Miranda IM is an open source multi-protocol IM client for Windows which is really efficient when it comes to resources consumption and speed, Miranda IM requires no installation and can be inserted into a floppy disk or USB. The most remarkable characteristic of this fascinating piece of freeware is that it is mostly based based on plugins, which by now reached the number of 700 and keep on growing. Thus, Miranda IM is one of the most flexible and customizable instant messaging clients on the market. In this article I'm going to share with you all you need to know about Miranda IM to get started and not die trying.
As a brief introduction I may tell you that Miranda IM is compatible with MSN, Yahoo!, ICQ, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, AIM, QQ, and IRC and many others via plugins like the new Twitter support (that will make a lot of happy users). As I said, one of the features that defines Miranda IM is its low resources consumption, in fact, using around 10MB of RAM memory.
Even being so light, the compact Miranda IM interface allows most of the operations of typical chat like sending files and consult the chat record or profiles. On the Options window we can find a full panel of parameters and options to customize the behavior of Miranda IM, from the avatars visualization to keyboard shortcuts. The icons in the window can be modified as well as menus, sounds and notifications.
Installing & Getting to Run
When running the Miranda installer the first thing you'll be prompted to do is to choose which protocols you wish to install. The default choices are in the next screenshot:
Remember that Jabber includes Gmail accounts and that if your desired protocol is not on this list you can add it later by downloading and installing its respective plugin from here.
First Run & Setting Up Our Accounts
If we did not select the autorun option in the last install window, just double-click the Miranda IM icon on our desktop, within the Start menu, or going to the installation folder and clicking on the .exe file. Miranda loads up really fast.
In this next phase, we are asked to enter a profile name, we can put anything we like. Then the import profiles wizard is run, but there is no need to use it, as we are installing the program for the first time. Cancel to close.
Then we will be asked for details of our instant messaging accounts, we can also follow the links to register new accounts in case we haven't already created one or just click Cancel if we don't want to use it. In this case it is better to remove the .dll associated with it.
We are almost done and ready to chat with our friends and relatives. Just clicking the Status menu at the top of the contact list and select Online to get protocols connected. In the case we are getting error warnings, checking our login details is the way to solve it. Right-clicking on each icon of the status bar at the bottom of the window show the status menu for each protocol.
Ready, Set... Chat!
Opening a chat window is simple and easy, just double-click on a contact or right click on their name and click on Message to in the popup list. Send a message by typing in the message in the text box at the bottom and press enter. We may see a Typing Notification when somebody types on the other side of the line. when we receive a message and we do not have a chat session open, we will see that the system tray icons blinks accompanied by a sound, to read that message we just make a double-click on the flashing icon and a chat window will be opened for us to reply.
Miranda IM Version 0.8 is currently being developed and is in its alpha 31 build. Its novelties include account management, multiple protocol instances support, a core notifications framework, better compatibility with Windows Vista, a new plugin loader, return of the console and improvement of the user friendliness. Download it from here
Few messaging clients can claim to be as light and flexible as Miranda IM. The lack of voice chat and video and the fact that its interface is not very intuitive are a clear disadvantage, but most functions we need when chat time comes are present.
Have you tried Miranda IM? Please, share your opinions in the comments section below.
Author: Lucas Artigas Review on: Miranda 0.7.19/0.8.0 Test