View Full Version : Do You Use Instant Messenger?

03-06-2002, 06:54 PM
With the Who's Online feature above, you can usually know who is surfing the board, although sometimes they may be away and just have left the window open.

Someone just PM'd me and commented "too bad there is no chat room here." Sure enough, that would be really cool, but you can have real time conversations with one of the IM's.

<font color=red>What's your IM sign-in name? Mine's TomBrooklyn .......on Yahoo, .....on MSN, ....on AOL......everywhere. </font color=red>

Anyone not familiar with IMs?

P.S. For anyone who wants to see who your talking to, Staples has webcams on sale right now for $5.00 after rebate.

03-06-2002, 07:12 PM
The instant message such as the one used here is fine. I don't like the AOL. type. You are forced to respond. I find it an invasion of my privacy. If I use my main screen, in a few seconds someone will instant message me. I have a lot of friends with not much to do I guess. I have to hide under another screen name just so I can look at this board or read an on line newspaper. They never seem to have anything to say.

03-06-2002, 07:25 PM
It's good you have so many friends, Joe. Too bad they don't have much to say. lol

I think you can make yourself invisible on those things though. When my DSL starts in a couple of weeks I may try leaving them open. They bog my computer down too much to leave them open all the time now. I've used them a couple of times from here after PM'g to switch to IM for a little chat.

03-06-2002, 07:47 PM
I don't know a lot about the services listed. I think you are limited as to how often you can use AOL. I use ICQ which I think has many more features and does not limit how often you use it. You can be invisible or it will tell people if you have been away from your computer. You can communicate by typing in a split screen at the same time as someone else and send files back and forth. It has the message feature but it's more like "instant chat" with anyone you authorize. If you don't want to chat just don't run it until you want to. Ken in CT

03-06-2002, 08:41 PM
If you are strictly talking about "AOL", then there may be restrictions to connection times, but the messenger app, AOL Internet Messenger (AIM) can be downloaded seperately, or you have it with Netscape.

AIM, ICQ, MicroSoft-Messenger,and Yahoo are all free downloads.

To use AIM, you must register and acquire a screen name/id. Note: This is not the full AOL setup, it's ONLY for a screen name.

Yahoo is pretty much the same: register and pick a name.

For MS-Messenger, you can start a Hotmail account (register/pick a name), join the MicroSoft Network (MSN), which is Bill Gate's answer to Americal On-Line, or you can register for a Microsoft.NET Passport. Your screen id will be your username, such as pnthpool @hotmail.com, pnthpool @msn.com, or pnthpool @microsoft.net (I believe the last one is correct, but I'm not 100% sure.)

ICQ ("I Seek You") I know very little about, besides the nCCB ('new' CCB) has a field for it in the "My Home" preferences, and I've heard that it's got security issues (of what type I haven't found out).

Alternatively, you can d/l "Trillian" for free ( <a target="_blank" href=http://www.trillian.cc/>http://www.trillian.cc/</a> ), which is a third-party app, which allows simultaneous connection to all of these, plus IRC (Internet Relay Chat) if you run that. I use this, and the only downside I've seen so far, is that occasionally AOL runs 'blocks' to non-official AOL/AIM sign-ins, and it breaks the Trillian connection. Give them a while, though, and the Trillian guys write a patch. . . .

Oh, Trillian will also import AIM and MSM buddy lists, however, I have discovered that you still have to have AIM installed, and a list created with it, in order to import it to Trillian.

03-06-2002, 08:53 PM
Yes when I had AOL I did the same some times. Sign in under an alias, so I could get something done. If time or being interupted wasn't a problem then I used my main screen name.

03-06-2002, 09:00 PM
Tom, I don't have IM service. I could sign on MSM but I've been reading about security problems. I think they all have securiy issues. Question is do I feel lucky? No not with a 44 mag I/Worm virus pointed at me. Actually I'm pretty secure but don't know which one to choose, if I did.

03-06-2002, 09:50 PM
Rod, you're correct, they do all have security problems. As long as you're not chatting about something illegal or sensitive material, I guess it's okay. Of course you can pickup viruses, but a good AV will take care of that. I have MSN. (stickman32152@hotmail.com)I was heavily involved in another hobby and couldn't sign in to check my email without having 10 or 12 new hobby related questions, very often from total strangers. I'm no longer involved in the hobby and don't want to be bothered with it. Solution, sign up for a new account. Only close friends know my private e-mail.

03-06-2002, 10:15 PM
CincyTom314 on Yahoo, AOL and MSN
I hide my computer behind a firewall (hardware) and a hub and use DNS (LAN) for protection. I also run BlackICE for anything that might get thru.. but to date (amost 6 months) nothing has penetrated the firewall.

03-06-2002, 10:53 PM
BlackICE Defender is pretty good, but ZoneAlarm ( www.zonelabs.com (http://www.zonelabs.com) ) is supposed to be better.

Also, if you want to check out some interesting stuff about security, try www.grc.com (http://www.grc.com)

03-06-2002, 10:59 PM
I use Zone Alarm and have a DSL router with a built in firewall. Between the two, I feel pretty secure. I'm also running Norton 2002 AV, Ad Aware, and Evidence Eliminator as well. ;-) Never can be too safe.

03-07-2002, 08:05 AM
I started using the free version of zonealarm software firewall also a few weeks ago. I don't think it was mentioned above that it can be had for free, unless you want the deluxe version which I don't think is any better of a firewall, but has some nice notification and other features. I also have McAfee ActiveShield which I leave running.

ActiveShield caught a couple of viruses trying to get me which I think attacked me when I was on Mirc. Those were prior to my installing ZoneAlarm. I think there are a lot of hacker/virus spreaders working in Mirc.

I'll be getting a router soon as I'm going broadband (always on). Router firewalls sound like the nuts. Alot of people seem to favor the Netgear 314. I'm looking into that one.

03-07-2002, 09:23 AM
I run a netgear switch, and have used a few of their switches/hubs with friends while network gaming. It may just be name-recognition, but I like their stuff. At the very least, I've never heard anything bad about them.

My fiance had bought our DSL router, a Linksys, and I also purchased a Linksys wireless access point and PCMCIA card. While I have been very happy with the function and ease of setup with them, there is one thing that I don't particularly like.

I don't really think it's a security risk worth worrying about, it bothers me that it saves the ISP password (in order to allow auto-reconnect)in a document (txt or html, I can't remember exactly which) where someone can get to it. Of course, it's only an issue if someone can get to it from outside, but it just seems like a dumb idea.

Oh, and just FYI:

One of my bosses/co-workers once went on a business trip, and he opened a port, so that he could telnet in for email. When he returned, the computer had a text file on the desktop, which read something to the effect of:

(Names changed to protect the innocent. . . .)<blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr>
Hello, John, my name is also John Doe, and I was scanning, when I discovered your machine. Through the network, I was also able to see Jane's [wife] and Julie's [daughter] computers. Since you didn't have a firewall, I took the liberty of installing BlackICE Defender. Have a nice day.<hr></blockquote>

Believe it or not, this stuff can happen.

03-07-2002, 10:11 AM
I use a D Link system. Since installing it, my firewall seldom alerts me to attempts to access my computer. The only attempts I get now are from my computer manufacturer and my service provider, and they don't get in. Before the router, I got attempts from everywhere, but Zone Alarm stopped them.