Update on the progress of the Linux desktop replacement. This has sure proved to be a task. However, I am gaining experience and Ubuntu is a very nice clean operating system.
Ok. First thing was first, I had to open the lines of communication so that my co-workers could communicate with me. So, OCS/Chat was the primary issue. Research on Google showed me that the SIPE plugin for Pidgin was also able to be used by Empathy. So after installation, the SIPE connection type shows up. Attempts to configure this plugin through Empathy have failed, and ultimately I gave up on it and installed Pidgin (after all, the plugin name is actually pidgin-sipe). And as luck would have it, the SIPE plugin configuration works just fine to communicate with our Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Server. I also set it up with MSN, and that works excellent also. Here are some Pros and Cons about Pidgin over OCS that I have observed:
Pros: Works with linux, integrates with Ubuntu Unity fairly nicely, cuts and pastes of information seem to flow nicer than in OCS, uses less memory. Can integrate multiple accounts into the same display.
Cons: Large font size, that seems to not be changeable. No easy way to look up new users that aren’t already in my buddy list. Altering groups configurations seem to not save sometimes. There are a number of times when I change network connectivity (dock / undock) where it still lists connected, but is not really. Group chats are not very straight forward.
Configuration: Install pidgin, install pidgin-sipe plugin, setup accounts. Some of the settings that I used to make it a little smaller are:
- Turned off the tabbed windows. It was too difficult to see who was talking when.
- Under the View menu, show empty groups (otherwise you won’t see your new groups!)
- Under the View menu, show protocol icons (so you can tell MSN from OCS contacts
- Under the View menu, show detailed information set to OFF to get more on the screen.