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Ěs Hardware Monolingual?


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#1
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Hi all,

I live in Japan but don't speak Japanese. I need to buy a new desktop, and it can't be a Mac, but almost all computers in Japan come with a Japanese OS, which I want to avoid.

According to the salespeople in most of the stores, I have two options: either buy from a limited number of more expensive duty-free computers, which almost never go on sale, or suck it up and buy one with a Japanese OS. I asked if I could just insert my old Windows XP disc into a Japanese OS machine and they told me that THEIR JAPANESE COMPUTERS COULD ONLY RUN ON JAPANESE OS. I don't know much but this sounds like crap to me, but before I spend $1,000 or so on a new computer, I want to know for sure that I can convert it to English.

I should add that I have had bad information from these guys before: every time I buy a peripheral I ask them if it will run on my English OS and the best they can give me is "Probably, but we won't guarantee it and we won't cover it under the warranty if you try." It always works, because interoperability is key in this industry, but they never give me a straight "Yes." The only people who have said "Yes, you can install your English OS on our machine" are the ones who sell PCs without any OS. Do I need to go with an OS-less machine?

Thanks for your help,
D
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#2
Neil Jones

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Hardware doesn't talk any language. Data is typically shifted around in binary code. The language issues are purely cosmetic and the hardware will never know anyway. There is no such thing as a Japanese OS, rather it means Windows is set up by default in Japanese. If you sell a computer in Japan the odds are the people who buy it will speak Japanese. The same argument would apply in China, Mongolia or any other country on the planet - a system would most likely default to the native language if it was pre-installed. If you install it yourself and then tell Windows you live in Japan, it'll start talking Japanese. If you tell it you live in America, it'll talk English.

Warranties are usually only valid on the hardware so putting software on it shouldn't affect anything. But Windows works in the same way whatever language it's talking. If you've used these people before and they've given you so duff advice before, with all due respect why are you still using them? :)
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#3
shard92

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A slight disagreement with Neil Jones but only on the no Japanese windows there actually is.... It's not just a windows installation switched to windows but ... You shouldn't have any problem putting regular windows on them however with the possible exception of finding proper drivers... I have not heard of no real issues putting Japanese windows on a computer sold here..... and I've had a few people install it ( I don't speak/read Japanese ) and I have also installed Japanese fonts on a regular version of windows so that the operator could read some of the stuff in Japanese.
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#4
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If you've used these people before and they've given you so duff advice before, with all due respect why are you still using them? :)


It's a sellers market - there aren't that many options for those of us too ignorant to read japanese, and I'll put up with some duff for a lower price.

So yes, there is such a thing as a Japanese OS, at least according to the packaging - in addition to all those helpful error messages, there is the larger issue of double-byte characters (needed to handle the Chinese characters). Some software defaults to Japanese if you tell them you live in Japan, which is just not helpful, but this seems to be different.

Thanks also to Shard. I've never installed an OS before; it came pre-installed on my previous 2 computers. However, I would assume that it just says something along the lines of "Do you wanna install this?" and then runs. If that's the case, can I assume that I can replace Japanese WIndows Vista with English XP pretty much just by putting in a disc?

Cheers,
D
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#5
shard92

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More or less... again like I said the biggest issue will be whether or not you can find drivers that will work for the os you install....
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#6
shard92

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More or less... again like I said the biggest issue will be whether or not you can find drivers that will work for the os you install....
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