Thursday, November 03, 2005

I love IM

Many of my poet friends (some of whom visit that other site) know that I'm a big fan of IM. I have accounts for Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger, and MSN Messenger, and I log onto all three all the time. The reason for all this IM goodness is that I have different friends on different networks and the burning desire to be in touch with them at all times. How do I manage all these different clients, you ask? With the great multi-client chat program called Adium. It allows me to keep all my IM contacts in one small, functional package. It even allows me to combine contacts who are connected to more than one client, so I only have one name in my buddy list for these people. And it supports tabbed chats, so I can chat with several people with only one window open on my desktop. (For you Windows-afflicted folks, I hear the equivalent is a program called Trillian .)

Apple has a wonderful chat client too, called (predictably) iChat. The great thing about iChat is that it makes video conferencing effortless. The only problem: you more or less have to be chatting with another Mac user. Apparently, cross-platform video chats can happen if the other party has the latest version of Windows XP, however. iChat even allows multi-way video conferencing with up to three other people. Great as it is, though, iChat could use some improvements. Over at The Unofficial Apple Weblog, they've started a poll to see what improvements people would like to see in iChat. Mostly, I think it needs to do what it already does, plus what Adium does. A cherry on the sundae would be if it could also integrate with Skype; I doubt that will happen, but a guy can dream...

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