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Spoken Alarms – Windows

In my coffee office the roaster is on one side of the room, my desk the other. As the office is only ten feet wide I am never very far from the roaster but if I am working on my computer my back is to the roaster.

What I wanted was artisan to speak alarms so that the system warns me of approaching events such as first crack or drop. Alarms permit triggering a program when a certain temperature is reached. In this example we will set the computer to say “First crack in five degrees” when the temperature hits 385o.

Rich Helms

The simplest approach is to record MP3 audio files and just call the audio files from the alerts feature in artisan. This requires rerecording the file every time you want to change the message and in Windows the media player remains on the display after the audio file is played. The second approach is to use a text-to-speech program to read the alert messages out. This way changing the message was easy.

To enable the Windows computer to speak I use a program called SayStatic.exe
http://krolik.net/post/Say-exe-a-simple-command-line-text-to-speech-program-for-Windows.aspx

To speak the first crack warning the command is
SayStatic.exe First crack in five degrees.

To use with artisan first download SayStatic.exe and put it in the artisan folder.

While the artisan alarm capability can call a program, the alarm can not pass parameters. To get around this security limitation, turn the command into a DOS bat file. Use any text editor or notepad which can be found in the Accessories folder in Start.

Type the command line from above into notepad and save in the artisan as firstcrack.bat

Create FirstCrack.bat with Notepad

In a file list of the folder where you installed artisan double click on firstcrack.bat. This will open the batch file and run the program. On my Win XP system it brought up a warning dialog. I selected the check box to permit this program to run always.

Run firstcrack.bat to test

When the alarm is triggered it will call the batch file, the DOS CMD window will open, the line spoken then the CMD window will automatically close.

DOS Window appears when SayStatic speaks the line

Now configure the alarm inside artisan with Conf(igure)/Alarms.

Set Spoken Alarms in Config/Alarms

These are the three alarms I use to warn of dry end, first crack and drop. I seldom reach second crack or I would have that alarm also.

Say Drop running

Download SayStatic.exe and my three bat files
Download and unzip into the same folder as you have artisan installed and update the alarms setting in artisan like shown above.

 

This technique will also work on Mac and Linux but a different speaking program and batch file structure must be used. If someone would like to explain how to do this I can add it to here.

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4 Responses to “Spoken Alarms – Windows”

  • Barrie Fairley says:

    Rich
    I have been trying your spoken alarm idea and find that sometimes it works perfectly then, with another roasting session using the same alarms that otherwise runs perfectly, the bat files are not called at all. No cmd box and nothing spoken. Any thoughts about that? The fact that it works some of the time suggests that there is nothing wrong with the way the alarm or the bat file are put together?

  • Charlie Werner says:

    Hi,

    I’ve been using the spoken alarms without issue. After a recent Windows 8 update SayStatic.exe stopped working. Has anyone else encountered this or found a workaround?

    thanks,
    charlie

  • Charlie Werner says:

    It is humorous.

    It worked great for 6 months.

    It suddenly stopped working, I think possibly due to a windows 8 update, about 2 months ago.

    I tried everything I could think of e.g. restarting artisan, rebooting , manually updating windows, played with security software , etc.

    The batch files would not work directly, or out of artisan.

    Auto-magically, after another windows update, it started working fine again last night.

    I think it was a case of what windows update broke, windows update later fixed.