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October 9, 2003

It's Hell, But Now I Own My Own Piece of It

Posted by Mike on October 9, 2003 9:58 AM

So IM sucks. On the other hand, it's sort of cool, too. Over the past three or four years, it's been a happy medium between the phone and e-mail for most of my professional relationships. It's a fragmented, over-contested mess and a pain in the ass, but when it works it's handy. Yeah, it's too messed up to warrant hanging a permanent identity on it (though I have to admit a sneaking admiration for Microsoft's whole Passport gambit), but it's not too messed up to work with.

So the science project over the weekend and early this week was getting more than just basic Jabber services up and running. Jabber itself is easy: build it, replace a few occurences of localhost in the configuration files, and make sure to open a hole to port 5222 on the server that's running it. On a Debian machine running Woody, a running jabber server's just an apt-get install jabber away. Getting things like AOL and Yahoo support for it are less simple for now, but doable, so I'm documenting that part of it on the JabberOnDebian page.

Meanwhile, if you do IM, here's a collection of addresses to try while I pound on Puddingbowl's new jabber server:

  • AOL: pdxmph
  • Yahoo!: pdxyeti
  • Jabber:

If you're curious about Jabber, go grab a client and feel free to open an account on the server. Most of your IM-using friends won't be on Jabber, but you can get at them using our AIM and Yahoo transports, and you'll be doing The Right Thing™ by supporting an open standard anyone can use vs. a closed system that gets broken at the convenience of its owners.

Update: A weird bug in my router's software kept one of the jabber server's ports blocked off. If you've been drawing a jabber blank on trying to connect to, that's why. Fixed now.