Using Talk

Talk is a program that allows you to "chat", teletype style, with another person who is connected to the Internet, anywhere in the world.

The original "talk" program is for Unix. There are also versions for Macintosh or Windows. You do not need one of these special programs in order to us "talk". Most people use the Unix version (via telnet) but the Mac and Windows versions work just fine. If you read about the Unix version it will help you understand how the other versions work.

Talk: Unix Version

Talk was orignally developed as a way for two users on a Unix network to converse via typing. It's easy to use.

First you need to get a Unix session. This is described under telnet.

Now you need to find someone else to talk to. If you have a friend who is on the Internet, synchronize your watches and make sure you're both logged in at the same time. Or use the "who" command in a telnet session to find out who else is online.

Now we'll make the "talk" connection. You can do this by typing:

Substitute the user name of the person you want to talk to for myfriend and if they are on a different system then you can put that in place of Brand X Internet.

Now, if the other person is in Unix or a telnet session, they will see a prompt asking them to type "talk". Assuming they really do want to talk to you, they will follow the instructions and you will be set.

Oncve a talk session starts, your screen (or the telnet window) will split in half, Anything you type will go in the top half of the screen, and the other persons syping will be in the bottom half.

When you are done type "control-c" and you will exit the Unix talk program.

Here's an example of what the talk screen looks like - first the command to start it:

     Brand X % talk

     [Waiting for your party to respond]

A few moments later we get a response, and the screen splits in half to look like this:

Hi this is Jim
I'm demonstrating the talk program.
OK, talk to you later.

Who is this?
Oh, Jim.  What are you up to?
That's just great.  Look, I got to get pback to the Dune game.
I'll let you know.

From this point you can go ahead and type to the other person. It's pretty easy. To close the connection type control-c and you will be back at the Brand X prompt.

That's about all there is to Talk.

Problems: You can not toal to a PPP user on the Poenardo System unless they telnet into the system. Each user has two user names, such as Waldo and Pwaldo. If the person you want to talk to is using a user name starting with a "P"you probably will not be able to talk to them. They will need to start a telnet session in order for you to make a connection

Some systems such as AOL and Prodigy do not have full internet access and you will not be able to connect to them.

If you are having trouble make sure that hte name is spelled correctly and that you and the person you want to tlka to both have "live" connections. It's easy for a connectin to go dead without anyone noticing.