when X is not x

Diane Whitehead voltaire@islandnet.com
Wed, 20 Apr 2005 10:24:15 PDT
>×  Oooh, it worked!  Cool beans.
>LOL learn something new every day.  :-)
>Dennis × Cincinnati
Since my query yesterday, I have done some experimenting and have 
found out a bit more about why Dennis' message quoted above shows me 
two diamonds.

On a Mac, it is a multiplication sign only if I go to the website of 
my service provider and read your message as webmail.  If it 
downloads onto my computer via any mail program, or if I copy it into 
any of my word processing programs, it is a diamond.

If I forward the above quote from Dennis, which has two diamonds, to 
a Windows computer on the same network in the same room, the diamonds 
will show as multiplication signs.

I think there are more such problem characters, and html fonts had to 
be designed so that they could be read correctly by any computer. 
Obviously, mail and text programs were not designed for universality. 
I would expect that publishing programs would have to include some 
work-arounds for these characters, as Macs are used by many 
publishers. (I will have to ask my son-in-law, who is one, though he 
has not published any math or botany textbooks, so may not have 
needed to use a multiplication sign.)

The letter X has wider universality than the character multiplication 
sign/diamond, so I will continue to use X to designate a hybrid - not 
that I have a choice.

		Diane Whitehead

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