View Full Version : Alternatives to Canon Wordtank?

6th November 2000, 16:07
Hi everybody!

I'm thinking about buying something in the line of the Canon Wordtank. Does anybody around here have any experience with it or - even better - do you know of any alternatives? On the same line. Does anyone know what a Windows CE system would cost which is able to run JWPce with all neccessary dictionaries?

Thanks in advance.

7th November 2000, 13:02
Hi Joachim !
Wegen der Fairness muss ich in Englisch weitermachen.
There are definitly a lot of alternatices to the wordtank. It´is nice but not the newest thing around. Seiko, Casio and especially Sharp are on the market as well. I braught a whole bunch of catalogues from my travel to japan in september.
I got myself a "Sharp PI 8000". It is a handheld organizer with a lot of nice functions. The most important one is the dict. function. You´ve got a wa-ei and ei-wa jiten (jap-engl., engl.-jap.) a kanji dict. and a kokugojiten (somehow like the german "Duden"). The best thing is the kanji-autodetect system. You write a kanji with a plasticpen on the touchscreen and the PI can read it.
The general name for these toys is "Zaurus". There are some newer versions on the market but this depends on the telecommunication standards in japan. The dict. didn´t change so you can search for a cheeper(older) version.
Contact me privately via e-mail if you´d like some catalogues. I could send you some copies.

Bis Bald

Hope this helps

8th November 2000, 10:59
Thank you for the offer. After reading your post, I started to really look around the Internet for different models. I'm still not able to decide so if anyone else has any experience with different systems, please post it.

Thank you for the offer to send me some catalogues, but I fear my Japanese is still not good enough to understand them completely. Thanks anyway.

Harold James
8th November 2000, 22:54
I have a friend who bought a very nice electric dictionary the other day. It's the newest SonyDiscman I think. It can split the screen so you can use two dictionaries at the same time. He looked up the word "Jitte" for me and it even had an illistration of one! Way cool. It was also about 450,000 yen! Not cool... It's kind of big too. Eats batteries like I drink Diet Pepsi...

I bought my word tank five years ago. At the time it was the only thing out there really. The Sharp zarus was just too expensive. I still use my word tank and have never had a problem with it. The WT is smaller and less heavy than some of the newer ones. I saw the other day that Cannon has a new model out (at least at Akihabara- Denki town) but one can still buy the disks for the WT too.

But then again, a good old paper dictionary works just as well too and is a little cheaper.

9th November 2000, 16:57
This is a bit of a coincidence since I just recently asked practically the same question to the man who wrote the JWPce Japanese word processor program, Glenn Rosenthall. Here is the wording of my question and his answer verbatim.

My question: What is the best minicomputer to use these days for making a "Wordtank" type small hand held J-E, E-J, and kanji dictionary that could also do lots of normal computer stuff? Presumably, using your JWPce software. Something with a keyboard.
> >
Glen's answer: Depends a little on the price. I use an HP Jornada 690. This is a Windows CE machine, so it comes with scaled down versions of Word, Excel, IE, Outlook, etc. I am very pleased with my machine. It runs for around 9 hours on the standard battery (30 hours on the extended battery). The keyboard is small, but after some practice I can type about 40 word/min on it. I use it to write papers, and for reading, e-mail, and lots of stuff when I want portability. I used to read a lot of Japanese texts on my laptop machine, but the HP is so nice I just use the HP. Also like all CE machines, you press the on/off switch to turn it on and off, no waiting. So I use it for a lot of things.
> >
The CE machines have some major limitations, but they can also be very nice. The Jornada's not real cheep, and the only significant problem is the screen is hard to see in the sunlight. There is a new Jornada 720, even faster (the 690 has a 130MHz SH3, the 720 has a 206MHz StrongARM), so the price of the 690 should be coming down.
> >
I have JWPce, JFC, EDICT, ENAMDIC, CLASSICAL, (some other small dictionaries), databases, on mine and still have lots of room left over. You can also add a flash card for more storage. (end of Glenn's post)

So there is one real option to the Wordtank.

In case you're interested in information about JWPce and the older JWP both freeware Japanese word processors that run on English windows here is Glenn's home page. grosenthal@physics.ucla.edu

Another interesting page is the Monash Nihongo FTP archive. It has LOTS of Japanese free software for windows.

Michael Rogers