Saturday, April 24, 2004

Instant Messaging: Chatopus

After several months of trying internet programs I am pretty happy with my selections for Web Browser, email client and weblog client, now my only selection left is an IM client, I use MSN, Yahoo and AIM so I need a client that supports all three, based on this there are only three posibilities:


I will be reviewing each of them, this is the first of three reviews.


Chatopus is actually a Jabber IM client, Jabber is an open source protocol so everybody can connect to a jabber server and use and install jabber software, this open a ton of posibilities but also it has some drawbacks, mainly that there are not many reliable jabber servers out there, and without a server you cannot connect. One advantage is that the jabber protocol supports gateways to others IM networks, in this case, MSN, Yahoo and AIM.

Configuration is a little cumbersome, mainly since you can not create a Jabber account from the client nor configure the gateways. this means that you need to select a client and then make all the configuration in your PC. Check Jabber for more information.

Now the Chatopus interface is quite simple, basically allows you:

- Send/Receive IM messages.
- Check the status of your friends
- Add/Remove buddies
- It supports the T3 screen.
- Multitasking, basically you can leave the program to use another application but you will still receive your messages, this is very handy when you are working in several applications. You get message notifications in the form of silent alarms, in the case of the T3 the LED light blinks and the alert icon in the toolbar blinks too, sound alerts are in developing.

Now, the bad, it is not a beutiful app, icons are kind of simple and it does not supports emoticons, it does not support screen names either, this basically means that in the case of msn messenger you will see an email address not your buddy's name, same with Yahoo messenger.

Now the biggest plus, price, it is 14.95 at Palmgear, by far the cheapest of all the IM applications I am reviewing.

Next review: Webmessenger.


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