From Gaim to Pidgin
Although I knew about it for quite some time, I’ve only recently installed Pidgin, previously known as GAIM and the new version of my preferred “Instant Messaging”-client. I don’t know exactly the reasons for their name changing, but I believe it had something to do with a complaint from AOL.
Anyhow, I’ve been using Instant Messaging for at least ten years now and have had lots of fun with it. It all started with ICQ back at the university, followed by a Yahoo!-account because that’s what my girlfriend installed on her PC. Later on I had to get myself an Msn-account as well, because that was what more and more friends had as their only IM-client.
I believe it must have been then when I started looking for an alternative to having 3 different IM-clients running all the time. I tried Trillian for a while, but it never lived up to my expectations. You can imagine I was glad I found the open-source IM-client GAIM, especially since by then I also had a Google Talk account which came by my Gmail-account and I had been playing around with Jabber for work-related stuff.
Ever since then I’ve been using GAIM, not only in my spare time but as I mentioned also for work. We were working on a iDTV-client based on MHP and XMPP, which is the same protocol Google uses for Google Talk. So I was in fact able to talk someone who was watching TV and I could see in his status message which TV-show he was watching at that time. In fact we also had a PDA-client so we could chat with eachother from a range of different devices, which we liked very much at the time 😉
After this GAIM improved very much, I tend to believe mostly thanks to Google’s Summer of code where GAIM was one of the most popular projects. And now they changed to Pidgin and I must say I’m very pleased with the result so far. I know about Web-based IM-clients like Meebo and I believe they are very useful if you’re having proxy-troubles at work or if you are using a different PC all the time, but for me Pidgin will be the client to use for quite a long time to come I think.
To end one very nice feature which I’m not sure other IM-clients provide. At the moment I have several msn-accounts. One personal, one for work and one for SoccerProject. With Pidgin I can be logged on at all three of them at once or at only one or none, just however I like. So being able to be logged on to more than one account of the same type at the same time is a big plus for me.