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The dreaded question marks


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I'm on a computer running Win2k at work, for which I'd like to enable full Chinese support. It's suffering from a strange mix of being able to display and not being able to display Chinese characters:

* Firefox, IE: no problem.

* Microsoft Word: no problem.

* Notepad: I changed the font, and now no problem.

* Irfanview: installed the Chinese language package, and now menus are in Chinese but all text on tabs and in dialogue boxes is question marks.

* Any Chinese apps: forget about it.

I'm not familiar with the ins and outs of Windows (oh, but ask me about Linux!) so I'm not sure how to go about getting full Chinese support on this computer. Two caveats: I can't go about hacking this thing to bits because it's a work computer, and I don't have admin access so I have to go to the IT office to change anything that has been locked down. I'd like a solution that is as non-invasive as possible: replacing a DLL, changing some settings, and the like.

Any tips or hints would be greatly appreciated. Explanations of how Windows handles encodings (code pages?) in simple language would also be appreciated.

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Did you change the default character encoding for non-unicode applications to "simplified chinese"? It sounds like that's probably your problem.

Also check out Microsoft AppLocale which lets you run individual applications with the default encoding set to whatever you want on a per-application basis. To accomplish this I think it patches running memory or something and this causes certain applications with integrity checks (for copy protection or anti-virus purposes) like 五筆快打 to fail to run. Anyway, search for it on M$'s web site. (It's free.)

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