Chatting On The Internet

NOTE: CalWeb Internet Services does not provide support for IRC and other Internet "chat" or messaging programs. Use of these programs is at the user's own risk. Abusive behavior, such as "flooding", "nukes", running a Trojan program, and excessive pinging, is considered a violation of CalWeb's Acceptable use policy.
What is instant messaging?
Instant messaging is a program that allows for a one-on-one text chat with another person on the Internet in real time. Usually, both you and the other must be running the same message client in order to communicate, and both of you must be on-line at the same time. Many people have found Instant Messaging, along with e-mail, as a cost-effective way to communicate with family members who live far away.Top
Can I chat with friends who have America OnLine's™ online service?
Yes. You will need to download and install the AOL Instant Messenger program, commonly called AIM. (Note: AIM is included as part of recent versions of the Netscape browser software.) You do not have to be a subscriber to America Online to use this program.Top
What other instant messaging programs are available?
Some of the commonly used programs include:
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What does the :), :(, and ;) mean?
If you turn your head sideways, you would see a smile, a frown, and a wink. For some of the instant messaging programs, the :) and such turns into a graphical smiley.Top
What are some of the common acronyms used?
In order to save time chatting, some common phrases are abbreviated to a few simple keystrokes. Some of these include:

brb=be right back, bbl=be back later, np=no problem, lol=laughing out loud, rofl=rolling on (the) floor laughing, imho=in my humble opinion, iirc=if I recall correctly, j/k=just kidding, wb=welcome back, rtfm=read the fine manual.Top

What is IRC, and how does it work?
IRC (Internet Relay Chat) provides a way of communicating in real time with people from all over the world. It consists of various separate networks (or "nets") of IRC servers, machines that allow users to connect to IRC. Generally, the user (such as you) runs a program (called a "client") to connect to a server on one of the IRC nets. The server relays information to and from other servers on the same net. Recommended clients include:

Be sure to read the documentation for your client!

Once connected to an IRC server on an IRC network, you will usually join one or more "channels" and converse with others there. (On EFnet, there often are more than 12,000 channels, each devoted to a different topic.) Conversations may be public (where everyone in a channel can see what you type) or private (messages between only two people, who may or may not be on the same channel).Top

What are the rules on IRC chat?
The best advice is:
  • Be polite! Remember, people do judge you by what you say and how you say it.
  • IRC is not a "game". Treat the other chatters on-line like you would in real life.
  • Typing in ALL CAPITALS is considered "shouting", and should be avoided.
  • If someone starts harassing or flooding you, leave the channel or use the /ignore command.
  • Keep on the topic of the room chat, and head the channel operators advice. If you antagonize them, you may be "kicked" off the channel forcibly and possibly "banned" from returning.
  • Don't disclose any personal information in a chat room (such as street address, phone numbers, etc.) Not everyone on chat is who he or she claims to be.

Harassment, abusive behavior, and such is not only a violation of CalWeb's acceptable use policy, it can result in CalWeb customers being denied access to a particular chat server or entire IRC chat network.Top

What is "flooding"?
Flooding is intentionally repeating the same text over and over in a short period of time, or put out a lot of meaningless text. People who are flooding a channel are either "kicked" or "banned" from a chat channel.Top
What are some of the popular chat networks?
Some of the popular IRC chat networks include:
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Does CalWeb have any local chat servers?
CalWeb does not host any chat servers on it's network at this time.Top
What is CalWeb's policy on "bots"?
Our policy is strictly no bots on CalWeb-hosted services, as this is a violation of CalWeb's acceptable use policy.Top
What does the @ sign next to the user's nickname mean in a chat channel?
An @ sign next to a user name in a IRC chat room means that the person is a channel operator. You are advised to listen to what they have to say, as they have the authority to either kick you from a channel, or even ban you from entering a channel.Top
For more information...
For more information about chatting on the Internet, see the following resources:

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