March 3, 2006
Dear CNET members,
Lee called from the hospital last night, and I'm happy to report the birth of a healthy baby girl weighing in at 8 pounds 10 ounces! Everything is going well, but he's really tired. He wanted to thank everyone who has been writing in and wishing his family well during the past week. He will post photos when he gets back!
Now on to this week's discussion. Like cell phones, instant messaging is something I can't really imagine being without anymore. I use IM at work and at home. I've found that it's a great way to stay in touch with family and friends--okay, friends. When it comes to talking, Mom won't accept anything less than a phone call. And I can't really blame her. Still, it's great to have IM just to say hi to people or have a quick chat. Julie, I think you'll soon find yourself addicted like so many of us. To start, we once again have a winning answer by Kasey, who does a great job answering all of your questions. Then, be sure to check out the honorable mentions and other suggestions to help you decide which application--or applications--will be right for you. Thanks for all of your answers and have a great weekend!
Member Question of the Week
Hi! I've just retired and have much more time on my hands, so I'm trying something new. I'm fairly new to all this computer and Internet stuff, and I hear a lot about instant messaging as a great way to keep in touch with friends and family and to meet new people. How is this different from e-mail? Is it safe? What are the risks involved in using messaging programs? What are the best ones? Are they all free? If I decide to get one, I'd like to know my options before choosing. Thanks for any advice!
Julie K. of Roanoke, Virginia
Welcome to the wide world of Internet, and its various wonders! Instant messaging is best thought of as the computer's equivalent of CB radio, albeit done with typing, not voice. Basically, you find a "channel" (sometimes called a room) if you want to do a public chat, or you can watch for friends and initiate private chat with them if they are online.
Let's say you are...
Kasey C. of San Francisco, California
efforts, we're sending him his choice of any
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Best regards and enjoy!
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Check out next week's question:
Every time I boot up my Dell Dimension desktop, I immediately get an error message that says "Primary drive not found." I then have the option of hitting F1 to continue, or F2 to go to a configuration utility. If I hit F1, my computer almost always starts up as usual. I've made sure all the drive cables are totally connected, I only have one hard drive (so it must be finding the "primary drive"), I've even reinstalled Windows XP, yet the issue remains. Otherwise, my computer runs great, but it's a pretty alarming error message that I would somehow like to fix.
Gretchen G. of San Francisco, CA
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January 10, 2006
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