Set up Fcitx for Chinese and Japanese language input on Ubuntu Xenial 16.04

It was time to update to the latest Ubuntu LTS (Long Term Support) release again recently, and it turned out that setting up Fcitx wasn’t quite as simple this time around. Here is what I had to do to get it to work. [...]

Set up Fcitx for Chinese and Japanese language input on Ubuntu Trusty 14.04

After recently upgrading to Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr (LTS), I decided to give Fcitx, the default input method framework on Ubuntu’s Chinese sister project Ubuntu Kylin, a try and I was pleasantly surprised. Not only is Fcitx rock-solid and actively developed, it also offers input methods for Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and a bunch of other languages in addition to the default Chinese input methods. Here is how you get it to run on Ubuntu 14.04. [...]

Open XMPP Alternatives to Google Talk

After Google’s much-publicised decision to replace Google Talk with Hangouts and drop XMPP support in the process, many people have been looking for alternative XMPP servers that allow connecting through standards-based clients and support federation with other servers. I figured this would be a good time to list a few servers I have used and recommend. Naturally, this is only a small subset of all publicly available XMPP servers. Which is best for you pretty much depends on what you want and what you need … [...]

How to install Japanese OpenWnn input method on Android via the Android SDK

Installing a Japanese IME on Android can be a little tricky since the semi-official OpenWnn IME, which is included in Japanese Android systems, is not available on the Android Market. Sure, there are alternatives, like Simeji or various OpenWnn derivatives, but if you look carefully, you will notice that they usually do not provide their source code and list full internet access as a requirement. If you feel uncomfortable with the thought of transmitting everything you type (including passwords) to a third party, and if you prefer to keep your phone free of binary software, this tutorial is for you. The following tutorial will show you how to download and set up the Android SDK (software development kit) to pull the the original open-source OpenWnn IME from a virtual Android device… [...]

How to make Pidgin Unicode compatible

About a year ago I was looking for an alternative to the original QQ software, the biggest chat network in China. One programme I stumbled upon was LumaQQ. Recently, however, when Gaim was renamed to Pidgin, its developers re-introduced a working QQ plugin to their free and popular multi-protocol instant messenger. Pidgin is not the most friendly programme in terms of usability, though, and frequently causes problems for users who need to exchange messages in languages that don’t use Latin characters. I therefore decided to give a few hints on how to make Pidgin more equipped for this type of task.

Pidgin has been around at least as long as Trillian, another popular multi-protocol instant messenger. Trillian has not seen a new release since 2004, however, is becoming increasingly bloated and monetized. From the first “Pro” version onwards, the free version of Trillian retained only a few basic features and its users were excluded from the ability to extend their application by plugins. Both versions kept becoming more resource demanding, although the core functionality remained more or less unchanged. The reason many people use it anyhow is because the original ICQ, MSN and AOL clients are no better. ICQ is bloated, MSN suffers from limited configurability and most importantly: each programme’s interface is cluttered with advertising and other nonsense. Pidgin closes this gap by providing a simple, modular cross-platform chat application. In terms of usability it still needs to catch up, however. We will tackle the most common problems here… [...]