Thursday, January 29, 2009

All-in-One Chat Client

Recently, I came across a download list for Windows at One of the applications listed there was Pidgin, an IM Client that lets you chat on multiple protocols like Yahoo, Google, AIM and MSN. I have been using Pidgin for about a week now and have found it really useful. So here goes a quick and dirty review of Pidgin.

The download and installation experience was  very smooth. Once you install the software you then have to configure the accounts you will use Pidgin with. Of course, you can add more protocols later if you want.

One of the biggest advantages that I have seen of Pidgin is that it is very lightweight and does not take long to load. That means that Pidgin has to do away with niceties such as video and audio conversation. Having said that, one of the features I have taken a liking to is new mail notification. Pidgin will notify you of any new mails if you turn the option on.

Pidgin The other nice feature of Pidgin is that it neatly organises your groups from different chat clients. So if you have a group called “Friends”  in both gtalk and AIM, it will show up in one group under Pidgin. Pidgin, by default supports tabbed chatting. Though it is very convenient, sometimes, you can miss out when a new message comes in. Luckily, the customization options in Pidgin is quite exhaustive. If you go to preferences you can see a whole host of options.


For the want-all freaks who are not satisfied with the default features that Pidgin provides there is something in for you too; Plug-ins. Pidgin comes with a set of plug-ins, so you can include whatever you think adds “jazz” to your client. I have not quite started playing with them yet so I will hold my comments and suggestions. Pidgin is open source so you can also develop your own plug-ins. I will leave it at that for a start. As I said, I am still playing around with this so do feel free to leave me comments on Pidgin or anything else that you have come across.