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Getting Started

Chatopus is a Jabber/XMPP client for instant messaging. Chatopus allows users to communicate with Jabber contacts. Users can also communicate with other instant messaging networks, such as AIM, ICQ, MSN or Yahoo, via some gateways or transports. For a quick start and a step-by-step tutorial, read the following guide.

Getting Started with Chatopus

English Version

Simplified Chinese Version

Jabber User Guide

There is a Jabber User Guide, available from, which provides a generic overview on using a Jabber Client, such as Chatopus.

Native Jabber/XMPP Support

Chatopus uses the Jabber/XMPP as the underlying protocol to provide instant messaging solutions on Palm OS devices.

Jabber is an open XML protocol for the real-time exchange of messages and presence between any two points on the Internet. The first application of Jabber technology is an asynchronous, extensible instant messaging (IM) platform, and an IM network that offers functionality similar to legacy IM systems such as AIM, ICQ, MSN, and Yahoo.

XMPP is an open protocol widely used as the common connection between open source and proprietary IM systems. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has published the XMPP specifications as RFCs. XMPP grew out of the Jabber open-source project, and continues to be developed and extended within both the IETF and the broader Jabber community, including the Jabber Software Foundation (JSF).

For more information about the Jabber/XMPP, please go to

Network Connectivity

Chatopus requires an Internet or network connection on your Palm devices. There are numerous ways to get Internet connectivity on your Palm devices, including:


Installation and Usage

Q: I got the error message, "Error in loading XML Parser", when launching Chatopus. What does that mean?

A: You have not installed Chatopus' XmlParser.prc. Please refer to the README.TXT included in the distribution for installation instruction. To run Chatopus, you need to install at least 4 files, Chatopus.prc, XmlParser.prc, JabberLib.prc and JabberDBLib.prc into your device. Chatopus must also be installed into the main or handheld memory of your Palm device, you cannot install it to an external memory card.

Q: I got the message, "Error - Unable to delete Chatopus" when trying to remove Chatopus from the system. What can I do?

A: To uninstall Chatopus, please make sure Chatopus is offline and there are no pending message or event from Chatopus in the Attention Manager. Then go to the built-in launcher, select App->Delete and then Chatopus. This will remove Chatopus and all its associated data from your device.

Q: I got the error message, "Initialization Error: The DNS server address is not setup properly (0x1250)". How can I solve it?

A: Your Palm device cannot use the network's DNS server for resolving the IP address of your configured Jabber server. It may be a temporary network problem. You may soft-reset your Palm device and try again. If the problem persists, you can put the IP address of your Jabber server in the "Host" field of the "Account Setup".

Q: I got the error message, "Initialization Error: nonexistant DNS name (0x123E)". How can I do?

A: You may have entered a wrong server address in the "Account Setup". Go to the "Account Setup" by choosing Accounts->Account Setup in the Contact Window.

Q: I got the error message, "Registration error : Username not available (409)" or "Registration error: (409)" when logging in. What does that mean?

A: It is an error message sent from the Jabber server. If you are trying to create a new account at the Jabber server, that means your username has already been taken and you would need to think of a new username. If you are logging in with your existing account , you should turn off the "Create New Account" checkbox in the "Account Setup" and then try again.

Q: Does Chatopus use SMS for sending or receiving instant messages?

A: No, Chatopus does NOT incur any SMS cost. It uses data network connection or your phone's data plan only.

Account Setup

Q: How can I setup a new Jabber account?

A: You can setup a new Jabber account either using Chatopus or any other Jabber client. Please read the section: Registering a Jabber Account.

Q: How do I setup an account for Google Talk service? (New)

  1. Go to the "Account Setup".
  2. Choose "Google Talk" for your XMPP/Jabber service.
  3. Enter your Account Name, e.g. "Google Talk". Click Next.
  4. Put the first part of your gmail address in the Username field. For example, if your gmail address is, put someone in the Username field. Then type in your password. Click Next.
  5. Click Done.

For details, you can also check out the article at treo Addicts or (Spanish).

Q: How do I setup an account for Gizmo Project? (New)

  1. Go to the "Account Setup".
  2. Choose "Gizmo Project" for your XMPP/Jabber service.
  3. Enter your Account Name, e.g. "Gizmo". Click Next.
  4. Put your Gizmo Name in the username field. Then type in your password. Click Next.
  5. Click Done.

Q: How do I communicate with AIM, ICQ, MSN and Yahoo users?

A: Chatopus allows you to communicate with AIM, ICQ, MSN and Yahoo users using from some public gateways. You would need to first register your AIM, ICQ, MSN or Yahoo accounts with those gateways, then you would be able to communicate with those users. Those gateways are also called transports. For details, please read the section: Using Gateways or Transports.

Q: What should I put in the server address field in Account Setup?

A: You would need to fill in your Jabber account in Chatopus. If your jid is, then your server address is, and your username is someone. If you do not have a jid or a Jabber account, then you would need to get one. Please read the section: Registering a Jabber Account.

Q: Is there any detail explanation for each field in the Account Setup screen?

A: Yes. Please click on the information icon ("i") at the top right hand corner of the Account Setup dialog.

Q: Can I setup my own server for Chatopus?

A: Yes. Jabberd is the most widely deployed Jabber server and is open-source. For a quick-start on jabberd, you may go to the jabberd website. For a full list of Jabber server implementions, visit this page.


Q: Does Chatopus supports the wide screen of the Sony UX-50?

A: Yes.

Q: Does Chatopus support the extended screen of Tungsten T3?

A: Yes, but you will need to install the DIA Compatibility Layer from PalmOne. The file is available here.

Q: Does Chatopus support the Treo?

A: Yes, Chatopus runs perfectly on the Treo 600/650/680/700p/755p. Its one-handed operation and auto screen off are also supported.

Q: Can Chatopus run in the background?

A: Yes. Chatopus runs in the background after you have logged in. You could switch to another application after the connection is made. When a message arrives, you would receive notifications.

However, if you enabled Secure Connection (SSL), Chatopus can only run in the foreground. This is a limitation of the built-in SSL library of current Palm OS.

Q: Does Chatopus run when the Palm is off?

A: No. When the Palm is completely turned off, the Internet connection will be lost and Chatopus will not continue to run. On some devices, such as Palm Treo smartphones, Chatopus continues to run in the background even when the device's screen is turned off.

Q: Can Chatopus only display contacts, which are online?

A: Yes. Use the "Show Offline" checkbox.

Q: Can I send a message without using a stylus in the Message Window?

A: Yes. Chatopus supports using the keyboard's "Enter" key to send a message. In the Message Composing form, choose Options->Keyboard Options and enable "Send Message on Enter key".

You can also use the menu Tools->Send Message. A menu shortcut (/M) is also added. For example, on a Sony UX-50, one could send a message by pressing <CTRL-T> and then M.

On Palm Tungsten and Zire models, a user could also send a message by pressing the 5-way navigator.

Q: Does Chatopus provide an alert when an incoming message arrives?

A: Yes. When an incoming message or event is received, Chatopus generates an alarm. On most Palm devices, a 'blinking' star will appear at the title of the current form.

Chatopus provides audio, vibration and LED alerts. You can customize the settings by choosing Options->Notification Settings in the Contact List form. Chatopus can use the System Alarm settings in the System Preferences or you can configure Chatopus to enable/disable its various effects.

If you have Palm OS 5, you can also use the Chatopus Sound Effects library for different sound effects.

For the Treo 600, vibration support can be turned on/off in the menu Options->Treo 600 settings of the Contact List form.

Q: Does Chatopus support any network-level security?

A: Chatopus supports the digest authentication with SHA1-encrypted passwords, as defined in JEP-0078. Thus, passwords are encrypted when being sent across the network. SSL support is also available for providing an encrypted connection between Chatopus and the server.

Q: Why Chatopus choose XMPP/Jabber as its protocol?

A: Welcome to the open world of instant messaging. Using XMPP/Jabber, Chatopus allows you to connect to any public Jabber servers, which are free to use. This is unlike some instant messaging (IM) clients, which force customers to use some proprietary servers and even charge users annual fees for accessing the servers. For more information on Jabber, please refer to the section: Native Jabber/XMPP Support.

Q: How to view or edit a text field where visible text is limited or truncated?

A: When the cursor is at the text field, you may select from the menu bar the 'edit' option and select 'keyboard' option to view the complete contents of the field.

Q: How to respond to an authorization request?

A: When someone wants to add you to their contact list, you will receive an authorization request, To respond to them, click on the entry, i.e. the text or the icon. Clicking on the checkbox will only ignore the request.

Q: Does Chatopus run on the Treo 270/300?

A: No, because Chatopus requires Palm OS 4.0 or above. However, Chatopus runs perfectly on the Treo 600/650/680/700p/755p.

Q: I see a flashing asterisk when new messages arrive. Can I use my keyboard to view it?

A: Yes. On a Palm Treo 650/700p or Tungsten T5/TX, you can press and hold the 5-way navigator to invoke the Attention Manager. On other devices, such as the Treo 600, you can use our another utility, Popup.

Q: Can I use Chatopus Sound Effects with my Sony Clie?

Yes, but please read on. Chatopus uses the Palm OS 5's Standard Audio API for its enhanced sound effects. Some older Sony handhelds (specifically the NR, NX, NZ, and TG series) are not supported because they use PalmOS 5.0 or 5.1 and lack the standard audio API. Luckily, there is a third-party software, Modern-Clie-Audio, that adds this standard audio API capability to those Clies. Using that utility, you would then be able to enjoy the Chatopus Sound Effects.

Q: Can Chatopus run in background when using SSL?

A: No. It is a limitation of current Palm OS's SSL library. Until Palm or PalmSource provides a background SSL library, we are unable to provide the enhancement.


Q: Why is beta 4 released on Oct 15 2003?

A: On Oct 15 2003, China becomes 3rd nation to send man into space.


The presence icons of Chatopus are used with permissions from Exodus, which is an excellent Jabber client for the Windows platform.