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Some people have suggested that we start a regular letters section, so we've decided that a quasi-sporadic, semi-edited section does make sense. Some mailfiles will come through complete; others we'll edit for space reasons. We will also use this article to inform you of TidBITS administrative trivia, stupid errors on our part, and the like. Hope you like it. Just so we don't have to mention this with every letter we print, please assume that we are extremely grateful for this information.

Mark H Anbinder forwarded us this note from Brian Westley of DigiBoard:

"The WDEF A virus was inadvertently included on the driver disk for the DigiCHANNEL Nu/Xi serial port board; the disk is numbered PN 40000480B. The new driver is PN 40000480C; contact DigiBoard customer service at (612) 922-8055 to get the new driver (the software is the same). We are also adding the Communications Toolbox installer and connection tools to the release, so you can get these as well. Sorry for any inconvenience."

Richard Johnson writes that the numbers we gave for IPT in Harry Skelton's article, "The Crocodile Smile," were incorrect, each by a single digit (bloody typos!). Here are the correct numbers for IPT.

IPT -- 800/233-9993 -- 818/347-7791

Karl Smith writes, "Your article in TidBITS about the Apple/Microsoft suit didn't mention the League for Programming Freedom, a group that is opposed to 'look and feel' copyrights. For more information about them, you can send email to league@prep.ai.mit.edu, and/or ftp to prep.ai.mit.edu and read the files contained in pub/gnu/lpf. Some of their ideas (such as boycotting Apple) may not be compatible with yours (or mine), but many of their goals overlap with the sentiment expressed in your article."

Thomas Robb, an Associate Professor at the Kyoto Sangyo University in Japan (so he should know), writes, "A couple of comments on your most recent issue. Concerning the new project to develop a 16-bit standardized character set, you mentioned a number of "languages" at the end of the article. Actually, two of them are not languages at all, but just alphabets. Devanagari is the alphabet used to write classical Sanskrit as well as modern-day Hindi. With the population of India being what it is, it is probably a good idea to standardize these scripts now before India leaps into the personal computer age. Both Oriya and Gurmukhi are Indo-Aryan languages related to Hindi, but used by other areas of the sub-continent. Their alphabets are originally derived from Devanagari, but are rather different in their shapes - sort of like the differences between the Greek, Cyrllic and our alphabet. Bopomofo is an alphabet, now primarily used on Taiwan, for writing Chinese phonetically. I believe it is taught to the children there before they are started on learning the Chinese characters-proper. Mainland China now uses the Pinyin system which is comprised completely of Roman alphabetic characters, thus now a special character set is needed."

Information from:
Mark H. Anbinder -- mha@memory.uucp
Richard Johnson -- johnsonr@spot.colorado.edu
Karl Smith -- ksmith@jarthur.claremont.edu


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