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Six Multi-Service IM Clients Reviewed

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the trillian-for-the-win dept.

258

mikemuch writes "It's been a while since AOL stopped trying to jam third-party IM clients, and their use is now a fairly common desktop experience. ExtremeTech has posted a roundup of free alternatives to the standard IM software from the big boys — AIM, Yahoo Messenger, and MSN (now Windows Live) Messenger. The products are a mixed bag, some of them Web 2.0-based, like the excellent meebo and the ad-heavy eBuddy. Most give you combined message windows with tabs. GAIM is now Pidgin, Meetro tries to get you chatting with locals, and Trillian, now at version 3.1, remains the client to beat."

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And on Mac OS X... (5, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19445979)

...as noted in the article [extremetech.com] but not in the summary, the "client to beat" is the excellent free, open source, GPL-licensed, and highly customizable Adium [adiumx.com] (more info [adiumx.com] ).

(The summary does mention the other five of the six clients reviewed in the article.)

Re:And on Mac OS X... (1, Redundant)

imamac (1083405) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446037)

It' been a while since I've tried Adium ad I wasn't impressed with it's interface design. It seems I should try it out again, if it is indeed the one to beat.

Re:And on Mac OS X... (2, Informative)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446585)

It hit 1.0 a while back (currently at 1.0.4, I think), and it's definitely the one to beat.

My only gripe with it so far is that it won't kick my Yahoo user off another client in the (frequent) case that I forgot to shut down my IM client at work and try to use it at home. It has no problem ousting MSN or AIM, and other clients have no trouble with Yahoo either, so I know it's possible. Probably just a bug.

Re:And on Mac OS X... (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446049)

Your posts more misleading than the /. summary, the conclusion of the article isn't that at all, only that adium is the best for the Mac.

From TFA "For pretty much every capability of the standard IM clients plus extras like extensive message history and emotiblips, get the paid version of Trillian If you're a Mac user, your chief alternative at this point is Adium. Two more choices along these lines are the PCMag.com-recommended SightSpeed and the Swiss Army knife-like Raketu."

Re:And on Mac OS X... (1)

yakumo.unr (833476) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446065)

arg, tired, didn't spot your posts title till after I'd submitted, I'd only seen the text, sorry :(

Re:And on Mac OS X... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446187)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If the name "Clarus" means nothing to you, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real [imageshack.us] Mac [imageshack.us] users [imageshack.us] . Keep your filthy, beige [imageshack.us] PC fingers to yourself.

Apple is a commercial product. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446601)

As a commercial product, you have no right to complain about people who buy Apple products, using Apple products. You do not own Apple, and you do not maintain any Apple code. Apple does not belong to you. Talk all you want about "bandwagon jumpers", but the right of elitism belongs only to those who compile their own software.

Re:Apple is a commercial product. (1)

die444die (766464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446995)

Apple is a company, not a product.

Re:And on Mac OS X... (1)

chrispl (189217) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446989)

As a recent convert from Windows and Trillian, Adium really impressed me. Fast, non-bloated, gorgeous UI, very customizable. The only thing that Trillian has it beat on is support of video and audio chat.

Also, it satisfies my need of having an animated Domo-kun in my dock letting me know if I have any IMs.

One word (4, Insightful)

darkwhite (139802) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446011)

Kopete?

Re:One word (1)

brilinux (255400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446111)

I have used Kopete, and was impressed, though there were some features that I found to be rather annoying, such as how conversations seemed to take up a lot of screen space and it seems to make you want to click a lot... it has been a while, though... perhaps I will go back and give it another whirl.

Re:One word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446495)

Choose a different theme, there are loads available. Big eye candy OS X style right down to minimal text.

Re:One word (1)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446147)

I've used kopete for some years now, but I'm getting increasingly irritated with certain things about it. I'm hoping KDE 4 brings some genuine innovation back into the client, because it used to be my favourite for a reason - I just feel like development has stagnated lately.

Re:One word (-1, Flamebait)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446543)

I had a name for Kopete. "The Worst Program in the World", I think I called it.

Re:One word (1)

The_Unforgiven (521294) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446785)

Any reason for this? I use Kopete and won't claim it's the greatest ever, but I like it. What don't you like?

My only real complaint is that I can't see a way to do away messages longer than one line (not a big deal, though), and that coming back from away leaves the auto-respond message up. Minor annoyances, maybe even just options I haven't found the switch for.

Re:One word (0, Flamebait)

biscon (942763) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446893)

well how great for you. Care to explain why? otherwise I think you should shut your mouth when the grownups speak

Re:One word (1)

etheranger (1100099) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447069)

I use gaim^H^H^H^H pidgin and kopete. Kopete has some nice features that have yet to be put into pidgin (msn status messages, for one) and integrates nicely with the rest of KDE, mainly KMail and KAddressBook, but at least on my system there are some annoying bugs and missing features.

File transfers sometimes work, more often than not they download v e r y s l o w l y, and then for some reason save an empty file. With regards to sending, there's no indication in any way that you're sending a file until it's accepted. Given the hit and miss functionality of the requests, there's no way of knowing if the request got through.

The IRC module is sadly lacking too, many commands (/whois, i mean come on...) don't work and for some reason it sometimes doesn't register nick changes. The statistics plugin, enabled by default, also slows down the startup time by an increasing amount for some reason. A while ago it got to the point where the program actually started doing something useful about 5mins after it was called.

IMO, kopete is good, but lacks a lot of polish.

bsflite (4, Informative)

John Nowak (872479) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446069)

If you want a very lightweight text-based IM client for *nix, try bsflite [sourceforge.net] . I've been very happy with it.

Re:bsflite (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446565)

That's just AIM, though. The article is talking about multi-service clients.

I'd just about kill for a command-line client that worked /well/ with Jabber, AIM, and MSN.

naim too. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446851)

From Debian's package: "A console client for AOL Instant Messenger and IRC. Naim is a console-based client for AOL Instant Messenger, IRC, and Lily. It supports the TOC protocol and can store its buddylist on AOL's servers."

Miranda? (5, Informative)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446085)

What about Miranda [miranda-im.org] ? It starts out minimal, supports all the regular IM service, and lets you extend it as far as you want with addons (there are many to choose from).

Re:Miranda? (5, Insightful)

flakier (177415) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446135)

Beats the bloated trillian hands down. Not only that, source is free =) I can't believe it wasn't part of the article

Re:Miranda? (1)

uolamer (957159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447043)

ya, it reminds me of the basic interface of the first versions of ICQ, ive been using it for some time, works very well. Only issue i have had is Yahoo disconnects me often enough. Installing a few add ons made this thing quite nice.
Clients Homepage [miranda-im.org]

Re:Miranda? (1)

mnemotronic (586021) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446689)

I just cannot get Miranda to talk to my employer's email disaster -- Lotus Notes 7.0.2 (or previous versions of Notes for that matter). My co-workers who use GAIM? Plug & play baby, plug & play. I haven't the heart to uninstall Miranda because I've invested so much time and effort trying to configure it to work (don't tell my managers...) and because I'm a bit of an anarchist. For now I just limp along with the lamer than lame Notes IM client.

Re:Miranda? (1)

smtrembl (1073492) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446775)

Miranda is more than "minimal", it's also very practical. Not everybuddy needs a big yatch, an helico and a limousine to cross from office to office, and when we need to switch for transpotation means fast, without getting all pimped up each time, Miranda does it flawlessly.

Re:Miranda? (1)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446789)

Miranda is one of the most configurable, versatile and minimal multi-platform IM's out there... I've been using it since the early days and I'm rather disappointed in this ExtremeTech for not including it in their "review". It's also been around longer than some of these other clients they discuss, supports practically every protocol and has plugins that surpass the abilities of most of the other IM's they reviewed. The only thing that's missing is the eye candy of the more bloated IM's... so maybe ExtremeTech is run by kids?

Re:Miranda? (4, Interesting)

arashi no garou (699761) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446845)

Agreed. My favorite thing about Miranda is that it runs very well from a USB thumb drive. Put it with PortableFirefox, PortableThunderbird and a few other flash-friendly apps and you can take your entire internet desktop with you.

Trillian... (2, Informative)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446155)

I've been using Trillian for years and still like it the best. Gaim is nice in it's simplicity and cross platform use however. I keep trying Kopete but never use it frequently enough to adjust to its little quirks.

Re:Trillian... (1)

J44xm (971669) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446479)

I like Trillian a lot as well. I tried Gaim a few months back, but it couldn't handle Japanese for me, whereas Trillian does just fine with it. I wonder if this has changed in Pidgin or not.

Re:Trillian... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446883)

Same here for Trillian (Basic). It's not that bloated. In Linux, I use Gaim/Pidgin. If Trillian existed in Linux, I would use it too.

Re:Trillian... (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447025)

I wouldn't. Gaim supports so many more protocols than Trillian does (although Trillian does have a nicer UI). However, I don't like the idea of forking out $25 for the ability to use gtalk.

Re:Trillian... (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447063)

Yeah, it has missing features like Gtalk. Gtalk is useless for me to due to my speech and hearing impediments.

Re:On Gaim/Pidgin (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446887)

Someone help me...I can't for the life of me figure out where this "enable/disable" thing came from. It's not intuitive, it's somewhat crude, and a pain in the rear. It's not that way on the Linux version, but someone who did the windows port thought it was a good idea. I strongly disagree. A simple "log in/log out" would be a welcome step forward.

There's no great client. (4, Interesting)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446167)

I am quite disappointed by the choice of clients. MSN's client is bloated and I've asked them to add an option to STOP THOSE STUPID WINDOWS FROM BLINKING when you get a message when it was back in version 4. It's something like 11 now, and I have yet to see that little option.

Miranda IM is small and fast, but lacks in features and it has this annoying thing where the send control is disabled for a while after you send a message.

Trillian is the best of all but still has many bugs (slow, can't disable video/audio plugins which I never use, it doesn't update MSN names, it doesn't use upnp or let you forward ports yourself, etc etc).

Pidgin is rather nice but it lacks many features as well (ctrl+tabbing through windows never worked for me, pressing escape doesn't close the window, it constantly gets moved to the second screen, is rather slowish, etc).

It's too bad that with this many clients there isn't a great one. Trillian comes close, but it does need a bit of improvement still.

Re:There's no great client. (2, Interesting)

kevlarcoared (1079907) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446211)

In my opinion the msn client is ctually very good for everything except memory usage and how much CPU power it uses when it logs in (very annoying on dodgy wireless with a slow laptop). I tried pidgin, it crashed on me with in half a hour both times i used it, i haven't touched it since. I plan to try trillian when i get around to downloading and installing it, hopefully i will be pleasantly surprised, i never liked the old versions of it (about 3 years ago was the last time i used it)

Re:There's no great client. (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446329)

Well, MSN doesn't support tabs, which is very annoying. Trillian is better than MSN by leaps and bounds, and Pidgin did crash for me in the beta but the final version seems to run well...

Re:There's no great client. (1)

T-Bone_142 (917711) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446433)

If all you require is a messenger client that accesses the .NET Messenger Service (Windows Live Messenger) then give aMSN Messenger [amsn-project.net] a try. aMSN has most of the features of WLM (including web cam support), a vary active development team and isn't extremely bloated like lots of IM clients.

Re:There's no great client. (1)

otomo_1001 (22925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446527)

Adium is damn good. Open source, but mac only so there is that bit.

It has convinced everyone I know that im's a lot to get a mac. One was a trillian user as well.

That's the problem with generality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446553)

It's not just IM clients that suffer from this problem. Much of the software that tries to act as a general framework often is far inferior to targeted solutions.

Take NetBeans. Years ago, when it focused on only being a Java IDE, it was actually rather quick and efficient. Compared to JBuilder, it was extremely fast. But time has passed, and it has moved towards becoming a general-purpose application development framework. Yes, this does mean that it can now work with other languages and technologies. But the major downside of that has been significant performance loss.

On even a very fast, modern multi-core system with 2 GB of RAM, NetBeans can best be described as extremely slow. I suspect that part of this has to do with the use of Swing, which isn't exactly known as being the most resource-friendly GUI framework. Beyond that, the NetBeans architecture is very complex. This complexity may very well reduce the performance significantly.

Although it probably won't happen, I would like to see NetBeans return to its Java IDE roots. Say to hell with trying to be some ultimate framework. Instead, it could provide us with a sleek, effective Java development tool.

Re:There's no great client. (3, Informative)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446713)

I would like to retract some of what I said. I just downloaded the latest Miranda version to see how far it had gone and I must say that I am impressed. There are many plugins and it loads in under half a second on my 5 year old machine. I am confident that once I wade through the hundreds (literally) of options, I will have it working just the way I like it. I urge you all to try it. There is even a tabbed windows plugin, it looked good in the default install, I changed an option and now it looks like crap (literally, it's light brown).

Re:There's no great client. (1)

Kangburra (911213) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447021)

option and now it looks like crap (literally, it's light brown).


Hey, at least it matches my Zune! ;-)

Re:There's no great client. (2, Informative)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446771)

Trillian 4 seems pretty sturdy, and the featureset matches most of the native clients. Sadly all but critical fixes for the 3.x series seem to have ceased in favour of v4 development, but on the plus side it looks to be set to re-affirm Trillian's place as 'the best' of the multi-IM clients.

Re:There's no great client. (1)

deftcoder (1090261) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446919)

You can use Control-W to close windows.

Control-W also closes most dialog windows on Windows, GNOME/KDE, etc.

what? (1, Troll)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446193)

"and Trillian, now at version 3.1, remains the client to beat"

*pffffft* Oh, that's hillarious. ... ... ...
Wait, you were serious?
I've never liked Trillian, mostly because of it's ridiculous bloat, general non-conformance to any UI standard, costs more to be useful (Jabber), etc...

Re:what? (1)

flakier (177415) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446427)

So true, why do people keep showing it the love

Re:what? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446611)

Bloat? Where's the bloat, holmes? My kid runs it on a PPro 200, running windows 2000. Other than starting up, it's responsive and hell, doesn't even need installed (no COM junk!).

Do you equate skinability with bloat?

Re:what? (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446745)

On my PIII 700MHz running Win2k, it's unusable. Are you running the latest version?

Re:what? (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446769)

"Other than starting up, it's responsive"... and other than that one unfortunate mishap, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

Trillian takes longer to load than just about anything I've used (except Borland Developer Studio), and it slows the whole machine down while it does so. It's ridiculous because there doesn't seem to be any good reason - it's an IM client, not a game that has to cache hundreds of MB worth of textures.

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446751)

That's OK, they'll fix it Soon(TM) [wikipedia.org] :

The developers of Trillian were infamous for missing deadlines. During the long wait for Trillian "0.64", they coined the term "Soon(TM)", which gained notoriety as development time became longer and longer in later versions. As of May 2007, it has been twenty-seven months (more than two years) since the last stable release of Trillian.


I don't use Trillian (or Windows, even), but do people really tolerate this? I get impatient when one of my favorite programs goes a month without any updates. They all have blogs and mailing lists where the developers gush about the latest cool thing they're working on. And next week, "apt-get upgrade" gives it to me.

adless, one page (2, Informative)

froggero1 (848930) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446197)

ad free, single page version [extremetech.com]

Re:adless, one page (1)

LordVader717 (888547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446443)

Your link automatically redirects. What you need to to is just click "print" underneath the "Options" Column beneath the article.

pidgon/gaim is the only open source one, right? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446199)

why would I use some adware instead of open source?

Re:pidgon/gaim is the only open source one, right? (1)

ArcticFlood (863255) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446521)

Adium is open source but Mac only (based on libpurple). meebo isn't open source, but is also based on libgaim (now libpurple). Finch is Pidgin for the console. And then there's always the possibilities of using Jabber with a transport or using Bitlbee [bitlbee.org] .

Re:pidgon/gaim is the only open source one, right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446605)

Miranda is open source and vastly preferrable to Gaim on Windows. Sadly, it's Windows-only.

Trillian? (3, Insightful)

loconet (415875) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446233)

In this day an age where Linux on the desktop is more and more common, I don't consider an IM that only works on Windows a serious contender.

Re:Trillian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446683)

Well 10 times 0 is still 0 and all that.
Windows is still king and will remain king for a while to come.

Re:Trillian? (1)

Kooshman (248753) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446897)

I think it's more important that it only runs on Windows, not less. It puts yet more pressure on the cross-platform and Linux developers to measure up.

Pretty much every tool I use would run the same or better on Linux, minus the gaming habit, except Trillian. It has all the all the features I use and a small and clean UI. Not to mention the multi-megabyte chat logs covering over a half-decade I have that would need to be cleanly imported to any replacement. It is emblematic of exactly the kind of small, nagging problem of rolling over to Linux gives. Oh, and when an IM client can run on 90+% of desktops, I think it can be reasonably counted as a "serious contender."

Does anybody know if there's been decent progress towards getting Trillian to run better under WINE? That would be a good stopgap, being just annoying enough to keep running to keep interest in Linux native replacements.

Re:Trillian? (1)

lav-chan (815252) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447001)

You're right, Windows is definitely a niche market.

Re:Trillian? (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447087)

In this day an age where Linux on the desktop is more and more common, I don't consider an IM that only works on Windows a serious contender.

you might not. but in the larger market of IM users, how significant is Linux?

Trillian? Client to beat? (1)

ultramkancool (827732) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446237)

Trillian is a hunk of crap, how is trillian the client to beat? It can't even come close to many other clients. Anyways, they didn't mention the best IM client on earth: bitlbee

bitlbee, hello? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446249)

Is this really a Unix nerds site, or just another Windows/Mac GUI hangout in disguise?

bitlbee (2, Interesting)

weteko (1022621) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446269)

I personally enjoy bitlbee quite a bit more than any other IM client. Just connect with whatever IRC client you like and there you go! Perfect integration with emacs, no blinky lights, no nothing.

Re:bitlbee (1)

Jackmn (895532) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446849)

I had never heard of this prior to your post. I'll have to look into it, it looks quite clever.

Trillian (2, Insightful)

hattig (47930) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446273)

I found Trillian to be a horribly bloated, very unstylish, and difficult to configure application.

It seems that the only pluses it has is that it does modern internet communications media (voice and video) on these networks. I'm hoping that they've fixed the configuration system too since I last tried it.

Adium on the Mac is pretty damn good, and deserves the 8/10. 9/10 and 10/10 would be Adium with voice and video support respectively. The interface styles are all very sophisticated and configurable, and it's simply very usable.

And that's what matters, usability. I'd far rather have fewer features that I can use simply, quickly, and easily rather than more features that are exposed poorly via the interface. Of course I'd rather have usability and all the features, but I think that Adium (and the libpurple it's based around) will get voice, video and other proprietary features support at some point.

WinCE? (1)

kmahan (80459) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446277)

How about a port of Pidgin or some other open source (ad free) messenger for WinCE 5 (on an HTC Wizard)? The software that comes with the TMobile MDA blows (and uses SMS).

Re:WinCE? (1)

MysticOne (142751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446351)

I'd recommend Octro [octro.com] . I found it a few months back and have been very happy with it for the most part. It's a Jabber/GTalk client, but it works fine with transports to other networks and (if I'm not mistaken) the Octro people supply some as well. It also can use Google Talk's VoIP and I *think* allows access to the PSTN as well. Right now it's free because they're still testing it, and I think it's supposed to be commercial later, but it's definitely worth it. Oh, it supports file transfers too. I use it on my T-Mobile SDA.

Yahoo features (2, Interesting)

Frankie70 (803801) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446295)

The Yahoo client has some features all of
which aren't available on the other clients.

- At login time, itself you can invisible. In
some other clients, I have tried, you have first
login as visible & then change to invisiblw

- You can be invisible overall, but just visible
to one person or a group of people.

If I find a client in both of these features
are available, I'll switch.

Re:Yahoo features (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446827)

Trillian v3.1 can do this too for its ICQ, MSN, and AIM component. I log in invisibile as default.

What about Kopete (2, Insightful)

elrendermeister (832437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446301)

Oddly missing were a host of good Linux offerings like Kopete (the built in kde client).

Just as a middle finger to the lawyers (4, Funny)

Demona (7994) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446325)

They should have called it PING: Pidgin Is Not Gaim.

E_NOT_RECURSIVE (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446469)

Sorry but I had to throw an exception on this one; all that trouble and it's not even a recursive acronym? Should try to go for triple recursion!

PING Is Not GAIM
GAIM Ain't Incorporating a MOP
Move On to PING

YMMV
 

No, that doesn't work - it's PIG (1)

BKX (5066) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446541)

pig = pig IS gaim

now that would piss off some lawyers.

Re:Just as a middle finger to the lawyers (5, Funny)

zalas (682627) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446843)

How about: Pidgin Is Definitely Gaim In Nature
?

ebdy sux? fck tht plz dei k thx (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446449)

u suxor nwbi adz r ez 2 dfeet

SIM (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446457)

Seems like a biased review. Another missing good instant messenger is SIM [sim-im.org]

Trillian is one of the worst IM clients anywhere (0)

reidconti (219106) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446493)

How on earth can anyone sanction Trillian? Sure Windows UI is not the greatest thing in the world, but damn, it's as if the authors of Trillian tried their best to make it conform to no UI standard on the planet. The behavior of alt-tab with respect to chat windows and the buddy list is asinine, options are impossible to find, it's just.. downright TERRIBLE.

I use Adium on the Mac and really couldn't be happier. I wish there was something similar to use on my Windows laptop.

In Soviet Russia... (1)

feedmetrolls (1108119) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446499)

Message sends you!

QQ (2, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446539)

QQ and ICQ are very popular in China. I'm not sure why, but I thought I'd mention it.

have you heard the latest? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446555)

the son of god, jesus, said that linux still sucks.

Re:have you heard the latest? (2, Funny)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446933)

That was 2000 years ago! It's improved since then. Have him try it again.

Agree with the article (1)

moneyning.com (1112033) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446563)

I agree completely. I use Trillian Pro and love it. I can chat with different users and do not need 73 different icons to do so. It comes with keyboard short cut, supports most features too.

Interesting... (5, Interesting)

helmutvs (912204) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446631)

Any one else notice that the only product that got their little "ExtremeTech Approved" logo was Trillian Pro, which costs 25 dollars? An interesting choice for a list of Free clients.

No shock on trillian. (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446685)

I've been using trillian. Not for months, but YEARS! I've destroyed computers in shorter periods of time, and all I can say is Trillian is amazing. They don't ask for money, they don't try to cheat or guilt you, but their pro offerings are worth the cash if you need it. I've rarely had crashes (mostly when doing odd things) and in the last year their internet transfers are blazing fast (90K+ to AIM users).

Basically I want NOTHING more from trillian. It does everything it should in Basic and does it all well. It had tabs before the rest, it had logging before the rest. These are two of the most important niceties I've seen.

Trust me here, grab the basic, if you aren't happy think about the Pro but it's bar none the best out there, and I really have tried them all.

Re:No shock on trillian. (1)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446835)

"They don't ask for money"
unless you want Jabber support, which is more important to me than any other protocol. All of their free (and mostly open) competitors offer Jabber without charging $25 for it.

Re:No shock on trillian. (1)

Boogaroo (604901) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447017)

The only place I know that uses Jabber is work. Trillian basic is what's been working for me for years as well. Perhaps the pro version is bloated, but I never had a problem with it back on my 400mhz Celeron(ok, I had a gig of ram, but still). It was version 3.1 as well.

No plugins in Adium? (1)

Dekar (754945) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446717)

Plugins:

Adium - No

Oh right, they call them Xtras [adiumxtras.com] , so I guess they do not count...

Trillian Astra (Trillian 4.0) (1)

etherlad (410990) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446719)

Just 'cause no one else seems to have mentioned it:

Trillian Astra, a.k.a. Trillian 4.0, is in alpha-testing at the moment.

You can check out a feature preview here [trillianastra.com] . The memory footprint and speed are two of the things they've really worked on with this version, and it's got some pretty funky Web 2.0 functionality happening, too. (q.v. Trillian Mini [trillianmini.com] , this video [youtube.com] , etc.)

Pigdin and the windows version (3, Informative)

AntiTuX (202333) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446757)

Anyone else notice that they stated that there wasn't a windows version of Pidgin?

Email notification? (1)

Timothy Chu (2263) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446817)

Do any of these have email notification? My main reason for running Yahoo! messenger is for that. I have only one contact on it who I actually talk to.

Re:Email notification? (1)

freehunter (937092) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447065)

Trillian shows my AIM mail, even though I don't use AIM mail, so I am sure it would show Yahoo! and Hotmail, as well, if that is what you use.

Re:Email notification? (1)

transwarp (900569) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447095)

Do any of these have email notification?
Trillian does. I used to use it to let me know about yahoo and hotmail/MSN.

gaim is still my fav (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446819)

i think i just like it cuz its simple, the ui hasnt changed much over time and tabbed chat window plus integration of multiple types of accounts works smoothly and seamlessly. Pigin now looks nicer i think. Plus finally for windows version you can minimize to sys tray, in linux that was ofcourse already happening but i use both OS's and i hate when going back into a windows environment and little things just bug me after being easy and not annoying in linux.

Oh really... (1, Troll)

pb (1020) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446859)

Trillian, now at version 3.1, remains the client to beat.


What, did they release a Linux version? No? Then it's already been 'beaten', as far as I'm concerned...

Psi (1)

Inmatarian (814090) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446871)

I'm a big fan of Psi ( http://psi-im.org/ [psi-im.org] ). It's not a multi-service client in the strict sense, but if you find yourself a good jabber server with the right transports installed, it's just as good, if not better, than a multi-service client.

telnet (1)

dominious (1077089) | more than 7 years ago | (#19446909)

we all know that true geeks use telnet for IM with other geeks

What about.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19446961)

A free AIM client for Windows Mobile 6?

Agile messenger and their pay by the month crap has to go.

I vote trillian....barely (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447059)

Trillian has been 3.1 for well over a year and hasn't changed unfortunately.

I still use it, but with trepidation after discovering the hack-job workaround it uses to process aim:// links that no one ever uses.

See I had this problem with my old computer that, something...some nefarious process was causing my RAID array to access once every second. And since it was four heads seeking every second it was pretty loud despite my efforts to build a quiet box. So I used Sysinternals freeware FileMonNT to find out WTF was accessing my HD and lo and behold it was fucking trillian. Trying to read some goddamn file that didn't exist every two seconds, followed by NTFS filesystem logging a second later. Hence disk access every second.

I actually contacted cerulean studios about it and asked if they had any plans to fix it. One of their developers responded: "No."

Thanks guys!

Glad I didn't buy the "Pro" version...

meebo.com for me (1)

GweeDo (127172) | more than 7 years ago | (#19447103)

I have been using meebo.com for months now. It is great to have my full IM chat logs available any where. At work, home, pizza hut (they have free wifi), my parents house, anywhere. It just works great.
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