Configuring Your Computer to Read and Write in Russian 
 Updated on 5 December 2000, instructions optimized for Mac OS 8.6

NOTE: This tutorial is designed with the assumption that you are using a computer in a UK Microlab.  If you have your own computer, please look here.
NOTE: You will have to perform these steps every time you sit down to a new Mac, or if you reboot.  When you reboot, a program called RevRDist will remove the Russian software and return the Mac to its pristine original condition.

To View Web Pages in Russian:

To type in Russian with a Mac

    In order to type in Russian you will need the ER Bukinist KOI8 font, download here, and a special keyboard layout, download here.  (For web mail, you will need ER Kurier KOI8-R, download here.)

    NOTE: This is the best keyboard layout that I have found; but it is shareware, that is, free for trial use only.  Other free layouts are available, but they are not as user-friendly.  Read the terms on Matvey Palchuk's "Russification of Macintosh" page.

    Stuffit Expander should decompress the files automatically, and and an icon with a keyboard on it will appear, as will the font. The icon with the keyboard on it is the Russian keyboard layout. Quit all programs and place the keyboard layout and the font suitcase on the closed System Folder in the Mac Drive. In Mac OS 8.6, which is in the UK microlabs, you will need to do the following steps.

    After you drop the keyboard layout in the System folder, pull down the Help menu on the status bar and select Help Center.  Type the word "keyboards" in the search box and click search.  On the next screen, click on the fist link that appears, "Using different languages."  Then, on the next screen, click on the first link that appears, "Open the Keyboard Control Panel for Me."  At this point the Keyboard Control Panel will open.  Scroll down until you see "Russian KOI8-R" and check the box next to it.  Close the control panel window.

    At this point, a little American flag will appear on the status bar. This is a menu to select the keyboard layout. If the active font is ER Bukinist KOI8, select the Russian-KOI8 keyboard. This font types in both English and in Russian. To switch between them, press the caps lock key.  Caps lock on=Russian, caps lock off=English.

    Check out the Yamada font index at the University of Oregon if you are interested in more Cyrillic fonts. But remember, you must use a KOI8 for e-mail.

To e-mail in Russian on the Mac with Eudora Pro
*NEW*  It's great that UK now has tons of new G3s, but the downside is that they have only Zip disk drives, not floppies.  Zip disks are more expensive than a floppy, so if you do not want to purchase one, you may use web-based e-mail.
To E-mail in Russian on a Mac with Web-based Mail
You may get a web-based email account from many providers.  A few examples are Yahoo!, Excite, Hotmail, etc.  To read a message in KOI8-R, just follow the instructions for reading Russian web pages--that part is exactly the same.  To type, however, you must download and install the keyboard driver used for typing and an additional font (ER Kurier KOI8-R), download here.  The reason you need one more font is that web-based e-mail (and any other web forms, etc.) use fixed-width fonts.  Why can't you use the Apple Standard Cyrillic fonts to type?  The Keyboard driver we have is for KOI8 fonts, so you need a KOI8 fixed-width font.

On Your Own Computer

Regardless of your operating system (PC or Mac), if you have a computer at home then you can read and write in Russian. Here is a good resource for how to do that on the PC platform.  This site includes information for making Eudora pro for PC work with Cyrillic too. This site also has helpful information.

Cyrillicize your Mac all the way

If you own your own Macintosh (i.e. not in a UK Microlab), and want to really Cyrillicize, then check Matvey Palchuk's excellent "Russification of Macintosh" page. You should do this only on your own computer because this procedure requires a fair amount of time and the downloading of some new software to install.