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10 Articles

Posted by Dave on

Remote Conferencing

Remote Conferencing

The “crisis” has made me review my remote communication tools, I started with Hangouts, but need to check them all; here are my notes on the others. I look at Skype, IRC, ICQ, Jabber, Teams, Netflix, Zoom and Voice only! 

Posted by Dave on



aka mastodon.social, wikipedia says, “Mastodon is a federated social network, with similar features to Twitter, but administrated as a decentralized federation of servers running open source software.” Can we build a “club” using this? Here are my notes…

Posted by Dave on



There are still people who only use feature phones or even simpler. How can one use a key board to send messages via SMS. Here are my notes, Twitter, ICQ and SMS gateways at the moment. I marked this as deprecated today.

The CMS states that this article was created in March 2017, but the content seems much older. I was looking at how to improve this wiki’s documentation of Skype, came across this note and think it’s way past its best; certainly there is the third party mysms and microsoft now offer software to link your phone which meets this requirement, called imaginatively “my phone“. 

Posted by Dave on

Musings on O356

So work is pushing me to Office 365; it wouldn’t surprise me if the next home system does so too. I have decided to see if W7 and a more modern hardware makes OWA easier to use. I have had to upgrade my phone since my current one was very old, and they didn’t want to support BB6. Microsoft have also bought Yammer and Skype recently and launched Lync as part of the desktop; so everyone needs a clear road map. I shall start with the view that I should use Lync for chat and Yammer for micro-blogging inside the company. Obviously, outside the company I shall continue to use what people read/reply to. An interesting insight, inside a company managers can declare use policies that have a chance of sticking, but it’s not guarenteed.

So can pidgin act as a Lync chat client? Here’s the google search, here’s the pidgin plugins home page., it seems SIPE is the keyword, and the pidgin page says it’ll support TRM as well as implying it’ll support Lync although it seems designed for MS Office Communicator.

So, here’s the SIPE code, http://sourceforge.net/projects/sipe/, it’s an NSIS install on Windows, think I had to reboot windows to see the “Office Communicator” option. The configuration runes are documented on this page, which is part of the O365 community site. DFL 9th Oct 2014

Posted by Dave on

IRC Aliasing

I have been using irc://rizon.net as a chat server and they offer some identity management tools.

Here is some more comprehensive instructions. ircaliasing

These allow you to take ownership of a nickname and declare a virtual host.

/msg nickserv register <password> <email>

This causes rizon to send you a confirmation code and message. They send it to the email address, remember to check the junk mail box.

/msg nickserv confirm <code>

Then ask for a host alias and turn it on

/msg hostserv request toss.pot
/msg hostserv on

Wonder if it works with pidgin

Posted by Dave on

Instant Messaging and Chat (Deprecated)

This article has not matured well. I had been planning to write a blog, which discussed the current attempts led by Google to re-enclose the chat communities.  The landscape had changed, with Google, in the spring of 2013 shit-canning Google Reader its RSS reader, and crippling XMPP in Google Talk. I had meant to write something on the modern enclosure movement, the closest I got was my blog article, “A bad week for RSS”. My thoughts on the impact of the NSA/GCHQ monitoring scandal and personal behaviour i.e. my response in terms of chat use was posted in a article called “Stable Doors and Missing Horses…”, on my blog. The rest of this article is about how to use multi-protocol chat services.

Posted by Dave on

Google Talk

I first attempted this in August 2008. I have successfully configured Pidgin 2.0.1 to act as a client although in one case I have two channels between me and my correspondent. One of the reasons was to have a second XMPP chat service to test my problems with Pidgin and my work’s XMPP server. See Pidgin on this site, and I have written this up on my old Sun blog, at an article called google talk and pidgin, published on 10th October 2008.

Posted by Dave on



I have been using Pidgin as a multi-protocol client for my instant messenger services since about 2008. The contents of this page originally relate to problems I was having with pidgin on a windows system. It was written in the Autumn of 2008 and both windows and pidgin have had many new releases or updates since then. I can’t imagine that it remains of much use. i.e. this page is out of date and not very useful now. I recognised on copying the page from its source that the page required amendment so in Dec 2014, I needed to document the installation of themes I moved the 2008 content to the comments section.


In 2014, as we had moved on from Windows XP, the theme management features of Pidgin became attractive to allow it to fit in more easily.

One approach is to edit the GTK preferences, document on this page,

and/or to install new bubbles and smilies from

One needs to be careful how one unpacks these, the themes need to have the correct name hierarchy, i.e. %appdata%\.purple\themes\${Theme Name}\purple\*, some installation techniques may leave one with the theme name reepated twice.

Protocol Helpers

Lync & TRM need SIPE, available at http://sourceforge.net/projects/sipe/, when installing this using the NSIS installer, this worked fine, as you’d expect since there’s little google evidence that it doesn’t.

Skype needs its own plugin