How to select Traditional Chinese in the Google Pinyin tool

Update (11 May 2010): Josh (in the comments below) alerted me to a shortcut to switch between traditional and simplified input, just use ctrl+shift+t to switch. Thanks Josh

I got a request from Rebecca, who found a comment that I had made about installing the Google Pinyin tool. She emailed me and asked me to show her how to change the google input method tool to Traditional Chinese. I’m chuffed someone asked so nicely. So here you go…

For those who want it go to and click on the “big blue button” to download it.

Install it the usual way. And continue when finished.

For Newer Windows

From the language bar, click the “EN”, then select “Chinese (Simplified, PRC)” to change the language.

Select "Chinese Traditional (PRC)"
Select “Chinese (Simplified, PRC)”

The Google Pinyin toolbar will appear.

Click the menu button.

Click the "Settings" Icon
Click the “Menu” Icon

Then click the settings menu item shown below.

Click on "Settings"
Click on “Settings”

Select the fifth tab then make sure the second option (for Traditional Chinese) is checked.

Select "Traditional Chinese"
Select “Traditional Chinese”

Click “Apply” to apply the changes, or “OK” to apply and exit the options page.

For Windows XP

From the language bar, click the “EN”, then select “Chinese (PRC)” to change the language.

From the language bar, select "Chinese (PRC)"

The Google language bar appears.

Right click the blue ball part of the Google bar, and select the item shown.

Select the options menu choice

Select the fourth tab.

Check the “Traditional Chinese” option.

Click “Apply” to apply the changes, or “OK” to apply and exit the options page.

Select the traditional Chinese option

All done!

All the characters that appear when using the tool should now be Traditional Chinese. The characters in all the menus and options remain in Simplified Chinese.

Rebecca, enjoy.

Giba Gorge Mountain Biking Park

This is via my friend Simon…

On Saturday I drove to take my first look at Giba Gorge MTB Park near Marion Hill (along side the N3 Toll Plaza between Hillcrest and Pinetown).

I was fortunate to enough to go out on my first exploration ride with non other than the owner, Chris. I got the full tour. Chris took me over a sampling of the parks trails. From the family level dirt roads, the smooth sweeping single track, all the way to the freshly cut technical single track with berms and switch-backs, and finally he showed me the crazy freeride run. All these trails take in the green countryside with forests, indigenous bush, grassland, rivers and three waterfalls!

The bonus is that the park is based around a thatched visitors’ center. With reception, a small bike shop and bar with light meals and good Italian coffee. Future plans include a restaurant, conference center and spa.

This might all come across like a marketing pitch, but it’s just cause I’m an MTB freak who wants to spread the word, and I’m pleased that someone with passion and vision has at long last created a quality all-in-one off-road biking venue within easy reach of Durban.

So if you are interested, it sounds really cool, something I would like to do on my next vacation, and it’s within riding distance of Westville.

Babies and needles

Quick story…

Ava went to the Chinese doctor, but on a weekday, so I couldn’t help out with Christina. She went into the doctor’s office, and the whole clinic was quite busy.

While she was in the doctor’s office, Christina started to walk around to explore. When she went to the closed curtain, the doctor told Ava that there was someone in there getting acupuncture, they usually use the outside beds but it was busy, and that she would call a nurse to help with Christina.

“She’s got my needle,” was the next thing that was heard as she pulled one of the needles out of the poor patient.

Kids are just too cute, and quick. Awww, sweet.

I’m changing jobs

How are you doing?

Starting on July 23rd, I will be doing Technical Writing instead of teaching.

This involves writing technical documents for my new company iEi. I will know more about exactly what is involved when I start.

This has been some time in the making and I have been quite unexcited by teaching recently. It was great to start off with, but I really did need to move on to something else. This kind of job is one of the few other jobs that is open to foreigners here, just because the language requirement is English, and almost all other regular jobs need Chinese. It will be interesting being in an office environment, and being in the computer industry, which is such a thriving one here.

One of the other factors that made a big difference was that a friend of mine, Paul, told me of the position at his work (he’s head of that team) and that from seeing my websites, thought I would be quite suitable for it. So my ongoing thoughts about my career, plus the offer, plus the timing (end of school semester) were too much to ignore, and there you go.

I’ll have to get used to actually working hard again. I’ll have to wear long pants, even when it’s not cold. I’ll need to get used to work in an office. I’ll have to do a BIG commute (possibly and hour ride by bicycle or motorbike, up to one and a half by bus). I’m going to have to learn a whole new skillset. But its all good, I need something to push me and make me work hard.

Chinese New Year in Southern Taiwan

Well, we are down in Tainan for the week, over the Chinese New Year, we’ve been busy seeing family and just hanging out, so actually not all that busy. Christina, being the first baby in this generation has been on the receiving end of a few red envelopes, which traditionally contain some money, which will help with her spending habits when she goes to South Africa.

It will be a busy two weeks back at work before heading off to South Africa as I have quite a few deadlines to meet, which absolutely have to be done before leaving.

Christina has been sick since the beginning of last week, with a bit of a fever and runny tummy. Quite a few restless nights have left Ava quite tired, but Christina is feeling better now, which means Ava is getting her sleep again too. I missed most of this as they were back in Tainan for the week before the holiday, while I went to back to Taipei to work for the week.

Now, in Tainan again…

Tonight we went to a restaurant, and I decided to test out my skills in paying for the meal, which is quite a big deal here. Let me explain…

It is usually known who will pay for a meal out, but you need to make a bit of a scene and try to pay for the meal anyway. You usually go to the counter and start insisting that you pay for the meal, but then the other person counters, saying you can pay for it this time, you respond by telling how they paid for it last time, and so on and so forth, until the end is reached, and in our case, Ava’s dad ended up paying for it anyway.

So, I’ll see those of you in South Africa (or those who will be going there) in a few weeks.

We’re going back to SA for a holiday in March

Pretty much everything has been planned for our trip back to South Africa.

We’ll be heading back in March next year for 3 weeks. James and Michelle’s wedding is on the 20th of March so we wanted to be there for that. It’s also the first time that Granny and Grandpa will get to see their new grandchildren.

Here’s our timetable…

Saturday, March 10th, 2007
Taipei to Hong Kong
CX451 – TPE 20:00 – HKG 21:45
Hong Kong to Johannesburg
CX749 – HKG 23:45 – JNB 06:35+1

Visit Chris in Johannesburg for the day and night.

Monday, March 12th, 2007
Johannesburg to Durban
SA543 – JNB 10:10 – DUR 11:20

Saturday, March 31st, 2007
Durban to Johannesburg
SA542 – DUR 9:40 – JNB 10:50
Johnnesburg to Hong Kong
CX748 – JNB 12:50 – HKG 07:55+1
Hong Kong to Taipei
CX450 – HKG 10:10+1 – TPE 11:55+1

That’s it for the moment, but in the meantime I would like any suggestions as to what you think we should do as tourists. We will have a little more time than we did last time, so we can probably get out and about and go see some sights.

Anyone got any particular ideas about this, I’m still thinking about it and deciding what our itinery should be. If we don’t have one I could see us going to the Pavilion (local shopping mall) a few too many times.

Hope everyone’s well and for those who are in Durban, see you in March.