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Is everybody out there using Trillian? If you are, good for you. If not, you’d better have a good reason not to be… 🙂
For those that don’t know what I’m talking about, Trillian is an instant messaging client that ‘talks’ to all the major IM services. I have used others like it before (Odigo, Jabber), but Trillian is the first one I’ve used that doesn’t have troubles connecting to the services, and that you don’t have to have a separate account to use (like Odigo).
Trillian can connect you to AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, ICQ, and IRC. Then you have all of your buddies in the same chat client! And they don’t even have to know that you aren’t using the same client software to talk to them. Of course, you have to have an account with the service you are trying to connect to before you can chat with people on that service. That’s not a problem though because they are all free, and Trillian has a create account button that sends you right to the correct website to get an account up and running.
Trillian’s buddy list shows all your buddies in one window, and there is an icon next to each name that shows what service the buddy is using. You can group your buddies however you want, like by connection type, or the standard buddies, family, and work, or do custom groups.
Trillian is skinnable, and there are quite a few skins to chose from on their site. If you are into skinning, Trillian’s interface is rendered with XML pages, which is very easy to set up. But of course, like all skinnable programs that I’ve seen, it takes a lot of work to get a skin done. The only complaint I have about the skins available for Trillian right now is that a lot of them lack the features I want. Trillian’s skinning process lets creators add whatever controls they want, so people often leave out features that they never use. For example, I love to have a send button in the chat window. The reason is that I often copy and paste text to the chat window, and I then like to just hit the send button. I am not using the keyboard when I copy and paste, and if I don’t have a send button, I have to reach down to hit enter. A minor inconvenience, but annoying nonetheless.
The last thing I want to talk about is Trillian’s emoticons. I haven’t used the other IM clients enough to remember how they work, but I know that AIM only has 16 emoticons to chose from. That has always been my biggest complaint about AIM. Well, most trillian skins have 4 or 5 times that ammount! I love that! I like to use emoticons to show emotion when I chat, and with AIM I always found myself saying, “I wish they had an emoticon for ‘I’m sort of excited about that…'”. Well with Trillian, I rarely can’t find the emoticon for what I am trying to portay. The only dumb thing about Trillian’s emoticons is that, like with everything else, the skin creator can put whatever emoticons in they want. Well, sometimes the emoticons you get with a skin are down right stupid. One I used even had 5 or 6 pictures of obscure people I don’t even know. I found a program some guy wrote that lets you change the emoticon set for a skin, which takes about 1/2 hour to do. But after going to all the work, it didn’t work. In fact, it broke the skin I was using, and I had to change the .ini file for Trillian to show a different skin before I could even load Trillian again.
In closing, I must reiterate that you have to go get Trillian, if you are an IMer at all. Even if you only use one IM service, Trillian is the coolest client out there and is worth replacing whatever client you are using at the moment.