Technical problems on the road to the (cyber-) field

After having adjusted the PhD project proposal, I started organising the approach to the field. Namely, start following the BfW community and interacting with its users and developers. While I still have some items in my todo list concerning the beginnning of my empirical research (e.g.  contacting some mailing list admins, deciding which area of the community to tackle first...), I realised that some technical problems need to be solved ASAP.

I mainly work from my University, but the proxy and the configuration/policies of the University network causes me two problems.

  1. E-mail: SMTP access client-side is disabled, except for the SMTP server of the university. All my other e-mail accounts were prevented from sending e-mails. Since I don't want to use my @unitn.it account for the research and since the research will rely on e-mail exchange/discussions, this was a problem.
  2. IRC: the proxy only allows connections through port 80, while IRC channels have ports open on 6667-8001. Since I'd like to follow regularly (and possibly participate in) some #channels, this was another problem.

Regarding problem 1, I  solved it by setting the University SMTP mail server for my main e-mail accounts (I thought about this solution many times, but I couldn't find the proper configuration since evolution/thunderbird did have issues with the system-wide proxy configuration, and since the SMTP server rejected authentication). This leave me with the somewhat annoying situation of having to change SMTP server (for my e-mail accounts) everytime I change working location home vs. university, but it's an acceptable compromise.

Regarding problem 2, I'm still struggling. At the beginning I though it was a problem with the IRC client proxy configuration (and tried different clients: konversation, kvirc, xchat, quassel...). Later, I discovered the issue with port 80. Now I'm left with two different apporaches. Try to find a way to tunnel my connection through ssh, or to find a web-based IRC plugin (e.g. ChatZilla) that is working over port 80.

I'm trying to look into these two possiblities during these days and, hopefully, I can soon start following community activities.

Comments

I think this board is the proper place to ask you about the activation proccess. My link is not working properly, do you know why it is happening? http://www.poderi.eu/?4c503367c481a0fad2113e17b9a,

I'm sorry for that, I have no idea why this is happening. I try to investigate further.

Thanks for reporting this.

Update: webchat and qwebirc

It seems that using the web chat installed on webchat.freenode will be my solution to the restrictive proxy/firewall settings at my University. 

This workaraound is also listed in Wesnoth "Support" page ,but the beginning, I discarded it since I don't like using remote/web-based services when I can run clients on my machine. However, this time it seems I have no choice and, after all, the webchat installed for freenode it is not that bad. It runs qwebirc and it works quite smoothly using Firefox 3.6.

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