Chat around the world

Chat around the world
Mac Tip #276/14-Feb-2007

A dear friend will soon be going to live for a while on the other side of the planet. It seems certain she will have access to a computer and a fast Internet connection which means we’ll be able to correspond by email, blog, Instant Messaging and VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol).

Instant Messaging is also known as IM, or chat. It’s an extremely useful method for discussion and exchanging files (eg photos). Businesses and individuals are using IM daily for work and pleasure. Depending on your Internet connection and the hardware you have available, you may chat by typing, by talking or even by video.

Every Mac comes with IM client software: look in your Applications folder for iChat. But before you can use iChat you need two things: someone to talk to and a (free) screen name with a service that enables the chatting.

It’s easy to get a free Screen Name from AIM. Click the link called Get a Screen Name near the top of the AIM page.

On the Signup page be sure to read the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use, then work though the signup process. Once you have a screen name you don’t need to download any software, but instead open iChat.

Enter the screen name and password you chose when you signed up with AIM, and you’re ready to get chatting.

You can sometimes find me available on chat at:

Next week: How to Set up iChat.

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