IntroductionUsing a browser-based messaging program – such as AOL’s Instant Messenger – is convenient, but you need a dedicated Internet connection to reach the central messaging server. Many small workgroups either lack such a connection, or have one that’s blocked by network administrators worried about security. Kanex Group’s MacPopUp 2.6 and Glass Bead Software’s SnapTalk 2.0 are two inexpensive utilities that let colleagues or small workgroups exchange email-like instant messages over a LAN (Local Area Network). MacPopUp does it more elegantly, but at a higher cost than SnapTalk – which offers bare-bones, but highly effective, instant messaging. Background knowledge
MacPopUp and SnapTalk run in the background and scan the network for other available users. MacPopUp runs in Mac OS 9, Mac OS X and Windows, letting you set up messaging in a cross-platform environment. SnapTalk runs only in Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. Both programs offer formatted text, a choice of sounds for when a message arrives, spoken messages, and real-time conversations. SnapTalk offers customized automatic replies and attaches files to messages – options MacPopUp lacks.