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Guest Ran

Westeros Chat

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Okay, you probably saw the brief ... ah, discussion. But here's the facts as they stand regarding the chat at this stage:

Westeros.org's chat uses IRC, a tried-and-true chat method used by thousands every day. It's robust and stable. A chat room can have, literally, hundreds of people in it. Why is this good? Well, we hope down the road to have chats with licensed product producers like the Dabels, Testors, and more... and, yes, maybe a chat with GRRM (and maybe some other interesting authors). This gives us the functionality to do it.

IRC has other great features, like multiple rooms (we have two right now: #Westeros for general, non-spoiler discussion and #westeros-spoilers), much more moderation control, colors on a per letter basis (if you really want to spend the time doing that, that is -- it's all manual), private messaging, actions (i.e. /me waves -> Ran waves), and more.

And speaking of colors, the java applet at Westeros.org now _does_ offer a range (a limited range, but a range nonetheless) of colors to set. In the lower right of the box is a palette of colors. Click one, type -- and what you write will come out that color, not just for you, but everyone. You can even select to output bolded or underlined text, or to display all text in one of several fonts. Also, we've changed the colors from default black text on white background to the reverse -- default white on black, to mimic how EzChat works.

The hardest part of the chat right now is registering your nickname. We know people want their nick to be theirs only, and NickServ is the way to do it. There are instructions on the chat page for how to register. Just take your time to get comfortable, and don't stress too much about it -- in all likelihood, _no one_ will _ever_ take your nick (and if they do, it'll be a clear joke). Just to make that harder, we've now disabled /nick in the applet -- if you need to change your name, you'll have to disconnect and reconnect.

The last issue is privacy. Right now, some people get their host info completely munged -- no one can see where you come from, which is great. Others get it partially munged -- your IP (such as 123.23.45.241) gets munged, but your host name (like cbs.com) remains. If you come in from a workplace, then yes, this could be a problem. We are trying to see what we can do about it, though are options are limited as the server is not in fact ours. But we're honestly trying, because we want as many people to be able to enjoy chat as possible.

Okay, now that all said, please feel free to visit chat and give it a try. :)

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