Random Comments, Late 2020 Edition

Same as the previous series of Random Comments threads (which have each been closed to further commenting because they’ve gotten too long), this will be accessible from a link in the left sidebar (under “triple-line” icon 1st tab).

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369 Comments

  1. Morning outages won’t bother me.

    PS: Easiest way to get the accent is to just copy it from Andréa’s comment.

  2. There was some kind of problem with a company that’s a server for large sites or something and there many outages this morning. Might have been related.

  3. Here the difference between “cartoon physics” and “real-world physics” can be isolated as one big thing: somehow he has FTL communication from close to the sun, which tells him it has exploded.

  4. Is anyone else having problems with the Comics Kingdom site? It’s there for me, but most links, including the home, throw up a “Page not found” error. The CK comics at Seattle PI are fine.

  5. Shrug offered a site for “accent marks and such.” On a Mac, if you hold down certain keys (vowels, c, and probably others), you get a popup showing that letter with the diacritical marks appropriate to it. Then you just pick the right one. For example: č

  6. Glad to see Wrong Hands back. It was on a website during the hiatus, but it’s easier to read comics in only a few places. Thanks for the heads up!

  7. On Windows you can make an ‘é’ by the simple and intuitive process of holding down the alt key and typing “130” on the number pad.

  8. On Windows you can also enable the “English US International” keyboard, switchable on medium short order back and forth with plain “English US”. With the EN INTL switched in, some keys become special — the apostrophe or single quote, the double quote, the backquote, and the tilde. When you type one of those, NOTHING appears on screen. If the immediately following keypress is for a letter that can take a diacritic, they will combine and show the accented character. If the second keypress is a character that does not take diacritics, then both characters from the two keypresses will appear in order.

    So for example, ~ plus n gives ñ (and that’s the only special follower for tilde), apostrophe plus e is é , double quote plus u is ü, and ‘ plus c is ç (you might think it should be comma plus c, but that would throw comma into the bunch of keys you have to be careful about). I can’t recall if there is a way under this scheme to do a Spanish inverted question or exclam.

    When I said something about “the bunch of keys you have to be careful about” that reflects a very annoying down side to this system. When you want the triggering punctuation mark for itself, you have to think about what your next character will be. If it’s something that will turn into an accented letter, you need to do something to block that fusion, like typing a space after. So if you have left INTL on and forgot about it, you may get oddly mangled quotations, for instance.

    “How are you today?” asked Sam.
    Ï’m fine” replied Pam.
    Öh that’s good to hear” he replied.
    This should certainly be considered an érror’ if anything is!

  9. that’s the only special follower for tilde I said, incorrectly. The tilde can appear as diacritic over some others: ã ~e ~i õ ~u

  10. I have a Spanish keyboard layout in Windows, but Alt+130, while unintuitive, is less keystrokes than switching to the Spanish keyboard, typing a character with an accent mark, and then switching the keyboard back. 🙂

  11. WW, thanks for reminding about the additional group of options involving switching to another national or language keyboard. The downside is as you describe, but the EN-US INTL is not as severe, since you might not want to switch back immediately. The things you have to work around or avoid when typing mostly-diacritic-free US English text are not as many with the INTL as with Spanish.

    (Even worse on the inconvenience score is a sometimes-recommended option we haven’t mentioned, opening the virtual keyboard-accessory.)

    BUT my dislike of the Alt+130 is not the Alt, it’s the 130, both in the minor way that it is getting to be quite a few keystrokes for one little é in your text, and also because that’s not the only one you’ll want, and you won’t want have a way to associate those meaningless numbers to the desired characters, so you will need to keep a list around.

    After the earlier group of postings on this topic, I did a lookup, and at https://sites.psu.edu/symbolcodes/windows/codeint/#foreign (which seems to be part of a help system for users at Penn State provided by a proactive tech staff!) there are additional characters available to the INTL keyboard layout, using the … wait for it … ALT key. But with short extended codes, meant to be memorable more than the numbers are. So this includes some that I said I was sad were missing from the INTL layout, such as ¡ and ¿ .

    All in all, there are various methods, but on a real computer with a real keyboard (to stress the positive!) it is generally a bother. Much easier is the system used with the virtual keyboards of many kinds of phone or tablet, where holding most “keys” beyond a certain timed pause will display the alternate characters available from that “key”, for you to slide into and select. This is much like Boise Ed was describing early in the current discussion, tho I read him as talking about physical keys after all.

  12. Interesting to know. The main downside of adding en-US INTL keyboard is probably the extra keystrokes to cycle through keyboards when I don’t want en-US INTL.

    “BUT my dislike of the Alt+130 is not the Alt, it’s the 130, . . . because that’s not the only one you’ll want, and you won’t want have a way to associate those meaningless numbers to the desired characters,”

    Alt+130 is the only one I have well-memorized. Because of Andréa. 🙂

  13. Ha, Brian, I noticed the wrong color, but didn’t understand Uncle Lumpy’s comment about Heathcliff!

  14. What’s with Comics Kingdom? A total paywall, now?

    Oh, well, it’ll cut down on my morning computer time, for sure.

  15. But there’s no ransom demand — er, paywall — that I’ve seen. Their whole side has has problems since last night. I got to The Phantom there, just past noon PDT today, but now (two hours later) it’s unreachable again.

  16. It was just not loading content this morning, nor letting me sign in to paid account. I just got back in from running errands, but I took a minute to check and it looks more or less okay.

  17. Yesterday, I don’t think anything worked, Page Not Found for anything. Today it serves strip up through Sunday’s, but not today’s. For those I get 504 Bad Gateway.

  18. Comics Kingdom has been going in and out for a couple of days. When it’s in, there can be long delays. I wonder if it’s the victim of a DDoS.

  19. This morning (PDT), some CK sites gave me the Microsoft 504 error and other just said “Page not found.” Just after noon, I got it to work. Two hours later, it was off again, then later it was on again.

    DDoS is possible, of course, but why would any hackers target them? Maybe they’re just too cheap to allow for enough access points. (Meanwhile, I still wish this page didn’t make me log in every freakin’ time.)

  20. I was able to get Monday’s Sally Forth when I checked after Midnight CDT, which is when I check Dick Tracy so I can get early comments in as needed.

  21. I posted

    In reply to Arthur.
    FYI, there have been some discussion of Comics Kingdom in the Random Comments thread here

    Sorry, I was getting groggy or something, and thought Arthur’s comment about CK appeared in the current regular comics thread, and thought it made sense for me to reply in that same thread and mention Random Comments. Which is where we both were already, though that somehow escaped my notice!

  22. There’s an interesting article about the New Yorker cartoon editor at https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2021/10/05/emma-allen-new-yorker-cartoon-editor/. She took over four years ago, at age 29.

  23. Comics Kingdom (CK) has been down again since sometime last night (Thursday). That’s about the third time in three weeks. What is their problem?

  24. I’m having trouble with Barney & Clyde. As near as I can tell, there were no strips on Friday & Saturday (10/22 & 10/23), at least via Gocomics. Sunday’s was fine. does anyone know anything about this or have links to the missing two strips?

  25. Hmm, the archive on GoComics does seem to flip neatly from 10/21 to 10/24. And not struggling to resolve a display, just not there.

  26. must kvetch: there is nothing illogical about disliking different things for different reasons, even if they are opposites of each other: I dislike extreme cold, because it makes my joints ache, and I dislike extreme heat, because it dehydrates me; I can also dislike opposites for the the exact same reason: I dislike extreme heat and extreme cold, because both will kill me.

  27. I guess I should read all comments first, as I had just found the Post site and was going to mention it.

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