After you download <Merlin Programmer for Kids v.5.5.8.msi> into a folder, double click on it and the Merlin program will be installed. A shortcut will be placed on the desktop , and when you first double click on it additional required components will be installed and then the program will start. You do not have to go through the details below anymore, but I leave the info below so you understand what is installed.
Okay, just in case the installation doesn’t go the way I intended, here is what to do after installing the MSI file. Go to the Merlin programmer directory in Program Files directory and double click on these files to install components
First run this program (this is also accessible from the Windows Start Menu)
If nothing happens when you double click on it, then go to the Merlin Programmer directory and delete the file <merlin_comp.txt>. If that file exists in the directory then the Component Installer will not run.
If the Component installer runs and ends successfully, Merlin should start automatically. If not then try running Merlin -- if it works then no need to continue below.
If the Component Installer didn’t work then run these in succession. If Win7 gives a message box asking if the installation of any of the components failed then ignore that message.
Try running Merlin and it should work.
In Win7 you may need to run in Win 7 Basic Window mode or set compatibility mode in the shortcut to Disable desktop composition – else a pink box around the characters may appear!
Old Information – no need to do this with current version
Important !!!! ---- Merlin Programmer for Kids will not run without first installing the Microsoft Agent characters and associated software available free from the web.
Before installation of Merlin Programmer for Kids the following software must be installed
1) Microsoft Agent Core Components, V.2,
2) Lernout & Hauspie® TruVoice Text-To-Speech Engine
3) Microsoft speech recognition engine – if you want to have the characters recognize voice commands.
4) Microsoft Agent characters,
These are freely available from the web. You can get all required files at Microsoft’s web and if you are connected to the internet you can click on the links below to go to the pages.
The following items are posted at http://www.microsoft.com/products/msagent/downloads.htm
1. Microsoft Agent Core Components, V.2 is a file called < MSagent.exe>. Save it to a temporary folder and double click on it to run and install.
You should verify that your system meets the minimal system requirements before downloading Microsoft Agent.
and install the core components of Microsoft Agent by clicking the link below.
Note, you do not need to install these core components if you are using one of
the Microsoft Windows XP, Windows 2000 or Windows Me operating systems. The
Microsoft Agent core components are already installed on your computer.
Download the Microsoft Agent core components (395 KB exe)
Localized language components are libraries (DLL files) that add support for the dialogs, windows, tooltips, and balloon text of the core components in an additional language to the default English support. To add a language to the core components, select it from the list below and click the download link. Note, that this localization support alone will not make Microsoft Agent characters speak audibly in these languages via text-to-speech - to do so, a text-to-speech engine would also be required.
2. Lernout & Hauspie® TruVoice Text-To-Speech Engine is <tv_enua.exe> for American English, but differs for other languages. Save it to a temporary folder and double click on it to run and install.
Text-to-speech engines provide speech output capabilities for Microsoft Agent and the Agent Character Editor. In the list below, select one of the available text-to-speech engines, then click the download link. Note that you must also install the Agent language component for the specified language, except for American and British English.
Can't find a language? You may want to check out other third-party speech engines that support Microsoft Agent. They may have the language or voice that you’re looking for.
3. Microsoft’s speech recognition engine. Save it to a temporary folder and double click on it to run and install.
Speech recognition engines provide speech input capabilities for Microsoft Agent. At this time Microsoft provides a single U.S. English speech recognition engine for use with Microsoft Agent. To use this engine you should have a Pentium 120-MHz PC (or faster). Click the link below to download this speech engine.
4. MS agent characters. Save it to a temporary folder and double click on it to run and install.
Goto http://www.msagentring.org and go to the character gallery.
On this page you can get a variety of characters. The examples in Merlin Programmer for Kids use the characters Merlin, Plany, Max, and Peedy. Be sure to get at least those. Follow the instructions on the web pages.
Characters have the <.acs> extension but are downloaded as an<exe> installation file which you should run to automatically put the character in the default directory, usually <C:/windows/msagent/chars>.
Another page with characters is http://www.agentry.net
The general page for MS Agent character information is
If the Microsoft Agent characters on your computer running the Windows XP operating system have stopped talking to you, you may need to install/re-install the SAPI 4.0 speech runtime support.
Installing Merlin Programmer for Kids
The installation program is supplied as a self-extracting file <merlin_instal.exe>. It has been checked for viruses so it is safe to run. Place the file in a temporary directory and run it by double clicking. A few files will be extracted.
The files that are extracted are
installation.html -- this file is the one you are reading now!
MerlProg.msi -- this file is the Merlin msi file
After extracting the files, double click on setup.exe and the Merlin Programmer for Kids will be installed. An icon will be placed on the desktop. Double click on it and the program will start. Links to the program and help file are also in the Start Menu. For subsequent installations, upgrades or repairs you only need to double click on the msi file (MerlProg.msi). The default directory is “C:\Program Files\Merlin Programmer for Kids\”. Script files are in “C:\Program Files\Merlin Programmer for Kids\scripts\”, and sound (wav) files are in “C:\Program Files\Merlin Programmer for Kids\wav\”.
When upgrades become available, you should uninstall the program with the Merlin msi file (MerlProg.msi), then install with the new Merlin msi file.