Like most people, I have accounts everywhere. Unlike most people, I am hoping to do something about that. And no, it's not anything like some super single-signon system. Please. I'm just going to try and consolidate things.

I started with email. I think I have a webmail account just about everywhere. Certainly all of the biggies. But I never check them. I logged into Yahoo Mail today and had 3000 messages. I actually read through them (not the messages, just the headers) and maybe a half-dozen were things I had subscribed to at one point or another. So I unsubscribed those, just to be nice, and deleted everything else. If all goes as planned, I won't log into that mailbox again. Hopefully by the time I have, the account will be deactivated.

I logged into Hotmail, only to find that I've already been deactivated (yippee!). Same with Excite. My account is still active with MyWay, but I rarely even remember that I have it, so I think I'll just forget about it. I have a Netscape account, too, but for some reason was having problems with their signon mechanism, so I blew it off for now.

Then I moved onto IM. I run Trillian, like any good little Windows geek (that's an oxymoron for you), but rarely use anything other than AIM. What to do? I just removed my ICQ account - I haven't heard from anyone on ICQ in ages. I don't think I've even noticed anyone with an ICQ address for a while.

I decided to remove my MSN account as well, because I really hate it that I have to use an email address. Much nicer to use an alias of some sort, with the email address set in preferences. Two down, two to go. I then actually installed the Yahoo! Messenger to try it out. First time I've done that, I think. The program is okay, but I hate that it won't stop reminding me about email. It's gone.

I then installed AIM (again, think that's the first time for me), which isn't bad, but I just couldn't get into the look. Too busy and clunky for me. So it's back to Trillian for a client, at least for the time being. But what to do about the last two IM accounts?

Turns out that Trillian also continuously updates the Yahoo! Mail status, and that gets under my skin because the account is just full of spam, and I hate seeing an envelope there, knowing I just have to clean it out. Seems like a waste of time. So I removed my Yahoo! IM account too. That means it's AIM from here on out. Unless something changes, of course.

Comments (6)

There's Jabber which aims to be a standard, decentralized, secure and extensible IM protocol. There are several clients you can use (including Trillian, I think) for a several operating systems and you can register in any of a number of worldwide available servers -- one of the advantages of the Jabber protocol. Several of these servers even have gateways, or transports, that enable you to communicate with people using other protocols.

You can have a pretty good idea of what jabber IM is and how to use it reading the online user guide.

Best regards.

If you don't like AIM or Trillian, you might want to try AIM. I just checked out GAIM for Windows on a WinXP SP2 system, and it's not too shabby:

I was actually downloading GAIM about as I received your comment! I've been playing with it for the last hour or so, and I have to say that I think I like it. I especially like that I can turn off email notification for each network. No more envelopes that haunt me!

I'm going to run with it for a few days and see if I like it better than Trillian or not. I did set up a Jabber ID while I was at it. I also reactivated my MSN and Y! accounts so I can monitor them (not ICQ though). I'm thinking I need a contact page or something, just to record all this stuff!

On a slightly related note, does anyone know if it's possible to use an "alias" for MSN? It appears to be possible to add a contact in MSN by using only a single name. Specifically, I'd like to tell people that I'm jayseae on MSN, even if they end up at my email address. It looks like it works (at least in GAIM), it just ends up pulling the email address in. Sort of another way to look up a contact. That's cool.

FYI, you can turn off the mail notifications in Trillian. Just go to the account, select options, and the mail options are under the miscellaneous tab. Just uncheck them.

Other FYI, it's 'Gaim,' not 'GAIM.' AOL tried to sue the Gaim team when it was written GAIM or gAIM (for 'Gnu AIM'), so writing it all-caps like that is a pet peeve of the Gaim folks these days. :)

I've heard repeatedly that that's an option in Trillian. I don't know if it was in older versions, and is now restricted to Pro, or perhaps is enabled by a plugin, but the version I was using at the time didn't allow this. It simply wasn't there. I'm now using Pro, and it is, so it is no longer an issue.

As I am not a Gaim, a GAIM or even a gAIM folk, I can successfully not worry about capitalizing it incorrectly. Still, should it upset you, or any of the other people involved in the product, you have my apologies.

Thanks for the tips!

*laugh* No, you didn't upset me; I'm actually one of the Trillian devs, not a Gaim dev. I found your entry on a random wandering of 'single-signon' websearches, so had to chime in.

But we and the Gaim folks get along reasonably well, so I thought I'd toss that out there on behalf of Sean and his team. :)

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