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Chapter 33. Chat with iChat > Instant Message, Direct Message, or Chat?

Instant Message, Direct Message, or Chat?

With iChat, you can communicate with others in four different ways: Instant Messages, Direct Messages, Chats, and Rendezvous. I’ll explain here how each one is different from the others and on the following pages tell you how to do each one.

An Instant Message opens a small window in which you can “talk” back and forth with one other person, and your talk is totally private (unless someone is looking over your shoulder). You must be connected to the Internet.



A Direct Message looks just like an Instant Message and is even more private. Instant Messages go through a central messaging server on the Internet, while a Direct Message goes directly to one other person’s computer, bypassing the central server. Some network or firewall security settings will not allow Direct Messages to be sent or delivered. You must be connected to the Internet.



A Chat window, or Chat Room, is a public “room” where you can invite any number of people. These people might be spread all over the world, but you can all gab together. People can come and go as they please and the room stays open until the last person leaves. You must be connected to the Internet.



A Rendezvous message does not go through the Internet—it goes through your local network in your small office or school directly to another computer on the same network. You do not have to be connected to the Internet to send Rendezvous messages. See Chapter 35 for details about Rendezvous.




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