IM Consolidation

I’ve had a lot of IM accounts over the years.  Powwow was I think my first, and then ICQ was a quick follow-up after that (which I had until some ‘tard decided it would be funny to brute-force the account and lock me out of it, and thanks to ICQ’s craptacular policies I have no way to get it back – so if you see 2109563 online, tell him he’s a fuckhead).  Anyway, the problem is disparity: With all these different networks, I have too many places to check for things.  For a while I used Bitlbee to keep all the networks together in one place which worked nicely – all of my chat logs where on my home computer which I could access from anywhere, no more searching through a few different machines to find that link that someone sent me, whatever.  The problem is with mobile access: I wanted to be able to IM Stephanie from my phone instead of using SMS messages all the time.  Combine that with the number of “friends” I would watch go online and offline and never say a word to me and I decided IM wasn’t worth it anyway.  When Meebo released their iPhone app, I decided to give it another go since Stephanie and I could use it instead of Google Voice for messaging each other.  It works very well – and I like being able to reply on the web site instead of being forced to use the phone when I’ve got a full keyboard in front of me – but I still have these networks like MSN, AIM and Yahoo where I rarely get messages, don’t want to ignore them, but don’t like that I can’t use whatever client from wherever whenever I want.  So I think I found a solution to the networks that don’t allow for multiple logins without extra complexity.  Using trigger.pl, an irssi script, I have a rule setup to automatically reply to someone who IMs me on AIM, Yahoo or MSN and tells them to use my Google Chat account instead.  If you don’t know the address, just send me an email and I’ll tell you!  This way, I can use whatever IM client I’m closest to and is most convenient, but they’re all connected in a way that I can seamlessly move from one to another – and still keep chat history in a single location.  It’s not as nice as having it all on my computer, since things like ‘grep -R’ aren’t available, but Google’s search works well enough that it’s not an issue.

Next step is to setup OTR messaging, but I have to dig around and see what has changed in the months since I last used OTR plugins in irssi.

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