Vivaldi Browser

A Great Tool for Research

I spend half the day online, and use Vivaldi when I am working on my books or website in Serif PagePlus™ or WebPlus™. I have the entire Buddhist Canon on my local drive in HTML format for reference to the texts. I use a Pali English dictionary to help with translation. By tiling tabs to a grid, I can refer to the Pali text, its Commentary, and the Pali-English Dictionary on the same screen. By saving the window with the tiled tabs as a session, I can reload it at any time to resume work where I left off.

Three Tiled Tabs and Sessions Panel

I have a 1920×1080 landscape monitor on the left, and a 1200 x 1600 portrait monitor in front. The session is on the left monitor, and Serif WebPlus™ or PagePlus™ is on the portrait monitor, which is better suited to A5 pages to create PDF files, or long webpages for scrolling.

The Sessions Panel is still an experimental feature in Vivaldi 6.0 — go to vivaldi://experiments to enable it. Therein, sessions can be modified, updated, sorted, renamed, or deleted.

The landscape monitor also serves for viewing videos on YouTube, the BBC News, etc. Each of my monitors has a power button to turn off the display, so I can save power by using only one at a time if I don’t need them both. It only saves a few pennies an hour, but it adds up.

Custom Search Engines

I have removed the engines for Google and DuckDuckGo as I never use them, and added custom search engines for the Access to Insight website, Acronyms, the Free Dictionary, the Pali Text Society Dictionary, my own website, the Vivaldi Forum, the National Health Service, and YouTube. The advantage of a search engine for the PTS Dictionary is that I can search English words to find a similar term in Pali. I also use a custom search for my own website to find references to quote, e.g. about rebirth. I use nicknames in the URL field or search for selected text — rarely using the search field, which I display as a button. 

Search Engines
URL for Custom Site Search

Notes Panel

Vivaldi Notes can be used simply for boiler-plate text that one uses frequently. Notes can include formatted tables and links. They can be inserted with Access Key shortcuts alone after doing Menu Key (or Shift F10), I, followed by the first letter of a folder, then the first letter of a note. For example, Menu Key, I, V, S will insert my system specs.


Specs: AMD Ryzen 5 3400G, 8 Gb • Win 10 64-bit build 19045.2486 • Snapshot 6.0.2979.9 (64-bit)

Translate Panel

Occasionally, I need to translate some text from or to another language. This can be done easily in the Translate Panel, or the popup for Translate Selected Text.

Parfois, je dois traduire du texte depuis ou vers une autre langue. Cela peut être fait facilement dans le panneau de traduction ou dans la fenêtre contextuelle pour traduire le texte sélectionné.

Shortcuts and Customisation

As a touch typist, I make heavy use of keyboard shortcuts and mouse gestures for frequent tasks. I assign them in a way that makes sense to me, so that they are easier to remember. For example, for tiling tabs I use T = Tile Vertically, Shift+T = Tile Horizontally, Ctrl+Shift+T = Tile to Grid, and Ctrl+T = Untile Tabs. 

Single-key shortcuts are precious. I use S = Show/hide Status Bar, B = Show/Hide Bookmark Bar, C = Customise Toolbars, M = Mute/Unmute Tab, T = Tile Vertically, U = Unstack Tabs. 1-9 = Switch to Tab 1-9.

Mouse gestures: ⬅ History Back, ➡ History Forward, ⬆ Scroll Page to Top, ⬇ Scroll Page to Bottom, ⬆ Open link in New Tab (Over a Link), ⬇ Open Link in New Background Tab (Over a Link),  ⬅⬆ Close Tab, ⬇⬆ Reopen Closed Tab, ⬅➡ Settings, ➡⬅ Panel (which is on the right). 

Menus: I have edited most of the default menus to remove rarely used items, to move frequently used items to the top, to reduce the number of subfolders where possible, but to add subfolders if menus are too long. Keyboard shortcuts are quicker that using menu, but only if you can remember them. 

I dislike Dark Themes because I find text hard to read. At night time I use my Octopus Go Theme, which is scheduled to run between 00:30 am and 04:30 am, when the electricity is off-peak. Otherwise, I use my Phoenity Theme, or my Sandy Theme. I created the Phoenity Theme for my personal use from the Phoenity Skin for Opera 12.18, Created by Lars Kleinschmidt. Unfortunately, I don’t yet have permission to share it.

Modifications: I use some custom CSS to tweak the User Interface to further improve my workflow. For example, the Bookmark Bar is hidden until I move the mouse cursor up to use it, and popup thumbnails are hidden from Tab Stacks, Bookmarks, and Notes because I don’t find them helpful. I use a large font for the URL field as my eyesight is not as sharp as it once was. 

Built-in Email Client

My favourite feature of Vivaldi is the built-in email client. It was the reason that I started using Opera 5.0 for Presto, a couple of decades ago. There is no need to login to a webmail account to check for new messages. If a new email arrives a notification will pop up. I usually stop what I am doing and reply to the message at once. If it needs some thought or research, I label it as ToDo and deal with it later. If the message needs to be kept, I label it as  Reference or Important — otherwise, I just delete it at once. I work from the Received folder, where I can see all messages from all accounts. The mail tab is pinned so that it always available, and takes up very little space on the tab bar. I download any  attachments and back them up in encrypted archives. 

Privacy and Security

I install the latest Vivaldi Snapshot as a Standalone version on a Veracrypt drive, so my email, contacts, and account logins are safe from prying eyes. Whenever I boot my PC, I need to enter a secure password to access my data. If my PC should ever get stolen, my data should be secure. The latest Stable version of Vivaldi is installed for all users, but I use the Snapshot as my default browser. The Stable version is installed for bug testing in an unmodified profile without any extensions. 


A Full Review of Vivaldi on Softerviews.org, my website for reviews of my favourite software. Here, I keep track of changes with each new Snapshot, and illustrate some of the most useful features and settings.

Questions on Buddhism

How did the religion begin?
Buddhism began about 2,600 years ago when an Indian prince saw four signs that made him think deeply about the meaning and purpose of life. He saw an old man, a sick man, a dead man, and a monk. When he saw an old man he thought, “Although I am young now, definitely I will become old one day, so I am no different to that old man.” When he saw a sick man he thought, “Although I am healthy now, one day I will get sick.” When he saw a dead man he thought, “One day I will die. This is certain.” When he saw a monk he thought, “This man is not just enjoying life like most people, but is trying to find out the meaning and purpose of life. I should also become a monk and find out why everyone has to get old, get sick, and die. So the young prince left his wife and new-born son to become a monk.

How many times a day would you meditate and for what reasons? 
I would meditate whenever there was nothing else that needed to be done. Even while doing things that had to be done, I would try to do them mindfully. Doing things mindfully is a kind of meditation.

Do you have a free lifestyle?
What is freedom? Does it mean that you can do whatever you want and have whatever you want? Or does it mean that you enjoy whatever you do, and like whatever you have?

A monk has to follow 227 rules. Every aspect of his life is regulated by rules laid down by the Buddha. However, because the Buddha fully understood about happiness and suffering, these rules are designed to help us find happiness and to avoid suffering. The better one follows the Buddha’s rules, the freer and happier one will be.

How long have you been a monk?
I became a monk in June 1979, when I was 26 years old.

What is the definition of enlightenment?
I would say that enlightenment is being free from mental defilements like greed, anger, and foolishness. An enlightened person never does anything that causes suffering to others, nor to himself or herself, because he or she has no greed, no anger, and no foolishness. In brief, an enlightened person is always wise, kind, patient, and happy.

How do you get to Nibbāna?
Nibbāna is not a place or a realm of existence like heaven, but one can “get it” even in this very life if one meditates very seriously. You can also get a “mini nibbāna” every time you give up wanting something that you don’t really need. Say, for example, you want a computer game or a new bicycle, but your mum says, “It’s too expensive.” If you still want it, but you cannot get it, then you suffer, don’t you? However, if you think wisely, you will realise that it is not so important after all. After a while you won’t even think about getting it. You will be free from suffering as soon as you give up wanting it, won’t you?

How long do you meditate for at one time?
We can meditate for as little as one minute, or even less. Whenever we realise that we are getting angry or selfish or silly, we can stop right there and look at our silly mind. When we look at the mind, like looking at our face in the mirror, then we can see if it is dirty or not. If it is dirty, we should clean it, shouldn’t we?

Why do you shave your head?
Shaving the head is one way for people to know that we are a monk. It is a kind of symbolism.

Why do you wear robes? 
The robes are also an easy way for people to recognise us. They are designed to be very simple to make, to a standard design. Even after 2,600 years there hasn’t been any change to the fashion of Buddhist monks’ robes.

Can you marry whoever you want?
Buddhist monks do not marry at all, but other Buddhists can marry non-Buddhists if they wish. When getting married it is important to choose someone with similar aims to oneself. Married life can be difficult enough anyway. If both husband and wife are Buddhists it might be a bit easier.

Why don’t you live in houses?
When the Buddha first started teaching, he lived in the forest, and the first monks had no dwellings at all, apart from caves or under trees. Later, good people offered to build huts for monks to live in to shelter from bad weather. So the Buddha allowed monks to have different kinds of dwellings. Even big monasteries were allowed, but the general idea is that a monk should be content just to have shelter from the weather, and should not want a grand mansion. When building dwellings, also, a monk should take care that no destruction of living beings is involved.

Is Buddhism a religion?
It depends what you mean by religion. To me, religion means a collection of beliefs and teachings that are meant to help people live a good life and find contentment. However, to many people, religion means that you must worship God, or something else. The earliest forms of religions involved worshipping the sun, trees, mountains (like Ayers Rock), and other natural things. On his deathbed, the Buddha told his disciples that to worship or honour him, the best way was to practise his teaching very diligently. So a Buddhist who really respects and loves the Buddha, must meditate as much as possible and try to put an end to all greed, anger, and foolishness. Then he or she will become enlightened, like the Buddha. That is how a Buddhist worships the Buddha.

Does it take a lot of dedication to become a monk?
Try it and see. I suppose it does, but then I have never found anything else that I wanted to do more than to practise meditation and learn about the Buddha’s teaching so that I can help others and help myself in the process.

Is it hard only eating at certain times of the day?
Not at all — as long as people remember that we can only eat after dawn and before midday. When they don’t come in time for us to finish our meal; that can be difficult. Eating only once is much easier than eating several times. Life is so much simpler. It is one of the easiest things to get used to.

Are you happy being a Buddhist?
Real happiness is very hard to find. If you watch your mind carefully, how often are you really happy? How much more often are you grumpy, sad, or disappointed? Even when you are very happy, how long does it last? Happiness wouldn’t mean anything unless there was such a thing as sadness. What do you think? If a multi-millionaire was sleeping soundly, and his servant woke him up saying, “Come on, let’s have a party!” would he be happy? I don’t imagine so. He would probably be very angry and tell the servant to get another job. Although the millionaire was not enjoying any kind of music or good food, he was much happier when fast asleep. For unenlightened people, being sound asleep is the nearest they get to real happiness.

Can you eat meat?
Yes. Monks (and other Buddhists) can eat meat, as long as they have no reason to believe that an animal has been killed deliberately to provide meat for their meal. Many Buddhists are vegetarians, especially in Taiwan and India, but in Burma, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, most Buddhists eat some meat, fish, or at least eggs. It is good to be a vegetarian, but it is better to be free from attachment.

Do you feel free?
Sometimes, but not always. The more one meditates, the more one learns to control the mind, and not to be under the mind’s control. When we are under the mind’s control we are not free at all, but when we can control the mind we are free.

How do Buddhists believe the world was created?
Everything in the world happens because of a reason. There are four causes for any result: food, climate, mind, and kamma. If someone gets sick, for example, it might be because they ate the wrong kind of food, or because the weather was too hot or too cold. When people get angry too much, or worry too much, or just think too much, then they also get sick. Another reason is some action done in the past.

Are Buddhists punished if they do something wrong?
Punished is not a very good word to use. If you pick up a hot saucepan carelessly and burn your hand, is the saucepan punishing you? Of course not. It is a natural cause and a natural result. When someone steals from others, the natural result is that someone else steals from them. That result may not come at once, or might come only in another life, when they cannot remember what they did before. That is why people nearly always blame others when bad things happen to them. If they could remember exactly what they did before, they would realise that it had to happen because of a reason.

If so, how?
The law of kamma works like a pendulum. The harder you push it, the harder it swings back at you.

How do you regard other religions?
Many of the problems in the world seem to be caused by religious beliefs, but when you examine things carefully you will realise that there are only two causes for suffering: desire (or attachment) and ignorance (not understanding).

A certain foolish boy, who had never seen how wood was made from trees, went to buy some wood for his father. On the way, he spent the money on sweets. When he got to the shop he asked the shopkeeper to give him some wood. When he said he had no money, the shopkeeper told him to go and get some wood from the forest. He went there, and searched all day for some wood, but couldn’t find any. When he went home, he told his father that the shopkeeper had lied. There wasn’t any wood  anywhere in the forest, and he had wasted his whole day for nothing. People who fight about religion are like that foolish boy. They just don’t know how to get what they need.

Is the world in balance at the moment?
It is round, so I suppose it must be. The Chinese have a theory about keeping Yin and Yang in balance to maintain harmony and good health. The world is only a reflection of your own mind. Sort of like WYSIWYG. If your mind is in balance then the world is as it is. If your mind is in conflict then the world is out of balance. Therefore, try to meditate seriously and get your mind in balance. Then there won’t be any suffering at all.

Do you believe humans can and will cause life on the planet to end? 
According to Buddhism, all things come to an end when the causes that sustain them come to an end. The world is no exception. Modern astronomy can detect stars — just like our sun — being born or created, and others that are reaching the end of their life. It is a natural process. What human beings should think about is just how to put an end to the causes of suffering within them: which means craving and ignorance. The world, the universe, and everything will take care of itself.

Are men and women seen as equals within Buddhism?
If you can tell me how to measure someone, I will tell you whether they are equal to someone else or not. What kind of tape measure would you use? Physical strength? Patience? Intelligence? Beauty? Kindness? Every human being has a certain potential. Most people never fulfil their full potential. The Buddha had great potential, and also fulfilled it to the utmost. Whether we are a man or a woman, we should try to fulfil our potential.

Can you be a Muslim/Jew/Christian etc and live life in a Buddhist way?
Whatever your religion, you can try to gain wisdom. If you can gain wisdom then you will be able to “Separate the wood from the trees.” The family, culture, and religion that you are born into is not a completely random accident. There are reasons for that too. Nobody is born wise, though some might be born into a Buddhist family. Even the Buddha wasn’t born a Buddhist. His parents were not Buddhists and didn’t know how to meditate or realise nirvana until the Buddha taught them about forty years later. When he was born, the future Buddha already had great intelligence, courage, compassion, patience, honesty, and wisdom. He used these virtues, and meditated hard for six years to become Buddha. If we don’t have these virtues then we cannot live life in a Buddhist way, even if our parents, grandparents, and everyone else in our family is a “Buddhist.”

Being a true Buddhist means to be intelligent, honest, patient, courageous, kind, and wise. Then labels will no longer have the same importance.

Tesla is Defining the Future

Ignore the FUDGigafactoriesPerformancePolice CarsSafety TSLA to Mars
The Competition is ComingSupervised Full Self-drivingModel S PlaidExtreme JourneyTesla Conquers FordTesla EnergySemi-truckCybertruckModel 3 UpdateReveal of the Robotaxi

Ignore the FUD

Whenever disruptive technology first appears, many say that it will never catch on, and are quick to point out the disadvantages. They do not understand the issues at all. Those who have the most to lose from the transition to EVs spend $ millions to spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt about electric vehicles. They advertise on legacy media, and whoever pays the piper calls the tune. Legacy media are becoming irrelevant due to 𝕏, so they are willing participants in the race to discredit Elon Musk and his companies.

After a false report from Reuters on 5/4/2024 that the Compact Tesla was being cancelled, $TSLA stock fell from $170 to $161 in half an hour, until Elon Musk said that Reuters is lying (again). False rumours like this are typically spread by short-sellers who can make big profits from the rapid changes in the stock price that such rumours often cause.

The Range is Too Limited

CURRENTLY, the range is about 300 miles on a single charge. That is adequate for daily use, but for long journeys one will have to stop to recharge. However, one should stop after four hours anyway, if only to take a toilet break and buy a snack. Super-chargers can add 80% of the car’s range in about half an hour. The Model S has a range of 400 miles, the Tri-motor Cybertruck is stated to have a range of 520 miles (in tests, the Dual Motor version exceeded its EPA range of 318 miles on all-terrain tyres).

They Cost Too Much

The initial purchase price is high, but the total cost of ownership breaks even after about five years, depending on the model and the mileage. Lower maintenance and insurance will mean significant savings. Tesla insurance has a significant advantage over other companies because Tesla have vast amounts of data about each user’s real-world driving habits, so they can offer lower insurance premiums to safer drivers.

When it passes all safety regulations, full self-driving will allow your investment to earn money whenever you’re not using it. The vehicle may wear out sooner if used as a robotaxi, but it will earn many times its purchase price in revenue.

Even if you don’t want to have strangers riding in your new car, you can send the kids to school in it, transport elderly relatives to the shops or hospital, fetch urgent deliveries, etc., all from the comfort of your home or office without spending your precious time to be an unpaid chauffeur.

Where will the Extra Electricity Come From?

Solar, wind, wave, and tidal energy are increasing steadily and replacing coal and natural gas. The main problem with solar and wind is storage. Invest in a solar roof to produce all that you need for your own use. Tesla Megapack production is increasing exponentially for large scale storage for grid-stabilisation, and virtual power plants are growing in popularity. Power Pack owners can store excess energy during the day and sell it back to the VPP at night.

How will you Charge During a Power Outage?

Hurricane Ian in late September 2022 caused severe problems in Florida. Bearded Tesla Guy, who lives in Orlando, checked out Charging stations and Gas stations on the Friday after the storm had passed. He had the sense to charge his Tesla to 90%. Petrol was not available before and after the storm, whereas electrical power was available nearly everywhere, and the Tesla App showed which superchargers were functional.

Electricity is Not Green if Produced from Fossil Fuels

Some electricity is produced by burning coal, but more and more is now produced from renewable resources. Octopus account holders use only electricity purchased from renewable sources. • Are Electric Cars Really Green? Even if the electricity is generated using coal, EVs use the energy much more efficiently, and have no tailpipes emitting toxic pollutants at street level.

The World will Run Out of Lithium

Lithium may become more expensive, but that will drive the search for alternative sources. Nearly 100% of lithium can be recycled. Degraded EV batteries can be used for Power Walls; degraded Power Wall batteries can be stripped and the lithium recycled. We don’t need to throw away aluminium, copper, or lead; why would we throw away lithium? • The Race to Recycle Batteries.

Electric Cars Catch Fire Easily

Fact: Cars with Internal Combustion Engines are 61 times more likely to catch on fire. Fires in EVs are harder to extinguish, but the newer LFP cells are much safer, and rarely catch fire. Other manufacturers still have problems with recalls to fix defective battery packs, but Tesla’s battery technology is more mature and constantly improving.

Gigafactories

Work at the Gigafactory in Texas continues at a rapid rate all over the huge site, not just at the main factory building. They have constructed an electricity substation, built a huge seven-storey car park for workers, and have connected the main factory to the outbound vehicle area with a tunnel. There is a battery cathode factory, multiple new roads, and extensive landscaping and drainage all over the site.

February 2024 Update: Gigafactory Berlin reached 6,000 vehicles per week run-rate. This is how they do it. Fly-through at the Berlin Gigafactory.

April 4th 2024: Gigafactory Berlin is gearing up to produce right-hand drive vehicles for export to India.

Megapack Gigafactory Shanghai

Construction began in May on the Shanghai Megapack Gigafactory that will eventually be able to produce 10,000 Megapacks a year. Production is scheduled to begin in Q1 2025. Completion is scheduled for later in 2025.

Gigafactory Mexico

Gigafactory in Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Tesla’s planned factory near Monterrey in Nuevo Leon will be built on a site spanning almost 4,200 acres in an industrial zone. It will also be substantially larger than the Gigafactory Texas complex, which is listed by Tesla as 2,500 acres. The site is expected to produce the next generation $25,000 vehicle.

Update 18/4/2024: Tesla layoffs have not affected plans for Mexico, according to the State Secretary of Economy of Nuevo León.

Update 17/7/2024: Brian from FutureAZA visits the site of Gigafactory Mexico.

Gigafactory India

Negotiations are still going on to build a factory in India. Elon Musk postponed his visit to India, where he is expected to announce the building of a new Gigafactory. Now that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been re-elected, that visit may go ahead in a month or two.

Texas Gigafactory Layout

Joe Tegtmeyer does regular drone flyovers of the Gigafactory at Austin, Texas, with a detailed description of the work that is currently in progress. His video of 13th April 2022 provides an update on the layout of the factory. This video took a lookback at how construction began.

Performance

5th May 2023: Tesla release its updated Track Package for the Model S Plaid, increasing the maximum speed to over 200mph. The price is from $15,000 to $20,000 for ceramic brake pads, track tyres, and a set of wheels, plus software upgrades.

3rd June 2023: Model S Plaid with Track Pack sets new record at Nürburgring

26th June 2023: Unplugged Performance Model S Plug posts a time of 9:54.901 in the Pike’s Peak Hill Climb Event.

29th October 2023: Unplugged Performance Model S makes two new records at Laguna Seca. Fastest EV and fastest sedan ever with a time of 1:26.7.

Police Cars

Another perfect market for Tesla Performance cars are Police, Paramedics, and others who do a lot of mileage or need to get around fast. The Police department is talking to Tesla engineers to incorporate their radios into the software. They can securely store equipment such as computers and weapons, and allow access to medical equipment in the frunk using their mobile without leaving the victim. Boulder City Police bought a fleet of Tesla cars in August 2022. South Pasadena police bought 10 Model Y patrol vehicles in May 2023, converting its entire fleet to EVs.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have high praise for the Model Y after one year on the job. “Charging has been easy; we drive in and plug it in. The lowest an officer got the battery to was about 56 per cent. It’s nice not to have to worry about refuelling on the road.”

The Italian Police are using the Dual Motor Model X for Highway Patrol. It offer 0-100km/h acceleration in 3.9 seconds and a top speed of 262 km/h (149 mph).

Unplugged Performance announce a Cybertruck Police Car.

Safety

Tesla cars top the league tables when it comes to the safety of the occupants during a crash. They are also very good at avoiding collisions in the first place, due to standard Emergency braking, Autopilot, and (Supervised) Full Self Driving. The structure in which the occupants sit is super strong so that there is less intrusion in the case of side impacts, and the roof will support collapsed retaining walls and trees, where other vehicles will be crushed, killing or trapping the occupants. Perhaps the most remarkable case, is that of Dharmesh Patel who drove off Devil’s Slide with his wife and two children inside. Everyone survived with relatively minor injuries.

🚀 TSLA to Mars 🚀

The TSLA stock price fell from $248.42 since the beginning of 2024, but in the last few weeks it has almost recovered. The low prices this year have been a bonus for long-term investors, allowing us to add more shares at a bargain price. At market close on 19th July 2024, the price was $239.20.

Rob Maurer of Tesla Daily gives his views on how to deal with the Volatility of TSLA. He is always worth listening to, offering a well-balanced view. Rob Maurer has now moved on to another project, but his old videos are still on YouTube for reference.

If you invest for the long-term, low prices are a great opportunity to buy more shares at a bargain price. Look at the growth over at least three to five years, and study the growth in sales and production to know the true value of your investment. Think of it as a pension fund, or a college fund for your children, not as a building society savings account for holiday trips or emergencies. If you have to sell at short notice, you may lose a big slice of your investment. In a single day, the stock price can fall by 10% or more, as it did on 25/1/2024. However, it can also rise just as quickly. If in doubt, zoom out!

14.68x Growth in Five Years

June 12th 2024: ARK Invest have a price target of $2,600 for 2029, so they are clearly confident about the long-term growth of Tesla. Much of their optimism is founded on Full Self-driving and the Optimus humanoid robot.

The Competition is Coming!

SEVERAL manufacturers have released premium range electric cars that can be compared to Tesla cars. The Lucid Air Dream edition at $169,000 is more expensive than the Model S Plaid, and orders are now closed. Production targets for 2023 were reduced to 8,000-8,500, but still missed — they sold only 6,001 vehicles in 2023. Lucid lose money on every car that they sell. Ford are cutting back on battery orders after revealing that they lose $100K on every EV that they sell. Rivian has massive debts, loses $39K on every car sold. The competition is reducing production and claiming that Americans don’t want EVs. They do want EVs — the demand for Teslas is growing steadily.

Supervised Full Self-driving

  • March 7th: Regulators allow FSD in Europe. The door is now open; only time will tell if Tesla is ready to take the next step.
  • April 12th: FSD Subscription price lowered from $199 to $99 a month.
  • April 20th: The FSD purchase price was reduced from $12,000 to $8,000. Upgrading from Advanced Autopilot is now only $2,000. The aim seems to be get as many cars using it as possible to increase the training data to make it perfect as soon as possible. FSD v.12.3.5 begun rolling out to employees.
  • April 23rd: First drive with FSD v.12.3.5 by TechGeek Tesla
  • April 28th: FSD v.12.3.6 rolling out to some customers
  • April 29th: Elon Musk visited Beijing and obtained approval in principle for Supervised FSD and an agreement with autonomous driving company, Baidu.
  • May 20th: FSD v.12.4 is now rolling out to employees. There will be no more nags for the driver to keep the hands on the steering wheel, provided the car is fitted with an internal camera.
  • May 20th: Automated Vehicle Act becomes law in the UK. This paves the way for Robotaxis to operate on UK roads, just as soon as Tesla can ensure that the software is safe. Realistically, that could be by the end of 2026.
  • June 5th: FSD v 12.4.1 is now rolling out to employees.
  • June 8th: FSD v 12.4.1 rolling out to selected Beta testers.
  • July 1st: FSD v 12.4.2 rolling out to selected Beta testers.
  • July 2nd: Tesla has received the first license to test its Full Self-Driving (FSD) in China. The company is now allowed to test its software on the roads of Nanhui New Town in Shanghai.
  • July 10th: FSD v.12.4.3 rolling out to more customers.
  • July 15th: FSD v.12.5 is now being tested on the unprotected left turn that Chuck Cook has been testing near his home. Cybertruck FSD releases with 12.5, which also finally merges the city and highway code.

Model S Plaid

On June 10th 2021, Tesla held a delivery event for the Model S and X Plaid versions. The Model S Plaid was the quickest production car of any kind. (The Rimac Nivera is quicker, but it is a limited edition $2million super-car). Review by Tesla Raj.

Review of Model S Plaid by Fully Charged.

  • 0-60 in 1.99 seconds – Quicker than a Bugatti Chiron
  • Standing quarter mile in 9.23 seconds
  • Top speed 200 mph, 1020 HP
  • Lowest drag coefficient of any production car: 0.208
  • Range 390 (Plaid) – 405 miles (Long Range)
  • Charging 187 miles in 15 minutes – new battery pack
  • Carbon-sleeved rotors 20,000+ rpm delivering full power right up to 200 mph with no gearing
  • Improved heat pump 30% more efficient for cold weather range. Model S Dominates in Extreme Cold-weather Testing
  • Yoke steering with no stalks, smart gear-shift, back-seat PS5 quality entertainment and 36 watt wireless charging, three zone air-conditioning, double-glazed acoustic glass, 22 speakers 920 watts! New UI on 17″ main screen, waypoints on route-planning.
  • September 1st: Big price drops in Model S and X. Long Range S is under $75K, Plaid is under $90K. Model X is $76K and $86K respectively.
  • April 11th 2024: Model S Plaid gets new sports seats

Extreme Journey

Can a Tesla Take this Freezing Abuse?

Lars, of BestInTESLA, drives his three-year-old Tesla to the north of Norway, the land of EVs. Heading for the Arctic Circle in Winter, up and down mountains, sleeping in the car.

TeslaAsia drove two Tesla Model 3 cars to Qomolangma Base Camp of Mount Everest in Tibet at 5,200m elevation. When the hotels were full, they slept in the car, using camp mode. Even ICE cars have difficulty getting to this destination.

Can Tesla Take Extreme Heat?

Testing in United Arab Emirates at 50°C

Tesla Conquers Ford

No Sweat. The weight of EVs stops them floating in several feet of water. The battery packs and drive-train are well-sealed against water ingress. Ford Kuga ICE chokes and fails.

How deep can the Cybertruck wade?

Tesla Energy

Tesla Energy will benefit from Federal Tax Credits for Solar Roofs, Solar Panels, and Battery Storage (Power Packs), Rob Maurer reports on Tesla Daily. Many owners of Power Walls are enjoying good profits from selling energy to the grid during events at $2 per KwH. On 15/12/2022 Tesla Launched Tesla Electric for Texas. Virtual Power Plants can offer some protection from black-outs during Winter storms or Summer floods. Earnings from Tesla Energy were about $200m in Q1 2023, $300m in Q2, and $400m in Q3, so heading for $1.4 Billion in 2023.

Semi-truck

  • December 1st 2022 saw the delivery of the first Semi-trucks to Pepsi Cola.
  • In the US, heavy trucks account for 20% of vehicle emissions, and 36% of vehicle particulate emissions, so it is important for health reasons, especially for people living near highways
  • Tesla’s mission to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy
  • Three plaid motors — one is always engaged, the other two are used when needed for high torque and acceleration
  • Drive at full-speed up gradients
  • Regenerative braking down gradients is much safer than brakes that can overheat and fail
  • 2 kWh per mile efficiency. 500-mile range tested from Fremont to San Diego
  • Comfortable to drive with plenty of cabin storage
  • Version 4, 1 Megawatt charger will also be coming to the Cybertruck
  • 24th January 2023, announcement of a $3.5 Billion investment in a new Gigafactory in Nevada to build 50,000 Semi-trucks by the end of 2024.
  • Tesla Semi-trucks dominate in the Run on Less stress-testing event.
  • Large scale production put back until late 2024 due to battery constraints.
  • Semi-truck tested by Jay Leno
  • April 26th 2024 Update: Large scale production will start in late 2025, early 2026, when the new production facility is ready to manufacture them efficiently.
  • May 30th 2024: Every day, Tesla Semis transport battery packs from Giga Nevada to the Freemont Factory, a distance of about 260 miles one-way.

Cybertruck

  • 20th September 2023: Cybertruck will be used as a Police Cruiser.
  • 30th November 2023: First Cybertruck deliveries at Austin delivery event.
    • Rear-wheel steering, steer by wire (ratio dependent on speed), smaller turning circle than a Model S.
    • Bullet-proof exoskeleton
    • Bi-directional charging. Power your home during power-cuts with up to 11.5 Kw
    • 48 Volt low voltage circuit
    • Delivered 13 vehicles
    • CyberBeast = 845hp, 320m range, 0-60 = 2.6sec, 130mph top speed, 11,000lbs towing, $96,390 estimate (due in 2024)
    • Clear winner in Truck Pull Test (318ft vs 263ft for the closest rival, the Ford F-350 diesel truck)
    • All-wheel drive = 600hp, 340m range, 0-60 = 4.1sec (with rollout), 112mph top speed, 11,000lbs towing capacity, $68,890 estimate (due in 2024)
    • Rear-wheel drive 250m range, 0-60 = 6.5sec, $49,890 estimate (due in 2025)
    • Pricing includes $7,500 tax credit and fuel savings over 3 years
    • Reserve order with a $250 deposit
  • 21st December 2023: About 80 Cybertrucks at the Gigafactory, Austin ready for delivery
  • 29th December 2023: The Cybertruck has 2.2 million pre-orders, and 10,000 new orders a day since the first deliveries on the 30th November
  • 17th January 2024: Drive-train Improvements
  • 22nd January 2024: Cybertruck arrives in China
  • 16th February 2024: Cybertruck arrives in Japan
  • 22nd February 2024: Cybertruck arrives in Korea
  • Wade Mode: The Cybertruck gets into deep water
  • 23rd February 2024: Range Test beat EPA estimates with 334 miles on a full charge
  • 20th March 2024: Production ramps up; enough 4680 battery cells produced at the Texas Gigafactory to produce over a thousand Cybertrucks a week. Hundreds of Cybertrucks are waiting for shipping to customers
  • 28th April 2024: The Cybertruck is coming to Europe on a tour of many cities. Only time will tell if it will be allowed on European roads. I don’t see why not, there are plenty of other heavy domestic trucks already on the roads.

Model 3 Update

  • Available in China and EU from 1st September 2023
  • 1 inch Longer, and 1 inch less high. 0.219 drag coefficient vs 0.225 for previous Model 3
  • 10% increased range, but slightly reduced top speed due to new softer tyres.
  • 1 cubic ft more storage space
  • Two New Colours: Stealth Grey and Ultra Red
  • New steering wheel. No more stalks — controls on steering wheel, including horn on the centre and new camera button. Better haptic feedback on buttons.
  • New Headlight and Tail Lights, removed Fog Lights
  • Stronger doors with downward lock for better side impact protection
  • Improved suspension
  • New wheel rims and tyres
  • Interior LED Ambient Lighting
  • New centre console design
  • New 15.4 inch touch screen with smaller bezels, brighter and more responsive
  • 8 inch video screen for rear seat passengers with two headphone sockets
  • 17 loudspeakers instead of 14, improved microphones, and passenger-side too, for clearer phone calls
  • All-round acoustic glass and sound absorbing fabrics for 30% less noise from the road
  • Ventilated front seats and perforated rear seats
  • Separate climate controls for driver and front seat passenger
  • HEPA Filter removes 99.97% of fine particulate matter and gas pollutants (Teslarati article)
  • 65 watt USB C charging, and improved blue tooth and WiFi connectivity
  • New Tri-band GPS for more precise vehicle location.
  • Test Drive with the Fully Charged Show
  • Updated Model 3 available for order in the UK for £39,990, which is a few thousand pounds less than the previous version. Tesla is passing on savings from manufacturing costs to consumers, which more than compensates for higher interest rates that increase the cost of loans. FSD can be bought for £6,800 (about $8,265 vs $12,000 in the US. However, it cannot yet be enabled. When it can, no doubt prices will increase.
  • Upgraded Model 3 now available for ordering in N. America for delivery in February to March.
  • April 23rd 2024: Model 3 Performance available for order: £59,990, 318 mile range (WLTP), 0-60 in 2.9 seconds, 163 mph top speed, 460 HP, sport seats, adaptive suspension, track mode.

Reveal of the Robotaxi

5th April 2024: After the false rumours about the Compact Car being cancelled, Elon Musk announced the unveiling of the Robotaxi on August 8th. The compact car and the Robotaxi are different products, but will presumably share the same platform.

15th July 2024: The unveiling of the Robotaxi has been pushed back to October to allow time for significant changes.

The Next Emperor

As the Emperor was getting old, and had no children, he called together the children of all his courtiers and gave them each a seed. He told them, “Whoever grows the best flower will be the next Emperor.”
The children all took their seeds home, planted them, and watched over them carefully. The son of the chief gardener thought he had a good chance of winning, as he knew just what to do, but the weeks went by and his seed failed even to sprout. At school, the other children boasted about how well their plants were doing, but he just kept quiet.
He tried everything, changing the soil, keeping the pot warm or cool, but as the day approached for judging, he had no result at all. On the final day, when all the children had to take their flowers to show to the Emperor, he was so dissapointed and ashamed that he didn’t want to go at all. His father encouraged him, “Never mind. You have done your best. Take it anyway.” So, very reluctantly, he took his empty pot to the Emperor’s court.
When he arrived there, all of the other children had flowers and plants. He just hid his empty pot, and talked to no one. He stayed right at the back as all the other children went up to show their flowers to the Emperor. The Emperor looked at each flower in turn, but never even smiled. At last, all the children except the gardener’s son had shown their flowers, and the Emperor called him: “Come, please show me what you have grown.” Trembling with fear, thinking that everyone would laugh at him, he took his empty pot out of his bag, and covering it with his hands, took it to the Emperor.
The Emperor took one look, and smiled. “Ah! You have won the competition. You will be the next Emperor.”
The gardener’s son could not believe his ears. “Why have I won? My seed didn’t even sprout, and all the other children had beautiful flowers.”
Then the Emperor spoke to all of the children, “Before I gave out the seeds, I had them boiled. That is why they would not grow. All of you, except for the gardener’s son, threw away the seed that I gave you, and put another in its place. Only this boy was honest enough to keep trying with the seed that I gave him. Therefore he is the only one suitable to be the next Emperor.”

Time to Go Dark Green

The Buddha advised us not to regard the faults of others, the things done and not done by others, but to regard one’s own faults, the things done and not done by oneself. (Dhammapada v 50).

Ordinary people feel helpless to bring about changes by voting, demonstrating, and campaigning. In my view, such efforts are not very effective. Two years on from the Grenfell Tower Tragedy, many homes still have unsafe cladding and after many fires caused by faulty white goods there are still hundreds of thousands of homes in danger from these lethal products. It has taken four years to get action on recalling Whirlpool Tumble-driers.

The Materialistic World

That is the world we live in. It is our kamma that has driven us to inherit this mess. Human beings are driven by the desire for comfort and convenience. The so-called progress of the last fifty or a hundred years has been led by desire. If we really want to bring about a change in society, we should start where our efforts can be immediately effective, by reducing our own desires. Buddhism teaches effective methods to reduce desire to manageable levels. Our needs are easily satisfied, but wants are insatiable. Just dream, for a while, what you would buy if you won millions on the lottery. Would your desires spiral out of control, or would you delight in giving most of it away in charity?

Reducing Desire Saves Money

From a purely pragmatic point of view, reducing desire for material things is of great benefit. It is far less stressful to cut expenditure by 10% than to increase income by 10%. The free time saved by not working such long hours can be spent repairing property, growing organic vegetables, or learning new skills. If you are able to work from home a few days a week it can save the time and cost of commuting daily.

Can we Survive without Petrochemicals?

It is hard for societies to ban plastics until there are viable alternatives. The above video suggests several biodegradable plastics that could replace existing plastics. However, as it points out, care has to be taken over how it is done and producing these biodegradable plastics may affect land use and introduce new problems while solving the old ones.

Ban Plastics Wherever Possible

The tiny Pacific nation of Vanuatu has banned several forms of plastic already. More will follow. Larger nations need to implement similar bans. It is not sufficient to introduce charging for single-use plastic bags or to improve recycling. The plastic use has to be stopped at source so that it does not have to be recycled, which is costly and never even close to 100% effective.

The inspiring story of how Bali banned single-use plastics.

Himalayan Village banned single-use plastics.

Related Links

Bamboo Bikes

Classrooms from Plastic Waste

Growing Plants on Mattresses

Sugarcane Waste Plates are Better than Plastic

OpenType Kerning in FontCreator 11.5

OpenType Kerning

Older versions of FontCreator and older applications only support a kern table. However, modern fonts and modern applications use the more powerful OpenType GPOS (Glyph Positioning) kerning feature. Recent versions of FontCreator will allow you to export fonts with this legacy kern table to support older applications.

Adding an OpenType Kerning Feature

Open the OpenType Designer (Ctrl+F8). If a font has no OpenType features yet, or if you clear the existing features, the dialogue will look like this: No scripts, no features, and no lookups.

If you click on the Code Editor… button, you will be presented with this dialogue asking if you wish to add some common OpenType features to your font. Click on OK to accept the suggestion.

FontCreator will now search your font to see what glyphs it contains and add some common OpenType features with suitable lookup tables for your font.

Close the dialogue to see the folder tree listing the Features and Lookups added to the Default language.

Adding the Feature and Lookup Table

With the Default language selected, click the Big + button at the top left to add a new OpenType feature to your font.

The Kerning feature will be selected already, so just click on Finish to add it.

The kerning feature now needs a lookup table so select the kerning feature and click on the Big + button again to add a lookup table. The Pair Adjustment table will be selected already, so just click on Finish to add it.

You now have an empty Kerning feature and lookup, so you need to add some adjustment pairs to the table. Click on the Apply button at bottom right to save your changes. Repeat this regularly as you add more kerning pairs to the lookup table.

Adding Adjustment Pairs

Modern fonts may have thousands of adjustment pairs. The Professional Edition of FontCreator can automate this process with the Autokern feature. The Home Edition can greatly speed up the process by importing scripts exported from other fonts. To add adjustment pairs, click on the Big + button below the list of subtables.

This will open the New Pair Adjustment dialogue.

FontCreator supports the kerning of pairs of Glyphs, e.g. AY or pairs of kerning classes. A kerning class like @A_Caps will include A, À, Á, Â, Ã, Ä, Å, Ā, etc., while the @Y_Caps kerning class might contain Y, Ý, Ŷ, Ÿ, Ỳ, and Ỹ. Kerning classes can contain many more glyphs, but just with these few, one kerning pair of @A_Caps with @Y_Caps will generate 48 (8×6) kerning pairs. This is many times more efficient than adding individual pairs of glyphs, but for now we will skip that, and just add a few pairs for AY, AW, AV, and AT for illustration purposes.

In the New Adjustment Pair dialogue, illustrated above, select Glyphs for the type for both the first and second glyph of the pair. Type a capital A in the filter on the left, and a capital Y in the filter on the right to quickly find the A and Y glyphs. Select A and Y, and click on OK.

Click the Big + again (or use the shortcut key Insert) to add another pair, and clear the Y from the filter for the second glyph. Now you see why I started at the end of the alphabet: W will be visible in the list. Select that and click OK to add the AW pair. Repeat until done.

Adjusting the Kerning Pairs

After adding the pairs, all of the values will be zero, which is useless, so we need to adjust them using the Cursor keys on the keyboard, or by dragging the first glyph to adjust its XAdvance, or by typing in a specific value for the XAdvance. I find that using the cursor keys is the quickest method. Select the pair in the column on the left: use Shift+Left/Right cursor to adjust the spacing by 100 funits; use Left/Right cursor on its own to adjust by 10 funits, and Ctrl+Left/Right cursor to adjust the XAdvance by 1 funit.

When done, click on OK to exit the OpenType Designer and save your changes, and save your project file too with Ctrl+S.

Kerning Classes

As noted above, it is much more efficient to use class-based kerning instead of kerning individual glyph pairs. At the top of the OpenType Designer dialogue, click on the icon to Open the Class Manager. My Verajja font already includes a lot of kerning classes for Capitals, Lowercase, Small Capitals, Petite Capitals, etc.

The @Z_Caps class contains eight Z glyphs. I deleted the Z acute, then clicked on the + sign to add it back again. After typing Z in the filter, the Select Class Members dialogue shows all glyphs with z in the name, except for those that have already been added to the class. I can quickly see that Z acute is now missing, and select it for adding back.

One could also add DZ, but one has to consider what would be the effect if DZ was the second glyph in a kerning pair. For lowercase a, I have created two classes, @a_lc where the accent will not class with preceding glyphs: a, ą, æ, etc., and @a_lc_top where the accent will class with the preceding glyphs: á, à, ä, â, etc.

A pair like Ta can be kerned more tightly than a pair like Tä, so I have two separate classes.

FastStone Capture

Printscreen on Steroids

I capture screen shots dozens of time a day to illustrate replies to support questions on forums. I frequently want to annotate the screen shot to point to particular parts of the User Interface, or highlight a problem area.

FastStone Capture 9.0 is Shareware, but it is only $19.95 for a lifetime license, so there is no good reason not to register it. If you just want to try before you buy, try the old Freeware version 5.3, which has fewer features, but most of what you need on a daily basis.

It can be set to launch on starting Windows (strongly recommended). It only takes  0.2 Mbytes when not in use, and consumes no CPU cycles. When you need it, press the PrintScreen key or any of many assignable shortcuts of PrintScreen with a modifier key, e.g. Ctrl+Printscreen to capture an area. The captured are opens in the program window, from where you can save it directly, or crop or annotate it first, then save it.

The latest registered version capture video too. I use this for creating video tutorials for other software like MainType.

Detailed ReviewDownload PageFreeware Version 5.3

MainType Font Manager

Keeping Your Fonts Organised

If you publish anything, whether in print media, as PDF files, or as HTML web pages, you need to use different fonts. Most users have hundreds or thousands installed with their software that they seldom, if ever use. Windows also comes with a lot of default fonts. If you take a little time to organise your fonts, and uninstall unused fonts, the process of selecting fonts in applications will become much quicker and easier.

Choosing the Right Font

While Times New Roman may be fine for printed publications, there are many better alternatives. For web pages, it is a poor choice. Web fonts do not have to be Sans Serif, but if you want to use a Seriffed font on the web at least choose one designed for web use, like Georgia. It is much easier to read on a computer monitor than Times New Roman.

When choosing a body text font for a book, first consider if it suits the task:

  • Does it include Regular, Italic, Bold, and Bold Italic typestyles?
  • Does it support any special characters and symbols for your subject?
  • What is the age group that your book is aimed at?
  • What are the licensing restrictions?

If you leap straight in and start writing without making these decisions first, you may be making a lot of unnecessary work if you need to change the font later. Decide on the right font by the end of page 1, and stick with it. When selecting fonts for heading, notes, or pull quotes, ask yourself if they look good together.

Customisable Layouts are available in the free version. 

Customise MainType Layouts
MainType Layouts

MainType is Freeware

Since there is a freeware version of MainType available there is no good reason not to try it out for as long as you wish before deciding if you need it. The license is for Non-commercial use, so if you publish anything for sale you will need a paid-for version. The limit of 2,500 fonts is also soon reached, especially by the home user who creates greeting cards, etc., as a hobby.

Also, if you wish to produce Font Catalogues you will need a paid-for version.


 

Detailed ReviewComparison of Versions

Arranged and Forced Marriages

Arranged Marriages

It is part of the Buddhist tradition for parents to find a suitable wife for their sons. This is given as one of the duties of Parents to their sons in the Siṅgāla Sutta.

“In five ways, householder’s son, the parents ministered to as the east by a son show him compassion. They restrain him from evil, they exhort him to do good, they train him to acquire skills, they seek a suitable wife for him, they give him his inheritance when the time comes. In these five ways, householder’s son, the parents ministered to as the east by a son show him compassion. Thus the eastern direction is made secure, peaceful, and free from dangers.”

It does not mention daughters, perhaps because the discourse was given by the Buddha to a young man, but the tradition seems to be just as much that parents seek a suitable husband for their daughters. As long as the parents’ role is only advisory, and not imposed on the children, all is well. It may be a much less hazardous method than dating apps, and meeting potential mates in bars and clubs, or on holidays for young people.

Forced Marriages

Definitely, young people should not be forced into marriage against their will, and parents should support their children if they choose their own marriage partner, or choose not to get married. Forcing someone into marriage is condoning rape, and rightly illegal in the UK. Nevertheless, it is difficult for young Asian people to reject the advice of their parents due to valid cultural reasons of respect for elders, gratitude, and loyalty to one’s parents.

Ancient Brahmin Practices

It seems clear that arranged marriages were the norm in the time of the Buddha. His chief female disciple, Visākhā, had an arranged marriage with the son of Migāra, who was a supporter of the naked ascetics. However, since she was a Stream-winner, and very strong-minded, she was able to convert her father-in-law and her husband to become followers of the Buddha, so all turn out for the good.

In the Soṇa Sutta, the Buddha taught the monks about the ancient Brahmin practices, wherein men and women only married by mutual affection. No deals were made to arrange marriages without consent of the young couple.

  1. “Monks, these five ancient Brahmin practices are now practised by dogs, not by Brahmins. What five?
    “Formerly, monks, Brahmins only coupled with Brahmin women, not with non-Brahmin women. Now, monks, Brahmins couple with Brahmin women and also with non-Brahmin women. Now, monks, dogs couple only with female dogs, not with other animals. This, monks is the first ancient practice of Brahmins that is now practised by dogs, not by Brahmins.
  2. “Formerly, monks, Brahmins only coupled with Brahmin women when they were in season, not when they were not in season. Now, monks, Brahmins couple with Brahmin women when they are in season, and also when they are not in season. Now, monks, dogs only couple with female dogs when they are in season, not when they are not in season. This, monks, is the second ancient practice of Brahmins that is now practised by dogs, not by Brahmins.
  3. “Formerly, monks, Brahmins neither bought nor sold Brahmin women, they lived together and bonded to continue the family line only through mutual affection. Now, monks, Brahmins also buy and sell Brahmin women, they do not live together and bond to continue the family line only through mutual affection. Now, monks, dogs neither buy nor sell female dogs, they live together and bond to continue the family line only through mutual affection. This, monks, is the third Brahmin practice that is now practised by dogs, not by Brahmins.
  4. “Formerly, monks, Brahmins did not store up wealth, grain, silver, and gold. Now, monks, Brahmins store up wealth, grain, silver, and gold. Now, monks, dogs do not store up wealth, grain, silver, or gold. This, monks, is the fourth ancient practice of Brahmins that is now practised by dogs, not by Brahmins.
  5. “Formerly, monks, Brahmins sought food for their morning meal in the morning and for their evening meal in the evening. Now, monks, Brahmins having eaten as much as their bellies will hold, leave taking away the left-overs. Now, monks, dogs seek food for their morning meal in the morning and for their evening meal in the evening. This, monks, is the fifth ancient practice of Brahmins that is now practised by dogs, not by Brahmins.

Reference: Soṇa Sutta, A.ii.221, Book of Fives

What Are OpenType Features?

Not Just Small Capitals

penType fonts can include Decorative Capitals, which may be implemented as Stylistic Alternates, or Contextual Alternates. In my fonts, the coloured capitals are implemented as Stylistic Alternates. This Test Page shows them in use on a web page. Note that you can select the coloured glyphs in the heading. They are text, not graphics. Although browsers support OpenType Stylistic Alternates, WebPlus X8 does not, so on my test page they are inserted as Unicode characters.

Some fonts, like Palatino Linotype, which was distributed with Windows XP, have Small Capitals, but not everyone knows about them, or knows how to use them. The use of OpenType features in modern fonts is now common, and many more software applications support them — even freeware like LibreOffice.

The Serif applications, PagePlus and DrawPlus, have supported a large number of, though not all, features for many years. However, WebPlus X8 does not support them, so special characters need to be inserted from the Insert Symbol dialogue to make use of them. (See below for a test web page).

For a full list of registered features, see the Microsoft OpenType Tag Registry.

For Web Pages Too

Browsers like Firefox have supported OpenType features for years, and now most modern browsers support them. If you visit this High-Logic Test Page and enable/disable the checkboxes for OpenType features on the right, you can see the effect on the sample text.

Professional Typography

High quality fonts include glyphs designed for specific tasks. For example, although most software applications can generate superscripts from regular digits, these auto-generated glyphs may be too light in comparison to the body text. Serif PagePlus gets around this by adding a bold attribute to the small superscript digits. Thus they are about 70% of the size of regular digits, raised up, and bold. This works better in some fonts than in others.

Most fonts will have true superscripts for ¹²³, which are the correct weight and position, but only some have ⁴⁵⁶⁷⁸⁹⁰ too, and fewer still have superscript glyphs for a-z, which can be used for dates: 1st 2nd 3rd, 11th 12th 13th etc. The image below compares true superscripts for ordinals (left), with those auto-generated by PagePlus (right). Those on the right are too big, too bold, and too low.

Some OpenType features are language dependent. On the High-Logic Test Page, you can change the language code from EN (English) to NL (Netherlands) to change the fi ligature to fi.

Read More about OpenType Features