why AOL sucks!

I suppose my title isn’t too appropriate. I should have called it “yet another reason why AOL sucks.”

we’ve all heard the horror stories of people who try to cancel their AOL internet account, and get a CSR (customer support representative) who doesn’t want to let them.

well, they just went one worse, by finalising their threat to sue Gaim (an open source chat client that lets you have one program that will combine yahoo,msn,aol,icq etc.. accounts)

It’s really a great idea, as I have some friends who are on aol, others on msn, and others on yahoo.

For those of you who don’t know, open source is basically free software that anyone can distribute and modify as they like. Being open, it’s usually available for multiple platforms (MAC, PC, Linux, BSD etc..)

Apparently, Gaim originally stood for “GTK+ AOL Instant Messenger.”

AOL initially complained, but didn’t do anything about it. Now they’ve decided to force Sean Egan, the lead developer ( and now a google employee) to rename it.

the new name? Pidgin.

why pidgin you ask?

this is what wikipedia says about pidgin:

“A pidgin, or contact language, is the name given to any language created, usually spontaneously, out of two or more languages as a means of communication between speakers of different tongues, and usually a simplified form of one of the languages. Pidgins have simplified grammars and few synonyms, serving as auxiliary contact languages. They are learned as second languages rather than natively.”

Isn’t that a cool name considering what the program does?

It’s only available at the moment in beta form in source code, so those of you who want to install it will have to compile it.

here’s how you do it: (note this is for debian based linux distros, it will differ for RPM based ones, as you’ll have to use YUM junk)

first you should install all the dependencies of it with this command

sudo apt-get build-dep gaim

I also had to install libtool (but you may not need to)

sudo apt-get install libtool

get the source code from pidgin.im (a file called “pidgin-20070408.tar.gz

untar it with tar -xvf pidgin-20070408.tar.gz

cd to that directory and run the script

sh autogen.sh

then run “make” and “sudo make install

that’s it!

It should use your .gaim preferences, and you can load it up by pressing ALT-F2 and typing “pidgin

I personally just renamed the shortcut to gaim to now load up pidgin

here’s a screenshot of my computer running it. Sean has said he’ll release the final 2.0 of pidgin in the next week, so some of you may want to wait for that.