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About Free Chat
Online chat is a generic term for what are now mostly known as instant messaging applications-computer programs that enable two-way typing to connect users to each other.

However, there are net dating systems and other online services that do not use these applications to provide chat facilities, e.g., Delphi, often relying on HTTP-based protocols instead. Sometimes these are called a chat room or chat extending the physical metaphors of 'sites' and 'magazines' which many web services exploit.

Today there are many chat rooms, some incorporating instant messaging features without having to install additional chat software. These chatrooms often have friend finders built in.

Some of these systems also provide telephone voice mail access. These are usually known generically as just chat systems.

A chat log is a record of a chat. Sometimes this is put on the web.

The earliest online chat system widely used was probably the Unix talk facility. The earliest one in general use was likely the French Minitel. During the 1980s, online chat was made available on CompuServe and DDial servers, and later on GEnie. In 1988, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) protocol, an instant messaging tool, was developed and became the de-facto standard for online chat.

Chat Terminologies

Moof = becoming disconnected from the Internet and/or the chat for no apparent reason. If you have call waiting enabled on your telephone line, you'll moof alot!

Private messages (PM) = These are communications between two or more members that can't be viewed by the rest of the chatters. Warning, however: the private message can be cut and pasted to others.

Nick = nickname used while chatting

Wave = a piece of sound (words, music, etc) that can be played in some chats. They are stored in ".wav" format, and can only be heard if you have the same wave on your computer. Watch out - waves take up a lot of hard drive space on your computer (usually in your windows/media folder).

Ghost or Lurker = a member in a chatroom who never talks. A ghost can be someone who forgot they were signed into the chatroom, or may be there & just observing.

Kick, spec, or ban are actions taken by the host of the room (the person in charge). You can be kicked (temporarily removed) from a chatroom, specced (lose the ability to type in the room, terminology derived from the "spectacles" your nickname may show, or that you have "spectator" privileges only), or banned, which is a more permanent action that keeps you out of a chatroom completely. Inappropriate behavior, topics, or language are the most common causes of these actions.

UIN = User Identification Number. This is the number assigned as your "identity" by the software program ICQ

"Go Private" means to go into a chatroom for two people only. It does NOT necessarily mean to "cyber" (also known as cybersex).. it can be a way for people to talk confidentially or without the distractions of a larger chatroom.