Monthly Archives: December 2007

Boy Killed By Texting Driver

Engadget reports on a driver who not only struck and killed a 13 year old boy, but was so engrossed in his gadget that he was oblivious to what he had done. Thankfully politicians in some places have shown the cajones to put proper laws in place. A few years ago the Hawai‘i legislature meekly discussed the issue of drivers using mobile phones, and was faced by telecommunication industry lobbyists who refuse to acknowledge the dangers of using these devices while driving. In the end the legislature wimped out and there are have been several fatalities due to drivers distracted by their devices. Nothing continues to happen on the issue.

“Why Two Hawaiian Keyboards?”

I frequently get asked the questions, “Why do we need two different Hawaiian keyboards?” and “What is the difference between the Papa Pihi HI and Hawaiian keyboards on the Mac?”. Good questions.

Hawaiian Keyboards on MacintoshThere are two different ways to represent the ?okina and kahak? on your computer, and they use two different font technologies. Therefore, we have created two different keyboard layouts.

The first keyboard, the Papa Pihi HI uses the “HI” fonts standard developed by Hale Kuamo?o in the early 1990s. Until the development of the Unicode standard and its implementation by software vendors the only way to have the computer type, display and print the Latin vowels with macron (the kahak?) and glottal stop (?okina) used in Hawaiian was to use custom fonts like “HI” fonts, which replaces the umlaut vowel combinations (äëïöü ÄËÏÖÜ) with vowel-kahak? (????? ?????). It also replaced the y-umlaut (ÿ) with the ‘okina.

HI fonts have been used for many years at many institutions and by private individuals. They are useful for word processing, page layout, database and presentation software. If you send documents which contain Hawaiian text using the HI fonts to other people, they must also have the fonts installed in their system in order to see and print the kahak? and ?okina because the fonts are not embedded in the documents. The only exception to this is when you create a .pdf document, in which case the fonts can be embedded into the document, allowing the recipient to see and print Hawaiian properly. There are free HI fonts available from our website Kualono, and the fonts sold by Guava Graphics are also compatible with these. The Papa Pihi HI, seen at right, works with these fonts. We recommend that you not create HTML documents using these fonts and it would require all users of your web site to install the “HI” and other compatible fonts on their computers in order to view the Hawaiian.

The Unicode standard was developed in the late-1990s to address the deficiency of computers in their ability to represent many of the world’s written languages. Many fonts that now ship with computer operating systems like Windows XP and Vista as well as Macintosh OS X come with fonts that contain the characters for many different language, include the vowel-macron combinations and the glottal. However, not every font in these operating systems contains these characters, so you may need to experiment with some of the fonts that come with Windows to determine which one do contain them. Some of the more popular fonts that contain the vowel-macron combinations and kahak? on both Mac and Windows are Helvetica, Palatino, Times New Roman and Courier. There are some OS-specific fonts like Lucida Grande (Macintosh) and Lucida Sans Unicode (Windows) which have all of these characters, though there are others as well. The “Hawaiian” keyboard that has shipped with OS X since 10.2 is a Unicode keyboard, so it can type the ‘okina and kahak? using fonts that contain all of these characters.

Most contemporary programs support Unicode, allowing you to create text, graphic, database and other documents containing the ?okina and kahak?. If you send these documents to someone who has the same program, they will probably not have to install any custom fonts in order to see the ?okina and kahak?, however, if you send the documents to people on older operating systems than yours, they may encounter problems getting these characters to display and print.

Unicode is also the preferred method for representing Hawaiian language in documents on the World-Wide Web. This page shows Hawaiian in Unicode, so if you see the ‘okina and kahak? in your browser, then it and your operating system support Hawaiian in Unicode. See the following document for details:

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to typing Hawaiian, and I’ll address other issues, particularly platform specific ones, in future posts.

Keyboard Switching Problem Fixed in Leopard

I finally got around to installing Leopard on my MacBookPro about a week ago, and am certainly glad I have done so. I really like the “Spaces” (multiple virtual desktops) feature which help reduce monitor clutter when I’m running 20 different applications. I have not come across any progam compatibility issues and speed of launching and running applications seems about the same. I don’t know if the new features justify calling this an “upgrade” and charging for it – it feels more like an incremental update worthy of a 10.4.12 designation. I also have Leopard server, and that does have enough new features, IMHO, to justify to the cost. More on that later.

One of the undocumented fixes in Leopard was that the random switching of keyboards that we have experienced since 10.4 was released have vanished. Previously if we had two or more keyboards active, they would randomly switch whenever you moved between applications. I had reported this problem to Apple and am happy to see that they have taken care of it. The new behavior is that once you select a keyboard it remains selected until you explicitly change it, no matter what applications you are using. Mahalo Apple!

Static Routes On OS X Server

I spent three days at the UH-M?noa campus setting up a new fallback server for Ulukau – a brand new Intel XServe running OS X 10.4 which is identical to the current server. One problem we encountered back when we set up the current Ulukau server back in August was configuring static routes which are required to tie into the Veritas backup system used at the campus’ data center. Mahalo to our friends at Apple for pointing to this post which discusses how to set up static routes on OS X server. The instructions we followed were in a post by T.E. posted on Oct 30, 2007 at 11:04 A.M. It seems to work flawlessly, and the static routes are recreated automatically with each restart.

There have been few additions to Ulukau since we set up the new server in August, and we had completely copied the contents of Ulukau to a second RAID. With the addition of this new server and finalizing the backup process we will soon have two identical Ulukau servers in addition to automated backup. The servers will not share the load as either of them is more than sufficient for the current load on the system. The new server will be a fallback server – jumping into service if there are any issues with the main server.

Mahalo to Jim Uyeda at Apple Computer for his support of our work, and for the staff of the Information and Technology Services for their assistance and hosting the servers at their facility.

More Immigration Lunacy In Eire

I would not wish upon my worst enemy the experience that my wife, daughter and I had in Ireland. While James Britton’s situation is a bit different than ours, it is no less pathetic. The GNIB wants to deport his 4-year old son! I wish it was possible to sue the country and force them to abandon their “Land of a Thousand Welcomes” motto – it was anything but for us and certainly is not for James. I wish I could offer him some advice, however, as we received no joy by involving the press and politicians (as well meaning as they were), I will offer nothing but my best wishes and prayers.

Hele On to Otago….

The last major question mark for our travel to Aotearoa was answered yesterday when our passports were returned with the proper visas – I as a student and my wife and daughter as visitors. My daughter is enrolled in Logan Park High School which is only a short walk from the flat we have arranged near the university, which is equally close. Our tickets are purchased, and the adventure begins in Honolulu on January 6. We arrive in Auckland on the evening of January 7, and after a brief overnight stay we will fly straight to Dunedin. We’ll have three full weeks to get settled in before M?lia’s school starts, and nearly 6 weeks before I begin studies at the University of Otago.

While we have many acquaintances in the North, we have none in Dunedin other than the music department faculty I met while in Sheffield a few years ago and our email correspondences with staff at Logan Park. I’m certain M?lia will have no problems making friends at Logan Park, and my wife and I at the university and our neighborhood.