iChat In Pictures >>Your are in Folder 4_iChat WIndows >> Page : Main Buddy List
||1 Main Buddy List
The main window of iChat effectively.
Apart from the Buttons at the bottom there are several other "Live" spots on the top of the Buddy List. Some cause slide out screens to appear others are just toggles between two views.
It shows your own Buddy Pic to the top right. Clicking this gives you options to change it from those recently used or the Change option which can be used to navigate to anywhere on your Hard Drive. (by iChat 4 the "Change My Picture" option is in the application menu).
Top left is my Account/Screen name. This will toggle between this and my Real name as it is shown in the Address Book. It will do the same for you. It does not offer a way to change which account you are using. For that, use the hold on the iChat icon in the DOCK or navigate to the iChat Preferences or the iChat Menu "Switch To" option.
Click where this pic shows "Available" and it allows you to change your Status to Away or use the options to create your Own message. In iChat 3 this also includes linking the Status Message to what is playing in iTunes. There is an AppleScript add-on to do this in iChat 2.
Next is your list of Buddies. Depending on how you store their names this will display the "Real Names" as per the Address Book or their Screen name if you have not added something to the Address card in the "Real Name" text fields.
If you only have the screen name it is not stored in a form that can be seen in the Address Book. "Real Names/Nicknames" are not stored on the AIM servers. Only the Screen Names are stored there. It is the iChat software that matches them up. You can lose the Address Book and you will still have your Buddy List.
However if the AIM servers go out of synch you may not be able to access your Buddy List and it will not display. On rare occasions AIM have been known to lose the people's Buddy lists. It is always useful to add a "Real Name" or suitable mnemonic to add the person to the Address Book so that in the case of AIM losing your Buddy List you can repopulate your Buddy List from your end. iChat does not have a Back up feature like AIM for Mac does. (use AIM for Mac to make Back-ups of your Buddy List with it's Export and Import Features - it is also useful to move one Buddy List to another Screen Name).
At the bottom of the Buddy List are 4 buttons. The 3 centre ones will start the relevant chat once a Buddy is highlighted. The 4th button Adds Buddies (And Groups in iChat 3 & 4). iChat 4 also adds a Screen Sharing Button here.
The Add Button also gives you access to Edit the Groups, which is then another slide out drawer/screen. Here you can Add more Groups or Edit the ones you have. The list is always Alphabetical but certain characters such as the Star * and Tilde ~ or Underscore _ will be placed before and therefore above any starting with letters as *Testers does in the Picture.
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