ICQ was an instant messaging application that allowed you to speak with people. We could search for people by age, sex and location. It was an early precursor to social networks.
Over a year ago my brother's friends downloaded ICQ and he was introduced to it and I was introduced to it, I am talking about version 3.1. Today we have seen the ICQ98Beta and then the ICQ99a version, the one I am currently using. Among the things I remember about this is that it was designed by some Israeli students so that people could communicate all over the world using it, several months after I started using it was the ICQ cost scare, that is to say that since AOL was buying the technology there were many messages circulating and some are still circulating today, although the first messages were unfounded.
Now that I've given you a little history on its history I feel I should inform you of what its capabilities are. Most people I know have at least one e-mail account and know how to send and receive electronic mail. ICQ is similar to this except that it is a free software and once it is downloaded (it is large, more than a megabyte and when using a 26k modem it can take time) it is very useful, It has up to 30 million users and I am the 9802494th person to register a user name, not bad eh?
Moving on from all this information we now move onto its capabilities, it is a software which enables instant messaging to people all over the world in the same way as e-mail except that you see not only when the person is online but they also see when you're online. This means that while I am doing some research on the Absurd, Camus etc. I can chat to someone at the same time, a new way of surfing the World Wide Waves of data coming from all over the world as well as your friends.
Yes, that's right your friends, How many of you have to call several friends in a day? I don't but that's not the point, I enjoy going online at certain times because I know that I will find certain of my friends. If I elaborate on this point I know that quite a few people use the messaging mode to send messages but another one is an IRC chat.
An IRC chat is an internet relay chat, this means that if I was chatting to you, the reader then you would see the words progress on the screen as you see in film (let's you see whether someone has the same typing speed as you for example) Now when there are several people in this chat then you've got data streaming in from several other points so that four or more people may be in the same conversation. To give an example to those who have not tried it it is like being in a classroom or in town seated around a table and conversing.
In brief ICQ is a software you can download from the WorldWideWeb at www.icq99.com which enables you to see which of your friends are online and allowing you to converse with them while you are surfing the web. It is also good for shy people as I once was because you learn how to be talkative without having much to lose, you have more to gain, learning the art of conversation and once you've started enjoying it online you'll test it elsewhere. e.g. in School etc for example.
Other sections[Surfing the World Wide Waves]