Friday, October 1, 1999

Giving your Auto PC a new name


By Mark Moeller

Wouldn't it be cool if your Auto PC listened for a different wake up word? Why call it "Auto PC" when you can call it something like "HAL" or "KITT" (for those of us with a case Knight Rider envy)?

You can actually do this rather easily with your Auto PC. Just follow these directions:

  1. Press the Start key and select Setup.
  2. Scroll up until the phrase "Speech Commands" is on your screen and press the Enter key. The phrase "Global Commands" will appear on your screen.
  3. Scroll down until the "Record New Command" phrase appears on your screen and press Enter.
  4. The phrase "Locate Command Word" will appear on your screen. Press Enter.
  5. You will be presented with a list of tabs on a screen titled Choose Custom Command.

    Scroll down from the A tab until the phrase "Auto PC" is on your screen. Press Enter.

  6. You will be informed that you will be prompted to say "Auto PC" three times. This is where we get to choose a new name for Auto PC. You don't really need to say "Auto PC". It can be any word or string of words you want (as long as it's shorter than two seconds long). So, if you want the Auto PC to wake up when you say "HAL", say "HAL" when prompted. Technically, "HAL" is a really lousy wake up word because it is only a single syllable and has no hard consonants in it. "KITT" is better because of the hard consonants K and T but is still quite short and it rhymes with other words one might utter when having a difficult driving experience. Using "KITT" might cause your Auto PC to fail to complete recognition. [One word I've used successfully in many speech projects is "Erika". It has three syllables and a hard "K". -- DG]
  7. Hit Enter and you will be prompted three times to say the word you want. A higher pitched tone will be issued to indicate that you should begin speaking and a lower pitched tone will indicate when the Auto PC is done listening for your new word.
  8. After the Auto PC confirms that the "Custom Command has been successfully recorded," hit the back button three times to get back to the Auto PC shell.

There you have it. Your Auto PC will now wake up when you utter its new name. Give it a try!

Send me your questions and feedback

If you have a topic or issue you would like to see me address in one of my upcoming articles on the Auto PC, or if you have a question you would like have address in a future article, please send me email. If you are a product vendor and want to have your product reviewed in one of my articles, please contact me. My email address is My web site is