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View Full Version : ABSOLUTE WRITES CHAT ROOM. THE INS AND OUTS AND HOW TO MAKE IT MORE FUN.



Sydney
12-03-2005, 03:15 PM
This is for all of you that know how to use the chat room well. So the rest of us can understand it.

First is it normal to be signed in as a guest?

Does that format take you directly to the absolute write chat room?

MacAllister
12-03-2005, 09:57 PM
when you click the link at the top of this page, it takes you to a java-interface with an IRC chat room. :)

When the page opens, there is a log-in box, where you can type whatever nickname you want to use, instead of being "guest."

If you forget to type in a nick, and find yourself logged in as "guest" --you can type /nick [user-name] --but without the brackets :)--and that will change your name in the room.

If you already have an IRC client installed on your computer, we're at #absolutewrite on starchat.

Did that answer your questions?

reph
12-03-2005, 11:31 PM
My Java works with ezboard chat rooms but not with that one.

MacAllister
12-04-2005, 12:01 AM
*sigh*
Reph, dear lady, I know.

I'm not sure what we can do to solve your chat dilemma. I miss talkin' to ya, those late nights, though!

Sydney
12-04-2005, 06:14 AM
Geeeze, I'll make a note of that, but what gives????

So many other sites that aren't as detailed as this one make it much easier to get into the chat room. All you have to do is say, "Enter live chat," when you are logged in. Then it takes you right in and automatically posts your user name. Why does this site make it so complicated.

Sydney
12-04-2005, 06:20 AM
Also, what do I have to do to get IRC on my computer.

I have to say with all the members that frequent this board which is HUNDREDS daily. It isn't hard to see why no one is using the chat rooms. They make it too complicated to use.

Moondancer
12-04-2005, 09:23 AM
My Java works with ezboard chat rooms but not with that one.

Have you thought about downloading an IRC chat client? I think I was looking over the Star Chat site and saw one that has been modified just for that server. There are several others which could be used. You can google for Mirc, Pirch, or Virc which I believe are the best ones of the many different ones available. They are free downloads.

aruna
12-04-2005, 10:27 AM
I only went into the chat room once, and that was onthe day of the great migration. That is, I went in several times, but it was always empty. I had no problem getting in and it was not complicated. But it was empty. I tried talking to myself for a while but it got boring and so I left.
I

MacAllister
12-04-2005, 10:41 AM
We're actually working on that, Sharon. :)

There's no one there, tonight, either--but I was thinking I'd pop in for a bit and see if anyone shows up.

Meanwhile, if you guys have ideas for things to do with the space, it'd be great to hear 'em!

reph
12-04-2005, 11:19 AM
Have you thought about downloading an IRC chat client? I think I was looking over the Star Chat site and saw one that has been modified just for that server. There are several others which could be used. You can google for Mirc, Pirch, or Virc which I believe are the best ones of the many different ones available. They are free downloads.
At the StarChat site, I downloaded the instructions for using StarChat, thinking that would help me get in. It turned out to be an .exe file. Little Mackie doesn't read those.

What's an IRC chat client?

Birol
12-04-2005, 11:21 AM
Our ezboard chatroom was like that, Sydney. You just clicked on it and there you were, but it had less volume as to the number of chatters it could handle -- only 25 at a time, I believe -- and fewer options. For instance, we could not host a true moderated chat, which is one of the things we are working on doing, with guest speakers, etc. When we came to vBulletin, the two things vBulletin did not offer, as I remember Jenna saying, were a chatroom and a spellchecker.

So, if we are able to line up guest speakers, who would you like to see?

I've found that the more I use our chatroom, the less complicated it seems. Also, since the chat is not affiliated with vBulletin, when the boards are down, chat is still available. mIRC really is a cool system.

MacAllister
12-04-2005, 11:30 AM
reph, I downloaded mIRC (http://www.mirc.com/)--the install wizard took me through the set-up.

They've got a lot on info on their site about how stuff works, simple commands, and so on.

Sydney
12-04-2005, 12:06 PM
IC Birol. This format is better once you figure out the basics.

OK Birol. Is it necessary to download Mirc to have the chat work correctly?
I would like you to tell us, so the other members who are having problems know what to do.

I know how to use the chat room myself now and it is really easy and works well.

Birol
12-04-2005, 12:23 PM
No, it's not. You should be able to use the link at the top of the screen, but you do need to have JAVA enabled for that link to work properly.

Sydney
12-04-2005, 04:14 PM
Birol, just a suggestion. It may help many if there was a small instruction key at the spot where it says, "for chat enter here," or right after you enter it.

I know I have avoided it for a long time and it sounds like others have too. A lot of them probably because they don't know how it works and they are too afraid to ask. Pass it along if you would like to.

For those who still don't know how to use chat. All you have to do is say "yes," on the first box.

Then on the second prompt where it says, "nick." It wants you to put your user name in there. Then it will ask for your password. Enter in your password. I believe after that you should be able to get into chat. If I am missing a step let me know.

Otherwise it sounds like you need to get Java enabled.

Birol
12-04-2005, 04:19 PM
Actually, you don't have to enter your password. That's just a default feature of the Starchat login as some of the rooms hosted by that service are private and require a password.

If you don't enter a nickname/userid, you'll be signed in as 'Guest'.

Unique
12-04-2005, 04:33 PM
So, if we are able to line up guest speakers, who would you like to see?



Are you kidding? Wow, how cool would that be? I can't think of anyone right off the top - but I'm sure somebody will.

::::goes off to ponder possibilities::::

Birol
12-04-2005, 04:36 PM
Birol, just a suggestion. It may help many if there was a small instruction key at the spot where it says, "for chat enter here," or right after you enter it.

Good suggestion, Sydney. I'm not able to add anything to the text around the chat link, but have added an announcement at the top of the forum and started a thread for chat questions in the FAQ forum (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=410740#post410740).


ETA: I've moved this thread from TIO because I think more people might see it and benefit from it here.

Moondancer
12-04-2005, 05:22 PM
At the StarChat site, I downloaded the instructions for using StarChat, thinking that would help me get in. It turned out to be an .exe file. Little Mackie doesn't read those.

What's an IRC chat client?

A IRC chat client is a program you can use to connect to a chat server without using java. I forgot about you being on a Mac but I would think there are a few that work with Macs, too.

Star Chat is nice, it even allowed me to connect with MSN v-chat which very few do. I tried it last night but there were only 10 people on the whole server.

Sydney
12-04-2005, 06:24 PM
Wow Birol!! That is awesome, thank you, and so fast.

Thanks again.

Maryn
12-04-2005, 07:37 PM
For us low-tech types running our computers off'n a propane tank out back, how do we enable java? And in the probable event that enabling it conflicts with something else, how do I disable it again?

Like many people, I can go with either Internet Explorer or Firefox, so a how-to for each might be sensible. One-syllable words, please!

Maryn, helpless without a know-it-all teenager sneering at her

Birol
12-04-2005, 08:29 PM
Internet Explorer




Click on Tools.
Select Internet Options.
Click on the Advanced tab.
Scroll down.
Next to any option that references JAVA, check box that is not checked.
Note if any check box that was changed indicate a restart is necessary.
Click OK.
If you checked an option that indicated a restart was necessary, close any open programs and restart your computer.

Firefox




Click on Tools.
Select Web Features.
If the box next to Enable JAVA or Enable JavaScript is unchecked, check it.
Click OK.

jst5150
12-04-2005, 08:55 PM
Just some thoughts on the chat room:

-- I love the idea of having and thanks to whomever moderates it.

-- I've darted into the room a dozen times or so. Only one or two people there. On any occasion.

-- Guest speakers: recommend starting with Jenna, since its her board. Then, comb the boards for rocksolid published authors, poets, etc. and people who are widely respected (Ray Wong, Jim McDonald, et al). Also recommend setting up the schedule three to six months out so we all can see what's coming (and so can the people who are selected as guest speakers).

-- The java problem (some are facing) can probably be cured by downloading the latest java virtual machine by Sun. Not sure who owns or moderates the chat, however, you may want to include instructions for DLing the proper Java stuff to make it work. However ....

-- If you're the moderater, you may suggest other Web-based forms of chat and not use this Java-based system. The Java thing tends to scare people. It is maybe a bit more technophile then technopeasant. Plus, it takes better than a half dozen clicks just to start talking (only to find no one's there). That may account for why so few people are inside talking.

Since I'm offering solutions, I'm also offering my help, too, if needed.

Again thanks to whomever is taking the suggestions and running with them.

Birol
12-04-2005, 09:03 PM
-- Guest speakers: recommend starting with Jenna, since its her board. Then, comb the boards for rocksolid published authors, poets, etc. and people who are widely respected (Ray Wong, Jim McDonald, et al). Also recommend setting up the schedule three to six months out so we all can see what's coming (and so can the people who are selected as guest speakers).

Thanks for these suggestions. Many people have suggested Jenna, which I find odd since she just likes to pop into chat and talk to peeps as is, but I'm sure I can talk her into it. Just have to work around her deadlines.



-- If you're the moderater, you may suggest other Web-based forms of chat and not use this Java-based system. The Java thing tends to scare people. It is maybe a bit more technophile then technopeasant. Plus, it takes better than a half dozen clicks just to start talking (only to find no one's there). That may account for why so few people are inside talking.

There's the different IRC clients and there's the link at the top of the page, both of which have been suggested. What other options are you aware of?


Since I'm offering solutions, I'm also offering my help, too, if needed.

Ah. A potential conscript. We'll keep your name in mind. ;)


Thanks much, Jason.

jst5150
12-04-2005, 09:23 PM
About Jenna, again, it's her board. So, she can pop in whevere she likes. However, people don't know she's popping in and, as mentioned, there are few people in the chat room (at least, when I have visited).

So, my suggestion is to have a structured, 30-minute chat. Have her open it by giving some background and anecdotes. Then let her answer the obvious questions ("How'd you get the Celine Dion gig," "How do you curb the anxieties before getting published?" and so on. Again structured. It makes her look better. It makes you as the moderator look better. And give people more access to her. Finally, it helps others whom you may schedule to know what they'll do. You and the speakers can also set the ground rules early on with planning.

On other forms of chat, there are CGI based as well as flash based chats. The CGI based chats are slower, but are easier to use and perform the same function. The flash chats require a technology to use (Flash), but, ultimately, are easier than Java or IRC.

Finally, I'm absolutely willing to help wherever. This is a fantastic forum. I relish the interaction and I've gained a great deal in my short time here.

Thanks.

MacAllister
12-04-2005, 10:35 PM
"Rock-solid" and "widely respected" snicker...snrrrt..."Ray Wong" snrrrrk...mmmppphttt...HAAHhhahahaaaa!!!!

Has anyone told Ray, yet?

Birol
12-04-2005, 11:27 PM
Geez, MacAllister, you're turning a funny shade of purple there. Can I get you a drink of water? Or maybe some oxygen?


Jason, I appreciate your suggestions about different places to establish a chatroom, but I don't think it is likely that we're going to physically relocate the chatroom at this point in time. It's established and people are starting to become comfortable with it. Also, we've had so many technical changes recently, I think we (the mods anyway) all need some time to let the cyberdust settle. The current chat is not as difficult as it might appear on the surface once you're in there. Heck, even Frank can manage it. ;)

If I'm misunderstanding you and you're suggesting different tools to use to access the existing chatroom, I know there are lots of different options out there. I couldn't necessarily tell you what they all are, but I know they exist. I use mIRC, Charlie (ChunkyC) uses Trilliam, and a fair number of individuals just use the link at the top of the board.

I have e-mailed Jenna about being our inaugural guest, probably some time after the first of the year. I'll let everyone know what she says.

I, too, would like to start off with some of the respected individuals on the board. I have ulterior motives for this, though. I figure there will be a few kinks in the system -- in the manner in which questions are fielded, etc. -- and assume individuals like Uncle Jim and Jenna would be more understanding and in a better position to provide feedback on what worked and didn't work from the perspective of the guest-speaker. Ultimately, though, I would like to contact some off-board personalities as well as our respected board regulars and see if they would be interested in speaking to us through the chat interface.

jst5150
12-04-2005, 11:33 PM
I appreciate the opportunity to contribute. Thanks for looking over the suggestions.

v/r,

reph
12-05-2005, 12:21 AM
Internet Explorer

Click on Tools.
Select Internet Options.
I have IE 5. My Tools menu looks like this:

Track Auction
Auction Manager
Download Manager
AutoFill Forms
Show Related Links
MSN.COM
MSN Hotmail
Encarta Online

There's nothing there about Java. I believe I have Java enabled. I use it on other sites; it just doesn't work for AW chat. Where can I check to see that Java is enabled? I looked at Control Panels and didn't find anything whose title seemed relevant.

aka eraser
12-05-2005, 12:38 AM
"Even" Frank can manage it?

HA!

I've been navigating the IRC highway since...since...<insert writerly metaphor indicative of a very long time here>.

Reph, mIRC isn't Mac-compatible. Ircle (http://www.ircle.com/) and SNAK (http://www.snak.com/) are. A friend, Mac-addict, and longtime chatter recently switched from Ircle to SNAK. She likes it better. It's mIRC-like.

All chat clients are kind of bewildering at first. But there's lots of how-to help online. Look for the FAQs associated with the one you want to use. Most of the sites have message boards. Some have demos.

The learning curve is a bit steep but very much worth it. Chatting on IRC via a good client, versus doing so with java, is like driving a Rolls compared to a horse-drawn buggy.

Birol
12-05-2005, 12:48 AM
"Even" Frank can manage it?

HA!

I've been navigating the IRC highway since...since...<insert writerly methaphor indicative of a very long time here>.

*Lori attempts to look abashed and fails miserably.*


While technology and I get along pretty well, my technical question-and-answer abilities are limited to what I've needed to know for myself, for my mother, or to stop the help desk people from going postal on a former boss of mine, and we're getting to the edges of what those needs have taught me as far as these chat-related questions go. However, we do have a handy dandy technical forum and I have even started a thread where you can post your JAVA-related questions (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=411095#post411095) for Roger and our other technically-minded people to answer.

maestrowork
12-05-2005, 04:19 AM
-- Guest speakers: recommend starting with Jenna, since its her board. Then, comb the boards for rocksolid published authors, poets, etc. and people who are widely respected (Ray Wong, Jim McDonald, et al)...

Just got here... I was respected? Wha... did I miss that memo?

(but thanks for mentioning my name...)

(now I'm going to go snort snurk snuffle... with Mac)

Sydney
12-05-2005, 06:45 AM
Hi Birol.

It looks like other people were having trouble with chat too, and like your ideas about the guest speakers.

This is my last suggestion on the chat room for a long time. Could you put your post about how to enable Java, into your chat announcement also? I know it would help.

Birol
12-05-2005, 06:56 AM
Instructions for enabling JAVA (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=410920&postcount=22) are here and a thread has been started in the Tech forum for additional assistance.

Medievalist
12-05-2005, 09:27 AM
Reph if you're using I.E. on OS 9, the Java based chat won't work for you. Java, by the way, is not the same as Java script; I know, they were named that way to deliberately confuse us, but they really aren't the same.

I believe Ircle will work on your Mac. I'll try to down load and check, but it could be a couple of days.

You can find Ircle here

http://www.ircle.com/

Birol
12-08-2005, 07:18 AM
Moderated chats will begin in January 2006. Jenna has agreed to be our first guest speaker. Both Uncle Jim and Jaws have indicated they would be willing to be guest speakers at a moderated chat in future months.

Watch this space, the announcements at the top of the forums, and the AW newsletter for additional information.

Keep the suggestions for speakers coming.

Birol
12-31-2005, 07:40 AM
[Victoria Strauss has agreed to be our February speaker.]

ChunkyC
12-31-2005, 08:00 PM
Great Lori!


Um ... you can untie her now....

veinglory
12-31-2005, 09:49 PM
I downloaded mIRC and still couldn't get Starchat to work for me--I wonder if there would be a way to use an easier chat format?

Chat events are great, I have run chats and contests on chatrooms hosted by my publishers and had a lot of fun.

Birol
01-01-2006, 07:42 AM
Um ... you can untie her now....

Oh, if I have to. I guess...


About the time of the chats, if you click entry on the Calendar (see the list of options up above), it should provide you with the correct time for your time zone, assuming you indicated your time zone when you registered at AW.