March 2007 Announcement of the Jabber Chat Service

Fellow staff, faculty, and students:

The IT engineering and Helpdesk teams have collaborated to bring you a new instant messaging service that is available to all IMSA users. Using this service, you can:

  • send messages to other people who are also logged in
  • leave messages for people to receive the next time they log in
  • participate in group conversations

For those who are familiar with AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), MSN Messenger, or other instant messaging services, you'll find this service very similar.

All IMSA users are available in your contact list. To send them a message, just find their name, double-click, and start typing. If they are logged in, they will receive it immediately; if not, they'll receive it the next time they log in.

All staff machines should have an instant messaging client installed on them that is capable of connecting to the service (Pidgin on PCs running Windows, iChat on Macs).

For machines without Pidgin installed, it can be downloaded for free at

If your instant messaging client is not configured to connect to the service, doing so is simple:

In iChat:

  1. Go to Preferences (in the "iChat") menu and open the "Accounts" pane.
  2. Click the plus sign in the lower left corner to add an account.
  3. Under account type, choose "Jabber Account". Your Jabber ID is the same as your IMSA email address (e.g. and the server is
  4. Click "Add" and close the preferences window.
  5. On the new window that appears for the Jabber account, change "Offline" to "Available".

In Pidgin:

  1. From the "Accounts" menu in the main window, select "Manage".
  2. Click the "Add" button.
  3. Under protocol, choose "XMPP".
  4. For "Username", enter your IMSA username (e.g., janedoe).
  5. For "Domain", enter "".
  6. Select the "Advanced" tab.
  7. For "Connect server", enter "".
  8. Click "Save".
  9. In the accounts window, check the "Enabled" box to log in.

If you have questions regarding setup or use of the system, please contact the helpdesk at 630-907-5995,, or, or by visiting the helpdesk in person.