CHAPTER 5: SAVING AND LOADING CONFIGURATION LIBRARIES
As you already know, Tinytalk can hold up to 30 configurations in memory.
Once you've gotten some configurations set up, you clearly don't want to
repeat the process every time you run Tinytalk. Therefore, you can save
your configurations to a "configuration library" file on disk (this can be
either your hard drive or a floppy disk), and re-load them the next time
you use Tinytalk. We call them "configuration libraries" rather than
"configuration files" because each file can hold up to 30 separate
configurations (some other screen readers have one file for each
configuration). You can also create a "cloned" copy of the Tinytalk
program that has your favorite configurations "burned into" it; since
Tinytalk is so small, you can keep multiple copies configured for various
In order to move configuration libraries between Tinytalk and your disk,
you need to use the TTCONF utility program that comes with Tinytalk.
TTCONF is a separate program; you need to be at the DOS prompt in order to
run it. Even though TTCONF is a separate program, it needs to have
Tinytalk running (in application mode) when you use it.
SECTION 1: SAVING CONFIGURATION LIBRARIES
To save your current configurations to a library file, type "ttconf save "
followed by a file name (if you don't give the filename an extension,
TTCONF will automatically add ".TTK"). For example, if you wanted to save
your configurations in a library file called MYPROGS.TTK, you'd type
"ttconf save myprogs."
You can give a library file any name you want (as long as its a legal DOS
filename). There's no relation between the library file's name and the
names of any of the configurations inside it. When Tinytalk automatically
selects a configuration based on the program you run, it looks for the
appropriate name among the configurations you have in memory; it doesn't
look for files on disk. By holding multiple configurations in memory,
Tinytalk avoids having to make disk accesses while running, which greatly
simplifies many of its internal details (for example, it never has to worry
about DOS not being "ready").
SECTION 2: LOADING CONFIGURATION LIBRARIES
To load a configuration library from disk, type "ttconf load " followed by
the file name. For example, you could recall the configurations you saved
before by typing "ttconf load myprogs." You can tell TTCONF to select a
configuration within the library (if you don't, Tinytalk will switch to
whatever configuration was active when the library was saved). You do this
by putting the name or number of the configuration after the library file
name. For example "ttconf load myprogs 5" would bring in the MYPROGS
library and switch to configuration 5.
If you load a configuration library that was created for a different
synthesizer than the one you're using, your synthesizer settings will not
change (since the new settings might not be valid for your synthesizer).
All other configuration settings will change as usual.
SECTION 3: CLONING TINYTALK
To make a custom copy of Tinytalk, type TTCONF CLONE followed by a filename
with no extension (".exe" will be automatically added to the end). For
example, if you wanted to create a custom version of Tinytalk called
MYTALK, you'd type TTCONF CLONE MYTALK. From then on, you could run MYTALK
rather than TTALK and you'd come up with the configurations you wanted.
Cloning also customizes your copy for the port you selected. This feature
is not available with the "load" or "save" options, as it makes no sense to
switch ports while Tinytalk is already running.
TTCONF looks for a file called TTALK.EXE to use as the basis for the cloned
copy. If you want to use another file, type its name as a second argument
on the command line. For example, TTCONF CLONE MYTALK TTECHO would make a
clone of TTECHO.EXE. If you plan to clone Tinytalk, don't use a
compression utility like LZEXE or PKLITE on the file you're cloning. The
cloning process requires TTALK.EXE (or the file you specify) to be
available in uncompressed form and findable on the DOS path.
If you run Tinytalk or a clone while Tinytalk is already in memory, the
configuration information will be copied over to the version running in
memory. You won't wind up with two copies in memory (running a clone with
a different port selected won't change your port assignment).
SECTION 4: THE TTALK ENVIRONMENT VARIABLE
(If you're not real comfortable with DOS yet, you can skip this section.)
You can set an environment variable called TTALK to tell TTCONF where to
look for configuration libraries. For example, if you wanted to keep all
your configuration libraries in a directory called C:\CONFIG, you could put
the line SET TTALK=C:\TTALK\ in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file. This will make
TTCONF look in that directory if you don't include a directory name in the
SECTION 5: VIEWING CONFIGURATIONS
You can also use TTCONF to find out how one or more configurations are set
up. Typing "ttconf view" will give you a summary of how all your
configurations, global hotkey settings and global key labels are set up.
If you want to know how the configurations in a library file are set up,
type "ttconf view" followed by the library file name, for example "ttconf
view myprogs." You can tell TTCONF to show only the settings for a single
configuration by following the command with a number sign followed (no
space) by the name or number of the configuration you're interested in, for
example "ttconf view #wp" or "ttconf view myprogs #wp."
TTCONF uses DOS output, so you can redirect the display to a file or
printer if you want to, using the standard DOS ">filename" convention. It
will omit the "more" prompts between configurations if you redirect the
output. For example "ttconf view >conflist" would create a text file
called "conflist" that would show your settings.
If you're viewing all your configurations, TTCONF will also tell you your
port number and your current configuration. If you're using a synthesizer
like the Doubletalk that doesn't use a serial or parallel port, the port
number listed will be meaningless; it does not mean that the port is
actually tied up.
If you run TTCONF without any command-line arguments, it will give you a
menu of options, and will prompt you for filenames as required.
SECTION 6: CONVERTING CONFIGURATION LIBRARIES
When we add new features to Tinytalk, we sometimes have to change the
internal format of configuration files. Unlike some screen-reader
manufacturers who will go unnamed here, we don't believe that re-entering
all your configurations when the file format changes is a productive use of
your time. Therefore, we supply a program called CVTCONF when we send
upgrades to registered users (if you've been using Tinytalk long enough to
have created a bunch of configurations and to have crossed a version
boundary, you've been using it long enough that you should register!).
CVTCONF will take a configuration library created under a previous version
and convert it to the format required by the new version. The version
history in the READ.ME file will tell you whether or not a new version
To convert a library file, type "cvtconf" followed by the file name, for
example, "cvtconf myprogs." Tinytalk has to be running for CVTCONF to work
because it needs to be able to find out some things like what synthesizer
you're using. If you type "cvtconf" with no arguments, it will convert any
.TTK files it can find. CVTCONF will make a backup copy of each library
file that it converts.
CVTCONF can convert only configuration library files, not cloned copies of
Tinytalk. If you want to convert a cloned copy, load it, use TTCONF SAVE
to create a library file, convert the library file, uninstall the old copy,
load the new version of Tinytalk, use TTCONF LOAD to bring in the converted
library file, and then clone a new copy.