For the most part, RinkChat is self-explanatory. What isn't immediately obvious is probably covered in this and the other help pages. Here are a few brief answers to some of the more basic and common questions you may have.
- What commands can I run in the chat room?
You can find out what commands are available to you by clicking on any of the various Help links and then clicking on List of Commands. You can also get a link to the Help pages by typing /help in a chat room.
- How do I perform actions? For example:
* Sam greets everyone.
Use the /me command. The /act command does something similar -- experiment!
- What does it mean when I get this kind of a message?
*Sam* How are you?
Messages that look like this are private messages. Private messages appear to only a particular person (or persons) specified by the sender. You can send private messages by selecting someone's name from the drop-down list next to the Post button before pressing it. Alternatively, you can use the /msg, which allows you to send private messages to multiple recipients. See /help msg for more information.
- The chat room keeps flickering. What's up with that?
The flicker is a consequence of the chat room not requiring Java or a plug-in of some sort to function. By default, new messages are displayed by the messages frame refreshing every few seconds. There is, however, something you can do.
The first thing to try is to click on Options. If there is an option for Update Method, then read the important info link next to it and change it to Streaming. Then exit the room and re-enter it so that this change will take effect. Unless your browser is one that has trouble with the streaming update method, this will probably be preferable to the refreshing update method.
If it is not, change your update method back to refreshing. With many browsers, some degree of flicker will be unavoidable, but if it is so bad that the chat room becomes unreadable, then either the chat room's server is bogged down, your Internet service provider is bogged down, and/or your Internet connection speed is slow. If the problem is this last, there is not much that can be done short of upgrading to a faster Internet connection (either with faster hardware or a faster service, whichever is slowing you down). Otherwise, little can be done except to wait it out. You can, at least, make the flickers occur less often by entering the Options menu and setting the Update Frequency to a higher value. The higher this number is, the longer it will take for newly posted messages to be displayed on your screen, so it's a trade-off.
- The newest messages appear on the bottom of the page, and I have to
scroll down to see them every time. Is there something I can do about
Yes. This problem occurs with some older browsers. There are three things you can try. One, go to Options and set the Update Method option (if it is present) to Streaming. Messages will still appear at the bottom, but the browser may scroll better. Two, go to Options and set the Message Order option so that new messages appear on the top. Three, try another browser or upgrade the one you've got.
- The text-entry box for entering messages keeps losing focus when I
type something in. How do I fix this?
- What do the tags [mod],
These tags indicate who has administrative privileges. These are the people "in charge" in that particular room, at that particular time. Administrators and operators are (probably) selected by the owner of the chat room. Moderators, on the other hand, are generally whoever created the room. This means anybody "off the street," as it were, could be a moderator. But a moderator's administrative privileges are limited to the room he's in. If you run into a bad moderator, simply switch to another room.
If you create a new room, you will become its moderator; you can also grant moderator status to others. See the Administration page in the help pages for more detailed information about the administration scheme. See the List of Commands page to see what commands are available to moderators (and other administrative statuses).
- What is the difference between the various room types?
In a nutshell, there are main rooms and user rooms; user rooms can be public or private. The main rooms are the central, general-purpose areas of RinkChat. These rooms are administered by the chat room's owner(s) and chosen administrators and operators. The main rooms are always present, even if there is no one in them.
User rooms come and go as people use them. Anyone can create a user room -- simply use the Create Public Room or Create Private Room button in the lobby. If you create a room, you are its moderator and can choose its topic and purpose. Once created, you can change the room's mode back and forth between public and private. (Public rooms are accessible to anyone, while private rooms are only accessible to those explicitly invited to the room.) You can also make the room an auto-quieting room, which allows you to conduct a moderated chat session.
- How do I find out about someone who isn't currently logged in?
Use the /profile command.
- My username isn't being recognized anymore. How come?
Check to make sure you typed it in correctly. If that isn't the problem, it's possible that your account was removed automatically after a long period of disuse. If this happens, simply reregister that username.