Ubuntu Internet Software Suite - Pidgin

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Instant messaging (IM) has become the new killer app for the younger generation. America Online (AOL) provided one of the first popular instant messaging services, named AOL Instant Messenger, or AIM. Others include ICQ, MSN, Yahoo!, and Google. A wide variety of computer operating systems, including Linux, support these various services. Ubuntu uses the Pidgin instant messenger client software. Pidgin allows you to connect to a host of instant messaging services to interact in your favorite IM environment.

Not that long ago, the Pidgin application was called GAIM, but copyright litigation forced the GAIM Open Source project to change its name, and they came up with Pidgin. You may still find documentation on the Internet and in books referring to the GAIM package. Don’t get confused by the name change; they’re the same product.



Using the Pidgin Instant Messenger
To start Pidgin, choose Applications -> Internet -> Pidgin Instant Messenger. The first time you start Pidgin it detects that there are no accounts configured, so the Accounts Management dialog box appears. To configure a new IM account in Pidgin, follow these steps:
1. Click the Add button in the Accounts dialog box. The Add Account dialog box appears.

2. In the Protocol drop-down list box, select the IM network you want to use. Your options are AIM, bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, GroupWise, ICQ, IRC, MSN, MySpaceIM, QQ, Simple, Sametime, XMPP, Yahoo, and Zephyr.

3. In the Screen Name textbox, enter the login name for your IM account.

4. In the Password textbox, enter your IM password for this account.

5. In the Local Alias textbox, enter the name you actually want to show in people’s IM clients, unless you want to use your screen name. Often people prefer to appear as alias names rather than use their login name in IM sessions.

6. Check the Remember Password check box so that you don’t have to enter your password every time you connect to this IM service. Remember to log out or use the Lock Screen option if you walk away from your computer, just in case someone gets it into his or her head to go play a trick and send messages to people by using your IM client.

7. If you get email through the selected IM service and want to know when new mail has arrived, check the New Mail Notifications check box. If mail arrives while Pidgin is running, you’ll get a notification about the new mail.

8. If you want to use a tiny picture as a buddy icon, click the Open button next to the Buddy Icon label and navigate to the picture you want to use. If you don’t assign a picture for the buddy icon, Pidgin will use a blank image icon.

9. If you want access to the more advanced options for this IM service, click the Advanced tab. This tab provides additional options depending on your IM service, such as alternative servers and TCP ports.

10. When you finish entering your information, click Save to add this IM account to your accounts list.

Go through this process for each IM account you want to use with Pidgin (Pidgin can monitor multiple IM accounts). When you finish, the Accounts dialog box shows all of the IM accounts you’ve configured, and the Buddy List window appears.

In the Accounts dialog box, click the box in the Enabled column for the accounts you want
to automatically log into when Pidgin starts. You can modify the account settings at any time by selecting the account in the Accounts dialog box and clicking the Modify button. After you start a session, the Buddy List window displays your active connections. If you close the Buddy List window, the Pidgin icon appears on your panel as the program runs in background. You can open the Buddy List window by right-clicking this icon.



Pidgin Preferences
You can customize several features in Pidgin. Access the Pidgin Preferences dialog box by starting Pidgin from the Panel menu, then right-clicking the Pidgin icon in the Panel System area and selecting Preferences. The Preferences dialog box contains seven tabbed pages of settings you can customize:

• Interface: Select how Pidgin interfaces with the desktop by specifying when the Panel icon should appear, how new IM conversation windows appear, and whether to use tabbed windows or separate windows for multiple conversations.

• Conversations: Set features for your conversations, such as formatting, fonts, and notifying buddies when you start typing a message.

Smiley Themes: Manage multiple themes for inserting smiley icons in your messages.

• Sounds: Configure how you want Pidgin to notify you of conversation events, such as when buddies log in or log out, when you’re offered a new message, and when others talk.

• Network: Set additional TCP properties for a specific network, along with any specialized settings for network proxy servers you may need to go through.

• Logging: Select whether you want Pidgin to log your IM conversations and, if so, how to log them.

• Status/Idle: Configure how Pidgin detects when you’re away from the workstation and change your IM status.

Make your IM life easier by taking a few minutes to customize how you want Pidgin to work in your particular environment.

Source of Information : Wiley Ubuntu Linux Secrets

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