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Breakfast With the Beatles

September 11, 2011 at 10:53 pm

was the name of a Sunday-morning radio show that I frequently enjoyed whien I lived in upstate New York. 

It's also how I spent my Saturday morning, after (finally) recovering many gigabytes of music from the dead laptop. 

So far, as far as my own personal usage patterns go, the new Mac gets a solid "A" in every category except one.

And that's a pretty nitpicky one at that.  But.  I've found typing special characters (accents, umlauts, tildes, etc.) to be extremely cumbersome.  I reckon I'm doing something wrong.  But all I know is that after banging out a WWII novel or two, I should be able to type umlauts like some kind of umlaut-typing demon.  And I could on the old machine.  But, so far anyway, not on the new one. 

But it's a small price to pay for enjoying major improvements in every other way.


Adrienne September 12, 2011 at 12:05 am
If ZI'm not mistaken, and I well could be since I haven't used a Mac in about 3 years, an umlauted o (?) is option+u o. So you press option and u simultaneously, then release and press o. Or it's not, in which case I've been both useless and annoying. Glad we had this chat!
Adrienne September 12, 2011 at 12:09 am
Please edit that last comment to read anything other than "ZI'm." It's like a fancy-pants Invader Zim, or a really bad German accent. Either is a fine description, but I welcome any others you might have.
Scott Denning September 12, 2011 at 1:11 am
That's what you get for typing "special characters". Were your characters mundane, everyday, pedestrian, there would be no problem. But no -- you have to have an Grandfather Accent, an Uncle Umlaut, a Great-Aunt Tilde. Mind you, I thought how you handled Ernest Emdash was brilliant. And Sergeant Stuart Superscript will always be one of my favourite adventure heroes. (Though I am still saddened by where you took poor Simon Semicolon...) But maybe you could back off just a bit on the flash, mate, and give us some plain old Bobs and Brads, eh?
Tengland September 13, 2011 at 9:54 pm
Isn't "" that Irish New Age singer? (You know -- "Enye".) Actually, it's what keeps the old Spanish canon from falling into a caon. Untilde we meet again.
Cale September 13, 2011 at 11:26 pm
Love "Bitter Seeds!" Waiting impatiently for the follow-up. Maybe these links will help your special character issue:
Ian September 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm
Hey, what d yu knw? It works! Zi'm in your debt, Adrienne. Now I can get back to my true talent: designing album covers for Mtrhead. Scott, you have listed some of my favorites. Although my all time favorites (I say with no small amount of pride) would have to be those star-crossed lovers, Peter Pilcrow and Agnes Ampersand. Though I am fond of the Emdash family as well: valiant Ernest, wallflower Elise, drug-dealing Eddie... Terry, just so you know, I'm stealing this line: Actually, it's what keeps the old Spanish canon from falling into a caon. Well played, sir. Thanks, Cale! Really appreciate the kind words. I hope you enjoy the follow-up just as much :) And thanks for the Mac pointer!
Tim Keating September 22, 2011 at 10:33 am
I was in the Apple store this weekend and lo, the overhead monitor featured a tip that directly addresses this. Apparently, in Lion, you can now just hold down the character you want and a little menu will pop up giving you access to the accented versions of the character. Probably not as fast as option+u for your most common case, but handy should you suddenly need a diacritical or a ligature or something typographical.
Ian September 22, 2011 at 11:10 am
Thanks for the tip, Tim! This could be just what I needed. I'm going to fiddle with the settings in Lion tonight to see if I can figure out how to do this. Much obliged, sir.
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