It IS possible to read Chinese, Thai, Japanese, etc. SMS, Websites and Email on your English Smartphone. No additional software needed! No software is even needed to load new fonts into the Smartphone 2003! (MrMagoo's great font changer software used to be the only way to do this, but is no longer necessary.)
!!! Disclaimer WARNING !!! These instructions involve editing the registry of your Smartphone, potentially making it non-bootable, and the only way to recover might be a hard reset or ROM update.
The best part is, all this information is readily available from Microsoft. Instructions / Here is how to do it:
1. Change the directory where fonts are loaded from:
I changed the path to the /Storage/windows/Fonts folder.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT try to use your Storage Card for this. I tried, and the phone would not boot after that. Also MAKE SURE you have a font in that directory! At least copy the nina and ninab fonts there first. If the folder path does not exist, or there are no font files in there, your Smartphone might not be able to boot next time round...
2. Now, choose a new system font if you want, and copy that font to the new font directory specified in step 1. I used Tahoma because it has a wider range of characters (including Thai). Change your system font using this procedure:
I changed only the sysfnt (not the others) to Tahoma. This is enough to read contents of mails, etc.
3. Choose your language font. Copy the font to the font folder in step 1. Enable font linking and link the font to your system font. The detailed procedure is here, example for Traditional Chinese, using the PMingLiu font:
MSDN also provides examples for Japanese, Korean and Simplified Chinese.
THATS IT! Reboot and you are good to go.
Some things I noted:
1. Actually, you can change the linked font to anything you want (I am now using the huge Arial Unicode MS which supports most languages.) The only limitation would be the size of these fonts (Arial Unicode MS is more than 20MB!).
2. I used rapiconfig.exe to make the registry changes. To add the FontLinkMethods value, use this:
Note that the datatype="integer".
3. In case you mess up and added the wrong key/value to the registry, you can remove the key/value using rapiconfig.exe also, but adding a "no" in front of the parameter... example if I want to remove the FontLinkMethods value:
4. MSDN also mentions a new type of font file - .AC3 (Agfa Compressed fonts) which are much smaller in size! But I cannot seem to find these fonts anywhere. Anybody who knows where to get these AC3 fonts?
5. I am using an O2 Xphone with the Orange E200 ROM.
Good luck and cheers to all Smartphone users! - Rodney