What to do about all your IM clients and their bloatware?

Author: POGE
Date: 2006-05-02 20:21:47


I'm sure a lot of you use some of these clients, but don't you hate the spyware most of them install on your computer? AIM makes you look at advertisements, they all pop up little "news" windows, and they are generally full of bloatware. You have a few options from here on...


  • Stick with them, disable the news popups, and live with the AIM ads. You can also use a hack called "middleman" which hides AIM's advertisements, allows for transparency, logging, and aliasing.
  • Get Gaim - It's an open source app that supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, and even Googletalk. Gaim is ideal for a minimalist, as it is simple, clean, and configurable. You can get it for Linux or Windows. It has logging, tabs, send and receive files, aliasing, and buddy icons, but that's about it.

  • Get Miranda - Miranda is a lot like Gaim, but I found it to be even lighter weight, and have more complex options. It is a bit harder to configure though.

  • Get Trillian - So you want to get rid of all your annoying clients, but you can't live without the features? Trillian is what you want. It has tons of features, such as video, tabs, buddy icons, aliasing, send and receive files, and profiling. It supports AIM, MSN, Yahoo, and ICQ. Trillian is for Windows only, and if you want use all of its features you'll need to get Trillian Pro.

  • Get older versions of your clients. Go to http://www.oldversion.com and download older versions of AIM, MSN, and Yahoo. They have less features, but they also have a lot less spyware. If you are using the new AIM Triton, and you don't want Gaim or Trillian, this is a must.
I prefer the second option. I am a minimalist, and I like the fact that Gaim supports Googletalk, and Linux.

Googletalk with Gaim or Miranda:

For Gaim:
  • Go to Tools > Accounts > Add
  • Protocol = Jabber
  • Screen Name = Your Gmail account name without @gmail.com
  • Server = gmail.com
  • Password = your password
  • Click on "Show more options"
  • Make sure "Use TLS if available" is checked
  • Port = 5222
  • Connect Server = talk.google.com
  • Proxy Type = "Use Global Proxy Settings"

For Miranda:
  • Main Menu > Options
  • Username = Your Gmail account name without @gmail.com
  • Login Server = gmail.com
  • Check "Use SSL"
  • Check "Manually specify connection host" if it isn't already
  • Host = talk.google.com
  • Port = 5223

You should now be able to log onto your Googletalk account.


Here are some links to downloads of older version.

Old version of AIM
Old version of MSN
Old version of Yahoo
Gaim for Windows
Gaim for Linux
Trillian (Free Version)
Trillian Pro (Non-Free Version)

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