Switching to Gaim

I’m not exactly a big Instant Messaging fan, but it seems life forces you to use it these days. The majority of use on AIM, some MSN, Yahoo, and sometimes my favorite Skype. All those clients are clutter. So I don’t use Yahoo much, and keep that one closed. I’ve complained several times about how AOL dropped the ball with AIM. It’s client is about as bloated as Real Player. It’s gotten progressively worse after each release, to get a new feature, or security fix, you need to sacrifice more of your computer. I personally don’t like that concept.

I’m now using Gaim full time, and it seems to work rather well for me, minus a few caveats. Anyone who can help me would be requested to leave a comment:

  • Gaim won’t load with cygwin in the PATH, crashing with no clear error. No clue how to fix this without killing cygwin yet.
  • I could really use a S/MIME encryption plugin so that I’m compatible with those using the official AIM client with security enabled (they use SSL and S/MIME I believe). Anyone know of such a plugin?
  • Way to enforce a minimum font size (windows users tend to use rather small font sizes for things like AIM profiles, I’d love to simply +1 a few off the smaller ones).
  • Not that I use it often, but AIM has somewhat unstable file transfer. Some improvements in that area would be welcome.

Overall, I’m rather satisfied. It’s not perfect, but it’s better than AIM is at the moment. Perhaps Triton will shape up at some point. Until then I think Gaim is the best solution.

Note: Yes, I’ve tried Trillian. It’s a good product, but not good enough to pay for. Sorry Trillian fans. It’s rather ugly (haven’t seen a skin yet that doesn’t fix that), it’s UI is just strange, and it’s just not featured enough for the money. Adium is bliss on my Mac.

Security Software

Windows Firewall stinks

It took me about 45 minutes, and 2 phone calls to figure out that Windows Firewall apparently suffered some corruption, blocking me from FTP to this server. Not all FTP servers (for some reason that’s beyond me). All clients failed. First I thought it was the server. Then I thought it was a networking issue (net admin said FTP was not blocked). In the end, it was Windows Firewall. Resetting it using the Default Settings button brought me back to life (for anyone experiencing this problem that may be helpful to know).

I normally SFTP these days, but sometimes FTP for some reason (likely habit more than anything).


Schools Out For Summer!

Well we got no choice
All the girls and boys
Makin all that noise
‘Cause they found new toys
Well we can’t salute ya
Can’t find a flag
If that don’t suit ya
That’s a drag

School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
School’s been blown to pieces

No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher’s dirty looks

Well we got no class
And we got no principles (principals)
And we got no innocence
We can’t even think of a word that rhymes

School’s out for summer
School’s out forever
My school’s been blown to pieces

No more pencils
No more books
No more teacher’s dirty looks

Out for summer
Out ’til fall
We might not come back at all

School’s out forever
School’s out for summer
School’s out with fever
School’s out completely

Some TV, perhaps some food, packing/cleaning the few things in this dorm room. I’m tired. Kinda strange finishing on a Friday. Lots of people moved out already (mainly yesterday and this morning). I seem to be one of the last, though a few have finals through Monday. I think it’s going to be a rather lonely evening as it’s dead silent around here.


Alan Greenspan

Alan Greenspan is without question one of (if not the) brightest people in government. Always was, and likely will continue that legacy for many decades. What else would get him an amazing 5 terms as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Both Republican and Democrat Presidents have nominated him. He shows no real bias to any political party and has an amazing ability to foresee future economic problems.

He’s made quite a few bold statements lately that got rather little press since they go against the grain at the White House.

Nevertheless, he acknowledged that individual accounts do not address the shortfalls the Social Security system will face over the next 75 years.

In fact, they would create additional costs because workers who opt for accounts would divert a portion of their payroll taxes away from the system….

Greenspan warned, however, that if accounts are introduced into the system, “We have to do it in a cautious, gradual way. … (We) should go slowly and test the waters.” Feb 16, 2005

That’s far from being for the policy. He’s advocating having a good plan B, and testing the waters very carefully. But that’s not how most of the media, and the White House took his comment. He’s clearly not against them, but not confident.

Now he’s saying that Protectionism (a core aspect of Bush’s Agenda which essentially won him the election) is bad

I’m getting increasingly disturbed about some of the pressures of protectionism that are emerging in the world because, were we to get a rigidify of international market forces, I’m fearful of what the implications could be to the American economy and, of course, to the world as a whole… May 5, 2005

I’m curious how the White House will react to this one. This was a big part of Bush’s (and all Republicans) agenda. Keeping jobs at home by imposing tariffs and other barriers. I doubt it will be silent. Just interesting to see how Greenspan is going against the grain, yet the spin factory ensures his voice isn’t heard.

His track record is rather remarkable. To ignore someone with such great accuracy is really a shame. I wish people would actually listen to what he has to say. There’s really nobody out there who is as good at understanding the US economy as him. That’s why he’s kept his position through so many administrations.

Why is he kept on board if nobody wants to listen to him?