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And the next Stupid Old Bloke question is... [Jul. 12th, 2009|11:40 am]
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[mood |coldcold]

So, what messaging program should I be using?

I've been using Trillian for the last few years, and it's been OK to use, but as I'm going to have to re-download and re-install it, I may as well check to see if there is anything else I would find better.

What I need the program to do is play nicely with what I'm currently using: MSN, AIM, Yahoo and IRC. I'd also like it to play nicely with things I'm likely to use in the future, such as Jabber. Other stuff I couldn't really care about; I abandoned ICQ years ago (for the last few months I had it I mostly only got spam over it) and don't need it to play nice with Live Journal (I find the Live Journal HTML input page adequate) or Twitter (which I don't use at all).

So far the options are:

Trillian. Advantage: It seems to work reasonably well, and I'm used to it. Disadvantage: It doesn't support Jabber which is apparently what Live Journal use for messaging.

Empathy. Advantage: going by the info. on Wikipedia it supports everything I'm likely to want to use. Disadvantage: the info. on Wikipedia doesn't say which operating systems it runs on, so with my luck I'll go to the trouble of downloading it only to find that it will only run on Linux (which I'll need to try and figure out how to boot off my cigarette lighter to do) or Vista (in which case I'm as stuffed as a roast chicken).

Miranda looks possible but I've never heard of it; its Wikipedia article is barely more than an advertisement and its talk page is no help as to the actual quality of the program either.

Meebo I have heard of but lack of IRC support counts it out completely.

Pidgin I have heard of a lot and had recommended to me but the info. about it on Wikipedia indicates that it has compatibility issues with a lot of the services I'd be using.

So. Opinions?

[User Picture]From: dkphoenix
2009-07-12 12:42 am (UTC)
I've used Trillian, Miranda, and Pidgin.

Miranda is really too stripped down for my tastes, and the last time I tried it, it didn't have a tabbed interface option, which was the deal-breaker for me. On the plus side, it is very lightweight and would probably run off an old floppy, much less a flash drive.

Pidgin is a lot like Trillian, except it has a ton of addons and extensions to change the functionality, which makes it less user-friendly. I don't use MSN, but I've gotten it to work fine with AIM, Yahoo, ICQ, IRC, and Jabber. The only reason I stopped using it was because I couldn't figure out how to make it strip the obnoxious and illegible font and color codes people like to use in AIM chat rooms. Pidgin does work a whole lot better with multiple accounts on the same system, like say, a work and a personal AIM account running at the same time.
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2009-07-12 04:17 am (UTC)
Multiple accounts under single providers isn't something that's likely to cause a problem (my only work messenger is some godsawful Microsoft proprietary thing that only ever gets used if someone else in the IT department is too tired to yell at me from the other side of a wall). If it wasn't for lack of Jabber support I'd have just downloaded and installed Trillian again (it looks like I'll end up doing that anyway).
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[User Picture]From: dkphoenix
2009-07-12 12:15 pm (UTC)
You could try both, see which suits you.

I am considering going back to Pidgin, as the problematic AIM chat has switched to IRC. (And I use mIRC for that because I fear change, I suppose :-p)

some godsawful Microsoft proprietary thing

Heh, Netsend?
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2009-07-14 10:47 am (UTC)
I don't know what work has, but it's something that only works inside the office (probably just as well in my case). Work still runs on XP (they've never gone to Vista) and have a horrible clunky Outlook (with far too many Management Mandated bells and whistles for the work computers to support without slowing to a crawl) which is all tied up with some sort of VOIP system.

Back in the dark ages I used to use mIRC but the first version of this computer I got (five years ago now) didn't have it; it wasn't practical to download it on Vodaphone dial-up and I got told something along the lines of It Was A Very Bad Program So I Shouldn't Use It. As it is I've found reading IRC on Trillian quite tolerable. So I'll probably just download Trillian again (at least I know how to use it, at least, sort of...)
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[User Picture]From: alryssa
2009-07-12 04:04 am (UTC)
I use Trillian exclusively. I've tried GAIM in the past but it can be finicky, and it's too much like AIM's interface for my liking.

I don't know anyone who even uses Jabber, though, so that's not a concern for me.
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[User Picture]From: southerndave
2009-07-12 04:09 am (UTC)
I don't know anyone who actually uses nothing but Jabber either but (from memory) Live Journal tried to come up with its own messaging program a few years back which only ran on Jabber. I don't like having half a dozen messaging programs all trying to run at the same time (this is why I stopped using any of the systems' own clients almost as soon as I got Trillian set up) so I never even tried to find a Jabber client.

Edited at 2009-07-12 04:10 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: alryssa
2009-07-12 11:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the Gizmo thing? I did install it, but I found out very quickly, and much to my annoyance, that it doesn't come with an uninstall program. At least, it didn't when I tried it briefly. Basically if someone I know doesn't already have an AIM, Yahoo, or MSN account ... well, I'd be amazed, frankly. And then there's Twitter, and Facebook... I don't -need- any more clients.
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From: axiomatic_axe
2009-07-13 01:00 pm (UTC)
The client I use is kopete. It handles jabber (the gmail chat thing, and livejournal chat seem to work well enough in it), does icq, does MSN, and probably handles irc and so forth as well.

I tend to just use a dedicated irc client for that, though.
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[User Picture]From: micheinnz
2009-07-12 07:54 am (UTC)
I use Jabber.

So does Livejournal.
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[User Picture]From: alryssa
2009-07-12 11:35 pm (UTC)
I don't know you. My point stands. :)

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