fixed : where can I get an Ancient Greek keyboard ?

Question :

I am learning Classical Greek (a.k.a. Ancient Greek) in school, and since I am home-schooling now, I would like to have a Greek keyboard.

Where can I get one ?

 

Answer :

For Ancient Greek, you would preferably use the so called “Greek Polytonic Keyboard” setting on your computer, which is slightly different from a regular / modern Greek keyboard layout.

To enable the “Greek Polytonic Keyboard” on your Mac or PC, see this post :

https://macmanus.nl/2019/02/14/typing-ancient-greek-text-on-mac-or-pc/

However, you are asking for a piece of hardware, a physical keyboard. If you want to buy an actual Greek Polytonic Keyboard, your options are extremely limited and really expensive, especially if you want a real Mac-keyboard (not a Windows-keyboard). You could of course use a modern-day Greek Keyboard instead, but getting yourself one if you’re not living in Greece is rather difficult (and expensive). So I would suggest one of these :

  • …or you can make some stickers yourself, using small round 12mm multi-color stickers and a marker (that you can get in most supermarkets and bookstores)

…and stick those onto an old USB- or Bluetooth-keyboard that you are not currently using. Here’s an example of the layout (yellow & blue are regular keys, white are shift-keys)

If you need an affordable new keyboard, buy the Logitech K120 keyboard (or something alike). Even if you are using a Mac, this Windows keyboard will do since you will be stickering the keys :

 

That’s it !

enjoy ūüėČ

tips : which affordable display is best for working from home with a MacBook Pro ?

Question :

I need to work from home and I am looking for an affordable display to hook up to my MacBook Pro, to make my work a little easier.

Do you have any recommendations ?

 

Answer :

When buying an external display and having only a few hundred euros of budget*, look at these specs mainly, and decide which order of priority they have in your specific case :

*= this is for people who do not have a budget of ‚ā¨500 or more

  1. HDMI or DisplayPort :
    • what ports does your MacBook (Air/Pro) have ?
      • if it has USB-C (or Thunderbolt 3) only, get a display with HDMI-input and get a USB-C-to-HDMI-cable that can handle 4K@60Hz
      • if it has a miniDisplayPort (or Thunderbolt 1 or 2) and regular sized USB-ports, get a display with DisplayPort(v1.2)-input and a get a miniDisplayPort-to-DisplayPort-cable
  2. number of pixels (is preferrred over screen size) :
    • in any home office or home schooling situation, you will not be more than 60cm away from your screen (note : the front of the screen will be about 10cm in front of the wall, because of the display stand) : so there’s no need for a huge screen :
      • when you are about 40cm from your screen, go for a 21″ to 24″ display
      • when you are about 50cm from your screen, go for a 24″ to 27″ display
    • any display with 1920×1080 (1K/HD) pixels¬†or more will do just fine
      • 1920×1080 looks great on 21″ or 24″ 16:9 screen
      • but 1920×1080 looks fuzzy on a 27″ 16:9 screen
      • 2560×1080 looks okay on a 27″ wide screen
      • but 2560×1440 looks great on a 24″ 16:9 screen
  3. IPS display :
    • for home office work or home schooling, get an IPS display – it has better color representation and is easier on the eyes when using it for extended periods (hours and hours of continuous working)
    • for gaming, you might consider getting some other type of display, like TN, that enables you to get higher refresh rates for a tighter budget, but you shouldn’t use those for anything other than gaming
  4. refresh rate :
    • for home office work, a refresh rate of 5ms @60Hz is perfect
    • for gaming, get as close to 1ms @144Hz as your budget can afford (3ms @100Hz or 2ms @75Hz is okay for budget gaming)
  5. adjustable height (and orientation) :
    • because of ergonomics, it is important that you adjust the height to make sure top of the display is at the same height as your eyes when sitting straight up
    • because light reflection on the screen will be extremely annoying, make sure the display has the option to slightly tilt
    • only if you are working on a lot of text documents you will benefit from the option to twist the display’s orientation from landscape (regular) to portrait mode
  6. integrated multi-port USB3-hub :
    • this is an essential ! make sure that there is a USB-multipier in the display and that it’s USB3.0 or USB3.1 based
      • since there aren’t many USB-ports on your MacBook (Air/Pro), you will need extra USB-ports (especially if you have a USB-C MacBook (Air/Pro), since you will need one USB-C port to connect the screen)
      • a USB-port on your screen will enable you to connect a USB3-to-GigabitEthernet-adapter which will outperform your WiFi connection, and your MacBook (Air/Pro) will instantaneously be connected to fast wired internet the moment you connect it to your display
    • 2 extra USB-ports on the Display is the bear minimum : you should prefer 4 or more USB-ports, so you can connect these if you need to :
      • a USB-mouse
      • a USB-keyboard
      • a USB-to-Ethernet adapter (preferably USB3-to-GigabitEthernet)
      • a USB-printer
      • a USB-scanner
      • a USB-flashcardreader (for photo camera memory cards)
      • a USB-to-TV adapter (e.g. an EyeTV stick, to watch picture-in-picture TV)
      • connect or charge your iPhone or iPad
      • an external harddrive or backup drive
    • for a keyboard or mouse (or even a wired joystick/joypad) you don’t really need a USB3.0 or USB3.1 connection, but for data transfer it will save you a lot of time
  7. price :
    • do not go for ‘lowest budget’ if you need to use the display for working from home or home schooling, find a display for ‚ā¨200 to ‚ā¨250 : even though you cheaper displays are available, do not buy any display that was under ‚ā¨200 when released : most of the time, you will be better of getting a slightly older (up to 3 years) display model that used to cost ‚ā¨300 or more
      • make sure you also take into account the extra headphone, sound system, ethernet-adapter, mouse, keyboard and alike when deciding on your budget for the display
  8. integrated webcam :
    • if you need to do video-conferencing, make sure you get a webcam with your display – an integrated webcam will turn out to be very convenient (an integrated webcam cannot compete with a high-quality webcam, but if you use an external webcam, make sure to get a display with a¬†USB3-hub with enough ports in your display)
      • added bonus of most integrated webcams is that de webcam is either pop-up or slide-to-open, so you can easily prevent being ‘accidentally’ exposed to webcam viewers
      • make sure the integrated webcam is 1.2 megapixel (1.2MP) or more : the FaceTime HD webcam that is built into a MacBook is at least 1.2MP (in an iPhone X the selfie camera is even 7MP)
  9. integrated microphone :
    • if you have the need for a webcam on your display, make sure you also have a microphone – an integrated microphone will turn out to be very convenient (an integrated microphone cannot compete with a headphone with integrated microphone, a gaming headphone or a separate directional of voice microphone)
  10. integrated speakers :
    • most displays do not have integrated speakers, but¬†having the option to watch home schooling lessons or YouTube-videos without a headphone are very convenient, even though audio quality of most integrated speakers is okay but not impressive (if you do not already have an audio systemconnected to your MacBook, these integrated speakers might even turn out to be essential)
  11. bezel thickness :
    • the bezel (the edge around the actual screen) is really important if you want to set multiple displays side-by-side, but most of the time it is only a matter of taste in design : about 15mm is okay, especially if the display will be placed in front of a distracting environment (like a window, fancy wallpaper or a hallway)

Note : make sure you also think about these :

  • you need to use an external keyboard and mouse (or trackpad) :
    • any mouse or keyboard that suits you will do, so if you have an old mouse and even keyboard around, use those
      • for work, USB, Bluetooth and RF (wireless connection from a dedicated USB-to-wireless-plug) will all do
      • for gaming, only USB is advisory as any wireless connection might get laggy during intensive use
    • if you need to buy a new keyboard, think about these :
      • get a ‘Designed for Mac’ keyboard with the Mac key-layout, so with a COMMAND/CMD-key (and not a WINDOWS-key : only if you can typ blindly without any restrictions, you can get a Windows-layout keyboard and remap the keys in macOS)
      • get a keyboard that suits your main language : usually that is a QWERTY-layout, but for French it is AZERTY-layout and for German it is QWERTZ-layout (this will also help when you need to use accents in texts)
      • if you need to typ a lot, get a keyboard mechanical keys and spacing between all keys
      • if you need to input a lot of numbers (if you’re in accounting or working with Excell sheets) get a full-size keyboard with an integrated numeric pad (on the right of the keyboard)
      • a keyboard with an integrated trackpad can be beneficial for some, but make sure you get one with a Mac key-layout
      • an ergonomic keyboard can be really beneficial, but there are very few ergonomic keyboards with a Mac key-layout
    • if you need to buy a new mouse, think about these :
      • a mouse with a right and left button and a scroll-option will do for most purposes
        • most people have no need for a fancy gaming mouse with more than these 3 functions
      • consider using a trackball or ergonomic mouse
      • a Bluetooth or RF-wireless mouse does have downsides :
        • it will need to be charged (Apple’s Magic Mouse 2 is problematic in this respect…)
        • it easily gets lost
        • when the battery is down, you will need to open your MacBook and use the built-in trackpad until the mouse is recharged
    • if you need to buy both a new mouse and a new keyboard, have a look at the mouse & keyboard combo offerings by renowned brands like Logitech,
  • make sure your MacBook (Air/Pro) has it’s power adapter plugged in when using an external display, else you cannot use your display with the MacBook’s lid closed and your MacBook will quickly run out of battery
  • if your MacBook has USB-C (Thunderbolt 3) ports, and your Display doesn’t have a built-in multi-port USB3-hub, consider getting a USB-C Docking-hub
  • if your MacBook has regular USB ports, and your Display doesn’t have a built-in multi-port USB3-hub, consider getting yourself an additional USB3-hub
  • if your mouse is on a very reflective surface (like a glass table) or a wobbly surface (like a rustic wooden table), your mouse will not work reliably, so it is advisory to use a mouse mat (or a plastic placemat or even a sturdy-covered magazine)
  • to minimize the clutter of cables, you can use a cable hose to keep your cables together (budget option : use tie-ribs, or even ‘the pieces of plastic covered metal wire’ that you get with nearly every cable or electronic device you buy, to tie your cables together)

 

Some suggestions (no single display is optimal on all requirements) :

for office & graphic work : BenQ BL2420PT display : 23.8″ / 16:9 / 2560×1440 (2K/QHD) / 5ms / 60Hz / IPS / HDMI v1.4 & DisplayPort v1.2 / adjustable height & orientation / 2x USB2.0 out / no webcam / 2x 1W stereo-speakers / audio minijack out / 15mm bezel

for videoconferencing & office work : Philips B-line¬†241B7QPJKEB / 23.8″ / 16:9 / 1920×1080 (1K/HD) / 5ms / 60Hz / IPS / HDMI v1.4 & DisplayPort v1.2 / adjustable height & orientation / 3x USB3.0 out / pop-up 2MP webcam / 2W stereo-speakers / audio minijack out / 2mm bezel

for gaming : BenQ Zowie XL2411P display : 24″ / 16:9 / 1920×1080 (1K/HD) / 1ms / 144Hz / TN / HDMI & DisplayPort v1.2 / adjustable height & orientation / no USB out / no webcam / no speakers / audio minijack out / 15mm bezel

miniDisplayPort cable : Rankie miniDP-to-DP-cable : miniDisplayPort in / DisplayPort out / up to 4K/UltraHD (3840×2160)

USB-C to HDMI cable : Uni USB-C HDMI cable : USB-C in / HDMI out / up to 4K/UltraHD @60Hz (3840×2160)

USB3.0-to-Ethernet-adapter : TP-Link UE300 Gigabit LAN adapter : USB3.0 / RJ45 LAN / Gigabit (10/100/1000Mbps) Ethernet

USB-C-to-GigabitEthernet-adapter : AmazonBasics USB-C Gigabit LAN adapter : USB-C / RJ45 LAN / Gigabit (10/100/1000Mbps) Ethernet

USB2.0-to-Ethernet-adapter : TP-Link UE200 LAN adapter : USB2.0 / RJ45 LAN / 10/100Mbps Ethernet

USB3-hub : Vogek 6 port USB3.0 hub : powered hub / 6x USB3.0 out

office keyboard : Logitech K380 keyboard : full-size keys / wireless RF & Bluetooth / no numeric pad / macOS printing on-key / no trackpad

high-end office & design keyboard : Logitech MX keyboard : full-size keys / wireless RF & Bluetooth / numeric pad / macOS printing on-key / no trackpad

keyboard with trackpad : Logitech K400 Livingroom keyboard : full-size keys / wireless RF & Bluetooth / no numeric pad / no macOS printing on-key / trackpad

ergonomic mouse mat : Comfort Gel Wrist Support Mouse Pad

cable hose : Neoprene Cable Tube

 

 

fixed : typing a spiritus asper in an Ancient Greek text on Mac or PC

Question :

I am learning Classical Greek (a.k.a. Ancient Greek) in school, and I want to typ words on my computers (both Mac and PC) to improve my vocabulary.

I found I can add a Greek keyboard layout (on both my Mac and my PC) so I now am able to all Greek letters, but it turns out that this these are Modern Greek letters… these are generally the same, but Modern Greek doesn’t have any of the accents I need in Classical Greek. I especially need to be able to typ¬†the ‘spiritus¬†asper’ (a.k.a. the H-sound accent) and the ‘iota subscriptum’ (a.k.a. the I-sound that can be added to e.g. an Omega).

Is there any way to ‘switch on’ typing Classical Greek on my Mac (and PC) ?

 

Answer :

To be able to typ the accents of Classical Greek, you need to enable the¬†‘Greek Polytonic’ keyboard.

in macOS, you can activate the Greek Polytonic keyboard by doing this :

  • go to Apple-menu (Apple-icon top-left in the menu bar) –> System Preferences –> Keyboard –> Input Sources (tab)
  • on the left, your currently installed keyboard-layout(s) is/are listed
  • click on the +button just below the list of installed keyboard-layouts
  • in the window that opens, in the Search Field, typ¬†“greek”
  • on the right, two keyboard-layouts will be listed : “Greek” and “Greek – Polytonic”
  • choose “Greek – Polytonic” and click the Add-button
  • then make sure there is a check-mark at “Show Input menu in menu bar”
  • then exit System Preferences
  • now, whenever you want to typ¬†Ancient Greek, go to the little flag-icon top-right in the menu bar and select “Greek – Polytonic” from the dropdown list
  • and after you’re done typing Ancient Greek, go to the little black flag with the Epsilon top-right in the menu bar and select your regular keyboard layout from the dropdown list

in Windows 10, you can activate the Greek Polytonic keyboard by doing this :

  • go to the Start Button bottom-left and typ¬†“region and language” in the search field, then press Enter
  • in the window that opens, at Languages, click “Add a language” and typ¬†“greek” in the search field
  • then, select “Greek”
  • then, at Languages, select “Greek” and click “Set as default”
  • then, at Languages, choose “Greek” and click the “Options”-button
  • now, at Keyboards, click “Add a keyboard”
  • then, choose “Greek Polytonic”
  • to simplify things, I suggest deleting other Greek keyboards from the list of activated keyboards
  • then exit
  • now you can switch between your main keyboard-layout and the Greek Polytonic keyboard-layout by pressing the {WINDOWS}+{SPACE} key-combo on your keyboard

To get the ‘spiritus¬†asper’ (a.k.a. the H-sound accent) in your Classical Greek text, typ¬†this : {SHIFT}+{ ‘ }¬†to get the ‘spiritus asper’, then the A/E/R/V/Y/H/I/O-key to get the Alpha/Epsilon/Rho/Omega/Upsilon/Etha/Iota/Omicron-letter you need underneath the ‘spiritus asper’.

To get the ‘iota subscriptum’ in your Classical Greek text, typ this : {SHIFT}+{ [ } (in which { [ } is the [-key on your keyboard) to get the ‘iota subscriptum’, then the V-key to get the Omega-letter you need above the ‘iota subscriptum’.

To get the ‘regular sigma’ in your Classical Greek text, typ { S }

To get the ‘word-ending sigma’ in your Classical Greek text, typ { W }

to get the ‘Greek question mark’ in your Classical Greek text, typ { Q } which will give you the ; (semi-colon) which is Classical Greek for a ? (question mark).

That’s it !

enjoy ūüėČ

 

fixed : where did Santa and the X-mas tree go in iOS9 ?

Question :

As X-mas is coming on, I wanted to brighten up my messages (on my iPhone) with good-old Santa and the X-mas tree from the emoji keyboard… but in iOS9, I can’t find them anymore… they’re not where they used to be… have they been axed in iOS9 ?

Answer :

No, they have not been omitted from iOS9, they are just in a slightly new place…¬†Both of them are still on the renewed Emoji-keyboard, and can be found here :

Santa :

is now in the Smileys & People emoji-chapter in the column that has the Policeman on top, which then goes down to yellow cap guy (Ambulance guy ?), the bear-hat soldier (Royal Guard), the detective and Santa’s at the bottom

to get a Santa with a different skin-tone, keep your finger on the Santa emoji until the popup-list of all Santa’s appears, and select the Santa you need there

Angel :

is now in the Smiley & People emoji-chapter also, at the top of the column that has Santa in it… so right next to the Policeman

X-mas tree :

is now in the Animals & Nature emoji-chapter, at the bottom of the column that has the red dog-steps on top… and then goes down to the Dragon, then the Dragon-head, the Cactus-tree and the X-mas tree at the bottom

Enjoy !

ūüėČ

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fixed : how to stop Safari’s autocorrect when I typ my eMail-address ?

Question :

Recently I have encountered some extremely frustrating behavior of Safari :

whenever I need to typ my eMail-address in any online form, Safari screws up my eMail-address even though I’m 100% sure I’ve typed correctly !

I’ve figured out that this is because the automatic spelling corrector in Safari doesn’t recognize my name when I typ it without any capitals, and then thinks I’ve made a typo (even before I have typed the @ in my eMail-address) and then instantly autocorrects it to some similar word from the dictionary…

How can I stop Safari from such idiotic and frustrating behavior ?

 

Answer :

The spelling corrector in Safari isn’t a separate spelling corrector, but it’s OSX’s system-wide spelling corrector. So the simplest option is to either shut off OSX’s built-in spelling corrector alltogether, or to learn it to recognize your eMail-address.

Here’s how to do that :

– go to the Apple-icon top-left in the main menu bar

– in the pulldown menu that appears, click on¬†“System Preferences”

– in the “System Preferences”-window that opens, click on “Keyboard” [in OSX 10.11 El_Capitan and OSX 10.10 Yosemite] or “Language & Text” [in OSX 10.8 Mountain Lion and MacOSX 10.6 Snow Leopard] (for other versions of OSX and MacOSX, you might need to click on¬†one of the other icons)

– in the “Keyboard”-window (or “Language & Text”-window) that opens, click on the “Text”-tab

– then click on the “+”-button below the “Replace/With”-table

– then, at “Replace” typ the part of your eMail-address that is on the left of the @-sign (normally, that would be your name without capitals, sometimes with a dot or an underscore between your first and your last name), and at “With” typ exactly the same (so, the left part of your eMail-address)

Note : to shut of OSX’s automatic spelling corrector entirely, you could remove the checkmark in front of “Correct spelling automatically”, but I would suggest the method mentioned above as the better option

…that’s it !

enjoy ūüėČ

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fixed : alternative for replacing MacBook (Pro/Air) keyboard

Question :

I have a MacBook (Pro) with a back-lit internal keyboard, that has been used for a few years now. The reason why isn’t exactly clear to me, but somehow some some (three to be exact) of the keys have lost their upper coating so the letter they represent can no longer be seen on the keyboard. So even though the MacBook’s keyboard appears to be (nearly) intact, while in use the keyboard feels like missing some keys.

Isn’t there any good, but cheap alternative to opening up the entire inside of my MacBook (Pro) and replacing the keyboard ? Especially when having the keyboard replaced by Apple that’s very expensive…

 

Answer :

If your MacBook (Pro/Air) is out of warranty, having the internal keyboard replaced by Apple is not a ‘bang-for-your-buck’-option.

Replacing the internal keyboard yourself is an option, but primarily, getting a matching replacement keyboard might turn out to be rather difficult, especially if your MacBook (Pro/Air) does not have the regular US-keyboard layout (the US-keyboard has an ENTER-key with a¬†different shape than on¬†the keyboards of various other languages, so the holes for the keys in the top case won’t¬†match). And secondarily, the keyboard is the part of the internals that is deep-deep down, so getting to it is about the most complex repair-operation one can think of…

But you didn’t spill any water, any drink or other fluid on your keyboard and only a few keys are broken or missing, there is a far easier and cheaper option :

Just get some (new or second hand) individual keys, and replace them yourself.

There are some websites that sell individual keyboard-keys :

ReplacementLaptopKeys.com

TheBookYard.com

PowerBookMedic.com

The only thing that’s tricky is that there are various versions of the keys, and it takes some investigation to find out which are the ones of the type you need. But apart form that, it’s really straight forward. Various instruction guides can be found online¬†(it’s a simple repair-operation), for instance here :

MacBook keycap removal & fitting guide.pdf

That’s it.

Enjoy !

ūüėČ

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fixed : switching the language of the spelling check in iOS5, iOS6, iOS7, iOS8, iOS9, iOS10, iOS11 & iOS12

Question :

Is it possible to (quickly) switch the language of the spelling check while I’m writing a message on my iPhone ?

Answer :

Yes !

It’s really simple :

1- make sure you have installed multiple languages / multiple keyboards on your iPhone or iPad : Go to Settings –> General –> Keyboard –> (International) Keyboards –> Add New Keyboard…

…and select your desired languages from the list (then exit the Settings-app)

2- you have now installed not only the keyboard for each language, but also the spelling check… and it’s now available in any text or message you type (including SMS)

3- to switch the language of the spelling check, just tap on the globe-key next to the space-bar : when tap it, the space-bar will (only for a quick second) display the name of the keyboard you’re using… but… the language of the active keyboard layout is also the language of the active spelling check…

ūüėČ

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