I spotted this article in my Google Reader: Do you lose free speech rights if you speak using a computer?
Scholar argues computer-generated speech is not protected by the Constitution.(It's an interesting article - worth a read IMHO.)
Looking at the headline, I idly thought "I wonder if the Talking Moose's speech is/was protected speech?"
So I googled "voice of the Moose on the Mac", and came up with a few hits.
If you used a Macintosh in 1986, you might have come across Talking Moose
I found that TM is alive and well at: http://www.halls.md/moose/index.htm
So I downloaded the proggy and installed it.
It seems that TM has not been just chewing his cud (do moose do that?) over the years. He's gone to a third owner, who has redeveloped him to run on the Windows platform.
It runs well, and TM now has a repertoire of over 1,000 witty phrases to speak. You can tweak most of his settings, and add to or edit his repertore. He has more functionality, so you can get him to do things such as, for example, tell you the time on the hour.
The voice is not as I recall - it used to be a man's rather German-sounding voice. However, this newer one is higher-pitched and sounds like the voices in the Renton police video spoofs (which I really enjoy), and the end-of-sentence tones tend to sound flat or rising, when they should usually be falling. This cues you to wait for the speech synthesiser to come up with the next word, until you realise that it has already finished.
I have missed the "old" TM voice though, saying things such as, for example:
"How come we never go out any more?"- but this newer version is pretty good and no doubt could become just as irritating as the old version after you have heard the entire repertoire a few dozen times. That could take a while with over 1,000 phrases - I think the old one was only about 10 or so, as I recall.
How nice! TM just said the "How come we never go out any more?" phrase!