When someone is shown as “idle” on Yahoo messenger, are they not using their computer, or not using their Yahoo Messenger? Conversly, if they are shown NOT idle, does that mean they are using Yahoo Messenger?
I think it means their computer hasn't been touched for a certain amount of time. Of course, this doesn't mean they are away, I have been sat watching videos on my computer, therefore not having to touch it, and Messenger will set to idle, having not detected any mouse or keyboard activity.
You can leave Messenger open and not actually be using the program, but still using your computer, and you won't get changed to idle.
There seems to be a bug with yahoo and win9x/ME systems that you will show as idle when you are using another application and not using Yahoo messenger. Also there are ways to make a fake idle status, so it's hard to tell if someone is really away from their computer.
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