Chinese Email/Mac OS X/Mail.app/

乱码的

If you’re a Mac users that deals with Chinese, you’ll probably frequently run into:

1) People sending you emails that are turned into gibberish 2) You sending emails to others that are turned into gibberish

As soon as cracked copies of Vista start being sold in Shanghai (maybe already, just haven’t looked), Chinese folks will start upgrading and will thereby start using Unicode. But, in the mean time we still live in a world of “code pages“… Basically, the binary representing for the letter “A” could be different depending on the country you live in. So when you transmit files from one country to another (our one language to another), you frequently run into encoding issues.

Most web browsers and email programs have a menu buried somewhere to allow the user to change the current encoding, though most users don’t know how to do so… There’s also a utility called “iconv” that can help you switch between most encodings, but it’s move of a programmer thing…

So, bottom line, if you’re on Mac OS X and want to work with Mainland Chinese folks, you should open up your Terminal.app (under Applications/Utilities) and just paste in the following lines:

defaults write com.apple.mail NSPreferredMailCharset “UTF-8”

defaults write com.apple.mail NSPreferredMailCharset “GBK”

That’s it. Done and done. And yes, even the ocossional business traveler to China should do this because your Chinese contacts should send you their address – of course that address is in Chinese – so if you expect the cab driver or anyone else to help you find that address, you’ve better print it up right. This will help.

(Yes, I realize the extra setting to UTF-8 and then switching to GBK seems superfluous, but I believe it’s a work around for a bug… More info here…)

There is an article about this on the Apple site, and discussion board, but their suggested encoding is wrong. It should be GBK, not GB.

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

<

p>

<

p>

<

p>

<

p>

<

p>

2 thoughts on “Chinese Email/Mac OS X/Mail.app/”

  1. I’ve never found typing inside a psssword was that much of an hassle. Check the signal indicator with tthe top from the screen, if you will find no bars or a ‘No Service’ indicator try waiting ten minutes or move to a new location prior to thee service returns and also the ‘E’ is seen next to yiur signal bars. It would make you worry if you think about any of this particular innovative technological know-how not existing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *