Who Is Talking?
How does it work?
How do I use it?
Before you start
Phonics vs Whole Language
Why a Patent?
Is RTR an invention?
Just an experiment?
Plans and Hopes
First at least skim this page, then go to the download page and follow the directions.
The current implementation of the Right Time Reader method consists of a reader
program named RTR and the books that it presents on the screen.
These books are simple text files named *.ubk.
The picture files for each
.ubk should be in the same folder as the .ubk file, and separate from the
pictures for all other .ubk files.
Each book should have its own folder, as a
subfolder inside the Right Time Reader folder. You can create these subfolders
the same way you made the Right Time Reader folder, but this time start with
the Right Time Reader folder highlighted before going to the File menu and
asking for a new folder. Name each new folder for the book that it will contain.
When you are done, your file manager will show you a structure something like
You will just need one copy of RTR, which will reside in the Right
Time Reader folder (perhaps with a copy of MFC42.dll, if your older W95 system
lacks it). You can place a shortcut to this program on the desktop, and when
the program runs you can use the program to load whatever book you want from
its own folder within the Right Time Reader folder.
About .ubk Files
Each *.ubk file is a list of pages in the book. Under each page line are lines
with the captions that will appear on the screen, and the pictures that they
will appear under. When you run RTR, it will tell you "No book
loaded", and you will need to go to its File menu to open a .ubk file. The
book will then run under mouse and keyboard control. Get your baby and go to it!
The .ubk file will refer to names of picture files (*.jpg) that will be shown
above the captions that appear in the .ubk file.
Personalizing RTR by modifying .ubk files
The text in each .ubk file can be seen and modified by any text editor program.
You should use a simple program like Notepad to look at the structure of a .ubk
use something large and fancy like Word, but then you must take extra care,
when you are finished, to save the file only as a simple ascii file with the
.ubk extender instead of the huge and complex .doc file, which is full of
special instructions for programs like Word.
Probably it will be clear to you at a glance how you can modify these files to
change the words in the captions, and the pictures that will appear above the
words. Feel free to experiment all you like, but remember that you should
probably save any file that you have changed by using the "Save As"
command in the File menu, so that you can save the altered file under a
different name and you do not overwrite the original file.
Then you will have the original file plus your new version, and you can call up
either one with RTR.
Here is a sample of a .ubk file in black, with explanatory notes in
[Each line in the .ubk file begins with #.
Notice the repeating pattern of lines after the first three: Page, Image,
Caption; Page, Image, Caption; . . .]
#TITLE Alphabet (song)
[Write your own book and put your title here!]
[The date you last revised the file - sometimes handy to know]
[The page count must match the number of pages provided below, or an error
[The next 2 lines before the next #PAGE line describe page 1]
[This line names the .jpg file that is to be shown]
#CAPTION A : B : C : D : E : F : G
[This is what will appear as a caption. Whole words can go between the colons -
the colons determine which bit of text is the next to receive emphasis when you
left-click the mouse or press the spacebar. In this file I have included an
extra space before and after each letter, but that is not necessary with whole
[From here on, the pattern is the same, calling a new picture and specifying a
new caption for each page.]
#CAPTION H : I : J : K : L : M : N : O : P
#CAPTION Q : R : S : T : U : V
#CAPTION W : X : Y : and : Z
[No special end of file notation is needed. When the 6 pages have been shown,
the reader will cycle back to page 1, or you can load another .ubk]
Aside from my utter lack of artistic ability, the most severe constraint that I
have experienced is the need to keep caption line lengths short, so they will
display properly in the RTR window. We need to display big print;
also we need large spaces between words so that when a word grows it doesn't
push adjacent words aside - only the word currently being read must move or
Once you see how it works, you can create whole folders of .jpg files for
yourself, and write your own story lines and captions for the pictures.
You can scan in family photos or children's art work, and build a .ubk book
around them. If you don't have a scanner, you can create art work right on the
computer, using one of dozens of drawing and painting programs. Many of these
are free, and you likely already have Microsoft Paint as part of your software
package. The only limitation is that some of the simpler freebie programs like
Paint may not save the required .jpg format. However, there are workarounds.
You can save as a .bmp format and then use another program to read the .bmp
file and save it as a jpg. Most graphics or scanner programs will do this, and
you can find a free one on the web and use it for conversions even if you have
I hope that many of you will personalize your RTR experience, and that you will
share the results with others by emailing them to me for inclusion at this
site. The blank DoItYourself.ubk file is provided as an easy starting point.
The current URL is http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~parsonst/mechanics.html
This file was last modified 26-Dec-2001
To get in touch, email me: