Japanese MacBook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by benguild, Sep 2, 2006.

  1. benguild macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    #1
    I need a MacBook with a Japanese keyboard. Unfortunately, this is proving to be extremely difficult since I live in the USA.

    Apple Store US won't sell me one. (English/Spanish only, that's some BS right there)
    Apple Store Japan won't ship to the USA.
    Amazon Japan won't ship that to the USA.

    What do I do?? Get a friend to send one over?
     
  2. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #2
    You'd probably have to find someone willing.

    Why do you need a Japanese keyboard? You can enter 日本語 easily without one.
     
  3. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #3
    I agree with the previous poster. I think JIS keyboard layout is somewhat different from American Keyboard layout. Most of the apps (CS2, Macromedia Studio, and other pro apps) have the keyboard short cuts with US keyboard in mind.
     
  4. Micrll macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    #4
    AS someone who studied/studies Japanese I can tell you that you really don't need a Japanese keyboard. I have also been to japan for 7weeks going to High School and living with a host family and I used their computers. The keyboards were virtually the same and they used the same input methods/software that I used on my english *windows* computer. For mac I am going to assume the same considering I did setup a Mac at the apple store to write in japanese so I could send out a email. The keyboards were virtually identical in Japan.
    Except for

    Kana written directly on keys for direct kana input, You can use a normal US keyboard in this mode but you will have to learn what keys represent each kana letter.

    A few extra keys that DO allow for fast switching between character sets, romaji/hiragana/katakana. And apperantly an extra key to tell the computer that the last presses should be converted to kanji.

    Slight rearagment of "extra keys" I.E. /,?,<,> | \ etc.
    However when I was there this slight rearagement was enough to throw me off for a while. I was used to the keyboard being US and the keys were shifted around just enought that sometimes my fingers would hit the wrong key.[The layout is still QWERTY though]

    So in all I would not recomend going through the hassle of buying a macbook with a japanese keyboard.
     
  5. weg macrumors 6502a

    weg

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    #5
    Perhaps its possible to get a replacement keyboard in Japan and buy the Macbook in the US? At least here in Switzerland our University offers replacements with US-keyboard layout for us foreign students who are unable to cope with this d*rn Swiss keyboard layout..
     
  6. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #6
    Yes, of course.

    The photo attached shows a keyboard without the kanji key or the Mac/Windows specific keys. My old machine looks so old now. :D :eek:

    I learned how to type Japanese on a mainframe terminal at Kobe University in 1985 and the same technique works on Mac OS X today.
     

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  7. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    #7
    I'm with Micrll: Why?

    Basically the only difference is that some of the shift-alts on the number keys are rearranged, a couple bits of punctuation are in a different spot (or just different), and you don't have the Kana key.

    Basically if you set up command-space to switch the input method, that replaces the Kana key, and the other stuff is just a matter of re-thinking touch typing. The main part of the keyboard is QWERTY either way, and since you're using the Kotoeri input system (you ARE, right?), there's really very little difference. Yes, you have to type "en" instead of hitting that key, but that's about the extent of it.

    To give one example, my wife is Japanese and sends a fair amount of Japanese e-mail, plus does translations occasionally, and while she had a Japanese iMac for a couple years and brought the keyboard along when she moved to the US, she never even used it once--the slight adjustment to using command-space instead of the Kana key and remembering where different symbols were on the shift-alts (or just spelling out punctuation and letting Kotoeri suggest) was far less hassle than swapping keyboards.

    On a drastically less advanced level, I don't have any trouble working with a US keyboard in Kotoeri, either. I did however get SERIOUSLY screwed up trying to touch type on a Japanese keyboard--the couple of rearranged bits of punctuation really threw me off, and I ended up telling the Mac it was a British keyboard so I could type at full speed without tripping over every colon.

    I suppose if you're a very fast touch typist on a J-layout keyboard the retraining will take a bit, but I don't consider that worth importing a Mac Book for.

    Also, you could always buy a 3rd party USB Japanese keyboard and plug that in externally...
     
  8. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #8
    Are you saying that you never used a keyboard prior to 1987 and the PS/2 layout with the backlash above the horizontal return/enter key?
     
  9. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #9
    No, but I am saying that I never had to touch type at high speed on one--I learned to touch-type on an Apple //c, which has a keyboard layout functionally identical to the one on my MBP today, with the exception of the caps lock, tilde, and control key (and there was no option):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/placenamehere/136114555/

    Every computer I've had since then has been a Mac, and I didn't much deal with Windows boxes until well into the '90s. There were some terminals at my university library for a while, but those were only for searching the catalogue, and didn't require any fancy typing.
     
  10. skubish macrumors 68030

    skubish

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    Feb 2, 2005
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    #10
    I am sure if you contact Apple they will:

    A. Sell you a Macbook with the Japanese keyboard.

    or

    B. Just sell you a Japanese replacement keyboard for a Macbook. You can buy the Macbook online or through the Apple Stores.
     
  11. direzz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    #11
    just a thought....

    why not get a regular macbook from usa,

    and order an external japanese keyboard.. that would be alot easier, cheaper, and safer.
     
  12. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #12
    I'd used the Apple IIe, which came out about the same time as the IIc, so I know what you mean about the keyboard. The introduced the Open Apple and Closed Apple keys. Too bad the cursor keys were more advantageous.

    This company sells Japanese keyboards: http://www.plusyu.co.jp/dap/sv/shop...D%A1%BC%A5%DC%A1%BC%A5%C9&Submit=%B8%A1%BA%F7
     
  13. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #13
    From the look of it, unlike earlier Apple laptops, replacing the keyboard on the MacBook is no small task--it's part of the upper shell of the computer, isn't it? So replacing it would require replacing the whole top half of the body, I believe...

    ...but like I and others said, an external USB keyboard isn't that much to carry around, if you really need it.
     
  14. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #14
    It would seem like a good reason to get one of those fold up keyboards.
     
  15. YS2003 macrumors 68020

    YS2003

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    #15
    Now we are talking about Mac and Japanese keyboard, I have this question. Do Apple stores in Japan sell Macs with US Keyboard? Or, is it going to be BTO only?
     
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #16
    Mostly just agreeing that Kotoeri works pretty well...

    But oh, I do have a question that's semi-OT. Regarding the Japanese keyboard... I do know of people doing this with iBooks. I never heard what the final resolution was on how complex it is to replace the KB on a MacBook? It's not as easy as the 30 second procedure on the iBook, is it? How does it come off?
     
  17. pizzach macrumors member

    pizzach

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    Mar 1, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    If you guys are really kewl, then you would type Japanese in Dvorak like I do! You just have to go to the kotaeri preferences. :p
     

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