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Ghost Voices (text to speech problem)

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    Ghost Voices (text to speech problem)

    Once or twice a day, A female British voice (Microsoft mary?) says "Please type what you want me to say" or some such. It may sometimes coincide with data coming in the PC's serial port from from the IR receiver I use (irMAN). Not sure. In my system, the incoming data from irMAN on COM1 goes to software I wrote and use. That data is parsed to see what IR remote key was pressed - and if one of 5 or so key codes that are expected comes in, a Visual Basic SENDKEYS is created - doing an up arrow, down arrow, ENTER, ESC or a few others.

    I don't use HS's voice recognition.

    Doggone if I know why this happens and so intermittently. I don't think it happens unless there is IR activity.

    So, is there some keyboard sequence which might cause MS Mary to awake from the dead and ask if she can utter some speech after I type in something? Something related to disabled user support? I think that's deactivated in my setup of Windows.

    Mary's unsolicited talking slightly diminishes the ordinarily high WAF.

    Very strange indeed! Stuff like that is VERY hard to track down. A couple of idea's:

    Go to search for files, and enter part of the phrase that is spoken in to the "A word or phrase in the file" dialog. Under "Look In:" put the path to HS.

    This will look through all html/asp/.txt/.vbs files to see if this text is comming from some rogue script or something.

    If you do not use the TTS at all, then under options ensure that the use TTS is unchecked. That SHOULD stop all speech comming from HS.

    Also, in the past when testing devices I would place something in the speech dialog and forget it was there after testing. a few days later when that event was triggered I would hear voices comming from HS.

    If none of this helps, keep us posted, as we all certainly love a good mystery
    Visit My Home Seer Site at:
    Created with LCARS


      Divide and conquer.
      Is this voice different that HS?
      Is this voice different than Windows Default?
      (Control Panel/Speech/Text to Speech tab --- Preview Voice)

      Is she hot and does she have a sister?



        I may have a clue.... The phrase comes from an ad banner for a speaking web page product. Perhaps you have HS going to a page that contains this banner? Trying to find a page with it now.

        I know that uses this banner, but for the life of me, I can't get it to reappear on command.
        Skibumsplace - Locate Me


          I got it. It's Their homepage uses a different voice, but the phrase as you posted is used in all their ad's with a british female voice.
          Skibumsplace - Locate Me


            <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Skibum:
            I got it. It's Their homepage uses a different voice, but the phrase as you posted is used in all their ad's with a british female voice. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

            If the Bum is right, install a pop-up blocker on that computer. When I used to parse web pages via HomeSeer, the ads for that web page would still pop up. So I'd parse a bunch of news web pages and I'd have 20 ads setting on my desktop the next day.



              or if your running XP simply install service pack 2. IE now comes with a popup blocker that does an outstanding job. If you want an even better blocker that can block ads, popups, flash,etc. Try the free but discontinued blocker called proxomitron.

              💁‍♂️ Support & Customer Service 🙋‍♂️ Sales Questions 🛒 Shop HomeSeer Products


                Thanks VERY much for the suggestions.
                Here's where I am on ghost busting...

                Running XP Pro SP1 (From what I've read, I dare not try SP2 on this unattended machine - with the TV guide and Caller ID and HS it uses, I cannot risk the WAF since I've not yet braved SP2 on my desktop PC.

                Pop-ups - Well - this PC doesn't use a browser per se. It displays (on the TV) HTML pages on the web using a visual basic program which employs the Internet Explorer object. The VB program works with the infrared remote and menus on the TV to surf the web.

                I see no lingering pop-up windows; no applications or processes (in the task manager) which don't belong. There is a pop-up stopper which works well but since there's no window it is dormant.

                I am suspecting that something is triggering a Windows TTS to say "type what you want me to say". I thought it might be the Windows XP Accessibility Narrator (read aloud for sight-impaired). Looking at that setup, Narrator is disabled. When I tried it, it used the robotic male voice, not the female British voice we hear in the problem. I think her voice is MS Mary's voice.

                I looked at's website. I assume Bill Bower means that someone's website is incorporating this company's TTS - but I see no popup as I'd expect.

                So is there some secret keystrokes in Windows which might cause the Windows Narrator to come alive?

                I do have HS's TTS enabled. Can't see how that would be involved. My caller ID program uses TTS - normally direct into Windows (not via HS's API).

                Another thing to try is to turn OFF the pop-up blocker. Maybe the talking ad pops up and talks then the pop-up blocker closes its window and I don't have any evidence left over.

                the hunt continues...


                  With your help and luck, I found it! It &gt; WAS &lt; Thanks Bill!

                  Once in a while, their ad appears at the bottom of this website which we look at frequenly on the TV displayed web page:


                  Now. How the heck do I stop it? It's not a popup window. I suppose it's Java or JavaScript, neither of which I want to disable. I doubt I have a choice for denying access to the sound player (gee, I thought Java/JavaScript had very limited access to my system). I doubt it's ActiveX as I never responded YES to installing such.


                    Proxomitron has the ability to block any one selected item on selected pages. So it's as simple as loading the app and tell it to block TTS on that site.
                    💁‍♂️ Support & Customer Service 🙋‍♂️ Sales Questions 🛒 Shop HomeSeer Products


                      Got a trusted website to download it? Here's what I found on the root website
                      Sorry Folks,

                      I regret to say the Proxomitron web filter is well and truly dead. Unfortunately, while attending a "save the hedgehog" rally, it was fatally mauled by a jealous flock of rampaging echidnas.

                      For anyone interested in poking around the remains, the final version still works and may be available at independent sites like these...

                      * Proxomitron-J (Japanese support site)

                      In addition you may want to try these other web filtering programs...

                      * Privoxy
                      * Muffin
                      * Ad-Subtract
                      * WebWasher

                      P.S. Sorry about the ads here, but this is GeoCities page after all. Of course those using Proxomitron may not see them. :-)

                      P.P.S. I'm keeping the support AT proxomitron DOT cjb DOT net email address alive for anyone who really needs to contact me, but please understand I'm no longer supporting the program. If you're having trouble with Proxomitron or have questions about using it, there are several message boards that can probably help you out. For details, just check some of the sites listed above.


                        I can't get the voice on the above webpage to come on from here at work. Here is why. We have a Netgear router that blocks anything from . Maybe you have a router that has filtering on it? You could kill that content that way.



                          Found the ad, it takes a while, they have a long rotation list.

                          If you want, disable the Macromedia under IE options:
                          Attached Files



                            My old Linksys router doesn't do domain or keyword blocking. I have a Netgear wireless router which I've been usig as a bridge - it has blocking.

                            Does router based scanning all incoming text for keyword matches slow down the Internet experience - especially FTP?


                              it's me again...

                              My IE6 does not seem to have that "manage ad-ons" capability. Or I cannot find it after looking.

                              I've never wandered in this space - Could it be that the Content checker in IE6 can scan and block ? I entered this as a forbidden site (the only one) and enabled filtering. Not sure if this works when using the IE object, rather than IE the browser.