Unicode

January 29th, 2005

Dinner with Michael Everson

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I have a wonderful dinner with Michael Everson. We actually met in Bali 2 weeks ago (briefly) and planned to have dinner last week but I have to cancel it last minute. I felt pretty bad about it, but luckily he is transiting in Singapore again from Xiamen on his way home (Ireland) from SC2 meeting.

Ah, SC2 meeting. Another thing which I feel bad. I am suppose to be the Singapore representive for ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2 (aka Unicode) but work prevented me to pursue this hobby. I mean, it is pretty intensive ‘hobby’, digging into the studies of scripts and languages. I spent a couple of years on this and I still have obscure books on coptic, hierograph, linear A, B, old vietnamese, ancient chinese etc. SC2 is a werid community and a funny experience in my life – I remember we (IRG) visited a museum in Hanoi several years back and we all spent an hour snapping photos and examining some writings with Cho Nam (Vietnamese Chinese) and some black Thai scripts and no one else knew why we were so excited about it.

And in that field, Michael Everson is the master. He has literally dedicated his life encoding scripts (dead and living) and helping to design locale and keyboards.

Anyway, was really great to catch up with him, and giving me an update of the politics within SC2 right now. And oh, we also discussed a family trip together to Iran to visit Roozbeh sometime in Spring. Several years ago, I got Michael and Roozbeh (a Persian expert) to work on a project for Afghanistan with UNDP funding and we have remain friends since then. Would love to have an excuse to go to Iran.

January 2nd, 2004

Vint Cerf on the Internet

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BBC News have an interview with Vint Cerf on his view on the development of Internet.

The next decade, he believes, will see the net spread even further and start to become the basic communications infrastructure for almost anything. To begin with, he thinks, the net will stop being a part of the telephone network. Instead the telephone network will become a part of the net.

He goes on to talk about IP Telephony and ENUM! Yeppie! :-)

2004 could indeed be the year of VoIP.

November 11th, 2003

Afghanistan support in Apple

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Michael Everson wrote:

I am pleased to announce that Mac OS 10.3 (Panther) is now shipping keyboard layouts which support the Afghan Pashto, Afghan Dari, and Afghan Uzbek keyboard layouts specified in the Computer Locale Requirements of Afghanistan report http://www.evertype.com/standards/af and that at least one of Apple’s shipping Arabic fonts, Geeza Pro, has full glyph support for Afghanistan’s languages.

Yohoo!

September 1st, 2003

Unicode 4.0

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Yippee! Finally got my Unicode 4.0

Unicode 4.0 now comes with CJK Extension B and also lots of new scripts. In total, 1,226 new scripts was added including Linear B which no living person knows how to read it anyway.

Incidently, Linear B has an interesting story. It is a oldest recorded dialect of Greek. It is deciphered by Michael Ventris by pure mathematical lexicon analysis (aka frequency analysis) and then prove that it is a dialect of ancient greek.

Linear A, on the other hand, which is a precursor of Linear B (through carbon dating) has so far resisted all attempts of decipher and it is not known what language it is encoded for.