PC Doctor December 16, 2009

Have your computer questions answered here! Search the PC Doctor archive or submit a question of your own at info@athollibrary.org

 Dear PC Doctor,

 
    I love talking with my friends on IM, but not all of my friends are consistent with the same IM providers. Some use AIM, MSN, Yahoo, or just Facebook's chat provider. I have accounts for each of these, but it's a pain to log into each of them everyday. Is there a universal provider or service out there? Thanks!
Jeremy
 
Dear Jeremy,
 
    There's not a universal IM provider that I know of, but AIM is still a fairly popular, while Google and Skype are both becoming big ones. But you're right. There are so many IM (instant messaging) chat services out there now. There is now Windows Live (MSN), Yahoo!, MySpaceIM, Facebook chat, AIM, IRC, ICQ, Google, Jabber, and even Twitter has become a form of IM chat. Just having 3 or 4 of those accounts is a pain to keep up with. Fortunately there are several services out there that can help you manage your IM accounts. Meebo found at www.meebo.com is my personal pick, but that's just my taste. Trillian is another good one, and it also provides email, Facebook, and Twitter management in addition to the popular IM providers. You can find it at www.trillian.im. A slightly less known service, but still a good one is eBuddy, found at www.ebuddy.com. eBuddy can manage all the popular IM clients. 
    The main feature of these services is that they allow you to log in into all of your IM accounts by simply logging into the IM management service's website. It's so much easier, and quicker. I remember AOL's client used to take forever to log in; these other services are much faster. Once you’re logged in, all of your contacts are conveniently organized and displayed in one area. No more jumping back and forth to each client to see who’s on! Displaying status messages are even easier; you can set all of your accounts statuses in one easy operation. In short, an IM management service merges all of your accounts into one functioning account. Pretty sweet, I know. Try out a few, and good luck!
 
PC Doctor
 
PC Doctor's Website of the Week: Pixable
 
    Hey Athol Daily News readers. Here's a sweet website that I stumbled over while surfing the web. I think you'll find it useful, especially since the holidays are coming and going. The website is www.pixable.com, and it offers a pretty cool service at a decent price. If you're at all like me, you probably have a ton of pictures online, perhaps at several websites such as Facebook, Flickr, or even both. What Pixable does is take photos from Facebook, Flickr, or off your computer and have them published as a physical album book. Now there are other photo album services to be found on the internet, such as www.picaboo.com, www.kodakgallery.com, or www.shutterfly.com. All of those provide good services, and I definitely suggest you take a look at them. I'm specifically advocating www.pixable.com at this moment, because it offers the unique service of publishing Facebook photos. It does this by allowing you to connect to Facebook via their specific Facebook approved web app. Not only can you publish your own uploaded pictures, but you can publish your Friend's photos as well. This is a big plus for me because not only do I have most of my pictures on Facebook in convenient albums, but I also have access to my friend's photo albums. This gives me a broad selection of photos when creating my album. (Be sure to ask a friend's permission if you plan on using their photos). Using the service is very quick and easy. Simply go to the site, and select the "Connect with Facebook" option. Once you have logged in with your Facebook account you can start working on the album. Creating an album is super easy, just follow the steps, and choose the desired photos. Hope you enjoy this website as much as I did! 
 
Until next time… happy computing!

Posted: to Athol Library News on Mon, Jan 4, 2010
Updated: Thu, Jan 7, 2010

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