Because there's more to life than one's self, status or material things.
(for those dealing with real-life issues and who enjoy participating in stimulating discussions on issues and ideas, crave the thrill of geographic, mental and spiritual exploration and discovery and value local and global community, belonging and old and new friendships)
Are popularity, accomplishment, recognition, respect, wealth, power, fame, even religion not cutting it? Have you tried all the world’s got to offer and in doing so come up empty and unsatisfied? Feel like there's nowhere to turn? How to make your life explode with relevance.
Was Jesus just a man who married Mary Magdalene? Has the church been hiding information from us for years about Jesus? Don't decide too quickly. Examine the evidence first.
Think conclusive cases can't be made for the Bible and Jesus' claim to be the God/Man Messiah? You'd be surprised. The overwhelming mountain of factual, historical evidence is too compelling, too convincing to be ignored.
Note: I use Meebo.com's web-based instant messenger, so I'm unfamiliar with most computer-based instant messaging problems. For help with your instant messaging questions, please try the following resources at BigBlueBall.com.
My online / offline status doesn't matter with the following options if you don't mind sending me a message when I'm offline. But if you want to chat now and you've viewed this page before, refresh it to make sure you're seeing my current status. How to add a status indicator to your web page.
If I'm online or even if I'm offline and you don't have an ICQ, AOL, AIM, Yahoo, or MSN account...
If you do have an AOL, AIM, MSN or Yahoo account, (you can register an account for free if you don't have one) but don't have their instant messenger installed or running on your computer, here are some other options:
Send me an instant or offline message with ICQ2Go!
(the Flash version requires Flash Player - click on Start to contact me - for the Java version, Java must be enabled in your browser and for both versions you have to disable your popup blocker, if you have one. Then from the ''Search for an ICQ user'' window, search for nickname digr65. When you find my profile, add me to your contact list and send me a message.)
Or if you have the AOL instant messenger (AIM) installed and running, use the bar below to send me an instant message. (Ignore the ''I am Online'' part. The bar isn't a status indicator. To see if I'm online, check my online status indicator.)
WARNING: Going online in Windows XP's default account, which unfortunately is the administrator account, isn't safe. And AIM and ICQ may require administrator rights, so to be safe, apply the following steps to run AIM or ICQ in a Limited User account (LUA).
NOTE: If you don't harden, or secure, Windows XP, you may not need to fix a LUA bug or use RunAs or MakeMeAdmin to run AIM or ICQ in a Limited User account. But I strongly recommend securing Windows before using your PC. skip
Pidgin (formerly Gaim) (for Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac OS - portable version available - supports MSN/ WLM, Yahoo!, AIM, ICQ, Google Talk, XMPP, Bonjour, Gadu Gadu, GroupWise, IRC, QQ, SILC, SIMPLE, Sametime, Zephyr)
Psi (a secure Jabber client for Windows, Mac OS X and GNU/Linux - includes Off the Record plugin - recommended for experienced users)
Google Talk (text and voice chat, Gmail notifications and file transfers for Windows, no adware - uses XMPP protocol - supports Jabber and AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and ICQ through gateways - requires a Gmail or Google account - you can get one with your mobile phone - voicemail)
Trillian (text, voice, video and mobile SMS chat for Windows - free version supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ and IRC - pro version also supports Jabber and Google Talk - may fail to import your contact lists or pictures of your friends)
To do instant messaging on a mobile phone with IMPS, you need an instant messenger that supports the Wireless Village protocol and an IMPS to connect to.
To Start Your Built-In Instant Messenger:
On a Nokia phone, go to the ''My Presence'' menu.
On a Sony Ericsson phone, it's called ''My Friends''.
On a Motorola phone, it's called ''IM''.
Note: The phones' instant messengers are generally designed to be provider neutral, so you have to manually enter the Wireless Village server settings.
If your phone doesn't have a built-in instant messenger, you might still be able to get a third-party one that runs on your phone's Symbian, Java ME, BREW (Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless), or other application environment. You need to get a chat client that's ''Wireless Village compliant presence-enabled''.
J2ME-Based Mobile Instant Messaging Aggregators
(J2ME = Java 2 Platform, Micro Edition - now called Java ME for Java Platform, Micro Edition) skip
Nimbuzz Mobile (supports Nimbuzz, MSN / WLM, Yahoo!, ICQ, AIM, Skype and Google Talk - for most mobile phone brands and models with GPRS, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS, 3G or Wifi - call/group-call, chat/chatrooms, offline messaging, send photos/music/video, voice messaging)
Yahoo, Microsoft and Google have all made moves on messaging, be it instant or e-mail, on phones.
ICQ Wireless (''ICQ has pioneered the use of multiple technologies in the wireless arena, and its powerful suite of services for mobile devices includes ICQ 2 Way SMS (Short Messaging Service), ICQ for SMS, ICQ for WAP (Wireless Access Protocol), ICQ for the J2METM Platform, ICQ for i-modeTM and the ICQ for the Symbian OS version.'' - ICQ)
EQO Mobile (supports AIM/ICQ, MSN, Yahoo, Google Talk, Jabber)
PSST Easy Encrypted Instant Messaging (encrypted, P2P-based text and video chat for Windows and GNU/Linux - doesn't go through central servers - uses 128-bit block encryption and keys are randomly generated with every session)
RetroShare (secure text chat, filesharing and channels - opensource, Friend to Friend (F2F)-based , so no central servers and uses OpenSSL encryption)
Secure Shuttle Transport (secure text and voice chat, offline messages, conferencing, direct file transfer, and e-mail - uses RSA encryption)
SecuriChat (secure chat for - uses triple-layered encryption and rotating keys)
X-IM Free Encrypted Instant Messaging (secure text chat and offline messages for Windows - voice and video chat coming soon - free version has ads - pro version has secure file transfer and memos - communications are encrypted with strong 256-bit encryption, digitally signed and protected by secure hash)
CryptoHeaven Desktop Edition (free and commercial, secure IM, e-mail, file sharing, and online storage for Windows, Mac OS X, Unix or any other operating system capable of running Java 1.3 or better - uses AES symmetric Rijndael cipher with a 256 bit symmetric key, public-key cryptography with 2048-4096 bit asymmetric keys, and SHA-256 message digest function - no third party keyholder)
GSMK CryptoPhone for Windows (a secure desktop phone that connects to the public switched telephone network - currently unavailable for Winmodems - secure cell/mobile phones also available - based on a stripped down version of Windows Mobile, where we remove a substantial number of known and potential attack vectors to prevent outside attacks - full source code available for independent review - uses AES256 and Twofish in parallel, both with 256 bit key length, derived from a 4096 bit Diffie-Hellman key exchange with SHA256 hash function - readout hash-based key authentication - encryption key is destroyed as soon as the call ends)
Cyber-Rights.Net Messenger (secure IM for Windows - based on the popular Hush Messenger system - notifies you when new email arrives in your Cyber-Rights.Net account)
Sonork (secure, commercial IM client and server for businesses)
QQ for Africa (secure messenger for Windows - text, voice and mobile SMS chat, offline messages and peer-to-peer file sharing - WARNING: P2P file sharing leaves your operating system, software and private data vulnerable to corruption, control and theft)
AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) for Windows (text, voice and video chat, offline messages, broacasts and SMS for Windows, WinCE and Palm OS - contains adware - supports Jabber and ICQ, Google Talk and MSN/WLM and Yahoo! through gateways) skip
If AIM won't run in your Limited User account, here are some software that allow you to do that.
Nimbuzz Web (supports Nimbuzz, MSN / WLM, Yahoo!, ICQ, AIM, Skype and Google Talk - call/group-call, chat/chatrooms, offline messaging, send photos/music/video, voice messaging)
Grou.ps (a new social networking site - allows you to share anything, including SMS, with your group)
Mabber (based on the Jabber / XMPP standard - has a mobile version for Java-enabled cell phones)
claims to support AIM, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo!, Jabber and Google Talk
Yahoo! doesn't connect automatically, needs to be connected manually
I haven't tested Jabber / Google Talk's online status, but in Internet Explorer when I test the other protocols' online status, ICQ appears offline or has unknown status
in Firefox, AIM appears online, but MSN, ICQ and Yahoo! don't appear online even though they appear to connect
has a popup window - a separate window pops up when you get a message, if you set it to do that, which is great when viewing other tabs in your browser
to log out, simply close the buddy list popup window
eBuddy.com (formerly e-Messenger.net - secure login option - web-based and mobile IMs - supports AIM, MSN and Yahoo! - each messenger pops up in a separe window, instead of all in one window, like Mabber)
YamiGo (seems to have been abandoned in late 2005 - for Windows, PDAs and cell phones - based on the Wireless Village protocol - requires GPRS)
Google Talk Gadget (text and voice chat, Gmail notifications, voicemail and file transfers for Windows, no adware - uses XMPP protocol - supports Jabber and AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and ICQ through gateways - requires a Gmail or Google account - you can get one with your mobile phone)
Google's Gmail Chat (uses Google Talk network - supports Jabber and AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and ICQ through gateways - can pop out IM as a separate window for popup alert when web browsing - can save chats)
RadiusIM (supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo! and Jabber/GTalk - also have their own direct IM service similar to the late Meetro, except web-based and which determines your location and places an icon on a Google map embedded in the site and allows you to drag map around the world to see which members are located there, whether they're logged in or not - will have an IM Desktop Notifier soon)
Kool IM (link not available due to offensive spam in its forum - search for Kool IM to find the site - Jabber-based - has a popup window - supports AIM, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo!, Jabber and Google Talk - sometimes Yahoo! and other times ICQ shows offline when connected)
IMhaha (secure aggregator requires account - supports MSN, Yahoo!, AIM and QQ - encrypts password, username and messages with SSL - IM conference: chat with a group no matter which of the four IM systems they're using - Easibo: a commonly shared, real-time, online white board)
Centova (Jabber-based - has a popup window - supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo!, Jabber and Google Talk - claims to also support ICQ, but when I test it in Firefox and Internet Explorer, ICQ appears offline or unknown status when connected - has a login limit: log in too many times in 15 minutes and you're required to wait at least 10 minutes before logging in again)
WARNING: Centova records conversations by default. For your privacy, I strongly recommend disabling this feature. To disable it, click the Menu button, select Preferences, click the Chat tab, and remove the checkmark from the ''Store conversation logs'' checkbox. Then click OK to save your preferences.
Praize IM (no adware - only Praize Toolbar has adware - if you use a custom, antiadware HOSTS file that's blocking the Praize site, here's an alternate download - you can also do instant messaging from the Web Communication Center, left column))
MOJI Intelligent Messenger (intelligent messenger with virtual pets - MOJIKAN is your virtual pet's virtual world - beta is currently planned for release in mid-2007; will be invite-only to the first 1000 users to pre-register)
ChatNow (Discontinued) (a mobile phone-like walkie-talkie, or 2-way radio, for preteens - can talk up to 2 miles away, 2-party or group calls, send text messages and shoot and share digital photos - no fees, no bills and no minutes to keep track of)
WARNING: Chatango shows a list of the members next to your chat window when you log in, and allows you to chat with them. Unfortunately, some members' profiles include swear words, other words, comments or images / pictures / photos you may find objectionable, inappropriate, or offensive for yourself or your child.
I strongly recommend either closely supervising your child when using this service and using Chatango Business instead of Chatango Social after logging in (Chatango Business doesn't show the member directory) or blocking Flash in your browser so they can't use it. (I recommend disabling Flash from your password-protected content filter, to keep your child from re-enabling it.)
MessageCatcher (currently only for Windows (95, 98, ME, 2000, XP - no spyware)
When someone sends you a message, a number appears on Chatango's MessageCatcher icon in the system tray, accompanied by a ''thump'' sound and a text bubble or balloon that pops up over the icon, telling you that you have a message. Then you have to double-left-click the icon to access the chat window.
Note: Unfortunately, the text bubble disappears after moving the cursor or clicking a mouse button 3 or more times.
If you're working on your computer when you get a message and you've turned the sound off, you'll rarely notice the text bubble or the number on the icon. So if you can hear, I recommend keeping the sound on. If you're deaf, keep an eye on the system tray.
Note: MessageCatcher has insufficient notifying features, in my opinion. The alert bubble popped up with only a few of the messages I received, and only once or twice did I notice the thump sound in time to answer the visitor before they left. For those reasons I've decided to not use Chatango on this web page for chats with visitors.
For some reason Chatango requires that you 1)log in at your chat window, even though MessageCatcher logs in automatically when you go online, and then 2)keep the chat window displayed and open in the background.
Note: If you go back or forward to another page, Chatango automatically logs you off. So you need to keep the chat window displayed to stay logged in. To go to another web page, open a new window if using Internet Explorer 6.0 or an older version, or a new tab if using Internet Explorer 7.0, Firefox, Opera, or another browser that has a tab feature.
If you don't do those two things, even if you notice either the text bubble or the number, or hear the sound, you still usually won't make it to the chat window in time before the person wanting to chat goes away.
So I also recommend 1)setting your browser's home page to your chat window's address so you don't forget to log in, 2)logging in and 3)keeping the chat window displayed and open in the background while working or playing on your computer.
Note: All of the following live support chat services use a popup chat window.
If you use a web-based service, I recommend putting the chat link at the bottom of your page and, if you like, linking to it at or near the top. Because if the service's site is down, both the chat link and what comes after it on the page may not appear.
Free Live Support Chat Services with Software and Web-Based Notifiers
Live2Support (not customizable - no e-mail option when offline - software notifier requires Windows - 4 chilies and 4.00 out of 5 at HotScripts.com)
SirLook Live Support (auctioned off - chat window text not customizable except in chat room - software notifier requires Windows and .NET - if your computer's sound is off, the web-based notifier needs to be in its own window, not a tab, so it can maximize when you get a message - 5 out of 5 at HotScripts.com)
Free Live Support Chat Services with Software Notifiers
ChatStat (free and on-demand features - AJAX-based - supports AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, MSN, Jabber, Skype and Google Talk - notifier requires Windows and .NET Framework 2.0 - beta version - Skype and headset required for Skype and VoIP ''Call Back'' features)
LiveHelpEngine (Alert of Visitors and Sound Alert didn't work when I tried them - uses the Crafty Syntax Live Help script - unable to register in Firefox - 4 1/2 chilies and 4.29 out of 5 at HotScripts.com)
QuickBEEP (unable to log in - 4 1/2 chilies and 4.20 out of 5 at HotScripts.com)
SiteChat Lite (notifier seems unreliable - only popped up first of 5 tries - no ad banners or pop-up ads - customizable)
Use Google's Gchart to find out their local time, or use a converter to get their local time from either Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), now used instead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), or Internet Time.
I use Skype's status indicator, yet I like Yahoo! Instant Messenger's the best, partly because the letters are big enough to read easily. But there's a drawback: Yahoo! IM doesn't automatically log you off when logging off of the Internet. You have to manually log off of Yahoo! IM before logging off of the Internet, to change the indicator's status to ''offline.''
To hide or disable your "Online Now" status icon at MySpace.com:
Log in to your account.
Got to Home -> Account Settings -> Privacy Settings (click on Change Settings).
Check ''Hide Online Now.''
Click on Change Settings.
To disable AOL Instant Messenger's popup blocker:
AOL Instant Messenger now allows you to install AIM Toolbar, an Internet Explorer plugin which includes a popup blocker. Here's how to disable it:
If you use Windows XP, you should never work or play offline or especially go online in your default account, which unfortunately is your administrator account, except to install software or Windows updates, if you're concerned about security and privacy. You should create a Limited User account for every-day use and going online instead.
But if you do use your default account, and you don't see AIM Toolbar in Internet Explorer, click View -> Toolbars, then click on AIM Search to display it. You should now be able to see the toolbar. (For some reason, AIM Toolbar doesn't work in a Limited User account; at least not in mine.)
To disable the popup blocker, click the Pop-Ups Blocked button on the toolbar to set it to Pop-Ups Allowed. (To enable it again, you need to be online.) I'm not sure if this disables ''overall'' popup blocking or not, because the following entry stays checked after setting it to Pop-Ups Allowed. If it doesn't, click on the blue AIM button on the left, select Toolbar Options, then the Popup Blocker tab, and uncheck Block Popup Windows.
If you wish to hide the toolbar, uncheck AIM Search in the View -> Toolbars menu. If you would rather uninstall AIM Toolbar, click on the blue AIM button on the left, select Uninstall, and click Yes to approve it. Then close all open Internet Explorer windows and reopen Internet Explorer. AIM Toolbar should now be uninstalled.
Yahoo! Messenger now comes with Yahoo! Toolbar, an Internet Explorer plugin which includes a popup blocker. There are three ways to disable it:
1. Turn off Pop-Up Blocker by clicking the Pop-Up Blocker menu to the right of the Search button on the Yahoo! toolbar and unchecking ''Enable Pop-Up Blocker''.
2. Press and hold the ''Ctrl'' key while clicking a link to temporarily disable Pop-Up Blocker and allow any popup windows resulting from the click.
3. Add the source of the popup window to your ''Allowed List'' by clicking the Pop-Up Blocker menu and selecting ''Always Allow Pop-Ups From...'' Then select the site from the ''Sources of Recently Blocked Pop-Ups'' list and click ''Allow.''
To disable Internet Explorer's popup blocker in Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2):
Click on Tools, put your cursor over Pop-up Blocker, then click on Turn Off Pop-up Blocker. To enable it, do the same, except this time click on Turn On Pop-up Blocker.
My Language Exchange (free and commercial - initiating contact requires membership upgrade - practice speaking your second language with a native speaker while they practice speaking theirs - 115 languages)
xLingo (language exchange - more than 100 languages)
osnavi (language exchange, courses, teachers and schools)
soZiety (have fun learning a language while meeting new people and earning some money)
italki (language exchange - use an instant messenger or italki's text and voice chat)