With reference to inputting chinese characters I have similar issues within
handling Japanese. My two solutions are either use Internet Explorer (if you
have a windows machine) and use their add on extensions (download 5.5 and look
at the extra options during download setup) or use emacs with MULE. Obviously
there are limitations with the emacs method with what you can and can not edit.

Some distributions of Linux will allow you to setup your environment in both
Japanese and English and toggle between the. I think the same is true for
Chinese. Try Kondara at http://www.kondara.com - I saw a demo of their new
version at the Linux Expo which seemed to work well. Apart from playing with a
Japanese distribution for fun I haven't done any serious work with these.

Note that if you ever want to start storing your characters in external
databases you will need to make sure that it can handle your encoding as well.
MySQL has to be compiled with a certain config flag and I believe the same is
true with Postgres. Otherwise strange things will happen :-)


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