Stay home and make friends

Chat groups and personals sites, where your identity may or may not be hidden at the other end of the web, is one of the most active online segments. Here’s a cross-section of sites that are attracting extroverts.

Although visitors to this site number only in the hundreds, it’s an ideal place to start chatting and find kindred spirits. Xko’s administrators will advise you on what to do to avoid drowning in a flood of information and an inundation of spam that could overwhelm your computer. Compared with Xchat (see below), this site has a better appearance and offers countless functions for increasing options, like Xpress – a web site where visitors can exhibit their webzine literary works. The Tojsemja and Seznamka services will help you introduce yourself, and there is online tic-tac-toe for further entertainment.

Founded in the summer of 2002, this site is part of the most popular Czech servers,, although research indicates that its visitors are mainly aged 12-19. Pages are divided into many categories, led by the popular chatroom and discussion forums, where everyone can debate topics. An increasingly popular category are the so-called blog pages, simple presentations in the form of brief, original texts, links, images, and photographs, chronologically ordered. A single user name and password allows access to not only dozens of discussion rooms, but also to free lifetime e-mail, as promoted by a TV campaign.

IRC is an abbreviation of Internet Relay Chat. The noun “pokec” (chat) is already mentioned on the basis of the non-commercial script language for Windows, and although it has permanent users, not much is written about it. It’s not unambiguously defined, as everyone chooses and then processes his or her own graphic IRC client and also writes his or her own individual orders for entering rooms, called channels on this site. For more information, go to

ICQ is an unusual abbreviation for “I Seek You”. After installing the freeware (latest version 5.02 is found at you register to get your personal number. People you give this number to, or who find it in the “white pages”, can contact you with a click of the mouse – either in a letter, by voice, or by video – in real time. Direct communication can then be conducted exclusively between two users. Other settings allow users to chat with six people simultaneously (if they have the required plug-in), or you can carry on several separate conversations at once.

The best-known chat site, in operation since 1998, later named Net Centrum. At any time you’ll find thousands of users here, which increases your chances of chatting. The chat rules are not followed too well, which may be due to the younger average age of visitors. The huge penetration goes hand-in-hand with a certain superciliousness (Xchat is the best) and threatens the site’s stability, which lacks some of the functions of competing Xland. Another drawback is a number of links that don’t work properly. Somewhat paradoxically, in order to be able to send words into cyberspace and use the e-mail service, you have to register a second time.

If you’ve ever traveled abroad with a German travel agency, you can confirm two things: that your trip was less expensive than here, and that the services were of higher quality. This site allows for sales of trips exclusively from foreign tour operators and airlines, including last-minute deals and charter flights.
An internet wedding gift registry that will distribute your desired gifts, and make sure that you don’t get two of anything. Just make a list of gifts according to a maquette and Zlatá rybka (Golden Fish) sends it by e-mail, SMS message, or letter to your friends and family. You can also find inspiration in site’s online catalogue.
This e-shop offers computers, PC components, mobile phones, and digital cameras at low prices, with a large assortment and easy searches. The design and offer made it the best computer shop of the year – at least according to ratings in the biweekly Svět počítačů (Computer World).

word of the month:
DD (Dolby Digital)
Although each of us has only two ears – like two sound channels – our perceptions come from all sides, i.e., not simply in stereo format. And that’s exactly what DD 5.1 tries to simulate. The number before the decimal point gives the number of channels (speakers), and the 1 is for the special, low-frequency channel for reproducing bass, a sub-woofer. All six channels fit together into a single data flow, and their positioning more or less envelops listeners from all sides, thus achieving a compact acoustic spatial impression. This format has become standard not only in movie theaters but also in home entertainment, where the latest DVD players and AV receivers typically support DD.






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