How to Close Pidgin Chat Windows with the Escape Key

Pidgin (formerly known as Gaim) is a free, multi-protocol instant messaging application for Windows, Mac, and Linux.  Pidgin is highly customizable and supports popular instant messaging networks like Google Talk, MSN/Windows Live Messenger, AIM, Yahoo! Chat, and can connect to services like Facebook Chat through plugins (or directly through the XMPP messaging protocol).

In recent versions of Pidgin, the developers changed the default “close chat window” hotkey from the Escape key to the combination CTRL + W.  While I understand their reasons for doing this (many desktop applications have standardized CTRL + W as the ubiquitous “Close Window” hotkey), I simply can’t break the habit of closing IM windows with Escape.

Here’s how to change Pidgin’s configuration so Escape closes the IM window instead of CTRL + W.

Update: Reader Miguel submitted a much easier way to use the Escape key to close IM windows. Thanks!

Step 1: In Pidgin, go to Tools –> Preferences.

Step 2: In the Interface tab, enable the checkbox for “Close conversations with the escape key”.

That’s it! This change will make Pidgin recognize Escape as the hotkey to close IM windows. Commence celebration.

The other (more difficult) way to use the Escape key to close IM window

Step 1: Close Pidgin.

Step 2: Windows XP: Navigate to the following directory on your computer (where username is the user you’re logged in as):

C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\.purple\

Windows Vista or Windows 7: Navigate to the following directory on your computer (where username is the user you’re logged in as):

C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\.purple\

Linux/UNIX: Navigate to the following directory:

~/.purple/

Step 3: Locate the file called accels and open it with Notepad (or a similar text editor, I prefer Notepad++).

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Step 4: Find the line that contains the following code:

; (gtk_accel_path “

/Conversation/Close” “w”)

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Delete the semicolon (;) and change the line to the following code:

(gtk_accel_path “

/Conversation/Close” “Escape”)

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Facebook Unveils New Messaging Service That Will Revolutionize Communication

Is Facebook trying to conquer the world?  It seems so.

On Monday, Facebook held a conference in California where a new messaging service powered by the uber-giant, social-networking site was unveiled.

There has been a lot of speculation and buzz the past few weeks and months about Facebook’s version of email.  While it’s being officially called “Project Titan”, I think its “codename” the “Gmail Killer” is a lot cooler. And let’s face it, if anyone can take on Google – it’s Facebook.

So will Facebook’s new messaging client bring an end to the ever so popular Gmail or will it be able to compete with Yahoo, MSN and other various web emails?

From the looks of it – I think that “Project Titan” has the potential to be an “email killer” in general even though it’s really not a form of email, but more a form of omnipotent communication.

Let’s face it, our society today is moving past connecting through email. We have moved onto more instant forms of communications, like texting.

I can tell you from personal experience, it’s true. I’m the President of business group (Collegiate DECA) and an honor society (Phi Theta Kappa) and I learned that if I want to get in contact with my members that email is not the way. It took almost two weeks for everyone to contact me back via email. The next time I needed to contact everyone I texted them and within a day I had responses from everyone. Texting and instant messaging are taking over our world.

Email is not real time. We want to be able to communicate instantly. Facebook knows this and they are creating their messaging client around that concept.

The three main elements of the messaging client are seamless messaging, conversation history and a social inbox.  So how do these work? Let’s break them down.

Seamless Messaging

From the press conference, Zuckerburg talked about how the messaging client will be seamlessly integrated among all the ways that people communicate. What I got from this was that people will be able to write and respond to messages from various platforms such as texting, instant messaging, chat, and email. This will happen all within one page. If that not handy then I don’t know what it is. Forget trying to remember the best ways to get in touch with someone.

Conversation History

All these different types of communications from different types of platforms are really a hassle. Zuckerburg agrees.

I know I communicate through a myriad of platforms and a lot of times I get confused about where information is. Which email is it in, was it sent over IM, was it texted to me, did he/she tweet that to me, etc.

To have a client that combines all that would be amazing and would make my life so much easier and productive. It’s the future.

So basically, this messaging client is somehow going to take all the different platforms that two people communicate through and combine them into one thread. So for example, my brother and I will be able to see all the communications we have had through different platforms in one place. We will be able to see what we talked about over IM, over texting, and over email.

Nifty, right?

Social Inbox

From what Zuckerburg said in the press conference, the social inbox is going to be an inbox where Facebook will separate messages into three different categories. There will be a category that focuses on what’s important to you, what’s important to others, and a junk category. Basically Facebook is going to go through the messages and filter them so you get exactly what you want from who you want. As Zuckerburg noted, no more finding bills sandwiched in between a messages from you and your buddies.

Other Stuff

Besides the basics of Project Titan’s features, some of the other information disclosed during the press conference include: apps for cell phones, iPads, iPods, etc. are on their way;  350 million people use the messaging system that is already incorporated into Facebook, the majority of those messages are between two people; this is the biggest engineering task that Facebook has ever put together, and that team has been working on Project Titan for 15 months now; and that people will get a @facebook.com email address if they choose to sign up for the service.

That’s pretty much a short summary of what was talked about at the press conference in San Francisco on Monday. While specific information wasn’t given out, we really got a gist of what Facebook is about to do – which is making communication that much quicker, easier and more productive. They are making the future.

When Can I Get It?

Let me guess. After reading this, you want to sign up for “Project Titan”. Well I have some bad news – it’s not available just yet. Bummer, I know!

According to the press conference, the messaging system is going to be gradually rolled out over the next few months with invitations sent to certain people – more than likely people in the press and those that request invitations (you have to be logged in to request an invite).

My guess is that “Project Titan” is going to available for public use by summer 2011.

For more information on “Project Titan” you can visit the Facebook blog and remember to check back here at Techerator for future information!

For a little author/reader communication let me know what you think about the name? I’m actually not sure if “Project Titan” is going to be the official name or just what it’s being called now. Regardless, I think it’s a pretty stupid and cliché name. If you were asked to name Facebook’s new messaging client, what would you call it?

Leave your answer below in the comment section. Person with the best answer gets bonus points – which mean nothing.

How to Add Facebook Chat To Your Desktop Instant Messaging Software

When Facebook Chat was first launched in early 2008, it added a powerful feature to the growing social network.  Almost two years later Facebook Chat has received an upgrade – the ability to use Facebook Chat from your favorite desktop IM software.

This new feature works by utilizing the XMPP messaging protocol (the same protocol used in Google Talk) with your Facebook username and password.  Facebook Chat will work with any chat client that supports XMPP.  Examples of XMPP enabled clients include Pidgin, Adium, and iChat.  The latest version of AIM also supports Facebook Chat.

The first step to using Facebook chat in your desktop chat client is verifying that it supports XMPP.  If not, download one of the supporting clients listed above.  You can then visit the Facebook Chat page to find instructions for configuring your specific client.  Each set of instructions is customized with your information to make the setup easier. An example is shown below.

Once you have configured your chat client, you will be able to see your Facebook friends as they appear online.

Will you be using Facebook Chat in the method describe above or will you stick to the chat window on the Facebook site?  Let us know your thoughts on the new Facebook Chat by commenting below.