Stefan Klieme’s checkModifierKeys

Stefan Klieme wrote a small Mac (Carbon) command-line program to return the state of modifier keys. See this MacScripter post. I compiled it for Intel Macs: cc -o checkModifierKeys -framework Carbon checkModifierKeys.c With no argument, it returns the sum of (control) 4096, (option) 2048, (capslock) 1024, (shift) 512, and (command) 256. With one or more arg word[s] …

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Windows Notepad CR, LF

Unicode has managed to replace all of the hundreds of incompatible character codes that were developed in the first 40 years of computing. Over the course of computer history, three file path separator characters were widely used: slash (/, UNIX), backslash (\, Windows), and colon (:, classic Mac). The classic Mac separator has nearly disappeared …

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Luminance in SI units

Does Hollywood use film 1 3/8 inches wide? No, it’s a trick question. Most movies don’t use film at all, any more! But if they did, or when they did, it was 35 mm film. I find it curious that millimetre has been the common unit for expressing film width in the US, but virtually all other measurements …

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FrameMaker → InDesign

I guess I was the last person in the world to use Adobe FrameMaker 7.0p577 (see also, Wikipedia) running on Mac (Classic, 10.4.11) “in production.” Adobe abandoned the product on the Mac platform in 2004. I couldn’t keep using it forever. Intel hardware and a modern OS were inevitable. I did a reality check on …

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Flaky conferences

There are now lots of junk/fake conferences (“spamferences”) and lots of junk scientific publications. Beware. Your first hint that a conference is flaky is the announcement (or call for participation) arrives from an email addresses at a domain such as 163.com (NetEase, Inc. 网易; 網易) or 126.com (ChinaUnicom, a reasonably respectable company), instead of a decent, relevant, …

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Mathematica’s PlanckConstant

I had occasion to use Planck’s constant in some calculations the other day. Mathematica introduced new handling of units in version 9, but at present the documentation is poor. The documentation for PhysicalConstants` says “As of Version 9, the new units framework can be used via Quantity in place of the PhysicalConstants` package”; but the documentation is …

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Two requests of home theatre enthusiasts

I make two requests of home theatre enthusiasts: 1. Please don’t use the term luminance to refer to the video signal that conveys the achromatic (greyscale, or “black-and-white”) colour component. The definition of luminance has been established by the governing body of colour science (the CIE), and it’s a special word for colour and image scientists. CIE …

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