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Ubuntu Linux® For Dummies® by Paul G. Sery

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Chapter 18. Instant Messaging

In This Chapter

  • Considering instant message service providers

  • Registering with Gaim‐compatible instant message services

  • Signing in to and messaging with Gaim

Instant messaging is a popular Internet communication method based on the quick exchange of text‐based messages. You contact another person — your buddy — and type a quick message. The other person sees your message and responds in kind. The exchange shows up instantly on your screen.

Gaim is an open source instant messenger (IM) application that lets you chat on your Ubuntu computer through these message services:

  • AIM (AOL Instant Messenger, the Gaim default service)

  • MSN Instant Messenger

  • Yahoo! Messenger

  • Jabber

  • ICQ

  • Google Talk

The name Gaim is unusual in a world filled with technical acronyms. Gaim is not an acronym. According to its creators, Gaim doesn't stand for anything but freedom (an open source application that helps the world communicate).

Configuring Gaim

To use Gaim, you must

  • Tell Gaim which IM service provider to use.

    You need an account to use an IM service. If you don't have an account for an IM service you want to use, go to the service's Web home page and sign up.

  • Provide your IM username and password.

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