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InstantMessageGram for Mr. Mongo!

InstantMessageGram for Mr. Mongo! In "You’ve Got Call Waiting" in NetBITS-011, I failed to mention one of the most popular instant messaging tools – ICQ – which claims 5.4 million subscribers and over a million daily users. ICQ has lots of bells and whistles, and can even send files.

<http://db.netbits.net/getbits.acgi?nbart=04572>

<http://www.icq.com/>

Also, there was some confusion about the AOL Instant Messenger. If you go to Netscape’s home page and register for the "Netscape AOL Instant Messenger," the download page notes that only Windows 3.1 and 95/NT versions are available. However, if you go to AOL’s home page and register for the "AOL Instant Messenger," you’re presented with Macintosh and Java downloads as well as the Windows options. Don’t ask us why this isn’t unified, but it explains the confusion our readers experienced when we said there wasn’t a Macintosh version. (AOL Instant Messenger, by the way, lets you exchange messages with users logged in on AOL.)

<http://www.netscape.com/>

<http://www.aol.com/>

Some MIT students and alumni wrote to mention that Zephyr, a Talk-like messaging service, was widely used by students at MIT as far back as the late 1980s. Of course, MIT students have always spent more time using computers than students at most other institutions, making instant messaging more practical. (To be fair, there were plenty of other homegrown instant messaging programs on other campuses.) It’s worth noting, too, that many colleges have networked dorm rooms now, meaning that students can be online 24 hours a day. Watch out for parents checking up on you electronically! [GF]


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