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What is ICQ?
ICQ (I seek you) is a great way to find out which of your friends are on-line when you are. It enables you to chat to your friends, send messages or files or play games - all while surfing the Net! If you send a message to one of your contacts while you are both on line, they receive it immediately - no more waiting for emails! As soon as one of your friends logs on, you are alerted giving you the option to send them a message or chat to them.
So where do I get ICQ from?
The ICQ software can be downloaded from http://www.icq.com/download/ Once you have downloaded the program you need to close down all applications that you are currently running but leave your connection to the Internet running. To install ICQ, locate the installation file (icq2000b.exe) on your hard disk and double click on it. Follow the installation wizard to select a folder for ICQ (default settings recommended), and continue. You may need to shut down your computer and restart it when the installation process is complete.
How does it work?
When you install the ICQ program you have to register to a server. You are then assigned a unique ICQ number. You are also given the opportunity to enter personal information about yourself which allows others to recognise you. Once you are registered you can begin to compile your list of contacts. To add a contact click on the Add Users button and you will then see this screen:
You can search by email address, name, nickname or if you know the ICQ number of the person you can search by that. When people that match the criteria entered have been found a dialogue box will be displayed showing all of the people found. To add the correct user to your contact list simply double click on their name. You may need to wait for the person to authorise your request in which case you will be asked to provide a reason for requesting that they authorise you. Once they have given authorisation, they will be added to your contact list.
NB When you first install ICQ, it will be set to Simple Mode. For the purposes of creating this page, it has been set to Advanced Mode to illustrate some of the extra features available - this is achieved by clicking on the To Advanced Mode button, or you can click the ICQ Menu button and select Advanced Features. You will then see this:
Click on Switch to Advanced Mode button.
How do I send a message to one of my contacts?
Make sure that you are connected to the Internet and start ICQ.
This dialogue box appears and shows who is online and who is offline. To send a message to someone just click the left mouse button on their name and then you'll see this:
As you can see, there are many options available including sending messages or files. To send a message, for example, you would just click on 'Message'. A box will appear in which you type your message and then you just click 'Send'. Providing the user is online, they will get the message immediately.
What about the other options and buttons?
There are a lot more facilities available that just being able to send and receive messages or files - here is a brief overview of some of them.
Services: this gives a list of options as shown on this picture:
Most of these options are fairly self-explanatory, however, it is worth noting that if you choose to set up an ICQ home page, your computer will be acting as a mini-server (host) for the page and therefore other users may be able to gain certain limited remote access to certain files on your computer. You have been warned!
ICQ: This button pops up the main ICQ menu:
As you can see, there are many options available here. The Add/Invite Users allows you to invite other users to use ICQ - it asks simple questions to find out who you want to invite and gives you the option to add a personal message to the invite and then sends a message to the person informing them that you want them to join ICQ.
Add/Change Current User allows more than one person to be registered from the same computer, allows the current user to change their details or allows the current user to unregister.
Preferences allows you to set your preferred settings for ICQ and how it appears just like the preferences button in any other application.
The security and privacy option allows you to determine which users know of your presence on the Internet. This allows you to remain 'invisible' to anyone while you are online, unless you have put them in your visible list.
Where can I find more information?
If you have got any further questions that haven't been covered here, go to the ICQ site, http://www.icq.com/icqtour/ there you will find a comprehensive user's guide (written so simply that even I could understand it!). For more help using ICQ visit:http://web.icq.com/help/
And finally, have fun! Who knows, I might even bump into you one day online! :-)
Last Amended : 2004-03-15 by elfin
Original Author : CJ
This page was last updated at