Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to run the Chatterbox software?
You need to have a Windows98/ME/2000/XP computer (preferably Windows 2000 or XP) connected to the Internet. You will also need a webpage to list your Chatterbox chat room links. Your Internet connection must have enough throughput (bandwidth or kilobits per second) to accommodate the number of users you expect to have active. For the highest quality voice, that will be approximately 20 kbits/sec per active user. Using the lower bandwidth, but slightly lower voice quality compression available on the server, you will need to plan for about 9 kbits/sec per active user.
For example. If you purchase a 10 user license and want to have 10 active users running at the same time, your Internet connection must have about 10 x 20 kbits/sec or 200 kbits/sec of "upload" speed. Your average cable or dsl modem connection would sufficent to handle 10 active users. A 56 kbit/sec modem could handle about 5 users. If you switch to the lower quality voice, you can essentially double the number of active users you can support.
Can I just have your company run the server and provide the Internet connection?
What does unlimited rooms really mean? Do you allow for oversubscription?
To answer this question we will use several examples. Let's say you purchase the 100 user server. Assuming no oversubscription you would be able to configure that 100 user server into:
1 room of 100 users
2 rooms of 50 users (or 2 rooms 1 with 5 users, 1 with 95 users)
50 rooms of 2 users each
100 rooms of 1 users (but they probably would get bored talking to themselves, so 50 rooms of 2 users is better)
However we allow a 5x oversubscription rate. This allows you to configure more users than you have actually purchased. So the same 100 users can be configured as:
1 room of 500 users (but this defeats the purpose of oversubscription)
2 rooms of 50 users (or 2 rooms 1 with 5 users, 1 with 95 users)
250 rooms of 2 users each
So unlimited is not really unlimited, it is still limited by the number of users you have purchased. And please remember that even though you have configured 500 users, only the first 100 users to connect to the server will actually get in.
Are there any additional fees to pay for the software after I purchase it?
Yes. Beginning with Version 2.0 of our product, we require that every customer agree to and pay an annual service and maintenance fee. The fee is 25% of the price of your server. This 25% is due on the anniversary of the purchase of your server and ensures that for another year you can:
Always have access to the automatic client launching and download service that we provide. Your users of Chatterbox will always have the latest copy of the chat client. You never have to worry about how to provide the client.
Receive the latest updates to our product, regardless of how many we release during the following year. These updates include both the minor bug fix releases, as well as the major feature releases that we offer for our core product.
Continued email and occasional phone support for your server.
An annual support fee is common in the software industry. Reputable companies never go without one. Our support fee is slightly higher to cover the costs of our automatic download services.
If the mandatory service fee is not paid, your right to use license for the server will be revoked and your server disabled through our license enforcement system.
How can I qualify to get a free copy of your server? We are a non-profit or no-profit or "what's profit?" kind of company and we could really benefit from this software - your generosity would be greatly appreciated.
Well, we probably receive at least one request per day to give away our software. In general we do not give away our software. If we do, its because we feel that what we receive in return is well worth that exchange. If you can justify our giving you the software by clearly showing how you can generate sells for us in a timely fashion, we might be very interested. Or if you can offer some type of support, marketing, development or other services to us that we can use - we might be willing to help you out - just contact us to find out.
I heard that your company would give me a 10% commission check for sending people to you who buy your product. Is that true?
Absolutely. However, this is not an automatic transaction. There are several conditions that must be met for you to earn that 10%:
You must contact us with their name and number before they contact us or that person must tell us right away that they were referred by you.
If you refer someone to us, it must be someone who is "ready to buy". We appreciate any leads you might send our way, but if we have to do all the hard work to convince them to buy, we might as well keep that 10% :-).
Someone else must not have already referred the person to us. We dont' split any commission checks on referrals.
How do I get support for the product?
Our standard support policy is to contact us by email with your need and we will respond within 4 business hours. However, if you need something more personal or more timely, we can negotiate such terms as part of your purchase. Our email support is "Free", requiring no annual support fees. You are also entitied to free minor updates (bug fix releases) to your product.
Can I easily upgrade my server to support more users?
Yes, this is very simple, you pay us the difference between your current license and the license to which you want to upgrade and we make the change almost instantly on our licensing server. Once we make that change, you press the "Update License" button on the server and you are good to go.
Is it true that your server checks its license key every couple of hours? If so what happens if your license server is no longer available?
This is correct. To allow us to prevent some hackers from endlessly copying our software for free, we have to have a means to ensure that we can control the license when your license expires. If, for some reason, the Chatterbox server cannot reach our license key server, it will continue to run for several hours before it stops. The server will continuously try to reach our license server automatically when it is available again or when your network connectivity is restored to the Internet. As we are able, we will be adding redundant license key servers to ensure that it will be very unlikely, due to any operational outage on our part, that your server would be unable to reach our license key server.
If your company needs a version of our product that cannot be deployed with Internet connectivity or need an "unlimited license", please contact us.
What if, by some strange twist, your company goes out of business, will we be able to continue to use the server?
Yes. Our "safety net" policy is that for those companies who are concerned about this impossible possibility, we will provide them, at the time we would no longer be in business, with an "license-free" version of our server and a copy of of the Chatterbox client to use as they need. This server will not require that it contact our license key server or make use of our download services for the client. If, for some reason, your company may want to be really pessimistic, we would be glad to work with your company to arrange for our source code and or unlicensed server to be put into a third party escrow for safe keeping.
When will you offer video transmission so my friends can see live video pictures of me?
First, why would someone want to see your picture? Just kidding. Having video as an option is on our "to do some day" list, but nothing real soon. Primarily because most people don't have enough bandwidth to make it worth having and it also interferes greatly with the voice quality.
Will you ever offer this neat product on a Macintosh?
Essentially, the answer is no. However you could run the VirtualPC product on your MAC and it will work just fine.
How do uninstall this program?
You will find the uninstaller in the control panel under add/remove programs. Look for "Conference Client Uninstall"
I am a shaw cable user and the client keeps crashing.
Shaw cable uses a proxy that responds unpredictably. We have been unable to resolve the cause of the crash. However a simple work around is to start IE, go to tools->internet options. In the dialog box click on the connections tab, then on the button "lan settings". In the new box "unselect" the checkbox "Automatically detect settings". This will have no adverse affect on normal web browsing and will allow our client to run without crashing.