DCFSNM (Disability Coalition from Southern New Mexico), is a site dedicated to supporting those with disabilities. They have also been a long time supporter of the Retro Radio Podcast, and without their help, there would be no podcast. A new chat server has been set up using the Teamtalk chat client, and a special room has been set up just for Retro Radio. Check it out, and help get the word out about it. I’ve been trying to sit in the Retro-OTR room as much as possible, so stop in and don’t leave me to sit there all alone.
Instructions to Chat in the Room
TeamTalk is a program that you run on your Windows PC. A Mac version is available, but it does not work well with VoiceOver, and so is not recommended that you use it if you are blind or visually impaired. To get started, follow these steps:
Download and Install
- Download the software from bearware.dk
- When you’re installing the above program, you’ll come to a screen where you can choose which components you want. Choose the classic version. It is very accessible for those who are blind, and using screen readers.
- Tab to the list of components and arrow down until you find the “Teamtalk 4 classic” option.
- Press space, then enter.
Server and Host Setup
Once the setup process is complete, and you are in the Teamtalk application (start it up if it is not running already), you will need to do a one time set up of ouur chat server.
- From within Teamtalk, press f3. Tab until you get to the “host properties” group, and simply erase any information that may be already in the edit fields. For the “entry name”, type anything you want that will tell you what this server is. For example, “DCFSNM Chat” would be a good name to use. Or even Retro-OTR Chat.
- For “host address”, type dcfsnm.org.
- Note: because of the way the brilliant webmaster set this up, you could alternately enter the host as: retro-otr.com
4. Leave “password” blank, set both port fields to 10333 (they should be already),
You can skip everything else. Only admins to the chat server need to put login information in here.
5. To log directly into the Retro Radio room, be sure to put this in the field for the Channel: /Retro-OTR
6. Press enter on “Add/update” and you should be all set.
Getting Logged On
From now on, you’ll find the server settings you just installed in the list of other public servers that come preinstalled in Teamtalk. By the way, if you want to hide the list of those servers, put a tick in the checkbox just next to the list. You’ll only see the server you set up, and the official public server of Teamtalk.
1. Press F3 to open the list of hosts.
2. Select the DCFSNM, or Retro-OTR Chat host that you just made, tab to the Connect button, and hit it. Hint: you can just hit the Enter key on ytour keyboard once you select the host in the list.
- Once you are logged on, you can see any other users who are online, and join any of the available rooms. Note that some may be password-protected, depending on the operator who made the room.
To make sure your microphone and speakers are working, go to the preferences (F4), then do a Ctrl+tab until you get to the “Sound System” page. You will have a selection box for possible microphone options, and one for possible speakers attached to your computer.
If the selections look OK, tab to the Test Selected button, and click it. If you don’t hear the ambient sounds of the room you’re in, or your own voice as you speak, try another selection until you do.
When you’re done, tab to the OK button and hit it to save your settings.
Note: If you use speakers, rather than headphones, you will get loud feedback. Try moving yo9ur speakers away from your mike, or switch to a headset.
Joining or Leaving a Room
1. To join this or any room, just arrow to it and press control-j.
- To leave a room, arrow to it and press control-l).
Note: In the Server Properties screen mentioned above, there’s a field for a chat channel. If you include the /, then enter the exact room name including uppercase letters and any spaces, You can go right to that room when you log in. Just don’t make a typo, or you will create a room with a similar name, with you as the sole participant. Don’t worry, just arrow to the room you want, and join the chat there. Your room will go away once you leave it, but you’ll want to fix that Channel Field in your host properties.
You can also right click, hit the applications key, or shift-f10, on a room and choose the option you want from the pop up menu.
While in any room, you will see 2 edit fields, and three slider controls after the list of channels.
- The first edit field is a read only field for system and user messages.
- The second lets you chat by typing text and pressing enter.
- The first slider changes your microphone’s sensitivity (gain).
- The second changes the volume of the room in general as you hear it.
- The third one has to do withthe automatic voice activation on your mike, when in full duplex mode. Try ajusting at your own risk. The default is set at 10%, so try that if you need to reset it.
Voice or Video Chat
The server is not configured for video chat. It still might be done on a peer to peer basis though. Explore it on your own.
The default configuration is for full duplex, that means both your speakers and your mike is live, as though you were on a telephone call. You do not need to press a button to key the mike. You can choose to change this if you want to. Just remember to key your mike when you talk.
Using a key to activate your mike will have the affect of muting your mike, until you press a key to talk. This might be handy if you are in a noisy environment.
Chat Rooms, or Channels
The terms Room, or Channel are interchangeable. Users have the ability to create their own room and administer it. Passwords may be set, unruly users might be kicked out or banned. When a room is no longer needed, or when a user logs out of the server, it will be deleted. Only admins can create a room that stays on the server.
There are many configurations to customize your chat room, and online experience. Please take the time to browse the menu system to see how you might record your session, share files, mute people in the room, or make other adjustments. There are too many tweaks to tell about to customize your experience than I can include here.
If you are using the Jaws for Windows screen reader, there are now Jaws scripts available for use with TeamTalk. The link will take you to a website where you can download these free scripts. We do not offer support for the scripts, though; please refer to the above link for help instead.
That’s it! We hope to see you at the next chat event, and please feel free to leave a comment or reply if you have any questions.