Pidgin Instant Messenger Two Point Oh Two

I’ve had my share of ups and downs with multi-protocol chat programs. First there was Trillian, which was bloated and slow at every point in my experience with it, and eventually led to me losing my low ICQ number (7143329) through a series of unfortunate and confusing events (possibly involving marijuana). Then there was Miranda, which was just lame. I’m sure there were more, some on the Lunix side which were largely “OK”, but nothing that blew my mind. Then I tried GAIM, which was nice and stable and seemed pretty good. Hitting escape didn’t close a chat window, but it was keyboard shortcut friendly and had a nice layout. I used it under the Lunix and at work to get onto Sametime with a client that didn’t crash every fifteen minutes (way to go, IBM).

Recently, they updated to version 2, and a new name, Pidgin, so I made the switch on both my PC and my laptop.


It’s smooth sailing 99.5% of the time, but when it doesn’t work right, it doesn’t work right in the slightest and it leaves no fucking clue what you have done or what has happened. From time to time, I’ll quit out and reopen it, and while it says I’m connected to Google Talk (which I use for 90+% of my messaging) all of my contacts show offline. Interestingly, I can’t message them (they’re offline), but if I ask Fargo to message me, the IM comes in and I can reply, it just continues to say he’s offline. I tried to clean up some groups last night and suddenly all of my contacts are gone. I was able to re-add Fargo and my dad, but when I try to add Brad, it gives me the “He has been invited” thing and doesn’t actually let me message him. It interestingly pulls down a couple contacts who couldn’t possibly be on Google Talk (notably some craigslist anonymizer addresses and a couple addresses). If I launch the Google Talk client proper, my contacts still show up. I was also able to add my dad back to my list twice, and he showed up simultaneously as on- and offline. I thought maybe this was just it being weird, so I uninstalled it and reinstalled it on my desktop to no avail. I then noticed that the settings were saved to the server, as I had no buddies on my laptop either, so I’m flummoxed.

Update : Pidgin now seems to be crashing every couple hours.

4 thoughts on “Pidgin Instant Messenger Two Point Oh Two

  1. Hmmm…I’m a Trillian Pro man myself (I got it free, but it don’t update no mo). And it’s bloaty, but effective and customizable. And I do a ton of work via IM since I work from home, as stupid as that sounds.

    And it supports encrypted AIM, which I insist upon as I’m one paranoid fucker.

  2. I had that same problem with Google talk when I was using Trillian. I still prefer trillian, since I can use the fun emoticons for other trillian users, and it has the video and voice options, but on my one and only linux machine, I don’t mind Pidgin. I hate not having the last 10 lines of my conversations come up when I open a window. And the logging is much cleaner and better in Trillian. But given that I can’t use Trillian in linux, then I’m satisfied with Pidgin.

  3. I’m interested by having the last ten lines come up when I start a conversation, maybe I’ll try Trillian again. Pidgin seems to have calmed down and stopped crashing for the time being though, so I’m done messing with it for today. I did notice when I reinstalled on my desktop that it said I had an old version of GTK installed, maybe I’ll try to update that.

  4. I am very interested in never ever EVER having the last ten lines of my conversations come up!

    Trillian does have nice logging features if you need them.

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