A friend of mine wanted to put together a present for her 90 year old father, an iChat 3 way video conference between her, her brother and her father. She wanted to test it out first so I was the guinea pig playing the part of her father.

I happen to use a Mac at home but I'd never tried iChat with video.

iChat works with either an AIM ID, or a .mac ID. I had neither. Whenever I clicked on the 'get a .mac ID' it took me to someplace on the apple website that costs money. Although there are rumors on the web that .mac IDs are free, I couldn't figure out how to get one. Actually I couldn't figure out how to pay for one either because I probably would have done that.

AIM on the otherhand, is easy. It's free.

The iChat software is great once you get an ID that works.

But the apparent impossibility of getting a .mac ID from the company who's motto is "It just works." was ... well ... disconcerting.

Sometimes it just doesn't work at all.