So the chat software we’ve been using for the word wars, tinychat (which is web-based and therefore ideal because everybody has a browser but not everybody has AIM/gchat/ICQ/whatever), has gone and made a bunch of Improvements which aren’t. I shall list them for you, because I know you’re dying to hear.
The different colored, bolded usernames (which helped differentiate chatters) have disappeared. So has the flashing toolbar announcement that there’s a new chat message, if you’re not on that window. The chat window itself is smaller, making it more difficult to follow conversations. The input window now, for some incomprehensible reason, displays bolded text. It’s now possible to log into a chat room without selecting a username, but there’s no way to bounce an anonymous guest. A flash window now pops up with irritating regularity to offer a pro (ie, paid) account. They have introduced a Twitter-length(ish) input limit. And (non-critically but sadly) the little flags which told people what country everybody was logging in from are gone.
This in general sucks, but in very, very *specific* sucks because my writing computer, Nook, is about ten years old and can just barely handle the internet. All I can do with it is connect to the chat room, which is *perfect*, because it means all I use the net for while I’m working is the wars.
Except I can no longer log in, because they’ve Improved it beyond my computer’s capability to cope.
Frustrated, and suspecting that our complaints (which, if you want to complain on, like, my behalf, can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org) will fall on deaf ears, I spent most of the afternoon setting up a different chat room off my cemurphy website. It’s ugly as hell–I haven’t figured out how to drop a skin over it–but at least it functions on my very old computer.
For at least one other of our warriors, though, it doesn’t work. She doesn’t see anybody’s chats unless she types something herself, and then she gets all of the comments she’s missed in a big spam.
I honestly don’t know what to do. I don’t want to spend hours testing different chat programs to see if I can find one that’ll work with everybody’s system, most difficultly mine. I *really* don’t want to buy a new work computer just so I can participate in the word wars, because not only is that expensive (even if I buy the cheapest desktop I can find), but my computer as-is really is *ideal* for me. I don’t *want* to be able to surf the net.
But I also really, really don’t want to give up on the word wars. They’ve been working so well for me, and for so many other people. I mean, clearly they can continue without me, I’m not integral to other people doing them, but *I* really want to be able to participate for my *own* good. And I’m *stupidly* stressed over this. :((x-posted from the essential kit)