Instant Messaging when you can’t install software

Shhh. Don't tell.
Shhh! Don’t tell the IT guy!

Tip: Instant Messaging when you can’t install software. IM with your Web browser instead!

In recent years, company IT departments have cracked down on letting end users install software on company computers. It’s justified, since administrators are tasked to make sure the company complies with software licensing agreements. Also, giving employees too much freedom to install software eventually leads to computers that may experience decreased performance and lead to significant downtime for employee and administrator to fix. Not to mention the risk of introducing virus’ and other crap into the network.

If you really need AIM, and you can’t convince your company IT dept to install IM software, check out these apps that work in your Web browser:

  • Meebo
    Platforms: AOL/AIM, ICQ, Jabber, GTalk (Google Talk), Yahoo!, MSN
  • eMessenger
    Platforms: AOL/AIM, MSN, Yahoo!
  • AIM Express
    Platforms: AOL/AIM

Please let me know if you have any suggestions that don’t require admin privileges to install. Thanks.

Instant Messaging with Treo 650

Back in the mid-90’s, I used a simple Day Runner paper planner to “organize” my life. My wife urged my evolution up to a Franklin Planner, which was more of a leather bound philosophy and way of life.

Franklin Planner with Palm III PDAI think it was around 1998 when I picked up a Palm III in an office supply store and was instantly hooked. I even had a leather Franklin Planner case that integrated a Palm IIIx sleeve with the paper ring binder (pretty much an oxymoron now that I think about it).

My PDA journey started with the III, then a Palm IIIx, a Tungsten C and finally led to a Smart Phone Palm Treo 650 — simply the best PDA ever!

I swear by electronic organizers to keep me sane. The PDA is also my curse because it is loaded with an everlasting list of tasks to accomplish. Plus, my mom thinks my handwriting is horrible.

Part of being organized and productive is the need for instant access to info. IM is great for that. My co-workers depend on AOL Instant Messenger to stay in touch throughout the day. My family also occasionally ping me rather than call, since it’s less intrusive. I’ve wanted instant messaging (not text messaging) on my Treo, but just couldn’t justify the expense.

Finally, a few free alternative for Instant Messaging on the Treo 650 have surfaced.
Here are two worth checking out if you are looking for simple features. See the full list below for other software solutions that offer more features, yet come at a price.

Free Solutions:’s Toccer for Treo Agile Messenger 2 BETA for Palm 3.5+
Platforms: ICQ, AIM, Yahoo!, MSN
Investment: Free Beta

Paid Solutions:

AOL Mobile
Platforms: AOL
Investment: $19.95

Platforms: MSN, Yahoo!, AIM, ICQ, GaduGadu and Sametime, Google Talk, Jabber
Investment: $16.95

Platforms: “An always-on presence on the Yahoo!, ICQ, MSN & AOL chat networks.” Investment: $24.95/$34.95 annual subscription fee, depending on level of features.

IM+ Mobile Instant Messenger
Platforms: ICQ, MSN, AOL, Yahoo, Jabber, Google Talk
Investment: $29.95

Causerie Messenger
Platforms: Yahoo!, MSN, AIM, ICQ, Jabber, Google Talk
Investment: $29.95

Occasionally, Palm software download sites run special discounts. Keep an eye out and maybe you can get 10% off.

The Instant Messenger Roundup November 2005 has a review that compares Chatopus, IM+ and VeriChat.

If you ever need to IM while at a someone else’s computer, or your company IT dept refuses to install IM software, check out AIM Express. It’s slow, but works via the Web browser.

I hope this helps you be more productive. Let me know if you have any experience with the above or other solutions to check out. Thanks.