It’s here. Yesterday a colourful box arrived that contained our new house pet. My daughters fell in love instantly, but my own initial joy was tempered somewhat by the fact that it took me an entire evening to get it online. As it turned out, the bunny uses a 802.11b network card (apparently, 11 mbit is sufficient bandwidth for the rodent). My router however was set to “g-only” because I ‘d never had a ‘b’ device before. Entirely my fault, and as soon as I changed this setting the bunny’s lights turned green and I was good to go.
The whole setup and registration wizard was actually quite good. Once I had named and configured my rabbit I browsed the services directory, and found there were quite a few I liked. I’ve set up email alerts, several RSS feeds and ‘Nabaztanck’ even got married. But what I was most looking forward to was fooling around with the API. I wrote a little actionscript (2) wrapper for the API and set up a web page that allows you to send text-to-speech messages to my bunny.
It checks whether the bunny’s asleep and what the supported languages and voices are. Although sending me messages in Polish makes little sense. Some of the voices sound surprisingly good. For Dutch I recommend ‘Femke’, whereas the default voice for English (‘Graham’) is also quite good. The male dutch voice (‘Jan’) is very hard to understand by comparison, and reminds me of the speech thingy my Amiga 500 had twenty-or-so years ago.
Now all I need to do is customize my bunny. A pair of lime green ears doesn’t quite cut it. Anyone got any ideas?