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

 

 

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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.

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QuickTime 1.5

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If you don't know what QuickTime is yet, go directly to TidBITS-073, do not pass GO, and do not collect $200. QuickTime 1.5 offers significant enhancements over QuickTime 1.0, and anyone serious about QuickTime will want it. You can now play movies in screen sizes up to 320 x 240 pixels at 15 frames per second (fps) on an LC II-class machine. If you shrink the window to the old standard, 160 X 120, you can double your frames per second to 30 fps. QuickTime 1.5 includes integrated support for the new Kodak PhotoCD format for storing your 35 mm pictures on a CD-ROM. You can easily view thumbnails of your images, see a QuickTime overview movie of your images, and paste PhotoCD images into any Mac application that accepts PICTs (PhotoCD format is not the same as PICT, so QuickTime does the translation for you). Other software tweaks include a better interface and generic media handlers, which allow developers to create new track types, much as Apple did in creating the new text track.

In the hardware world, QuickTime 1.5 will support some upcoming third-party, full-screen, full-motion, digital video cards from companies like SuperMac, NuVideo, and RasterOps. Captured video will be higher quality and hardware-assisted playback will double playback rates. QuickTime movies on CD-ROM will play better with version 1.5, and those of us with color-capable machines with monochrome monitors (SE/30, Classic II, and anything with a monochrome monitor) will enjoy faster 1-bit dithering, which will improve the speed and quality of color movies viewed in monochrome.

QuickTime 1.5 requires, like 1.0, a Macintosh with at least a 68020 processor, 2 MB of RAM, and System 6.0.7 or later.

Interestingly, Apple says that QuickTime 1.5 is available now, and "will be distributed via a wide variety of bulletin boards and user groups." The press release goes on to say, "Apple recommends that the QuickTime 1.5 extension be available free of charge. Bulletin boards, user groups and resellers may charge a nominal fee for materials, labor and connect time." Straight from the Cupertino-based horse's mouth, folks.

 

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