Monday, December 04, 2006

One year of PartyChat

Today marks one year since PartyChat launched. During that time, I've definitely fallen prey to the "eh, it works well enough" mentality, but thankfully a couple of my friends have not. Just in time for PartyChat's one year anniversary, Dolapo and Kushal have added some new features. Dolapo added ++points, a way of assigning points to whatever you feel like... it's a popular little feature we've had in internal chat rooms at Google for a while now. Kushal fixed a number of bugs in Dolapo's code as well adding /me actions, a popular IRC feature.

To give ++points, just type word++ and the scorer will assign a point to the word. Type word-- and it'll subtract a point. We generally use ++points to reward good behavior and penalize Kushal for bad puns. To check scores just type /score or /score word to get the score of just the word. You'll also notice that for some reason we also keep track of the ++points on the last letter of each word -- that's an homage to one of the, uh, the minor bugs in the original implementation of the point tracker.

To use /me actions, begin a message with /me (for example, /me is hungry) and all the members of the PartyChat will get the message in italics with your email/alias substituted in for /me (back to the example, if your alias was "punshal," PartyChat would say punshal is hungry).

Now that I've got Dolapo and Kushal on board, hopefully there'll be even more features coming! One can only hope. So here's to another year of PartyChat -- keep chattin'.

Monday, August 14, 2006

beta blogger

Well, this wasn't much of a side project as it was my (and the rest of the blogger team's) main project for the last year, but is now launched with this as the second inaugural post on the new system.

Friday, March 24, 2006

I'd like to introduce you to another little side project of mine, ("Tiny Gus"). is a quick way of linking to places on the internet, using the power of Google's I'm Feeling Lucky feature. If someone is asking you about "All your base are belong to us," you would probably fire up Google, search for ["All your base"], click on the first result, copy the resulting url, and then paste it into your message. That's too much work. Now, you can just type into your im/e-mail and fire it away. When your friend clicks the link, they'll automatically be directed to the first Google result for ["All your base"]. It's as easy as pie.

For more information, check out If you don't understand how works, or have comments on how it could work better, let me know (techwalla(a) Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I happen to work for Google. was produced without any internal knowledge about Google and is not endorsed by Google in any way. If you have any problems with it, please contact only me.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

New website

I now have a static page which explains the basics of PartyChat with an FAQ. Check it out. In the mean time, I'll continue to make announcements and give tips in this blog.

PartyChat Tip #2

PartyChat works with Gmail Chat. Also, all your conversations are logged to your Gmail account, including messages you missed when you were not logged in.

Monday, January 30, 2006

apartment internet flakiness

Sorry for PartyChat's repeated downtime. My apartment's TimeWarner connection has taken to being uber-flakey which causes issues in the Smack library I use for PartyChat. Hopefully TW will get its act together soon.