Extended Characters on iPad

Some symbols and characters aren’t easily found on the iPad or iPhone on-screen keyboard, but more are right there at your fingertips. The tap-and-hold (hold-press) is a common function on the iPad, but not always apparent to everyone to try. By the way, double-tap the shift key for caps lock.

The iPad/iPhone on-screen keyboard supports the tap-and-hold revealing extended character set. Just tap-and-hold a key and slide up to select an extended character. Most of the extended symbols and characters are found where they make sense such as á is above a.


iPad screenshot. Hold the zero to reveal the degree sign.

Some examples on the US keyboard style:

  • degree sign ° such as 62°F, tap-and-hold the zero key
  • mid-dot · is above the hyphen (tap “123″ key, above “#+=” key)
  • back-slash \ is naturally above the fraction slash
  • ellipses  is above the period
  • ¿ is above ?
  • is above %

Sadly, many common math symbols are missing, including ≤ ≥, which seems peculiar, for a math-guy I suppose.

Naturally, keyboard settings for other languages may get you to commonly used characters for that language easier. I sometimes temporarily switch to the Spanish or German keyboards to get at some characters I need often.

To include other languages on your iPad, go to Settings and select “General” then “International” and “Keyboards.” Tap “Add New Keyboard…” and select the one you want to include. On your on-screen keyboard, switch languages by tapping the international key found beside the spacebar.

Dee Count Update 1.67

Dee Count for iPad update for v1.67 includes the following changes:

  • +/- button toggles addition and subtraction modes with option to hide in Settings
  • fixed import inventory details error
  • improvements for 64-bit devices




To fix an error, or if someone purchases a product during counting, you may subtract the count from the location. The old way to change a value was to delete the item from the location and add back to difference. Subtraction mode makes it a bit easier.

To subtract, or decrement an existing item count, tap the +/- button. The button will turn red, and the count-by buttons will show negative numbers. After a subtraction, Dee Count will revert back to addition mode automatically. The button filled-in with red is a reminder that you are subtracting counts.


In subtraction mode, the increment button (++) on the item menu becomes a decrement button (+-). After subtracting a count, the button automatically reverts back for normal counting.


For extra safety while counting, you may wish to avoid risk of accidentally subtracting. Hide the +/- button in the Settings App by switching the toggle. You may unhide the button later.

Found in the Settings app, adjust your preferences

Found in the Settings app, adjust your preferences. Screen shot shows the defaults.

You may also set your preference to display items with zero counts in the totals list. Deleting an item will remove it from the list unless there is an inventory count comparison. Subtracting to zero will not remove it from the list.

Import Inventory Details

After the latest fix, be aware of a limitation to importing text files from your computer on encoding. Best results are with Unicode UTF-8 and Windows 1252 encodings. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry about it. The default on the majority of PCs or Macs in Western Europe and US should be fine. See example for more details.

Improvements for 64-bit

Minor internal changes for better compatibility with 64-bit devices (iPad Air) only. No support for super-extra large count numbers added. Sorry, you’ll still want to keep your counts under 2 billion or so.

Moon Blood


Just before the clouds moved in, I captured a few shots of the lunar eclipse with my telescope. The heavy moisture in the air shows in the photos, but turned out pretty good considering the weather. The clouds covered the moon before totality, so these images lead up to total eclipse.


Lunar Eclipse Blood Color

Moon passes through Earth’s shadow hiding from the touch of Sun’s light. The color we see is due to refraction of sunlight passing through Earth’s atmosphere giving Moon an orange-red, or blood color. If Earth lacked an atmosphere, Moon would hide in darkness. The shade of red depends on how close to totality and the level of refraction caused by varying particles in Earth’s atmosphere.


Celestron C-8 with camera

Celestron C-8 with camera

My camera, a digital Canon Rebel, was attached to my telescope, without an eyepiece so that the telescope acts as a big telephoto lens of 2024mm focal length. The telescope, Schmidt-Cassegrain style with 8-inch primary mirror, even looks like a big telephoto lens. A motor helped keep telescope aimed on the moon during the relatively long exposures with the camera set on bulb setting. I counted the exposure length in my head. A button on a wire allowed me to open and close the shutters without shaking the equipment.

Exposure length for these two images were just over 2 seconds for the first and nearly 4 seconds for the second when the eclipse was nearing totality. In comparison, normal exposure time for the full moon without Earth’s shadow would be a fraction of a second.


Guest Post: Icy Sedgwick on the Novella

Talented author, Icy Sedgwick is here to talk about novellas as part of her blog tour for her new book, The Necromancer’s Apprentice. I highly recommend you grab a copy.  ~Shrock

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The Necromancer’s Apprentice by Icy Sedgwick, available on Amazon

The novella has been enjoying somewhat of a resurgence of late, perhaps in part due to the rise of the e-reader. Usually defined as being somewhere between a short story and novel in length, the novella allows an author to experiment with an idea that’s too long to be shoehorned into 5000 words or less, but not quite enough to sustain 80,000 words of multiple plotlines, varying character viewpoints and so on. Some of literature’s classics are considered to be novellas, such as H. G. Wells’s The Time Machine, George Orwell’s Animal Farm, Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, and Ira Levin’s The Stepford Wives. It’s beyond the scope of this post to try and pin down the exact word count, but to qualify for the Hugo, Nebula, British Fantasy or Black Orchid Award in the novella category, you’re looking at between 20,000 and 40,000 as a maximum word count.

The novella had been quietly plodding along for a while, and you can see why publishers mightn’t be so keen to take them on. There’s no real set ‘price’ for a novella, and how much of a marketing budget can you put behind a book that’s not quite a book? Publishers like weighty word counts to make novels worth publishing. Of course, with an e-book, length is of little consequence. You don’t need to worry about word counts, or physical dimensions. They’re often cheaper, and readers can enjoy two or three novellas in the time it would take them to read a novel.

Some writers see novellas as a place in which they can explore other characters, or side plots, from their existing novels – much like if JK Rowling had written novellas about what Neville and Ginny were doing while Harry and Ron were off being Harry and Ron. It’s a perfectly good reason to write one, and the fact they’re shorter mean they take less time to write, and you can still put stories in front of readers between novels. You can explore ideas and stories that might not hold a novel together, but they’re too ‘big’ for a short story. However, I don’t believe that’s the sole purpose of the novella. I think they have a place of their own.

Think about cinema for a moment. In 1935, Alfred Hitchcock made The 39 Steps with Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll. It was only 86 minutes long. Fast forward to 2012, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is 169 minutes long. The 39 Steps is almost half the length of The Hobbit, and yet it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable and fun film (and it has far less walking). Some stories just don’t need that many words to make their point – and some authors are well aware of the value of editing out the fluff. A novella can be much more satisfying because the author isn’t padding out the word count.

I’ve written a novella before – my first release, The Guns of Retribution, was just shy of 30,000 words. Sure, I could have padded it out, and by adding other viewpoints, subplots, and other such content, I might have doubled the word count, but it still wouldn’t necessarily have been a novel, and it could have diluted the actual story. My current release, The Necromancer’s Apprentice, is a similar length, and again, I could have padded it out, but I don’t think it would have served the story, and I’d like to examine some of the things that could have become subplots in other novellas.

That’s what it boils down to – the story. How long does it actually need to be? What does it actually need in order to be told? Has it been watered down by increasing the word count?

What do you think?



Icy Sedgwick, www.icysedgwick.com

Icy Sedgwick was born in the North East of England, and lives and works in Newcastle. She has been writing with a view to doing so professionally for over ten years, and has had several stories included in anthologies, including Short Stack and Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar & Other Stories.

She spends her non-writing time working on a PhD in Film Studies, considering the use of set design in contemporary horror. Icy had her first book, a pulp Western named The Guns of Retribution, published in 2011, and her horror fantasy, The Necromancer’s Apprentice, was released in March 2014.


Website: http://www.icysedgwick.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/icypop
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/miss.icy.sedgwick
Google +: http://plus.google.com/+IcySedgwick/about

Get your copy of The Necromancer’s Apprentice by Icy Sedgwick at Amazon (Kindle or paper), Nook, or Kobo.