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Microbloging with Pidgin

Loggin in to too many applications when you just have to get connected with others via various Microbloging websites? Check this out, I have found a way to integrate them all in pidgin.

I was searching for various ways to integrate them all for a while now. Started tweeting via jabber using a identi.ca and that was fun. Still, there are too many challenges.. I didn’t wanted to tweet few things via identi.ca, wanted to connect to Facebook and lot more. Is there any way I can integrate them all in Pidgin? Google said yes, there are many ways… I kept on searching to find a better option and each time I found a plugin or two. My search ended here.  This post on “nousessence” pointed me to a plug-in which I had tried some time back but haven’t tried it properly. Plugin named microblog-purple or mbpurple has got an easy way to integrate all microbloging websites on to your Pidgin.

To install this plug-in on Ubuntu just add couple of lines to apt source list as show below:

#sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following lines to gedit window

#Pidgin-Microblog
deb https://ppa.launchpad.net/sugree/ubuntu jaunty main
deb-src https://ppa.launchpad.net/sugree/ubuntu jaunty main

And install the plug-in as follows

#sudo aptitude install pidgin-microblog

Start your pidgin, go to Accounts menu, Manage accounts and add your identi.ca, twitter, facebook and many  other microbloging accounts and you’re done.. You won’t require any other tool after this. This also adds and another plugin to Pidgin called Twitgin to help you with couple of extra features. Check this out and enjoy…

Fix: Pidgin fails to connect to yahoo

From last few days, Pidgin failed to authenticate many of our yahoo id’s. This was due to discontinued support to Yahoo protocol 16 (Source: Pidgin change log).

Yahoo Protocol 16 support, including new HTTPS login method; this should fix a number of login problems that have recently cropped up.

Pidgin released a new update to resolve this issue. Pidgin 2.5.7 is out. You can install it as given below.

1) Import the public key for Launchpad PPA for Pidgin Developers:

$ sudo apt-key adv --recv-keys --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com 67265eb522bdd6b1c69e66ed7fb8bee0a1f196a8

2) Add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list

deb https://ppa.launchpad.net/pidgin-developers/ppa/ubuntu jaunty main

3) Now, Run apt-get update and apt-get upgrade / apt-get install pidgin .

The PPA contains new pidgin releases for other versions of ubuntu ( dapper gutsy, hardy ,intrepid and karmic)

Once this is done, do restart your pidgin and find the yahoo authentication happening fine just like earlier.

Enjoy!

[Kubuntu] Remotely starting applications on running X sessions

Running applications while working with network applications in Ubuntu based distro’s has been bit tricky. You can find one such error reported here.

(pidgin:6130): Gdk-CRITICAL **: gdk_display_get_name: assertion `GDK_IS_DISPLAY (display)’ failed

To resolve this I had to configure KDM in Kubuntu to listen on the network to accept connections to run X. There were many solutions posted in various forums. ie. setting the DISPLAY variable on the remote system, typing xhost + on the local system’s console and then running the X application on the remote system.

To configure KDM to listen on net work you need to edit the key file /etc/kde3/kdm/kdmrc and then comment the following line:

ServerArgsLocal=-nolisten tcp

But this didn’t work for me.

All I had to do is put the xhost + in .bashrc so that it disables the acl’s. Now, I can run the applications just like local applications.

AOL Servers and My buddy lists

It looks like its an error day celebration for me today! One after the other new issues are popping in.

The most irritating one was AOL Buddylist warning as AOL servers were found to be too busy to send out my online buddy lists. Had to spend the whole day communicating directly or via phone with my buddies.

Pidgin got to think before popping out these messages when I’m not at the desk. There were around 100+ windows on my desktop when I returned.

Its fun to log it here. Did you also face this issue today? I found that aol.in ID’s to be working fine without any issue.

Off-the-Record

Pidgin IM I use this for logging into all my messenger ID’s. Its an easy and convenient messenger tool. It does come with a rich set of plugins to enhance my chatting experience. It has been my favorite for years now. Pidgin was formally know as Gaim Messenger. You can talk to your friends using AIM, ICQ, Jabber/XMPP, MSN Messenger, Yahoo!, Bonjour, Gadu-Gadu, IRC, Novell GroupWise Messenger, QQ, Lotus Sametime, SILC, SIMPLE, MySpaceIM, and Zephyr. Its available as Adium on OS X.

I always wanted to use secure communication channels to interact with my colleagues , clients and also with friends as security has been the major concern. I needed something which provides me the private channel to communicate. There are many companies like yahoo etc providing enterprise communication messengers. But all I needed was a free solution to this along with my existing messenger.

I really did find one on the net.  Off-the-Record (OTR) Messaging. Which allows you to have encrypted private conversations with your favorite messengers.

These are the main features provided by OTR :

  • Encryption
  • Authentication
  • Deniability
  • Perfect forward secrecy

Implemented and tested on Pidgin, Trillion (Windows), Adium (OS X), mICQ for command line and many more. Its released under GPL.
Installing this plugin on Ubuntu is very easy :

sudo aptitude install pidgin-otr

Once the installation is over, just enable this plug-in from your pidgin’s plug-in list. You will find OTR on your IM windows once this is done. Usage is very simple, click on OTR button to start the private conversation. It requests the key from your buddy. Once you confirm that the key received by you is trusted, you can continue enjoying the off-the-record messaging. You can also secure it further by adding a pass phrase for the authentication.

You might be wondering, why I choose this when there is an another plugin for pdigin is available for encryption isn’t it?. pidgin-encryption does not provide deniability or perfect forward secrecy features.

This is from the FAQ on OTR website to provide you more details:

“If an attacker or a virus gets access to your machine, all of your past pidgin-encryption conversations are retroactively compromised. Further, since all of the messages are digitally signed, there is difficult-to-deny proof that you said what you did: not what we want for a supposedly private conversation! ”

IM securely with off-the-record. Ping me on fizworks (AIM id) if you want give it a try. I would be glad to help you.

Happy Private Messaging!