An Apple II gave Professor Stephen Hawking his voice

“Earlier today, Tim Cook posted a tribute to the late professor Stephen Hawking, who passed away on March 14, aged 76,” Luke Dormehl reports for Cult of Mac. “‘We will always be inspired by his life and ideas. RIP,’ Cook wrote.”

“Apple and Hawking share an interesting connection: It was an Apple machine that first gave him the ability to verbally communicate using a computer,” Dormehl reports. “After developing ALS in the 1960s, Hawking’s physical capabilities slowly worsened until, by the late 1970s, he was barely able to speak. At first, he was able to verbally communicate sufficiently that friends and family could understand him, and relay this information to others. He lost his ability to speak entirely in 1985, however.”

“In 1984, Steve Jobs introduced the Macintosh. In Jobs’ onstage demo, the Mac introduced itself using a synthesized voice. For the first time, the idea of a computer speaking for someone entered the public consciousness,” Dormehl reports. “That same year, an MIT engineer named Dennis Klatt created a synthesized voice for Hawking to use. Using a program called Equalizer and a Speech Plus synthesizer, Hawking could select words and commands that would then be spoken out loud. The first version of the program ran on an Apple II, Cupertino’s most popular computer at the time. It gave Hawking the ability to ‘speak’ at 15 words per minute.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: R.I.P., Stephen Hawking.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. — Steve Jobs

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. — Steve Jobs


      1. The Climate Change fraud has two purposes:
        • The imposition of a “carbon” taxation without representation to aid financing of global governance.
        • The continued erosion of American industrial might.

        that is all.

  1. I love my Apple products and I admire the corporation as being the most socially and environmentally responsible as a Capitalist enterprise can be. A friend offered me a top Samsung phone; I said, No; Give me the next iPhone; I deplore serial coppyists”.

    1. Thank god (or force of nature in his case) he wasn’t as small minded and as anal as you appear to be. Did you write to the Director of the Theory of Everything to complaint about not including the end of the Universe.

  2. “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.” -Stephen Hawking.

    This quote could not be more insightful. It points out what I consider to be mankind’s greatest enemy: What I call Deceptive Truth (xunipus stargo, my 13 year old baby talk phrase for it). The more we overcome it, the closer we become to the wonders of the real world, saving it in the process. There is no greater hell than the one we make as a prison for our own mind. :-Derek

      1. Sad little bot that will never live in the light.

        I consider myself fortunate to have figured this out at 13. It blasted open my mind to understanding the real plight of mankind. I’m sad to say that you’re a symptom of human self-destruction. I know you can’t see that. That’s why I bother to ‘pontificate’ at all. There’s hope. The future needs to know that not everyone in the current era is oblivious. ‘Life is for learning’. Get free of the other-people’s-problems inflicted bullshit and learn from the source in which we live: Miracle Planet Earth, Our Only Home.

        Sorry Elon.

        1. Derek, we need other planets so that visionaries can colonise them and set up their experimental societies without being forced to knuckle under to any Earth government. Resentment of one tribe over another is a poison that has led to almost constant warfare on this planet since 10,000 B.C. Our brains aren’t getting any less reptilian. We all possess more cognitive biases than you can shake a stick at. Why not allow a diversity of societies, instead of expecting everyone to embrace a homogenising diversity here or be shunned? Wasn’t that the appeal of the original American colonies?—not religious freedom, but freedom from persecution? Only when the Colonies banded together as States of a Nation did universal suffrage get seriously discussed, and several compromises later we had a Constitution. It has held up for a couple hundred years, only about as long as the Pax Romana, and right on schedule, the barbarians are at the gates.

          As you are surely aware, the ongoing problem of social divisions has been a constant theme in science fiction for a hundred years, and many of those stories came true. Elon Musk is poised to set up colonies, and even Vladimir Putin is talking space colonies. Trump wants a space navy. Your flavour of hope for humanity is admirable in its compassion, but too twentieth-century, I’m afraid, to be taken seriously. We aren’t just all going to get along. Sometimes one needs a planet of one’s own.

          1. If there were planets that were tolerable to human and required agricultural life, I’d easily agree. But the reality of Mars is that it’s a wasteland of nothing. I constantly harp on the primitive state of human psychology. Plans to colonize Mars don’t take into consideration how we humans will respond to living in the middle of a hostile nowhere with no breathable air, food, water, natural environment of any sort, colonists under constant stress. Then there’s the radiation problem when getting there and living there. Much as I enjoy and admire sci-fi and the human imagination, reality isn’t malleable. It’s OK to clobber me for saying such things. But I’m a rabid futurist, and this is what I see.

            I’ll also point out that we humans insistently deny and avoid facing our most profound failures. If we’re going to survive as a species, we must figure out how to do so as a species.

            #1 on the list: Population control. We have to cut back our numbers to the point of sustainability on Miracle Planet Earth, our only home.

            The rest of my list is irrelevant unless we deal with #1.

            [Note: I’ll poop on any party that promotes or celebrates human self-destruction or delusion. Shoot-the-messenger is just another form of scapegoating. Sorry. It’s what we must hear IMHO.]

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