Friday, June 22, 2007

How to work in Unicode Hindi at Cyber Café's Windows 98 PCs

Due to many unforeseen reasons, in India, almost all Cyber Café still use Windows 98 extensively.

By default, Windows 98 does not support Unicode Hindi. That is why, you simply cannot work with Unicode Hindi in Windows 98 without arranging some extra tools and applications - and that is real difficult for a user using Windows 98 computer at Cyber Café.

Now with some beautiful online Unicode Editing tool, you can work with Unicode Hindi in Windows 98 computers without much pain. Here is step by step guide for you to how to do this:

First step - Download this ready to install this Unicode Hindi Font from BBC Hindi site. This is free Unicode Hindi font provided by BBC Hindi. This file is in exe format, that you can install by double clicking on it. You can install this through your browser also - as described in this picture -

Now reboot your computer.

Your Windows 98 computer is ready to show you Unicode Hindi. If you browse any Hindi site such as this - then you can be able to see Hindi in your browser.

Now the Big question is - How to type in Unicode Hindi. This, again is very easy. Here is how -

Second Step - To type Unicode Hindi, you need to use Online Hindi Keyboard. Online keyboard are best and easiest way to type Unicode Hindi on Windows 98 computers at Cyber Café. You do not need to install any thing and no extra settings required.

There are many Online Hindi Keyboard available as of now, but online keyboards built by Raman Kaul are intuitive, really usable and best and easiest in my opinion. They work in most browser and do not need Java or Flash. More over, you can get FOUR keyboard options here - namely, Phonetic, Inscript, Shusha and Remington. You can get another online Hindi keyboard based on KrutiDev and Devlys fonts here that also works well which you can also use if you are fluent in these fonts.

Now you can use Hindi matter that you have typed in any of theses Online Hindi Keyboard. Just use copy and paste among different Browser windows .

Remember, you can use typed Unicode Hindi matter on Windows 98 only for online applications that supports Unicode - such as writing and publishing Blog, writing and publishing Comments on blog posts, Sending email and storing your documents online. If you try to save your contents in local Windows 98 PC with local, non-unicode compliant application,, then your data may get corrupt. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that use online storage facility and applications only in such situations.

Third Step (Optional) - At most Cyber Café, you will find only the default browser - Internet Explorer 5 that is supplied with Windows 98. This browser is old, obsolete, very insecure and does not have facility like tabbed browsing. To get advanced facilities and to secure your browsing, You must use either Opera or Firefox. You can download and install Firefox or Opera easily as these were about 5 MB in size and installs in Windows 98 computers without any hassle. Hindi may not look well in Opera or Firefox, but then it remain usable any how and are more secure too.

I have used theses methods to write this blog from a Windows 98 PC from a Cyber Café.

So, next time when you encounter with a PC with Windows 98 whether at Cyber Café or at your friend's place, please do not make gestures and simply follow these steps to read and write Unicode Hindi.

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(picture courtesy : BBC Hindi)

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1 comment:

Red Bird said...

Windows 98 is very old and insecure.. why don't they use Linux instead?

You forgot to mention that Cyber Cafe's users can bring their OS with them in their flash memory stick, unless the computers don't serve the booting from the USB drive..

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