Talkr.im Howto

March 13, 2011 at 15:24 | Posted in Cool, Tech, Tutorials/Howtos | 2 Comments
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In my last post I talked about my positive experiences with talkr.im. The only area I found to be a little lacking was Documentation. So, in this post I am going to run through how to use various features of talkr.im.

Getting Connected:

The first thing you’ll need is an XMPP client. There are many of these (see this list). You will want at least one of your clients to support XMPP Service Discovery. (In my case I use Psi on one of my laptops for this as the XMPP client built into the N800 lacks this functionality.) The other thing you’ll need is a talkr.im account. This part is easy just go to http://www.talkr.im/ , click Register, fill out the simple form follow the instructions and you have a talkr.im account.

Once you have the account you’ll need to set up your XMPP client. This varies from client to client but you’ll need something like this:

  • Username: yourname@talkr.im
  • Password: your password
  • Server: conference.talkr.im
  • Port: 5222
  • SSL/TLS: yes

Once you have your XMPP clients all configured and connected it’s time to start having some fun with Talkr.im’s more advanced features.

Gateways/Transports:

The transports/gateways to other IM services are fairly easy to you once you know how.

  1. Launch your XMPP client that supports Service Discovery.
  2. Use the Service Discovery option to find the Transport you want to use
  3. Select the Transport and choose the register option (double clicking will work for this on some clients other may have to right click and choose register).
  4. Enter Your Username/Password for the IM service you are setting up the Transport for (i.e. Yahoo ID/Password for the Yahoo Transport).
  5. If all goes well you’ll get a bunch of Authorization Requests as people from the IM service you entered the details for are added to your roster (friends list)
  6. Repeat the steps above for all the IM services you want to use
  7. The IRC Transport is used differently as it is more of a MultiUser Chat service then an IM (Instant Messaging) service. I’ll cover it below
  8. You can now chat to all your friends on far flung services all in one place. Enjoy

Note: You only need to use the XMPP client with Service Discovery support to set this up. Once set up even a very basic XMPP client will be able to chat with all your friends.

Setting-up/Using the IRC transport:

For me one of Talkr.im’s greatest features is the IRC (Internet Relay Chat) Transport as this allows access to almost any IRC server right from your XMPP client. There are a few oddities to get used to in using the IRC transport but you’ll get the hang of it quickly once you know how.

The Register option on the IRC transport allows you to Pre-configure your Nickserv Passwords and other connection options for various IRC servers I’ll cover that in a bit.

To join a channel on an IRC server you would use the enter chat/groupchat/room option on your XMPP client. More full featured clients will let you select the Host/room/nickname/password from a dialogue which makes life easy. If so, you’d fill in:

  • Host: irc.talkr.im
  • Room: Channelname%irc.server.name
  • Nickname: The IRC nick you want
  • Password: Your Nickserv Password if any

If you are using a more limited client like the one on my N800 you wont get a nice multi-field dialogue to fill out just the option for a room name. In that case you would enter:

  • channelname%irc.server.name@irc.talkr.im

In this case you’ll need to have used a more advanced client (with Service Discovery) to pre-configure your Nicks and Nickserv Passwords. Luckily you can configure Nickserv Passwords and other options on a per server basis. However you’ll be stuck with the same nick everyplace. (usually not a problem for most people).

Pre-configuring IRC server settings:

  • Use your advanced XMPP client’s Service Discovery option to locate the irc.talkr.im transport service.
  • In this case you definitely will need to use right click or something similar to get to the Register option. (The default option (double click) is set to open a chat room).
  • Once the Register dialogue comes up you’ll see two fields one for IRC Username which will be your nickname on all servers ( bit of a bummer)
  • and a second large field with esoteric stuff in it. This second field is where you configure your per server settings.
  • The field holds one long line that looks like this:

[{“irc.server.one”,”Encoding“,portnumber,”nickserv password for irc.server.one“}, {“irc.server.two“,”Encoding“,portnumber,”nickserv password for server.two“}].

  • OK looks complicated but lets break it down
  • Each set of {} holds the info for one IRC server.
  • All the {}‘s must be inside the []‘s
  • You need the . after the last ]
  • inside the first quotes you want the server hostname (i.e. irc.dal.net, or irc.freenode.net, etc)
  • The encoding field will be utf-8 for most people change it to a different encoding if required.
  • The portnumber field does not have quotes and should be set to the port for the IRC server (6667 in most cases).
  • The last entry is your nickserv password (again with quotes around it)
  • Remember this all goes on one long line.. do not hit enter/return in an attempt to make it look “neat”
  • It does some syntax checking and will only succeed if thing are right or close enough.

Note: Registering with irc.talker.im will not register the passwords you enter with the nickserves of the various IRC servers. You must go to the servers and set up the nickserv passwords first if you intend to use them. If you don’t use nickserv just set the password field to “” (an empty set of quotes).

I’m going to end this blog post here as it covers how to set-up and use all the Transports. Hopefully in a future post I’ll cover using PubSub, applepush, Jingle nodes, and file transfer proxies.

Enjoy.

P.s. once you get hooked-up I can be reached @ freemor@talkr.im (that is an XMPP address not an e-mail) I’d love to hear if this was useful.

Talkr.im – Connectivity in one place

March 12, 2011 at 18:38 | Posted in Cool, Free (as in Freedom) Software, site of the week, Tech | Comments Off on Talkr.im – Connectivity in one place
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A while ago I switched to using talkr.im as my main Chat/Presence server. Since the switch I have come to greatly appreciate the value of their service.

I should probably back up a bit and talk about how I use Chat and presence services. The first thing that I should note is that as a supporter and advocate for Faif (Free as in freedom) software I stick to XMPP chat/presence servers. Jabber.org at first, then the one offered by my mail provider fastmail.fm. The problem I encountered was that the service offered by fastmail.fm was based on an older XMPP server and didn’t play nicely with Identi.ca (more on that in a sec.). The other problem I encountered was that neither of them offered a way to keep in touch with friends who choose to use non-faif servers from a non-faif O/S.

Enter talkr.im. When I switched to talkr.im not only did it work flawlessly with identi.ca. Which is a major consideration as that is my primary reason for running a chat/presence client these days. It also had an MSN/WLM gateway which I can, and do use to keep in touch with those stuck, for what ever reason, in a non-fiaf world .

It also has an IRC gateway which recently became of great utility to me as I put my N800 on a diet and part of that diet was not installing rtcomm beta which loaded in tonnes of functionality I’ll never use, and as the name suggests is stuck in beta.

So, by using talkr.im and the basic XMPP client built into my N800 I can keep in touch with:

    My Identi.ca feed
    My friends on other XMPP services
    My friends stuck in Windows/MSN
    Anyone on any IRC server
    People on ICQ – I don’t but I could
    People on Yahoo – I don’t do this either
    Group chats on the talkr.im server.
    And more

Talkr.im even has room for me to grow into. They offer a jingle node that would allow video chat even through NAT routers. They have a Pub/Sub service I’ve yet to make use of, a user directory and other features.

One of the nicest things is that they are responsive to support requests. A while a go they had a minor outage. As this was a major diference then thier rock solid server availability I e-mailed to inquire as to the cause and expected duration of the outage. Their responce was fast,curtious, informative, and accurate. Not only that they even took the time to e-mail me when the server was back on its feet.

So if you are making the move to XMPP, or just moving to a new XMPP server I’d definitely recommend giving talkr.im a look. They are great no matter what your chat/presence needs.

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