Pichat user handbook

Last update 26/Jul/2010 by Mark Seuffert

1. First steps

Do you want to talk with other people? Here you can "chat" with friends, meet new people, exchange news and information. But be careful, chatting can make addicted!
1) First of all connect to a chat, after a few seconds is the connection established.
2) Change your name:/NICK name e.g. /nick Rookie (that's your new name)
3) Wake up a user:/PING name e.g. /ping Moak (now wait until he responds)
Some tips: Leave all formalities behind... it's very informal in a chat. You don't need to have reservations about getting in touch with others, just start chatting. People are usually friendly. As in real life you will meet lots of nice people but also psychopaths from time to time, simply ignore them. When you want to talk directly to someone enter his name followed by a colon, for example: Moak: Hi, how are you?
With smileys you are also able to express feelings, see smileys and internet slang below. Tip

2.1. Chat software

Windows user interface
Windows user interface
Pichat is a software to communicate and exchange information. You can use it to chat on the internet and in the local network (LAN). You can directly connect to friends in your local network.
Software is available for Linux/BSD/Windows, please see Pichat downloads.
After starting Pichat you also have a running LAN messenger, chat server and web server. Your friends don't have to install the Pichat software in order to chat with you, all they need is a web browser, for more details see below. The integrated web server can be used for file transfer, for example to share files with your friends. There are also plugins to extend the chat with new features.

2.2. Webchat

Practical webchat
Practical webchat
Pichat comes with a webchat. It makes it very easy to chat and all you need is a web browser. If you are on the road or on vacations you can immediately start chatting with your friends.
Example:Visit our webchat...
 
http://eu.pichat.net/chat - Pichat Europa
The webchat works with nearly any web browser, no plugins required. Most chat features are available in the webchat, a modern web browser gives best results but also text browsers are fully supported. Problems or errors? If you can't log in please activate the 'simple text mode'. Maybe the chat is simply offline at the moment, please contact a chat admin or try again later.

2.3. Text chat

Simple text chat with telnet
Simple text chat with telnet
Alternatively, you can access Pichat with telnet. This offers a very simple text chat and great for users who prefer a dead simple user interface. No graphics, no fancy features.
Example:Connect to the following server...
 
telnet eu.pichat.net 9009
A telnet software is required for the text chat, if not already installed on your computer you can get it for any operating system. Not all chat features are available with telnet, for example there are no smileys and no graphics.

3. Smileys and internet slang

There is a lot you can do with text input. Use smileys to express feelings, to laugh, to swear or to flirt. Already the first internet users knew smileys and used them to prevent misunderstandings and emotional ice age. Pichat shows smileys as small graphics in chat window.
With :) you will get a happy smiley, here a list of all smileys and graphics:
Smileys and small graphics
Smileys and small graphics
smileys:) :)) :] ;) :p ;p :~ :D ;D :, :' :( :[ :/ :\ :s :x
:omg: :wtf: :nice: :mad: :red: :green: :sick: :blue: :((
taunts:swear: :bomb: :zzz: :???: :chat?: :chat!: :taps:
symbols:sound: :tel: :tv: :dot: :arrow1: :arrow2: :candle: :idea: :asian1: :asian2:
flirt:love: :hearts: :kisses: :rose:
fun:coffee: :beer: :beers: :wine: :winew: :sekt: :tequila: :water:
:cola: :colap: :pizza: :smoke:
Internet slang and common abbreviations:
brb"be right back", when you are away for a short time
cu"see you", the most common way to say good bye
lol"laughing out loud", when you can't hold back loud laughing
mompl"moment please", when you are busy or working on something
re"returned", common greeting when you return after a short time
rotfl"rolling on the floor laughing", having tears in your eyes and better
rtfm"read the fine manual", read the damn documentation you lazy slacker
ttyl"talk to you later", when you gonna be away for longer
wtf"what the f...", when your are very surprised or meet fucking idiots
 
flamewhen somebody massively annoys or provokes other people
floodone way of flaming, when somebody floods the screen with junk data
lagdelay in communication, responses from other people arrive delayed
rl"real life", where you still have to eat and drink
we"weekend", oh yeeeeeeeeeeeees! *happy-joy*

4. Text formatting and colors

You can use bold and colors to highlight text in the chat. There are four different text colors. The displayed colors depend on the selected color scheme, in the most color schemes this corresponds to the colors red/green/blue/yellow.
Text formatting with the keyboard:
Ctrl+Bwrite bold, press again for normal text
Ctrl+Pwrite colored, press again to choose between text color 1-4
Ctrl+Owrite normal, switch off colors and bold
Text formatting with wiki text, can be used optionally:
'''bold text'''bold text
###1text color one###text color one
###2text color two###text color two
###3text color three###text color three
###4text color four###text color four

5.1. Chat commands

After you made yourself familiar with the basic chat features it's time to read further. Let's check out more chat commands and see what they can do. Not all commands have to be available and some commands may be used by chat admins only. Type /HELP to see which chat commands are available at the moment.
Overview of all chat commands:
/AWAY
Change away status with optional text. In DND mode (Do Not Disturb) are all sound effects and many visual effects disabled.
Hotkey:Ctrl+Y = change away status
Syntax:/AWAY [text]
/AWAY DND [text]
/CHATROOMS
Show chatrooms on chat server. Many chat servers allow users to create own chatrooms, you can see them in a list with all chatrooms. If no argument is given only permanent chatrooms are shown.
Syntax:/CHATROOMS
/CHATROOMS ALL
/C
/CLEAR
Clear current chat window.
Hotkey:Ctrl+L = clear chat window
Syntax:/CLEAR
/COLORSCHEME
Show or select color scheme. You can specify a color scheme by name or number. The chat comes with two built-in color schemes: 1 = Day, 2 = Night. If no argument is given all available color schemes are shown.
Hotkey:Ctrl+K = change color scheme (day/night mode)
Syntax:/COLORSCHEME
/COLORSCHEME name|number
/CONNECT
Connect to a chat server. You can open a connection in a new chat window by adding 'NEW' before server address. When you enter a chat server you will automatically join the chat server's entrance (default chatroom). Many chat servers also allow to specify any nickname, chatroom and language when entering.
Syntax:/CONNECT address [nickname chatroom language]
/CONNECT NEW address [nickname chatroom language]
/HELP
List all chat commands on chat server.
/JOIN
Join a chatroom. You can specify chatrooms by name or number. There are multiple chatrooms on a chat server for talking about different topics. Many chatrooms are available to anyone, conference chatrooms require a code.
Syntax:/JOIN chatroom|number [!code]
/J chatroom|number [!code]
/LAG
Show lag to chat server. Lag is the time a message takes to be sent to chat server and back to you. There's an automatic lag detection built in which warns you when bigger lags occur.
Syntax:/LAG
/LANGUAGE
Show or select language. You can specify a language by its international abbreviation, e.g. 'de', 'en' or 'sv'. If no argument is given all available languages are shown.
Syntax:/LANGUAGE
/LANGUAGE name
/LEAVE
Leave chatroom and go back to the entrance (default chatroom).
Syntax:/LEAVE
/L
/LOGOUT
Leave chat with optional text.
Syntax:/LOGOUT [text]
/QUIT [text]
/ME
Perform an action, e.g. '/me is waving' becomes '* Moak is waving'. Tip
Syntax:/ME text
/MOTD
Show message of the day (MOTD). The message of the day is automatically shown when entering a chat. Messages can be available for all or only for a specific language. If no argument is given the message of the day for your own language is displayed.
Syntax:/MOTD
/MOTD ALL
/MESSAGE
Private message between two users. Other users can not read what you write to each other, e.g. '/message Moak What are you doing tonight?'.
Syntax:/MESSAGE nickname text
/MSG nickname text
/NICK
Change your nickname.
Syntax:/NICK nickname
/PING
Ping a single user or all users in chatroom. When pinging a single user the time is meassured, which a ping takes to be sent to a user and back to you, and if possible displayed. When pinging you can specify an optional number starting with exclamation mark, for example to play a special sound effect.
Syntax:/PING [nickname] [!number]
/PONG
Pong back a single user, just for fun. You can specify an optional number starting with exclamation mark, for example to play a special sound effect.
Hotkey:Ctrl+G = pong back last user
Syntax:/PONG [nickname] [!number]
/STATUS
Show chat status. If no argument is given a short chat status is shown with user number and chat activity. You can optionally show a longer chat status or specific status information.
Hotkey:Ctrl+Shift+S = show chat status
Syntax:/STATUS
/STATUS ALL
/STATUS PORTS|USERS|TRAFFIC|UPTIME
/TIMESTAMP
Show or hide time stamp. You can also set a local time in a chat window and choose between 12 and 24 hours format. The local time can be specified with or without seconds, e.g. 14:30. If no argument is given the time stamp is toggled between on and off.
Hotkey:Ctrl+Z, F2 = show/hide time stamp
Syntax:/TIMESTAMP
/TIMESTAMP ON|OFF|TOGGLE
/TIMESTAMP SET|SETSILENT localtime [12|24]
/TOPIC
Show topic of a chatroom. You can specify chatrooms by name or number. If no argument is given the topic of the current chatroom is shown.
Syntax:/TOPIC [chatroom|number]
/UNAWAY
Remove away status and optionally show time being away.
Hotkey:Ctrl+Y = change away status
Syntax:/UNAWAY
/UNAWAY TIME
/USER
Log in or out as registered user. All attempts are logged.
Syntax:/USER LOGIN username password
/USER LOGOUT
/VERSION
Show version chat server is running.
Syntax:/VERSION
/WHO
List users in chatroom. You can specify chatrooms by name or number. If no argument is given users in current chatroom are shown.
Syntax:/WHO [chatroom|number]
/W [chatroom|number]
/WHOIS
Show information about a specific user.
Syntax:/WHOIS nickname
/WI nickname

5.2. Chat admin commands

The following commands and options are available for chat admins only. On your own chat server you are automatically chat admin. Admins look after the chat server and make sure that the chat is not been abused, therefore they have more more rights than normal users. Type /HELP to see which chat commands are available.
/BAN
Ban user or IP address from chatroom or the whole chat. You can specify an optional reason and a time in seconds. Setting zero seconds means unlimited ban time. The user is removed if necessary and can not join anymore before time has elapsed or ban was removed. Available bans are shown together with the remaining time.
Syntax:/BAN nickname|ip chatroom [reason] [bantime]
/BAN nickname|ip CHAT [reason] [bantime]
/BAN SHOW chatroom
/BAN SHOW CHAT
/BAN SHOW ALL
/BROADCAST
Send text to all users in the chat or to a specific group of users. The chat has different user types (zombie, visitor, normal, moderator, admin). For a description of user types see below.
Syntax:/BROADCAST ALL text
/BROADCAST usertype text
/CHATMODE
Show or change chat server mode. When closing the chat you can specify an optional text and a quit time in seconds. Setting zero seconds means all existing users can stay, otherwise are users logged out when time has elapsed. If no argument is given all available chat modes are shown (open, members, closed). For a description of chat modes see below.
Syntax:/CHATMODE
/CHATMODE SET mode [text] [quittime]
/CHATMODE SHOW
/GUIDE
Guide user into another chatroom. You can specify an optional reason and also guide users into conference rooms without specifying the code. The chatroom has to exist already.
Syntax:/GUIDE nickname chatroom [reason]
/MOTD
Show or change message of the day (MOTD). The message of the day is automatically shown when entering a chat. Messages can be targeted at all or only at a specific language, for specific languages use a text beginning with a language abbreviation and colon, e.g. 'de:', 'en:' or 'sv:'. If no argument is given the message of the day for your own language is displayed.
Syntax:/MOTD
/MOTD ALL
/MOTD SET text
/MOTD ADD text
/MOTD CHANGE linenumber text
/MOTD DELETE|REMOVE linenumber
/MOTD CLEAR
/ROOMINFO
Show extended chatroom information. You can search for information about existing chatrooms or chatrooms that are no longer present. When using a search pattern with wildcards a list of existing chatrooms is displayed that match the pattern, e.g. '/ROOMINFO *welcome*'.
Syntax:/ROOMINFO chatroom
/ROOMINFO searchpattern
/ROOMINFO ALL
/ROOMMODE
Show or change chatroom mode. When changing to a conference chatroom you also need to specify a code starting with an exclamation mark, e.g. !code1234. If no argument is given all available chatroom types are shown (normal, moderated, conference). For a description of chatroom types see below.
Syntax:/ROOMMODE
/ROOMMODE SET chatroomtype chatroom [!code]
/ROOMMODE SHOW chatroomtype
/TOPIC
Show or change topic of a chatroom. With the text 'default' you can set the default topic, which is the chat server welcome message. If no argument is given the topic of the current chatroom is shown.
Syntax:/TOPIC [chatroom|number]
/TOPIC SET chatroom text
/TOPIC CLEAR chatroom
/UNBAN
Remove ban from chatroom or the chat.
Syntax:/UNBAN nickname|ip chatroom
/UNBAN nickname|ip CHAT
/UNBAN ALL chatroom
/UNBAN ALL CHAT
/USERINFO
Show extended user information. You can search for information about users that are online, no longer connected to the chat server or have changed their nickname. When using a search pattern with wildcards a list of existing users is displayed that match the pattern (users that are currently online), e.g. '/USERINFO Moak*' or '/USERINFO *pichat.net*'.
Syntax:/USERINFO nickname
/USERINFO searchpattern
/USERINFO ALL
/USERMODE
Show or change user mode. When changing a user mode you can specify an optional reason and a quit time in seconds. Setting zero seconds means user can stay for unlimited time, otherwise is the user logged out when time has elapsed. If no argument is given all available user types are shown (zombie, visitor, normal, moderator, admin). For a description of user types see below.
Syntax:/USERMODE
/USERMODE SET usertype nickname [reason] [quittime]
/USERMODE SHOW usertype
The chat server can run in 3 different chat modes:
  • open = any user can enter the chat
  • members = only registered users can enter the chat
  • closed = no new users can enter the chat
There are 5 different chat user types:
  • zombie = can not talk with other users, no chatroom change
  • visitor = maybe restricted to talk with other users or to change chatrooms
  • normal = no restrictions, default user type on most chat servers
  • moderator = no restrictions, can also talk in moderated chatrooms
  • admin = administration rights, immune against bans and mode changes
There are 3 different chatroom types:
  • normal = any user can join and talk
  • moderated = only moderators and chat admins can talk in the chatroom
  • conference = only users with correct code can join the chatroom
Notes for chat admins: When somebody is causing trouble try talking with him first. Generally, chat admins should not get involved into people's fights and disputes. Encourage peaceful communication. If negotiating doesn't help, ban the user from the chatroom and let him cool down for a few minutes. You can also turn a trouble maker into a 'zombie', he can not talk anymore with other users and will be automatically removed from the chat. As a last measurement you can ban a problematic user from the whole chat.

5.3. Special chat commands

There are some more special commands which are internally used in the chat and not listed by Pichat's /HELP command. Most users don't need them but explore if you are curious.
/ACLEAR
Clear all chat windows, like typing /CLEAR in all chat windows.
/ALIAS
Show aliases. Aliases let you do common things more easily, have a look at the existing ones. It is possible to define your own aliases, e.g. for favourite commands and often used text phrases.
Syntax:/ALIAS
/ALOGOUT
Leave all chat servers with optional text, like typing /LOGOUT in all chat windows.
Syntax:/ALOGOUT [text]
/AQUIT [text]
/AME
Send action text to all chat windows, like typing /ME in all chat windows.
Syntax:/AME text
/ASAY
Send text to all chat servers, like typing /SAY in all chat windows.
Syntax:/ASAY text
/ASTATUSTEXT
Output a local status text in all chat windows, the text is NOT send to any chat server. Similar to typing /STATUSTEXT in all chat windows, but chat windows not connected to a chat server will ignore this command.
Syntax:/ASTATUSTEXT text
/ASTATUSTEXT STATUS|WARN|ERROR text
/CHECK
Show status of local software components. This command is used to run internal consistency checks and to show internal event log. See what is running under the hood, possible problems and malfunctions are shown in red. This command is only giving you information about your own chat server. Btw, you are also able to fire the built-in crash report with a self destruct... :)
Syntax:/CHECK ALL
/CHECK DATA|GUI|PLUGIN|LOG
/CHECK SELFDESTRUCT
/DISCONNECT
Disconnect from a chat server, you can also use it to stop running reconnections to a chat server. It's similar to /LOGOUT but without goodbye handshake and guarantees an immediate disconnect, usually you use /LOGOUT.
Syntax:/DISCONNECT
/DNS
Resolve hostname or IP address, e.g. '/dns www.pichat.net'. Allow a few seconds to finish DNS lookup, you can run multiple lookups simultaneously if necessary.
Syntax:/DNS hostname|ip
/DNSFRESH
Resolve hostname or IP address again, not using buffered entry. If no hostname or IP is given the whole DNS buffer will be cleared.
Syntax:/DNSFRESH
/DNSFRESH hostname|ip
/ECHO
Show or change settings for chat server output. If no argument is given all available echo settings are shown. This command is only available for webchat and text chat users.
Syntax:/ECHO
/ECHO SET|SETSILENT settings [ON|OFF|TOGGLE]
/ECHO SHOW
The following echo settings are supported:
GRAPHICS=show smileys and graphics (webchat only)
LINKS=show clickable hyperlinks (webchat only)
NICKHIGHLIGHT=show colored nicknames
PINGSUPPORT=enable ping replies and lag detection (text chat only)
SOUND=play ping/pong sound effects (where available)
STATUSHIGHLIGHT=show colored status lines
TEXT=show typed in text lines
TEXTHIGHLIGHT=show highlighted text lines in bold
TIMESTAMP=show text lines with time stamp
WIKITEXT=use wiki text for bold and colors
/ECHOSCREEN
Show or change webchat screen size, you can set a maximum number of text lines to be shown on your screen. The chat window will be cleared after maximum of lines is reached. Setting zero lines enables unlimited text lines. If no argument is given the current screen size is shown. This command is only available for webchat users.
Syntax:/ECHOSCREEN
/ECHOSCREEN SET|SETSILENT lines
/OFFLINE
Go offline and close all network connections.
Syntax:/OFFLINE
/ONLINE
Go back online. Your own chat server statistics and bans will be reset when the chat is back online.
Syntax:/ONLINE
/PINGREPLY
Send a ping reply to chat server, used to test the network connection.
Syntax:/PINGREPLY text
/PLUGIN
Show local chat plugins or send commands to chat plugin. You can specify a plugin by name or number. By sending 'help' to a plugin you receive a list of available commands (it depends on plugin which commands are available). The command to send must not start with another slash. Too add or remove plugins you need to specify the file name.
Hotkey:Ctrl+Shift+O = show chat options and plugins
Syntax:/PLUGIN
/PLUGIN name|number command [text]
/PLUGIN ADD filename
/PLUGIN REMOVE filename
/RAW
Send a raw and unparsed command direct to a chat server. Experienced users may use this to bypass the chat client's parsing. The command to send must not start with another slash.
Syntax:/RAW command [text]
/SAY
Send text to chat server as if you were saying something. This command is used to output text with a command. The command '/say I am back again' would be the same as typing 'I am back again' in current chat window.
Syntax:/SAY text
/STATUSTEXT
Output a local status text, the text is NOT send to any chat server. This command can be used to print out local status messages.
Syntax:/STATUSTEXT text
/STATUSTEXT STATUS|WARN|ERROR text

6. Hotkeys

For your convenience there are a couple of keyboard shortcuts in Pichat. While chatting you can access important functions more easily using the keyboard, especially functions you use often. Please note that not all hotkeys are available for webchat and text chat users.
Up/Down=input history, show last typed in text lines Tip
Ctrl+B=write bold, press again for normal text
Ctrl+P=write colored, press again to choose between text color 1-4
Ctrl+O=write normal, switch off colors and bold
Ctrl+C=copy text into clipboard
Ctrl+V=paste from clipboard
Tab=nickname completion at beginning of nicknames,
to answer a private message press Tab in empty input
 
Ctrl+K=change color scheme (day/night mode)
Ctrl+I=change input size
Ctrl+L=clear chat window
Ctrl+G=pong back last user
Ctrl+U=show/hide side bar (chatrooms and users)
Ctrl+S=show/hide smiley bar
Ctrl+Z, F2=show/hide time stamp
Ctrl+R=enable/disable text filter
Ctrl+Y=change away status
Ctrl++=bigger text
Ctrl+-=smaller text
Ctrl+0=normal text size
 
Ctrl+T=open new chat window
Ctrl+W=close chat window
Ctrl+Tab=switch to another chat window
 
Ctrl+Shift+S=show chat status
Ctrl+Shift+O=show chat options
F1=show Pichat information and version number
F2=show/hide time stamp
F3=enable/disable sticky window (always on top)
F4=show/hide contacts
F5=update contacts
F10=show 3D window (experimental)
Windows+P=show/hide main window
Esc=minimise main window

7. Chat terms

The chatroom
The expression "chat" means "informal conversation" or to talk more than a few words. When chatting you can speak with other people, talk in chatrooms about different topics or simply exchange news with each other. When you enter a chat you will automatically join the entrance (default chatroom). It is also possible to create your own chatroom, e.g. for a new topic or for talking with your friends.
The helpful bots
These are small, automatically running programs in the chat which should make your everyday life easier, they look just like normal users. Bots can perform specific tasks on their own and extend the chat with useful features. There are for example chat bots which greet new users and quiz bots that you can play games with.
The annoying lag
Because of network problems it can come to a delay of data transfer, the so called lag. If you don't receive chat updates for a while or have to wait forever to get an answer from someone then you probably encountered a lag. The chat has an automatic lag detection built in which warns you when bigger lags occur.
The legendary chat admins
They really exist! They look after the chat server and make sure that the chat is not been abused. For this purpose they have more rights than normal users, they can for instance ban a user from a chatroom or even ban trouble makers from the whole chat. Chat admins usually don't get involved into little conflicts and disputes.

8. Tips and tricks

  • Learning by doing. The easiest way of learning something is through practical experience, just play around and try it.
  • When you want to talk directly to someone in a chatroom enter his name followed by a colon, for example: 'Moak: Hey, how are you'. It is common to use "hi" as a greeting (check who is greeting back) and when you want to say good bye you mostly write a short "cu". If you are coming new into a chatroom you should first read along a little bit so that you won't interrupt other users.
  • In a chat you can never be absolutely sure to talk with the person that the other pretends to be. It's easy to fake a false identity. When meeting new persons you don't have to be immediately suspicious, but on the other side you also shouldn't believe everything.
  • Flirt, love, passion: everything is possible in a chat! There is little difference between net romance and real life, you can act in the chat in the same way you would normally do. What starts as a small flirt can easily become more... there are many who found each other in a chat. By the way, if you are looking for singles you should have a look into the chatroom 'Flirt'.
  • How to continue? If you have questions please see frequently asked questions or talk with other users in the chat. Tip

And always remember...

First it was believed the earth is a disc. Then it was announced it is round.
Shortly later the planets were discovered, space and the cyber space.
Finally, the most important discovery was made: the CHAT SPACE!!!
Okay, that's it. Now you are perfectly equipped with all fundamentals and things you need to know, there is of course some more to learn and to try out. Your are already on the way to become a pro chatter... you know that I warned you! CU :)
Pichat is a simple to use chat software. It comes with integrated LAN messenger and webchat. The chat server supports multiple chatrooms, text formatting with smileys and a user-friendly webchat (HTML, CSS, DOM, JavaScript). The webchat works with nearly any web browser, easily integrated into your design, no PHP/Flash/Java required. Software for free information exchange for Linux and Windows. Built with Yellow