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Sams Teach Yourself Mac OS X Panther All in One by John Ray, Robyn Ness

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Chapter 16. Using iChat AV

iChat AV allows you to communicate in real-time with people who use mac.com or have an AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) account. You can use it to hold text-based conversations with friends or, with the proper equipment, even to have audio or videoconferences.

To make full use of iChat, you will need an AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) account or a .Mac username. You can sign up for a free AIM account at www.aim.com or a free .Mac username at www.mac.com, which comes with a 60-day trial of .Mac benefits. (After the .Mac trial expires, the username is still usable for iChat.) Even if you plan to use iChat AV only for its audio/videoconferencing capabilities, you’ll still need one of these accounts; they are used to establish a connection. ...

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