TRON News Items for November '99

Program for TRONSHOW 2000, 16th TRON Project Int'l Symposium Announced

The program for TRONSHOW 2000 and the 16th TRON Project International Symposium, which will take place in the second basement floor at the Tokyo Design Center next to the JR Gotanda Station in Tokyo, has been announced by the TRON Association. The events will be held between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. from Thursday, December 2, 1999, through Saturday, December 4, 1999. In addition, TRON Electronics Symposium 2000 (TEPS 2000), also known as the EnableWare symposium, will be held at the same location from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 4, 1999.

Tokyo Design Center is a three minute walk from the East Exit of JR Gotanda Station. The address of the Tokyo Design Center is 5-25-1 Higashi Gotanda, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo. For a map of the JR Gotanda Station area, click here.

The symposium and theater schedule for TRONSHOW 2000 is as follows:

Thursday, December 2, 1999

10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

"The TRON Project in the 21st Century"
TRON Project Leader Ken Sakamura

11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

"Introduction to LAB2000-Related Software"
Sakamura Laboratory, The University of Tokyo

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

"Latest Trends in the TRON Project"
ITRON Kiichiro Tamaru (Toshiba Corporation)
JTRON Shinobu Nemoto (Aplix Corporation)
CTRON Toshikazu Ohkubo (NTT Software Corporation)
BTRON Akira Matsui (Personal Media Corporation)

3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

"JTRON and New Generation Digital Home Appliances: JBlend Seen in Products"
Aplix Corporation

3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

"JTRON and an Embedded Browser: Customizable Browser Parts"
Aplix Corporation

4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"An Introduction to 'J-right/V': ITRON + Java = The Reality of JTRON Programming"
Personal Media Corporation

4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

"An Introduction to 'Ultra Kanji': From the Operation Environment to Basic Software Applications"
Personal Media Corporation

5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

"A Practical Method for 'Ultra Kanji' Character Searches: Thorough Explanation of the Secrets to Freely Handling 130,000 Characters"
Personal Media Corporation

Friday, December 3, 1999

10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

"Embedded Systems and Software Development"
Hiroshi Monden (NEC Software Design Laboratory), and others

1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

"Ultra Kanji"
Nobuyuki Kashiwa (Personal Media Corporation)
Haruhiko Yoshimeki (Writer)
Tsuneo Yatagai (Mojikyou Institute)

2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

"The Reality of Improving Software Performance and Quality with CodeTEST"
Applied Microsystems Japan Corporation

3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

"ITRON-Compatible Embedded GUI Framework PowerParts"
Metrowerks Co., Ltd

3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

"'Nucleus 'µ iPLUS,' a RTOS based on the micro-ITRON4.0 Specification"
GrapeSystems Inc.

4:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"JTRON Developments in the FA Field"
Aplix Corporation

4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

"New JTRON Development Environment: Host = Target Cooperative Development Environment"
Aplix Corporation

5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

"'Ultra Kanji' Development Environment Lecture"
Personal Media Corporation
(a CD-ROM containing an application development environment for "Ultra Kanji" will be distributed gratis to everyone in attendance)

Saturday, December 4, 1999

10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

"Information Appliances and Their GUIs"
Akira Matsui (Personal Media Corporation)
Takuro Sone (Yamaha Corporation)

11:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

"Sennet Product Introduction: English and Chinese Versions of a Script Programming Language for the BTRON-Specification OS"
Sennet Inc.

11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

"TRON Networkers Summit" (Provisional Title)
TRON Fan Forum

TRON Electronics Prosthetics Symposium 2000 (TEPS 2000), which is also referred to as the TRON EnableWare symposium, will take up the theme of "EnableWare Design for Information Devices." There will be an invited lecture by Dr. John Gill of the Royal National Institute for the Blind titled, "Aiming at a Comprehensive Design that Can Be Used by Anyone."

1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Participants (Partial List)
John Gill (Royal National Institute for the Blind)
Sadao Hasegawa (Japan Braille Library)
Yoshitake Misaki (Tokyo Municipal Hachioji School for the Blind)
Akira Takamura (Tsukuba University School for the Blind)

The companies that will being exhibiting their TRON-based and/or TRON-related technologies at TRONSHOW 2000 are as follows:

A.I. Corporation
Aplix Corporation
Applied Microsystems Japan Corporation
Elmic Systems Inc.
Core Corporation
Computex Co., Ltd.
Fujitsu, Ltd.
GrapeSystems Inc.
Hitachi, Ltd.
Matsushita Graphic Communication Systems Inc.
Metrowerks Co., Ltd.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
NEC Corporation
Personal Media Corporation
Sakamura Laboratory, University of Tokyo
Sennet Inc.
TRON Association
TRON-GUI Specification Study Group
Yokogawa Digital Computer Corporation

The exhibits of the above listed companies can be viewed from between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. from Thursday, December 2 through Saturday, December 4.

Personal Media Begins Marketing True Multilingual Version of B-right/V Operating System

Personal Media Corporation began marketing a new version of its 32-bit BTRON3-specification operating system with "true multilingual capability" on Friday, November 12, 1999. The new B-right/V Release 2 operating system, which the company calls Cho-Kanji (Ultra Kanji), is being sold without a manufacturer's recommended price. However, it is expected to retail at approximately 10,000 yen at retail outlets in electronics districts throughout Japan. In addition, Personal Media is offering it through direct sales for a price of 15,000 yen, consumption not included.

Unlike the earlier version of B-right/V, which was based on a single character plane that could contain a maximum of 48,400 characters, the new version of B-right/V is based on multiple character planes and language specifier codes, which enable it to process more characters than any other operating system developed to date. This forte of B-right/V is being applied to Japanese in particular, and as a result, the new operating system is able to process an "unabridged Japanese character set" that includes every known character ever created for writing the Japanese language. Since B-right/V is the ultimate kanji (Chinese character) processing operating system, Personal Media refers to the product using the nickname "Ultra Kanji."

The specification for Ultra Kanji is as follows:

Ultra Kanji Product Specification

Operating system

B-right/V R2 (32-bit operating system based on the BTRON3 Specification)
VJE-Delta Version 2.5 kana-to-kanji conversion software

Bundled applications

  • Basic Text Editor (word processor)
  • Basic Figure Editor (graphics software)
  • Basic Communications (communications software)
  • Basic Mail (e-mail software; limit of 500 messages per in-box; max. mail size: 2 Mbytes)
  • Basic Browser (World Wide Web browser)
  • Basic Spreadsheet (spreadsheet software; max. size: 8,192 rows x 256 columns)
  • MicroCard (card database software; max. no. cards: 30,000; max. no. of items per card: 64)
  • MicroScript (visual programming language)
  • Character Search Utility (searches based on elements; related and variant characters can also be found)
  • Utilities for converting files to and from other OS formats (MS-DOS, MS-Windows)
  • Accessory software grouping (includes PPP and FTP)
  • Other (hard disk partition tool and start-up partition selection tool)
  • Character sets and fonts

    JIS levels 1 and 2 (JIS X 0208)


    Mincho, Gothic, Maru Gothic, Textbook (4 fonts)
    JIS Auxiliary Kanji (JIS X 0212)


    Mincho, Gothic (2 fonts)
    Korean (KS X 1001)


    Mincho, Gothic, Maru Gothic, etc. (6 fonts)
    Chinese Simplified (GB 2312)


    Mincho, Gothic, etc. (4 fonts) 
    Chinese Traditional (CNS 11643)


    Mincho, Gothic (2 fonts)
    6-point, 8-point Braille


    Listed in Konjaku Mojikyou


    Dai Kan-Wa Jiten listed 


    Dai Kan-Wa Jiten unlisted


    Character elements


    Anomalous cursive syllabary


    Chu Nôm (Vietnamese Chinese characters)


    Additional symbols, alphanumerics, water writing


    Chinese bone-and-shell script


    Brahma letters  


    Listed in Unicode 2.0


    IPA phonetic symbols


    Mincho, Gothic (2 fonts)
    Latin script


    Mincho, Gothic (2 fonts)
    Arabic script


    Various other national scripts [1]


    Symbols for kana-kambun


    Mincho, Gothic (2 fonts)
    Other symbols and hangul jamos





    [1] Greek, Cyrillic, Armenian, Hebrew, Devanagari, Bengali, Gurmukhi, Gujarati, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Thai, Lao, Tibetan, Georgian

    Package Contents

    CD-ROM, start-up floppy disk, partition division tool floppy disk (1 disk each)
    Before Using Ultra Kanji, Introduction to Ultra Kanji, Basic Mail with Ultra Kanji, Ultra Kanji Quick Reference
    User Registration Card, Inquiry Sheet, Notification of Change of Registration Contents, etc.

    B-right/V R2 in BTRON History

    B-right/V R2 is neither the first implementation of the BTRON-specification operating system nor the first 32-bit implementation for IBM-PC/AT compatibles. As can be seen in the chart of BTRON-specification operating system commercializations below, the first commercialization appeared in 1990 for TRONCHIP-based hardware. That was followed by a series of commercializations for 16-bit Intel-based platforms. The first of these 16-bit commercializations was for a specialized, i.e., non-standard, MS-DOS-based laptop architecture developed by Matsushita, but the others were for IBM-PC/AT compatibles, which are referred to as "DOS/V" computers in Japan.

    Since it was never commercialized, the BTRON3-specification 3B operating system is not shown below in the chart, but that operating system with its modern microkernel architecture is direct ancestor of B-right/V R2. As was the case with the 2B operating system, 3B was developed for TRONCHIP-based hardware, but it was ultimately commercialized as "B-right" for Seiko Instrument Inc.'s BrainPad TiPO personal digital assistant (PDA). B-right is officially based on the micro-BTRON Specification, which is very close to the BTRON3 Specification. The second commercialization of 3B technology was B-right/V, which at one time was called "3B/V" by Personal Media, for IBM-PC/AT compatibles.

    There has been a decade of commercializations of BTRON-specification operating systems, so it should be obvious to potential buyers--as well as diehard TRON Project critics!--that the BTRON-specification operating system is here to stay. Moreover, since it now has technology that other operating systems lack, in particular superb multilingual processing, the BTRON-specification operating system is on track to take its rightful place in the world of alternative operating systems. Alternative operating systems, such as GNU/Linux and BTRON, have been drawing considerable interest worldwide as a result of dissatisfaction and disenchantment with the offerings of leading personal computer operating system vendors.

      16-bit Intel MPUs 32-bit TRONCHIP 32-bit IBM-PC/AT Compatibles  32-bit NEC (V810) MPU
    1990   2B (so-called "pure BTRON" running on Gmicro series MPUs)    
     1991 1B/Note (Matsushita laptop; not IBM-PC/AT compatible)      
     1994 1B/V1 (IBM-PC/AT compatibles)      
     1995 1B/V2 (IBM-PC/AT compatibles)      
     1996 1B/V3 (IBM-PC/AT compatibles)      
     1997       B-right (micro-BTRON for BrainPad TiPO PDA)
     1998     B-right/V (multilingual system based on a single character plane)  
     1999     B-right/V R2 ("Ultra Kanji" with true BTRON multilingual system)