Re: NTLK alt.rec?

From: Gary Moody (
Date: Tue Dec 07 1999 - 11:21:59 EST

Hi Guys,

alt.rec (stands for ALTernate.RECognizer) is an HWR recognizer improvement
for the printing HWR recognizer written by Paul Guyot of P&M Consulting ( for the Newton Community. It is
freeware of the best kind!

There are two HWR recognizers available on the NOS2.1 (not sure about 2.0)
Newtons and you have to choose one or the other in Handwriting preferences;
one is cursive and uses an HWR engine originally written by ParaGraph (a
Russian company that now produces Calligrapher, an HWR engine for WinCE),
and the other is for printed characters, was called "Rosetta" and was
written by Apple and implemented in the later models.

The Paragraph engine is the original HWR engine for all Newtons and the one
that was blasted by the press when the Newton first came out. It got
significantly better with NOS 2.0 which, of course, the press ignored. It
extensively uses dictionaries and such to interpret handwriting and compare
what it can decipher to the dictionaries for potential matches. The biggest
problem with the pre-2.0 Newtons is that they could not hold very large
dictionaries, so the recognition was not very effective (it sucked!)

The standard Rosetta (printing) engine uses a letter-by-letter conversion
process and doesn't use dictionaries at all. It has a much better algorithm
for character recognition and is generally much better than the paragraph
engine. But there are shortcomings; 1. Recognizes only printed characters
so you MUST print, 2. It sometimes misinterprets a single character making
the resulting word nonsense.

alt.rec attempts to deal with Rosetta issue #2 by incorporating the use of
dictionaries into the recognition engine. With alt.rec installed, the
resultant words are then compared to dictionaries to find the closest match.
  This effectively increases the level of recognition for the Rosetta engine
and reduces the incidence of "nonsense" words that sometimes result. As we
say in Oklahoma, "Handy as a front shirt pocket!"

The software itself is a difficult piece to code and install. Paul has done
a wonderful job of trying to make it as seamless and as compatible as
possible. This is another example of an originally great product being
improved dramatically with next to no support from the manufacturer, but by
the intestinal fortitude of a serious enthusiast/technician/programmer. My
thanks to Paul for his diligent efforts on our behalf!



----Original Message Follows----
From: DeRobertis <>
Subject: Re: NTLK alt.rec?
Date: Mon, 6 Dec 1999 21:26:52 -0500

At 11:26 AM -0500 on 12/6/99, Prabhakar Ragde wrote:
>Can someone tell me what it actually does? Many thanks. --PR

alt.rec? Sounds like a Usenet newsgroup.

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