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Crossing The Fence!
|This is a support site for the chat program “Microsoft Comic Chat”.
This IRC chat client is a fun and unique way of chatting through comic characters
in a comic strip environment rather than just plain text chat.
|"Microsoft Comic Chat" is a unique IRC chat client in that it has two different "chat" modes.
Most people are already familiar with the first mode which is "Text Chat". If anyone has ever chatted in an AOL chat room, or in "MSN Messenger", then they are already familiar with Text Chat. Your chat nickname is posted alongside your message as you chat with your friends. If there are more than two people in the room, then you have to keep mentioning the name of the individual that you are chatting with so that everyone knows who you are talking with. This gets annoying at times, but does help to avoid some confusion.
The second mode of chat in Comic Chat is what makes "Microsoft Comic Chat" unique and stands above the rest. That is "Comic Mode". In Comic Mode, you chat in a comic strip environment just like you were in a comic book. When you set up Comic Chat, you can select a comic character that you would like to be, (I use a mermaid character). Then After you have entered your chat room of choice and begin chatting, you left click on the person's character that you wish to talk to. Then after you write out your message and tap on "Enter" your comic character will appear in the next comic panel facing and talking to the other person's character. Your text/message is in a speach bubble just like in the funny papers or a comic book. If you wish to talk to more than one character you can hold down the "Ctrl" key and select up to about 5 persons. Your comic character will appear talking to all 5 of the people that you have selected in the next comic panel.
Your comic character also has emotions so that it can appear to be animated. Your character can laugh, smile, be sad, be angry, be coy, be scared. Your character can also shout. Depending on how skilled the author of the character is, there can also be more emotions embedded in the character.
Besides characters, one can select the backdrop (or background) of the scene. This ability to change the backdrop helps to set a mood or theme of the chat room.
Originally Comic Chat was automatically installed into one's computer when they upgraded to "Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0". Later it was available as a separate download. Microsoft provided 4 joined (in sync) servers that "Comic Chat" would by default connect to. On any given evening, there would be hundreds of different chat rooms with 30 to 100 people in each room. Sometimes when the servers would get overloaded, they would split away from each other and the room would lose half the chatters until the servers re-synced. They were fun times. I stumbled into a room called "#FreeToys" one day and found the room host, Dillenger", teaching HTML in the room. So I stayed and spent the next several weeks learning HTML to which I now use Notepad+ to write all of my HTML pages, including this website. Thanks to Dillenger of #FreeToys
Back in the year 2000, according to Dave Kurlander, the author of the Comic Chat program, Microsoft needed to tighten the belt and go lean in their development and support areas. They took a look at the projects that were not making any money for them and decided to end their development and support. Of these programs, "Comic Chat" was one of them. They stopped support, then in February of 2001, they shut down the servers that the program was by default connecting to. A year or two later, they also removed the program in its many language forms from their download server. (Although, I've found that parts of Comic Chat are still there).
Many (most) chatters just stopped using Comic Chat when it wouldn't connect to the MSN servers anymore unaware that they could connect to other IRC servers. User numbers went from thousands to a few hundred.
So where we are today, is that since Comic Chat is an IRC chat client, it still will connect to any IRC chat server. I have here on my server pages a list of servers where one can still find die hard Comic Chatters, (although some are there only in the evening and early morning hours).
If you use the directory in the left hand margin of this website, you can find most everything you need to have fun chatting as a comic character. By-the-by, some comic character authors have made movie and rock star characters using fan photos as poses in the character file. So you can be a cartoon character or your favorite rock or movie star!
The images shown along the left sidebar are images of the faces of some of the default comic characters used in this "Microsoft's Comic Chat" program!
After installing Microsoft's Comic Chat program and intializing it for the first time,
it will not connect! Do not despair! It is not broken! Microsoft has closed the
default connection servers that the Comic Chat program is trying to connect to.
You Must go to the NEW LIST of servers to find an active Comic Chat server!
| David Kurlander, (DJ), the author of the Microsoft's Comic Chat program, retired in 2008 from Microsoft.
Upon returning from an expedition to Antarctica and South Georgia, he created a website to which he added a section that is very informative and useful for persons interested in the Comic Chat program:
http://kurlander.net/DJ/Projects/ComicChat/resources.html.DJ also has a great step-by-step "Getting Started" instructional page: Here
Besides having some great publications available about Comic Chat, DJ also has a few videos that would help a Comic Chat beginner:
More Great Research and Reading Below:
~ Microsoft Chat Development: ~
What is Microsoft 'Comic' Chat?
A Comic Chat Summary - by Microsoft's Social Computing Group
The Technics of how Comic Chat works by David Kurlander (pdf file: 2.3 Megs)
A Review by the U.K.'s netmag.com