Talk - both text and voice - is the main goal of Google Talk. The company feels that voice quality makes up for the absence of all that other fluff and there won't be any ads to distract you.
If you currently have a GMail account, you can use that username and password for your Google Talk. Your GMail contacts will be automatically added to your Google Talk Friends list. If you don't have a GMail account, you will need to sign up for one in order to use Google Talk.
System requirements for using Google Talk are Windows 2000/XP (Home or Pro versions) or Windows Server 2003 and a 56k modem or higher. For voice calls, you will also need a microphone and speakers or a headset.
Learn more about Google Talk at www.google.com or http://googleblog.blogspot.com. You can download a copy of Google Talk at www.google.com/talk/. The download file size is only about 900K.
Security update alerts
The latest bot worms - Zotob and Rbot - and their nearly two dozen variants have been found to also affect specific systems running Windows XP SP1. If you haven't patched your XP system to SP2, now looks like a great time. Otherwise, your system is vulnerable to these bot worms. Visit Microsoft update at http://update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/ default.aspx?ln=en-us.
You can download or order a copy of Windows XP SP2.
Free online courses
* CNET's Help.com is offering a "PC Troubleshooting" class through Sept. 9. The free course will teach you how to do simple troubleshooting to fix many common PC problems. It will show you how to pinpoint various problems and give you solutions to fix them. The course will teach you how to tell the difference between software and hardware problems, update device drivers, analyze system processes, BIOS basics and more. Learn more or sign up.
Beginning Sept. 1, rock band Pearl Jam will be offering downloads of its live concert tour via its official Web site at www.pearljam.com. The concerts will be offered via the site's new digital download store for only $9.99 each. The concerts are available in the MP3 format recorded at 192K. Each concert will include artwork and a photo slideshow.
MSN Chat live event
Aug. 31: The "Rock Star: INXS" chat features INXS members Jon Farriss and Garry Beers. Go.
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