages in the country and also conversion to and from files using the IPA and ITRANS representation in English
Finally, it must be noted
that this Software Package and training in it's use are offered
free of cost by the IIT Chennai, and Vidya Vrikshah respectively. The
development of the Package represents the IIT's
continuing commitment to promoting
IT-aided multi-lingual solutions for communication, literacy and education,
as also the study of ancient scripts (including preservation and dissemination of the content of ancient manuscripts) in the country.
Though today, the synthesised
speech output of the Enhanced Windows Version is
monotone, it is clear enough and has been hailed as a new dawn by the blind
of different language groups in the
country, who do not know English. Work continues on
improving the speech quality to make it closer to natural speech. In due
will also become possible, for people to speak to or give instructions to the computer in the Indian languages. Web sites and web browsers for Indian language content, online multi-lingual dictionaries, automated language translators, local language interfaces to business applications, programming in Indian languages, etc are all in
The DOS Version includes a Users Manual as a disk file. Use of the Windows Versions is facilitated by Screen Menus, and also have extensive On-line Help. The Key-board Mapping and Key-board Operations of the Package are summarised in other pages of this presentation.
Those who are interested
in the technical and linguistic underpinnings and extensive operational
features of the IITM Software or would like to download the Software free
can do so from the IIT Chennai website at http://acharya.iitm.ac.in/
The latest version
of the IIT Software Package which can be dowloaded free from the IIT Chennai
Website URL given above now contains a new standardised set of Fonts, which
are being used by us in our current presentations. However earlier
versions of the Package used other Fonts which have been used in many of
our earlier presentations. All those fonts listed below and are freely
available on the Web. Therefore you will have to download the fonts from
their respective sites. Please get the fonts downloaded from the links
given below, and have them installed on your system before viewing the
text contained in these pages. Also, note that all the fonts may not be
available for all the platforms. The URLs were correct at the time of preparation
of this page.
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