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

 

 

Pick an apple! 
 
Is it a Unicode Font?

To determine if your font is Unicode-compliant, with all its characters coded and mapped correctly, choose the Font in any program (or in Font Book, set the preview area to Custom (Preview > Custom), and type Option-Shift-2.

If you get a euro character (a sort of uppercase C with two horizontal lines through its midsection), it's 99.9 percent certain the font is Unicode-compliant. If you get a graphic character that's gray rounded-rectangle frame with a euro character inside it, the font is definitely not Unicode-compliant. (The fact that the image has a euro sign in it is only coincidental: it's the image used for any missing currency sign.)

This assumes that you're using U.S. input keyboard, which is a little ironic when the euro symbol is the test. With the British keyboard, for instance, Option-2 produces the euro symbol if it's part of the font.

Visit Take Control of Fonts in Leopard

Submitted by
Sharon Zardetto

 
 

Firmware Update for All Current Macs

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Apple has released separate firmware updates for slot-loading iMacs, iBooks, Power Mac G4s, and FireWire-equipped PowerBooks running Mac OS 9.0 or later. The patches update the firmware to version 2.4, and address the following issues:

  • Slot-loading iMacs can better handle AC power fluctuations that might cause the machine to shut down unexpectedly, and those running Mac OS 9.0.4 gain the capability of using a FireWire device as a startup disk. The update also fixes uncommon problems where the machine may not start up correctly.

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  • iBooks gain improved support for 256 MB memory modules and USB storage devices.

<http://asu.info.apple.com/swupdates.nsf/artnum/ n11702>

  • On Power Mac G4s, the update corrects problems recognizing more than 1 GB of memory and startup problems with some third-party memory modules. Also, early Power Mac G4s gain the capability to use a FireWire device as a startup disk.

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  • FireWire-equipped PowerBooks also gain improved support for USB storage devices and the ability to use a FireWire device as a startup disk. The update also improves support for FireWire target disk mode, which enables the PowerBook to be connected to another Mac as if it were an FireWire drive.

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All the updates are available as self-mounting disk images and are less than 700K downloads. Before performing any firmware update, be sure to read the instructions with the update for complete information on upgrading your firmware - and having a complete backup of your data in case something goes wrong is never a bad idea. However, remember that Apple's firmware upgrades are irreversible and sometimes cause problems for third party add-ons such as SCSI PCI cards. If you use such peripherals, we'd encourage you to check with the vendor before updating.

 

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