Friday, 11 September 2009

Messages and Messengers

My gods. Another of my infrequent posts? Believe it.
Of course, if I knew that I had any readers, I might actually post more often. Possibly. Habits are hard to break.

For anyone interested (probably no one) I signed up on Twitter. I followed one... channel? is that what they are if they're not for a person? Anyway, I followed the thing, 'cause they had an update recently and I was bored, so I decided to follow them to find out when it came back up again.
Typically, it was right after I started following them.
As yet, my Twitter account has been looked at once, and isn't linked to anything... although there's a distinct possibility that I might have linked this blog to it. I'm not sure yet. To be honest, I'll probably almost never use it, I prefer the MSN messenger for talking to people.

Which is, incidentally my next topic.
Now, I can understand Microsoft's reasoning behind not providing a Mac/Linux messenger - it'd give more people another reason to leave their gift-from-god (at least in their eyes) OS, Windows.
However, times have changed and all kinds of people have made workarounds. Of course, their messenger service doesn't 'officially' support them, but I have no doubt a few people up there play around with these messengers too.
MSN was the first program I set about replacing when I started using Ubuntu. And I quickly found several replacements, my favourite at the time was Emesene.
Emesene's good, lightweight, but was hard to get used to, and didn't have the same look and feel as the MSN, or the WL (Windows Live, and also hated) messengers. This was a downside, as even now, I still prefer the look from them. Some things I prefer the Windows way, so I'll admit they do periodically have a flash of good sense.
I moved on from Emesene to aMSN. And I still use it. I've had a few issues, such as recently, as I understand it a misplaced Ubuntu Karmic dependency on the Ubuntu Jaunty aMSN daily build, since resolved, and my current issue of no sound. I'm hoping the aMSN forums will shortly be able to help with this one. Seeing a general lack of activity on there however, I might be in for a wait.
So while I'm waiting, I'm writing this.

I've experimented with other messengers that support MSN from time to time, I've heard good things about Pidgin, and indeed, it's ability to link all IM accounts to one simple clean interface is nice, but like Emesene, it lacks a few things from MSN that I like. I'm a stickler for things like that.
I've tried Galaxium, and the testing version (Thanks to Ubuntu-Tweak for giving me access to that - the 3rd party repositories they turn up are VERY useful). Galaxium is actually quite good, to me, if a little unstable, but it was the testing version. I'm periodically trying it again to check on it. It may be possible I'll change to it sometime, but only if it can manage to fully supplant aMSN for me.
There are others, but I won't list them here. Gods know there's too many if I started on that.

I did, however, at one point experiment with getting ye aulde Windows MSN and WL messengers working through Wine.
Here's my advice for you: Don't bother for WL, not without a lot of patience and experimenting, and MSN... well, I guess if you're really desperate and don't like the alternatives...

In other news... I once again attempted to like KDE. KDE once again failed. There are some interesting features... but GNOME still wins out.
I've fixed an issue with Firefox - must remember to be more careful when using Nightly Tester Tools to enable incompatible addons - and it's managed to win me back from Chromium... however, Chromium still has it's place when I need really quick browsing.
I also joined, as mentioned earlier. Actually, I joined some time ago, but I didn't bother to tell anyone. If you're not easilly offended, maybe have a look. WARNING: Mature content alert on that site. I take no responsibility. You look at your own peril.

Finally, I've started (again) to play OpenTTD, one of my old favourites that I keep coming back to.
As usual, it's a patched build, with my own selection of them. One more, the newGRF GUI window replacement, I'm waiting on an update for, then it'll join the others.
Where I've been installing these using checkinstall to create a .deb package, two thoughts occured to me.
Firstly, was that maybe I should start a patchpack. However, since my choice in patches varies widely, and I'm expected to keep it up to date - not something I like the idea of - this isn't exactly appealing.
Secondly, was that maybe I should figure out how to maintain a PPA (Personal Package Archive, if you don't know) on Launchpad, and make nightly builds available via that. This option's more interesting, as it means people can simply add my PPA Repository and get an upgrade to a new nightly relatively quickly, and since I recently figured out dependencies for checkinstall, it'll ensure they have all the requirements they need.
The only downside is the same as the Patchpack, however, since all I'd need to do is keep a separate folder for a clean trunk from SVN, and once a day, update, compile, run checkinstall to generate the .deb, then upload, it shouldn't be more than a couple of days out from the current nightly at any time really.

Comment with your thoughts on any matter here... not that I'm expecting any, but it'd be a nice surprise.
Rock on people.

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