Educate me: .mac address & iChat

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by BitterB, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. BitterB macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2007
    Mac newbie here.....learning the ropes on my new 24 iMac. I have a few sets of questions about Mail and iChat.....very basic:

    1) Do I even need "Mail" in my dock?? I use yahoo and a work e-mail account. I don't think I need to even set up a ".mac" account, do I?? Is this "Mail" item strictly for ".Mac" paid subscribers? If I'm not planning to sign up as a paid .Mac person or dump my work and web e-mail into the "Mail", do I even need it??

    2) I've read I can set up a free ".Mac" account that will allow me to use iChat. Does signing up for this free account give me any other benefits or features?? Now, if all my friends and family are PC users in the Microsoft IM world, will iChat even be of use to me?? I really hope so, as it looks very impressive in the store and I'd like to run it myself.

    Thanks in advance for your comments.:)
  2. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    1) Mail allows you to read any POP/IMAP email account, it's like Outlook.

    2) You don't get any other features, if your PC friends use MSN Messenger (or Windows Live Messenger as it's now called) Adium, aMSN or if you're really desperate Microsofts MSN client will all work. iChat won't really.
  3. devilot Moderator emeritus


    May 1, 2005
    No, feel free to drag it out of the dock, watch it "poof." :p That said, like Eraserhead said, is simply an application, a mail client-- you can use any POP/IMAP based account with it. For example, I use gmail (POP3) and dotmac (IMAP) with But it's not necessary (even though I might claim it is ;)).

    Note: If you ever remove something from the dock, you can always easily put it back in. Drag 'n' drop, baby. Drag 'n' drop.

    Well, you can get a free 60-day trial of dotmac. During that trial you can use some of the perks but once that is up the only thing you get is the "yourname.mac" for instant messaging. You lose access to the other benefits, including email.

    iChat works w/ AIM, dotmac, and er... I think something er, Bonjour related? I dunno, I usually use Adium for my IMing needs and Skype for video chats.
  4. aspro macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2005
    Hobart, Australia
    iChat works with AIM/.Mac (they are on the same network), Jabber and Bonjour (local network). If all your friends are on MSN your best bet is Adium or the official MSN mac client

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