How to use OLPC Internet Chat / IRC

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How to use OLPC Internet Chat / IRC

Postby peter » Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:31 pm

So today was the first day I have had to sit down with my XO since I got it. Here's what I have learned about IRC / Chat on the OLPC XO.

There are many methods to communicate interactively with OLPC XO users around the world. Here are some common methods.

Using the XoIRC Activity

IRC / Chat is instant messaging by another name. Commonly used Instant messaging programs in the Microsoft world include Yahoo! Instant Messager and Trillian. These programs rely on using a built-in predefined list of IRC servers to work.

IRC was the original method used by the OLPC developer / programming community to chat with each other. The OLPC doesn't come with an IRC client installed, the Chat (jabber based, not IRC based) activity does. Don't worry, there are still plenty of IRC people out there!

Some IRC / Chat clients, like that on the OLPC, can specify the interesting servers you wish to conect to. There are many OLPC IRC / Chat servers out there for you to use. The Wiki IRC page has a list of some of the more popular ones used by the OLPC project.

Installing the XoIRC client

Install the client using the instructions on the XoIRC link. In summary, to install it, click on the xoIRC.xo link on this page. A list of possible downloadable applications will appear. Click on the latest version of the xoIRC.xo bundle.

When it is completed, a "Download Completed" message will appear on the screen. Click on the "Open" button that now appears on the screen. The application should now be a part of your journal as the right most icon on your list.

Using the XoIRC client

The client has many features. Here are the most likely ones you'll use:

Activating the XoIRC activity.

By default you will join the #olpc-help channel or "room"
Type your message at the bottom of the screen in the bubble on the left.

Changing your XoIRC channel / Accessing new rooms

You can also enter other rooms by typing /join #room where room is the name of the room you wish to join. A complete list can be found on the OLPC Wiki IRC page. Here is an example of joining the #olpc-za room

Code: Select all
/join #olpc-za
Changing your screen nickname

Go to the bottom of your screen and click in the bubble on the left. The command to change your nickname is /nick your_nick_name. Here the nickname is changed to peter_olpc_help

Code: Select all
/nick #peter_olpc_help
Using the Chat (Jabber) Activity
Jabber is another system in the IRC group of applications. It is slightly different from IRC and is the method used by the XO Chat activity when communicating.

Selecting a Jabber Server

Here's how you can start chatting to fellow OLPC fans around the world.

Note: This has to be done from the OLPC keyboard.
  • Go to the terminal activity.
  • Use the sugar-control-panel command to determine the IRC server your OLPC is using. In this case it is
Code: Select all
[olpc@xo-0D-39-78 ~]$ sugar-control-panel -g jabber
[olpc@xo-0D-39-78 ~]$
A well known Jabber server is Let's configure your XO to use it.
  • Set your IRC server to the server. Notice the "-g" has been set to a "-s".
Code: Select all
[olpc@xo-0D-39-78 ~]$ sugar-control-panel -s jabber
To apply your changes you have to restart sugar.
Hit at the same time ctrl+alt+erase on your keyboard to do this.
[olpc@xo-0D-39-78 ~]$

  • Reboot Sugar by simultaneously pressing the CTRL, ALT and ERASE keys
  • After Sugar restarts, go to your "neighborhood" view. You will see a sea of new XOs to talk to.
Using the Chat Activity
  • Activate your chat activity.
  • In the neighborhood view invite another XO user by hovering over their icon and clicking on "Invite to Chat Activity"
  • Return to the Chat activity and wait for your new friend to respond.
  • From the "Home view", the other XO user will see a new colored chat icon. The chat session with you will start when they click on it.
If you have any questions. Please ask this thread! We'll be happy to help out.
Simiya - For Lovers of Caribbean Art
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