Instant Messaging

So to contrast the things that suck post, something that definitely doesn’t suck.


My requirements for an instant messenger were fairly trivial and the main one was that it needed to connect to the MSN messenger network but unfortunately that ruled iChat out.

So my search ended with Adium and I have to say this just an amazing little piece of software. One of the biggest pains for me in the Windows world was the lack of a decent network agnostic IM client (Trillian being the only notable exception, but it was not to my taste).

Why is it so good? Let me count the ways!

Connectivity – The only thing it can’t connect to is IRC, every other service is covered including some less popualr ones like Novell GroupWise and Gadu-Gadu.

Interface – Just lovely, customisable and neat.

Logging – Sensible logging on by default, opening a chat window shows you just the last few lines of any previous chat with that contact. It also has a really nice integrated log viewer.

Idle and Away Support – Nothing revolutionary here but a very nice implementation of support for both going away and going idle.

XtrasPlug-in and scripting directory. Bliss.


To top it all off, it is FOSS… What more could you ask for! I wish there was an IM client this good for Windows!

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19 responses to “Instant Messaging

  1. If yo ureally like iChat and want to use Yahoo and MSN on it, you can set up a Jabber account and use that:

  2. I live in both worlds. I prefer Mac, but have to use Windows sometimes. I agree, Adium is great, probably one of the better IM’s out there, and it’s only for Mac. However, it is based upon Gaim, of which there is a Windows port. It’s nowhere near as pretty as Adium, but it gets the job done, and I prefer it’s minimalist appearance and tabbed conversation windows over anything else I’ve seen for Windows.

    So, if you find yourself having to use Windows, then give it a try.

  3. You may find that you like Miranda as a Windows IM. It’s very lightweight, and the available plugins make for a very good IM experience. It even does IRC. :-)

  4. I use Adium as well. I love it.

  5. Hey, I have that same desktop picture. Kizmit?

  6. Morning…

    I have to say I had not looked into Adium till now…

    I’m thinking you may have just shown this old dog, yet another new trick… thanks

    PS – This old dog has been using Apple/Mac’s from day one (currently on #5) and before that Apple IIc – just goes to show just how tight this Mac community really is…


  7. Adium is nice …no question about it, but iChat’s AV capabilities are nice too.
    and since you’ve got an iSight onboard, why not try it out…?!

    for IMing with MSN try using iChat’s jabber functionality (as mentioned above)
    in order to customize iChat, try “chax”

  8. For IRC, I’ve been using Colloquy:

    I think it is as nice as Adium (which rocks, by the way)


  9. Mmmmm Adium. Oh how I love thee… I do love this chat client. Mostly just because it looks so slick. and i like the way it does notifications of ims and stuff.

    I never even considered iChat to be honest. I don’t want to mess with Jabber, and it’s just not as “cool” as Adim us.

    Also using colloquy for IRC, very nice client.

    Coming from Windows I used trillian which is still my fav chat client of all time, hands down, no contest. The microscopic skin for it makes it insanely productive and clean. Still like trillian logging better also. It does not however look nearly as cool as adium. :)

    I tried miranda for that cooler look on windows. But overall I felt I was much more productive on trillian.

  10. Try Proteus, it’s much better:

  11. yeah adium is wonderful, especially if you’re really keen on changing how it looks (like i do once a week…). really don’t see the point in using msn.

  12. You might try Fire ( It has IRC support, MSN, AOL, plus a lot of others.

  13. I have the live in the Windows world most of the time. In fact, I probably constitute about 10% of the usage of our Mac mini at home. At work (which is, well – at work and home since it’s a Dell D600 Latitude), I use Gaim. As has been mentioned already, this is the base project upon which Adium is based. I use Gaim all the time (and also did so when I was a regular Linux user).

    Having said all of that – yeah, Adium is truly awesome. Once of THE BEST Mac applications. They pretty much did everything right. All other Mac app writers should take a good hard look at Adium before they settle on the UI of their project. It absolutely kicks!

  14. Just to let you know, there is in fact an official MSN Messenger client for the Mac OS X… However it might not be to your taste.. Best to at leave give it a try though.

  15. I may have missed it, if so I apologize for the duplication. I thought I would mention [url=]Conversation[/url] as an IRC client. Very well done in my opinion.

  16. Yeah I second (third?) Proteus. It’s a beautiful IM client and best of all its now free!

  17. There have been loads of comments on Proteus over this thread and the others. I will have to check it out.

    I do love my bouncing green chicken though, it better have something just as cool :D

  18. this means i need to get mac first. :p