"Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal
and give strength to body and soul." - John Muir   Get Kids Outdoors - Get Active - Get Walking

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Instant Messaging Resources

Got a question that can't wait? Or just want to visit for a bit? Send me an instant message. Or send me an e-mail message.

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.

Contents


Free Instant Messaging Support

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my online status  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...

...ask me a question or chat with me now. If I'm offline, I'll get your message when I go online.


Other Chat Options

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Send an email message to my ICQ instant messenger.
Or go to my Unified Messaging Center and where it says ''Send a message to my ICQ'' fill out the form and send me an instant or offline message.

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.)

Send me an instant message with eBuddy or MSN Web Messenger
(Javascript must be enabled in your browser, you have to disable your popup blocker, if you have one, and you have to log in.)

Send me an instant or offline message with Yahoo! Web Messenger.
(You need to use Internet Explorer, have Java installed, you have to log in, and you have to disable your popup blocker, if you have one.)

Send me an instant message with Odigo Express (You need to have Java installed, you have to log in, and you have to disable your popup blocker, if you have one.)

Send me an instant message with AIM Express.
(You have to log in, and you have to disable your popup blocker, if you have one. Also check to make sure your system meets the requirements. When the Buddy List window appears, click on the IM or Chat icon to send me a message, and send it to rootsdigr65.)
Or send me an offline message with DoorManBot, or AIMMachine.com.
(You need to have Java installed, you have to log in, and you have to disable your popup blocker, if you have one.

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.)


To learn more about me, check out my profiles.

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You can view my AIM profile from inside the AOL Instant Messenger.


To learn more about instant messaging, check these out:

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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

  1. Secure Windows
  2. Create a Limited User Account (LUA)
  3. Fix the LUA Bug or Use an Access / Privilege Control Utility

To chat safely by instant messenger, read the following guides:

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To keep your IM or VoIP conversations private, use one of these:

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Retrieve Your IM Password

  • Advanced Instant Messengers Password Recovery (AIMPR)
  • MessenPass (for Windows)

  • Instant Messaging Aggregators

    Don't have an instant messenger yet? Try an instant messaging aggregator that connects to all the main protocols, or networks. skip

    Secure Aggregators

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    Multi-Platform Aggregators

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    Aggregators for Windows

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    Aggregators for Mac OS X

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    Aggregators for Mobile Phones

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    Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM) can now be done from a mobile device through one or more technologies, which include: skip

    Mobile instant messages are billed by the amount of data sent, so they're much cheaper to send than traditional one-way SMS text messages. skip

    IMPS-Based Mobile Instant Messaging Aggregators

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    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:

    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

    Other Mobile Instant Messaging Aggregators

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    Yahoo, Microsoft and Google have all made moves on messaging, be it instant or e-mail, on phones.

    Aggregators for PDAs

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    Single-Protocol Instant Messengers

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    NOTE: If you want to send messages to people who are offline, use ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger with Voice, MSN Messenger Live, Odigo or a Jabber client. (other ways to send offline messages) skip

    Single-Protocol Instant Messengers for Mobile Phones

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    Single-Protocol Instant Messengers for PDAs

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    AIM Extended Profile Services

    Don't like AOL Instant Messenger(AIM)'s limited user profile? Create an extended profile with one of these free services. skip


    Resources and Extras / Plugins

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    Extras for Popular Instant Messengers

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    AIM Resources and Extras

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    Extras for WLM and MMM

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    Extras for Yahoo! Messenger

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    Extras for ICQ and Gaim

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    Extras for Google Talk

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    Extras for Skype

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    If you don't want to install software, here are some Web-based instant messaging aggregator and single-protocol services you can use instead. skip

    Web-Based Instant Messaging Aggregators

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    Web-Based Aggregators with Mobile IM

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    Other Web-Based Aggregators

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    Web-Based Single Protocol Instant Messengers

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    Christian Instant Messengers

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    Software:

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    Web-based:

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    How to Send Offline Messages

    If you want to send messages to people who are offline, use Skype, ICQ, Yahoo! Messenger with Voice, MSN Messenger Live, Odigo or a Jabber client, or one of the following web-based services. skip

    To send offline messages to AIM users:

    If you're unable to send offline messages to other WLM or MMM users:

    Try Web2Messenger
    (Because Windows Live Messenger has offline messaging, Offline Messenger has been discontinued.)


    Instant Messengers for Kids

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    Wireless Instant Messaging Devices and Cell Phones for Kids

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    Instant Messengers for Web Sites

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    What Chatango Requires and How It Works

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    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.)

    Chatango requires the following (all free): skip

    1. Flash Player
    2. A Chatango Account
    3. HTML Code for the Chatango Mini Chat Window Or...
    4. 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.

    How to Change Your Browser's Home Page: skip


    Other Free Live Support Chat Scripts and Services

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    Free Live Support Chat Scripts

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    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

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    Free Live Support Chat Services with Software Notifiers

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    Free Live Support Chat Services with Web-Based Notifiers

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    To translate instant messages into your or others' native language:


    To meet with someone from another time zone for a chat:

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    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.

    Java is either not installed or disabled on your computer.
    The Internet Time image displays the Swatch logo on the left
    and something like @ 158 on the right, like this:
    swatch @ 158

    (Internet time image - requires Java)


    To look for other people to chat with, search these member directories:

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    You can search the AIM Member Directory from inside AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).


    To check your or someone else's online status, visit one of these:


    To see if you're on someone's block or ignore list:

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    To show your online status on your web page, get one of the following status indicators:

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    To hide or disable your "Online Now" status icon at MySpace.com:

    1. Log in to your account.
    2. Got to Home -> Account Settings -> Privacy Settings (click on Change Settings).
    3. Check ''Hide Online Now.''
    4. Click on Change Settings.

    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.

    To disable AIM's popups:

    Check out these links.


    To disable Yahoo! Messenger's popup blocker:

    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.

    How to Disable Other Popup Blockers

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    Learn or Practice a Language with Voice IM

    Free Web Sites for Learning or Practicing a Language with Voice IM

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    Commercial Web Sites for Learning or Practicing a Language with Voice IM

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    English Language Learning Web Sites

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    Language Learning Resources

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