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                                 Bird Talk

In this day we are changing computers quicker than minds.  I donated my
C-64 away, since I did not need it to prop open my window because of my new
air-conditioner.  =) (Please no flames, I really love and miss my C-64).  I
have a bunch of old computers around, the PC's become outdated so quickly,
you can't find uses for them because they will not do anything
sophisticated like the Amiga.

For a while I was running my A-500 para-netted to my A-3000.  The A-500 had
1 meg internal, a high-density drive internal with an external low-density
drive.  It has a GVP-A500+ attached to its side with 100 meg scsi hard
drive and 4 megs of ram.  I could not see abandoning the platform, but the
68030 at 30 mhz with 10 megs was too good.  I started using the A-500 less
and less. 

I then formed the idea of having ARexx controlled software playing iff
samples for the birds.  I found DeliTacker from Peter Kunath and Frank
Riffel.  It was very configurable and had ARexx controls!  Only my PC had
an audio digitizer so I needed SoundZap on the Amiga to convert the .WAV to
a .IFF.

The A-500 has been playing 4 iff samples, three times a day, repeating the
sample for 4 mintues.  This gives the birds a 16 minute lesson 3 times a
day.  The software actually rotates through a list of 5 iff files, and only
plays 4 in one lesson.  I have had the A-500 running like this for a year
now.  Oh yeah, the A-500 was doing all this with out the GVP-A500+ HD!  It
has been running everything with just 1 meg of ram and 2 floppies!

My birds have a vocabulary of 30+ words, and I keep hearing people talk
about how smart they are (birds in general).  I now have a box with two
buttons on it that they can press and play an iff file.  The box has a
Basic Stamp2 microcontroller in it, which has a serial port on it.  The
Basic Stamp2 is a 24 pin SMT dip!  It is over-kill, but I had one around. 
I programmed it to monitor the buttons and send a "1" or a "2" down the
serial line at 9600,N,8,1 .  The serial port on the Amiga is set to the
same spec using prefs.   ARexx is monitoring the serial port, and will play
the respective file associated with the "1" or "2".  In my case "1" is
Laura (my girlfriend) saying "I love you" and "2" is me saying "Hello".
Being that I just rigged the buttons to the cage an hour ago the birds are
a little scared of it and have not tested it yet.  I will be posting
information on my web page about the experiment, the address is, my E-mail address is

Future modifications may be to have more buttons or keep the two and have
one select the IFF and the other play the IFF


Listings of the ARexx files, startup-sequence, configuration files and
stamp program are in bird.lha

Delitracker is from Peter Kunath and Frank Riffel.  I found the file on
S-mail         Frank Riffel, Merkstr. 27, 82405 Wessobrunn, Germany

SoundZap is from Michael Cramer (

Basic Stamp2 is from Parallax