Jeff Pack, Brown University '99 (English 112, 1996)
E-mail is asynchronous communication; that is, it's like leaving a message on someone's answering machine: they read at some later time - possibly a few minutes later, maybe a few days. This makes it difficult to carry on a conversation over the Internet, though; for person-to-person conversation, a talk client is preferable - and much less expensive than a long-distance telephone call. The medium isn't very complicated; the client splits the screen in two. Your typing appears on one side, and the typing of the person to whom you're talking appears on the other. It's similar to a two-person IRC channel, or possibly a two-person MUD.