TRON News Items for May 2001

Monami Software Releases BTRON Cross Development Kit for Win32 OSs

Monami Software LP, a "limited partnership" company in Sagamihara City, Kanagawa Prefecture, has ported Personal Media Corporation's freeware B-right/V cross development environment to the IBM-PC/AT-compatible hardware platform. The new development kit runs on Microsoft Corporation's Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me, and Windows NT operating systems. The download page and terms of use, written in Japanese, are at the following URL.

The company also offers a HyperText Markup Language (HTML) input accessory and a 6-point Braille input accessory for the BTRON3-specification B-right/V operating system--marketed in Japan as the Cho Kanji [Ultra Kanji] operating system--via its Web page. There is also utility software for software development for the µITRON4.0-specification real-time operating system TOPPERS/JSP. The respective URLs for downloading are as follows:

According to its home page, Monami Software's main fields are: (1) commissioned development of embedded middleware, and (2) distributed network technology development centering on information appliances. In other words, the company specializes in the development of software for both the ITRON and BTRON subarchitectures. The company is currently doing consulting work for: the Information Technology Promotion Agency, Japan; Root, Inc.; Demand & Communications, Corp.; Advanced Systems Corporation; Global Alliance Partners, Inc.; Nihon SGI, K.K.; and Think3, Inc.

Personal Media to Ship Monami's Win32 Development Kit on TRONWARE CD-ROM

In a development related to the above news item, Personal Media Corporation announced on May 31 that it will be shipping Monami Software LP's self development environment for the B-right/V operating system on a CD-ROM with each copy of Vol. 69 of TRONWARE. Vol. 69 of TRONWARE will go on sale on May 31 in bookstore and personal computer outlets throughout Japan at a price of 1,200 yen (consumption tax not included). It can also be ordered directly from Personal Media's sales department.

Personal Media Begins Marketing Powerful E-Mail Program for B-right/V R3

Personal Media Corporation announced on May 24 that it would begin marketing through direct sales on May 30 a powerful e-mail program (here's a screen shot) for the B-right/V R3 operating system--marketed in Japan as Cho Kanji 3--that will allow BTRON users to take complete advantage of the huge BTRON character set, including a new Tompa hieroglyphic font of 1,362 characters that will also go on sale at the end of May (see the following news item), when exchanging e-mail messages with each other.

The new e-mail software application, which Personal Media has named "Cho Kanji Mail," has many new capabilities that the freeware Basic Mail program supplied with the operating system up to now does not have. In addition to being able to use the full BTRON character set, which at present consists of more than 170,000 characters, Cho Kanji Mail can employ a wide range of standard character sets and encoding methods, including those used for the non-kanji parts of Unicode, so as to make communication with non-BTRON users possible.

Cho Kanji Mail is equipped with automatic selection functions that make it possible for a BTRON user to prepare for transmission e-mail messages optimized for the receiver's e-mail environment. If there are characters that are not included in the receiver's operating system, they are displayed in red to bring attention to that fact. As with previous Personal Media software applications that enable interoperability with existing software standards, character codes that are unique to the BTRON3-specification operating system can be wrapped between '&T' and ';', which prevents data loss during transmission.

Of course, the new e-mail application program is equipped with functions that other commercial e-mailers on the market are equipped with. Cho Kanji Mail can handle multiple e-mail accounts, it can process a wide variety file types, and it is equipped with an archive function that allows contents created on top of the B-right/V R3 operating system to be sent with one touch. In addition, there are signature and greeting insertion functions, and the program can be linked together with the B-right/V R3 spreadsheet and card database application programs to create address books that allow for e-mail to be easily managed.

The detailed product specification for the Cho Kanji Mail is as follows:

Compatible OS
  • Cho Kanji 3 (B-right/V R3 or higher)
Program Organization
  • Mail management, mail viewing, mail editing
Compatible Protocols
  • Send: SMTP
  • Receive: POP3 (APOP compatible)
Mail Communication Functions
  • Send, receive, re-receive, interrupt, delete from server
  • Frequency processing, specifying largest receive size, specifying largest send size
  • Check new arrivals, deter send
  • Multiple accounts (SMTP/POP servers, mail addresses) management
  • Multiple mailbox management
Mail Viewing
  • List display (order can be rearranged according subject, date sent, address, and sender)
  • Main text display (standard display, original text display, fold inside the window width)
  • Tray operations
  • Print
Attached File Formats
  • TAD text, TAD figure [graphic], TAD shoko [archive type], TAD archive
  • Text (text/plain), HTML (receive only), image (GIF, JPEG, PNG [receive only]), binary (non-convertible)
Mail Editing
  • Environment settings (quote start text, quote marks, greetings, signature, etc., customizable)
  • Return creation, transfer creation
  • Standard edit/complete edit modes
  • Character graduation display, detail display
  • Tray operations
  • Search/replace
  • Character set setting, deciding

The character codes and encoding methods that can be set in Cho Kanji Mail are as follows:

  • Auto Select, ISO-2022-JP, ISO-2022-JP-2, ISO-2022-JP-3, Shift_JIS, Shift_JISX0213, EUC-JP, EUC-JISX0213
  • Auto Select, ISO-2022-KR, EUC-KR
  • Auto Select (Simplified Chinese), Auto Select (Traditional Chinese), ISO-2022-CN, GB2312, Big5, EUC-TW
West European
  • Auto Select, US-ASCII, ISO-8859-1
Various Countries
  • UTF-8, UTF-7 (UTF stands for Universal Character Set, i.e., Unicode, Transmission Format; in this mail software these formats are used for sending and receiving JIS X 0208, JIS X 0212, KS X 1001, GB2312, and the non-kanji parts of Unicode included in the TRON character set)

The specification of the function enhancements to the file converter accessory attached to Cho Kanji Mail are as follows:

Conversion Location Media and File Format
  • Windows (MS-DOS) files on floppy disks, hard disks, and ATA cards
  • ISO 9660 format CD-ROMs (read only)
  • Files transferred via ftp servers
Conversion Methods
  • Text
    • Possible to convert Japanese (Shift_JIS, Shift_JISX0213, EUC-JP, EUC-JISX0213, ISO-2022-JP, ISO-2022-JP-2, ISO-2022-JP-3), Chinese (ISO-2022-CN), Traditional Chinese (Big5, EUC-TW), Simplified Chinese (GB2312), Korean (EUC-KR, ISO-2022-KR), West European (US-ASCII, ISO-8859-1), and various languages (UTF-8, UTF-7)
    • Function to convert half-width, proportional pitch into 1-byte characters
    • Function to convert characters outside the character set range into the &Txxyyyy; notation
    • Function to specify line change codes
  • Images (BMP, JPEG, PNG)
  • Non-convertible (basic, detailed, shoko)
  • TAD archive format (input conversion only)
Other Functions
  • File batch conversion, file delete/batch delete
  • File name modification during ftp connect, directory creation/deletion
  • File name extension auto decision

Personal Media said it will be marketing Cho Kanji Mail at a price of 6,000 yen (here's the order form, consumption tax not included). For those who are keeping track, including the Tompa hieroglyphic font below, this is one of four B-right/V R3 software products that Personal Media has decided to market separately from the operating system and bundled software applications.

Personal Media Begins Marketing Tompa Character Font for B-right/V

Personal Media Corporation said it will begin marketing a Tompa character font for the B-right/V R3 operating system on May 30. The new font (here's a screen shot), which goes by the product name of Cho Kanji Tompa Shotai [Cho Kanji Tompa font], is being directly marketed by Personal Media at a price of 8,000 yen (here's the order form, consumption tax not included). The Tompa character font, which can be linked to the kana-to-kanji conversion engine via its dictionary for easy input of Tompa characters using their Japanese readings, consists of the following characters.

Type of Characters Number of Characters
Nature (weather, seasons, earth, etc.)


Plants (trees, flowers, fruit, etc.)


Animals (birds, beasts, insects, etc.)


Humans (persons [gram.], official posts, body, etc.)


Actions (verbs)


Concepts (adjectives, directions, etc.)


Religion (fortune telling, gods, ritual implements, etc.)


Culture (place names, musical instruments, numerals, etc.)




Tompa characters are the hieroglyphic script of the Naxi people, who live in the mountainous Yunnan Province in southeastern China. Their script, which is said to be the only hieroglyphic script in use in the world today, has traditionally been used by priests and historical scribes. It was popularized in Japan by renowned art director Katsumi Asaba, who is an authority on the script and helped Personal Media develop the outline font At present, it is said to be very popular among Japanese high school girls, who are famous trend setters in the Japanese market. It is also used in other areas, such as art works, due to its artistic value.

Cho Kanji Tompa Shotai is being offered with a collection of example sentences, a collection background screens, and a screen saver. The new font can be used throughout the B-right/V operating system and any of its applications in the same manner as Latin or kanji characters. It can also be combined with the new e-mailer described above, thus allowing individuals to communicate with each other via networks using Tompa characters.

BTRON Rumor Hoax Exposed

As a result of reporting by TRON Web, the anonymous BBS poster known as "1B User" admitted in a later posting that he knows no "inside source" at Personal Media Corporation, and that the list of features for the next version of B-right/V--which he described as Cho Kanji 4--was a "wish list" in the form of an April Fools' joke. In short, he was trying to get the attention of developers at Personal Media.

Young people, particularly young Japanese people who do not live in a litigious society, should be aware that spreading rumors on the Internet--even as innocent Aprils Fools' jokes!--makes one liable for any and all damages suffered by an individual or a business entity. In addition, the person maintaining the BBS, in this case the Web master of, can also become the target of a lawsuit. If either one or the other is a minor, their parents can sued by the party that suffers damages.

Think before you post messages on an Internet BBS. Otherwise, you might soon find out what the inside of a courtroom looks like.