So finally we have a stable Chat Room. The software is called XAT CHAT. You can try it in our Chat Room Page. Below are the reasons.
LOG IN: First time you will be logged in automatically with some name like ‘SnoogleBunny’ or something like that. Just click on it in the list of names on the right and change it to whatever you want.
YOUR NAME: XAT will remember you next time you log from your computer. You can change your name but please do suitably identify yourself.
LIST OF USERS: It shows who all are logged on. If their pawn is green the person is online. Red if Offline. Click on name for options. For me (Mansoor – Administrator) the pawn is golden when I am online and red when offline.
SOUNDS & ALERTS: XAT has sound alert each time you send or receive a message.
AUDIES: Sounds that you can send mainly to draw attention to start a chat. You can send these sounds by copying the code into the message space and hitting ‘ENTER’. List of Audie codes is in the panel below.
SMILIES: Click to select a smilie from the row above message area. Hit ENTER to send.
CHAT LOG: XAT retains the last 15 or so lines of the chat. BUT if you want privacy then you can start a private chat that starts in a seperate tab and is deleted on exit.
PRIVATE CHAT: To start a private chat click on name of person in list on the right and select ‘Private Chat’. This opens another tab in the chat window with the persons name on it. You can alway go back to the main chat by clicking on its tab.
PRIVATE MESSAGE: You can also send just a private message to any of the participants. Click on name of person and select Private Message.
HELP: For complete HELP go to XAT Chat Users Guide.
XAT Chat is easy to use but better to read some of the basic features.
This is a great feature from a site called authorSTREAM. First you make your PowerPoint presentation and then go to that site and convert to Flash and include in your page. Check it out if you have any need for this kind of thing. Use the controls above to move backward and forward in the slide sequence and BEST part is the full screen feature you can invoke by clicking on the rectangle above. TRY IT!
In case you need a program to read out the text on your screen or in some documents including word and pdf files, you should try out Text Aloud. It is absolutely fabulous. You can also get the program to make an mp3 file of any text you want and store it on your computer to play back later or email it or put it on your website as I have done for some pages.
I went for an English-Indian voice that you have to buy separately. Very pleasing to my ‘Indian’ ears and must say the reader, a female voice that the programmers call Sangeeta, manages to get a lot of the pronunciations correct. Including pretty good attempts at proper nouns.
Go to Acres Wild Homepage to check out how it sounds.
I feel quite foolish the way I had uploaded large images on this website. The fact was that I knew that something had to be done to optimize images for web use but I was using normal image editing programs to do it thru the ‘save as’ command and specifying a lower image quality. But this would not reduce the images below 150k to even as high as 500k and that too with a distinct deterioration of the image.
Last night I searched on Google and found a software called Jpeg Cruncher Pro 2.0 and I downloaded a trial verion. Using it just for 15 minutes I was sold and I bought an official copy. It works like a dream and the quality of images even as small as 20k is superb for an image size that I select of 500 x 370 pixels on my webpages. Another good feature is the ‘batch’ mode which allows a complete directory to be optimized in one go. There are lots of parameters you can set. If you need an image optimizer I would strongly recommend this one.
Anyway if you have visited our site before you will now notice there is a distinct improvement in the speed with which pages open. Will post more info on useful softwares I have found under ‘softwares’ category here on our blog.