Skype Out - Pidgin In
Recently, myself and my colleagues at Pelagicore decided to try to ditch Skype for an open replacement. We have been suffering stability issues with Skype for a long time, but our customers rely on it for contact with us and most people know how it works. However, recent events such as Microsoft buying Skype and cancelling support for Asterisk motivated us to try the alternatives.
What we want to avoid is some sort of lock-in, and at the same time, we want it to be easy to have people join. After some discussions and tests we decided to go for Jabber and libjingle. This is what Google Talk uses, so anyone using GMail is automatically in. This was a big benefit for us, as we run Google Apps on our domain.
So, first out was trying video and voice directly from within the web interface to Google Apps. Our tests show that this works out of the box on both OS X and Linux, Chrome as well as Firefox. However, this does not take care of the lock-in situation that we wanted to avoid.
Next step - Pidgin! Pidgin is available prepackaged for Windows, OS X, CentOS/RHEL, Fedora, Ubuntu - and as source code of course. Having installed it, video and audio seems to just work. Again - great success. File transfers also work great, so Skype is more or less replaced when it comes to our needs.
So, how is Pidgin configured for this? There are a number of guides for configuring Pidgin with Google Talk using a GMail account. For myself, I had to do some tweaking to get it to work with our Google App setup. So, here is the configuration I'm using:
On the Basic tab:
- Protocol: XMPP
- User name: john.doe
- Domain: example.com
- Resource: where you are right now, home / work / mobile
- Password: I leave this as an exercise to the reader
On the Advanced tab:
- Connect port: 5222
- Connect server: talk.google.com
- File transfer proxies: proxy.eu.jabber.org
During this transition, I tried the Skype integration in Pidgin. Basically - it sucks, and Skype is to blame for that. My recommendation is to use both clients if you need to during a transition period.
And a final tip - if you use the web interface for GMail, you can check out of chat there to avoid it opening a small window each time some calls you and you reply through Pidgin.
Johan Thelin is a consultant working with Qt, embedded and free
software. On-line, he is known as e8johan.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide