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Messages - Medeksza

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Ultra Hal 7.0 / Every new version seems worse
« on: September 16, 2001, 11:34:13 pm »
I'm sorry you feel this way. We spend thousands of hours on each version trying to make it better. We include the latest in speech recognition technology with every new version. Every new version is more complex then the previous and requires more of your computers resources, and therefore more powerful computers.

Could you be more specific in what areas of Hal do you think are worse? Maybe include error messages, conversation logs, or step-by-step instructions on how to recreate the error you are having. I would be glad to help you try to solve these problems or to know what to change in the next version.

Ultra Hal 7.0 / Hal doesn't open programs...or chat very well.
« on: September 16, 2001, 11:22:24 pm »
Well I really don't know how to respond to this. If you could be more specific then simply saying it doesn't work I would be in a better position to offer you some help. For most people Hal does open programs, Hal does chat, and Hal does learn. What kind of errors are you getting? Maybe include a conversation log?

Ultra Hal 7.0 / Help
« on: September 16, 2001, 11:15:10 pm »
The Ultra Hal AIM bot uses America Online TOC server to communicate. The TOC server was created by AOL so that third party programs can connect to its network. However the TOC server is notorious for being unreliable. The actual AIM client logs on to a server called oscar. We plan on updating the Hal Aim Bot to use this servr instead in the future.


Can someone tell me why the Ultra Hal AIM Bot sometime work and sometime don't?

Ultra Hal 7.0 / trouble with piece of craft SR- canyon halp?
« on: September 08, 2001, 11:30:23 am »
I looked up to see what error "RC80040206" and this is what I found in the documentation:
A speech recognition session object was unable to open a session with the speech recognition engine. Obtain the engine return code and return code description using GetSessionRC and GetSessionRCDescription. Refer to speech recognition engine documentation.

Well this error description isn't any help at all. Hal isn't programmed to read the SessionRC code from the L&H engine so we can't figure out what the real error is. I will have one of our programmers install L&H Voice Express and try to get it to work with Ultra Hal Assistant 3.0 and then we'll try to recreate this error. I'll write back when we have the results.

SAPI 5.1 is a large improvement over SAPI 4.0. If I'm not mistaking, I think Microsoft actually licenced some of L&H's speech technology to create their speech recognition engine.

Ultra Hal 7.0 / A Note for the Admin
« on: September 08, 2001, 10:29:24 am »
Thank you for your suggestions. We will reprogram the system to redirect to the download via the HTML Meta tag instead of as a CGI request. This will allow download accelerator programs and even Internet Explorer itself to resume downloads. Files actually exist on the server for 48 hours, except you don't see this because it currently doesn't allow to resume the download.

The system was orignally designed for people with fast connections to download the program instead of waiting for a CD and it worked pretty well at doing that. I see now that using the same system for update purposes does not work too well. We will improve the system for the future. Thank you for your suggestions.

Ultra Hal 7.0 / Registry Assault
« on: September 08, 2001, 10:18:41 am »
I believe what you are experiencing is the Microsoft Windows Installer Service working. Most programs on the market today don't use this service yet. One of Microsoft's goals in creating this system is to stop poorly written programs from installing older versions of DLLs and ActiveX controls. This would cause the installing program to make existing programs work incorrectly or not at all, sometimes called DLL Hell.

When a program is installed with the Windows Installer Service it makes a note of all important shared DLL and ActiveX components. If another program were to delete or install an older version of one of these components, the windows installer service would pop up and restore the original component again. This is sort of like "self healing"  You will see more and more programs use this system in the future.

If your interested in seeing this system work, try this. Close Hal. Delete the file "C:/program files/zabaware/ultra hal assistant 4.0/halbrain.dll" The HalBrain.DLL is vital to Hal working properly and is registered with the windows installer service as such. Now try running Ultra Hal again. You will see the windows installer service pop up and reinstall that file, and then Hal will run fine.

Everytime Hal is run it invokes the windows installer service first to make sure all of Hal's required DLLS and ActiveX components exist and have not been modified. I believe this is what you see as "registry assault"

All of Microsoft's newer software will do this also, such as Office XP and the upcomming Windows XP. Any program created with the latest version of InstallShield will do this now also. Its just a matter of time before all programs do this.

Ultra Hal 7.0 / trouble with piece of craft SR- canyon halp?
« on: September 06, 2001, 11:05:51 am »

Recently, I purchased a copy of L&H voice eXpress due to my frustration with
the 'piece of kraft' EvilEmpire SDK4.0 . The new speech engine works fine but does not work with my uHAL assistant (Dee Dee). When I attempt to select use SR
in the general options, a number of error codes are generated. RC80040206,
E_FAIL and unspecified error are displayed in boxes. Then uHAL pops up a box that says it is disabling the SR. please help
  Just wanted to put my two cents in on these negative bashers of this program-
sure, this program is dysfunctional, what did you expect from a program
attempting to mimic human consiousness? Other than the proprietary Alicebot,
this program is the only one out there heading down the path outlined in Michio Kaku's book "Visions" only you're not going to get drawn into the AIML trap.

Is this a problem with Ultra Hal Assistant 3.0 or 4.0? RC80040206 seems like an error version 3.0 might make. I will lookup what this error means once you can confirm what version you are using.

Ultra Hal 7.0 / Hal is a GREAT program
« on: September 06, 2001, 11:01:52 am »
I'm glad there are people who enjoy our software. I would like to thank everyone for their support and interest in our software. We will continue to work hard on improving Ultra Hal and we take all your critisms, praise, and suggestions seriously.

Ultra Hal 7.0 / Registry Assault
« on: September 06, 2001, 10:55:45 am »
The registry is a database for all programs to store their settings. Before Windows 95 came along, programs stored their settings in INI files thrown all around the system. This created a huge cluttered mess. The registry is a hierachal database that contains settings for programs. If you are really interested in where and what settings Hal stores here is a list for you:

Under the key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Zabaware/Ultra Hal Assistant 4.0/HalPos
are the following entries
Height - The height of Hal's window
Left - The amount of twips from the left of the screen Hal's window is located
Top - The amount of twips from the top of the screen Hal's window is located
Width - The width of Hal's window

Those settings are written every time Hal's window is closed, so that the next time they are opened Hal will remember the position and size of the window. Is this one of the redudant registry entries you found. Would you rather not have this feature. Maybe you think it would be better to save these settings in small INI files that waste FAT space instead of using the registry database for the purpose it was designed to serve?

Hal also contains the following registry entries:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Zabaware/Ultra Hal Assistant 4.0/Config/StartUpAuto
This key determines whether Hal should start with the system or only start when the user invokes it from the start menu.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Zabaware/Ultra Hal Assistant 4.0/HalConfig/HalDir
This key tells Hal where Hal's folder exists so Hal knows where to look for its data files.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Zabaware/Ultra Hal Assistant 4.0/LastStart/DateTime
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Zabaware/Ultra Hal Assistant 4.0/LastClose/DateTime
This key contains the date and time Hal was started and closed. This helps determine if Hal was properly shut down.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Zabaware/Ultra Hal Assistant 4.0/LastRun/Successful
This determines whether Hal was shut down properly. If it wasn't that either means the computer crashed, the user shut down improperly, or Hal crashed. If Hal crashed it may be because of a 3rd party plugin. Hal will then ask the user if they want to reconfigure Hal if Hal is unable to start because of this.

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Zabaware/Ultra Hal Assistant 4.0/myWebHal/LastUpdate
If Hal's internet options are enabled, Hal will check Zabaware's server for an update. The date of the last update will be recorded here so that the program knows if it needs an update or not.

That is pretty much it. Hal reads registry entries of other programs such as windows for certain functions, but these are all of the registry entries Hal creates itself. The windows installer service also creates entries so that you can repair or uninstall hal in the future. Also Hal uses a third party program for all its speech functions. This third party program also creates and reads its own registry entries for Hal's speech to work properly.

Using the registry is not horrendous and damaging in anyway. It is a database designed for the purpose of storing program settings. It was designed to get rid of pesky INI files that waste valuable FAT storage space and create a mess. Does anyone else think this is redundant, offensive, or horrendous? If so I will honestly consider using INI files in future versions of Hal.

Ultra Hal 7.0 / Downloading Version Upgrades
« on: September 06, 2001, 10:32:20 am »
The update is a full installation, and not a patch. We did not make it into a patch program for the following reasons:
  • It includes the Microsoft SAPI 5.1 installation program. The previous update was version 5.0. The SAPI 5.1 installation is about 50MB, and Microsoft did not provide any way to patch version 5.0 to 5.1.

  • Many other ActiveX objects and dlls have received updates, such as the Chant speech system. Hal contains many 3rd party products and we must use the installation scripts of the 3rd party.

  • If everything that could be patched was patched, the installation program would be around 60MB as opposed to the 103 MB full version. We thought at these sizes, people would rather have the full installation program as a backup.

I appologize to everyone who received the message that they are not in the Database. This particular database was programmed to only allow redownloads to people that didn't buy the cd, but chose to only receive the full version
as an internet download. We have updated our program to allow everyone to redownload, and that will occur on purchases from now on.

We have sent out emails to everyone who contacted us regarding the download program with the correct download URL. Thank you for patience and I hope you enjoy the new version.

Ultra Hal 7.0 / Interface to Vb applications
« on: August 15, 2001, 10:19:32 pm »

The new Ultra Hal Assistant 4.0 includes a program called the Ultra Hal Brain Editor. This program can open Hal's brain plugins, which is actually just a VBScript. The VBScript can be modified to do anything you wish. Also it is posible to copy the VBScript directly into your VB project and run Hal from inside your project.

We are also currently finishing up the documentation to the Hal Brain Editor program which will be posted online within the week. This documentation will also thouroughly describe all the methods contained in an activex control called halbrain.dll. There is a method in this activex control called GetResponse that will allow you to access the Hal VBScript Brain with 1 line of code. This will allow you to add Hals AI capability to any VB program very easily.

Ultra Hal 7.0 / The 3rd Generation Enhanced Chat Brain
« on: August 10, 2001, 01:10:52 pm »
The current enhanced chat brain only installs under Ultra Hal Assistant 3.0. Don Ferguson has created and sent me a new version of his Enhanced Chat Brain. A new installation program is being made right now that will install the Enhanced Chat Brain under both Ultra Hal Assistant 3.0 and 4.0. It will be posted later today.

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