I only became interested in instant messaging after I had a portable platform that supported it – namely the iPhone OS 3 update (prior that release there were no message notifications) and BeejiveIM.
IM still doesn’t work terribly well on an iPhone, but that technology change tipped the balance enough to make IM interesting on my desktop.
So I’m late to the game, but catching up. I did make one mistake in the catch-up process. Since my peers are all old and wrinkly like me, they don’t know this stuff. I should have asked younger geeks what they did.
That’s why I only now realized there was a solution to two problems I have had:
- There’s no Google Talk client for OS X.
- The XP Google Talk client only supports one Google identity – I want it to support my corporate and personal GT identities.
The solution for both problems on OS X is Adium. It supports multiple identities. I even have a sneaky suspicion iChat would work too (sigh, I’ve been so disgusted with iChat Video that I’ve dismissed all aspects of it).
On XP I was hearing good things about Trillian Astra. I figured I’d install it and, if it worked, pay for Pro.
During the install Trillian tried to change my search service and it installed the Ask.com toolbar – without notification or permission. This isn’t a new problem …
StopBadware.org researcher Liana Leahy has taken Cerulean Studios to task for bundling two third-party applications into the popular free Trillian IM client, arguing that users who are not careful during the Trillian installation process could end up with a crapware problem.
During the installation process, the default setting is for Trillian to bundle the Weather Channel Desktop and the Ask Toolbar, two products that could introduce security risks to PC users.
I uninstalled the ask.com toolbar and Trillian immediately after the installation completed.
So I’m still looking for an XP IM solution.
This isn’t the first time I’ve run into quality issues with the XP marketplace. XP is a very large market, but it’s a very undiscriminating market with a lot of vulnerable users. The quality of the software is often very low.
Update: A trusted (younger geek) colleague recommended Pidgin for XP – libpurple based open source like Adium. See also:
- Pidgin, the universal chat client (not to be confused with ePigeon)
- Pidgin (software) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Five Best Instant Messengers - Instant Messaging – Lifehacker: they were gamed by Trillian, but Pidgin showed up there too.
- Configuring Pidgin for Google Talk (it's not as polished as Adium)