Well I have determined that the problem is not java related as I can access java chat elsewhere. It seems infopop chat is a flash feature. I have uninstalled adobe flash & reinstalled after a warm boot, still to no avail. Yes Windows updates are current. I prefer to use FireFox rather than IE. Opera doesn't work for this purpose either.
I think the ActiveX component has been blocked by some setting in Nod32 Anti-Virus program. With both my parents ill at the moment there is not much time to fool with it beyond what is already invested. BUT I love a good computing challenge!
EDIT = So I guess I will need to setup my desktop computer if I want to visit iRV2 chat friends until I figure out what I can do to fix this. If they see this thread they will know why I'm absent...