The Weekly Chatter For July 28, 2014 

To Free or Not To Free

The appeal of something free is sometimes overwhelming. Our decision to jump in head first to get a freebie can often be too hasty. How much freeware, how many toolbars, and who knows what kinds of malware have been inadvertently downloaded and installed initially because of its appeal of being no-cost. Yes, we are all guilty of it. Some of us have had a higher price to pay than others for freebies in the form of viruses, trojans, ransomware, and complete losses of entire computer systems. We are primed with wanting freebies from a young age. Our parents and grandparents have always said that the best things in life are free. That group includes (but is not limited to) STD's, gum stuck in your hair, ticks embedded in your scalp, undercooked ham samples at the local grocery warehouse, second-hand smoke, poor decision-making by elected officials, and crack sweat. But these are the same bewildering people who also explained to us that there is no such thing as a free lunch. So we escape from our parents' nests, barely unscathed, pitched with a final confusing lesson that you can't have it both ways, and believing in the end that the best thing in life is indeed a free lunch. So we click on anything that's free, and too good to be true. The next thing you know, you're heaving your entire computer in a lengthy line at the Geek Team because you don't know how to take out a hard drive let alone open up the side of your computer.

With experience comes wisdom. Usually one bad move is enough to avoid landing back in line at the Geek Team, lying embarrassingly to other non-tech savvy strangers in line who wound up in the same boat (incidentally, these are often the times and places where you meet your life partner, so keep an eye out for love at first sight). At ParaChat, free is simply a choice we offer. We help you to navigate through the trials and tribulations of your childhood parental guidance so you may take the time to explore both our free and fee-based services, and ultimately make an informed decision about which service is right for you. Our free services are ParaChat Basic and ParaChat BasicPlus. Did your parents ever mention that the best things in life are free, and they're even better if its name has Plus in it? Well, they should have. Although our advertisers help us to keep both Basic & BasicPlus free for you, there are huge differences between ParaChat Basic and ParaChat BasicPlus. The first one is that only BasicPlus provides you with access to ParaChat's infamous administrative features, via the chat room's Admin Console, and the web-based service administration area. Basic has no administrative features. The next huge difference is that BasicPlus is exclusive to your use, and is not connected to any other ParaChat service. Basic, on the other hand, is part of our global chat network, so it is connected to other rooms. ParaChat was essentially created as an adverting platform in 1996, and many rooms that are part of our global chat network have been online since our beginning! As a Basic customer, you would be part of an illustrious group! With either of our free services, users of the service must adhere to our Ad Policy while they chat to ensure a family-friendly environment. Any user who violates our Ad Policy should be reported to us immediately.

If an ad-supported free lunch with administrative features does not meet the requirements of your web site, we are pleased to offer an exciting array of ad-free service levels. Our range of fee-based services is licensed to accommodate web sites of any size and type. ParaChat Standard is our introductory chat service that includes access to a set of administrative features and customization options that would accommodate most any web site. Fees are flexible, and proportionate to the peak number of simultaneous users up to 200 concurrent that you expect to chat at any given moment, to keep the service cost-effective. ParaChat Professional has advanced features like chat transcripts, the event moderation tool for managing Q&A, secure encrypted chat, multiple permanent rooms, multiple site-level administrators, and full access to all customization options. Fees are also flexible, and proportionate to the peak number of simultaneous users you expect to chat at any given moment, up to 200 concurrent users. But if you expect greater than 200 users to access your ParaChat service at any given moment, then you would choose ParaChat Enterprise as your chat solution (or ParaChat Event for one-time or short-term use). Both ParaChat Enterprise and ParaChat Event include the same advanced features included with ParaChat Professional, but are separately load-balanced to serve the higher demands of enterprise-level web sites. Which will you choose? That is the question.

Show Us What You've Got With Screen Shots

ParaChat offers free support to both customers and users alike. Support is provided via an advanced ticketing system which allows our Support Team to minimize response times, maximize efficiency, and prioritize inquiries. When you create a support account, you may create, view and update your support tickets, a complete history of which is retained for future reference. If you are a ParaChat customer, simply log into your existing ParaChat account to open a support ticket. If you are ParaChat user, please register a support ticket account so your inquiry can receive the fastest response possible.

If you contact the ParaChat Support team, they may request that you provide a screen shot that demonstrates the issue you are having. A screen shot allows you to create a picture of what is on your monitor. If you are experiencing an issue with ParaChat, taking a picture of the issue is most likely faster than typing a full description. This helps our Support Team to understand the issue sooner, which in turn, allows them to help you faster. For detailed information about how to take a screen shot on your computer, please visit the How to take a screen shot in Windows or How to take a screen shot in Mac OS X articles in our Knowledgebase.

Security Alert: Java Update From Oracle

This past week, Oracle's Critical Patch Update included a security update to Java. The update to Java 7 Update 65 and Java 8 Update 11 included 20 security fixes. As with past Java updates, we highly recommend that users keep their Java versions up to date. This includes not only updating your computer's Java version to the latest version of Java available, but also removing any old versions of Java that you may have installed on your computer. For information about updating Java, and removing old version, please visit the How can I be certain my Java version is current? article in our Knowledgebase. Java is a web browser plug-in that is required to load the ParaChat Java chat client. Some web browsers and platforms will block Java applets from loading if you do not have the latest Java version installed.

Keep the chat love alive, and we'll see you again next week!

The ParaChat Team

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