– Chris is asked what IM application he uses and what he would recommend for different operating systems. So, what instant messaging applications does he use?
Miranda is a popular choice for Windows systems:
Miranda IM is a multi protocol instant messenger client for Windows. Miranda IM uses very little memory and is extremely fast. It requires no installation and can be fitted on a single floppy disc. Its powerful plugin system makes Miranda IM very flexible. Only the most basic features are built in, but there are currently more than 350 free plugins available for download that allows users to extend the functionality of Miranda IM.
Adium is the IM application of choice under Mac OD X:
Adium is a free instant messaging application for Mac OS X, released under the GNU GPL and developed by the Adium team. With Adium, you can connect to any number of messaging accounts on any combination of supported messaging services and then chat with other people using those services.
Meebo is quickly gaining support as the IM client for mobile devices:
meebo.com is a website for instant messaging from absolutely anywhere. Whether you’re at home, on campus, at work, or traveling foreign lands, hop over to meebo.com on any computer to access all of your buddies (on AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, Google Talk, ICQ and Jabber) and chat with them, no downloads or installs required, for free!
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As reported tonight, I’ve switched from Trillian to Miranda (for several reasons). It’s been a pretty good experience so far, save a couple of random crashes. Here’s what I love about Miranda:
- Active development community cranking out updates frequently
- Slick interaction with popular and minor IM protocols
- Polished skins are readily available through the directory
- Fast startup and shutdown, relatively small memory footprint
- My buddy list is transparent (read: no background)
- I can see what IM clients and versions all my buddies are using
- There’s a decent “Find Updates” plugin available
- It’s a nice upgrade from Trillian 2.x’s feature set
- Individual message windows can contain useful info
- It’s open source – bonus!
Things I dislike about Miranda:
- It took a full day to configure to my liking
- Options are all over the map (in a disorganized config hierarchy)
- no full support for Skype (read: Skype must still be open)
- Skins aren’t applied program-wide (very frustrating)
- I can’t undo a specific font change I made
- You can’t set a universal buddy icon easily
- User experience lacks the polish of Trillian’s
- Some cryptic error dialogs
- It was designed with geeks in mind
- I’ve been having problems with MSN connectivity
- Random crashes with no easy way of recovering open convos
- I can’t access more than one account on any single network
- It doesn’t auto-organize incoming IMs by preset protocol groups
I’ll stick with Miranda for the time being. If Trillian 4.x can lick the performance issues that dog 3.x, I’ll go back to it. No word on when the new version will be unleashed, though.