This came from Kim Komando - and it is just priceless - read on:
Instant messaging is a great way to communicate online. You can have in-depth conversations with friends and family. Or, you can fire off quick notes to co-workers. You just need the right program.
And that's the problem. There are dozens of instant-messaging programs available.
Are your friends using AIM or Yahoo! Messenger? Are your co-workers on ICQ or Jabber? You don't need gobs of instant-messaging programs on your computer. Just get Miranda IM Portable.
This program is compatible with most instant-messaging services. It covers the ones mentioned above. And you can add Google Talk, IRC, Windows Live Messenger and more to the list.
The program is also fully portable. There's no need to install it. Just throw it on a handy thumb drive. Then plug it into any computer you happen to be using. And then you can chat away.
On the Kim Komando site - you can sign up for her daily tips and news - this site is phenomenal and I highly recommend it to all. Easy to understand for those that are a bit rusty in the techie area - and techie enough for those that need more advanced info.