Instant Messenger - More than just e-mail!

Spring 2001 CSANews Issue 38  |  Posted date : Mar 08, 2007.Back to list

If you've ever waited hours or days for someone to respond to e-mail messages, you might benefit from using an Instant Messenger (IM). An IM is a program you install on your PC that lets you communicate in real time with business associates, family and friends. With IM, the communication process occurs quickly enough between one computer and another to be perceived as a real-time conversation. As a result, the IM lets you send and receive messages instantly over the Internet so you can conduct "live" conversations, just like using a telephone.     

Whether you wish to have text-based conversations, read the latest headlines, or send photos or files, AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) is easy to use. AIM is available for PCs equipped with Windows 95, 98, NT, Windows CE devices and MacIntosh computers ...AND...You do not have to subscribe to AOL to download and/or use AIM.

You can download AOL Instant Messenger by going to and selecting AIM 4.3 located at the bottom of the page under the category Free Products. Once you have downloaded and installed AIM 4.3 (just double-click on the exe file "caaim43.exe" and it will install automatically), your buddy list window will change to offer the full AIM functionality.
When using AIM, the window occupies a small area of your screen to allow you to continue with other tasks, and each party's username appears in different-coloured text to help differentiate between users. If you want to conduct a conversation with more than one person, simply click on the Add Buddy button in your AIM window, and add a username to your buddy chat list.  

For those of you with a sound card and microphone, you can also have a live conversation by selecting the talk button in your AIM window. The other person will receive a message letting them know you want to talk. Once they accept the invitation, a new talk window appears. In this window, you can adjust the volume using the volume control in the window or you can use your PC's volume control panel. There are also buttons to mute your microphone, pause the conversation or disconnect from talk. As well, while you are having a live conversation, you can continue your text-based conversation with other people (i.e. you can both talk and type to two different "buddies" at the same time).   

The voice quality is certainly not what you would get in a telephone conversation. The sound quality is a function of the speakers and microphone you use. Better speakers and a better microphone will produce a better sound. This is just another way to keep in touch with your friends and family...and, oh...with no long-distance charges. Enjoy your Canadian summer and visit for new links and stories.