Description of the program.


The issue, that has been solved by T99 is known for a long time in several countries. In Poland it was even described as sensational news in the main newspaper, and one of the most popular news program on TV.

Unfortunately, the journalist, and what is even worse, the people from companies he was talking to, couldn't understand what it's really about, and why some phones "eat" more characters than they should.

What is the truth?

Devices like computers or phones, "understand" only numbers. To show letters to humans, they have to know which number should be shown as which letter (for example 98 would be "a"). This is called encoding. In most text messages (smses) is used encoding that is shown in the table. As you can see, there are 128 characters, but many of letters with diacritical marks are missing. But thanks to the fact that there are only 128 characters you can have 160 of these characters in text messages. (Sms' size is 140bytes=140*8bits=1120bits, every character is one of 128 numbers = 7bits {128=27}. So in single message you can have 1120/7=160 of those letters). If there would be 256 characters in that table, every text message could have only 140 characters. However, the encoding with 256 characters isn't used for smses, and the only alternative is UCS2, that contains almost all letters from all over the world, but lets one to have only 70 characters per text message. (that encoding uses 2bytes for every letter 140/2=70).

So, as long as you use characters from the table, you can place 160 characters in the message. But what to do, when one types character that can't be found on the table - for example "ś"? There are two possibilities, both have advantages, and disadvantages:

  1. replace character that was typed, with one from the table

    (it would be good if receiver of the message could figure out, what character has been replaced. For example, replace ś with "s", or "$"). This method is used in almost all phones. Symbian phones also(!) use this method to a few letters. Sometimes phone even shows to the user characters such as "ś" on a screen when he/she writes it, but the receiver always gets the character from the table ("s"). The advantage of this method is that one can still write text messages 160 characters long. But the consequence is that one can't send diacritical marks.
  2. change encoding to the one that contains that letter (UCS2)

    This method was chosen for almost all Symbian OS phones. Unfortunately, a text message can be only 70 characters long in this case. On the other hand you can be sure, that receiver gets exactly what you write. (Of course only when his/her phone can read UCS2 – older phones can't.)

How should it be?

Either of this two methods is perfect, so there is no easy answer which of them should be used. In Poland most people prefer the first one, they used it for years (on older phones), and they don't want to pay twice for text messages longer than 70 characters. But of course for someone second method can be good. (If he/she doesn't have to pay for text messages, or always write messages shorter than 70 characters). So don't you think, that the user should have a possibility to choose which method he/she wants to use?

How was it?

Unfortunately if you're using Symbian phone, you can't choose. What is worse the only method you can use, is the one that most people (in Poland, and other countries) don't want to use. You can still live with it, if you write your text messages using multi-tap method, and can manually type letter with, or without diacritical mark. The real problem starts if you want to use T9 (which contains many words with diacritical marks) – there is was no way how to do it when you want to have text messages 160 characters long.

If you try to find a solution of this problem on internet forums you can read some advices that are, almost impossible to do (to add to your T9 all the words without diacritical marks), not solving the problem (not to use T9, not to worry about paying for text messages twice as much), or not free and not so convenient (program NaSms).

T99 to the rescue!

T99 was made to solve that problem for good, in a way that should be as much invisible to the user, as it is possible. The aim was to let you send text messages, exactly the same way as you were doing it before. To make it possible, T99 works in a background (it's a deamon), and when you want to send a message it wakes up, and does what was described as method number one. Thanks to that the only thing that you should do is to install T99, and the problem is solved.

T9 + 90 = T99

The name T99 means that you can use T9 dictionary, and have text message 90 characters longer (160 - 70).


You may be wondering: "why didn't Symbian guys write something like that themselves? Why didn't they let users choose what to do with diacritical marks?". I really don't know the answers to these questions... Some people think, they did this on purpose to let operators make more money... Others think, they made a mistake (but why can't they still correct it few years later?). I don't know – maybe when they read this page, they will understand the problem, and on Symbian version 10, you won't need T99...

For you...

As the author of T99, I hope it will be useful for you, and will let you forget about the problem, that has been described above.

On "Manual" page you can find a description how to install the program. For more technical details, and answers to other questions go to "FAQ" page.

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