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Computers Now A Necessity in Daily Life of Many Tibetans

Computers were virtually unknown in Tibet just a few years ago, but are now a necessity in the daily life of many Tibetans.

Computers have changed work styles and rhythms of life in Tibet, Xinhua news agency reported.

In a spacious office, Nyima Cering, a young Tibetan, writes a letter on a computer, using new Tibetan-language software.

Tubdain, also a computer whiz, is using computer-aided design technology. He once helped his friend, Gaisang, combine the Potala Palace and a clear lake in one picture, making the scene more dramatic.

Yang Song, vice president of the regional government, usually surfs the Net for more than an hour every night before going to bed .

During weekends and public holidays, he often uses the Net for two to three hours a day.

"I am interested in all information about the development of the western region and all matters relating to Tibet," Yang said. "I can get much information and material about these on the Internet."

Ceyang, a professor at Tibet University, has equipped her study with one PC and one portable computer.

"The computer paves the way for me to have better communications with my overseas counterparts. Moreover, I get new information from the Internet and can add it to my lectures," she said.

Many lecturers at Tibet University are now familiar with the Internet world, spending most of their spare time on their computers.

Liu Surong, who works in Lhasa, stopped at an Internet Cafe to send New Year wishes to her parents by simply clicking a mouse.

More than 4,000 Tibetans are registered dial-up Internet users, and there are more than 100 Websites about Tibet in simplified Chinese and 300,000-plus related Web pages.

On December 15 last year, multifunctional integrated software in Tibetan, Chinese and English developed by the Northwest China Institute for Nationalities was approved by experts. Using the software, Tibetans with computer and the Internet knowledge can compile application software programs in their native language.

The Founder Group, one of China's high-tech leaders, recently invented a Tibetan-language input software which makes it possible for every Tibetan citizen to write with Tibetan characters into a computer as easily as they write with Chinese characters.

The popularization of the Internet and software technology innovation has boosted the computer market. In Lhasa, capital of Tibet, a 50-meter-long computer street has opened. Major computer providers, such as Compaq, Toshiba, Legend, Founder and Canon, have all set up outlets.

(eastday.com January 30, 2002)

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