Category Archives: Mac

Something’s afoot with Apple

The Apple developer sites for both “Web Apps” and “Safari” are not responding at all. Ken’s Paranoid Prediction: Apple’s pulling back on the stunningly cool and advanced CSS functionality (transforms and animations) now available in Safari Mobile and iPhone native WebView in favor of the same functionality in native iPhone programming. WWDC09 is coming up in June… I guess we’ll see.

UPDATE: They’re back up… kinda… I’ll take the paranoia down to threat level yellow.

Typing Greek Letters on the Mac

I asked a question on the wonderful Mac site Macintouch about multiple keyboards and multiple input languages. Basically, I want to be able to easily switch between typing Greek and English. There were some excellent responses, one in particular which had a link which led me to a little Googling, and man, are there some great resources out there.

A nice thing about Macs is they are Unicode-ready (Windows probably is now, too, but I’m not as familiar with it). Unicode is a “format” which allows for a huge number of possible “letters”; far more than we normally use. But in order to type these characters on a regular keyboard, you need key combinations; like hitting shift-4 to get a dollar sign.

Well, here’s my “something back” to the vast I-want-to-type-Greek-on-my-Mac community.

Setting up your Mac

Go to the Apple Menu > System Preferences > International > Input Menu and check the checkbox for “Greek Polytonic”. For me, that gives me two active Keyboard Layouts “U.S” and “Greek Polytonic”.

Then under “Input Menu Shortcuts,” set a Keyboard Shortcut for “Select next input source from menu”. You will use this shortcut to switch between the two layouts. I use option-space.

Also, choose “Allow a different input source for each document” under “Input source options.” This is really nice; it does just what it says.

Last, check “Show input menu in menu bar.” It is convenient to know what keyboard you’re in. This will show you a little flag in your menu bar.

Get a Good Font

Macs and PCs ship will a few fonts built in. Old-timers Times and Arial are among them. Recent versions are aware of Unicode and have a lot, but not all, of the special characters. There are some other free Greek fonts around. I like Gentium. Download and install by double-clicking the font and choosing install, or by opening Font Book and choosing the Gentium folder.

Print My Cheat Sheet

To type Greek characters, you’ll need to use special key combinations. It will be a while before you have them memorized, so Mac users please feel free to download my little cheat sheet here.

Take Her for a Spin

Now, it goes like this:

1. option-space
2. start typing καί θεὸς ἦν ὁ λόγος
3. option-space to get back to your normal keyboard
4. send me great piles of money

That’s it! I hope that helps someone get started quickly. If you see any errors or something that it would be useful to add, please let me know in the comments.

The English Standard Version (ESV)


The English Standard Version is a fairly new English translation of the Bible which, as I understand it, tries to be as literal to the text as possible while trying to avoid some of the sometimes wooden phrasing found in very literal translations like the New American Standard. I tend to like this side of the spectrum for Biblical translation, and had been looking forward to the ESV’s release.

Then it came. One day, strolling through a Northwestern Bookstore, I saw I beautifully covered ESV. Nice leather embossed with almost Celtic artwork. Beautiful.

Then I opened it. Ugh.

Under this wonderful cover, these carefully translated words were printed on the worst paper I’ve ever seen. Seriously. I couldn’t believe it. I opened another, then another. I gave up on the leather bound and tried different form factors… all the same dreadful paper.

Now everyone’s used to the wispy thin paper Bibles are often printed on. I am, too. I have a few. But this paper allowed me to see the “shadow” of text even three or four pages deep! I would have bought one that moment – I might have even bought two, one for a gift – but the paper made it nearly unreadable.

Well, while in Arkansas last week (I’ve some story telling to do on *that*), I found a hardcover “pew” version of the ESV which finally had a different and better paper. And I bought it. And I like it. Even though I don’t get the smooth, cushy feel of the leather. sob

Anyway, the ESV has moved from doghouse to acceptable (yes, admittedly on issues of form, but still, reading has to be readable) to downright Make Me Giddy because of [this][1]. That’s a screen grab of the free [MacSword]( But look carefully. I found a beta version of the ESV texts for it! WOW! With Strong’s!

Right now, NASB is my favorite. Maybe ESV will replace it. It certainly makes me more interested to use it since I have a searchable copy. Though I really hope the Greek will someday be my primary New Testament.

Mac keyboard tips

Since I’m a bit busy due to our internet outage, here’s a couple of little keyboard tricks for Mac:

– function-delete deletes forward instead of backwards
– option-delete deletes a whole word backwards

Thrilling, eh? Well, I couldn’t find them online when I wanted them, so there you go.

Great looking weather app

I’ve been interested in weather since I was a little kid with my little home weather station. I know. Dweeb. Anyway, some years ago, I got to mix that interest with my geek work while I was working for Digital Cyclone helping build different bits of [My-Cast][2], which I still use daily.

Well, something new is courting me for daily attention: [Seasonality][1]. So many nice bits of information, well displayed, and easy to use. Great sunrise/sunset display. Satellite photos with radar and satellite transparently laid over (user definable transparency). Ooo, graphs.

There’s a free demo; check it out!

Don’t worry, DCI; I can’t [run it on my phone][3]. :)


Brilliant CSS application

[Xyle Scope][1] is pretty much everything I’ve ever wanted in a CSS app. Minus the little feature requests I’ve now already asked for. :)

A great tool for examination and troubleshooting, learning, and live editing and correcting. Exporting reformatted style sheets is sweet. I will finally be cracking open my legendarily tight wallet and ponying up for this one. Perhaps only my second shareware ever. The first? [CD Finder][2].

It beats Mozilla’s Web Developer because it shows pre-rendered CSS. It beats GoLive because it’s on live, post-PHP pages. Nice cascade display. Nice DOM views. It’s ginger peachy.

What is it about Germans and the great software? (I’m including [Adobe GoLive][3] in that, Jens, Lars, Veronika, et al.)


My MacWorld prediction

I had to get this “out there”. Everyone figures on seeing an Intel-based machine – maybe a laptop. And a more media-center-ish Mac. I’m throwing a Bluetooth-enable iPod in the mix, too. Seems like a no-brainer.

**UPDATE:** Shows what I know. :)

Grrr. Where is the Media Mac?! Well, anyway, [check out the newest][1] if you’re interested. Nice to see things get faster, but in general… I dunno… yawn.



Well, it turns out this page was crashing for my mom and Helen; both on Mac OS 10.3 using Safari. I thought it might be the Greek text via Unicode below, but it turns out it was the [graphic of Jack (below)][1] which I’d saved from Apple’s Preview! Bad JPEG. Hmph. Well, it’s fixed now. FYI.