With 3 buildings on the farm, and me often tending our vegetable garden or in the goat pen; we often use XMPP chat to keep in touch.
Using XMPP is quick and simple, Pigin is loaded as part of most distributions of Linux, or you can easily find it in the Software Manager. First, go to the Jabber web site and create your accounts. Next, configure your Pigin software with those accounts.
That’s it! Now you can chat building to building, or around the world with friends and family. (Yes, Pigin is available for Windows and Macintosh as well.)
Running the Bruno XMPP application on my Android phone and my bride’s tablet, gives us the freedom to even chat when we’re out and about. That was quite useful this past week, when my wife was helping her parents, keeping them company while her dad had a medical procedure. The rural hospital he was in, had no cell service available in the area, but they did have secure WiFi. From her tablet, she was able to keep me and the rest of the family up to date on his condition.
Pigin will also connect you to your AOL, Google Talk, ICQ, MySpaceIM *(seriously, does anyone still use MySpace?) and many other services.
We find it quite handy, and you may too!