I would enjoy talking to anyone who reads this blog, so I guess I will give you my e-mail and IM names.
E-Mail: monsuco at gmail dot com(remove the spaces and replace the at and dot with their correct symbols)
MSN: kwestboy at comcast dot net (don't e-mail this address, I no longer use it)
Google Talk: email@example.com
Also while I am on the topic of instant messaging, I would like to mention one of my favorite instant messaging programs, Gaim. I have a link to the Gaim site down at the bottom of this page, and I have it there for a dang good reason. Gaim is definitely one of the best pieces of IM software available. What it is is an open source program that can access almost all of the chat and instant messaging programs around. It is currently compatible with:
OSCAR (AOL's proprietary IM protocol. AIM and ICQ both run on the OSCAR protocol and use the same server, and yes, a person on AIM can send an IM to a person on ICQ)
BLOGGER (you have to download a plug in for this)
Battle.net (also requires a plug in)
Gadu-Gadu (an IM service popular in Poland)
Groupwise (a server application made by Novel)
IRC (Internet Relay Chat is a very popular chat room protocol)
Jabber (An open source IM protocol, it's most notable use is with Google Talk)
MSN (The MSN messenger service)
Napster (No, you cannot download music, but there is an open source chat protocol based on Napster's software)
QQ (An IM service that is popular in China, you will need to download a plugin for this)
Sametime (It has something to do with lotus, and it requires a plugin)
SILC (Secure Internet Live Confrencing is a chat room protocol similar to IRC but it concentrates far more on security. All messages sent of SILC are encrypted, and it is possible to make private encrypted channels.)
SNPP (Allows you to send messages to pagers, this requires a plugin)
XFire (reqires a plugin)
Yahoo (send IM's through the yahoo IM service)
Gaim also allows you to download plugins that enable encryption of certain protocols, such as OSCAR and IRC. (SILC is always encrypted, even without this plugin)
You can find the plugins for Gaim at Source Forge
. While you are there, you should consider bookmarking Source Forge, as it is one of the best sites avalible to download open source programs. In case you do not know what open source is, I will tell you. Open source software is software that has a special end user liscense that gives you, the end user permission to use the software (for free), view and modify the coding of the software (for example, you may legally reverse engenier the program all you want), create plugins (programs that enhance functionallity of the software), and redistribute the software. Also, even buisnesses may use open source products for free (and modify the coding and the like).
A simple way of summing up the defenition of open source is anyone may download the program for free, anyone may modify the program for free, and anyone may redistribute copies of the program (including modified copies) for free. The advantages of using open source programs (such as Gaim) are:
1. Far greater security: If someone finds a security hole in the openly viewable coding of open source software, and they figure out how to change the program so that the security flaw is no longer a threat, they can usually submit their version of the software to the open source comunity and that fixed security flaw will most likely be repaired in the official version.
2. Rapid growth: Because anyone can view the coding to open source software, anyone who knows how to program and has something they want to add to the software to add to functionality, they can do so and submit their version of the software to the open source community.
3. People can write plugins which are programs that add a feature or make a change to the way the software works.
4. Commercial instetutions can use the software: To have a liscense classified as open source, the program must be avalible to everyone who wants it, including buisnesses. This is not true of freeware.
5. Open Source almost never will contain any malware: If a program is open source, and it's makers tried to include malware, programers would find out and critisize the program into submition or they would redistribute versions of the software that lacked the malware.
I am a very big fan of open source software, and I use several open source pieces of software on a day to day basis. I believe that open source programs such as Linux, Open office, Gaim, Firefox, and Thunderbird will one day become major challenges to closed source software companies such as microsoft because a company out to make money cannot compeate with a user ran piece of software that is made by and for it's users.
Also, if you want to get a version of Gaim for your USB keydrive, zip disk, Jar disk, removable hard drive, or super floppy, you can use the official version from Source Forge, or I made a self extracting file which can be downloaded here
. I made the encryption extentions work with it and added in extra protocol support. Also, other extentions have been installed on it. I will try to update it, but if I forget to update it more than a few days after they release a new version of Gaim portable, let me know through e-mail.