The Central Alabama IM Spotter
Special Note: as of February 2,
Please add email@example.com as a
buddy for continued access to the chat room.
Instruction below have been amended.
How to join the spotter
Pick a Jabber chat client.
There are many chat clients to choose from since there is
no official client developed or supported by the
Jabber Software Foundation. They have, however, compiled a nice
list of clients, including a few that they suggest. We are recommending
Pidgin as the perferred client on Windows or Linux Linux because:
- Excellent community support and development
- Support for multiple chat protocols such as AIM, MSN,
Yahoo, and ICQ
- Cross platform support
- Simple interface, including tabbed chat windows
As for Mac OS X, take a look at either
iChat AV or
Adium, both of which offer similar features to Gaim.
Choose a Jabber server.
There are many Jabber servers out there. Once again, a nice
list of servers have been compiled by the XMPP Federation. A few things to
note as far as servers we recommend:
- If you already have a Gmail (a.k.a. Google Mail)
account, you already have a Jabber account (Google
Talk runs on a Jabber-based server). If you would like to use this, you
can skip to the next step.
- Another reliable server we recommend is the
Jabber.org server, although you may not be able to register a preferred
username as it is also one of the most populated servers.
Don't see anywhere to register a user? Don't panic! Once
you have picked out a server you would like to join, just go ahead and launch
your Jabber client.
Add account to chat client.
Look for the button, menu item, etc. in the program that
will let you add an account to your chat client. In Pidgin, a box should
automatically pop up that contains a button to add an account, which you should
click on. At this point, if you want to use a Gmail account to connect to
Jabber, look at
Google's walkthroughs for configuring different clients. In the add account
window, here are some standard fields you will see and might want to change:
- Protocol: This is the type of server you're
going to connect to. Make sure XMPP is chosen.
- Screen name/User name: This is the unique
username you will use to connect to the server.
- Server: This is where the name of the server
you have chosen goes. For example, jabber.org
- Password: This is the password you choose to go
along with your username. You can use any string of letters and numbers here
as long as you can remember it. We recommend at least eight characters.
- Resource: This is mostly arbitrary. However, it
is generally used to tell others which chat client you're using, so it might
be helpful to put Home, Pidgin, iChat or whatever you use here.
- Alias: Again, this is arbitrary. You can put
how you'd like your name to appear here if you find your screen name
- Now, if and only if you have not already
registered on the server you have chosen, click the Register button. If you
are already registered, click on the Save/Connect/OK/etc. button. Hopefully
your chat client will have some way to indicate to you whether or not you're
connected at this point.
Connect to a chatroom. (IMPORTANT!!!)
Different clients work different ways here. Some will make
you add a chatroom link to your buddy list (Pidgin) and others will just give
you the option of connecting without saving any link to the room (Trillian
Pro... don't ask). It is up to you to find the option to add/join a chat room.
Once you find that, here are the details you need to know:
- Account: If you're connected to more than one
account using your chat client, make sure you choose the Jabber account you
want to chat from here.
- Room: This is where you choose what room you
would like to chat in. The Central Alabama
Skywarn spotter chat is “bmxspotterchat”.
- Server: Change this to muc.appriss.com
We would highly prefer here that you use a first or last name, and
your best description of your location (e.g. brown-west_alabaster,
porter-jasper, david-livingston). This will help us to relay
highly accurate reports by location to the NWS. It will also help us in
pinpointing users in areas where significant weather has occurred. Please be
- Password: Leave blank.
- Click Join
That's it! If you're not automatically transported into the
chat room. You should see iembot as one of the people in the room, and, if your
chat client supports it, backlogged reports from the iembot.
Adding chat to your buddy list.
- Click Buddies
- Click Add Buddy
- Enter this in Buddy username:
- Click Buddies
- Click Add Chat
- Account be sure your XMPP acct from above shows
- Room: bmxspotterchat
- Server: muc.appriss.com
- Check to ensure that your handle is as above
(e.g. brown-west_alabaster, porter-jasper, david-livingston)
- Alias: Arbitrary. You can change this if you
want to see something other than
firstname.lastname@example.org for the name (try "bmxspotterchat").
- Select Add
- Group: You might see this if the chat client
lets you add room links to your list. In this case, this is the buddy group
it will be listed under.
- double-click the link your buddy list to the room. You
should see iembot as one of the people in the room, and, if your chat client
supports it, backlogged reports from the iembot.
Now you are ready to chat at a moments notice just by
double clicking bmxspotterchat from your Buddy List