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Logging onto AIM...
To login to AIM, you must have a screen name and password already set up. If
you need to do this now, [click
Once you have a screen name and password, launch your AIM program, and you will
be prompted. Enter your screen name and password. If you check the "Save
Password" box, this will allow you to access AIM without typing in your
Note: that this will allow anyone who gets online on your computer to access
your AIM. If you check the "Auto-login" box, this will automatically
login to AIM and take you to your buddy list whenever you launch AIM. Neither
of those options are recommended when you are sharing a computer with multiple
people who also use AIM with their own individual screen names. Once
you have entered your screen name and password, and have selected the options
you prefer, click the "Sign on" button.
Once you have logged into AIM, your buddy list will pop up. A small blue and
yellow "person" icon should appear in your system tray.
If this is your first time using AIM, a help wizard will pop up. You may chose
to use this wizard to help you learn about the program, or you can click "Cancel"
to bypass it. It is highly recommended that first-time users go through the
wizard. It can be a great help in learning how to add buddies, and to find buddies.
If you already know the screen name of your buddy, click the "List Setup"
tab, then click the "Add a Buddy" icon near the bottom.
This will allow you to type in the screen name of your buddy. Hit ENTER or RETURN
when you have finished typing in the screen name. Click the "Online"
tab to return to your buddy list.
If you do not know the screen name of your buddy and would like to search for
them, click the "People" menu and select either "Find a Buddy
Wizard" (which launches the same wizard you get the first time you login
to AIM) or "Find a Buddy" (which allows you to search using your buddy's
e-mail address, name and address, or common interest).
To delete a buddy, click your "List Setup" tab, highlight the buddy's
screen name, and either right-click and select "Delete," or hit the
DELETE key on your keyboard. Note that deleting a buddy from your buddy list
does not mean that they cannot see you online or that they can't send you Instant
Messages. In order to do that, the buddy must be blocked (see below).
You can block a buddy
one of several ways. The easiest way is to right-click the buddy's screen name
and selecting "Block Buddy," or highlighting the name and clicking
the "People" menu, then selecting "Block Buddy." Also easy
would be selecting the "List Setup" tab and doing the same thing.
The more difficult method would be to access the "My AIM" menu, selecting
"Edit Options," then "Edit Preferences" and selecting the
"Privacy" category. The right-hand column there allows you to type
in the screen names you wish to block. Buddy's you block will appear offline
to you, and you will appear offline to them. You will be unable to communicate
with this buddy until you remove them from your block list.
Unblocking buddies is just as easy as blocking buddies. You can go about it
using the same clicks and keystrokes, but instead you will want to select "Unblock
Buddy." Or, in the case of using the more difficult method listed above,
go into your privacy settings, select the buddy's screen name from the block
list, and click the "Remove" button.
Warning an offensive
buddy allows other AIM users to see that they should be cautious about this
person, and can also take away the offensive buddy's AIM priveledges (if they
receive enough warnings). After being warned, the user has a warning percentage
listed beside their screen name and in their info. You can only warn buddy's
who have sent you an Instant Message. You cannot warn a buddy unless they say
something to you. To warn a buddy, click the "Warn" button on the
Instant Message window. You will be asked whether or not you want to warn using
your screen name, or if you wish to do it anonymously. If you do it with your
screen name, the warning percentage on the person will be higher than if you
do it anonymously. If a buddy's warning percentage gets high enough, their AIM
priveledges will be reduced, and eventually they may not be able to login at
all for a period of time. Either way, their warning slowly reduces over time
until they are eventually back at 0%.
The screen names in your buddy list will often be shown with small indicators
or icons which show you your buddy's online status. An open door beside a screen
name indicates a buddy who has just logged in. The buddy's screen name will
also be in BOLD type. In our example "BiggidyMike" demonstrates
this. A closed door indicates a buddy who has just logged off. The buddy's screen
name will be in ITALICS and "grayed out." In our example, "LilChubs87"
demonstrates this. "AldaBoy" demonstrates a buddy who is in the "idle"
state. This means that he is not currently active at his computer. Notice that
his name his "grayed out" (not in italics or with a graphic indicator).
"List Setup" tab, a gray bell indicator shows that this particular
buddy has an online status alert set on him or her. The online status alert
tells you when this buddy comes online, comes back from idle state, or comes
back from away state. A red "no" icon (a circle with a line through
it) indicates that this buddy has been blocked.