Clicking the COBALT image below will open a new window to take you to the Virtual Con-Suite page at Ustream TV. Broadcasts will start on the Friday of the convention. The complete Virtual Con-Suite schedule can be viewed as a text file here SCHEDULE

Joining the Virtual Con-Suite

On the left hand side of the page is the live video feed – replaced by a slide show when there isn’t anything happening. On the right is the text chat-room. You can see what everyone else is typing in the top window, and add your own contribution in the smaller box at the bottom.

You will be assigned an initial user name in the format “ustreamer-12345.” If you’d rather change this – to your real name, livejournal name, or whatever – you can do this by clicking the “Sign Up” link at the top to register for free. Some people have been slightly put off by the amount of information that the registration form asks for, which I can empathize with. But registration is entirely optional – you can simply stay as “ustreamer-12345” if you prefer.

Alternatively, we have discovered another way of changing your screen name without having to register. Simply type in the chat window

/nick your_chosen_name

The main constraints on this seem to be that: a) Your chosen name must be one word (i.e. including hyphens or underlines, but not spaces) b) If your chosen name is already in use somewhere else on ustream, it will assume that you are trying to log in as this user, and you'll get a login box asking for your password. We've found from experience that an amazing number of unlikely user names appear to have already been registered. Try adding a random number to the end of your chosen name to make it unique.

Technical gubbins

You will probably need at least a low-spec broadband connection to watch the video stream. (Dial-up users in the past have reported that the video gets very choppy without a broadband connection – but the text chat room still works.)

If the feed goes down, this can either be a problem at your end, a problem at our end, or (much rarer) a problem with ustream. The first thing to try is to click the refresh button on the screen. If this doesn't work, let us know in the text chat. If several people tell us this all at once, we'll deduce that the problem is likely at our end, and see if we can restart the feed. We know how frustrating this can be, so rest assured we'll do all we can to fix it.

If you are using an internet connection at work or college, be aware that the chat room uses port 6667, which is often blocked by work or college firewalls. Mainly because systems administrators know that it is used by chat room software – so asking them to unblock it is unlikely to be successful! Home users should usually have no problem, however.

Chatroom Netiquette

Like most text chat on the internet, the pace in the chat room can be fairly fast and furious. But remember this is a semi-public forum, and please play nice. We do have the power to ban users, but I'm pleased to say that we have never had to use it.

Written by Peter Sullivan and originally published in The Virtual Tucker Hotel. Used with permission.