JabberNow is about the easiest network installation chore I've ever had the pleasure of doing.

September 20, 2005

2 Min Read
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Workgroup Woes

The sparse documentation that comes with JabberNow admonishes you to reserve a static IP address for the device, and one that all machines within your gateway can get to. Not a problem here, as this is a genuine SoHo environment with only about six or seven computers, a couple of printers and a digital music player to get in the way of in-house instant messaging.

When you boot JabberNow, the screen lights up and it goes out and finds itself a DHCP-assigned IP address to use temporarily, which is then displayed on the screen. Be sure to bring a magnifying glass, as the type size on the screen will almost surely exceed the capabilities of your drugstore-bought reading glasses.

JabberNow. $2,495. Jabber Inc. www.jabber.com

Once you get to the administrative screen, you enter the static IP address, and are also asked to enter a domain-driven name for your IM server. Jabber, Inc., engineers don't seem to have anticipated a peer-to-peer workgroup-oriented network, so I had to leave that out and settle for the machine-assigned localhost.localdomain. Alas, that means my poor users (me, the wife, the dogs) will have to enter the IP address in order to download and use the web-based IM client -- but only once after which bookmarks suffice.

Speaking of which, the documentation does not bother to tell you how to download the IM client from the machine, a chore left to the help system. Finding said help system was a bit of a chore, but in the end I did find it and all the information and software that I needed. Hopefully this early stage documentation will be replaced with something a bit more robust.

The one thing that didn't work was the registration that supposedly allows users to self-register their IM IDs. That didn't seem to work on mine, so I'll have to fiddle with that later to figure out why.

A Real Pleasure

That aside, this is about the easiest network installation chore I've ever had the pleasure of doing. The guys who developed my network music player and the software for my printers should hire the guys who did this software. It rocks!I'm hoping that when I get the software to enable federation of my JabberNow with AOL it is this easy to get up and running. And it looks like it won't be too hard to link JabberNow with peers, or with other XMPP IM servers.

Meanwhile, you gentle reader, should get one -- if you can afford the sort of spendy $2,495 price -- and get yourself into the local, secure, archived IM business!

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