Thoughtful, detailed coverage of the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, plus the best-selling Take Control ebooks.

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
Type an em-dash on an iPhone

Typography and punctuation geeks rejoice! It's easy to type an em-dash on the iPhone's or iPod touch's virtual keyboard. To do so, tap the .?123 key to switch to the numeric keypad. Then touch and hold on the Hyphen key to reveal a pop-up strip showing an em-dash. Slide to the em-dash and release your finger.

Note that this basic trick works with many other keys on the virtual keyboard.

Visit Take Control of iPhone OS 3

 
 

Darker Video Toaster Reality

Send Article to a Friend

Matthew B Cravit writes:

I noticed a comment in TidBITS-158 about the Video Toaster. You commented that it becomes an increasingly sophisticated and cool system. This is true; however, being a broadcasting and computer science major, I thought I'd offer a couple of caveats about the Toaster system:

  • The $5,000 price mentioned on the video tape is very low. To actually utilize the full capabilities of the Toaster requires the following:

     1         Video Toaster System
     4         Time base correctors
     1 or more Single frame controllable VCRs
     1 or more Single frame VCR controller boards
              (These two for doing 3-D animations)

Total cost for a complete system (S-VHS VCRs) is actually closer to $12,000 - $15,000 range.

  • Secondly, for anyone who works with a production studio (i.e. other video production equipment such as character generators, video switchers, etc.), BEWARE! The Video Toaster has major problems synching itself to other pieces of production equipment. Here at Michigan State, we attempted to play a 3-D animation from a Toaster onto a program we are producing. We fed the Toaster's (supposedly) genlocked, synched output into our Grass Valley Group Inc. video switcher, and even with a professional video engineer attempting to synch the Toaster and the switcher, the color information coming from the Toaster shifted so much that we could not use the resulting tape since it failed the FCC's requirements for broadcast video.

So, the toaster is a lot more expensive than NewTek claims. It also has trouble interacting properly with other production equipment. So if you are using it on its own and have money to burn, it's a great system. Otherwise, be prepared to waste a lot of time and money for marginal results.

Information from:
Matthew Cravit -- cravitma@studentc.msu.edu

 

READERS LIKE YOU! Support TidBITS by becoming a member today!
Check out the perks at <http://tidbits.com/member_benefits.html>
Special thanks to Beth Pauley, Martin Lindower, David Lipsky, and
Teddy Scott for their generous support!