Last updated on July 3rd, 2015 at 03:35 pm
My daughter has reached an age where all her friends are on MSN. While the school is concerned about it, I think that (occasionally monitored) online chat is actually a useful skill. Most of the chat is what you?d expect of tweens, misunderstandings and hurt feelings can happen very easily. That?s just like email.
I refuse to run MSN Messenger though. I just think it?s sufficiently insecure and closed source to be avoided. Most kids don?t know how MSN works, so they just do what their chat partner tells them to do. I?d rather my kids not install things just so they can get a neat smiley.
I also want to use protocols other than MSN. Jabber is used by a couple of my clients. I also want to experiment with VOIP. So I?ve selected?GAIM as the multi-protocol instant messenger client around here. My kids can chat with friends and also with me when I?m travelling. GAIM?supports AIM, Yahoo Messenger, Jabber, Google Talk, ICQ, Gadu-Gadu, and even IRC protocols in one client. That means I don?t need to run multiple clients just to chat for business or pleasure.
A friend of ours has a laptop that is so locked down by their Fortune 500 IT department that MSN won?t start. Which means she can?t chat to her daughter when she?s travelling. I?ve installed aMSN as an alternative. It?s a near perfect clone of MSN messenger, so the whole family knows how to use it immediately.
Update: My daughter was so impressed by aMSN she?s asked to install it on her desktop. We?ll see how it compares to the multi-protocol GAIM. Given all her friends are on MSN I?m worried that I may be forced to stick to MSN protocol when chatting to her.