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Chat away

Chat with your Facebook friends with this simple program.

Facebook's chat feature is a great way to have instant contact with your friends, but it's not always practical to stay logged in to the site all day long (ahem, such as while you're at work). Chit Chat for Facebook acts just like Facebook's own chat feature, but it lets you chat without using your Web browser.

The program's user interface is pretty self-explanatory. Once you sign in using your Facebook username and password, all of your friends who are available to chat appear as "online." Double clicking on a specific person introduces another window with a space at the bottom to type your message. Once you hit Enter, your message appears in the top window for your recipient to see. You can see when he or she is responding to your message, which also appears in the top window. A Save Conversation option also appears in the same window, and it successfully let us save our entire conversation as an HTML file in the location of our choosing. We were able to summon it in our browser without any issues. The program's Preferences menu lets you customize the appearance of your chat messages; turn off any offline notifications, such as when a friend appears online and is available to chat; and even set up a proxy connection. Help is available through a link that takes you to an online FAQ, but we didn't need to use it during our testing. Overall, Chit Chat for Facebook worked as promised and let us stay in touch with our Facebook friends without having to sign into the Web site.

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