January 25, 2008

Unicode Hebrew Coming to Word 2012!

Microsoft has shipped another version of Word for Mac that does not handle right-to-left unicode Hebrew. It really is sad, and makes it clear for the biblical scholarship community that we're finished with Microsoft Word.

Their support sight has a list of known issues with Word 2008.

It includes a note regarding: "Citations within footnotes do not update automatically," where static text gets use. This can't be helpful, though I'd expect this to be fixed in a future update.

But notice that r-t-l unicode is not on the known issues list. I think we can clearly expect that this will not be addressed in any update to 2008. The issues are with the text rendering engine itself and a conflict with how it would interact with objects... something beyond the scope of an update.

So, the final word on Word for Hebrew, it seems to me, is that the best we can hope for is that the next version of Word for Mac will have a new rendering engine.

Let's see... Word 2008 - Word 2004 = 4 years... hence, we very well may see r-t-l unicode in Microsoft Word 2012 for Mac. Isn't that reassuring?

January 22, 2008

Running Mac OS X Leopard in a Windows Office

I just upgraded my work MacBook to Leopard and are handling the few settings needed to get it to work swell in the windows network in my office. For me, I had bookmarks for the two shared servers that I need access to, and those were still available to me. But, many have had problems mounting Windows servers on Leopard, when it worked for them in 10.4. I think macwindows.com is a great site for such issues, and they have a Special Report on Mac OS X Leopard Cross-Platform Issues summarizing the various solutions that have (and have not) worked for folks.

Now, I'm still working on getting the printers to work. It added the LaserJet easy enough, but when the printer receives the item to print, I'm getting a blinky orange light and that's all. *shrug*

January 21, 2008

Talpiot Tomb Clearly Not Related to Jesus of Nazareth

It seems that despite the fact that essentiially all Talpiot Tomb claims from the pseudo-documentary last year have been examined and found null and void, some media's voice is too wide spread to silence the silliness. Mark Goodacre passes along a letter from a group at a Princeton Theological Seminary Symposium on the subject: Talpiot Tomb Controversy.

Through all this discussion, I almost find it shameful for a scholar to parse words as we've seen in this discussion over the last year--words like "It is possible that this tomb..." This is the kind of string that Dr. Tabor still dangles on, and I simply find it non-sustainable in a scholarly argument.

In this light, it is also possible that the piece of wood a guy sold me in Jerusalem came from Jesus' cross. You'll have to prove it's impossible before I relent from saying it's possible.

See also: Jim Davila's quotes of Geza Vermes.

Here S. Jacobovici responds in what seems to to me a somewhat inappropriate "quit attacking me and the widow" tone. Questioning a scholar's competency with a linguistic skill is not an ad hominem attack that ignores the substance of the debate. The complete denigration of this subject is a clear indication that the way this all was resurrected, through this sensationalized film, is a poor way to do scholarship.

January 09, 2008

First Months with Leopard

It's been two months since I upgraded to OS X 10.5 Leopard, and thought a brief report was in order.

A key, opening question for many is whether or not to use an upgrade install or a clean wipe of your drive (after backup!) and then do a new install. With each OS upgrade, I have always advocated a Clean Install for a few reasons.

  1. It forces you to get your file system organized for that important backup.
  2. While the Apple techs worked very hard at devising the save & restore routines, they've never tested it on my machine. I guarantee they didn't have Accordance. They didn't run my combination of Quicksilver and other 3rd party freeware...
  3. A fresh start is exactly that, and can be a good thing for those of us who clutter up their systems.
  4. The time spent reinstalling your applications is the equivalent of spring cleaning in your closet. "Have I really worn that (used that) in the last year?

Install of the OS and my applications went great. Nothing I use regularly was rendered inoperable, at least not after a short upgrade. I intentionally have not yet upgraded my work MacBook for the purpose of seeing how working different went on that machine and my one at home. Some features I have missed when I'm on my older machine.

  1. Spotlight's improvements have made it much more handy.
  2. Quicklook -- I was amazed how much I use this feature. It was indespensible when I decided to go through my files and delete obsolete stuff... never has it been this easy to just browse and see a page of each document to discern whether it could be trashed.
  3. I've found all the complaints about the fancy Dock and the translucent menu bar to be folly. I keep my Dock on auto-hide and it's just fine when go to use it. And if you have a background picture that looks odd with the translucent menu bar, I'd suggest you grow up, pick a solid background, and get back to work. (Sharp tone in jest)
  4. Finally, the enhancement that helped me the most was additions to Applescript.

For bible scholars, I have not uncovered any issues with lost application functionality. I also found no compulsory features that necessitate upgrading now.
All in all, I think it's a great OS. It enables several things that only a common user will benefit from indirectly in the new apps they have available (such as a shared iCal calendar).