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Archive for Monday, June 26, 2000

Instant message programs miss mark

June 26, 2000

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I'm a novice computer user and there's a lot that I don't know. Anyway, I was wondering if you've encountered the problems that I've had trying to send instant messages to people who have different Internet servers than I do. A friend told me that Yahoo! has one that's free, and I downloaded it, but I still haven't been able to send any messages to my friends who have other servers.

There are a number of different programs and servers, as you call them, for Instant Messaging and chat. By and large, those of one company aren't compatible with others.

Unless you have friends who are all using a specific service like Yahoo! (doubtful) you should probably go to aol.com and download their Instant Messenger program, which is far and away the most popular. IM can run on any computer. It comes built in with America Online, as well as Netscape Communicator. Together that's more than half of the Internet universe.

We have an IBM Aptiva C73, 2.5GB, which we purchased in 1996. The hard drive on this model is divided into three sections, C, D and E, with 1G for C and 750MG for D and E.

The question: Is there any way we can add hard drive space to the C drive by taking it away from either or both of the other, D and E, drives? Alternately, can we make it one big C drive?

The DOS utility Fdisk, which comes with your computer, allows you to modify the "partitions" on your hard disk. Unfortunately, if you do that, you'll wipe out all the information contained therein.

A better alternative is PowerQuest's PartitionMagic 5.0 ($70, www.partitionmagic .com), which lets you move or eliminate partitions on the fly. It will also let you install multiple operating systems on your computer.

-- Send questions for the Q&A column to plugin@newsday.com.

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