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Old 11-09-2007, 05:23 PM   #20
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: New Jersey U.S.A. ex UK and Canada
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Default Re: The Friday Chat in the GL Chat Room

As the current champion of the existing chat room arrangements
I was delighted to read catrinka's thoughtful reply
I take it that since Val knew you were a Cathy and from some comments you made that you are indeed Yuri's erstwhile better half.If so welcome to corfid Cathy
To be brutally honest I do not ever recall seeing Yuri in the chat room well cetainly not for a long time so if we get over this perhaps you or he can chat one Friday
Firstly two main comments
1 I am delighted that this subject has created such an interesting correspondence
2 I am constantly amazed by the never ending revelations of new things on the Internet especially free software such as Pidgin
I have a strong vested interset in making a common chat room available to all and sundry
I will for the benefit of the newer members now review the history of the vatrious chat rooms as I know it
In the beginning a number of Lightheads used a system/program called I believe Prodigy then because most of them in that early internet era had very litle choice of economical Internet Service Providers, they found that they were nearly all using AOL and I suspect had the early incarnation of AOL Messenger which allowed them to set up a chat room.Later on after a few problems with the next arangement I recall Val trying to resurrect that sytem but I think it required an unsatisfactory invitation, by chatters already connected, method which by that time having sampled the much more accessible IRC (Internet Relay Chat) see below it was largely ignored
Then thanks to Wayne Francis' newsgroup
Oregonian Rik Stevens announced in 1998 that he had added a chat room facility to his own website
Rik furthermore discovered that having set up a channel on an IRC server (, he could and did arrange for acces both via a Java "applet" (a small application) and the IRC client program mIRC (where the "m" simply stands for the Khaled Marden-Bay the UK geezer who wrote and issued the program.
All went well with this setup from 1999 until a few years ago when some internet hooligans, no not Sydney Steve this time, (just where did he go???) carried out a denial of service attack on cjb who said sod it as it had become too much aggro running IRC for free, and withdrew this service.
Rik then tried to replace it with a chatroom set up by Bravenet but it was not as encompassing or reliable as the orginal
The highlights for me at least of that original arrangement were my initial involvement with the fans going to attend the Massry concerts in November 1999 (golly gracious 8 years alrweady!!)
and that harrowing day in September 2002 when I counted almost 1000 chatters who dropped in or the latest news of Gord in Hamilton. I well recall Char discovering the internet address of the Hamilton Radio station so we could then all hear live the various annoncements including "I'm just the guitar player" Rick's heart felt little speal that is the subjct of one of the great
CBC archived videos.
I then searched around and literally stumbled upon, a site called I kid you not the "worlds worst website"
which is no longer in existance but an achived copy of the chat room page is at:-
where I could in 2004 read:-
This application requires Java suport.
This server also available via IRC
and was delighted to find that at the time they had a similar applet/mIRC set up to that which Rik had adopted
but were using a different IRC sercver
and featured a superb link that would aurtomatically open mIRC at at their chat channel:-
I set about setting up a new Gordonlightfootchat channel in this server
so all I had to do was substitute"our" channel and we were away to the races again
see my 2004 announcement on
over the years since we had one dilexnet problem when they neglected to reregister their website
Other solutions that were used or investigated included
Yahoo chats
which provered highly unreliable and were abandoned but not before the "guitar chat" Yahoo Group
had led to the successful ad hoc creation of the worlds first band formed on the internet in 2002
the demise of thoseYahoo groups was a shame as for a while we were able to have real live voice chats
using basic microphones to pick up the varied accents of catmanron and myself
also tried were Paltalk,quadchat, and chatzy
But overall the combined use of the Java Applet and mIRC has worked well although problems have occasionally arisen.
It took me four determined attempts to tame mIRC last week and I know of brink and Val's objections
plus more and more will experience my problem with the Java applet as they upgrade their systems
catrinka's original message:-
You can check to see if you have java enabled
go to:-

sceenshot showing that am SOL
I will try to get a variation of my "applet entry" page at:-
to put up a message if your system cannot run the the applet
I was very excited by Cathy and Val's comments about Pidgin
what is pidgin

it is a largish program (11.6MB.. 3+ hours n a dial up connection) negating one of my aims which was to enable access as simply as possible:-
especially avoiding the requirement to download any large files.
previously the room had worked for those whose systems were able to load a small Java Applet
from two files a cab and a jar totalling 58KB only and stored on my website
or who installed the mIRC program which has except for very latest version always fitted on a 1.4MB floppy disk
If like me with my current Windows XP SR2 setup you do not have a Java capacity, due to the legal agreement between Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, it would necessitate a download of the Sun Java "runtime environment",
yes somebody got paid for thinking that program name up!!
and that is an even larger file (13.92mb)
Meanwhile the download of pidgeon is progresing at a snail's pace after almost 2 hours I have 33%
and a predicted 2 hours odd to complete.So I'll have to test it later else I'll never get this reply and reminder posted
However if the site's blurb is accurate it certainly looks like the ultimate solution
Pidgin is a multi-protocol Instant Messaging client that allows you to use all of your IM accounts at once.
Pidgin can work with:-
AIM,Bonjour,Gadu-Gadu,Google Talk,Groupwise,ICQ,IRC,MSN,MySpaceIM,QQ,SILC,SIMPL E,Sametime,XMPP,Yahoo!,Zephyr,
which if true would be simply brilliant .I currently need to run both MSN Messenger, which I like because it coordinates so well with my hotmail email and address book and AOL Instant Messenger, because so many good friends are AOL members, even if some only have the stupid basic version that does not facilitate file transfer for example.
Just at the moment AOL is getting right up my nose with a persistent (every 30 seconds sometimes) and annoying
(and seemingly unavoidable) security pop-up

that I steadfastly ignore because no doubt after installing I will have to reboot thus losing contact with important downloads
One thing to stress is that the gordonlightfootchat IRC channel is always available so you can test it out at any time
by simply going to
So if anybody wishes to organise a second session .Please go ahead.
Back in the heady days of 1999 we actually held three sessions a week Tuesdays and Fridays at 9PM EST
(2 AM for me then in the UK) and a short lived Sunday morning/afternoon session called Britchat for us Brits.
OK we will not be able to attend tonight but no doubt Sharron and Bill will be there at 9PM EST his evening so do drop in
The direct applet entry link is:-
"Sir" John Fowles Bt
Honorary Curator Bootleg Museum

(where Sir does not signify that I am a fully benighted Knight just a Bt which signifies a humble Baronet -?? read the wiki!)
I meant no one no harm
Once inside we found a curious moonbeam
Doing dances on the floor

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