Multiple communications channel

Most people on the net nowadays have more than one digital identities when it comes to instant messaging. Be it because you want to keep job contacts separate from friends, family from acquaintances, wife from mistresses, etc. How to you connect to all those people however when, for example, MSN Live messenger will only allow you to connect to one account at a time?

You move to a third party application which will allow you to connect to more accounts at once, perhaps to more providers and maybe, in some cases, to providers of completely different means of communication. In my journey I’ve tried a gazillion of those programs and finally, after a ten year span of testing, I decided on which one application serves my needs better.

The best four application, out of the ones I did use, are the following:

1. Pidgin
2. Qnext (available on Linux as well)
3. Digsby
4. Voxox

1.pidgin.jpg Pidgin is probably the best program of the bunch. It’s almost certainly the lightest (in terms of cpu/memory consumption), it’s rather fast, it connects to practically ANY provider (AIM, GTALK, ICQ, MSN,YAHOO,etc. -even has a QQ thing I’ve no clue what it is), it supports plugins that allow it to expand even more (support for facebook, myspace, even basic SKYPE support), it offers some nifty, clever features (like keeping you informed of whether someone started typing a message to you, even if they don’t ever send it to you – and I’m talking about a person who you don’t have an active conversation with. The application will just open up a new window saying, “you feel a disturbance in the force” so that you know who’s typing you a message). Other than that, it supports custom emoticons, huge messages (don’t even know how many characters), but.. file transfer’s just impossible, disconnects are more often than not and the general experience, although as complete as it may be, it does leave a sour taste. Homepage here or Download here!
2. qnext.jpg Qnext is the one I’ve been using after the last 4-5 hard drive formats. I like this program. It doesn’t offer all the features that pidgin boasts but the ones it does offer are nicely made and best of all, they don’t cause the program to crash (as in the case of some others I may recollect) or disconnect (as in pidgin’s case). It supports the most widely used providers, AIM, ICQ, JABBER, MSN, YAHOO, GTALK and FaceBook and MySpace as well. It supports voice chat (haven’t actually used it, so I can’t comment), webcams (it actually does work – pidgin does not offer video chat, at least not at the time of writing), it features animated, themed chat windows (there’s ants behind my chats!!! Cool) and more. Most importantly, it does not crash, it does not disconnect. However, it does not support custom emoticons (a dead minus for many), it has a 400 character message limit, does support coloured messages, supports file transfers on all providers (better than pidgin’s but still not great – actually on the slow side) and more. One thing I don’t particularly like is the fact that as soon as the system get’s a new IP, Qnext will inform you that it needs to disconnect and restart; no clue why that is but if you can live with it, you’ll enjoy the application. Homepage here or Download here.
3. digsby.png Digsby is probably one of the cutest applications I’ve used. It certainly is the only one that supports Twitter in a way that it works. It also boasts themed windows (I love the ones that make the chat go up in bubbles like a comic conversation), it supports all the widely used providers (I’m certain for AIM, MSN, YAHOO, GTALK), don’t remember if it supports video conferencing or not, but there’s one thing that greatly got on my nerves and ultimately led me to uninstalling it. As soon as a connection to a provider disconnects during a chat with one of your contacts, the application decides that it is OKAY (which, it definitely is NOT) to send the messages after the disconnection through one of the other accounts. So, if for example I have an account called “IamAfamilyMan” and I use it to talk to my wife (that’s an example okay?), and then I have another account called “MyBitchesAreNotStupidLikeMyWife” and I use that one to contact my girlfriends, I MOST CERTAINLY DO NOT want the application to use them interchangeable. Unfortunately, this is bound to happen. If my first account disconnects while I’m talking with my wife, it will use the second account to send her the new messages. Imagine how happy that will make her. So, no, although it’s the cutest little program, I cannot overlook that highly disappointing flaw. Homepage here or Download here!
4. voxox.jpg Voxox is the last in my collection. I love this program. I do. It has all the right features that could make it top notch. Unfortunately, the right features are not made right. The program is a BEAST! It will suffocate the most powerful machine, it will suck all the memory and drain the processor. I love the colours (the black theme is awesome), love the fact that it’s going heads on against skype (even offers phone calls, phone rates, video conferencing, etc. through a Voxox network), even offers sms messaging, etc. I do love the application. If only it wasn’t so resource hungry. I’d still be using it. I’m trying to recall if it also uses accounts interchangeable like Digsby does but unfortunately, it’s been long since I last used it so it wouldn’t be fair to just speculate. Homepage here or Download here!

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MGR: the Intelogist

About MGR: the Intelogist

SharePoint Server developer, turned Sitefinity developer, turned Angular developer, turned SharePoint Online consultant, turned Unily consultant, turned O365 consultant... Never a dull moment!

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