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Old 12-20-2005, 02:07 PM   #1
Michael Rowley
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Default How do I access ASCII codes in Firefox?

If I write a message or reply to one in this forum, I must not use en-dashes, em-dashes, or letters with accents—e.g. in Emigré—if I am using Firefox at the time. What is the reason? And how can I get round it?

As I can't assume that all Firefox users in the forum don't ever want to insert ASCII codes, what is the secret? (Apart from using the Mac OS instead of Windows.)

   
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Old 12-20-2005, 02:26 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
If I write a message or reply to one in this forum, I must not use en-dashes, em-dashes, or letters with accents—e.g. in Emigré—if I am using Firefox at the time. What is the reason? And how can I get round it?

As I can't assume that all Firefox users in the forum don't ever want to insert ASCII codes, what is the secret? (Apart from using the Mac OS instead of Windows.)
If you use the Character map, the high ascii characters will display correctly on a Mac (and, one assumes, on any Windows machine).

   
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Old 12-20-2005, 03:16 PM   #3
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Ann:

If you use the Character map

Doubtless I could use the character map, but that is not a very practical approach. I realize that typing three or four numerals while holding down Alt isn't very practical either, but it does for occasional use; if I had to use the character map every time, I'd rather do without Firefox, whose only virtue I can see is that the web site come up quicker than with Internet Explorer.

Character map? Thanks, but no thanks (though it's good for finding Unicode numbers).

   
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Old 12-20-2005, 04:40 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
Ann:

If you use the Character map

Doubtless I could use the character map, but that is not a very practical approach. I realize that typing three or four numerals while holding down Alt isn't very practical either, but it does for occasional use; if I had to use the character map every time, I'd rather do without Firefox, whose only virtue I can see is that the web site come up quicker than with Internet Explorer.

Character map? Thanks, but no thanks (though it's good for finding Unicode numbers).
I found it quite quick and easy, but not as quick as the Alt+numeral pad numerals which is apparently what you want to use (I could never remember all the combos).

I suggest you try Opera, which does allow you to use the Alt+nnnn character set. Firefox appears to have the key combo mapped to other functions.

Quite a few of the members here are diehard Opera fans. It has lots of neat features, and like Firefox, allows you to use tabs.

Internet Explorer is just too dangerous to use, IMO. It's also really backward in features now.

   
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Old 12-21-2005, 08:51 AM   #5
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Ann:

Internet Explorer is just too dangerous to use

I regard that statement with considerable scepticism. It is not just the fact that I'm still one of the great majority of users, but also the fact that I have used it for many years without trouble, though possibly through my anti-virus program, my firewall program, and Microsoft's frequent patches.

Opera is doubtless a good browser, but having had frequent crashes with it in the Windows 3.11 days, I went off it years ago. I'm also doubtful about having even two browsers, since I'm not a Web site developer or even interested in Web sites. But I hate waiting ages for a site to download all its folderols, and Firefox copes with them better than IE 6.

   
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Old 12-21-2005, 11:46 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
I regard that statement with considerable scepticism..
The other evening the otherwise excellent SnagIT loaded IE on my Windows laptop to download an update. That isn't my main machine, and I didn't notice what had happened. Next morning, when I realised that IE had been running all night, I quickly ran SpyBot, which found five different instances of malware on the machine. It was only a couple of days since I'd run SpyBot, so having IE open was definitely the cause. I also have a firewall and keep my virus protection up-to-date. And I hear frequent wails of despair from friends whose computers have basically stopped working. Invariably they are IE users. Some of them now rarely turn their computers on and check their e-mail infrequently because they are always having to get the local computer shops to clean out their systems. I repeat: IE is dangerous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
It is not just the fact that I'm still one of the great majority of users, but also the fact that I have used it for many years without trouble, though possibly through my anti-virus program, my firewall program, and Microsoft's frequent patches.
The frequent patches are necessary because it's full of holes. Do you also run SpyBot frequently? If not, do try it. I think you'll get a fright.

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Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
Opera is doubtless a good browser, but having had frequent crashes with it in the Windows 3.11 days, I went off it years ago.
That's hardly a valid reason not to try Opera again 11 or 12 years later! It is fast, modern, free, and accepts the alt+nnnn key commands.

   
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Old 12-21-2005, 12:56 PM   #7
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Ann:

Next morning, when I realised that IE had been running all night, I quickly ran SpyBot, which found five different instances of malware on the machine. It was only a couple of days since I'd run SpyBot, so having IE open was definitely the cause.

I always thought my broadband connexion was always 'on', so I'm a little dismayed that you think the browser makes a difference. But I have Z Alarm Pro, which includes a spyware scanner, is updated automatically, and runs every day.

I hear frequent wails of despair from friends whose computers have basically stopped working

I suspect they've gone to Web sites in unsolicited e-mail and never run a virus scan; in fact they've probably got anti-virus programs that have not been updated since the year dot (if at all); and some of them never patch Windows, because they've heard it doesn't do any good.

That's hardly a valid reason not to try Opera again 11 or 12 years later!

Only my present computer uses Windows XP, and it is just five years old; the second latest one ran (and still runs) Windows for Work Groups 3.11 and Office 6. No, my previous experiences do not provide a valid reason for not trying Opera again, other than prejudice (and resentment over the wasted expenditure).

But as I said, Firefox would be all right if it weren't for using keyboard shortcuts that interfere with Windows' long-established method of accessing ASCII codes (the alternative Unicode numbers might work, but as far as I know they are only accessible in Word).

   
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Old 12-21-2005, 04:24 PM   #8
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I always thought my broadband connexion was always 'on', so I'm a little dismayed that you think the browser makes a difference. But I have Z Alarm Pro, which includes a spyware scanner, is updated automatically, and runs every day.
Maybe I expressed myself badly. I meant having IE open overnight. And it is much more vulnerable to attacks than the other browsers, because it is the most-used browser, and also because it is less secure.

   
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Old 12-23-2005, 11:31 AM   #9
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If you're running Windows XP, you can set up the "Language bar" and switch to the United States-International character set (or any other, if "United States" bothers you) when you want to type text with accents. Once you've changed to that character set (which can be done with a key combination or from a mini-icon on the taskbar), you can use the same sort of dead-key combinations that are available in Word to type accented letters: áéíóú àèìòù äëïöü and so forth. No need for alt-key combinations, and you can switch into and out of that character set quickly. I'm using Firefox to post this message, and the accents work fine here--as they will in any Windows application.

Switching character sets doesn't get you em-dashes and other special characters, though. I live with double-hyphens in message postings myself. <g>
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Old 12-23-2005, 12:05 PM   #10
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Stephen:

dead-key combinations that are available in Word to type accented letters

Ah! That's useful to know: thank you.

I actually like using the Alt-number combinations, and generally prefer them. First, because I have difficulty in remembering the others (although they are a little quicker to use), and second, because I have used them since DOS days (but with different numbers). In Word 11, I can also use the Unicode values.

At the moment, I'm using the UTF-8 set, but I'm not fussy: Western (ISO) or Western (Windows) would be just as good.

   
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