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Instant Messaging Everywhere

Boot Camp feature for Thursday, June 1, 2000

Oh how I love those cool gadgets! Two way pagers, the kind that let you send as well as receive messages have been around for a while. But they've been big and expensive. What's new is the Motorola Talkabout T900. It is almost the size of a standard pager, but has a flip open case. Inside... believe it or not ... .is a little keyboard that lets you send instant messages to other two way pagers or email to anyone on the Net. It's a little tricky, but you'd be surprised how adept you can get typing with your thumbs. And WebLink Wireless, the new name of PageMart, is making the pagers and the service a lot more affordable. Company President Ross Buckenham... .

"For 14.95 a month you can operate this and send messages anywhere in the country. And you can send messages to any Internet address in the world and receive messages from any Internet address in the world."

And the two way messengers will be available come the end of June for 99 dollars after a rebate. Useful? As Buckenham points out if he goes to the mall with his wife ... .

"And she's off in some other department store and I'm looking at all the cool gadgets like this... obviously we have to try and connect up in the mall... .and I can just zap her a quick instant message."

Is it better than carrying a wireless phone? In some ways yes. For one thing, you leave it on all of the time and a single double A battery will last about three weeks. You can connect with us at ThirdAge.com. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin for CBS News.