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delirium happy

Just keep on trying till you run out of cake

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IM clients
delirium happy
With the official release of LJ-Talk, I'm reminded of why I gave up bothering with it before. Having multiple chat clients is just annoying. So I'm wondering if anyone knows of any IM client that meets my requirements:

Must run on Windows XP.
Must be able to speak AIM and Jabber. Should preferably do ICQ, MSN and Y!M as well.
Must be free (as in beer).
Must be able to have chat sessions with multiple people in tabs within a single window.
Must be easily configurable (which basically means "not gaim", which I'm sure is wonderful and all, but I surely cannot be mithered spending hours faffing around with GTK).
Should preferably be able to reconnect me automatically if I disconnect.
Should preferably be able to deal with direct file transfer; need not do any other bloat and whistles that come in IM programs (other than sending of messages, naturally).
Should preferably be able to log messages for me automatically.
Should preferably be able to understand UTF8.
Should preferably give me the option to turn off any annoying "features" like graphical smileys or audio alerts.

Anyone know if such a beast exists?

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All IM clients do of course suck. With the possible exception of an early beta of ICQ (from late 1997 when they'd sorted most of the bugs but hadn't developed the feeping creatureism that turned everyone to AIM), most of them are enormously and unnescessarily irritating too. I'm not exactly sure why.

My requirements (namely, one which runs on linux, supports IRC and hopefully the Big Four, pops up attention-getting message windows without embarassingly stealing focus, and otherwise minds its own business in the corner of the screen) are somewhat less demanding than yours, yet there seems to be very little to chose from.

The repeated fragmentation of the userbase doesn't help, though hopefully we're over the worst now all the cool stuff is turning to Jabber. I won't hold my breath. These days I've pretty much given up on IM for chatting, as all the sane people use IRC anyway, apart from as a convenient cross-platform way of popping up messages.

If anyone's interested I'm currently using Kopete, which sucks as an IM client by insisting that you use coloured text in bizarrely nondeterministic ways, but does a nice job of displaying messages in baloons appearing from the system tray, which is ideal - the main reason I'm running an IM client in the first place is so that I can have the IRC bots spam me with caller-ID, doorbell ringing, that sort of thing.


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