August 27 2007

IM Programs

IM Programs
I noticed something this morning when I started my computer at work that annoys the hell out of me: IM programs.When did it become so insane that I have to have four IM programs open at all times? I’m not even counting Skype in all this, though I always have it on, but I meant just true, dedicated IMing programs!Before I go any further, yes, I am aware of Trillian, I tried it, I hated it.I constantly try to convince friends to switch from one program to another in the vain hope I will be able to dump one IM service from the rotation, but just as I make inroads to that end, someone else pops up. Most recently, I thought I was freed of MSN, but oh no, two friends decided to jump from AIM to MSN this past week. Those bastards!The sad thing is, each messenger has their pros and cons, and I honestly am not 100% love with any of them, but they’re all necessary to me. So, here are my brief thoughts on each, something I have planned for ages, but just never gotten to.AOL Instant Messenger - AIMAOL Instant Messenger (AIM) – One of the older instant messenger’s out there, and it does show that age at times. Sluggish, crash-prone, but it gets the job done… sometimes. I think the problem is that everyone has just come to accept it as the standard, and AOL, to their defense, hasn’t seen a lot of reason to mess with “success”.

Google Talk - GtalkGoogle Talk (Gtalk) – The newest kid on the block, and probably set to become one of the more popular ones since it integrates with Gmail seamlessly. I know it’s labeled as a “beta” (is there anything made by Google that isn’t labeled as a “beta”?), but it is still sporting a very “Web 1.0” feel to it. I mean, I know it’s silly, but it doesn’t even have emoticons yet? I do love the fact it saves all your conversations, if you like, to your Gmail account for easy reference later on. Yes you can log conversations with all the programs now, but the centralized saving maks retrieval easy and searchable.

Windows Live Messenger - MSNWindows Live Messenger (MSN) – My feelings on this one swing radically. One day I’ll love it, the next I want to see it burn to the ground. And the sad thing is, I’m not sure I could even tell you why. I just really don’t like the feel of the program for some odd reason. I do like the ability to add emoticons (some of mine have gotten pretty odd), and voice clipping is nice a short voice burst, but overall, something about this program just never feels right.

Yahoo Instant Messenger - YIMYahoo Instant Messenger (YIM) – Oh Yahoo… I think they just can’t decide where this one is going honestly. It works, but it just feels like the forgotten step child of instant messaging sometimes. Yes, it has a lot of the same features as the others, but they just don’t feel as well executed for some reason. I try to avoid this one the most, but I still end up on it quite often.

Now, true, I didn’t cover ICQ, but I haven’t used it in years. I know there is a seeming “geek street cred” to using it, but it just never appealed to me much.

I think when it all comes down to it, it’s all about personal preference, and what feels best to you. For right now, I’m really liking Gtalk, but that could always change by tomorrow. Secondly I would probably go MSN, then AIM, and lastly with Yahoo. But, again, it’s all about what feels right to you.

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