At 10:48 AM -0500 2/5/04, Terry Calhoun scribbled:
>>I would think that if you're blocking IRC (which would probably only
>>upset faculty/students in an active CS community), you'd logically also
>>want to block the various IM protocols as well -- _many_ more running
>>clients, with the same kinds of potential security flaws. This would of
>>course upset a far larger group.
>Sharing my perspective here as a member of that "far larger group":
>I find AIM Instant Messenger and MSN Messenger to be exceedingly useful
>work tools. In the two tools together, right this moment, I have nearly
>100 active "buddies" (and as more currently not active) and during the
>day today I will probably send and receive 100+ messages. I suspect that
>a lot of people on this list who are more hard core technical than I am
>may have refrained from developing any reliance on those as working
>tools. Perhaps not.
+1 for "NOT"!
Not being "Senior IT Staff", I more or less lurk on this list,
checking from time-to-time to see what's of interest. But I have to
"come into the light" on this one and echo Terry's sentiment.
I too have many "buddies" with whom I communicate on a daily basis.
Some are just down the hall, some are across the state, and some are
on the other side of the planet (with whacked sleep schedules...). I
find it invaluable as a means of communication with my friends and
colleagues. During the day I may have dozens of chats with
counterparts at other universities, picking their brains or
responding to their, er, "pickings". IM has the benefit of not
completely monopolizing my time, letting me know when someone is or
is not at their computer (and thus, in the case of the people down
the hall, in their office), and can be used to carry on a
"conversation" when I have a few stray seconds waiting for Office to
install or some bit of code to compile. Almost nobody with whom I
chat expects, despite the name, the messaging to be "instant". We
just leave our windows open and type back and forth when we can. Not
only that, but I make extensive use of the "Away" message feature.
Anyone looking for me need only glance at my Away message to see
exactly where I am, what I'm doing there, when I'm likely to be back,
and whether or not that for which they need me merits interrupting me
with a page.
When I need to "hunker down" and, as the rebuttal page posted here
says, "be productive", I do so indicating as such with my away
message ("Do Not Disturb").
As for IRC, well, I use it quite a bit because it's where the
developers for some of the software I use hang out. It's a great
place to mention feature requests and get immediate answers to
I consider both IM and IRC to be invaluable tools, both socially and
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