All the symbols you’re ever likely to need

I stumbled across the Code2000 font while typing up some revision notes which required “outline brackets” (Unicode characters 27E6 and 27E7). None of the the fonts on my computer seemed to include the symbols I needed.

If you’re ever in a similar position, you can download the font from James Kass. It includes most Unicode characters, so chances are that if a symbol exists, you’ll find it. It’s a TrueType font, which means it should work on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

Code2000 is a shareware product, which means that if you like it, you should pay the registration fee (currently $5 which works out as around £2.90) – a bargain, methinks.

Opera 9 beta now available

I’m a diehard fan of Firefox, but I’m still interested in trying out the alternatives. Opera, once a commercial product, has been free since version 8.5, and the beta version of Opera 9 is now available for download. It promises the fastest, most secure browsing experience ever, and includes several new features including widgets (small Web applications, similar to Konfabulator, Windows Vista Sidebar and the Mac OS X Dock), a built-in BitTorrent client, customisable ad blocking and more. Compatibility-wise, I’ve had no problems viewing any of my usual sites, and it does seem fairly speedy. So far, my only complaint is that the interface isn’t as light as that of Firefox, but switching the skin to Windows Native has made things a little easier on the eyes.

You can download the beta from the Opera website.

Banish spam from your blog

Akismet is free plugin which provides intelligent spam-blocking for WordPress users. Since I installed it 15 days ago,  it has successfully blocked 60 spam comments.

It’s installed by default for users of WordPress.com but if, like me, you host your own blog, it’s easy to download and install the plugin, although you’ll need to sign up for a free WordPress.com account to receive the required API key.