Monday Jun 22, 2009

Keeping in touch

Like most 'touch users, I am looking for a "keep in touch application". I was pointed at Zensify, a personal network aggregator. Its not quite one network, but gathers the posts from your correspondents in several networks and ceates a feed and tag cloud for you.

a screenshot of Zensify feed screen    a screenshot of Zensify tag cloud screen

I have just subscribed to several really prolific feeds on Twitter, and while I have also pointed my Google Reader at them, I have not yet subscribed to my twitter public timeline using Zensify. I use Facebook instead. I have come to the conclusion that Facebook is not only useful for keeping in touch with real friends but it can turn colleagues into friends, and here it is a way of keeping in touch with people.

I had come to the conclusion, that one should use these tools either as an aggregator or as a publication tool or as an end-point. I had made my twitter feed a publication tool, friendfeed as my aggregator and facebook as an endpoint. Unfortunately since we can't agree on what tool and what purpose, its a not very useful model. One really needs to consider one's readership and also assume they can find your stuff. It's not necessary to make everything an aggregator. By keeping a purpose in mind, one also makes it easier for people to find your referenced content. They don't have to trawl through several pages in your web space.


Friday Oct 10, 2008

More protocols for pidgin

Having upgraded pidgin, now its time to add Facebook and Skype buddies. These require two add-ons, written by the same person. I installed Skype earlier in the week, so

Skype seems to be working well, and the install process is well documented by Eion, now I just need to test the facebook connection. Who do I only know as a facebook friend?


Thursday Oct 09, 2008

Google Talk and Pidgin

The last but one fix is to reconfigure my google talk account as a service on pidgin. I was having problems with this on my desktop. I had joined in a thread at Google's self help forum to which I had no reply and is now archived. Google have also published instructions, which I discussed the other week. So here's the key for me, my domain is now "". I don't know if I changed my relationship with google or if they changed their server configurations, the xmpp parameters I use are,

Basic Tab
protocol : xmpp
domain :
resource : Home
Advanced Tab
Require SSL/TLS, Force old port (5222), Allow plain text .... : All Unchecked
Connect Port: 5222
Connect Server:
File Transfer Proxies :

although I have not yet tried a file transfer. So as far as I can tell the Google documentation is wrong about how you choose between and


Laptop Diaries, about video drivers

Recently I have written about problems I have had with pidgin xmpp chat rooms, however, I have also come across a problem where I can't switch between the Firefox 3 control panel and rendered page, so I looked to see if anyone else had a similar problem. I found this article, called Can't Click Inside Firefox 3 Window Without Losing Focus 1st at, where yesterday, someone posted that new nvidia drivers had helped him solve the problem. So a quick visit to Toshiba UK's support portal and I discover that the most recent driver is over 6 months old, so I grab that an install it. I suppose its one of the problems in taking someone else's build. I now obviously need to wait and see if the problem re-occurs but so far so good.

Given I have new display driver, I have decided to re-install Pidgin 2.5.1 and its associated GTK library. This also seems to be working OK and I have not yet had a problem with the XMPP rooms. I also documented the problems here..., on my Bliki.

I am running a Toshiba Tecra M5 with Windows XP as the OS. I have Sun xVM Virtual Box to let me run Open Solaris and Ubuntu Linux. I take the windows build from our IT department.

tags: ""

Tuesday Sep 23, 2008

More about Pidgin and XMPP

I've spent the day struggling with Pidgin, XMPP and Google Talk. I am still using Pidgin V2.0.1 on Windows XP, with GTK+ 2.10.11. Today I tested Pidgin 2.5.1 and GTK+ 2.10.11 and discovered that I couldn't get it to work with Google Talk. I also discovered that the reliability of XMPP service was dreadful, although I discovered later that this may have been a server issue. I'll have to try again later in the week.

I have documented the state of my findings at Pidgin and Google Talk, at my bliki.

tags: ""

Thursday Sep 11, 2008


I was introduced to IM by my US colleagues (& my children). Many of the former use AOL to forward IM's to their phones. This has become even easier to use with the advent of the iphone. Sun has also implememented an XMPP service and I came to the IM scene with a couple of YIM contacts as well. So I adopted GAIM and went with the pidgin people when that came along so I only have to worry about the protocol I use for those colleague like me with multiple service accounts.

I have recently had a real problem with pidgin in XMPP chat rooms, and when my boss decided to open a permanent chat room, these problems had to be fixed. Basically, I have reverted to Pidgin 2.0.1 for Windows. I did experiment with using pidgin inside an Ubuntu Virtual box instance and it worked fine, an interesting use case for Virual Box. I propose to raise a bug/note at pidgin's site, but you can use the [READ MORE] button below to read my more detailed notes, which cover the failure symptoms, Google Talk and more about facebook.


[Read More]



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