Tag Archives: chat

What Does the Community Want From Video?


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I record videos for YouTube – and other outlets – on our live stream. I’ve been doing this for awhile now. Since I was using standard definition in the past, I could only eke out a few frames per second. This is nowhere near what I can do with these HD videos in 720p. I got an email the other day from Acer_Lover, asking if I could go back to recording videos through the live stream camera again.

I’m throwing this out to all of YOU. Even though it’s not HD recording… the frame rate is jerky… and the quality isn’t as good… would you rather see us recording videos the old way? Chat would once again be integrated into the video stream, and the angle would go back to where it was.

Or, do you prefer the better quality of the HD videos? What do you think? Should I stick with this current format (HD)?

Most of my videos in my YouTube account were done the old way, absolutely. I thought it would be better if I switched to recording in HD, to up the quality.

Perhaps I chose unwisely? Let’s hear your thoughts!

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Raising Money for MDA with Subservient Chris

This year, we will once again be doing the Subservient Chris fundraiser on New Year’s Eve, from 10:00 PM until 1:00 AM Eastern Time. That’s 7pm until 10pm Pacific time, where I live! In the past, the monies raised were donated 100% to the irc network that my channel is found on. This year, we are doing things a bit differently, so listen carefully.

Back on October 1st, long-time community member Cory Carrier passed away. Cory suffered from Muscular Dystrophy basically all of his life. We lost him due to complications from the H1N1 Flu virus. Cory was highly active within our community, and on IRC. He was loved by everyone he came in contact with, and his loss has left a huge hole in our hearts.

We wanted to do something to commemorate our years with Cory, and the impact he had on all of us. The best thing we can think of is to give back to the charity that helped Cory nearly all of his life. The local chapter of the MDA in Tucson, AZ is who worked with Cory and his family. Therefore, this year we will be donating 25% of the monies raised to GeekShed IRC network to help with operating expenses. The greater portion of your donations – 75% – will be sent directly to the Tucson chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Cory’s name.

I cannot express enough how much it means to myself and my staff to be able to do this. Cory was an amazing person. If you ever talked with him at all, you’ll know what a great sense of humor he had, how much he loved all things technology, and how much he truly cared about people.

So how does this thing work? It’s simple, young grasshoppers. My assistant Kat will be hooked into the stream with me via Mumble. She has access to see donations made to the GeekShed account. For a minimum $10.00 donation, you can request something silly for me to do. Keep in mind that I will not do anything illegal or immoral… or disgusting. In the past, I have been known to sing and dance, put peanut butter on my face, and end the night in a dress with heels and makeup. Just about anything goes, and I’m looking to help raise a LOT of money for the MDA!!

Have your donations ready, along with your Subservient Chris requests. When making your donation that night to GeekShed, put your request for me in the comments section, so that Kat will know what to have me do! I’m looking forward to this, and I hope all of you will join us for a fun-filled – and very worthwhile – New Year’s Eve!

Be sure to join us in the live chat room during the event!

Changes in Our IRC Network Channel

As many of you know by now, my live chat room changed networks today. For many years, my various channels were located on the WyldRyde network. For the most part, things worked very well between myself, the network, and its staff.

There have been many changes recently, and I’m not going to make much comment on them. It’s frankly not my business, nor my place, to attempt to guess as to every “real” reason, and everything that happened behind the scenes. However, moving networks was not a decision I came to lightly. This also wasn’t done solely to please one or two people, as some are trying to claim.

I want my chat users to have the best possible experience when they visit my channel. There were some things that transpired at WyldRyde today that I knew would prevent that positive experience, changes which could potentially place much pressure and stress on my staff, my users and even myself.

The owners and administrators of the new network, GeekShed, are people I have come to know very well over the years. These people know what they’re doing, and they do it very well. I have complete confidence in them, and in their ability to properly maintain the new network.

GeekShed IRC was started by a majority of the former WyldRyde Network staff. They felt that the WyldRyde management was not handling issues and complaints (made by staff, users and channel owners) over a period of several months. These complaints were ignored, and not dealt with in any satisfactory manner. The recent (and undisclosed to the users and majority of the staff) acquisition of WyldRyde by BestTechie played only a small part in the actual decision and subsequent move.

I am very happy thus far with my new IRC home, and I certainly hope you will join us there. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, you can leave them here in a follow-up comment. For questions related to the network itself (not my channel, specifically), you can join the new network: irc.geekshed.net and join the #help channel there to speak with the staff.

Edited to add: You will not need to re-register, no. The nicknames, channels, passwords, etc were all moved to the new network. Your nickname is already registered on GeekShed if it was registered on WyldRyde, and you will use the same password to log in. Also, the voiced user list was moved for my channel, and will continue to operate the same as it has in the past.

As always, I will continue to be streaming live… 24 hours a day, 7 days a week… at live.pirillo.com.

What Do You Read?

Earlier today, I posted a video (and blog post) filled with tips on how to maximize your comprehension when it comes to whatever you are reading. That video made me reflect on the types of things I tend to read. I don’t often sit down with a book. When I do, though, my concentration is so absolute that I tend to tune out everything else. I let myself become absorbed by the text. This allows me to truly comprehend and digest whatever it is I’m reading.

I also spend a great deal of time reading things online. I’m constantly perusing blogs, forums, website postings, news sites – you name it, and I likely read it if it’s online. Even though it’s something I’m reading on a computer screen, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve my full attention. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t just as important as a book I can hold in my hands.

What do you read the most? Do you spend time curled up with a book, or are you like me… preferring to read what people in the world are up to, thinking, feeling and writing about? If you haven’t been keeping up with what people are doing on Lockergnome and Geeks, now is as good a time as any.

Be sure, as always, to keep your eyes on our downloads pages. We’re constantly updating it to bring you the very best and hottest software and apps at the lowest prices we can get for you!

How to Talk to Strangers Online


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Growing up, my parents warned me to never talk to strangers. It’s really never smart to talk to random strangers. However, I’m going to tell you about a service that will connect you with a stranger, and provide hours of entertainment. Be forewarned – some of the conversations you have may be “blue” in nature!

Omegle connects you with random people that you would otherwise never have met. You click one button, and tell it to start a chat. Off you go! Omegle is a brand-new service for meeting new friends. When you use Omegle, we pick another user at random and let you have a one-on-one chat with each other. Even though the chats are totally random, you should never divulge personal information!

Anything can and will happen. So, if you are bored and want some random, wacky fun – check out Omegle!

Keep in mind that the best (and safest) place of all to meet strangers is on Geeks! You can meet others who are just like you, share videos and pictures, create blogs and forum posts – and more!

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Subservient Chris Raising Money for WyldRyde

If you were with us last New Years’ Eve, you know what we have in store for you this year! If you weren’t, you truly have no idea what you missed! What is a Subservient Chris, you might be asking right now… well, let me take a few moments to fill you in!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the Burger King Subservient Chicken. This idea was based off of that lovely little chicken! The WyldRyde IRC Network is where my live chat is hosted – for free! The people who maintain this network are hard working and dedicated, and each of them volunteer their time and expertise. I am indebted to them for everything they do for me, day in and day out. WyldRyde depends on money raised via donations and ad revenue in order to keep the servers running. WyldRyde is home to more than 700 chat rooms, all of which are absolutely free to set up and use!

Last year, I learned that the head of the network, usrbingeek had been paying a large portion of the network’s bills out of his own pocket. I decided that since he and his staff give so much to me, it was time I give back to them. Thus, the idea of Subservient Chris was born! For a minimum $10.00 donation to the network, people could make silly demands of me. I had to sing, dance, put my dog on my head, and even ended the night in a dress! Any request is granted once a donation is made, as long as it’s nothing illegal or degrading. Remember, I have final veto power on any and all requests!

Yes – you guessed it! We’re going to revive Subservient Chris again this year! Join us on New Years’ Eve from 11pm – 2am EST (8pm – 11pm PST) while we ring in the new year by raising money to help meet WyldRyde’s fundraising goals! I promise, this is going to be an event you won’t want to miss!

Once again, thank you so much to usrbingeek and his entire Staff for everything you do. You guys are amazing, and I am so thankful to call WyldRyde my home!

What's Your Usual Handle in a Chat Room?


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Lockergnome is a nickname that I kind of gave myself, but I can’t take full credit. My college-prep writing teacher called me the Gnome. Then one day, I told my friend Dave that I am the Locker Gnome. That’s how I got it, and it stuck. TuxedoJericho sent in his top five list on how NOT to choose a handle.

  • Choose a name that suits you. You must also choose something that is somewhat honest. If you are joining a chat room in order to ask simple questions about computer, you shouldn’t choose a nickname with the word ‘techie’ in it.
  • Choose something that is easy to spell and/or say. When it’s hard to say, people will more than likely shorten the name when they type or spell it. My name, TuxedoJericho, has been shortened by people to things like TJ, Tux, and TJer.
  • When joining a chat, please be sure to check and see that your name doesn’t contain strong language or sexual references. This can get you the boot from the chat as soon as you enter the door.
  • You should probably not use your real name as your chat name. Some people do this, but it could potentially lead to danger. If you’re smart about hiding pertinent facts of your life, this shouldn’t be an issue.
  • Don’t pretend to be a famous person. This is especially true on tech chat’s like Chris’. For instance, Steve Jobs isn’t likely to enter Chris’ channel, and speak like a total n00b.
  • If you’re going to choose the name of a famous character, be prepared to answer questions constantly if you really ARE that person. I use the name DrHorrible at times. People constantly ask me if I am Neil Patrick Harris, and are disappointed to find out I am not.

I have to agree with all of those tips. Be smart when choosing a nickname before you enter a chat room. You never know if you will end up sticking around to become a part of the community. You wouldn’t want the other members to remember and judge you by a poorly-chosen name, would you?

[rsslist:http://shop.tagjag.com/products/chat]

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How Can You be a Good Member of our Live Community?

One of our community members took it upon himself to put together a top five list of tips for being a part of our live community. You’ll see new people come into the chat room all the time, demanding a “show”, or telling me to hurry up and “DO SOMETHING ALREADY”. What you have to realize is my live stream isn’t about always putting on a show. I am simply streaming my life. If I am busy working, I am probably not paying attention to the camera or the chat. I do interact with everyone as much as I possibly can, though. Keep in mind that I’m human! I have a life outside my stream, just like you do. Here are Zeph’s tips to all of you:

  • You don’t need to sit there and watch the stream the entire time. Sometimes Chris’ stream works as a nice “radio station” of sorts, and just listening throughout your day can be quite entertaining or informative. As long as you have a generally good internet connection, you should be able to do regular browsing of the internet at the same time.
  • Use an IRC client for the chat. Although the Flash IRC under the stream window is good, it does not have the functionality of a regular IRC client. There are plenty of different clients for each operating system, some free, some not. I personally use mIRC in Windows, and Konversation in Linux. There are also Colloquy and Linkinus for Macs. There are plenty more out there, try them all and see what you feel comfortable with. The IRC server is WyldRyde.
  • Be respectful in the chat. The channel Mods greatly prefer users to keep a level of etiquette while using the chat room. This does not mean you cannot have fun, but be friendly about it. Keep the caps lock off, as it is considered rude, and viewed as yelling. Do not spam the chat room, and do not keep repeating the same question over and over again. This will only make people think less of you. Above all, do not ask for voice for the chat. This will only set you further away from being a trusted user.
  • Don’t just direct your questions to Chris. There are plenty of technologically inclined people in the #Chris chat room. First you should try “Googling” about your question. If you do not get any good results, or do not think you understand what the results are telling you, ask us in the chat room. There is likely some one that can help you, and there are plenty that are willing to.
  • Finally, please understand that Chris is a busy man. People need to make a living, and Chris is no exception. When he is not helping the tech community, he often has many things to deal with that pertain to his work. Just remember that Chris has his own life, and cannot be looking at the chat twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. If Chris does not respond to you in chat, do not complain. If Chris is away from his desk, don’t worry, he’ll be back.

Those are all excellent tips, Zeph. A few other things to make note of here:

  1. Be sure you are familiar with the WyldRyde Network Rules. My channel is one of hundreds on the network. You not only have to follow my channel rules, but those of the network as well.
  2. WyldRyde also has a nice FAQ page to help you understand how things work on IRC, and WyldRyde in particular.
  3. Feel free to sign up for a free account on the WyldRyde forums. Once you do, you’ll have access to the area set aside just for us.

Most importantly, make yourself familiar with our channel rules and guidelines. Being a part of the live community is a lot of fun, and can be very rewarding. However, being a member isn’t a given right… it’s a privilege.

Google Lively VR Chat Reviews

Google recently released Lively chat. Create your own Lively avatar, and choose how it should to be dressed. If you create your own room, you can decorate it to suit your personality. Visit other people’s rooms, or even embed your Lively chat onto your website. What do all of my friends think about Lively?

Details, please! πŸ™‚ – James Mowery via twhirl

I’ve got to try to find out how bad now. – Ben Parr

Google jumps shark? Literally? – Andrew Baron

I was wondering when reviews would start popping up here. Thanks for saving me the time. – David Worrell

Now I just *have* to try! – mokargas

Just wrote something similar. I’m really disappointed – not the greatest of ideas and really poor execution. – Vince DeGeorge

Okay, now I have to try it because I’m a sucker for bad. πŸ™‚ – Morton Fox

I’m holding back trying it because I hate opening windows in a virtual machine. No Mac version is just insane – Duncan Riley

I wrote about it, too. But I’m willing to try anything once. – Hao Chen

tried it out today and wasn’t too impressed. Although if they implement an API that would allow me to integrate my users in there might be some value to it. – Brad Williams

Why? I thought it was a good try, and represented enormous potential to be the next SecondLife, as it’s able to run 3D stuff in your browser without having to download very bulky programs like SecondLife? SecondLife didn’t work for me when I first tried it 1 year ago. It always crashed.. Never touched it since.. – Winston Teo

I tried it, it is a very, very, very unpolished 3d chat room, no more, no less.. it’s not a social medium… it’s a fancy chat room. – David Silvernail

Almost all of Google’s first efforts are crap. They are betting the farm on distributed though, and this seems to fit with that strategy perfectly. – Kevin

No Mac version is beyond insane, it is just flat-out stupid. Why on earth didn’t they wait until they could release it for every platform? I mean, unless the Windows folks are being used as open beta testers…. Just seems very odd. I agree with you Duncan. – James Mowery via twhirl

I hate to say it, but I agree. The quality of the graphics is great, but the UI is downright awkward to use. The pop-up bubble messages are annoying and I didn’t see any way of private chatting. Customizing your avatar is pretty minimal too. – Jim McCusker

When a polished product exists in the market – i.e. Second Life.. why… oh… why! would you release this product that is clearly only in a pre-alpha version state? – David Silvernail

Second Life did not interest me, so I passed on Lively today. – Russellreno

Mine kept closing itself down before I could choose a character. Will keep trying. – sergiooooooo

Thanks for the review. I’m waiting… – Czar Derek Peterman

yea im a pessimist as well in regards to those kinds of web apps. I have no faith in that kind of freeform avatar stuff. – Anthony

was lively rushed out the door because of vivaty? – Kevin

We geeks really need to be careful of seeing everything as an opportunity to critique, if not outright bash. Can’t anything just "BE" what it is for an hour, a day, a week. What possible harm would come from someone trying it out? – Douglas E. Welch via twhirl

No Linux version? Typical. Of course, it’s Google. That means I *must* try it. πŸ˜€ – possible248

i agree, at first glance… FAIL – tommy payne

Comon.. Lively’s just a first cut. We should wait and see how it evolves. As they always say: "Release Fast, Release Often". – Winston Teo

Oh wait? Developing virtual worlds is hard? Who’da thunk? Google: There’s a reason most VWs failed so far. – Robert Blum

I Still want to give this and vivaty a solid chance before forming an opinion. – sergiooooooo

is Google Lively supposed to be like the answer to Yahoo’s Avatartown – Outsanity

I tried it. I shouldn’t have but I did. I think I’m traumatized. It’s Second Life with more teenagers. – Candace Holly

Blogged Lively vs. Second Life http://is.gd/OJYHao Chen

Thanks for the tip. SL is bad enough so I’ll definitely avoid this. – Jonathon

Yeah, I’m not really digging this app. I grew out of this virtual life phase on the internet a long time ago. – Dennis Jackson

Google is many many generations away from turning this into something useful, but at least they got one thing right – they put it on the web, not the desktop. – Nicholas Molnar

I’m surprised they didn’t compare it to Twitter, because that would be comparable. /smirk – Eric Rice

I don’t like that answer, as SL was a big waste of time for me. thanks for saving me the time – Jason Kaneshiro

My son: Lively? No Linux – no fun – Igor Poltavskiy

BTW, Lively should be compared to IMVU, not SL. Lively + everything you use from Google, now that’s entirely different. Thanks for skimming! – Eric Rice

Have you gotten Lively in your life yet? What the heck is stopping you from trying? Let us know what you think.

Free Video Conferencing and Chat: No Downloads!

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Matt says: “I just found out about this free service that allows you to video/voice chat with as many people as you like over the Internet using a flash plug-in within your browser. You just don’t have to install it on your computer or anything!” The flash software you already have installed will make this chat service work!


MeBeam is a free web-based chat service. It’s so simple, it’s almost scary. You simply choose a room name, invite people to join you, and start chatting. That’s seriously all there is to it.


I was surprised at how easy this is to use. It may not be “pretty”, but it works! I created a temporary room, and sent out a link. Within seconds, I was video chatting with about seven other people. You can imagine the fun you can have with it. More than anything, I know I will be using this site to conference with people from now on. It’s free, it’s easy, and it’s web-based. What more could I want?


MeBeam comes to us courtesy of the folks at Meebo. Meebo is a new communications and media company that’s re-writing the way people have conversations and communicate on the Web. You can keep in touch with friends you know on any instant messaging network. Instant messaging from absolutely anywhere, no downloads or installs required, and free!


If I had one request, it would be that I would get more emails from all of you at [email protected] The emails I love to get the most are ones like these, letting us all know about free services and products that can help make our lives earlier. So send yours along!

Webcams on Amazon to help you video conference!

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