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The Chat portlet allows you to enter chat rooms and converse with other on-line users.  A chat portlet will show a list of available chat rooms and, if you are an administrator of the chat portlet, you will also see an Admin Chat link below the list of chat rooms.
 
By default, any person with access to a page on which the chat portlet resides can take part in the chat.  To restrict a chat portlet to authenticated users, see the General Settings section of Managing a Chat.
 
NOTE:  In order to use the Chat portlet, you must either turn off your pop-up blocker(s) or allow pop-ups from http://its-jics3.colby.edu/ics in your browser and/or any toolbars (Google, Yahoo, etc.) that offer pop-up blocking.
 
If you have pop-ups blocked, the first time you try to open a Chat session, you should see a bar at the top of the window warning you that a pop-up has been blocked.  Click the options or preferences button and allow pop-ups from http://its-jics3.colby.edu/ics.
If you have permissions to administer a chat portlet, you will see an Admin Chat link beneath the list of chat rooms.  Leaders of a campus group will be able to administer a chat portlet on any of the group's pages.
 
NOTE:  At this time, the Chat Admin only works in Internet Explorer (5.5 and later) for Windows OS. 
 
NOTE:  The chat portlet includes a built-in help option.  Please be aware that some of the features described in these help screens are not available through myColby.  This includes moderated chat rooms, private chat rooms, invitations, and room security. 
 
To administer a chat portlet, click on the Admin Chat link to open the Chat Admin window.
 
Manage Chat Rooms
 
At the top of the window, you will see a list of chat rooms.  For each chat room you will see its ID number, name, topic, attributes (not changeable -- all chat rooms are "persistent", meaning the room will remain open to users when the owner/creator leaves the room), along with icons to perform the following functions:
  • Delete a chat room: Click on the  (delete) icon.  You will be asked "are you sure you want to delete room?"  Click on OK.
  • Manage a chat room:  Click on the (manage) icon.  This will display a list of everyone who is currently connected to the chat.  You can
    Kick a current user out of the chat room.  This will immediately remove the person from the chat room, but they could re-enter.
    Ban a current user from the chat room.  This will not remove them immediately from the current chat, if they are connected, but once they leave, they cannot re-enter the chat room.  Their name will appear in a Banned Users list, just under the Chatting Users list.  You can click on the  (Unban) icon to reinstate them.
    Kick & Ban a user at the same time.  If the users is currently in the chat room, they will be removed immediately and cannot re-enter.
    Unban a previously banned users to allow them back into the chat room.

    Above the list of Chatting Users are options related to banning a user.  You can ban by name, IP address or both.  If you enter text in the Reason box, this will be displayed in the messages window, and to the banned user when banning or unbanning that person.  NOTE:  If you select the From Site checkbox, that will prohibit the user (or IP) address from accessing any chat room in this chat portlet.  Their name will appear in the Banned Users box under the General Settings section of the admin window.  The user CAN access other chat portlets in myColby.
  • Erase messages:  All entries in a chat room are saved until specifically deleted by the administrator (unless you have checked the White Board setting under General Settings-see below).  To erase the messages, click on the (erase messages) icon.  A confirmation window will open, reading "Are you sure you would like to erase transcript for Room ID#?"  Click OK to erase messages. 
    NOTE:  This cannot be undone!  You may first want to save a transcript of the chat room:
    ~ Enter the chat room whose transcript you want to save.
    ~ In the message toolbar (just below the dialogue area), click on the  (save) icon.
    ~ Depending on your browser settings, the .txt file will be downloaded to your computer, or you will be asked if you want to open the file or save to disk.

 Create a New Chat Room

  •  In the Create a New Room section, enter
    Room Name - This will appear in the chat portlet as the link users will click to enter the chat room.
    Room Topic - This will appear on the list of chat rooms in the Chat Admin window.
  • Click on Create.
General Settings

There are several general settings you can customize for a chat portlet.  These apply to all chat rooms in this instance of the chat portlet.
  • Max Users - This sets the maximum number of users that can be in the chat portlet at once.
  • Max Rooms - This sets the maximum number of number of chat rooms that can be added to the chat portlet.
  • Max User Rooms - This sets the maximum number of rooms that can be created by one person.
  • Max Room Name Length - This sets the maximum length of a room name.  If you try to enter a name that is too long, the room is not created when you click Create.
  • Reg. Only - DO NOT CHECK THIS BOX!  When this is checked, only "registered" users with a password can log-in. Users in myColby are not being managed in the portal itself, but rather being passed in automatically from the college's database records.  If you check this box, users will get an error message that says "User[name] is not registered."
  • White Board - When this is checked, all messages in a room will be deleted when  the last user leaves the room. NOTE:  Do not check this box if you ever want to save the contents of a chat room!
  • Abusive Words - This allows you to enter a list of words to be rejected by the server.  If a user uses one of these words and clicks Send, a window will pop-up reading "Your message was rejected by the server: you used an abusive word which is restricted."
  • Min Msg Interval - This sets the minimum time interval (in milliseconds) between 2 consecutive messages to protect against "flooding".
  • Restricted Names - This allows you to enter a list of user names that can't be used (even as a part of a user name) to access a chat room.  If any part of a user's name matches a name on this list, they will see a message that reads "Illegal User Name: it matched a restricted word: [lists the name here]."  This is case sensitive.
  • Banned Users - If you selected the Site checkbox under the options for banning a user or IP address, when you ban someone, their user name will appear in the Banned Users box.  That user will get a "You are banned from entering [Chat Room Name]." when they try to enter a chat room.  You can remove them from this list by highlighting their name, pressing Backspace or Delete and clicking the Update button.  You can also type in names here (one per line_ and click on update to ban a user when they are not connected to the chat.
  • Banned IPs - If you selected the Site checkbox under the options for banning a user or IP address, when you ban an IP address, it will appear in the Banned IPs box.  That user will get a "This IP address is banned from entering [Chat Room Name]." when they try to enter a chat room from that address.  You can remove them from this list by highlighting the IP address, pressing Backspace or Delete and clicking the Update button.
Send a Message to All Users
 
You can send a message to all users currently in any chat room in this instance of the chat portlet.
  • Type your message in the Send a Message to All Users box.
  • Click Send.
 

You can take the following steps either on the page where the chat portlet resides, or on the main or full view of that portlet.
  • Click on the the title of the Chat room you wish to enter.
  • A new window will pop-up.  NOTE:  If it does not, make sure you have allowed pop-ups for the portal.  Look for a bar at the top of the window, telling you that a pop-up has been blocked.  Then click on options or preferences button in this bar, and allow pop-ups from the portal server.
  • The window will have several different areas:
    Messages Window - This large area starting at the top left of the window will display the text of any chatting that is in progress.
    Message Toolbar - Just below the dialogue area is a blue bar which has options to format your text, save the text of the chat, customize alert settings, change your status, and print the chat.
    Message Text Entry Area - The area below the toolbar is where you will enter the text of your message.
    Status Message - Below the text entry area is the status message.  It may say Ready, Away, etc.  If you are idle for a period of time, you may see "Your status has changed to Not Available."  You can still enter a message and as soon as you do, this will change  to "Your status has changed to Online."
    Users Online - In the upper right corner of the window, you will see a list of users who are currently connected to the chat room.
    Chat Rooms - Below the Users Online is a list of chat rooms created for this instance of the chat portlet.
  • Enter your message in the text entry area and hit return or click on Send.
  • In the messages window, you will see your name (in blue), along with your message.
 Formatting Your Message Text

The formats available in the Message Toolbar  -  font color,  bold,  italic or  underline - will apply to all text in your current message. 

  • Click on the corresponding icon for the format you want to apply to your text.  Click again to remove it.  You can click on an icon at any time to apply it to the current and future messages in this session.
  • Click on the icon again to discontinue that format.
Using Emoticons
  • With your cursor positioned where you want to insert the emoticon, click on the icon to view the available emoticons.
  • Click on the emoticon you want to insert.
  • The text representing your emoticon will appear in your message.  When you send the message, the emoticon will appear in the message window.
Saving the Text of a Chat Session
  • Click on the (save) icon.
  • Depending on your browser settings, the .txt file will be downloaded to your computer, or you will be asked if you want to open the file or save to disk.
Sending a Private Message 
  • In the Users Online list, click on the name of the person to whom you'd like to send a private message.
  • Click on Private Message.
  • This will open a small window with a To User: field (with the user's name filled in) and a Message field. 
  • Enter your message and click Send or enter a return.
  • The message will appear in the messages window, with a pink background behind the user's name, indicating it is a private message.
Ignore a User
  •  If there is a user whose messages you would rather not see, you can choose to "ignore" that user.
  • In the Users Online list, click on the name of the person you'd like to ignore.
  • Click on Ignore.
  • You will get a confirmation message that the user will be ignored and you will no longer see this person's entries in the messages window.
  • To see the person's messages again, click on their name and select Un-Ignore.  Again, you will get a confirmation that the user will NOT be ignored.

NOTE:  The user will not know that they are being ignored UNLESS he/she tries to send you a private message!!

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Chat Rooms
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Our chat rooms open in a pop-up window. You must turn off your browser's pop-up blocker (or set it to accept pop-ups from this site) to use our chat rooms.

There are no customizable preferences for individual users for the chat portlet when you click on the (Customize) icon.