Tag Archives: trillian

Trillian 5 for Instant Messaging


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Derrick is a fan of instant messaging applications, just as I’m sure most of you are. Each of us has our own preference when it comes to an all-in-one program. Some may love Adium while others swear that Pidgin is the only way to go. However, Derrick feels strongly that the newest version of Trillian will make you want to leave other IM clients behind.

Derrick admits that he was never a fan of Trillian 3 or Trillian Astra. He feels that #3 was lacking in nearly every way… and that Astra had the same shortcomings with an interface that was seriously overdone. He says it was too busy and over-crowded, and I have to agree.

The beta for Trillian 5 was recently released into the wild, and it has been seriously improved. The first thing you’ll notice is how quickly it starts up – and how much it looks as though it was made for Windows 7. That is likely because it was designed for the newest OS from the Microsoft campus. The interface was carefully designed to integrate with your operating system.

The client is more comprehensive, with more types of feeds – including Facebook events and Twitter searches. It’s flexible and will store feeds in your contact list or system tray. Instant updates to all of your services are just one click away, which is likely why Derrick feels this is the fastest IM client he’s ever used.

Links and pictures are expanded automatically so that you don’t ever have to open a web browser if you don’t want to. You can also view things such as “likes” directly within the client, as well as being able to read and write comments.

In past versions of this IM client, users had issues receiving files coming from friends using different clients, and not being able to video conference with people who weren’t also using Trillian. With this new version, that is no longer an issue. Derrick reports that he was easily able to video conference with a friend of his who was using Digsby.

Trillian can connect you to AIM, Windows Live, Yahoo, Google Chat, Facebook Chat, Jabber, Skype and more. It even has support for Foursquare and LinkedIn! There’s a comprehensive library of plugins, skins and skin packs. This lets you customize Trillian in whatever way suits you best.

Going by what Derrick has shown us, this Alpha release is definitely worth a try – and one to watch grow into full release. I have a feeling many of you will be making a switch (or upgrade) to this as soon as it’s available.

Thanks, Derrick, for a fantastic screencast.

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What All-in-one Instant Messenger Should You Use?


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What do you use for your default instant messenger? There are so many options out there, it’s hard to choose since everyone is on different clients. That’s when you should check out an all-in-one. There are several of them out there that work well. Some people prefer Trillian. I use Adium on OS X. There’s one for Windows called Digsby that I can’t stand… but hey, others like it!

There’s a new cross-platform all-in-one instant messaging client available though. Instantbird works quite well on all three main operating systems out there. Best of all, it runs off the Mozilla engine!! Nice, eh?

With Instantbird, you can chat on several different IM environments all at once: Yahoo, AIM, MSN, Google Talk, Gadu-Gadu, ICQ, IRC, QQ and XMPP! Yep… IRC. That means you can come chat with us in our live chat room right from within Instantbird!

Did I mention that this client is free as well? The interface is unobtrusive… and very clean. It’s there to let you instant message, and that’s about it. I like that. I get so tired of clients that try to make themselves “look good”… and see them fail miserably.

Download Instantbird and check it out for yourself today. You might just find yourself making a permanent switch.

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Trillian Astra Instant Messaging Alpha Preview

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Have your meeting online, with GoToMeeting. You can get a free 45-day trial at GoToMeeting.com/ChrisPirillo.

During the GoToMeeting, racedude showed us the Alpha version of the new Trillian Astra. There are some very cool new features and enhancements.

Trillian Astra is a free program that integrates all your instant messaging applications into one program. It cuts out the need to have several different programs running all at once. Not only does Trillian Astra integrate your instant messengers, it also provides instant access from anywhere, and allows you to showcase the real “you”… via a dynamically updated instant profile.

So what’s new in Trillian? For starters, the skin and colors are completely different. The look and feel of the application itself is just unlike any previous version. There are many themes and color schemes to choose from, and now they can be changed inside of the program without having to restart it!

The contact list is much more organized and detailed. You can easily manage your contacts and widgets using the easy interface, instead of having to use a wizard like the old versions.

The message window has dramatic changes to it. There is a drawing mode, pause during file transfer capability, instant knowledge bar, and much more.

Lastly (but NOT least), the overall performance has improved. Between loading multiple plugins, parsing and initializing XML-driven skins, and establishing connections to your IM accounts, the time it takes to fully load Trillian has a tendency to decay over time. We’ve improved performance across the board when loading Trillian to eliminate the needless “wait time” between launching the application and actually using it.

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Miranda vs. Trillian

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.

AIM Pro for AOL Instant Messaging

I needed to get on AIM, and apparently forgot to copy over my Trillian folder. I went to the Web in search for AIM Express, only to discover that it was currently down for the count. I really wasn’t feeling like installing AOL’s crapware, but (if I had to do anything) I thought I’d give the latest Triton build another shot. Before the installer process could begin, it told me that my copy of Windows wasn’t new enough – even though I’m running Windows Vista Beta 2. A quick-click into compatibility mode sent that dialog running, but just when I thought I was good to go – nothing happened.

I still needed to get to someone on AIM, so I went back to the AOL instant messaging portal in search of another IM binary to download. That’s when I noticed something new (?) in the sidebar: AIM Pro. It appears to be a way to help AOL users interface with the WebEx platform. However, in doing so, AOL has created an amazing product. I’m talking about AIM Pro, mind you – not any other AOL IM product. It’s not perfect, but AIM Pro is far less annoying than any other AOL IM product I’ve seen to date. I could easily recommend using AIM Pro over either Windows Live Messenger or Yahoo Messenger (though I’m still a Trillian fan). AOL needs to push AIM Pro over their other instant messengers. Jason Calacanis, are you listening?

Is Windows Live Messenger Your Friend?

Sean Carver is a rock star. No, seriously – he’s one of the guys at Microsoft who has always listened to my feedback. Not sure he’s always able to push my suggestions through the pipeline, but he really does listen (and I wish I could say that about more people I kenw). Microsoft just launched v8 of their Messenger product. It’s good, and I’d recommend it over previous versions of Microsoft’s IM client, but there are a few things that are holding it back from being great:

  1. Yay: Cleaner, more efficient UI. I’m still not going to switch from Trillian 2.0, but I’m not immediately turned off by Windows Live Messenger’s interface. It’s still a bit laden with oversights, but not so many that it’s painful to use.
  2. Boo: Advertisement overkill. Seriously, can’t I just pay to remove all ads from all Windows Live / MSN services? That, to me, would be worth $100 a year. Enough with the upsells, man – some of us just want to connect with friends and co-workers.
  3. Yay: Yahoo! IM interoperability is coming. While this is a huge step in the right direction, I think more people would opt for the Yahoo! IM experience – which is far less annoying and contains fewer (if any) ads.
  4. Boo: I don’t use MSN Spaces, I don’t use Windows Media Player, I don’t use Windows Live Mail, I don’t use Windows Live Search – but that’s all I can get to through Windows Live Messenger (go figure).
  5. Yay: You can easily change the color of the window. Sounds like a minor feature, but try a few different colors on for size. It’s kinda nice!
  6. Boo: Tabs still aren’t customizable at ALL – it’s either all or nothing. The “love” tab shouldn’t show me a dating site, it should show me places where I can order flowers for Ponzi. That, and the Xbox tab doesn’t seem to be pulling in my Friends list? That, and the Games tab is throwing back a JavaScript error. That, and the scroll wheel won’t let you scroll up and down through the tabs list. That, and the eBay tab doesn’t load my personal page. That, and I think Messengers Tabs are still half-baked and 90% useless.
  7. Yay: You can import favorites from your del.icio.us account. Of course, I don’t use del.icio.us because they’re still blocking Gada.be – but it shows that Microsoft is willing to think outside their own universe (if only for importing).
  8. Boo: You can’t control conversation fonts. I hate when people use 84pt Courier New to send messages to me. They think it’s wonderful – I don’t. And now, apparently, there’s no way of turning that off? Gah. Big mistake.

There, at least my impressions weren’t completely negative – but as I mentioned before, I’ll be sticking with Trillian 2.0 for the time being (going on record as stating that Trillian 3.0 is a performance dog). Windows Live Messenger 8.0 is certainly an improvement over 7.5. No instant messaging client is perfect, but if I were Microsoft, I’d start paying attention to Google. They hired the GAIM guy for Google Talk, ya know? No matter, I’m glad that Sean Carver’s team got this one out the door – but I want them to invite me into their office to make 8.5 a little more power-user friendly.