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Chat with MAD, Michael, Bahia, Ying Lan, and Vance

January 10, 1999

The first part of the chat disappeared when the Palace log buffer filled. The big news in the early part of the conversation is that Felix has just had a boy. He had thought from ultrasound that it was going to be a girl, but it turned out the doctors had been mistaken and it was a boy.

As the record commences below, we have been discussing one of Felix's questions, what is the difference between OFF and OF. I suggested that he use a concordancer to examine a large body of text. The technique is to find a lot of text data (use an online manual, an online article, an encyclopedia entry, a body of email, etc.), download a concordancer (e.g. Wordsmith from, and then do concordances on OFF and OF. You can then use the results to "figure out" the difference in usage between the two. A technique for doing that is to see where you can substitute OF for OFF and visa versa, and where you can't. The latter technique works well for words similar in meaning, for example, UNDER and OVER.

Felix has just proposed that "off" involves movement. I try to think of an example where it doesn't necessarily mean something is moving ...

Vance: What about ... buzz off!

Maggi: it means not giving information to a student, but the tools to find it themselves...

Vance: I guess that's movement.

Felix: so complex then

Vance: Of is probably similar to do in Portuguese?

Maggi: for the student to be a part of the decision of the 5 w's and responsible for their learning.

Felix: in on at are much more easier to understand because they have rules..

Felix: nope vance

Maggi: buzz off is still movement...

Vance: True. But language is very complex. There are no simple answers.

Vance: We can't easily explain the many uses of OF and OFF.

Felix: about OF i have no problems....

Felix: but off... I can't say it

Vance: So sometimes a concordancer can explain these things to us by giving us numerous examples from real data.

Maggi: remember learn to speak a language normally first...

Felix: i am dowloading it now.. I will check at it later.

Maggi: the grammar rules come after...

Felix: Mad, make a comment of my spoken English... I want to know

Maggi: it sounded very good...

Maggi: you have a beautiful accent...

Felix: What did you find hmmmm a big mistake ?

Felix: something that I have to work more on it.

Vance: What did you use to do the spoken English?

Maggi: You were pretty excited, so I wasn't looking for mistakes.

Maggi: I called him at the hospital.

Felix: the telephone Vance

Felix: well, but at least you understand me.. That's good.. HAHA

Felix: you understood

Maggi: the telephone is not good, because you are only using one sense...

Vance: Oh, so you called to congratulate him on his new lad?

Maggi: yes...I understood you just fine...

Felix: what is lad ?

Maggi: lad is a boy...young boy...

Felix: ohok

Vance: It's Scottish for boy.

Maggi: Well...his daughter Vance...then he told me about the mistake!

Maggi: He was pretty surprised...

Felix: Hey Vance and Mad,, can you e-mail me with Baby's stuff vocabulary and it's meaning.. like diapers,,,,things like that..

Vance: That's neat Maggie. You seem to blend reality with cyber reality in a number of ways.

Felix: That's what i told her on phone. I was so happy she didn't consider me a screen...

Maggi: yes, I guess I do...

Felix: I think the same way Mad

Maggi: but you know online I also get a picture and feeling of each person...

Maggi: everyone is 3 dimensional to me...

Felix: i have lots of questions today. Here it goes another

Maggi: in fact...I think you get to know people on another level, even better.

Felix: YEsterday I went to and I was looking at some stuff and found out about a speaking course.. How does it work?

Vance: It's been noted that people are more forthcoming online than face to face (gets them in trouble sometimes)

Maggi: those first impressions of a person's physical reality doesn't come into play.

Maggi: Yes...but I am just as open and honest in reality...ask Michael...

Vance: I've noticed about the speaking course too. Ying Lan wrote something about it she asked me to correct. It was interesting.

Felix: ..

Felix: but who is the teacher for it ?

Vance: I don't know. Let me look for her document ...

Felix: Just one thing I want to you tell all.. You will never get rid of me ok?? I am very persistent.. I will stay here until you get tired of me and say.. Please Felix.. Get LOSTTTTTTTTTTTt


Vance: No problem.

Maggi: I know Felis lol

Felix: I have learned a lot here with you all.

Maggi: But I also know that everytime I help you, I help your students too...:-)

Felix: Not only English but behavior too

Felix: Right Mad.. so you are helping a lot a ppl at the same time.

Maggi: And the behavior part and culture is important.

Maggi: A language doesn't exist just on it's own normally.

Felix: yes. I've learned the lesson, you know..

Maggi: I know you have...

Maggi: we just need patience with you...hehehehe

Felix: HAHAHA.. You have a lot Mad..

Vance: I think the speaking course has something to do with NTT from

Vance: Do you know about that?

Felix: nope Vance..

Maggi: I don't...have to ask Dave...

Maggi: Maybe Michael knows...

Vance: You need a camera and a microphone (I'm reading YL's piece)

Felix: Another thing... I found some mistakes in home page.. Actually I e-mailed Dave about it, but I don't think he will hear me..

Felix: I have a camera...

Felix: It's about some links there.. They didn't work.

Maggi: I had a camera- my son went off with it...

Maggi: took the video card too to watch TV on his computer in his room

Felix: But after I had to format my hd, my camera isn't working.. I will take my computer to a computer's lab to be fixed it up.

Maggi: I hope they fix it...

Vance: She says she uses Pure Voice to send voice email.

Felix: So do I Maggie

Felix: To whom Vance ??

Vance: I was just reading her explanation. It was to another student. She says she uses NTT and Pure Voice.

Maggi: Is NTT Netmeeting...?

Vance: I'll check it out. Hold on ..

Felix: Once I talked to ying on mic but I couldn't understand her.. The connection was very bad..

Vance: NTT has a product called InterSpace

Felix: Is it free Vance ?

Maggi: I had a problem with netmeeting with Michael.

Vance: I'm not sure. I'll attempt a download.

Felix: And with me too.. Remember Maggi ?

Maggi: Ah...I believe I saw something once...Dave was on about it....

Felix: Do you know all the teachers at the Palace ??

Felix: I only know Maggie, Vance, Michael and Vera... Are there others ?

Maggi: Plenty of others...they are all listed on the

Felix: But they dont come here right ?

Maggi: Dave updated it...

Maggi: brb

Vance: I haven't checked it myself lately. I registered with NTT for free, but they're emiailing me a password.

Felix: ok Vance. I will do the same later

Vance: I'll just check my email.

Felix: .

Vance: They sent me a password with which I am about to log on to Inner Space ...

Felix: ..

Ying-Lan: @64,64 !It's Ying-Lan

Vance: Hi JL

Vance: YL

Felix: Hi Ying

Ying-Lan: hi

Ying-Lan: ^Sorry for being late.

Felix: Ying.. We were talking about NTT.. do you still use it ?

Vance: I'm downloading it now.

Vance: I guess it's free

Ying-Lan: ^Download what?

Ying-Lan: hi

Michael C: @64,64 !It's Michael C

Ying-Lan: Michaelc

Michael C: Hi people.

Michael C: So is anybody really here?

Maggi: hi Guys!

Vance: Hi Michael. A conversation stopper, I guess.

Felix: Hi Michael..

Vance: jk

Michael C: Hi MAD. Been to Amsterdam lately?

Vance: (just kidding)

Maggi: Kevin is here!

Michael C: Is he listening?

Felix: I was checking my little daughter.. She torn the hmmmmm What is the name of that cloth we put over a baby's bed to avoid mosquitos ?

Maggi: Sort and on

Vance: The mosquito net

Maggi: mosquito net

Felix: right

Felix: She torn it

Michael C: So it's still hot there Felix?

Vance: she tore it

Michael C: Did you get any new webheads Vance?

Felix: Yes, very hot... About 39 degrees today

Maggi: How did she do that Felix?

Vance: I got some email addresses, but no responses to my email yet.

Michael C: 39 here too.

Felix: With her fingernails...

Vance: Actually, there's someone named Avelina who at least sent a compostion for her web page

Michael C: I like your idea of enticing people to come here to get assistance with web pages.

Maggi: I guess I will just put a picture and say the site is under construction so I don't lose it.

Vance: Felix and YL both started one. ANd MAD too. You've already got one, M

Michael C: Next we can offer people money to come here.

Maggi: LOL

Michael C: I've seen YL's page. Is yours for public viewing yet MAD?

Maggi: Nope..

Felix: Good Michael.. You can start with us ok???? LOL

Michael C: Darn.

Michael C: OK - but it's only for new students Felix! So you miss out.

Vance: I just create documents in Word, save them as HTML, and upload them to Geocities.

Maggi: Well, I'm slow on the upswing...

Vance: The trick with Geocities is your first document needs to be named index.html

Felix: So. I will apply again under a new name Miachael.. LOL

Maggi: But... once I get going it should be good...:-)

Vance: Can't wait to see it..

Michael C: Was the of/off message useful Felix? Yoou've already got 4 names!

Ying-Lan: ^Vance, I forgot to tell you, you showed the worng the URL of Michaelc on web head.

Vance: I'll change it. What should it be?

Ying-Lan: I forgot it.

Michael C: My URL has a ~ before michaelc now.

Vance: checking ...

Ying-Lan: let me check

Michael C: That's the only change.

Michael C: Felix - I repeat - was the of/off message OK/useful?

Felix: Michael. I dont use those names anymore ok?? I am Felix and in ICQ i am Ricardo.. But the people here can call me by my real name ok???

Vance: So it's

Vance: Which is ... ???

Felix: Yes, Michael.. A lot.. Thansk

Michael C: That's correct Vance. Yes, which is?!

Vance: Felix's real name is ... ???

Michael C: Ricardo is yet another name for you!!!

Michael C: That makes 5!

Vance: One never knows.

Maggi: I have 4...

Michael C: Well I'm quite happy with one!

Michael C: No identity crises for me!

Felix: Félix real name is Félix (etc., here Felix divulges his full name, which I have censored - ed.)

Ying-Lan: Felix

Michael C: OK. Pleased to meet you FELIX.

Felix: I DO NOT HAVE IDENTITY CRISES ok?? I just dont want people on net knowing my real name.. Only you all that I trust know that..

Ying-Lan: ^Can I delet the "Bahia" on icq?

Vance: Yeah, although a rose by any other name would smell the same.

Felix: Yes, Ying,, you can

Vance: (Shakespeare)

Michael C: You can trust me.

Ying-Lan: ^thanks.

Michael C: I promise.

Michael C: Can't he MAD?

Maggi: Can we

Vance: Do you anticipate any problems with people knowing your real name? I always use mine.

Felix: Ok Michael. I trusth you.... I can even put my hand in cold water for you.. LOL

Felix: Yes Vance.. a lot..

Michael C: Can you explain wjy you're worried about that Felix?

Maggi: You can't get shot online Felix!

Felix: Michael I have 2 options now.. RelEncoder5.1 and RealAudio Encoder 3.1 .. What is the best ?

Felix: Worried about what ??

Ying-Lan: ^Somtimes, cookies are dangerous.

Felix: Why Ying ?

Michael C: I'm not sure. Perhaps 3.1 is for Windows 3.1? (Worried about people knowing your real name?

Maggi: can cookies be dangerous Ying?

Ying-Lan: ^I am afraid someone will get my credit no by cookies.

Vance: ICQ has serious security leaks. Browse around their web site. It's all there.

Maggi: do you mean the kind you eat?

Felix: forget about it ok Michael.. call me Felix .. That's all.

Felix: That's the point Vance..

Michael C: OK Felix.

Maggi: Well...means I better watch my mouth then, huh?

Ying-Lan: ^Watch your mouth?

Vance: But if you use ICQ or accept cookies then people could conceivably get your IP address and other info from your computer.

Michael C: That'd be a shame MAD. Much less interesting!

Maggi: watch what I say...

Vance: It wouldn't matter what you called yourself.

Ying-Lan: ^I have read some report talking about the cookies.

Vance: You can set ICQ to hide your IP address btw.

Michael C: Personally I've never understood this cookie business...

Maggi: I probably figure if someone snoops and doesn't like it that is their fault.

Felix: I know hackers from Brazil and read all the icq messages from other people... That's why I am afraid.. Imagine if people find out that I am a CIA spy.. ROFL

Felix: me either Michael

Michael C: Maybe I don't trust you after all Felix.

Michael C: LOL.

Felix: That's ok Michael..

Vance: You can find out a lot about cookies and other PC related info at

Felix: Actually i have a huge file about your personal life.. ROFL

Michael C: Thanks Vance. I'll check it.

Ying-Lan: ^.

Felix: i will check it later too

Ying-Lan: 1

Felix: 2

Michael C: OK. Tell me about my politics Felix!

Felix: No Way!! It's TOP SECRET .. LOL

Felix: I dont want to embarrass you in front of others ok?? LOL

Felix: Michael you are so funny.

Michael C: You're very considerate.

Felix: what is considerate ?

Maggi: It is the aussie sense of humour!!

Michael C: You thinbk about the feelings of other people.

Felix: oh ok

Felix: Michael what does RealPlayer encoder do? It converts wav into au ?? Does it make the files smaller ??

Michael C: Like I'm very considerate when I talk to MAD because I know she's so sensitive!

Maggi: Could someone really read all my ICQ messages?

Felix: He is turning into you now Mad.

Felix: Yes Mad...

Ying-Lan: I read it.


Michael C: Encoder converts .wav to .rm and yes it makes the files a lot smaller.

Felix: thanks for the info Mike

Maggi: Really Felix...they could?

Vance: Is encoder free?

Michael C: MAD - what id ROFLMAO?

Felix: i think so

Michael C: Encoder is free.

Felix: Yes, Maggie..My sis and i got serious problems with it....

Maggi: Rolling on the floor laughing my ass off...

Michael C: What was that about watching your mouth?

Vance: There's another use of OFF, sort of movement, figuratively.

Maggi: Well...there is some interesting stuff on mine...hmmmm

Felix: LOL

Felix: @MAd

Maggi: that wasn't my mouth...:-)

Felix: Ying have you seen my home page?

Ying-Lan: ^yes

Felix: ok

Ying-Lan: ^Did you upload the new file?

Vance: I was just looking at YL's home page. Which character set do I use?

Felix: which new file?

Michael C: @64,64 !It's Michael C

Felix: Chinese Vance

Michael C: I got logged out...

Ying-Lan: ^Vance, what do you mean?

Vance: Nothing. It's working fine now.

Maggi: oh...

Ying-Lan: ^I wrote it in English.

Ying-Lan: so

Ying-Lan: why

Ying-Lan: ^Comment?

Ying-Lan: ^Suggestion?

Vance: Before, I was having trouble getting it, but now it's fine, all in English.

Vance: It looks great.

Ying-Lan: ^Tell me these mistakes.

Vance: More stories links back to the webheads page, clever ...

Ying-Lan: Grammar or works.

Vance: Oh, now when I return to it I've lost the English text again.

Ying-Lan: I don't know why.

Vance: Then I do a reload, and it's back in English.

Ying-Lan: Micaelc, what are you doing for your project? I have heard you are very busy now.

Vance: Maybe you should put on the page, "Reload if you have trouble reading this in English"

Vance: If I scroll, I get the boxes again. Very strange.

Michael C: I'm doing a lot of things Ying. I think you probably mean my Internet project....

Ying-Lan: ^But if you have some trouble you could not read any words ... only square. how to read my words.

Felix: I had the same problem Vance... Then I had to turn into Chinese set...

Vance: Which Chinese set, or does it matter?

Ying-Lan: I don't know how to make it perfectly.

Maggi: I wonder why I didn't have a problem with Ying's page

Vance: Yeah, that fixes it.

Ying-Lan: ^Michealc, did you have the same problem when you read my page?

Vance: Then you need to tell people on the page to change to the Chinese character set.

Ying-Lan: But how?

Michael C: YL, if you go here you can read about some of my projects. (About your page - what problem? I haven't been there since last week...)

Vance: It comes up in English first, so just put a note near the title about changing the character set.

Vance: I'm looking at Felix's page now.

Ying-Lan: ^Vance only read squares instead of English character on my pages.

Felix: No Vance

Michael C: What's your URL Felix? Can I have it?

Michael C: I did have that problem once. I'll try it again.

Vance: But if you change the character set to Chinese (View / Character Set in Netscape) it works fine.

Felix: Hello

Vance: Hello

Vance: All the URLs are at

Ying-Lan: he

Ying-Lan: felix is gone?

Vance: I'll bet he comes right back.

Maggi: maybe the baby was crying...

Ying-Lan: ^I think so.

Vance: I'm looking up Michael's page now.

Ying-Lan: ^I am at Michaelc's web sites

Michael C: Your page is fine Ying. As it loads it has squares but then the suares become text. No problem.

Felix: @64,64 !It's Felix

Maggi: I'm just relxing while Kevin does the washing up.

Ying-Lan: ^You add somthing new.

Maggi: Life is grand.

Michael C: Who? Me?

Vance: But the squares might return. That's when you need to change character sets.

Ying-Lan: kevin

Maggi: You what Michael?

Ying-Lan: ^I have no idea about the problem.

Vance: I'm having trouble bringing up Mind Media.

Michael C: Vance - sorry - where are character sets, and change to what?

Felix: Wait until a year Mad..

Ying-Lan: ^I wrote all story in English...

Felix: Michael do you use IE or Netscape ?

Ying-Lan: Vance how to change

Vance: It's probably something to do with the fact that your computer has Chinese character sets.

Maggi: Not if we never live together Felix...

Michael C: I use Netscape.

Felix: just kidding Mad

Maggi: I know...

Felix: ok

Michael C: You're right Vance. Mind Media won't come...

Felix: so in Netscape go to View and then Character Set.. Change it to Chinese

Michael C: OK....

Vance: Learnscope looks interesting.

Vance: Maggi, next week, we look at your web page ...

Michael C: Learnscope has been a revelation. It's for people who were mostly brand new to the web.

Ying-Lan: ^you mean I have to delet the Chinese set before I write my story... But My Miscrosoft words is Chinese version.

Maggi: That's a good way Vance to make me move it a bit.

Vance: I don't think you need to change anything. Just add a note to tell people to use the chinese character set when viewing in English.

Felix: What is learnscope ?

Ying-Lan: o.k.

Michael C: Learnscope is an online community.

Ying-Lan: I try to save the file as *. bmp


Felix: and?

Ying-Lan: ^What is it? Learnscopt

Michael C: It's a support centre for people doing net projects.

Vance: The science simulations look interesting.

Ying-Lan: ^Will we read the information from your web? Michaelc

Michael C: Did you get that from Learnscope Vance?

Michael C: I'm not sure at this stage Ying. Maybe later.

Vance: Do I have to be a member to use the science simulations?

Ying-Lan: so

Felix: Get what ???

Michael C: Did you get to the science stuff via Learnscope? Any link from there is public.

Felix: I am lost now

Michael C: WE're talking about a site that I do dome work for.

Felix: oh ok

Vance: I'm just looking at some of the links. I'm at

Michael C: Now I know what you mean Vance. That stuff has been added lately.

Vance: Visualize science, it says, with Shocked Authorware

Maggi: Sorry to leave you all...but I need to go eat something...

Michael C: Bye MAD. Have fun. And be good!

Maggi: Among other things...

Felix: Eat whom ???

Maggi: Now now Felix...

Michael C: I said be good!

Ying-Lan: Bye maggi

Felix: lol

Maggi: Catch you all later...bye for now!

Felix: Bye Maggie..

Vance: I've got to go too. The explorescience site is quite good.

Michael C: I have to go too. Hve a good wekk everyone.

Vance: Anyone got any questions before I leave?

Ying-Lan: It is time to say bye

Felix: Bye all

Michael C: Happy exploring Vance.

Felix: Just one thing Vance..

Vance: yo

Ying-Lan: ^Nothing. only send me your suggestion and corrections.

Felix: Watch out!!! I am thinking about making a CIA file about you too ok??LOL

Michael C: I think I'd better talk to the Soviets.

Vance: lol, roflmao

Michael C: Goodnight/morning/afternoon!

Felix: LOL@Michael

Ying-Lan: good night.

Ying-Lan: bye

Vance: OK, I'll have a closer look at your site.

Felix: Good morning.. Bye

Felix: You can correct mine too Vance ok?

Vance: OK, but it's easier for me if you email me the text you want me to look at. It's hard to look at a site and just correct the whole thing.

Felix: ok bye

Vance: Can you do that?

Vance: And YL, I'll correct the document you sent. I'll see you guys later.

Vance: Same time, same place

Vance: bye

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Last updated: January 10, 1999