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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Chatting For Decades - Review My Instant Messaging Software Used

Two decades ago people thought personal computer (PC) is for fun, as Multimedia is just having its bloom, followed by Internet, that came with Instant Messaging (IM). ICQ was my first IM start-up, that I used to contact family members and friends far away. Still remember the tiny green bloom with little yellow dot at the centre?

Since then netizen spends hours using PC to communicate.

As the mainstream IM software is filled with contacts, I found it hard to concentrate on my chat with the special one. I found SIM a.k.a Secure IM from saturngirl.net more than a decade ago.
"A simple one-on-one chat that uses encryption to provide a more secure conversation. You can choose the font and color of the text, and a sound button is included for when you want to get the other users attention and they are not replying. With one person as the server and one as the client, using the same password of course, you'll be up and chatting in no time. For the client, the IP address of the server is also needed."

SIM was as small as 80kb, customisable and secure, but needed some manual connecting tricks: server IP address & password. With the fixed IP addresses, we were chatting from dormitories in different universities. But chatting with SIM did not last longer than 3 years.

Then came MSN Messenger with even more functions and fun including inviting the other party to remote control and fix your PC. The significant charms featured imoticons and MSN games. However its fate was volatile, changing names and services from time to time.

Before MSN Messenger changed its name to Live Messenger, and died few years later, there was once I tried to use software legally by killing Microsoft (MS) Windows, installing and setting up free operating system Ubuntu:

I picked the cross-platform multi-protocol IM, Pidgin to continue chatting using MSN protocol, with some glitches as it was still in developmental stage.

And since MS Live refused to be installed into Windows XP x64 platform I quit using it. This marks an end to my PC chatting experience.

Since there was sensitive info sharing using IM, there were both sniffing and encrypting software in the market. These all were in my software collection.

Before majority IM goes mobile, Google introduced GTalk, which later on turned into a much comprehensive Hangouts. It did not draw my attention much as I am satisfied with LINE, then Whatsapp, then WeChat.

Chatting continues on mobile...