Zen Bastard (jimbojones) wrote,
Zen Bastard

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Public Service Announcement - GAIM goes v1.0.0


The open source Instant Messaging client I use, GAIM, went to version 1.0 this weekend. Going "one point oh" in an open source product is a much bigger milestone than it might sound like, because in the open source world, usually hundreds of thousands of people are using and relying on a product - and finding it better than the corporate equivalents - looooooong before its authors decide to take it out of "oh point something" versions. So anyway, I decided to take a break from playing Fable for long enough to make sure all you folks know about it, and encourage you to give it a shot if you haven't already. Not only is open source software good for the soul, in many cases, including this one, it's better! That's a miniaturized screenshot of one of GAIM's conversation windows on the upper right. Several features worth mentioning:

  • fully cross-platform - use the same program to do your IM'ing on Windows, Linux, BSD, other Unix, Mac, or whatever else you come across
  • supports multiple protocols - use the same program, with a single buddy list, to message buddies on AIM, Yahoo, ICQ, MSN, Jabber, Novell Groupwise, IRC... the list goes on and on
  • tabbed conversation windows - keep all of your conversations in the same window and just click tabs to switch between them
  • supports easy, hassle-free secure encryption with an optional plugin - note the "Tx: plain Rx: plain" buttons in the screenshot - those indicate / select secure vs. plain text
  • incredible conversation logging, organized by buddy and by date and time - see bottom mini-screenshot
  • never any worries about spyware or ads or demands for registration or any other crap - it's open source!

You can download GAIM itself here, and if you're interested in the encryption plugin (and you SHOULD be, unless you're comfortable with the idea of bored law enforcement types sniffing your conversations for "interesting" keywords - which you SHOULDN'T be), you can find it here. You may also want to take a look in general at the available-but-not-bundled plugins; in particular I do use the "Extended Preferences" plugin as well as the aforementioned encryption plugin.
Tags: alpha geek

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