Instant Messaging: No Alternative

21 06 2009


I used to use Disgby on my Windows machine and Adium on the Mac.  For those who don’t know, these two applications are both “multi-protocol” instant messengers.  In other words ,they work with a variety of instant messaging services, such as MSN, Yahoo! and Google.  Very useful if you have different business or personal contacts using different IM services.

On Linux, I’ve been using Pidgin.  It’s been great until a few days ago when the Pidgin wouldn’t connect with Yahoo! Messenger.  And I have a couple of key business contacts whom I work with daily that use Yahoo! Needless to say, I was annoyed.It’s not that this never happened to me before.  I’ve had the same thing happen to Digsby when Yahoo! updated their servers in the past.  It’s acceptable since I know that these multi-client messengers aren’t the officially sanctioned apps for the service, unlike say Skype is for the Skype service.  But in Windows, I normally have Yahoo! Messenger installed as a backup.  In Mint, I don’t.

A search in the MintInstall app and the Package Manager (both are where one can easily download apps) got me nowhere.  Searching Yahoo!’s site didn’t get me anything as well — Yahoo! doesn’t offer a Linux-native application for its messenger service!  What to do? In the end, I was lucky enough to find this helpful tip to temporarily work around the problem in Pidgin.

But the point of the matter is: where were the alternatives when I needed them?  Maybe it’s a bigger issue about how there isn’t enough software for Linux (which just sounds wrong).  But coming from my experiences with Windows and OS X, this was definitely a hiccup that I would rather not have had.




4 responses

6 07 2009

What about Web-based messengers like Meebo? Maybe not a complete alternative but certainly useful in a pinch?

Also, it seems like Yahoo offers a web-based messenger:

6 07 2009

I’ve tried Meebo before on Windows. And while it worked as advertised, I really felt like it didn’t do the job for me.

It was slower, clunkier and required me to have my web browser running all the time. And when I had to restart my web browser, I needed to log-in to Meebo again.

As such, I don’t use web-based messengers. I don’t think majority of regular users do either. But thanks for the suggestion.

10 10 2009

i am in the same boat of being not too fond of web based messengers, however, when in need, I would opt for ebuddy as a simple remedy for chat and i think it can send files. I dont think the camera options work though, have to double check that one. Anyway, this is the link

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Instant Messaging: No Alternative | Open Daily

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