21.12. iChat Tweaks

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21.12. iChat Tweaks

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Preferences dialog box gives you plenty of additional control. A few examples: General pane. If you turn on Show status in menu bar, you bring the iChat menulet to your menu bar. It lets you change your iChat status (Available, Away, and so on)

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  1. 21.12. iChat Tweaks If you've done nothing but chat in iChat, you haven't even scratched the surface. The iChat Preferences dialog box gives you plenty of additional control. A few examples: • General pane. If you turn on Show status in menu bar, you bring the iChat menulet to your menu bar. It lets you change your iChat status (Available, Away, and so on), whether you're in iChat or not. And if you turn off When I quit iChat, set my status to Offline, then quitting iChat doesn't actually log you out. When someone wants a chat with you, iChat opens automatically. The General pane is also where you tell iChat what to do when you're temporarily away from the Mac. You can have it automatically reply to chat invitations with your personalized "I'm not here" message. When you come back to the Mac or wake it up from sleep, you can have iChat flip your status from Away to Available all by itself. • Accounts pane. If you have more than one AIM, Jabber, or .Mac account, you can switch among them here. Your passwords are conveniently saved in your Mac OS X Keychain. • Messages pane. The Messages preference panel lets you design your chat windows— the background color, word balloon color, and typeface and size of text you type. GEM IN THE ROUGH iChat on Autopilot If you've read this chapter all the way through, then you know that iChat can respond to chat invitations by running an AppleScript. And if you've read Chapter 7, you know that AppleScript is capable of…almost anything. As a proof of concept, Apple's AppleScript product manager has created a truly evil script that you can choose in the iChat Preferences Alerts Run AppleScript pop-up menu. It's called iChat Autopilot; you can download it from this book's "Missing CD" page at www.missingmanuals.com. In short, this very special script simulates your end of the chat. It carries on a
  2. fairly generic conversation, periodically typing perfectly plausible all-purpose utterances, occasion-ally excusing yourself while you answer the doorbell, and otherwise doing an excellent impersonation of a distracted, preoccupied, but still well-meaning you. Let it run. Give your buddies the satisfaction of knowing you're there for them. Even though you're really watching TV downstairs. • • If you want to set a special background image for your chats, you can do that as well—just drag a graphics file into the chat preview box on this pane. You can revert to a white background by choosing View Clear Background. • • Tip: Here's a little tweak, right on the Messages pane, that nobody ever mentions: the preference setting called "Watch for my name in incoming messages." It alerts you any time anyone, in any of the open chats, types your name, even if you're doing something else on the Mac. (As in, "Casey, are you there? Casey!? CASEY!!") • • Alerts pane. Here, you can choose how iChat responds to various events. For example, it can play a sound, bounce its Dock icon, or say something out loud whenever you log in, log out, receive new messages, or run an AppleScript, as described earlier in this chapter. • Audio/Video pane. This is where you get a preview of your own camera's output, limit the amount of bandwidth (signal-hogging data) the camera uses (a troubleshooting step), and specify that you want iChat to fire up automatically whenever you switch on the camera.  
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