Island in the Net

A personal blog by Khürt Williams, full of inchoate writing on photography, coffee, and geekery.

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Using iChat with Google Talk

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Image via CrunchBase

I bought my wife (and myself) a white MacBook last week. Her birthday is next month and with Apple’s newly updated aluminium notebooks the previous model white notebook was put on sale. Her previous laptop, an 8 year old Dell Inspiron, was a joke and a pain in my neck. It was held together with duct tape. The battery held no charge so it had to be plugged in all the time. It could only connect to the Wi-Fi from one or two spots in the house. I spent a lot of time trouble shooting one problem after another. So this laptop was two gifts in one; an expensive birthday gift for my wife and lots of free time for me.

I spent about 30 minutes setting things up. I created an admin account, created her non-admin account, connected the laptop to the network, setup Mail.app to read her Gmail, linked her Gmail contacts to OS X’s AddressBook, installed one software patch, linked her iTunes to the Mac mini’s media library, and finally, setup iChat to use Google Talk.

iChat Video and Google Talk

Using iChat with Google Talk, picture 2 300x185Google Talk uses Jabber, an open instant messaging protocol. Apple built support for Jabber into the Leopard version of iChat. I added the account via the Accounts tab in the Preferences pane and was given a pleasant surprise once I logged in. A little camera style icon appeared next to my wife’s name in the contact list. I excited clicked it to find that I could initiate and conducts video chats via my Gtalk account. Audio and video quality were excellent with very little of that delay I’ve seen when using Skype. I can not find any official documentation on Google site about this but others have been doing this for some time. I take my MacBook to work each day and it would be nice to video chat with my wife during the day.

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