Computers: Feedback

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The Independent Online
WE HAVE had further contributions to the problem of the mouse that dies in sunlight (5 November). Most notably, David Hamill, of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Guildford University.

'I too have had problems with a mouse in bright sunlight. It is a Taiwanese 'Imsi'-type made out of the usual beige plastic. My hunch is that this plastic, though opaque to visible light, is translucent at the infra-red wavelengths used by optoelectronics.

'I eliminated heat, capacitive and magnetic effects and confirmed the cause was direct sunlight. By shading the appropriate receptors, the mouse pointer could be restricted to vertical motion, horizontal motion or no motion at all. I disassembled the mouse, painted the inside of the case with matt black blackboard paint. Since then, the trouble has not recurred.'

We have also been inundated by suggestions on how to get inverted commas (letter, 12 November). The Rev James Richards, from Harrow, north-west London, points out that the original PC character set did not have 'curly quotation marks'. But, adds that most desk top publishing programs can output inverted commas and there is no problem with the Apple Macintosh.

D J F Pollack says the problem can be solved with a Wordperfect 'macro':

Ctrl-V 4,32 (enter); Ctrl-V 4,31 (enter); (space)(left)(left).

Both Word for Windows 2.0 and Lotus AmiPro 3.0 come with macros to produce 'smart quotes'; while the Word 6.0 can do it automatically as you type.

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