After moving to NC, I decided to resurrect iChat. I played with it for a while but soon discovered that some of my friends, litterally from all over the world, were on several different chat services. As it turned out, I unwittingly had accounts on many of these chat services already in place. I was an early adapter of ICQ, back in the dial up days.
I rarely used it. I have a Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, and AIM account (iChat works on AIM). How could I see if my friends were online without having to check all these different services?
Enter Adium. This is a great little program for MAC OS X. It combines all of your various chat accounts into one place. As you can see, you may access me from any one of these services below:
You can organize your contacts in various ways, by a custom-assigned buddy list, or by account. My list automatically resizes as people come and go. It lives in the bottom right hand corner of my screen. It may look like any of these windows at various times:
I've now decided that the reason I live with chat on so much has more to do with just knowing that I can reach someone quickly and easily. (Yes, I'll admit, email has become just too slow!). I've enjoyed the instant contact with someone who may be across the hall or half way around the world. Just like most chat clients, you can set away messages if you're busy, or sometimes, you just can't reply to someone right way--no different then not answering your phone just because someone calls.
For those of you wondering what the Windows equivalent of this program would be, I would suggest Trillian, though since I tried it last, it didn't compete with Adium's slickness.
Send me your chat address!