while connected to the chat on my laptop the other day (macbook pro, snow leopard, firefox), the format of the chat room suddenly changed from the "usual" format, with forward/back pointers and a list of miscellaneous stuff on the right, to a very "depleted" format with only bands the full width of the screen containing just the participant id, the text, and occasional timestamps. although i can read what's going on, i'm unable to participate, and there's nothing on the screen that gives a hint of how to change the format or even to log out. (there are buttons that allow me to go to a different chat room, but that's not what i'm looking for.)
this question appeared in the "maybe your answer is here" list when i launched my present question: Why I can't log in to chat room from mobile while I can in to main site?
thinking that this seems potentially similar, i've taken a look, and tried to follow the suggestion to log out and back in again. after quite a few random attempts, trying to click on every available button, i did manage to log out; the only reason i'm fairly sure i succeeded is that i finally got a "log in" button that i was able to click on, and was reconnected. however, the format hasn't changed, and the view is still "unthreaded read only".
obviously i have done something stupid. it doesn't matter greatly at the moment, because i'm only 15 minutes from my office, where this problem hasn't arisen. but in several weeks, i'll be a thousand miles away with only my laptop, and i really don't want to be locked out of the chat.
can someone provide step-by-step instructions for getting out of this straitjacket?