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Trying out the Java ICQ client, ICQ2Go, and it works through the firewall! You might have to change to “HTTP request” to get things going. So I am logged onto ICQ at this very instant.
Right now, on the iBook, my IM client is Fire. The Jabber server I was using decided it was going to close down, and I really couldn’t be arsed going through the whole process over again.
I’ve been using IRC a bit more, but haven’t stabilised on a client.
I’ve recently started using Jabber and I wish I’d explored it a bit more before. You can use it to connect to all the networks at once, in a different way to Trillian (you don’t connect to the networks, you connect to a jabber server and it connects for you) though, as usual, AIM seems be causing problems.
Right at this instant I’m using a client called Psi, which doesn’t behave like most OS X apps being compatible through QT rather than native, but it seems to be the best one out there. It’s available for pretty much any OS, Windows, Linux, whatever.
I do advise you to check it out. If you’re not techy you might find it confusing, but you can drop me a line and I’ll give you a hand if you like.
I used to IM quite a bit but then… I don’t know, the appeal kind of wore off. I still do sometimes, though.
At home, I’m likely to be on multiple networks, since I’m currently using Trillian. I don’t like MSN Messenger, because I don’t like the way Microsoft are trying to make it compulsory to have it under XP. I don’t like AIM because AOL are generally crap, though they have at least gone with Netscape as their browser so that’s something. Yahoo are okay.
ICQ is owned by AOL but has a nice shiny new client (ICQ Lite) that you can send text messages from, which I recommend if you don’t want to use Trillian. I like to have the individual clients hanging around anyway, just in case something goes horribly wrong.
It’s the best IM solution for Windows machines. Don’t bother getting all the individual programs, just get Trillian instead – it looks nicer, it’s smaller, and you can use every network at once, as well as IRC. And it’s free, or, rather, there is a free version that has pretty much all the functionality you could want and no ads.
I actually have the paid version of Trillian. I donated some money to them before there was a paid version, and when they announced it they sent me a code. I donated less money than the actual cost of the software ($25) but they sent me it anyway. See? Being nice does pay off, once every milennium.
These are ones that aren’t the products of the major networks.
- Fire (OS X) – open-source multi-network client, looks good, works
- Proteus (OS X) – shareware multi-network client
- Psi (all platforms) – Jabber client (so intrinsically multi-network) looking a bit like ICQ
- Gaim (nix & Windows) – A multiple-network IM client for Linux with more features than EveryBuddy, a better name and the advantage that it works. Windows version available now.
- EveryBuddy (nix) – a Trillian-esque Linux client that does multiple networks. Unfortunately, it has a terrible name, and it stopped working on my machine.
- LICQ (*nix) – runs ICQ, looks nicer than EveryBuddy and you know, that does matter.