Java Chat Software

General Use
Button Toolbar
Font Size
Text Color
URL's & eMail Addresses
Private Messages
Profanity Filter
Float & Dock
Message Scrollback
Copy Chat Content
Administrator Commands
Trouble Connecting?

SigmaChat v7.x Online Help

SigmaChat Java™ Chat Software

Welcome to the new (and hopefully improved) PeopleWithMS Chat.  The many problems with Pop-up blockers, stability, as well as font size and color limitations in DreamChat, have led us to this new chatroom software.  

This help page describes many of the features which are currently available, or which we plan to make available, in our chatroom 

Please let us know by of any problems you observe.  And most important, e-mail us with any software problem which prevents your entering chat.  We want this chat to be as easily and widely accessible as we can make it, so any problem you have is likely one others have or will experience.  


General Use

To log in, simply enter your username/handle in the text box located at the center of the applet and press Enter. Certain restrictions are imposed upon usernames, and they should be 64 letters or less in length. A sample login dialog is shown below:
The best way to login is to first use the "Float" button to open a new window.  The resulting login & chat window can easily be resized by clicking and dragging the edges.
  • Passwords are optional for Guests.  
  • Registration is not required.  Frequent chatters register and use passwords to retain chat settings between sessions, or for special functional roles such as Administrators.

To communicate in the chat room, you may simply type text into the multi-line text box towards the bottom of the applet, and press Enter to send your message. Your message will appear in the content (larger) box above it when it is received by our server. Others may then read what you have typed, and respond to you. If you wish to get another user's attention, simply type in (or click if available) their name somewhere within the message that you are sending them. Their message will appear in a different color, and a sound will be played. A sample text input box is shown below:

You will notice various buttons within the chat room. These allow you to logout, request help (as you have already figured out), float/dock the chat room, turn on/off audio, specify color settings, and more. Buttons are described in detail in the Button Toolbar section of this control panel. A sample selection of buttons is shown below:

You may have access to some of the features described above by right clicking in the content area where messages appear.

If you wish to exit the chat room at any time, simply click the Logout button. On some systems after logging out you will automatically be taken to another website, on others, you will have the option of logging back in again.

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Button Toolbar

The button toolbar provides access to various features of this chat software. Some systems may have the button toolbar disabled to conserve screen space, or may have opted to remove certain buttons from the toolbar. The button toolbar can be found after you have logged in. Below is a description of each button.

Color Button. This button allows you to change your current text color.
Emoticons Button. This button allows you to select an emoticon from the emoticon popup window.
Audicons Button. This button allows you to select an audicon from the audicon popup window.
Timestamp Button. This button allows you to enable or disable timestamps.
Audio Button. This button allows you to enable or disable audio within the chat room.
Copy Content Button. This button allows you to copy content from the chat room.
Font Zoom In Button. This button allows you to increase the current font size.
Font Zoom Out Button. This button allows you to decrease the current font size.
Clear Screen. This button allows you to clear the contents of the chat screen.
Float/Dock Button. This button allows you to float or dock the chat room.
Help Button. This button allows you access to this chat room help file.
Logout Button. This button will log you out of the chat room.

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Image Emoticons

Emoticons are textual representations of emotions, for conveying feelings in an atmosphere where it would be difficult to express them otherwise. Certain text emoticons are recognized by SigmaChat and will automatically be translated into their image counterpart. To your right is a list of the default (stock) emoticons provided with SigmaChat. Simply type in text that you see in the second column, and the corresponding image (shown in the third column) will appear in the chat room. 

PeopleWithMS will be adding additional emoticons, and providing some guidelines on how chatters can construct and submit additional emoticons.

Smile :)
Grin :D
Blink *)
Tongue :p
Sad :(
Angry :<
Unsure :?
Laugh lol
Smug :/
Surprised :o
Wink ;)

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Audicons work similarly to image emoticons, except that instead of displaying an image, they play a sound for all to hear. To your left is a list of the default audioicons provided with SigmaChat. 

PeopleWithMS will be adding additional audicons, and providing some guidelines on how chatters can construct and submit additional audicons.

To find out which audicons you have access to, right click in the area where you type your messages and select "Audicons", or click the Audicon button in the Button Toolbar.

Audicon Guidelines:  Your emoticon must be in Sun ".au" format and no larger than 24 kilobytes in size. Although this isn't the most common format, file converters are available to turn a ".wav"  "midi" or other popular formats into an ".au" formatted file.

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Font Size

You may change the size of your font by accessing the right-click content menu. To do so, right click on the content area (the area where messages are displayed) and a small menu will appear. Select "Font Size" to show the font selections allowing you to change your font size. Click on the font size you'd like to use. You may also increase/decrease the size of the displayed text by using the Zoom-In and Zoom-Out buttons located in the Button Toolbar.

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Text Color

Users may change their own text color as it is displayed within the chat room. To change your text color, you may right click in the content area (where messages are displayed) and select "Colors". You may also access the color dialog by clicking the Color button within the Button Toolbar.

A sample color dialog is shown to the left. You may select a color directly from the web-safe palette, or you may manually adjust the red, green, and blue scrollbars to find the color that you wish to use. Click the Apply or OK button to apply your new color settings.

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SigmaChat recognizes various text commands. A complete list of commands presently recognized by SigmaChat are shown below. You will notice that these commands are IRC-like in nature. Command Macros allow you to quickly perform some of these functions by reducing keystrokes.

Do not use brackets. Brackets are shown to differentiate commands from parameters.

Private messages displayed within the main content area may appear in a unique color to be easily differentiated from messages intended for the (public) chat room.
Command Macrosx Descriptionx
/a [verb/action] /me Perform an action
/beepall Beep on all messages, audio notification.
/clign Clear Ignore List
/cls Clear Screen
/create [subroom] [password] Create Subroom
/ignore /i Show Ignore List
/ignore [username] /i Ignore User
/info SigmaChat Product Information
/join [subroom] [password] Join Subroom
/leave Leave Subroom
/listen [username] Do not Ignore User
/msg [username] [message] /m, /p Send Private Message
/nick [alias] [password] /n Change Alias/Handle (Password Optional)
/visual Toggle Visual Notifications
/whereis [username] What Room is [username] in? [English]
/whoami Who Are You?

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URL Addresses

URL's, such as or, as well as email addresses such as or may be entered into the chat at any time to share with. Some systems may show URL's in a different color (usually blue) and may allow you to click on them to launch either another web page, or your default mail application.

Note: Many modern systems are now equipped with popup-blockers. Web sites, and popups launched from SigmaChat may be prevented by your browser if this is the case. To override, simply hold down the "Ctrl" button while clicking on a popup link or button.

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This chat is capable of hosting multiple subrooms. Subrooms are shown in the pulldown menu on the lower right hand side of the applet, just below the user list. Depending upon how your chat room has been configured by it's owner; you may create, join, and leave subrooms. Subrooms may be password protected as well for privacy. There is no limit on the amount of subrooms that may be created, however; user created subrooms are automatically removed when they are empty.

To create a new subroom, type /create [subroom_name]. Subroom names are subject to the same limitations as usernames. They should be between 2 and 32 characters in length, and may not contain spaces. You will automatically be placed in a subroom that you create. If you wish to password protect the subroom you have created, type /create [subroom_name] [subroom_password]. All users wishing to join your subroom will be required to enter the password you have chosen. Passwords are subject to the same limitations as subroom names.

To leave a subroom, type /leave or select a different subroom from the subroom pulldown menu. You will then be brought back to the main chat room. If the subroom you leave is empty, it may be removed from the subroom list.

To join an existing subroom, type /join [subroom_name]. If the subroom is password protected, you will need to supply the password (not neccesary for system operators) by typing: /join [subroom_name] [subroom_password].

Some chat rooms indicate users that are in the current subroom by listing them first (below administrators) or by indicating users in another subroom by displaying their name with a different color in the user list. To determine where another user is (what subroom he/she is in) simply double click on that users name in the user list, or type /whereis [username].

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Private Messages

To send private messages, use the /msg command. I.e., to send the private message Hello, there to the user Timmy, you would type:

/msg Timmy Hello, there

Private messages are shown in a seperate color within the display to be easily differentiated.

You may also initiate a private message session with another user by double clicking on his/her name, or by right clicking on a username and selecting "Send Message". Once doing so, a popup dialog will appear for you to communicate with the other user in privately. The recipient may receive all messages in the main content area until he/she also double clicks on your name. To close a private message session, simply click the X in the upper-right hand portion of the window. Audio emoticons are not available within private message sessions.

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Profanity Filter

Your chat room may have filters in place to ensure that certain words (such as profanity) are not allowed. You may receive a warning message such as "Please rephrase your last message" if you use an illegal word in a chat room that censors profanity. If you receive this warning, you can easily go back and edit your message by using the Message Scrollback feature.

PeopleWithMS will not implement this feature unless absolutely necessary.  We will rely on the prudence and discretion of chatters in their use of language depending upon the other chatters in the room.  If someone goes over the edge, and starts curling people's toes, any chatter should feel free to politely ask them to tone it down a bit.

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You may toggle the timestamp on/off by clicking the button shown above. The timestamp may also be accessed from the right-click menu in the main content area (where messages are displayed). When this feature is turned on, all incoming messages will be displayed with the time that they were received. This time is relative to your own computer, and the timezone in which it resides.  This option is nor recommended, since adding the timestamp reduces the amount of chatspace on screen.

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Float & Dock

Click the Float/Dock button to load the chat room into a separate window which you can resize to suit your needs. Just click on an edge of the floating window and drag it to stretch or shrink.  This feature allows you to conserve screen space while you chat by minimizing the browser window that you floated the chat room from. When you wish to return the chatroom to it's browser, simply reclick the Float/Dock button.

Note: With most modern web browsers, you must keep the browser window that the chat room was floated from open. Closing this window, or changing the web address may cause the chat software to close.

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Copy Content Dialog

When clicked, the Copy Content button will display a popup window allowing you to easily copy text entered within the chat room (both private and public messages may be copied) by right-clicked, or using either the Ctrl-C (PC) or Alt-C (Apple) keyboard commands to copy text to your system clipboard.

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Message Scrollback

The Message Scrollback Feature allows you to scroll back through the previous messages you have entered into the chatroom. To use this feature, simply press the Up and Down arrow buttons in the blue box where you type messages. Often times, we make typos. This feature makes it easy to simply go back and edit the message that you have just typed. 

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Administrator Commands

SigmaChat users that have been assigned, or granted administrative privileges have at their disposal various administrative controls. Below is a list of commands available to users with administrative privileges. Users may be assigned administrative privileges from the account owner's control panel (ACP) - (see User Accounts) or by another user using the /grant command. Only users given grant privileges from the control panel (ACP) may access the /grant and /revoke commands.

URL's should be fully qualified URL's. I.e., use as opposed to just
Command Description
/fnick [username] [new_username] Force a username change for specified username
/cloak Cloak (Stealth) Mode. Simulated Logout.
/decloak Decloak. Simulated Login.
/silence [username] [time] Silence specified user for specified time in seconds. Default is 30 seconds.
/voice [username] Restore voice privileges for user. (Un-silence)
/anotice [message] Send message to all administrators online.
/kick [username] Kick user from chat room.
/kill [username] Kick user, and halt chat applet.
/ban [username] Ban user. Add user IP to ban list, and impose cookie ban if enabled.
/banip [X.X.X.X IP Address] Ban specified IP address.
/ban3 [X.X.X] Ban specified type 3 IP range.
/ban2 [X.X] Ban specified type 2 IP range.
/ban1 [X] Ban specified IP range
/grant [username] Grant user administrative privileges.
/revoke [username] Revoke administrative privileges.
/speak [message] Speak as system user.
/forceurl [URL] Display (popup) specified URL in all client windows.
/query [username] Query user IP address.

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Connection Difficulties

If you are running a version of a Microsoft Windows, or a BSD/*NIX variant ™ and see only a broken link icon, you will need to download a copy of the Java™ Virtual Machine in order to run our application. You may download Java™ Support for your browser from the link below:

We strongly recommend upgrading using the most modern version of your web browser available today. Certain browsers (esp. Netscape 5 and below) running on Macintosh platforms are not capable of running our software due to issues outside of our control. We recommend that Macintosh users use Netscape 7.0, or MSIE 5.x. As WebTV does not support Java™, WebTV users will not be able to access our chat rooms. We recommend that Apple Macintosh users upgrade to OS X 10.3 or later.

Users behind firewalls may need to inform their local IT/network administrator to allow TCP connections on the port in use by SigmaChat. Contact your chat room owner (webmaster) to determine which server and port number this chat room has been allocated. Your chat room owner can find this information in the Help section of their chat room's control panel. SigmaChat generally uses ports 8000-8009 at, where # may be any integer. Additional information can be found at or by contacting your chat room administrator.

AOL Members: Some users have reported that the built-in AOL browser has difficulty connecting to our service, or does not load colors/emoticons properly. To resolve this, minimize your AOL connection, and use the Internet Explorer browser that came with your operating system to access our chat rooms.

Additional information for resolving common problems may be found at

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This document applies specifically to the SigmaChat Client v7.4x.xx+
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