Viewing Chinese on your PC
This website is encoded in unicode (utf-8). When viewed with the correct encoding and a suitable font, you should be able to see Chinese characters and English text in non-blocky truetype fonts. Additionally, on the forums, if someone posts Japanese, simplified Chinese. Traditional Chinese or anything else, you should be able to see the correct characters (provided you have the relevant fonts installed).
This is how the Flashcards pages look using the Opera 6 web browser.
This website displays Chinese in unicode utf-8 format, so any device you have will need to support this encoding. Ideally, set your browser's encoding to "auto-detect" but if you don't have this option, choose unicode (utf-8).
Even if you have the correct encoding set, you will need at least one font containing Chinese characters. Please see Chinese Fonts for more information.
Windows Users General
You should be able to view this site using any Windows OS from Win95 upwards. Windows 2000 or later is better as the whole operating system uses unicode by default, which may save you some headaches.
Basically, from a bare Windows XP install, you just need to copy a suitable font such as Arial Unicode into your Windows / Fonts folder and then you shuld see Chinese as soon as you browse to this site. It really is that simple (but you need to find the font!).
For older (non-unicode) Chinese encodings, the most common software for viewing and editing Chinese on Windows is probably NJ Star. Read more about it here. In the bad old days, simplified Chinese was commonly encoded as GB and traditional Chinese was encoded as Big5. There are still many legacy pages encoded in these formats, but people are gradually seeing the light and using unicode.
Windows Users (Firefox web browser)
I use Firefox as it is fast, reliable and has hundreds of free extensions to help me use the Internet more effectively. Set the encoding using the View->Character Encoding menu.
Windows Users (Opera web browser)
Opera is what I used to use when this site first started. Set your View->Encoding menu to "Auto-Detect" and, provided you have a Chinese font installed, all the pages should work beautifully. See the Internet Explorer section below for advice on installing a Chinese font.
Windows Users (M$ Internet Explorer)
If you just want to view Chinese on your PC, you don't need any additional software. You will need to add Traditional Chinese support to your version of Windows though. You will need your original Win
If your computer is not set up to view Chinese fonts
you may be given the option to install a foreign language pack when you
first view this site. If you saw this message but chose
"Cancel" then you can try reloading the page (press
"refresh" or "reload" whilst pressing the
"Shift" or "Control" keys. You may need your
original Windows disk to install the Chinese font pack. The
recommended Windows font for viewing this website is MingLiu as it shows the full traditional
characters. MSSong and MSHei are also chinese fonts but they are
Windows Users (Netscape)
Sorry, no help available yet. Try the Tech Talk forum.
There are a fair number of visitors here that use Linux, search the Tech Talk forum for more information. Using Suse Linux I haven't needed to do anything to view Chinese on the site. If you are using Linux without problems please consider posting anyway, we like hearing from Linux geeks!
Some Mac users have reported problems using the Safari web browser, especially when trying to type in the chatroom. Best results seem to be gained from using the free Mozilla browser for Mac. There are a lot of posts about Macs in the Tech Talk forum - use the search feature!
Related Link: Macintosh Software Links
WinCE, Pocket PC Users (Pocket Explorer, Mazingo)
Before you start you must have some way of viewing chinese language encoded webpages on your PPC. You can download the excellent CE-Star from http://www.ce-star.com/ As an added bonus, you get a chinese handwriting recognition program (Penpower) with this download which is invaluable for teaching the correct stroke order of the characters.
I would also recommend copying the traditional chinese MingLiu font to your PPC's Windows/Fonts directory. The best way to get this font if you are a Windows user is to download the traditional chinese language pack from Microsoft as described above.
Finally, you might need to change the default character set in Pocket Explorer to : Chinese Traditional (Big5) You do this in Pocket PC 2002 by choosing the following menu items: tools->options->advanced->default character set.
I regularly browse this site, the forums and the chatroom using Pocket Explorer 2003 on an Ipaq 2210.
Related Link: Pocket PC Software Links
We have palm users accessing the forums too. Problems were reported when we changed from Big5 encoding to Unicode, although this should only really affect older devices running older software.
If you can't view the chinese characters within these pages please post in the Tech Talk forum and someone should be able to help you fairly quickly.
Another useful resource is at the Chinese Computing Website.