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Northern Sound Source FAQ

Here you can find answers to questions about how the board works. Use the links or search box below to find your way around.

General Use

Please note if you are having problems with your chat session(accessing, etc.) please download the latest java version here. To log in, simply click on the "chat" link located in the navigation bar at the top of forum. You will be logged in with your current username at northern sounds. 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:

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.
Audio Emoticons Button. This button allows you to select an audio emoticon from the emoticon 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 the chat room help file.
Logout Button. This button will log you out of the chat room.


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. The chat room operator may have added additional emoticons, or possibly removed some of the emoticons listed.
Smile :)
Grin :D
Blink *)
Tongue :p
Sad :(
Angry :<
Unsure :?
Laugh lol
Smug :/
Surprised :o
Wink ;)

Audio Emoticons

Font Size


Audio Emoticons, or Emotauds, work similar 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 audio emoticons provided with SigmaChat. Your chat room operator may have added additional audio emoticons, or removed emoticons shown to the left. To find out which emoticons you have access to, right click in the area where you type your messages and select "Audio Emoticons", or click the Audio Emoticon button in the Button Toolbar.

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.

Text Color

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.

URL's/eMail Addresses

URL's, as well as email addresses may be entered into the chat at any time to share with. you may be allowed 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 the Chat 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.

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.


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.

Float & Dock

Click the Float/Dock button to load the chat room into a separate window. 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.

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.

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, or we are censored by SigmaChat's text filter. This feature makes it easy to simply go back and edit the message that you have just typed. Ther might be a slight delay to prevent message flooding within the chat room.

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.

Portions Copyright 2004, RaiderSoft. All Rights Reserved

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