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Full Version: Stephen Hawking's voice. Would he want it back?
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I bought a Panasonic Compuvoice talking calculator from TOS for 5 USD. The seller had posted a You Tube video of it, and it sounded just like Stephen Hawking's voice, which I found somewhat amusing. I've been showing it off as, "Stephen Hawking's calculator". Then, I happened to watch the middle of an interview on You Tube where he was asked about his voice. He said that it was an older speech synthesizer from 1986 (the calculator is 1981-1984) and that he has come to identify with it as his own voice, so he's never changed it. He says the hardware is old, fragile, and not easily replaceable. I wonder if he'd have any use for the circuits in the calculator?

I'll bet that he's glad that his voice isn't the same as that used in the TSI Speech+ calculator from 1976. This came with an audio tape of a person reading the manual interspersed with examples of the calculator talking. If you're really bored put this on your ipod for a fun listen: TSI Speech+ Tape.

-Katie

Oh, that sounds terrible. Daleks have more personality.

Exterminate...exterminate...

Are there any recordings of Hawking prior to the voice synthesizer? I am fairly certain I have never heard anything but his synthesized voice.

I always thought that Hawking's speech synthesizer sounds just like the original MacinTalk, but according to Wikipedia, he used to use a DECTalk DTC01 and has recently switched to NeoSpeech VoiceText. Wiki also mentions that Hawking's appearances on Family Guy were voiced by MacinTalk, I presume the current OS X incarnation, not the classic 1984 version. (I read somewhere else that Hawking's appearances on The Simpsons were voiced by Mr. Hawking himself.

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Are there any recordings of Hawking prior to the voice synthesizer?

Hawking briefly appeared in one of the episodes of Carl Sagan's Cosmos (1980) and already he was losing the ability to speak. He basically "mumbled" quietly to an assistant, who repeated what he said to a classroom of people.

I wonder if he possibly is the only person in recorded history to survive ALS for this many decades....

Jake

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(I read somewhere else that Hawking's appearances on The Simpsons were voiced by Mr. Hawking himself.

He appeared in 4 episodes if memory serves. As himself, being recorded in the studio.

Dimitri