Since I use msn, aim, icq and yahoo messengers I needed to use chat software to combine them into one progam, and Trillian seemed perfect for the job. Not only does it support most of the usual chat functions but it can be expended with plug-ins and re-skinned to look any way you want.
Which Skin?I have the "Windows XP Pro" skin installed for trillian Pro by nikebball87, and there is also a version for the free Trillian 0.7x. I use these skins as they are easy to use, uncluttered, all the functions are supported, they suit my desktop and they have a good font size.
ModificationsAs you can see I have made a few changes to the skin as I didn't like having so many different icons in my contacts list. I customised a set of msn messenger icons, and then used purple to show online meta-contacts - those who are using more than one chat program - green for other online contacts and red for offline contacts.
Feel free to download my msn icon modifications or as another option a coloured dot icon version.
Plug-insThe next big topic is what plugins there are to install. I chose the five most useful ones as too many can slow you down:
Pop-3 - alerts you when new mail arrives
Do Me - task scheduler with alarm
Popup Notification - msn style popups
My Stuff Plugin - makes log urls clickable
The only other plugins I found that might be worth downloading are the birthday list, calendar, world times, imap email, games, launchme (quick launch plugin), message splitter, and spamchallenge (which asks unknown users to repeats a given word to prove they are not a bot/spammer or they will be blocked).
More SmiliesZaZ has produced smilies for each medium on Trillian, rather than all using the msn set. You can download them here as per this thread although they will be included in Trillian Pro 2 and Trillian Lite. To install them with the Windows XP Pro skin restart Trillian after completing the following: