A.I.M. Replacement

Some of you may wish to skip the next paragraph, as it is ranty and not vital to my request.

I recently gave in to AIM’s “upgrade, or we’ll interrupt you with pop-ups forever” strategy. I upgraded last night, then went about my usual routine, putting my computer into sleep mode at about 10:00-10:30. It was still asleep at 5:30 AM when I got up for work. At 5:30 PM, when I got home, it was not asleep. The screen saver was on. “What woke up my laptop?” I thought, “Could someone have been using it?” Firefox was open, to the AIM homepage. That was the straw that broke the dromedary’s back. I will not use a program that opens other programs with no prompting from me.

So, to the point, what program would you all recommend for instant messaging? One that won’t annoy me with pop-ups, ads that have sound, or other such crap. Easy buddy-list importing and being allowed to keep my screen name would be nice, but are not necessary. I just want to be able to talk to my friends without being irritated by the medium of communication.

You need a universal chat client. I have been using Trillian since forever. Pidgin is also popular. Here is a page that lists more.

All of those will let you keep your AIM screen name, plus chat with friends who don’t use AIM.

I use Adium on a Mac. Supports most of the major ones, Facebook, GTalk, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, AIM.

Zipper and mswas answered the question well (I use Trillian personally). You can also use Google’s IM program, GTalk; it supports AIM users as well.

BTW when I looked up the Trillian link I found that they just released a new version this month, after millions of years. I upgraded (and paid, again, for the Pro version). Pretty fancy. Glad they finally upgraded the app - I was sort of itching to check out Pidgin just for something new. Now I’m happy with Trillian again.

I used Trillian for years, and found Pidgin. It is superior if you don’t want to spend money on the Pro version of Trillian.

Digsby is the best I think. Similar to Pidgin, but more aesthetically pleasing.

Well, HYDRA could use the abandoned bases.

I used to use all of the big ones. Now that Facebook has chat, I just use that instead.

Thanks for the replies, everybody. Now that my 4x10 work week is over, I’ve got time to check out all the links.

I prefer meebo.com which doesn’t require a download.

I prefer The Secret Empire.


Yoono is a plug-in for Firefox that’ll cover all your IMing.

I like Google Talk. It also lets you know when you have a new email in your gmail account if you aren’t already using an email client. The cons to it are that hardly anybody I know uses it, but if you can convince your friends to get it it’s solid.

I use pidgin since I’m a huge chatwhore and can combine all my accounts into one place. It’s simple and has a really old-skool feel to it. It supports AIM, MSN, googletalk, yahoo, IRC (!) and probably others I can’t think of offhand. There’s no webcam support though, so if you’re into that it won’t work. No, I don’t even have a webcam, so don’t ask!

I tried Trillian but it seemed to have too many bells and whistles for me. The alternating talking heads in chat windows really irks me too.

I’ve used Trillian in the past and found it way too buggy. From the posts here it sounds like they may have cleaned that up so perhaps I’ll give it another try. I have been using Pidgin for the last year and I like that all my IM accounts are in one clean non-busy interface.