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Chapter 13. Chatting with Friends > Getting an Account

Getting an Account

Mac OS X Version 10.3 includes the improved iChat AV program for instant messaging over the Internet. In addition to the software, however, you’ll need access to the specific network online that handles instant messaging traffic. You actually have two options. If you already have a screen name for AOL Instant Messaging (AIM), you can use it with iChat. If you don’t have an AIM screen name, you can sign up for a .Mac account instead. In addition to providing you with messaging capabilities, a .Mac account offers an email account, software for building Web pages, online iDisk storage, and backup and virus protection software.

NOTE

As of this writing, a .Mac membership was priced at $99.95 per year. (You can add up to 10 additional email-only accounts to enable more family members to chat.) However, a free 60-day trial was available for new users. You also can go to http://www.aim.com, the AIM home page, to sign up for a free AIM account and download the latest version of the AIM software.


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