Your Mac Can Speak Roman Numerals

The Mac speech synthesizer has to be aware of context as it speaks.  Otherwise, if you had “$1000” in your sentence it would say something like “dollar sign one thousand”.  I get that.

Did you know that it can speak roman numerals?  We stumbled on one phrase that triggers it:  “Mac OS X”.  Specifically “OS” triggers it.  The numerals must be uppercase as well.  I imagine that when Apple demos the Mac speech synthesizer, they want it to be able to say its name correctly.  However, you can also substitute any other valid Roman Numeral for the “X”.  How sophisticated is the Roman Numeral processing?  1987 seems to be complicated enough for me, but my Mac handles it with ease.

Try the say command in Terminal:  say “OS MCMLXXXVII”.  Cool.


Growing Pains

Okay, I forgot (okay, well, I was putting it off) to set up redirects for links pointing to stuff on the old website to stuff on our new site.  This meant that your RSS reader never saw any updates for us since December 29.  Now those old RSS feed URLs should permanently redirect you to the new RSS feeds.  Similarly, Google’s index still contains old links and I’m sending those visitors to a landing page.  Soon I should have that landing page automatically do a search here for the same content the user searched for originally.  It’s not perfect, but it’s just about the only thing I think I can do.