Instant Messenger Programs
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Wednesday, 22 June 2005

  I wasn't bored... I was just wondering....

...about all the IM (Instant Messenger) programs out there that I haven't plonked with for a while (or in some cases at all) and at the moment there is quite a few, more than I ever thought there would be, how some survive I have no idea but good luck and all the best to them because the famous 4 (ICQ, AIM, MSN & Yahoo!) could certainly do with a wee poke in the rear end every now and then.

AIM I guess to a certain extent I'm stuck in a IM rut, MSN 7 is cool, Yahoo!'s latest beta is ok too, ICQ, well that's my all time favourite still and AIM, well what can I say.. it doesnt like me and I'm not overly fond it either but I will keep trying. Overall it's really hard to beat the famous four when it comes to staying in the touch the majority of your friends and with the likes of Trillian leading the charge offering all in one access it's increasingly difficult to look beyond the big boys but look I did :) forum for Instant Messenger Help, Support, Smileys & PlonkingOur forum is a great melting pot for not only ppl and advise but also for a heads up regarding what ppl have stumbled across and what they are using.. messenger programs being one of them. I was doing a quick catch up the other day, having a poke around All The Rest and decided I'd scoot around and see what new messengers are available, what's no longer and what's still hanging in there...

Eyeball ChatI was really pleased to see that Eyeball is still around. It was first released in October 2000, interoperability with AIM, MSN & Yahoo! arrived in November 2001 so if you're that way inclined you can chat to your AIM, MSN & Yahoo! Messengers friends as well... and they offer some of the best quality video/webcam around, overall it's well worth checking out.

OdigoOdigo is still hanging in there, how and even why I have no idea. I never actually grasped the concept of it really, last time I used Odigo it was about chatting to friends and dropping notes on websites that other Odigo users could see... strange that, but I was interested to see what direction it was heading in so I trotted along to check it out. Their site seems to go up and down more times that I get up to refil my coffee bucket, that could just be me though and after 5 attempts today I finally managed to get on and found out that "From 1/1/2005 Odigo will no longer be interoperable with other IM accounts", poor them :( I tried to take their Grand Tour, but it bombed under Avant, IE and Firefox... I might check it out again another day...

PaltalkA big wooohooo and ^5 to Paltalk it's coming leaps and bounds. Paltalk offers compatibility with AIM , MSN, Yahoo! and ICQ, Voice and Video, offline messages (*cough* come on MSN you know you want to give us this "must have" feature) and they offer a user support forum which reminds me, Hello also offers a user support forum and if you're heavy into sharing your digital photos it too is well worth Hello downloading. We've only just started to cover Hello but hopefully it'll hang in there despite being thumped by Yahoo!'s latest beta version which now offers photo sharing. The pro for Yahoo!'s beta and their take on photo sharing.. they have a "pointer" which you can use over your photos and it's so handy e.g I was standing right there or what's that there?, the downside to Hello is no pointer which initally wasn't a problem, until you've used Yahoo!'s beta and then you miss it terribly. The upside to sticking it out with Hello (and it soooo isn't their smileys) is the tabbed interface (no IM windows scattered all over your screen) and that Hello offers an amazing history which inserts thumbnails of the photos right at the place you inserted them into your conversation, so when you download/save or view your chat history you have a great reference to the photos and what you were talking about, it also links the thumbnail directly to the full sized image... you have to see it to believe it but all photo sharing addicts will truly appreciate this.

Miranda Miranda is still going strong and it was really cool to see that it could still be run from a floppy (or similar eg memory stick etc), it offers interoperability with just about everything you can think of and at the moment is offering 444+ plugins which can easily be used to expand the basic messenger that you download. Like Miranda, Easy Message Express is also a really small download (251kb) and it offers compatibility with MSN, AIM, ICQ, and Yahoo! so if your stuck for space or short on resources this another good one to test drive.

Yahoo MessengerI stumbed across imvite their site states "IMVITE seized a unique opportunity to introduce an exciting IM platform that rewards its users with cash. It was simple common sense: why Instant Message for free when you can Instant Message for free and earn money at the same time?" not really my cup of tea at all, personally I'd rather pay for an IM service than join a program like this but each to their own. imvite offers interoperability with MSN, AIM, Yahoo!, and ICQ, file transfer, a shopping cart (you earn from your purchases and your referals purchases), google search, news headlines and advertising banners... umm.. yeah... *cough*

BitWise IM PersonalBitWise IM Personal supports IM for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux and is a great contender offering Messaging (of course :D ), File Sharing, Whiteboards, Voice, Encryption, Privacy, Conferencing, Presence, Logging, Offline IMs, Direct Connect, typing notification, invisibility and a tabbed interface, they also have a user support forum. Yes I'm a complete BitWise newbie user but it's.. well it's just brilliant so far. You can download in a variety of flavours as per your operating system and if you're after a kick start then when you sign up you can request 3 super buddies to help show you the ropes and boost your friends list. BitWise has no emoticons/smileys but it seems these maybe coming in spring... here's hoping :)

Qnext Qnext was exactly that, next on my list, their site is impressive. Qnext offers Universal Messenger (MSN, ICQ, Yahoo! & AIM), Audio Chat, Video Conferencing, Photo Sharing, File Transfer, File Sharing, Group Text Chat, Online Gaming, Music Streaming, IRC etc and you get little added bonuses like spell checking and CC messaging. Qnext is powered by Java 5.0 and it packsMSN Messenger a heafty download at a little over 27mb... as a dialup user I'm thinking and (hoping!) its going to worth it in the long run. They have a community support forum, offer extensive help documentation and one of the major perks of Qnext seems to be the allowance of really large files which is cool if you do a lot of massive file transfers, nothing is more frustrating than being limited to 1-5mb file sizes. After a partial download during the day and the remaining overnight, I set about installing, Qnext required a massive 83.4mb of disk space *cough* and at first run it needed a combined update of a little over 1.3mb, this is akin to watching paint dry for a dialup user but update I did.I've only been using Qnext for less than 24hrs... but it seems kind of cool and I'm going to persist with learning the ropes.

Devil Messenger Cow SkinDevil Messenger still hasn't resurfaced and I doubt after all this time it will ever come back but I really liked their cow skin :( I was going to take IM2 for a spin as posted by Shalah but I couldn't seem to raise the site and there's still a heap of IM's out there that I'm yet to try or take for a proper spin around the block. Skype is brilliant if you're a heavy voice user (which I'm not) freshtel's offering of firefly might also appeal to voice users. There's camfrog for video/cam chat fans, ineen seems to cater to most IM's needs offering Audio, Video Conferencing, Call Recording, Call Transfer, Call Logs & Missed Call Indicator. e-messenger lets you stay in touch with your MSN, ICQ, Yahoo! friends without the need for program installation (you use a JavaScript enabled browser instead), inspeak is another jam packed program offering instant messages online and offline, voice and video, send (and resume) file transfer, chat rooms, icons and skins.. on and on it goes... there really is no reason not to IM these days :)

For more information of the progams outlined above check out Instant Messenger Programs Available

Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 May 2007 )