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29 To have Greek characters in my computer - PCs




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This article is from the Greece FAQ, by Nikolaos (Nick) C. Fotis, nfotis@theseas.ntua.gr with numerous contributions by others.

29 To have Greek characters in my computer - PCs


[ The following information applies for AT-like PCs. For PS/2s, things
are somewhat different, but I don't know many details -- nfotis ]

For english in GENERAL, you will have either a software or hardware solution:

For Monochrome, Hercules, and CGA your only hope is a Greek Chip Character
Generator. It is usually supplied by the Greek PC vendors. If you buy the
PC elsewhere (i.e. in the US) and bring it to Greece, tough.

For EGA/VGA, there are plenty of user-defined fonts around. In Greece,
your vendor will typically supply with one, or there are free versions.
All it really is is the software version of the Character Chip.

In either case, the Greek Characters take over the high bytes (128+)
of the extended ASCII set the PC uses and replace the funny symbols
umlauts, funny puncuation, etc) with Greek letters. In the first case it
is done in hardware, second in software. Then there is a TSR program loaded
at boot time that switches (i.e. ALT-SHIFT toggles between the two.
This program is also supplied by the vendor.

A third SLOW case for CGA/Herc machines is to use SOFT fonts, i.e. characters
done in graphics mode. Extremely slow but inexpensive. A good Shareware
Greek word processor works that way. Details below.

This way you get to type greek to programs like text editors. When the text
is saved (extended or 8 bit text) you'll see the funny characters that
Greek is represented by.

Same deal with printers, i.e. the PRINTER character chip will have the extended
ascii set to include Greek. So when you print a file using DOS print, it will
come uat handle soft (downloadable) fonts,
can download the fonts and then you print as usual.

A good word processor for Greek (and many other non english languages) is
INTEXT12. It can be found at various US ftp sites (oak.oakland.edu under
editors directory). Accepts the common denominator (herc/cga) and uses soft
fonts. Works OK for things like letters etc though I would not try anything
like a college thesis with it.

Commercial systems:
For more $$$, you can buy NOTA BENE (i believe) which has a very good Greek
mode for $500 or so. Several small vendors advertise Greek WP systems typically
in the back of, say, PC Magazine or Byte. Prices are in the $150-$500 range.
Also, the WordPerfect distributor here has made a Greek version of the software
and the manuals. PCwrite also does works well with Greek letters.

 

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