Digsby is a free beta release of a supercharged communications client that gathers up major IM networks like Yahoo, AOL, MSN, Google Talk, Jabber, and ICQ with Web mail and social networks. From a single skinnable interface, people can chat, check e-mail, update Twitter, and view MySpace and Facebook activity feeds. Instant messaging, e-mailing, texting, file transfers, and voice and audio chat can all be launched … Read more
Recently, Power Downloader received a instant message from his sister, Maggie Mouse. When he clicked on the blinking Pidgin icon, he found himself confronted by a distraught question: Firefox would crash on her in the middle of browsing her email. She had tried restarting the browser and restarting her computer, and she'd even reinstalled Firefox. Maggie Mouse had turned off all her extensions, and Mozilla's browser would still die on her. Although not a dastardly crime, this was definitely a job for Power Downloader.
For all situations, Power Downloader recommends keeping a second browser installed and ready to … Read more
Power Downloader loves to chat with his friends, but he's got a problem. Kitty Kilobyte uses Yahoo Instant Messenger, and Candace Clicks loves Google Chat. Even his grandfather, the venerable Robert Baud, gets online to chat sometimes--but he uses AOL IM. Power Downloader knows it's a pain to use three different chat programs simultaneously, which is why he uses the multiprotocol chatware client Pidgin.
Pidgin is open source and free, but Power Downloader knows that doesn't mean it can't get the job done. Besides Google, Yahoo, and AOL chat protocols, Pidgin also supports MSN, ICQ, MySpaceIM, … Read more
Right on the heels of the big tryptophan doping event of the year, three of my favorite programs have gone through some minor tweaks and changes. Firefox, Pidgin, and The Gimp have all received a bit of tweaking. Let's take a look at the changes.
Writing up a list of items for which I'm thankful is such a cliche at this time of year...that I can't pass up the opportunity to add my own contribution to the Thanksgiving fray. I have very little need for 3D turkey screensavers, but luckily, there are a few more valuable applications listed on CNET Download.com upon which I can bestow appropriate tribute.
In honor of Thanksgiving week, I've decided to serve up a heaping helpful of my nine "most useful" Windows utilities on the Download.com site. Now, notice that I didn'… Read more
Two popular open-source and extensible apps have come out with minor-point updates in the past few days, but some of the changes are worth noting. OpenOffice.org has gained a lot of traction and notice this year as a credible alternative to the Microsoft Office suite, and Pidgin, the program formerly known as GAIM, supports multi-protocol text chatting including Google Chat, Yahoo, AOL, ICQ and others.
Chat clients are great for interoffice communication and sending quick messages to co-workers and friends. The only problem is once you've chosen a particular chat client--usually decided by what your friend uses--you can only communicate from within that particular client's network. In other words, Yahoo chat users can only talk to other Yahoo chat users. If you've spent any time using chat clients, you know that people use several different apps, making it difficult to talk to everyone without downloading each one.
Fortunately, clever software developers came up with chat programs that would play nice with all the major clients, so you only needed one program to talk to everyone. There are a lot of these programs available for download and most are free. But in addition to the ability to chat with people on several networks, these clients also offer features and options that make them great apps in their own right.… Read more
The free instant-messaging client Gaim (GDK+ AOL Instant Messenger) has become popular in recent years because of its ability to connect with a wide range of IM networks (Yahoo, MSN, IRC, Jabber/Google Talk/XMPP, AIM, ICQ, Gadu-Gadu, and others) and its extensibility in the form of user-created plug-ins.
The name Gaim came about due to complaints from AOL about the name GDK+ AOL Instant Messenger. However, as AOL Instant Messenger became more popular, AOL trademarked the acronym "AIM," leading to further legal struggles with the Gaim developers. After a series of negotations, the developers agreed to change the name of the 2.0 version of Gaim to Pidgin, based on the word for simplified speech between people who do not share a common language.
The big change in Pidgin 2.0 is the new look. The interface has been redesigned, with the option to view your Buddy List in Basic or Advanced view. Important facets like plug-ins and status availability have been broken out of the Preferences dialog and into areas of their own. Plug-ins have their own dialog available from the Tools menu, and status is now set by a drop-down menu at the bottom of your buddy list.… Read more
Editor's note: This is Part One of a two-part series on multinetwork IM clients. Don't worry, we haven't forgotten about all-in-one Web and mobile chatting.
There's a lot to chat about in the multiprotocol IM universe. Pidgin just debuted as a full-fledged version 2.0, replacing the much-loved Gaim. Trillian is gearing up to wow us all with its gleaming browser-based Astra version, and every day more and more plug-ins pop up to make this breed of protocol-bridging IM clients more extensible and functional.
If you're still logging into three separate chat services to contact your friends, it's time to consider these consolidated options.… Read more