"There was a time when sys admins and others used a little
program called talk to send quick messages to one another in real
time. It was a means of communication that I will bet is largely
unknown to most of the net-connected folk of today.
"Modern netizens were introduced to electronic communication
through a much less interactive form of communication, the email
message. These days, a new kind of communication has evolved--call
it mini-email. The one-liner. The short and sweet message. The
instant message. The net-connected society has grown to love those
quick, always on, means of sending each other information. My own
parents (who live in another province) send me daily one-line
weather reports via their Linux instant messaging client. But are
we just looking at a pleasant time waster?
"Instant messaging (IM) is no longer strictly the playground of
teenagers or friends and family looking to keep in touch across the
networked world. It is rapidly becoming a serious tool for business
as well. In some environments, IM is being added to the list of
business critical applications. Nothing beats being in constant
touch with employees and team members, even if those people are
scattered in offices around the globe. It's also a perfect means of
communication for people on the move. Plug in, get online, and you
are immediately available, wherever you are..."
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