Instructions for downloading, installing and
using AOL Instant Messenger software.
General: To communicate online with other students
and perhaps a tutor, you need to have special
software installed on your computer. AOL is one
company which supplies such software free of charge.
Getting the AOL IM Chat Software-First Alternative:
- Purpose: AOL IM is used as a backup software
for online tutoring. AOL IM is very simple in
use, it is like real time e-mail. If you encounter
problems with entering Centra e-meeting room,
you should sign in AOL IM and your tutor will
try to help you to enter the meeting room. AOL
IM is not used for online tutoring sessions, but
only as a backup.
- Screen Name and E-mail Address: When you download
the AOL IM chat software, you will have to select
a "screen name" that will identify you
to the system and to the other people in your
on-line group. You will also need to have an e-mail
address. If you do not have an e-mail address,
you can get one at no charge by going to either:
(Click on Mail in the second line, Connect.)
The rest of these instructions describe how
to get the AOL IM software.
Getting the AOL IM Chat Software-Second Alternative:
Download the AOL IM software from the www.aol.com
- Look for the icon of a yellow man walking on
your desktop with a caption that says, "AOL
Instant Messenger". Double click on the icon.
A window will open up which says, "Sign On"
at the top. At the bottom, the version number
will be printed. If the version number is 4.7
or higher, you can probably use the version that
is already on your computer. You can then just
get your username and password from the instructions
below without downloading the software. However,
if some features of AOL IM do not work for you,
you may need to go back later and download the
latest version of the software.
Whether you have or do not have the AOL IM software
on your computer, you are now ready to go to the
AOL website to select your screen name and password,
and, if necessary, download the software.
- Note: The instructions below are valid as
of Feb. 9, 2001. In the event that AOL changes
the layout of its site in the future, follow
the current instructions on their site. Before
starting this procedure, you should close all
your other applications, since you may need
to restart your computer at the end of the installation,
and you could lose data in unsaved applications.
- Go to http://www.aol.com.
(If you see a box advertising AOL 7.0, close
that box by clicking in the "x" in
the upper right corner of the box..) There are
two downloads available on the AOL site.
The one at the top of the home page says, "Try
AOL 7.0 With Our Best Offer Yet..."
You do NOT want this download. It
will make AOL your Internet Service Provider
Instead scroll down the homepage, just a
short distance, until you see a blue rectangle
on the right side of the screen, with a logo
of a yellow man and a message: "AOL
Instant Messenger. Click here to get it now!"
This is the location of the link with the
Netscape browser. With other browsers, it
may be in another location on the page. For
some versions of Internet Explorer, you will
see the link in the center of the page: "AOL
Instant Messenger, AIM Express" under
the "People and Chat" section:
This is the software you want to download.
Click on this link. Then when you get the
new page, scroll down and click on the
red button that says:
- You will then get a screen that asks you to
choose a screen name and a password. Also fill
in your e-mail address and birth date. Then
click on "Continue" or "Submit".
(If the system does not accept one of your entries,
change your entry and try again.)
- On the next screen, "AOL Instant Messenger
Registration," scroll down and click on
"Windows" or "Macintosh"
depending on your operating system. (If your
computer already had the AOL IM software, you
can close your browser now and skip down to
the instructions for opening AOL IM on your
- When you are given the option of the location
to save the downloaded file, install_AIM.exe
(or aim.hqx), select "Desktop".
If your operating system does not allow this,
select the default location, but write it down,
so you can find the downloaded file later.
- After the download is complete, minimize the
"AOL Instant Messenger Registration"
- Double click on the Install_AIM icon
on your desktop to install the software.
- Click "yes" to accept the license
- Click "Next" for setup program.
- Accept, but write down, the default location
for the installed file, which will probably
be: C:\Program Files\Netscape\Communicator\Program\AIM
or simply C:\Program Files\AIM. Click on "OK",
- Select Dialup Modem if your computer
is not in a network and LAN if it is.
- Ready to Install: Click on "Next".
- Click on "OK". At this point,
you may be given an message saying that not
all the needed files were downloaded, but asking
you to restart your computer. You should have
closed all of your other applications before
starting this procedure. If you did, accept
the restart option. If you didn't close all
your other applications, you should do so now.
Then restart your computer.
- Opening the AOL IM application: If you already
had the AOL IM software on your computer, continue
the instructions from here.
- After your computer restarts, you should see
the AOL IM logo (a yellow man walking) on your
desktop. Double click on it now.
- When you see the AOL IM dialog box, select
"New User", and type your screen
name over it.
- Hit Tab and type your password.
- Uncheck "Save Password" if
you do not want your password saved.
- Quick Overview: If you have time, click on
the topics you would like to see. Then select
Next a number of times, then select "Finish"
at the end.
- Click on "Sign On" to open
the AOL IM application. A window should then
appear which gives you the choice of "Online"
or "List Setup". Choose "List
Setup" and type in the screen names of
the persons you will be chatting with. Be sure
you don't make typing errors, and note that
the names are case sensitive.
- Then click on "Online". You will
be told which of these persons (if any) are
online on that moment.
- Highlight the name of a Buddy you want to
chat with. Then click on the group icon at the
bottom of the screen with the label, "Send
Buddy Chat Invitation." Then you can send
a message initiating the chat. You can also
click on the single person icon with the label,
"Send Instant Message." You will only
be able to chat with one person at a time in
- If you encounter any problems with the above
procedure, contact your online tutor via e-mail.