This beta Instant Messaging service is built on top of Jabber/XMPP the IETF instant messaging standard. XMPP supports a global communication network of service providers. GMail as well as many universities support Jabber-based IM. This IM service is part of the global XMPP network, therefore, you can IM people from any of these service providers using your well-known BlazerId-based identity.
These are some quick and dirty instructions for configuring your instant messaging (IM) client software.
* The first step, of course, is to use your BlazerId to [register for your IM account|http://metric.it.uab.edu/im/register]
* The next step is to get chat client software that is capable of using the Jabber Instant Messaging protocol. There are many clients out there, so ultimately it is up to you to pick your favorite one based on available features and platform support. A few that you might start with are:
** [Pandion|http://www.pandion.be/] is an easy to use client that installs easly on Windows platforms; SSL is supported.
** [Exodus|http://exodus.jabberstudio.org/] is another windows client that has a good set of features.
** [Gaim|http://gaim.sourceforge.net/] is a powerful multiplatform chat client that also includes support for reaching MSN, AIM, Yahoo, and ICQ message services.
** [Psi|http://psi.affinix.com/] is another powerful client for windows that many people prefer.
** [A ton of other clients|http://www.jabber.org/software/clients.php] are also available. If you are new to Jabber or Instant Messaging in general, feel free to explore the clients and see which one you like best.
* Once you have your chat account activated and your client software installed, you need to configure it. There are a few basic requirements:
** The main requirement is that you need to know your username, password, and jabber server. These are easy though
*** Your username is based on your BlazerId. It it is in the form of BlazerId@jabber.lab.ac.uab.edu, just replace BlazerId with your real BlazerId and you are set.
*** Your password is also easy. It is the same password that you use with your blazerid account. (Please note, to protect your password across the network, please use the SSL features of your client, the SSL port is 5223.)
*** Finally, some clients reqest you to enter your Jabber server separately. Many will pull it out of your user name above, but if the ask for a separate server, use jabber.lab.ac.uab.edu
** You can safely ignore the rest of the configuration for now. This quick start guide won't cover them.
* The next step is to find someone to chat with. Any other registered user on jabber.lab.ac.uab.edu will have a blazerid-base username like yours. If you know a friend is registered, just request a chat session using their blazerid-based username. If you don't know if they are registered, you can still do the same, but you will get an error message saying no-such user. You could them an email or call/talk to them and ask them to get on-line.
* You can also create chat rooms dynamically. The chat server is conference.lab.ac.uab.edu. Just add this to your client configuration and invite friends to your chat room.
* There are many more things you can do with on-line chat. Feel free to learn more about the features of this chat service [here|http://www.jabber.org/about/overview.php]