I finally got a test model to play with (one problem with living in Florida and not Japan!). This is one nice machine.
I will write a full review in a little bit, but I wanted write about its ability to transfer text files to its on board memory. This is also true for some other new models, but I haven’t tried those yet.
To get it to work, it would be helpful to have a Japanese OS. However, it will work with an English XP. The problem is, unless you have your ‘Language for non-Unicode programs’ set to ‘Japanese’, the install will be total and utter 文字化け (gibberish). If you choose not to set it to Japanese, you can get through the install alright just by pressing ‘Next’ a few times. However, if you can’t read what it says when you run it, you will think it doesn’t work.
Here are the steps to get it talking with your computer: (don’t connect the USB cable (provided with the dictionary) to the computer until step 4!!) (You can skip the first set of three steps)
If you want to set Japanese for the main non-Unicode language follow these optional steps:
1) Open Control Panel & choose ‘Regional and Language Options’:
2) In the Regional and Language Options window, click on the ‘Advanced Tab’ and choose ‘Japanese’:
3) Hit ‘OK’ and it may ask for your Windows CD. Don’t worry if you can’t find it. You don’t have to set the language to Japanese.
Here are the ‘real’ steps:
1) Download the Textloader. (Where it says EX-wordTextLoader0200.EXE (2.39MB))
2) Go through the install.
3) Run the installed program (テキストローダー) but don’t close the pop up window.
4) Connect the USB cable to the XD-GW9600 and turn it on.
5) The dictionary should start in the お気に入り/ライブラリー section, but if it doesn’t press that key (second to the top right). You may have to hit the right arrow on the dictionary to get to the far right icon that says 通信 (tsuu shin)
6) Now all you have to do is hit the enter (訳/決定) button on the dictionary and the pop up menu on your computer should disappear.
7) click and drop just about any text file to the dictionary. If it gives you trouble, you may have to reduce the file name to fewer characters.
A couple of comments:
* http://aozora.gr.jp/ – a kind of Japanese Guttenburg project is a great source of free reading material. Of course the ebooks there are pretty advanced, but by dumping it into the Casio XD-GW9600, you can use the Casio’s super jump function to get the meaning and pronunciation of any word in the text file.
* You cannot have a bought expansion SD card in the slot when connecting to your computer. Of course you can have a blank, regular SD card, but if you have, for example, the awesome Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary expansion card, you will have to take it out before connecting. Sort of a bummer…
* A big plus: it comes with 50 megs of on board memory so you don’t have to buy an extra SD card just to store some text files. You can leave the SD slot empty and store the files in the main memory area.