What's new

Bilingual computers

Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Messages
19
Since I have had quite a bit of experience with this, and even got published, once (on this subject) in the magazine, Computing Japan, I thought others might want to share in the problem of using Japanese on a predominantly English (or other non-Eastern language) computer.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has still not provided us with a complete solution. Windows 2000 Pro gets closer. I have installed this OS on my PC, and can install, from the installation disk, the Japanese language components, load the driver for my Japanese keyboard, install IME, and switch between English and Japanese anytime I wish. Even MS Word, Excel, Power Point, etc. will accept Japanese fonts.

However, there is one significant limitation: Windows 2000 does not provide for a Japanese SYSTEM font. This becomes apparent if you try to install and run a uniquely Japanese software program. So, for example, I cannot run my favorite Nengajou Card program, Fudeh, on Windows 2000.

I want to be able to readily switch between the languages within one OS. I finally found a solution; or at least a partial solution. It's called VMWare. This is a software package that allows one to run another OS (like Windows 98/Japan) in a window within the Windows 2000 OS. I can open that VMWare window, open my Japanese Eudora, and allow it to collect all my email, including the ones from my friends in Japan.

Has anyone found another solution?

Regards,
Tachi
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2002
Messages
1,571
Ratings
12
I hate to say it but Mac folks can run mulitple systems on their comput since OS 7 (probably OS 6 too).

Currently I run OSX and slowly lot's of applications allow language change within the program itself now. Of course, not all programs allow this but Japanese - Chinese - Korean - Arabic and what not all fit nice and neat into OSX.

1 key combination and I can rotate through any language I have installed. And the programs that support the built-in language function of OSX is just a setting away.

I do have to admit that Apple was never very good on providing an in-depth kanji database. I mean that slightly difficult names might not show and you have to go scrolling through the drop down for the right kanji.

But overall I must say Apple is definetly worth while to look at for multi-system multi-language.

It helps though to have a kana keyboard but the space bar is drastically smaller than a regular US keyboard.
 
Joined
Apr 12, 2002
Messages
19
When I worked in Japan, I was an engineering manager for a US company trying to sell commercial (large) printers in Japan. One of the biggest problems was the fact that the Japanese fonts (double byte) and the associated challenges in the software programs that must use them, were not well understood in the West. They didn't need them, so never addressed the problem. I still am amazed at how much I learned in my first 6 months of exposure to that issue, even before I moved there and started living with the issue every day! The history of the Apple and the PC, and IBM DOS, etc. in Japan is interesting, to those who are into that sort of thing. It is no wonder that Japan was predominantly an Apple based country, until the demand for PC-based applications started forcing everyone to change to the PC. That was not an easy transition. And the NEC computer complicated things, too.

I agree, the MAC does provide some facility over the PC, as you pointed out. I can now run multiple OS's, too, on the PC. But what I would really prefer is a system that will run ALL of the languages I want to use, without having to do something special. Windows 2000 is close, but it is missing the SYSTEM font choices. Yet, I can buy the Japanese version of Windows 2000, and get the Japanese system fonts. So, why not include them in the "standard" version?

Believe it or not, when I first installed Windows 2000, the Microsoft tech types could not tell me how to install my Japanese keyboard. I ended up figuring it out myself, and telling them. This is really not so remarkable, again, when you realize that the Americans (the West, in general), simply do not even THINK about double-byte fonts, because it is not important to the West.

There are still some things that need to change to make this world smaller.....

Regards,
Tachi
 
Joined
Apr 15, 2002
Messages
1,571
Ratings
12
hmmm ... that's why I mentioned Apple.

OSX is basically BSD through NEXT.

A language installation is a just an install away. Nothing to it and many software packages are starting to "really" allow multi-lingual usage. ie Netscape and Apple products and Adobe. >>> go to a menu and change setting either instant change or a simple application restart.

Running multiple versions of the same browser in OS 9 was sooo easy, I haven't tried OSX yet but I'm sure it's just a simple preference change.

NEC -- is hated by any experienced PC user in Japan. NEC is worse than Apple when it comes to properietary products. For the longest time only NEC certified parts could be used, lest software including windows.

double font problems are also probably due to many standards that exist. I can't claim any true knowledge of the intricases involved but with at least 5 or 6 major standards with almost all out-dated no wonder problems exist. hehe, Apple is involved here to trying to clean up things if not just for personal use.

XP ... just started recently at work to play with is pretty decent and I like it much more than any of the windows systems but ... hmmm I need more experience on it before I comment.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2004
Messages
1
Originally posted by Tachi

Believe it or not, when I first installed Windows 2000, the Microsoft tech types could not tell me how to install my Japanese keyboard. I ended up figuring it out myself, and telling them. This is really not so remarkable, again, when you realize that the Americans (the West, in general), simply do not even THINK about double-byte fonts, because it is not important to the West.

There are still some things that need to change to make this world smaller.....

Regards,
Tachi
Hi, konnichiha, Tachisan and everyone else.I have just bought a japense keyboard and want to use it to write japanese on my windows 2000-computer. I can write in japanese with this and the older keyboard but I cant get the extra "japanese" keys to work. Can anyone help?
Leif/reifu
 
Top