Tuesday, July 15, 2008

How make your Nokia N Series phone display Chinese fonts correctly!

Several months ago, I bought this Nokia N82 from Amazon.

It's a great cell phone that comes with everything I need: a 5MP camera with real flash, WiFi capability, 3.5G data speed and fulll MS Exchange support. Okay! Almost everything I need! It doesn't display Chinese characters in my mom's emails!

So instead of taking my cellphone to a shop and pay $50 to replace it with Chinese version software, the savvy geek went online and found a solution. Since N82 is a smart phone based on Symbian 9 / S60v3 platform, it's like a mini computer and therefore is very easy to customize. It only requires a piece of software that tells the system to load an alternative font and then the actual font file itself.

The software I found is called FontRouter LT, developed by Oasis Feng. The latest version is Build20071109 (click here to download), which is "Open Signed." (Having open signed is very important for software you wish to install onto S60 and we'll get to that later!)

The font file I'm using is Microsoft YaHei that came with my Vista. If don't have it, you can download it from Microsoft's website directly . FontRouter really works with almost any font file (*.ttf) you prefer to use. So theoratically, this method can also help you display Japanese, Korean or other Asian languages correctly if your S60 cell phone doesn't support them, even though I haven't tried it.

(Before you start, it is recommended that you back up all your important data using PC Suite.)

Now, there are only 4 easy steps to install:
1. "Sign" your FontRouter software:
  • Go to Symbian Signed
  • Fill in your IMEI, Email and select the FontRouterLTxxx.sis file from your computer
    (To get your IMEI, type "*#06#" on your cell phone)
  • Check your email and click on the verification link
  • Check your email again in 2-3 mins and you should receive a link to a signed FontRouterxxx.sis
  • Download and save the file
2. Installed the signed FontRouterxxx.sis
  • Use USB Cable (or Bluetooth) to connect to your cellphone, under PC Suite Mode
  • Use Nokia PC Suite to install the signed FontRouterxxx.sis to your cell phone
  • Remember to select memory card when choosing location
3. Loading the font file
  • Copy font file you wish to use from [Control Panel > Fonts] to cellphone's [E:\DATA\FONTS\]
4. Restart your cell phone and Chinese characters should be displayed correctly from now on:
  • It takes a bit longer to restart so be patient!
See! That's easy and cost nothing! Enjoy! Feel free to let me know if you have any problems or questions installing the software! Now some info for more advanced users:

What if my cell phone fails to start?
Remove battery and memory card and restart it. Then remove FontRouterxxx.ini from E:\DATA\FONTS. Your phone should be able to restart.

How come I can no longer connect to PC using data mode?
Because you're using a font file that is stored in memory card. Therefore, memory card can't be modified. To solve this, move your font file from E:\DATA\FONTS to C:\DATA\FONTS and restard your cellphone.

What's with this Open Signed thing?
To ensure software installed is 100% compatible with your cellphone, the developers have to attain a verification from Symbian. Therefore, it used to be a hassle to install an unsigned 3rd-party software as you'll need to register as a developer yourself and sign the unsigned 3rd-party software for yourself. Symbian started this Open Signed program earlier this year so that independent developers can "open sign" their software so that all you need to do is enter your IMEI and Email to final verify it, which is so much easier to users!

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