Bannerless IM

Fundamentally fed up with the omnipresent MSN banners and funky interface and spurred on by yesterday's Adium install, I went out and got Gaim for Windows, which, having reached 1.0.1, fixes most of the issues I had with it on Linux.

Fortunately, one of the recent enhancements is that it allows you to remove the hideous toolbars and most of the decoration, and, coupled with the GTK-Wimp Windows GTK theme, it looks and feels like a native application. Since I use IM extensively at work (you just try swapping IP addresses, URLs and log excerpts over the phone), it is getting a fair bit of hammering and, despite the usual amount of Yahoo disconnects and MSN time lag funkiness, it mostly works.

And yeah, it crashes too, and seems to have trouble remembering my font, sound and buddy list groups, but not having banner ads, funky chrome decorations and ridiculous buddy icons on my screen more than makes up for it.

A Jab on MSN

Nevertheless, if you really like the MSN look and feel but want to talk to Jabber clients, Melo just dropped this on me - it's a Jabber proxy for MSN clients that acts as a SOCKS server and does the required protocol translation - A work of genius, if you ask me, and perfect for in-house IM without any extra client software.

I can't help thinking that it's ironic that the Jabber community, being unable to produce a single "pure Jabber" client with a half-way decent interface, can now use MSN's polished (and very slick) UI.

Other Stuff

  • Talking about polished and slick: Overshadowed, via Bruno.
  • There's a Tiger developer overview online now, plus more snippets.
  • Fancy a 5-megapixel phone? The Samsung/SCH-S250 might be just the thing. I wonder how good it really is though...
  • Still, it's a bit more interesting than the Motorola/A768i.
  • The übergeek watch. Yep, it runs Linux. Oddly enough, only one of the photos has a working clock face. You figure out the rest.
  • A decent use for RFID - digital wallets. For the Sci-Fi fans in the audience: I wonder how long it will be until we get Jovian Bank credit disks?
  • Skype going to add video? Hmmm... I hope they do the right thing and go H.264, instead of those ugly protocol shims. And yeah, it was a big mistake not using SIP in any shape or form. Oh, and I bet Russell is going to be all over the Symbian version when it comes out, especially if he gets a Nokia/6630 to run it on.
  • Speaking of which, some previews are popping up. And yes, the MMC card hinge is stronger than it looks - I half expected it to snap off when I picked one up, but it held.

Oh, I nearly forgot: Today's Moment of Zen is... the only TV remote you'll ever need.