in finchLook, I’m still alive! Been busy with work/family/geeking out.

On that latter subject, I’ve been regressing to some degree, running my instant messaging/IRC, email, and tweets off of a free Debian shell in Germany called the Nic Nac Project. I’ve been using finch aka gaim-text (the ncurses-based version of Pidgin), alpine, and twidge, respectively to handle these tasks and using tmux to manage windows (though there is one IRC server I connect to that only has open port 6667 which NNP’s ISP blocks, so I have to ssh into another free shell and use irssi from there to connect). Technically, I could create an SSH Tunnel and VNC in or use X11 Forwarding and run everything off of the more traditional fluxbox-based desktop but it’s s-l-o-w, and ANSI was good enough for a long time for me (though now I demand UTF-8).

Overall it has been working quite well, except for two things:

  1. when using PuTTY as a terminal it doesn’t handle line drawing characters correctly when using UTF-8 translation so finch winows and tmux windows look all messed up. Unfortunately their approach to dealing with bugs is not necessarily friendly. I’m guessing this is a lost cause then.
  2. constant authorization requests from MeeboMe (I can’t believe people still check my blog even though I haven’t touched it in so long!) which I couldn’t fix with the old plugin.

Luckily, the friendly folks at #pidgin on Freenode came to the rescue. Apparently, one of them had taken that old plugin and ran with it. I am happy to report that it works marvelously with Finch 2.6.6 running Debian Lenny. Unfortunately, it takes a few steps:

  1. download the source for Pidgin
  2. untar if necessary and cd inside the source directory
  3. type ./configure (note you will probably need to use a lot of –disable flags; I did ./configure –disable-gtkui –disable-gstreamer –disable-vv –disable-meanwhile –disable-avahi –disable-nm –disable-tcl)
  4. download the plugin
  5. mv the plugin into the source’s pidgin/libpurple/plugins directory
  6. type make
  7. mv the finished plugin ( into your own plugins directory (I use ~/.purple/plugins for one’s I’ve made myself)
  8. It should pop up in finch’s plugins dialog– just click the checkbox and you’re set

Hopefully this puts your mind at ease as it did mine.