From:"Sys Admin News" <> 
Subject: Sys Admin Magazine -- News and Reviews June 2003
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003 14:03:32 -0700

	    Sys Admin Magazine -- News and Reviews	 
		          June 2003


This month, Marcel reviews a sampling of Instant Messaging clients 
available for the Linux desktop.  

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Review: Instant Messaging Clients
A Comparative Review by Marcel Gagné 

There was a time when sys admins and others used a little program 
called "talk" to send quick messages to one another in real time. It 
was a means of communication that I will bet is largely unknown to 
most of the net-connected folk of today. 

Modern netizens were introduced to electronic communication through a 
much less interactive form of communication, the email message. These 
days, a new kind of communication has evolved -- call it mini-email. 
The one-liner. The short and sweet message. The instant message. 
The net-connected society has grown to love those quick, always on, 
means of sending each other information. My own parents (who live in 
another province) send me daily one-line weather reports via their 
Linux instant messaging client. But are we just looking at a pleasant 
time waster? 

Instant messaging (IM) is no longer strictly the playground of 
or friends and family looking to keep in touch across the networked 
It is rapidly becoming a serious tool for business as well. In some 
environments, IM is being added to the list of business critical 
applications. Nothing beats being in constant touch with employees and 
team members, even if those people are scattered in offices around the 
globe. It's also a perfect means of communication for people on the 
Plug in, get online, and you are immediately available, wherever you 

If your enterprise is ready to wade into the IM waters, you will soon 
discover that IM is a many-headed beast with protocols galore. There 
is MSN, Yahoo, Jabber, AIM (now Oscar) and a raft of others. You could 
run a client of each, but manipulating every package with its various 
idiosyncrasies may be more than some people are willing to put up with. 
The real solution is an IM client that supports all those formats so 
that you can chat with people regardless of which IM provider they have 
chosen. With this requirement in mind, I'll tell you about some of the 
multi-protocol IM clients available for the Linux desktop, namely Gaim, 
EveryBuddy, Ayttm, Eb-Lite, and Kopete.

To read the rest of Marcel's review, visit:

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