TalkingIRC (tIRC) - Talking mIRC Script for the Visually Impaired


Latest Version: 3.9Sharalynn
Contents

News


08 January 2012


It has been a long time but we have finally put out another release! This release mainly fixes a bug that prevented tIRC from working past a certain mIRC version. In adition, we have removed a lot of the utility scripts such as the away system, the advanced ignore system, etc that no one was using and most likely didn't work anymore. This is a setup cabinet; follow the directions in the Downloads section. IT is highly recommended that all prior versions of mIRC and tIRC be removed before installing this new version; that way, no old files are left behind.


Contents


About tIRC
tIRC Documentation
Downloads
Using tIRC with Microsoft Agent
Extra Information

Download tIRC3.9Sharalynn released 8th January 2011 (Approx. 423KB)


About tIRC




The developer of tIRC, ace, had been on IRC for a little over a year when he started working on tIRC. He had tried several different methods of making IRC accessible--a few self-coded projects as well as one or two speech plug-ins for mIRC, a popular Internet Relay Chat program expandable through scripts. After hanging out on a few IRC networks, he decided to write his own full mIRC script to customise mIRC as much as possible to be usable by the Visually-Impaired. Being inspired by Slayer script and Kickchat$cript, ace began coding his mIRC script in June of 2002.

While the aim of most script writers is to code a lot of fun graphics, aliases, and other eye-candy crap into mIRC, ace had another approach. Sure, he wanted his script to boast a lot of features but his main goal was making mIRC accessible to screen reader users. After four years of development, tIRC has grown and matured a lot. It can now interface to several speech output engines and contains heeps of features.

Here is a short list of tIRC's features:

Speech System
Provides speech output through Microsoft Agent, JAWS for Windows, or Window-Eyes
Easy configuration
Allows you to easily set up tIRC and begin chatting quickly
Powerful review system
Review previous messages; copy to clipboard for easy pasting into other windows/applications.

...and much more!

Please Note - As of March of 2006, ace is no longer the head coder of tIRC. Due to his deteriorating interest in coding, he has passed the job of keeping tIRC alive to his friend mo. Mo has written a lot of the code in tIRC and has been a team member since the early development stages. Also, tIRC is open-source; feel free to contribute code and ideas to the project.


tIRC Documentation




This section is very important! We strongly believe that all users should read the supplied documentation before asking for any assistance. We have had too many users ask stupid ass questions that are answered in a document somewhere. This section isn't here just for looks - use it or you'll be ignored.


Mo has made an audio tutorial for walking you through installing tIRC. Click the below link if you wish to download it.
tIRC Audio Tutorial



Finally, I've written a short tutorial aimed at getting the user setup and running mIRC with the tIRC script! I am planning on converting it to HTML but, for now, it is a downloadable zip file with text files. Simply download it, press enter on the file, and you will see a list of files--chapter1-5.txt and readme.txt. Read the readme.txt file first then proceed to Chapter One. Again, HTML is coming soon. I will add it to this section when its ready.

tirc_qr.zip (11 KB)

The first document you should read is the tIRC licence agreement. I assure you, it isn't long as most of them are. It will take you no longer than two minutes, if that, to read it.



tIRC Licence Agreement

This next document is changed with each new release of the script. It highlights new features, bug fixes, and modifications to the script. It contains a summarized version of the ChangeLog entry for the current release as well as the ChangeLog entry itself. It is highly recommended that you read this file.



tIRC Readme File

Although it is not complete, the manual file is another recommended source of reading. You should find many of the tIRC features explained there. It will be updated and finished as time permits.



tIRC Manual File

Other documents not as necessary to read as the ones above:


Downloads




Getting tIRC up and running is actually very simple. Since the script interfaces directly to JFW and Window-Eyes, the two most popular Windows screen readers, you only need to download the mIRC chat client and the tIRC script. If you are not using JAWS or Window-Eyes, please skip to the section entitled Using tIRC with Microsoft Agent. Otherwise, follow the instructions below.

The first step in configuring tIRC is to install the mIRC program. To download this program, please visit the mIRC web site at www.mirc.com. For those of you who are new to IRC, I recommend reading the documents included with the mIRC program.

Please Note - mIRC was not written by the tIRC team! tIRC is a plug-in developed by the tIRC team to make mIRC accessible. Please visit the mIRC Web Site for more information specific to mIRC.

After you have downloaded mIRC, simply run the executable program and follow the instructions. The mIRC installer is a generic wizard-based install. It is recommended that you stick with the default settings that the wizard prompts you unless you know what you are doing.

Now that you have mIRC installed, you should have a mIRC icon on your desktop and a group under Programs in the start menu. It is now time to download and install tIRC, which will open the door to mIRC for visually-impaired people using screen access technology. Activate the following link to begin downloading the tIRC self-extracting installer: tIRC3.9Sharalynn (423KB).

After downloading the tIRC self-extracting installer, run it and allow it to install to the default location. It will install to the same directory in which mIRC is located. Since this is a mIRC plug-in, it replaces some files of the program in order for certain functions to work properly.

Now that everything is installed, you may run the program. Simply answer the questions presented to you and you will be up and running in no time!


Using tIRC with Microsoft Agent




Important The Microsoft Agent components do not work the same under windows 7 as they did under prior versions of windows. Please configure tIRC to interface to JFW or window-Eyes unless you're experimental and you know what you're doing!

Since tIRC is now able to interface to the two most popular screen readers (JFW and Window-Eyes) this feature of tIRC is now somewhat obsolete, hence the reason for its sliding down to the bottom of this document. For those of you who require speech access to mIRC but do not own a copy of JFW or Window-Eyes, we are still here for you. Although we do not support Microsoft Agent anymore, we hope that this section will help some people. If there is any great difficulty gaining access to tIRC, please contact us via Email and we will try to assist you. Again, please treat this section as old and out-of-date.

ATTENTION - we do not support users with single-channel sound cards! Your best bet is to dish out $40 and purchase yourself a multi-channel card. Check out the Sound Blaster Audigy II from www.newegg.com. The reason for this is because you cannot hear Microsoft Agent along with your normal speech package at the same time. Thus, you cannot review the screen or use other programs comfortably. The best workaround for users with a single-channel sound card is to use the mute feature of the screen reader and configure it only to apply within the mirc.exe application.

The first component you must download and install is the Microsoft Agent core components package. This is mandatory for all Agent-supported applications, including tIRC. None of the other components or programs on this page can be installed before this. Simply press enter on the link below and choose to save the file. After completion, run the file and accept the licence agreement. The components will be installed.


Microsoft Agent Core Components (392KB)

Next, you must download and install the Microsoft Speech API 4.0:


Microsoft Speech API 4.0 Components (825KB)

Install the Speech Control Panel:


Speech Control Panel Component (928KB)

The following two components are necessary for speech output. Firstly, you must download and install the Lernout & Hauspie TruVoice American TTS engine. Yes, it sucks that we can't figure out how to use the British English 3000 engine, but oh well.


Lernout & Hauspie TruVoice American English TTS Engine (998KB)

You must also download a Microsoft Agent character. We only support Merlin; thus, that is all that is available here. It sounds the best out of the other characters; nothing like Eloquence, but you'll get use to it.

Please note - If you wish to use the Eloquence characters included with tIRC, it is not necessary to download any Agent characters.


Microsoft Merlin Agent Character (1,830KB)

You may now return to the Downloads section to download mIRC and tIRC.


Extra Information




It is assumed that you have made it through this mini-tutorial and now have mIRC setup with tIRC.

Now that everything is up and running, you can use the

/server irc.talkingirc.net

command within tIRC to connect directly to the TalkingIRC Network! Once connected, you can join the main network channel by typing:
/join #talkingirc

Please do not take it personally if no one answers you! IRC is a very open environment where people express themselves whenever they want to and however they want to. The best thing for you to do is to join the room, say hello, and watch the conversation for a bit. Eventually, someone will talk to you or you may jump into the conversation. If the conversation taking place when you join the channel does not interest you, wait for it to change and join in when you feel that you may make a good contribution to the conversation.

Good luck and have fun!


tIRC Team Members




ace TalkingIRC Owner, Project Contributor, Original Author, Retired Head-Coder!
Mo Head Coder, Documentation Contributor N/A

TalkingIRC Network Site