One of the most common applications I use on my computer is IM software. So when my computer crashed, you can guess what the first program I downloaded was.
Over the years, I have found that I’ve gotten sicker and sicker of AIM. The protocol works great from my perspective, but AIM 6 and even AIM Pro were both bad moves in my mind. I really wonder sometimes why I made the move from AIM 3. In any case, it’s left me wondering if there is a better solution out there.
I believed there was.
In the past, I’ve used GAIM on linux and windows. I’ve used Trillian. I’ve used Adium on my mac. I’ve used the web based clients. For the most part, I was never able to find one that had an interface that I liked enough to work with aim as well as AIM. I also didn’t think that they ever did a good job working with other chat programs (or integrating all of them together).
That said, I think as of today, I found one I like. It’s called Pidgin and it can be found at http://www.pidgin.im/. It’s got support of AIM and MSN (both of which I have been using regularly for work), as well as IRC (yay!), Gtalk, Yahoo, and a half dozen others. The interface has not been bogged down by tons of features, so it’s fairly fast and light weight, and so far, no crashs or bugs to complain about. It even has a half way decent plug-in system so that you can get plug-ins to get it to do what you want.
The only thing I don’t like about it (and let me know if you know of a plug for this), is I can’t find a setting to make the buddy icons/list smaller. I like being able to see 50+ buddies at once, where as with this, I’m limited to 20 without scrolling. Based on what I saw on their development blog though, I would venture to guess this is coming soon with their new theming system.
In any case, if you, like me, are looking for a new messenger client that works pretty well with all the systems, be sure to check it out.