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Making the Hack

Here’s how to connect Google Talk to any competing instant messaging network. It involves downloading, installing, and configuring a separate Jabber instant messaging client, in addition to the Google Talk client.

Begin by going to the Psi website. Psi distributes a free Jabber client; follow the onscreen instructions to download and install the Psi client on your computer.

Once you have the Psi client installed, launch it. When it’s up and running, click the Psi button in the lower-left corner and select Account Setup.

When the Jabber Accounts dialog box appears, click the Add button. In the Name: field, type Google Talk, then make sure the Register New Account option is not checked. When you’re done, click the Add button in this dialog box.

The Account Properties dialog box should now appear. Select the Account tab, then enter your full Gmail email address into the Jabber ID field.

Next, select the Connection tab. Check all the options on this tab, then enter talk.google.com into the Host field. Click the Save button when done.

Back in the main Psi window, click the Psi button again and select Service Discovery > Google Talk. When the Service Discovery dialog box appears, enter the address of any public Jabber server into the Address box and then press Enter.

Where do you find the Jabber server address? Easy; you can find a complete list of public Jabber servers on the Jabber website. Know, however, that not all Jabber servers offer transports for all instant messaging networks, so you may have to try more than one server to find one that offers the IM transport you want.

Once you connect the Psi client to the selected Jabber server, you should see a list of available IM transports (among other things) available from this server. Click the transport for the IM network you want to connect to. Wait a few seconds for Psi to gather the appropriate data for the selected transport, then right-click on the transport and select the Register option.

When the Registration dialog box appears, enter your username and password for that IM network then click the Register button.

Psi will now connect to the selected IM network and retrieve your existing contacts. As Psi adds your IM contacts, you’ll probably receive a series of system messages asking you to okay the addition of each contact. Click the Add/Auth button to authorize each contact. Then, once your contacts have been retrieved, exit Psi.

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