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Aurora 3.05 for Windows

Aurora for Windows is currently at version 3.05. This is the final release of this product.

Windows Vista

Aurora Systems will not be supporting Aurora 3.0 on Windows Vista. We recommend Windows Vista users upgrade to Aurora Suite 2005. We will not be releasing an update to Aurora 3.0 to address any issues found on Windows Vista.

The following are some of the issues we have found running Aurora 3.0 on Windows Vista:

Notice: As of January 1, 2006, Aurora 3.0 for Windows no longer includes the Aurora Realvoice. Aurora 3.0 still includes the Microsoft speech synthesizers, and the L&H synthesizers are available for free download from our downloads page.

Aurora for Windows 3.05.0007 (January 25, 2003)

Aurora 3.0.5.0007 Please see below for more information on fixes contained in this file. To get the latest fixes, download AWINDEMO.EXE (16M). Although this file is named demo, it contains all the files you would find on your Aurora 3.05 for Windows CD.

To install this update you will need to restart your computer without starting Aurora. If you have set Aurora to start automatically, open your Windows Startup group and delete any Aurora programs from there and then restart Windows. Once Aurora is not running, run AWINDEMO.EXE to install 3.05.0007. The Aurora Startup items can be added back in automatically during installation of AWINDEMO by answering yes when it asks you "Start 32-bit Aurora Programs when Windows Starts?"

IMPORTANT: If the installer asks you "File xxxxxxx already exists. Do you wish to skip replacing it?" say Yes.

New Multiuser Support

Aurora 3.0 Multiuser Login If you have purchased Aurora 3.0 for Windows, the new Multiuser option allows multiple Aurora users to have their own settings and data files on a single workstation. That means that for the price of a single-user copy of Aurora, you can set up a shared workstation for as many students or users as you like. Some other products charge you $100 extra for this ability.

For Windows 95 and above users, they can use the regular Windows login. If you don't have networking or prefer not to use the Windows login, or if you are a Windows 3.1 user, you can use the Aurora login client pictured at left.

This update has the added bonus of support for having the Aurora Prediction window track the cursor. Go into prediction options and check "Prediction Window tracks the Caret" on the Window tab. This feature only works if you are running Windows 95 or above with Microsoft Active Accessibility installed. It does not operate with all applications, but does operate with most Microsoft applications. If the option is grayed out, your system does not meet the prerequisites for the feature to operate.

New Speech Synthesizers from Microsoft

Microsoft has made a number of new languages available for their L&H speech synthesis engine available at the Microsoft Agent website. These engines are compatible with Aurora 3.0 with the Microsoft SAPI driver on Windows 95 and above.

Note for Windows XP Users - You need to install Microsoft Speech API 4.0a (here (850K)) from the Aurora CD before these voices will work. Windows XP ships with Speech API 5.x which is unfortunately not backwards compatible with 4.0a. Both versions can be installed safely at the same time.

American English (1M)
British English (2.7M)
French (2.3M)
Spanish (2.4M)
Russian (3M)
Portugese (2.5M)
Korean (3.1M)
Japanese (3.1M)
Italian (2.0M)
German (2.3M)
Dutch (2.7M)

New Word Prediction Vocabularies

We are pleased to announce the availability of six new word prediction vocabulary files. Only the UK English vocabulary is trained for next word prediction. If you would like to help us update the other vocabularies for next word prediction, please help us find copyright-free text samples in each of the new languages. We now have vocabularies for :

UK English (6.7M)
French (2.8M)
German (3.3M)
Spanish (1.9M)
Italian (1.2M)
Japanese (2.4M)

If you find any problems with these new vocabularies, please let us know by emailing .

New Aurora Prediction Localization Files

If you do not have a U.S. keyboard, Aurora Prediction needs to be customized using the KEYTABLE.EXE utility in the GOODIES directory of the Aurora for Windows CD. Files provided by our users are available here for use by others. We thank them for their generosity.

uktable.zip U.K. key table file. Instructions included.

Known Problems

Problem: The word prediction window covers the text I am typing when I have cursor tracking turned on.
Solution: If your prediction window is too large this may be a problem. Make the prediction window smaller or get version 3.05.0009 or later from Aurora Systems support.

Problem: I don't see the word I am expecting to in the word prediction list, even if I spell it out entirely.
Solution: There are two likely reasons that you can't see the word you are looking for:

  1. It is marked as an "Adult" word and you have "Show Adult Words" turned off on the Dictionary tab of the Aurora Prediction Options dialog.
  2. There are other words that have a higher "Word Completion Priority" value than the word you are looking for. To check this, type the word you are having problems with. Note the first couple of words at the top of the word list. Select "Edit Dictionary" from the menu, then "Find Word" and enter one of the first words on the list. When the word is highlighted, press Enter to edit it and note its "Word Completion Priority" value. Now find the word you are looking for and look at its priority value. If you really want it to appear higher in the list, you can then edit the priority value to be equal or higher to one of the other words in the list, however in most cases, we recommend you don't as the words that are higher in the list are most likely words that you use more often than the word you are having a problem with. In most cases, if you use a word in context, you can rest assured that Aurora will remember and offer it to you as a prediction the next time you use the word the same way.

Problem: Aurora does not support Microsoft Speech API 5.x.
Solution: Unfortunately, Microsoft has abandoned backwards compatibility with their SAPI 5.x release and Aurora does not yet support SAPI 5.x. If you have Windows XP or already have SAPI 5.x, you can also install SAPI 4.0a (spchapi.exe included on the Aurora CD in the GOODIES directory) on the same computer to gain Microsoft speech support for Aurora.

Problem: When you shut down Windows 2000 or XP you receive a Windows error that Aurora Prediction has performed an illegal operation and has to be closed.
Fix: Install the latest version of Aurora 3 (16M).

Problem: Aurora Prediction and Echo do not work with ICQ 2000 beta, problems in some areas with previous versions.
Fix: ICQ uses a Windows "reserved" feature in such a way that it confuses Aurora.
1) Install the latest version of Aurora 3 (16M).
2) Once 3.05.0007 is installed, you need to edit the [Aurora] section of the AURORA.INI file in your AWIN3 directory using Notepad as follows:

[Aurora]
ReservedBit=3

ReservedBit can be between 0 and 3. 1 does not work with Microsoft Works. 2 is the default, but does not work with ICQ.
3) Restart Windows to make sure the update to AURORA.INI has been comitted.
4) Start Aurora Prediction, About should show version 3.0.5.0007

Problem: Aurora Prediction 3.05 always forgets which programs you want help with. To see if your version of Aurora Prediction has this problem, go to the About dialog. If the version is 3.0.5.0000 you do.
Fix: Install the latest version of Aurora 3 (16M).

Problem: You have Dec Access 32 but it doesn't display in the list of speech synthesizers.
Answer: Please read this answer on our Speech Synthesizers FAQ.

Problem: You get error messages about missing .DLL's or other odd Windows error messages when you start an Aurora program in Windows 95, 98 or NT.
Fix: The most likely cause of this problem is the Microsoft Speech API. To determine if this is in fact the problem:

1) Open My Computer
2) Open your C: drive (assuming you installed Aurora on C:)
3) Open the AWIN3 folder
4) Find the file MSSAPI.AV3
5) Click on the icon once
6) Hold the Alt key and click on the word MSSAPI.AV3, the word will become highlighted with a blinking cursor
7) Press the right arrow key
8) Press the backspace key
9) Press the X key, this will rename the file MSSAPI.AVX
10) Click on the icon again
11) Close all open folders and restart Windows
12) Start an Aurora program and see if you still have the same error messages

If the error messages have gone away, there is a problem with Microsoft SAPI on your computer. You can try installing the SPCHAPI.EXE and MSTTSL.EXE programs to install Microsoft Speech API 4.0a and the Microsoft speech synthesizers respectively. These files are contained in the MSSAPI folder of the Aurora 3.0 for Windows CD. Afterwards, go through the above instructions again to rename MSSAPI.AVX back to MSSAPI.AV3 to reenable Aurora's support for MS SAPI. Restart Windows. Start an Aurora program. If you don't get any error messages, go into Voice Options. Select a voice starting in [SAPI], we usually recommend Sam. Click on the Test button to see if it talks. If it works, great. If it doesn't work or you are still getting strange error messages, you likely are not going to be able to use the Microsoft Speech API voices. If it isn't going to work, select the Aurora Realvoice in Voice Options, and go through the instructions above again to disable Aurora's support for the Microsoft Speech API.

Problem: During installation, you selected a custom installation and chose to install in a directory other than C:\AWIN3 but Aurora still puts some files in C:\AWIN3.
Workaround: This only happens if you have an Aurora Registration number that supports the client/server network installation. To make sure that all files end up where you want, choose Custom/Network Install, click on the Destination Path button and enter where you want Aurora to install then click on OK. Now click on the Network Workstation radio button, then click on the Network Path button and enter again where you want Aurora to install and click OK. Now click on the Standalone Workstation radio button. Make sure that both Network Path and Destination Path are set to the directory you want Aurora installed to. If they are, then proceed with installation normally.

Problem: Aurora Voice Server crashes when you try to go into the Voice Options dialog.
Fix: You most likely have an older version of SAPI installed on your computer. Download SAPI 4.0a here (847K) or install it from the MSSAPI directory on the Aurora 3.0 for Windows CD.

Problem: Aurora gives the error message "Aurora will not be able to talk because no 32-bit Aurora Voice Driver speech synthesizer driver files (*.AV3) were found" at startup.
Fix: Some Microsoft operating systems, specifically Windows NT 4 Server with fixpack 6 (possibly others) have a bug in their directory support.
1) Install the latest version of Aurora 3 (16M).
2) Once 3.05.0007 is installed, you need to edit your AURORA.INI file using Notepad or some other ASCII editor to change the [Voice] section to add the line:

NTDirectoryBug=1

You will need to do this for each AURORA.INI file if you are using the multiuser features of Aurora.

Problem: You receive the error message "VSERV32 caused an invalid page fault in module MSSAPI.AV3 at 0157:00623085." from the Aurora Voice Server.
Fix: Install the latest version of Aurora 3 (16M).

Problem: SAPI synthesizers cause the Aurora Voice Server to crash when you choose a different synthesizer.
Fix: Download SAPI 4.0a here (847K) or install it from the MSSAPI directory on the Aurora 3.0 for Windows CD.

Problem: Sometimes Aurora Prediction (32 bit version) doesn't work right when the CAPSLOCK key is on in Windows 95 and above. For example, it changes "HE3" to "heLLO" rather than "HELLO."
Fix: Install the latest version of Aurora 3 (16M).

Problem: In Wordperfect 9 (WordPerfect Office 2000) words or macros with hyphens end up with all the hyphens first.
Fix: Install the latest version of Aurora 3 (16M).

Problem: In Word 6 the Read Marked Block button in Aurora Echo does not work.
Workaround: Word 6 does not support the standard Ctrl-Ins keystroke combination to copy text to the clipboard. The workaround is to mark the text, then copy it to the clipboard manually using the Edit menu or by pressing Ctrl-C. Then use the Read Clipboard button instead.
Fix: Possible, contact Aurora Systems support if you have this problem. Otherwise, upgrade to a later version of Word.

Problem: On Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 1, install is sometimes unable to put the Aurora Prediction icon into the Startup group so that Aurora Prediction will be started when Windows starts.
Fix:You can either put a Shortcut to Aurora Prediction in the Startup folder yourself or upgrade to Windows NT Service Pack 3 and reinstall Aurora.

Problem: On Windows 3.1 if you maximize the Prediction window, sometimes when you choose the restore button at the top right corner of the prediction window, Aurora Prediction stops with a stack fault.
Workaround:If the window is actually maximized (the restore button with the two arrows pointing up and down is visible) click on the system menu at the left side of the prediction window and click on restore. If restore is grayed, take the mouse and resize the window using the sizing borders at the edge of the prediction window. If the program still crashes, quit Aurora Prediction, open the file \AWIN3\AURORA.INI with an ASCII editor like Notepad and remove the following lines:

PredictX=nnn
PredictY=nnn
PredictWidth=nnn
PredictHeight=nnn
Minimized=nnn

Where nnn are different numbers. This will cause Aurora Prediction to start in its default location next time.
Fix: Coming.

Problem: The Aurora Realvoice complains that it is not registered or that its registration has expired. It seems to do this every other time it speaks.
Problem:Aurora Echo speaks once, then never again.
Fix: Install the latest version of Aurora 3 (16M).

Problem: Westwood's Command & Conquer Red Alert, Counterstrike and Aftermath cause Windows or part of Windows to crash.
Explanation: The Windows versions of these programs are incompatible with Aurora Prediction. If you are going to play these games, make sure you quit Aurora Prediction first. The same problem is exhibited if these titles are started by Windows Autoplay if Aurora Prediction is running.
Fix: Coming.

Problem:Dec Access 32 makes staticky sounds when it talks.
Fix: Download SAPI 4.0a here (847K) or install it from the MSSAPI directory on the Aurora 3.0 for Windows CD. If that doesn't fix the problem, you need a faster computer.

Problem: Voice Server 16-bit Version Hangs Briefly if No Voice Selected
Workaround: If you have no speech synthesizer selected and are running the 16-bit version of the Voice Server, Voice Server will appear to hang for a few seconds after you click on the OK button for the "Aurora will not be able to talk because there is no voice driver selected under Voice Options..." error message. Wait for the timeout error to appear, then choose a speech synthesizer to get rid of this error message.

Problem: The 16-bit Aurora Realvoice doesn't work in Windows 98.
Fix: Coming.
Workaround: Use the 32-bit Voice Server and Aurora Realvoice.

Problem: Using the 32-bit Aurora Voice Server in Windows 95 and 98 with the 16-bit Aurora applications causes the Voice Server to crash.
Fix: Coming.
Workaround: Use the 32-bit applications.

Problem: When you type a homonym Aurora doesn't make a sound or the Aurora Spellchecker doesn't make a sound when a word is misspelled.
Fix: Aurora uses Windows standard sounds for these alerts. In Windows 3.1 go to Program Manager, Main, Control Panel, Sounds and make sure there are .WAV files selected for Asterisk and Exclamation. In Windows 95 and above go to Start, Settings, Control Panel, Sounds and make sure there are .WAV files selected for Asterisk and Exclamation.

Problem: The Aurora 3.05 for Windows CD-ROM is blank, or the computer thinks it is a music CD.
Workaround: This version of Aurora for Windows is distributed on a CD-R rather than a CD-ROM. Some older or inexpensive CD-ROM drives and some DVD drives cannot read such disks. Some can be fixed with a driver update, contact your drive manufacturer for more information. The workaround for this problem is to find another computer with a CD-ROM drive and make diskettes from the CD-R. To make diskettes from the CD-ROM, run the installer and choose Make Diskettes from the first installer screen.

Problem: You have problems using the Creative Labs TextAssist DecTalk program for speech output in Aurora.
Fix: Obtain TAWSWGUP.EXE from Creative Labs World Wide Web site http://www.creaf.com to upgrade your TextAssist program to version 1.3. Follow the instructions for installation. Quit all Aurora programs. Rename the file CTSFRAME.DLL in your AWIN3 directory to CTSFRAME.BAK. Restart your computer.

Problem: In Microsoft Excel 97 if you click on a cell and then type in text, the word prediction will ignore the first letter you type.
Explanation: This problem is due to Excel switching you to a different window after you type the first letter. Aurora keeps track of the suggestion list and the keys you have typed on a window by window basis so when Excel switches windows mid-word, Aurora has no way of telling that the two windows are related.
Workaround: Quit all Aurora programs. Edit the AURORA.INI file and remove any Watch lines that contain the word "EXCEL" for example:

Watch14=EXCEL6
Watch15=EXCEL7

Add the line below replacing the ## with a number greater than the number in any other Watch##= lines in your AURORA.INI file.

Watch##=EXCEL<

You can now save your changes to AURORA.INI and restart Prediction. Now to type numbers click in the cell and type the number, Aurora Prediction will not come on, and you won't have trouble with entering numbers selecting words from the prediction window. When you want to type text and have assistance from Aurora Prediction, click on the cell, then click on the formula entry window below the Excel toolbar and enter your text.

Problem: SoundBlaster AWE32 TextAssist DecTalk Doesn't Always Talk
Workaround: A bug in the SoundBlaster TextAssist program sometimes causes speech output to pause until the next speech output. This is especially apparent in Echo. The only workaround at this time is to say something more when the voice does not speak.

Problem: Aurora Prediction stays on all the time in Corel Draw 3.0.
Explanation: This is due to the way Corel Draw handles it's text windows. Aurora Prediction is not able to tell text from squares, circles and other graphics forms. If you prefer to use Corel Draw without help from Aurora Prediction, delete the "Watchn=CDraw" line from AURORA.INI where n is a number.

Problem: Aurora Echo is always one word behind Dragon Dictate.
Explanation: This is because Aurora Echo does not speak until it sees a space or punctuation at the end of a word. Dragon Dictate puts spaces at the start of a word, rather than the end, so it exhibits this problem. Please see the online help in Aurora Echo for the Speech Recognition Delay feature to rectify this problem.

Problem: The Aurora Realvoice won't talk when Dragon Dictate is in use.
Explanation: If you are using any software speech synthesizer with Dragon Dictate, you may find that it cannot speak. This is because your sound card's drivers are not "full duplex" and do not support WAVE output and speech input simultaneously. If you wish speech in this circumstance, you can ask your sound card manufacturer for full-duplex drivers, or you can add another sound card and appropriate drivers, or add an external speech synthesizer.

Hardware and Software Requirements

Minimum system requirements for Aurora 3.05 for Windows are Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows NT 4.0 (Service pack 3 or later recommended,) an 80386 CPU, 4M of RAM (16M recommended, 32 or 64 if you are buying a new computer) and 30-80M of disk space. The Aurora Realvoice requires a Windows supported sound card and 16M of RAM is recommended.

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