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 Russian  Support  for  Windows-9x

This text is based on the Russify Everything which presents the topic of Russian language support in a much wider perspective.  I would like to recommend reading it in order to get a better understanding of computer Rusification issues.

What follows is a short instruction which I use for installing Russian support after reinstallation of Windows-9x (which occasionally happens, alas).  It covers briefly all essential aspects of to enabling work with Russian texts:

  • Installation of Cyrillic Fonts and standard Cyrillic Keyboard for Windows-9x.
  • Installation of Phonetic Cyrillic Keyboard in place of standard one.
  • Installation of Cyrillic Fonts for Netscape Navigator.
  • Usage of Cyrillic Fonts with Windows Wordpad.
  • Conversion of Cyrillic texts from one encoding into another.

To install Russian language support (Cyrillic Fonts and standard Cyrillic Keyboard) for Windows-9x do the following:

  • Start from the Desktop.
  • Select My Computer icon.
  • Select Control Panel icon.
  • Install Cyrillic Fonts:
    • Select Add/Remove Programs icon.
    • Click Windows Setup tab.
    • Choose Multilanguage Support line from "Components" list.
    • Click Details button.
    • Check Cyrillic Language Support box.
    • Click OK button.
    • Click OK button.
  • Install Cyrillic Keyboard:
    • Select Keyboard icon.
    • Select Language tab.
    • Click Add... button.
    • Pull down Language list.
    • Choose Russian line.
    • Click OK button.
    • Click Ctrl+Shift radio button.
    • Check Enable indicator on taskbar box.
    • Click OK button.
  • Close everything and reboot your PC (don't reboot, if you want Phonetic keyboard).

Now Windows-9x Russian language support is installed and Current Language indicator is in the tray.  Language can be changed by hitting [Ctrl]+[Shift] or by clicking Current Language Indicator and choosing from a pop-up list.

However, the keyboard which gets installed has a standard Russian typewriter layout.  Being quite a poor typist, I prefer a phonetic keyboard which is much more intuitive and easier to handle.  I've got the keyboard layout file from Russify Everything. To install phonetic keyboard do the following:

  • Download KBDRU-PH.EXE phonetic keyboard file.  Save it right to WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory (folder).
  • Open MS DOS Prompt, change directory (folder) to WINDOWS\SYSTEM and enter KBDRU-PH command.  After command execution close MS DOS Prompt.
  • Open WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory (folder) with your file manager.
  • Delete KBDRU-PH.EXE file (it is no longer needed).
  • Rename KBDRU.KBD file into KBDRU-ST.KBD (to reserve standard file).
  • Copy KBDRU-PH.KBD file to KBDRU.KBD (to substitute standard file and keep source - just in case...).
    Alternatively you can delete
    KBDRU.KBD file and then rename KBDRU-PH.KBD file into KBDRU.KBD.
  • Close everything and reboot your PC.

Note:  Those seemingly excessive manoeuvres of downloading self-extracting ZIP of 15Kb+ only to obtain from it one file of 800b are unfortunately necessary to ensure that KBDRU-PH.KBD has always correct length of exactly 800 bytes.

To use Russian with Netscape Navigator first install Russian support for Windows-9x as described above and then do the following:

  • Start Netscape Navigator.
  • Click Edit button.
  • Select Preferences from a pull-down list.
  • Open Appearance.
  • Choose Cyrillic from "For the Encoding" list.
  • Choose Times New Roman Cyr from "Variable Width Font" list.
  • Choose Courier New Cyr from "Fixed Width Font" list.
  • Open Mail & Groups.
  • Select Messages.
  • Uncheck By default, send HTML messages box.
  • Click OK button.

To check installation of Russian to Netscape Navigator have a look at Russian phonetic keyboard layout and send E-mail with Russian text to yourself (you should get it right).

Windows Wordpad seems to be the most accessible tool for working with Russian texts (creating new and editing existing).  To use Russian with Wordpad do the following:

  • Start Wordpad (normally:  Programs - Accessories - Wordpad).
    Better yet create a shortcut to Wordpad in the
    Start menu.
  • Make sure that Format bar is always displayed (View - make Format bar checked).
  • If you are editing existing text, you have to format entire text as Cyrillic:
    • Open text file (hit [Ctrl]+[O] and select necessary file).
    • Select entire text by [Ctrl]+[A] or thru menu.
  • Pull down font list of the Format bar.
  • Select Courier New (Cyrillic), or Times New Roman (Cyrillic), or any other .  .  .  (Cyrillic) font line.
  • Switch keyboard as necessary to Ru (use [Ctrl]+[Shift] or mouse) or En as you type your text.
  • If you are working with a mixed language text, watch language indicator as you are typing.  Cursor movements can cause language to switch back and forth between Ru and En.
  • It is also important for mixed language text to watch what you are typing.  If junk gets displayed when you type in Ru mode, switch to En and then back to Ru to restore Cyrillic.
  • When done with text creation or editing, save changes as a Text Document.

Sometimes it is necessary to convert Cyrillic text from one encoding into another. There are several conversion programs around and all of them do a good conversion job.  I am using CVT32 which I've got from Russify Everything. To install this conversion program do the following:

  • Create directory (folder) CVT32 on your Windows hard disk.
  • Download CVT32ZIP.EXE conversion program file.  Save it to CVT32 directory (folder).
  • Open MS DOS Prompt, change directory (folder) to CVT32 and enter CVT32ZIP command.  After command execution close MS DOS Prompt.
  • CVT32ZIP.EXE file is no longer needed and may be deleted.
  • To start conversion program run CVT32.EXE or create a shortcut to CVT32 in the Start menu or in Programs folder.

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