- Contents -
  Q What is a personal computer?
  Q How do personal computers output Kanji?
  Q What is a font?
  Q What is a character code?
  Q How are Kanji input?
  Q Is it impossible to use characters not in the character set?
  Q Do I only need a user-defined character editor to use user-defined characters?
  Q How do I input user-defined characters with IME?
  Q Is it possible to use characters from mainframes?
  Q What is the JIS code?
  Q What is the Shift JIS code?
  Q What is Unicode?
  Q How long will it take for Unicode to become available?
  Q What is XKP?
  Q Can user-defined characters be transferred using XKP?
  Q Is it possible to use more user-defined characters than the number of character codes available?
  Q Can XKP user-defined characters be printed?

Japanese Processing Guidebook


Q What is a personal computer?

A It is a multi-purpose information device that can be used individually.

Personal computers are a cheap, small type of computer.
Personal computers are also called PCs. (We will use that term in this document.)
PCs may be small and cheap, but they are basically all-purpose devices, and can be used for a variety of purposes by changing the software. A PC is a single device that can be a word processor, a spreadsheet, a database, a terminal for a mainframe, or perhaps sometimes a tool for relaxing after work with a game or two.
This point - its wide applicability - makes the PC greatly different from products such as specialized wordprocessors or electronic notebooks, which only have certain pre-defined functions.
The performance of PCs is inferior to that of traditional mainframes. However, while mainframes are designed to be used by several users at once, PCs are based on the premise that each user has one PC for their personal use; this means that the processing power available per user is far higher for PCs.
However, when handling data that is shared between several users, because processing from those users will be concentrated on one machine, in some cases PCs may lack sufficient performance. In such cases, mainframe computers are often used. Thus, it is difficult to say which of the two is superior; the decision to use a PC or a mainframe should be made based on the objective.
However, because PCs and mainframes were developed from completely different cultures, their standards do not always agree. Thus, a variety of problems appear when trying to make them work together. One of the topics of this document is in explaining the disparities between them and giving solutions to those problems.