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openfire and spark: cool stuff

ignite_dl_openfire.gifToday I spent some time tinkering with Openfire and Spark, and they're both pretty cool.

I've been using GAIM (ok, ok, Pidgin) at home on my PC but the last few days it decided to start crashing when connecting to Yahoo. Great. Back to Trillian, but, oh, wait, even though Trillian tickles me the fact that it looks like an app from 1992 drives me bananas. (Gaim ain't that great either). Is it so hard to spend a bit of time on look and feel? Icons? UI matters!

Anyway. So Russ had mentioned recently I should give jabberd a try, but hey, I'm a Java guy, so off I go and I get Openfire. Simple install: check. Embedded Jetty for built-in web configuration: check. Easy way to add IM gateway: err... slightly convoluted, but yeah. Check.

ignite_dl_spark.gifNow for Spark: still in beta, so expect some clunkiness, but the UI is surprisingly clean, and its Synth L&F implementation (at least that's what I think it's using) is also pretty good. Bonus: it doesn't crash.

An advantage of this setup is that I can connect from anywhere to my account on the Openfire server over a TLS channel (something that you can require) and all my IM connections are encrypted, at least to the server. This means I can use IM from open WiFi hotspots without (much) fear of snooping if it was necessary--something impossible if you're logging in directly to Yahoo, MSN, et. al.

Overall, pretty good! My half-hour of weekly free time is over now though :-), so I'll have to wait until next week to tinker with it more.

Posted by diego on May 20, 2007 at 6:25 PM

ubuntu server 7.04's paltry default packages

There are some basic packages that the basic distro of Ubuntu Server (as of 'Feisty' 7.04) does not include. I was just documenting a bit the sequence of apt-get commands I used right after the install was done:

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get install ssh
apt-get install lynx
apt-get install links
apt-get install vim
apt-get install gcc
apt-get install make
apt-get install sun-java6-bin
apt-get install sun-java6-jdk
apt-get install subversion
apt-get install smbclient
apt-get install smbfs

The update and upgrade commands are to update apt-get's lists and then upgrade packages that were just installed from CD, respectively.

Some of these are perhaps a bit less common -- smbfs maybe. But vim? gcc? make? Really? Not to mention ssh. The client of SSH comes in pre-installed, but you have to install the server.

I imagine there's some weird reason that has to do with copyrights or encryption, or the copyrights of encryption, but it's still a pain. Especially if you forget about doing it...

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on May 20, 2007 at 5:30 PM

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