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By Kendell Clark for the Vinux Project.
If you wish to chat with other Vinux users, there are two different methods of doing so. One uses text to communicate, called instant messaging. The other uses voice, through a microphone. We'll cover both in detail.
The instant messaging protocol Vinux uses is called IRC, or Internet Relay Chat. You can connect to the Vinux IRC server by using an IRC client, Irssi, Pidgin and Thunderbird.
Push the Super key to open the Dash, type Pidgin then arrow down and press Enter. Push Alt + F2, type Pidgin, and press Enter. If you hear Orca say 'Welcome to Pidgin', you were successful.
Setting up accounts for the first time
Starting Pidgin for the first time presents you with the Add Account dialogue. This is a standard dialogue box where Tab and Shift + Tab navigate. Pidgin will say that you have no accounts, and offer to add one. Press the Add Account button to open the dialogue. The first thing you will see in this dialogue is the Protocol Combo box. Pidgin can handle many different protocols, or types of instant messaging, but the one we're interested in is IRC. So press Space to open up the combo box, and scroll down until you get to IRC. Press Enter to close the combo box and Tab to the User Name field. This is the name other people will see you as, spaces are not allowed and should generally not be your full name. Next is the server field. which by default has irc.ubuntu.com, delete the content of the field and replace it with irc.vinuxproject.org then press Tab. Next, you will come to the Alias field, this is a tag you can give the server, in this case simply name it Vinux. Next are the Add and Cancel buttons. Press the Add button to add the account and save the settings, or press the Cancel button to close the dialogue without saving changes. If you've added the account, Pidgin will then try to connect to the server. If it's successful, a new window will pop up, called IRC. You can either close this or leave it open. When you're ready to talk to other Vinux users, press and hold Alt and Tab keys down until you hear Buddy List, and release. Press and hold the Control key and press C. This is to join a chat room. In the chat room field, type #Vinux then Enter to join the Vinux channel.
Please note that, when you start Pidgin next time, and for all other times afterwards, Pidgin will not display the Add Account dialogue, but will instead just show the buddy list. If you want to add more accounts, you can press control A to access the accounts dialogue.
If you prefer to talk to other Vinux users through your computer's microphone rather than typing, you can use the built in Mangler program. If you've ever used Microsoft Windows, this is simply an open source version of the Windows Ventrilo program, so any servers you might use there will work on Mangler. If not, we'll cover Mangler in detail. To launch Mangler is similar to launching Pidgin; you can launch it from the dash, where you can type all or part of its name, followed by Enter, or you can run it from the Alt+F2 dialogue. When you start Mangler, it will display its window, with a tree view designed to show you what server you're on, and the different rooms in that server, as well as the users connected to that server. Since you're not connected to anything, the tree view will be blank. Tab to the Server list button and push Space, you will hear Mangler, Server list frame Add button.
If you are using Vinux our server information should be already mostly filled out, we don't know your name so select Vinux and Tab till you hear Username. Fill out your nick name you want to be known as, we do not require a password so you can safely leave that field blank. Tab to Update to save the settings and to Close to exit the Server list options.
If you do not already have the server information pre-filled, it is as follows:
server name Vinux
server hostname ventrilo.vinuxproject.org
server port 6546
username choose your name
password there is no password
When you connect you will hear a Pacman-like musical tone. To talk, hold down the Control and Shift keys together whilst speaking, release to stop transmitting. You cannot just talk, because this is not enabled by default. If you wish to enable this, consult Mangler's help menu for details. Note that during Vinux meetings, it is advisable not to have voice activation turned on, otherwise people may accidentally talk over each other.