Something I forgot to mention this week is that we now have a new list
feature that might be useful in facilitating different kinds of
conversations between list members. JISCmail have added a real time chat
room facility so that list members can 'meet' more informally in smaller
groups. This may also help to reduce list traffic not intended for mass
If you would like to try logging on for chat with other list members, or
if you would like to schedule a meeting there with others from the list,
then please feel free to do so.
Go to the list webpage and choose 'Discussion Room' (you may need to log
Please remember that real time chat sessions will NOT be archived or
distributed to the whole list. Anyone who is not present in the chat
will not know what has been said unless someone tells them. So, if there
is an interesting development in your chat meeting then it might be
useful to summarise it and post an email to the list for information.
Please feel free to schedule chat meetings on particular topics by
posting an invitation to the list (if you do this please be careful to
specify the time and time zone when you will be logging on, e.g. GMT,
EST, CET, to avoid confusion). Alternatively, just log on and see if
anyone's there. Please remember this is an open space and all meetings
will be open to all list members to attend.
AND NOW THE TECHNICAL BIT...
I'm not an expert but I am concerned that, like most chat software, the
technology may not be fully functional with screen readers. The issue
here is that often the screen reader will not identify who is speaking
in chat, although it may read the content. I'm sure JISCmail would
welcome feedback on this functionality. If there are questions or
comments on this please contact the JISCmail helpline directly
([log in to unmask]).
Initial feedback also suggests that a number academic users in the UK
are experiencing problems getting into the new chatrooms. This is mostly
because their University firewalls are blocking the connection. It's
worth a try but if you can't get in then please talk to your local IT
people as I'm afraid there is nothing I can do at this end. I had two
problems with this at Leeds...
First, my PC has a version of XP without Java installed (since Microsoft
were obliged to remove it). The friendly gnomes at our IT support
advised me to download the Sun Systems Java 2 runtime environment.
Second, the University firewall prevented outgoing TCP connections to
realchat.jiscmail.ac.uk on port 7979. This had to be enabled centrally
(in my case by enabling JIPS access on my account).
PS. you may also need to add www.jiscmail.ac.uk to your 'trusted sites'
in Explorer's Tools/Options/Security tab (and uncheck the secure server
authentication tickbox if enabled) ... or slaughter a fatted beast by
moonlight while incanting to the memory of Bill Gates
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