IM Chat Things

A long time ago when the internet was young, there were these cools sites where you and a friend could go in and chat, they were called chat rooms, but now no one uses them cause they have been replaced with email provider’s chat things. What are IM Chat Things you may ask? Well, raise your hand if you use Instant Messaging over the Internet! Almost all of us, whether it be through Hot-mail, or Gtalk or even the dreaded Yahoo Chat, we all use it all the time, and even though it’s supposed to be convenient and out of the way when we don’t need it, it doesn’t always work the way we’d like it to be. And I’m talking about the default IM clients that come with the service we use, like the Windows Live Essentials you are forced to install to use Movie Maker and MSN chat. The Bulky and colourful Yahoo Chat install thing that takes forever to start-up. And Gmail which is easily available in the browser. So there are limits and hassles to deal with.

But what if you have many friends like I do? Ok I don’t have a lot, but I have a variety of them and some are on Yahoo, Hotmail and one on Gmail. Will I have to have leave three different messengers on in case I want to talk to any of them at the same time? That’s a hassle! And it slow down my pc like a slug stuck in tar pit. Well, it’s good to know and learn that in the Linux world there are options, and sometimes in the Windows world there are too. What if, wouldn’t it be cool if you could have all your contacts and IM chat friends in one messenger? Well, I’ll assume you can’t convince them all to join Yahoo, but it would be awesome if they could all be in one IM Chat Client.

Well, as I’m sure you have heard there is software known as third party software. This is software not from the manufacturers. But rather made buy other people or companies. So what are the alternatives to using the Default IM Clients?

I will list them off in no particular order. These are ones I have personally tried and currently use. Some you may have already heard, some you may not.

Pidgin : Pidgin is an Open Source IM Chat Client Easy to use and simple. It may not entirely support your video or audio but for any of you IM needs, this one has it covered, it is my personal favourite due to it’s simplicity and lightweightnessity. (That’s not a word I know) But I just love this program. How does it work? Well, if you see the site page, it allows you to connect your MSN, Gmail, Yahoo, and whatever you may be using to this and easily organise and contact all your IM chat friends! Within one client! Not only does this make life easier, but also runs with less ram than any of the chat clients of have tested. (That requires installation, more on this later) Yes, not only is it light, but it’s very useful but extremely customisable.

Simple and easy and probably comes in whatever language you speak.

Digsby : OK so what’s this one? Is the this same as Pidgin? Yes, except for one thing, it’s not Open Source and it has ads. But is it better, mehh, sort of, despite the junk it installs when it auto installs, you can get rid of that, but it has lots of features that Pidgin does not have. Like better video and audio capabilities and cooler features. Some people seem to like this one better, but the fact that it installs junk into your pc throws me away. Here’s how to install it properly. Make sure you uncheck this box.

And click Decline 5 times in order to avoid installing junk, just decline all offers until it starts installing. This is a huge hassle, but unfortunately a source of revenue for Digsby team.

Also another hassle is you are required to make an account so when you install it again on any machine, or you simply want to log in, it will automatically add your settings, and accounts to that one. It is a nice feature but also a security risk for those paranoid people. Like me. Where as all the setting ore stored somewhere on a Digsby server Pidgin stores you setting on your pc, meaning you have to input them every-time you install pidgin. but don’t let all this lead you away from Digsby, it’s still a good program nevertheless, minus the ads.

But let’s say you don’t want the hassle of installing software or inputting the accounts every-time you want to use the log chat thing, and you don’t want it to auto-start, but only when you want to. Well then have you tried Meebo?

Meebo :I really like this one, i use it just as much as Pidgin, but why? Well, click on the link to Meebo, or go to This site you create an account, a simple login and password should do fine, and there you can add your IM chat account in order to have IM Chat capabilities in the web Browser. Wait do i have to install anything then? Nope. Well, you might need Flash installed, but if you use Google Chrome this won’t be a problem at all. So then you are telling me that all I have to do is log in and I can easily chat with any of my contacts in the web browser? Yes. Yahoo, hot-mail and Gmail have this feature already implemented, but you are not going to keep 3 tabs open just to be in touch with all your friends, so adding them to this client eases the pain and burden whenever you are not on your home computer. I use this at school all the time and sometimes at home when I feel like it. But very useful and extremely practical.

Woohoo! chat in the webbrowser, the most easiest and convienent method so far. Also this is very useful for those of you want to practice doing everything in the browser. Like those chrome notebook, and netbooks, and stuff.

Allright so I have to end this post soon, and to do this, I’m just going to sum up the web clients and you can decide what you’d like to use.

Pidgin: Open Source, free, no ads, too simple, lightweight, easy to use, plugins addons, compatible with most chat protocols, mac, linux, and windows.

Digsby: Easy to use, requires account, easy setup, it has ads, has lots of features, so far windows only but eventually they will make Mac and Linux version.

Meebo: In the browser, light, few ads, easy to use, full of features, OS does not matter. In the cloud man!

So in the end, you may use one or two or something else, but just know that you have options, you are not locked in to using the Window Live Essentials, or Mac OS chat thing it comes with, or even Empathy that comes with Ubuntu. You have the power to choose what you chat with.

PS final note, I’m sure most of you have not noticed the ad I have placed on my website an Advertisement for a Company that sells Linux Disks. This is a test to see if it bother anyone if i put ads on here. I need to eat you know. :) Anyway that’s it, ignore the ads, i’ll see if i add some ads later on.  Also sorry for not posting this yesterday, i had it ready to go but WordPress had to do some stuff on the website and i couldn’t log in, it’s all good now.


About Zerin

But can you show me the source code?

Posted on March 23, 2011, in Computers and Internet, Linux Stuff, Windows and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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