by October 8, 2010 0 comments



A mail client that also let’s you do instant messaging, VoIP, and blogging. An open source instant messaging alternative to free counterparts like Yahoo!, MSN, etc. A mail client that also acts as your desktop, and a plethora of open source IP PBXs to choose from, which are just waiting to replace your current analog PBX. The commuincation software market is overflowing with lots of exciting options that could completely change the way you communicate. Here,
we present some of them, but don’t just take our word for it. Try them out yourself. They’re all there on this month’s PCQuest DVD.

24im
Instant messaging has become a staple in most workplaces these days. Also, most freebie services like Yahoo! or Google weren’t designed for businesses, but for personal usage. That’s why they have their own limitations when an organization considers to deploy them. There’s another alternative called web based instant messaging, which let’s you create collaborate within a group, and even offer the facility to share files, folders & more.

One such tool is 24im, which is group based private Instant messaging application. With 24im, you can stay in touch with all your colleagues without leaving your computer. Like most instant messaging services, 24im aggregates all your co-workers in a single place. From here, you can send messages, emails or share files with individuals or groups of people on your list. Not only that, it also allows you to set up chat rooms and talk with multiple people. All this is controlled through the 24im administration portal that makes work simpler. It allows you to set up controls and regulate the way the messaging service is used in your business.

Best of all, it is free and available in two versions–desktop and web-based application. 24im also comes in two different editions–Basic & enterprise. Some of its feature includes upto 1 GB of file and image storage capability. You can instant broadcast messages to all or selected members of your group. Moreover the messages are encrypted (AES encryption), thereby keeping all conversations secure.
After registering and filling the credentials & by making a new group ID, you will get information like system administrator’s User ID and password onto the mail account that you have registered. Then you can simply log in to the web-based application by entering the login credentials and from there you can start by adding users, creating chat rooms, etc.

Some more features include screen capture technology that helps in easy screenshot grabbing and sharing. You can also simply drag and drop captured images directly onto the chat window and thus share them with other users. There’s an I-mail (internal mail) messaging system for quick, secure offline messaging. It also gives alerts notifying the presence or some activity changes. It also allows you to create chat rooms at different levels such as public, private or within groups.

Zimbra desktop

In our past issues we have talked about Zimbra, Zimbra Appliance and Zimbra Collaboration suite and we have showed how you can install it on linux platform & more.
In this story we are focusing on the Zimbra desktop that combines the capabilities of multiple email boxes under one roof. The capabilities of Zimbra don’t restrict itself to messaging but it also allows to store contacts, share calendars, edit documents and a lot more.
We installed the windows version of Zimbra desktop and after installing, it prompts to select the account type. The account type differs from Yahoo! mail, Gmail, IMAP, POP, Zimbra mail and more. After filling in the details and after adding the account, you are good to go. The Zimbra desktop screen is quite intuitive and with its
conversation views & message tags, all important email can be highlighted easily.

Zimbra works on multiple platforms including Windows, MacOS, or Linux and can sync mail accounts, contacts, and calendar. Using the conversation, view and tag options, you can collapse email threads into a single view to make the work easier. You can also tag
messages, do advance searches for files, folders, etc. Using the calendar feature, you can view calendars on basis of day, week, month and it also allows dragging and dropping events to new days,
importing public web calenders & inviting others to meetings and more. One very interesting feature of Zimbra desktop is that it allows you to edit documents that are in your inbox. It also allows you to save attachments in your briefcase rather than as message attachments.

Add Spice to your mail with Spicebird
Spicebird, an open source email and collaboration application for Windows and Linux, allows you to perform ­multitasking roles under one roof. You can email, manage calendar, tasks, contacts, do instant messaging, and much more. It’s very easy to use and has an interactive interface that also allows you to add different applets like agenda, date & time, RSS feeds and many others. It can even Google applets, giving you more functionality. Spicebird is built on top of the popular Thunderbird mail client. It gives you the look & feel of Google Chrome. It also gives you some add-ons like extensions, themes, plug-ins, etc from the Tools menu.

Spicebird also allows you to chat with your address book contacts. After just few steps of configuration it prompts you to select the protocol for the chat account setup. The protocol list gives you several options to choose from that comprise of Google-Talk, MSN, AIM, GroupWise, ICQ, Yahoo! and a few others. Another interesting feature of Apicebird is ‘error console’, which can be quite useful for developers in bug reporting. Installing and configuring Spicebird is quite smoothand in less than a minute you are good to go. Apart from configuring email accounts, it also allows you to configure a blog account, newsgroup account, Google account, etc.

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