Friday, March 7, 2008

Put Your Best Chat Buddies on Your Panel

So you've got a couple of people that take up 95% of your chat time. Maybe they're your teammates. Maybe they're your best friends. For me, it's my gal. Whoever it is, you probably start a conversation with them this way:
  • Click on the notification are to bring up your chat client list of who's online.
  • Check whether he or she is online.
  • Double-click on your chat buddy to initiate a conversation.
  • Click on the notification area again to minimize the buddy list because you really don't need to stare at it all the time.

Wouldn't it be nice to take these four steps down to a single, one-click method? You can, but you'll need to be using the Empathy client, which may not suit all of you. Since you're probably using Pidgin, let's install Empathy from the repos. You'll also need the Empathy Megaphone applet. You can click the links above to install the application and applet automatically.

Once you install Empathy, you'll need to install connection managers for any IM protocols you'll be using. The linkified list is here, to make it easy for you:

Once you configure Empathy to connect to your Jabber, GTalk (really also Jabber), or MSN network, you can add the Megaphone applet to your panel. Right-click on the panel and choose "Add to Panel...." Choose the Megaphone applet and click "Add." Repeat this for as many contacts as you want to appear on the panel.

You'll find a configure-style icon on your panel.

Click on that and you'll be asked to choose a contact for that applet to watch.

Choose your contact, and the applet will tell you if he or she is off-line

or online.

If your friend or team mate is online, just click on the applet to start a discussion. One-click goodness is yours!



I would've liked this when it wasn't out of date, and I would miss it now.


Yeah, the article's three years old now, and eveything's changed.

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