Random observations, teachings and musings of a well trained cubicle superhero.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

March 23, 2006

What are you smiling at? Tech Mates explains!

Tech Mates
techyJay, a.k.a. “The Cubicle Superhero”, is a self-professed tech junkie with a passion for music and culture Email Jay

How many of you have noticed the little grey sleepy face or yellow smileyface in your system tray (you know, it's the are where your clock is located) and thought your computer was just being moody? Even though computers can be tempermental (my pc throws fits sometimes too), hat smiley little guy is actually an emoticon and he's letting you know you are signed into the Rogers Yahoo! Messenger network, and are ready to receive messages.

For this purposes of this article we'll call that yellow icon Norman. "Hi, Norman."

Norman vs. the Cube
Jay: Typically when I think of the whole "Instant messaging" thing, text comes to mind.
Norman: Well yes, I do cover that. Two or more people exchanging quick, real time messages back and forth anywhere on the Internet across MSN or Yahoo, a mobile PDA, or even cell phone text message. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm much more awesome than that.
Jay: What about Internet Video Conferencing. My grandparents are in Calgary.
Norman: Like with a webcam and mic? I've got that covered too Chuck.
Jay: My name is Jay, not Chuck.
Norman: And my name is Rogers Yahoo! Messenger, so let's agree to disagree Chuck.
Jay: For a yellow guy you're not very mellow, are you?
Norman: Don't forget, I do turn grey when I'm offline (sniff).
[Background sound: Bing!]
Jay: What was that noise?
Norman: Incoming file transfer, looks like photos. Here, let me play you Justin Timberlake's latest song while I take care of this...
Norman is perfectly capable of handling two conversations at once, but he's kind of being moody right now, so let's meet back up with him later...

Deft Stealth Maneuvers
If you don't already have Rogers Yahoo! Messenger on your computer, getting started is a quick process. Just visit the "Software Download and follow the install steps - you can always find it under the grey "More" button on your Rogers Yahoo! Home. Once you've got it, quick access points in your browser and task bar guarantees you'll never lose track of your friends.

Once up and running the sleek, customizable interface acts like a dashboard to all your Rogers Yahoo! services. Unlike other messenger services, wherever you login, whether it's the cafe or boardroom, all your contacts are displayed, keeping you within short reach of your friends and family.

If at any point that reach feels a little too close for comfort, change your status message to let people know you're busy, or switch to "stealth" mode. In stealth, you can hop on to see who's online while remaining invisible to some or all of your contacts.

Hands across the Internet
On the topic of contacts, an interesting change is taking place in the messaging space. Recently Yahoo! and MSN Messenger opened the doors to allow access across networks. What does this mean for you? It means that adding Aunt Trudy (remember her?) who uses an MSN Passport or Hotmail address to your friends list, is just as easy as adding a Rogers Yahoo! or Yahoo! user.
The Daily Dish
Smile! You've got a friend

Plug-in to the info you want
Rounding out this list of features are the new Plug-ins that can be added to the base of your contact list, adding crucial at-a-glance information like, address book, weather, calendar appointments and most crucial of all...links to In the Spotlight featuring The Daily Dish, TV Stevie and your LiveCoach Tech Mates (sorry, shameless plug there)! There's a whole gallery of plug-ins available to choose from.

One of the most useful and well thought out additions is the LauchCast plug-in. Already a fantastic part of the Rogers Yahoo! Music experience, the tiny plug-in gives you all the control of the web based version, rolled in to the Messenger window you already have open.

For those of you who like to keep your desktop totally pristine, when you minimize Norman to your taskbar, the music keeps rocking. Feel free to chair dance if the mood strikes you.

Jay: So, Norman any parting words for your fans out there in Tech Mates land?Norman: OMG. LOL! CU @ the BBQ L8R?

Don't be alarmed, Norman's not just mashing the keyboard, he's using Instant Messaging slang. That jumble of acronyms up there, was actually a barbecue invitation (I hope that means spring is really here).

While you probably guessed the BBQ part, there are a million IM acronyms out there, and even a Tech Mate like me doesn't know how to use them all correctly. In my cubicle, we respect adverbs. Need help decrypting this confusing language? Check out this Internet Slang Dictionary & Translator tool. This is especially useful for you parents out there with tweens and teens.

From Norman a.k.a your Rogers Yahoo! Messenger Smileyface and LiveCoach, safe chatting and we'll see you next week.

Jay: Goodbye Norman
Norman: kthxbye 2 u Chuck
Jay: ...sigh

If there's something you'd like to see covered in Tech Mates, feel free to Email me with your ideas and questions.

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