Please help me make this Russian-speaker's computer work better for her (iTunes, WiFi)
August 12, 2011 8:39 PM   Subscribe

How can I configure WiFi and iTunes on a Windows 7 machine, when not only don't I know much about Windows 7, but the entire user interface is in Russian?

My Kazakh student just purchased a used iPhone, based on my recommendation. It seems to be working OK. However, we can't install software on her university computer (the university wants to control new software installations), and I really want her to have access to iTunes within Windows, since it will be much easier for her to use.

So, the obvious thing to do is to install iTunes on her personal laptop. However, it seems to be running Windows 7 in Russian.

I tried to help her configure it to use the free "guest" WiFi available in her department, so that she could download and install iTunes from Apple's web site, but quickly discovered that I can't even figure out where the control panel is. She tried enabling the WiFi herself, but I don't think she's that tech-savvy -- anyway, it didn't work. (I was previously able to enable guest WiFi on my own iPhone, so I know it should work).

I tried having her just translate the various messages and error messages as we worked together, but it didn't completely work; there was, for example, a checkbox that appeared during the attempt to use the guest WiFi server, which I'm guessing was a disclaimer about limited security, but I'm really not sure, and she didn't believe she needed to check it while I thought she probably did -- but her ability to translate isn't precise enough for me to be sure.

If I knew more about Windows 7, or could use my own laptop as a model, that would help -- but I'm an XP (and unix) girl (with a background in computers, but still).

She doesn't have a lot of money to pay for help (the exchange rate with the US dollar isn't very favorable for Kazakhs, and studying here is expensive for her), and I'm not sure I could find someone who knows enough Russian anyway.

I haven't even tried to install iTunes; I wonder if it will insist on installing itself in Russian, which will seriously curtail my ability to help her with it.

In an ideal world, I'd like to be able to switch between Russian UI text (for her to work alone) and English UI text (for me to help her).

Aaagh! How do I help her? Any ideas?

We're in Chapel Hill / Durham in case that's relevant.
posted by amtho to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Every windows install I've had since 98 has been in the "Windows Classic" theme. It's looked the same for me, and has similar menus since. That could help.
posted by sanka at 8:42 PM on August 12, 2011

You can use this software to easily install and switch from Russian language pack to English.


I've had issues with it on Windows 7 SP1, so uninstall that while messing with the languages.
posted by Nerro at 9:11 PM on August 12, 2011

Response by poster: The Vistalizator sounds very interesting, but I'm really not confident enough to even try to deinstall SP1 (or to figure out if it's already installed), or to even find out if there's a new SP to install.

Now I wish I'd taken more than one lame year of Russian back when I was in college. I know how to tell Alexei Petrovich to hurry up, but that's pretty much it.
posted by amtho at 9:57 PM on August 12, 2011

Best answer: See here for the basic steps of changing the display language. The icon you want will have a small world next to a clock. If the control panel is on category view, the description on this page will apply exactly; the 'Regional and Language' option is next to the same icon in the next pane. This will open the settings panel you need.

If you are on large or small icons view, the link next to this icon will take you straight to the region and language options.

The 'Keyboards and Languages' tab is the third from the left.

As for iTunes, the very first box you get when you begin the installation asks you what language you want to use.
posted by fearnothing at 1:48 AM on August 13, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, fearnothing. Unfortunately, I've had no luck even opening / finding the control panel. I've tried translating "control panel", and I looked at the icon in Windows XP (a little tablet/pencil looking thing), and I haven't found anything like it either in the start menu or the "my computer" main screen. I found some kind of network-related thing, but it doesn't seem to be what I want.

The combination of unfamiliar OS version and inscrutable language (in an exotic alphabet, no less!) is, if you'll pardon my understatement, kind of difficult.
posted by amtho at 4:52 AM on August 13, 2011

Maybe try the campus International House? They might no someone who both knows Russian and Windows 7.
posted by hydropsyche at 9:40 AM on August 13, 2011

Best answer: Click on the Start menu. You'll see the user picture. Then words and 2 line dividers. The Control Panel is the first choice right beneath the second line divider.

Once in there click on the drop down menu and select the second option. That's the large icon display.

That'll give you an easy to navigate display of the control panel.
posted by I-baLL at 8:01 PM on August 14, 2011

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