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Chat Logs for 2000

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Sunday, January 9, 2000 - ch0jan09.htm - Nettie has written that their server for the Palace was hacked into again, and they're wondering if it's worth it for them to put it back up at all. So we might be looking for a permanent place to hold classes. Meanwhile, Ying Lan, Maggi and Michael all found each other I think at Michael's office at Their chat is interesting, as usual. Ying Lan's brother is getting married, so her family is preparing, and weddings in Taiwan were one topic of discussion. It turns out that in this conversation all parties had a common interest in a popular game. Can you find the name of the game?

Sunday, January 16, 2000 - ch0jan16.htm - With Michael C otherwise occupied, Maggi and Vance stood watch on ICQ and as students came on line, we directed them to Vance's chat room at There we had a pleasant chat in which Ying Lan picked up the meaning of the word "cud" from context, and Felix had an idea for an innovative use of a matchbox. We all said goodbye to Felix, who is going off to work in another town away from his wife and family, though he will return home each weekend.

Sunday, January 23, 2000 - ch0jan23.htm - Michael C and Vance and Maggi were discussing writing assignments when Ying Lan appeared. After some small talk, Michael finally hit on a topic for his next writing assignment: What's in a Name? Small talk continued until Michael said, oh, by the way, could we do him a favor. Could we just visit this url,, and see if it works.

This turned out to be a milestone moment in Webheads ehistory! Almost one year after the start of the egroups eclass, Michael and Ying Lan were chatting in live voice chat. Vance and Maggi continued in text chat, but Ying Lan and Michael were obviously having more fun, and sending ICQ messages about how great it was, so Vance dropped everything and raced home from work where he had a computer that wasn't behind a firewall.

I joined Ying Lan and Michael, and the three of us continued talking, yes, actually talking, for about an hour, till way past Michael's bedtime. We'll be there again next Sunday, so bookmark the url.

Sunday, January 30, 2000 - ch0jan30.htm - Wow! We're starting to really have FUN in the chat class. From my perspective, I left work at 3:30 and got home by 4:00, noon GMT, just to be able to use voice chat at home. I found Michael and Ying Lan online. Maggi was there too but she had things to do and left us early. Gloria was in the process of joining us. I located all these people immediately on ICQ and soon had my chat clients running at and The former is a text chat and was useful for meeting Michael, Ying Lan, and Gloria, and for talking Gloria into Michael's voice chat client. Once we were all in the voice chat, we started grooving. Ying Lan and Michael and I were talking, and Gloria could hear but not talk due to lack of mic; but she could respond in text, so we were all able to chat. We really enjoyed it. We're hooked. We'll be back next week.

Sunday, February 6, 2000 - There were no chat logs from the February 5 session because there was hardly any written chat. Everyone met in Michael's voice chat room at As usual I rushed home from work to get to my home computer where there is sound and no firewall, but the computer has just come back from the shop, and I discovered that the mic wasn't working. What a disappointment! I'll surely get that fixed before next week! Although I couldn't be heard, I was still able to hear Bridgett and Ying Lan and Felix talking with Michael in the chat, and I was able to write my responses in the text chat area.

Maggi was there too, but she was using her laptop which only has Netscape 3.0 on it, and she wasn't able to load the plugins for the voice chat, so I met her in the Palace and talked with her while she waited there in case any other students showed up. I was able to chat with Maggi and the Palace and at the same time I could listen to the students talking in the voice chat class. And I could write to both groups in different windows.

Sunday, February 13, 2000 - ch0feb13.htm - The Palace was down, Michael was too tired to join us, and we ended up in Vance's text chat room at, where Maggi and Vance spent some time getting to know Maggie-with-an-E, who joined us there. We found out that Maggie is a student from a small city in China not far from Hong Kong. She is planning to start her university studies next year and she wants to be a doctor who helps women have babies. She gets around town on her bicycle. We were starting to talk about China and the Cultural Revolution when Vance had to leave the chat. Maggie is too young to have experienced the Cultural Revolution, but her parents were affected. You can get to know Maggie a little better by reading this chat. Maggie will probably have a look the logs to see what we Maggi and Vance were talking about. She seemed pleased that the transcript of the chat would be available to her for study later.

Sunday, February 20, 2000 - ch0feb20.htm - Maggie and Michael were talking in the voice chat room when I arrived. I couldn't get there because of my firewall. I had tried to get our network administrator to let me in, but no luck. So Maggi and Michael joined me in the chatroom at During the conversation, we found that Maggie could not access our webheads website at (and so she hadn't seen the chat transcripts from the week before - we had moved from Geocities to Tripod partly because Moral had not been able to reach Geocities from China). However, she was at that moment in the chat hosted at, and Michael gave her the url of his homestead site, which she got into easily. So, next day I copied the entire webheads site over to where it is now mirrored at

Sunday, February 27, 2000 - ch0feb27.htm - One of our most interesting and confusing chats yet: Maggi and Vance were checking to see if the Virtual Schoolhouse at the Palace worked, and surprise! It did. So we waited there chatting about life until Michael appeared, but surprise again, he couldn't get to that Palace. By then Ying Lan and Bridgett had appeared (by "appeared," I mean they came online in ICQ and sent messages asking where we were). Ying Lan easily came to the Palace to join Maggi and Vance, but Bridgett found it easier to meet Michael in his voice chat room. Ying Lan went there as well, but Maggi and Vance had to shut down and switch machines. When I returned I found Moral had joined them, though without mic OR speakers. Moral made several valiant attempts to crash through the firewall barrier, and I was able to type to him, but he couldn't hear what Michael, Ying Lan, and Bridgett were saying. Maggi meanwhile was having less success than Moral; she couldn't even get IN to the voice chat, and she ended up back at the Palace. She sat there "pushing up daisies" as she put it until Michael decided to go to bed, and Vance, Bridgett (who had figured out while online with us how to reach the Palace), and Ying Lan rejoined her in the Palace chat. Conversation continued there awhile, though after the constant sounds from the voice chat, it seemed very quiet. Still, we finished out evening in the familiar surroundings of the Virtual Schoolhouse, where our Webheads class began well over a year ago.

Sunday, March 05, 2000 - ch0mar05.htm - A very long chat this evening, lasting well over five hours. Maggi and Vance were waiting at at the Palace when Ming and Michael C appeared. We got them in an ICQ chat and talked Ming through the process of installing the Palace and meeting us at the schoolhouse. Maria from Chile arrived at about the same time that Ming did. Ming proved to be a lively conversationalist and so the chat was going strong when Moral appeared on ICQ three hours after class time. Moral too had to install the Palace client before he could join us, but he managed it. The conversation was still in progress when Vance left and we were very pleased to have participants from Taiwan, China, and Chile.

Sunday, March 12, 2000 - ch0mar12.htm - Michael's commentary: This was another long chat, and for a change it all happened at the Palace - just like the good old days! Michael and Maggi started off talking about Maggi's visit to Amsterdam (where she is going to meet Vance) and then one by one, Moral, Ying Lan, and Felix joined in. Ying Lan and Moral talked about the relationship between Taiwan and China, and then Ying Lan told a story from Taiwanese history. After Michael went to bed, the others continued till the Palace froze. Finally Bridget joined and she and Maggi talked women's business!


Friday, March 17, 2000 - Michael C, Maggi, Moral, Ying Lan and Ming all join Vance at the TESOL Conference in Vancouver for a memorable session attended by at least 100 people. Only Vance was physically there. The others attended via the Palace and our voice chat. The sound from the voice chat was projected to the audience, and that screen and the Palace screen were projected on two screens at the front of the room. Members of the audience talked on the chat lines while Vance explained to those present about Webheads and how they communicate.

Here's Michael's commentary: Yesterday me, Maggi, Ming, Moral and Ying Lan had a great time when we joined Vance's presentation LIVE in Vancouver in 2 chat rooms (The Palace and my talk chat site). It was just AMAZING to be part of it. We could talk to the people at the worshop and some of them joined in the chat and asked questions. I felt like I was really there in Vancouver. It was fantastic. It's a wonderful world we live in these days where this kind of thing is possible.

If you would like to read the logs of the chats during the workshop you can find them at

Sunday, March 19, 2000 - ch0mar19.htm - The class met at the Palace. Talk centered on the conference just past and upcoming plans for the class. Maggi is being asked to present the Webheads class at a conference in Germany. She needs to invite Dave Sperling to her conference as well < >. She is meeting Vance on his way through Amsterdam later this week (the first time Vance has met anyone in Webheads face to face; Michael and Maggi met once before in San Francisco). Michael wants to start a regular voice chat class at another time regularly each week. Ying Lan informed us of the political unrest in Taiwan as a result of the recent elections.

Sunday, March 26, 2000 - ch0mar26.htm - Maggi is away in Amsterdam. Michael and Vance are chatting in the voice chat room when Ying Lan appears in the Palace, so we go there and have a logged discussion. You can read about it here.

Sunday, April 02, 2000ch0apr02.htm – Maggi and Vance waited a LONG time at the Palace while Michael popped in and out on ICQ. He couldn’t reach the Palace so he decided on second try to reinstall the software. Meanwhile, Ying Lan appeared and we solved all her problems. Michael appeared at the end of that, and Vance went off to talk to Bobbi on the balcony while Bridgett came and chatted with Maggi, MC, and Ying Lan. We also had a guest appearance from Simo from Morocco. All in all a nice chat, lasting well over 3 hours for Maggi and I.

Sunday, April 09, 2000ch0apr09.htm – This chat was pretty interesting. Maggi and I had just met in the Palace when we detected Ying Lan and MaggiE (with an E) on ICQ. We contacted both, and Ying Lan joined us in the Palace. But MaggiE in China had been unable to download the Palace client, so Vance met her in the voice chat room (Ying Lan was there as well, but Maggi had not yet installed the 4.0+ browser she needs to join us in voice chat). Vance tried to direct Maggie to the Palace website, but she was still unable to connect long enough to download the browser. So Vance sent it to her using ICQ file transfer. At 200-800 bps, it took a couple of hours, but it worked. Meanwhile, conversations were going on in the Palace, and after Michael C and Maggi left, Ming, Felix, and Roner moved over to the voice chat room for a noisy finale.

Sunday, April 16, 2000ch0apr16.htm – I arrived at the Palace to find Felix waiting there. I was at my office playing with NetMeeting, and Felix agreed to hook up with me. We made the connection but because Felix had an older version of the software than I did, he could see and hear me but I couldn’t see or hear him. Felix lost his connection, but meanwhile Maggi had come on, and she and I sat for a while at the Palace talking. Eventually I started installing CU-See-me on my computer. It was taking up the whole screen, but my computer started talking to me. It was Ying Lan. I recognized her voice. So I pressed F9 and talked to her although I couldn’t see any of my applications except the install screen. Still the hearme chat worked and we were able to converse. By then Felix had rejoined Maggi at the Palace. Just as Ying Lan had decided to join the two of them, Felix’s friend Roner appeared in the voice chat. I told Felix and he left the Palace to join Roner and I at the voice chat site. From that point, I chatted with Roner and Felix by voice and by text in the voice chat area, while Maggi and Ying Lan conducted girl-talk in the Palace. I was in both places, but paying most attention to the guys in the voice chat. I wasn’t sure if the girls wanted me to join them, but when the guys left I did. Eventually the conversation wound down and I was left all by myself.


Sunday, April 23, 2000ch0apr23.htm – This was not a good day for Cyberspace. Elsewhere on the language teaching lists, a popular site in Japan was reported as being inaccessible. Its manager reported that all was well, so the problem must be at servers somewhere along the Internet. We too had our problems. We kept falling out of the Palace one by one and getting back in, but eventually the Palace stopped working completely. We ended up in the voice chat, but even there, the data packets from Ying Lan in Taiwan were coming in delayed, so her speech was broken and incomprehensible. Sound between Australia, the UAE, and southern China was fine, but something odd was going on in the region of Taiwan and Japan. A day later, it’s ok. I’ve returned to the Palace and Maggie’s ears are still there.

Sunday, April 30, 2000ch0apr30.htm – This chat ranged through several chat areas: The Palace and voice chats were particularly active, Vance was monitoring Homestead, and Michael and Vance even ventured into Active Worlds, where we retired to a place where we could stand together and converse through the voice chat. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, though Vance was admonished for not paying attention in all the chat areas.


Sunday, May 7, 2000ch0may07.htm – This chat was unusual because there were people in the voice chat without microphones, so the text chat there was used more than usual, and therefore you can follow the conversation fairly well in the voice chat text-chat log. The chat was also unusual in that we reached a decision. We decided to find a way to give every Webhead a t-shirt. Also, Vance worked with Felix to help him use the concordancer in Hong Kong to solve a problem given him by an overzealous English teacher. (See the ICQ chat for more on that.)

Sunday, May 14, 2000ch0may14.htm – The regular Sunday chat was held in two different places: Moral couldn't reach the voice chat and Michael hasn't been able to get the Palace lately, so those two couldn't meet. With newcomers Aline and Paolo happily talking with Michael in the voice chat, Vance and Maggi kept up with conversations in both areas. Interestingly, both chats moved onto the same topic, the value of the Internet in teaching and its impact on politics and society, at about the same time. The HearMe plugin was used to excellent advantage in the voice chat, with explanations of what was said being written out for students who had difficultly understanding spoken English. Meanwhile, in the Palace, the conversation moved on to the Falungong and whether cults should operate freely or be subject to government control or repression.

Sunday, May 21, 2000ch0may21.htm – The chat this week took place almost entirely in the voice chat. Vance monitored the Homestead site and the Palace. Ying Lan and Michael both came to the Palace (Michael to his surprise) but both went immediately to the voice chat. There we had a visitor, Sergei, who was not able to hear much due to poor network connection, so we wrote down much of what we said, and this makes the text logs easier for you to follow. Ying Lan was there and reported problems with a sleeping disorder. Felix dropped in since he was catching up with work on a Sunday due to time spent on studies. Paolo from Italy was there, about to visit his brother in his new house. And Bridgett was there as well and showed us her fashion design website. We talked about the t-shirt project, and Bridgett let us know she is ready with the t-shirt and waiting for us to design a logo.

Sunday, May 28, 2000ch0may28.htm – I started out pushing my machine to its limits and eventually over the edge. I was in the Homestead chat, ICQ, Yahoo chat with Sue, the Palace, and in the voice chat in addition to running a few other programs such as Word, and was arranging his windows aesthetically, when suddenly, Netscape crashed. All the other programs worked, and even the Hearme Voice Presence continued working, so that I could hear the conversation of others in the chat, but I could not respond. At first I rebooted thinking I could rejoin with Netscape, but the browser soon crashed again. At this point I just listened to Ying Lan and Maggi and responded to each in ICQ, not sure if I should attempt the Hearme site with Internet Explorer. Finally, at Nicia's prodding, I took the chance, and found myself in the voice chat with two Vances present. Also, because my machine thought it was Netscape Vance, I heard my own voice with some delay when I talked through my working browser IE. Eventually I managed to shut down Netscape and return to Hearme normally, but by then it was time to go. Still it was a fun evening, even though I felt I was barely able to keep my head above water much of the time.


Sunday, June 4, 2000 - ch000604.htm – This chat took place almost entirely in the voice chat room and in the accompanying text chat, which you can read in the logs. No one was at the Palace or Homestead text chat, so the only logs we have are from when people wrote in the voice chat. It started with Maggi and Vance talking to Ying Lan about what she’d read lately, and eventually we were joined by Amer, a Turkish man with a ready laugh living in New Zealand. Michael came along next, and after that, Sue in Japan appeared on Yahoo Messenger, and Vance let her know where we were so she could join us in the chat. Shortly thereafter Gosia from Poland appeared on ICQ, and Vance invited her to join us, which she did despite not having a mic. Though we’ve know Gosia for a long time, it was her first time to hear us talk, and we finally learned to pronounce her name correctly. Finally Nicia from Brazil appeared on ICQ and with some coaching from Vance and much persistence with her provider who kept bumping her, she too managed to be heard for the first time online. It was interesting getting to know each other in this additional dimension, and we look forward to actually hearing from Gosia next time.


Sunday, June 11, 2000ch000611.htm – This was a practice session for our chat Sunday July 2 from Barcelona. There was a little confusion with the voice chat clients: Michael’s in Australia worked well, but the one at Geocities didn’t connect with other chatters, so each arrival was there by him/herself. Those of us who were in touch by other means worked out what the problems were and ended up at the Australian site. Meanwhile the Homestead text chat applet was playing up as well and causing some frustration, though I was able to get it by switching browsers. In any event, several webheads students turned out, as well as a few invited guests.

Sunday, July 2, 2000ch000702.htm – In Barcelona, at the international IATEFL CALL conference held at ESADE. The session was well attended both at the conference site and from abroad, with students Ying Lan and Moral giving brilliant presentations of their work with Webheads at the Palace (read it here). You’ll find an overview of the presentation with links to all the chat logs at ch000702.htm.

Sunday, July 9, 2000 – regarding the meeting, Sorsah Lah wrote:

> How are you guys doing? I didn't see many people were online this Sunday or
> was I late? Well, I just want to say that it was my first time chatting
> with Maggi, David, and Ying. It's so great to talk with you guys. Anyway,
> I hope I can have time to chat with u guys next weekend because I have a lot
> of work in my classes to do.

Hi Sorsah

It was nice to finally hear you and you weren't too late. It is summer up north and people are busy or on holiday. With only 4 people you have to talk more...:-))

David was very impressed with Ying and how well she spoke English now. Keep it up Ying. Sorsah is lucky that she is in the US to study and can practice every day.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!!


Sunday, July 16, 2000ch000716.htm -Vance just got back off leave and made it to the chat class Sunday. Michael was hoping to be there, but he got stuck inside if Mobile with the Memphis blues again. MAD Maggi was in hospital with a broken leg. We tried to get her to join us from there … (she didn’t make it L)

Sorsah was there. She writes: How are u guys doing? Today, I went to chat and I met Vance and Peter. It's really nice to chat with you guys. Well, I only chat two times but I met four teachers already. See me lucky. hihihi. I really hope to meet some new people more. So if you guys have free time, go to chat with Vance, Peter, Maggi, David, Ying and me. It will be more fun if there are a lot of people. .

Sunday, July 23, 2000ch000723.htm – This chat reached an impasse. It was kind of funny actually. Moral has never participated in the HearMe chats because he is not able to run the Voice Presence software, so he got us all to download VoxPhone. Vance and Moral started voice-chatting in VoxPhone and it was working fine, and Moral was able to bring Michael into the chat. But when Maggi joined, none of us were able to reach her via VoxPhone. This was odd since she’d talked with Moral earlier on VoxPhone. So we tried to escape to the Palace. Moral and Maggie could go there, but not Michael. We couldn’t even get ICQ to work for us; it kept bumping the 4th person to be drawn into the chat. Marina joined us at HearMe without Moral. Meanwhile, Ying Lan sent an email saying she was unable to get online at all due to connection difficulties. What a night. .

Sunday, July 30, 2000ch000730.htm - A pleasant chat tonight with some nice surprises. First there was a return of Felix who got on from his sister's house while he was waiting to pick up his kids on a Sunday trip home. Secondly there was a guest visit from Sophie from Cyprus who had met Webheads in Barcelona and who came back to renew the acquaintance. The chat took place mostly in HearMe with Moral focusing a group on the Palace where almost everyone ended up eventually. It was a nice chat with lots of new and old friends.

Sunday, August 6, 2000 - ch000806.htm - It was a holiday in the UAE, the occasion of the anniversary of the leader of the country, Sheikh Zayed, to the throne. Vance's son Glenn was visiting from California and Glenn and his mom, Bobbi, were heading for the gym and pool on Vance's day off, so Vance only spent a short time chatting and left. Maggi, with her broken leg, stayed on until Michael appeared, and Michael and Maggi met Antonio, from Mexico, who happened along. Somehow, Michael happened to meet Castor at the Palace, and he sent us the log.

Sunday, August 13, 2000 - ch000813.htm – We had a very interesting chat tonight, very lively, with Ying Lan starting old hippies Vance and Maggi off on what it was like to be young back in the '60's. This got us on the topic of Nixon and American presidents and their popularity in the world (differing opinions from different countries). When Reagan came up we started discussing the topic of Alzheimer's (Vance almost started a rumor about Reagan, as you can see when you read the logs). Marina raised the most interesting, or at least the most unusual, topic in connection with her recent travels to Libya. Moral came to the Palace and had some pizza with us before joining us in the Hear Me voice chat in order to be with the group. Even though he had no sound card or microphone, he was able to keep up with the conversation by text chatting there. Sophie too had people over at her house and found it more convenient to text chat at Hear Me than to disturb her gathering with our chatter. For this reason, the Hear Me chat was rich in text chat. We ended the conversation sharing urls showing pictures of the houses where we live, and Marina and Vance found that they are both scuba divers.

Sunday, August 20, 2000 - ch000820.htm – The chat started with Maggi and Vance encountering on ICQ at about 11:00 GMT and then at around 11:45 GMT Maggi went to the Hear Me voice chat site, and Vance stood guard in Homestead text chat and the Palace. . There was no one else in the sites until about a quarter after noon GMT, when Ying Lan appeared in the Hear Me site and started talking to Maggi. Vance was busy working on a tutorial for how to get egroups passwords ( and so Ying Lan came to the Palace to get him. Here is that part of the conversation.

Sunday, August 27, 2000 - ch000827.htm – This chat started in Hear Me but ended up mainly at the Palace. Ying Lan was first to arrive, but she didn’t feel well (something she ate) so she left after a short while. Sophie came along to the Palace, followed by Gio, who was happy to have found us there after previous attempts to meet with us. Vance explained to Gio what the Webheads class was all about and how it met in three places (weekly online chats, the eclass, and its web pages). In the end Vance re-discovered how to make avatars from photographs, and he’s now ready to help others make their own avatars as well.

Sunday, September 3, 2000 - ch000902.htm – In today’s class we met John Steele in the voice chat, an ESL teacher who teaches writing and lives in Puerto Rico, and we interviewed him about his work and life in Puerto Rico. Meanwhile, Ying Lan, on watch in the Palace, told us Sophie was there, so our group moved over there for fun with avatars. Vance explained the technique for making them, and pretty soon we had our pictures decorating the schoolhouse alongside Michael’s parrots.

Sunday, September 10, 2000 - ch000910.htm – John from Puerto Rico arrived first to join Maggi and Vance at the HearMe chat but had microphone problems. Soon Ying Lan was there along with Marina, but we gravitated to the Palace for avatar play. Conversation then moved back and forth, sometimes favoring the Palace in text mode, and sometimes moving to Hear Me for live voice conversation. When Moral arrived at the Palace, we all returned there. Maggi had drawn a picture on the whiteboard of the auditorium of the push cart she had got to help her keep her balance while she recovers from her accident, and in the auditorium she taught us all how to draw on the walls. Marina proved to be particularly artistic, drawing flowers and colorful trees, though accidental erasures happened twice before the Palace crashed with all of us stuck in the auditorium. All of us but Moral were in voice contact the whole time, so it was interesting to be talking all together about the problems we were having with the Palace, and wondering what Moral was thinking since to him we must have appeared to be sitting there doing nothing. That was a signal for us to wind down, so Maggi and Michael and Marina and I retired to HearMe and worked out that while much of the world would be going back an hour in October, Michael would be moving forward an hour, and thus two hours further apart from Maggi and Marina. Three out of four of us concluded that Ozzies will go out of their way to be contrary to the rest of us and all but one of us were willing to leave it at that.


Sunday, September 17, 2000 - ch000917.htm – Today's chat started in the Palace with John, Vance and Maggi fooling around with avatars. Finally Ying Lan arrived and then Marina and we had a very interesting discussion, talking in Hear Me, with some text chat in Hear Me and even less at the Palace - the Palace crashed on us again but came back. Ying Lan had been reading Harry Potter but she had been reading it for quick comprehension and not attending to each word, so we discussed whether it was better to focus on accuracy or fluency. Marina thought it was better to read for pleasure and for fluency. This got us into the role of context in language, for example the words 'witch' and 'which', which Michael claimed were indistinguishable in Australian English. Vance disputed this and collected evidence to the contrary, presented below. The point was however, that these two words would never be confused in English because they would always be distinguishable by context. Meanwhile, the discussion of Harry Potter had taken us into other books of fantasy and magic such as Tolkien's Ring Trilogy, and Marina had some interesting stories to tell about an actress friend of hers who was into the occult.. Marina is about to go on a trip with her husband and child to Paris and London, but I hope she'll write us more about these topics when she gets back.


Sunday, September 24, 2000 - ch000924.htm – When I arrived I found Maggi in the Palace and she and Ying Lan in the HearMe chat. Ying Lan had left the Palace because she wanted to use the voice chat, so we talked for a bit until Sophie appeared in the Palace. As I tried to say hi, all my connections froze one by one, so I had to reboot. I returned to Hear Me to find that Michael, John and Sophie were there as well as Maggi and Ying Lan. I also found that every time I pressed F9 to speak, my computer told me its sound recorder was already engaged, but I didn't want to exit and fix it because Sophie was also having a speaking problem, and for this reason we were using the text chat for most of our conversation. The logs are from that part of our session. Ying Lan was telling everyone about a movie she had seen where a woman had met a man she had met on the Internet and been kidnapped by him. For the rest, you have to go to ...


Sunday, October 1, 2000 - ch001001.htm – First we head that the hurricane nearing Puerto Rico was downgraded to a tropical storm and wouldn't be devastating the island after all. Some of us had just watched the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, and China has just started 7 days of National Day celebrations. Vance was having an operation Tuesday and explained about arthroscopic surgery. And we talked about elections in the USA and China. Then we talked about ways to learn English online and how difficult it is to understand news broadcasts. So we all went to ABC News web page at and listened to a broadcast and talked a little about what we heard. Moral was going to find a broadcast for all of us to listen to. Zoli mentioned as a good source of spoken English. Webheads can go to these sites, tell each other what they are interested in listening to, and we can all discuss what we hear and help each other to understand the spoken English.


Sunday, October 8, 2000 - ch001008.htm – Love was in the air at this chat. Read all about it, from how to say you like someone, to qualities of an ideal mate.


Sunday, October 15, 2000 - ch001015.htm – This conversation started out with a flurry of dialog about the conflict in the Middle East but rapidly subsided into the less controversial topics of the weather and John's work on accreditation at his university. Moral wanted to talk using Voxphone, but we discovered that all our more recent versions had expired, so he agreed to download Freephone (and in fact, Moral and Vance used it later in the week to have a conversation). Eventually we got to the pros and cons of reading while eating, or eating while reading (we couldn't agree on which). Then Sophie arrived and made us all feel good by telling us she was so busy that she had thought not to join us but in the end she couldn't resist dropping by to say hello. Marina appeared at this time and told us it was raining heavily in Rome (and next week the news was full of stories of the disastrous flooding in central Europe). We got to talking about sharks and whether they were dangerous or not, and about how they were threatened not only by people's perceptions of them, but also by the demand in China for sharkfin soup.


Sunday, October 22, 2000 - ch001022.htm – Vance took the day off but the others met and sent me the logs.


Sunday, October 29, 2000 - ch001029.htm – Another interesting chat with several students dropping in at one time or another. If any question emerged from this chat, it was: How does a circuit breaker work? We know it detects electricity surges and at a dangerous point, trips a switch and sends the excess into the ground. But what is the physical condition that causes the switch to change positions? How does it work exactly? If you know the answer, tell us. And the bonus question is, Is there any difference between a resistor and a capacitor, and if so, what’s the difference? One strange thing about our chat was that every time we would talk about circuit breakers, HearMe would overload and we would all be bumped from the program. We had to keep going back again and again. The last time it went out, Marina was telling us about her email school projects. You’ll have to continue in email to the eclass, Marina.


Sunday, November 5, 2000 - ch001105.htm – We talked about: Michael’s drive to Port Pirie to give a training workshop for teachers on using the Internet next morning, traffic in Puerto Rico, our barely-alive Webhead t-shirt project, remembering birthdays, the upcoming presidential elections and about the nuclear energy plant fiasco in Taiwan and how some people there want to recall the president, learning languages from TV and closed caption broadcasts where you can read the text of what you hear, and our TWO Webheads conference presentations we are going to make this coming Monday, Nov 13. Felix dropped in to say hi, and we were all very glad to see him again. Finally, John related a story with so many opposite words that the story becomes impossible. Perhaps someone would like to pull it from the text and send it in an email to the class.


Sunday, November 12, 2000 - ch001112.htm – This was a day of abysmal connectivity in the UAE.


Monday, November 13, 2000 – Webheads participated in two international conferences today. The first one was the Networking 2000 Conference in Australia. There was lively discussion of Michael’s paper, which we have recorded here: ch001113nw2k.htm. The second one was supposed to be a discussion in a MOO about a paper we had submitted to the conference, but two of us were unable to get into the MOO, and the two who did were unable to find any conference-goers. We ended up talking amongst ourselves: ch001113tohe.htm.


Sunday, November 19, 2000 - ch001119.htm – Pon joined us in Homestead at the same time Felix, Maggi, and Ying Lan started talking in HearMe, and since Pon couldn’t join the voice chat, everyone moved to Homestead for text chat while continuing to talk at HearMe. Eventually Arif joined us from Turkey and like the others came over to the Homestead text chat. It was nice to have a chance to talk with old friend Felix and at the same time to welcome a new student, Pon, and a guest, Arif, who had read about us on one of the professional lists. Pon has artistic talents and might be able to make a logo for us to put on our Webheads t-shirt, which we’re still hoping to be able to make and distribute for free (we can dream, can’t we?).


Sunday, November 26, 2000 - ch001126.htm – Ying Lan was first to our chat today, which started on time as usual at Homestead since Dave Kees appeared to prefer it there. As others arrived in Hear Me, they all went to Homestead for text chat, while continuing to talk in Hear Me, and then write a little in Hear Me, and eventually we were communicating in Homestead and Hear Me chat, as well as Homestead voice, and even the Palace. Dave even spoke up in the voice chat, Pon checked in from a family gathering in Thailand (we could hear his family in the background) and Arif arrived from Turkey and sent us a picture and an introduction which you can see at rif.htm. We talked about the Thanksgiving and the presidential problems in the USA and Philippines and about how you can create Websites in Homestead, among other topics. Our sense of community was strengthened as pictures of Pon and Arif were uploaded to the web before our very eyes, and when John and Vance invited all to view their family web pages.


Sunday, December 3, 2000 - ch001202.htm – It was one of those bad internet days. Some of us were having trouble getting in the Palace, Maggi couldn't get into Hearme, and Pon was writing on Homestead that he couldn't reach either place but losing his connection before we could answer him. Still we did accomplish something. We all managed to find the Excite chatroom I'd set up and for those who got there, that worked very well.


Sunday, December 10, 2000 - ch001210.htm – We found out today that HearMe will continue to be supported past Dec 11, which was good news. Meanwhile, we continue to experiment with alternate chat sites. Today, it was Yahoo chat, with Vance showing Peter the url that shows if Vance is online and testing if it works: (it did; Peter could see that I was on Yahoo). Peter and I experimented with Yahoo and tried to drag Michael into a voice conference, but we found out that Yahoo only supports two conversants at one time (supports them very well, with clear duplex voice, but only two, so not suitable for us). So, we went to HearMe where Maggi showed up eventually, followed by Pon, and just as we were about to leave, Arif. Sophie appeared in the Palace and also joined us in voice chat. In the Palace, Sophie and Vance talked a little about the plenary address that Vance will give at a conference Sophie is putting on in Cyprus in May. The chats were hit toward the end with cyber-glitches, with Vance being bumped from all chats abruptly. But before then, Vance was able to upload Pon's new Writing for Webheads logo to the Internet at:


Sunday, December 17, 2000 - ch001217.htm – We had a great turnout today in a mostly spoken chat. Sue and Ying Lan had just got back from trips and told us all about them. We used almost all our chat tools, finding people on ICQ and Yahoo Messenger, gathering at HearMe, and moving to the Palace when Maggi came by Homestead and told us she couldn’t get to HearMe. A pleasant, friendly chat among people who look forward to getting to know each other better week after week.


Sunday, December 24, 2000 - ch001224.htmIt was the night before Christmas, and all through the house, some Webheads were chatting and clicking their mouse ...


Sunday, December 31, 2000 - ch001231.htm – The online eclass got off to a rough start. Michael had gone out for New Years Eve and left Maggi and I to handle the crowds, the Palace was down, and Hear Me kept kicking us out. We tried Homestead and ICQ chat but were unable to get Ying Lan into either of those. Eventually HearMe settled down and we were all able to hold a conversation there, though I was unable to talk. Consequently, the recorded text chat is mostly me ‘talking’ in HearMe. When we were able to get back there, Ying Lan was discussing the importance of dictionaries when reading in a foreign language, and John and I proposed our theories of vocabulary acquisition. Maggi said Ming had told her she thought it was polite in all cultures to give and accept items with both hands, and I pointed out that in the one I live in, items are given and received with the right hand only. This got me talking about my experiences in Saudi Arabia, which in turn got us talking about cultures that were difficult to live in. Meanwhile, Ying Lan asked John if anyone had answered his email and when we finally saw the question, we realized she was volunteering to participate in his study. Just as we were about to break up, Marina reappeared after several weeks away in Paris, and she got our mouths watering by telling us what she was cooking for 10 people at her home as a special New Years Eve meal. Then we talked about what we would do for New Years Eve and of course we wished all Webheads, and everyone everywhere, a happy, peaceful new year.


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Last updated: January 1, 2001 in Word 2000 and TextPad 4.2.2