Instant Messaging

Abbreviated IM, a type of communications service that enables you to create a kind of private chat room with another individual in order to communicate in real time over the Internet, analagous to a telephone conversation but using text-based, not voice-based, communication. Typically, the instant messaging system alerts you whenever somebody on your private list is online. You can then initiate a chat session with that particular individual.

See the page of text messaging abbreviations in the Quick Reference section of

Read Also:

  • Instruction

    A basic command. The term instruction is often used to describe the most rudimentary programming commands. For example, a computer’s instruction set is the list of all the basic commands in the computer’s machine language.

  • Instruction Cycle

    The time period during which one instruction is fetched from memory and executed when a computer is given an instruction in machine language. There are typically four stages of an instruction cycle that the CPUcarries out: Fetch the instruction from memory. This step brings the instruction into the instruction register, a circuit that holds the […]

  • instruction register

    See under instruction cycle.

  • instruction set

    (n.) Also called a command set, the basic set of commands, or instructions, that a microprocessor understands. One of the principal characteristics that separates RISC from CISC microprocessors is the size of the instruction set — RISC microprocessors have relatively small instruction sets whereas CISC processors have relatively large instruction sets.

  • integer

    A whole number. The following are integers: 0 1 -125 144457 In contrast, the following are not integers: 5.34 -1.0 1.3E4 “string” The first three are floating-point numbers; the last is a character string. Integers, floating-point numbers, and character strings constitute the basic data types that most computers support. There are often different sizes of […]

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