IMing, the Pidgin way!
Are you an IM junkie? Do you spend most of your time on your favourite messenger applications chatting with friends? Well, most of us do; it’s probably the most convenient way of live communication on the internet that many people cannot do without.
Since almost all of my contacts have Hotmail/MSN e-mail accounts, I used to communicate with them through MSN Messenger. I migrated to Windows Live Messenger when Microsoft released it, but did not quite like the extra bulk-baggage that came along with it. Yes, it was visually appealing to some degree, but it was not very resource friendly on my low-resource laptop. Furthermore, I hated the ads! I even resorted to patching it! I got tired of patching after every updated version of WLM so I reverted to a much more stripped down version of MSN Messenger… the Windows Messenger! You are probably wondering whether such a program exists, but it does. If you are using Windows XP, just go to Start > Programs and you will see it on the list. Windows Messenger was pretty good at conserving resources on a 1GHz PC with 512MB RAM, but I still wanted a better feature-set without the impact on system performance.
There came Pidgin, a very light-weight and free multi-platform and multi-network IM client. This client was originally called Gaim, but was recently changed due to some AOL dispute. I originally started using it as a PortableApp on my USB flash drive and then decided to install it permanently. I must say, it is a pretty good piece of software. Pidgin is very simple and easy to use, yet still has a few customizations under the hood. The resource usage footprint is very small even though there is support for buddy-list photos, emoticons and some very fluid transitioning effects! Furthermore, there are no nagging ads and you can always disable features that you find annoying.
Give Pidgin a try and I’m sure you will find that it is quite good! You don’t lose anything important from your primary IM client, but can still gain a few useful features also!