Let's dive right into the fun stuff. That's right, no pre-amble, no mumbo jumbo. Just pure unadulterated fun stuff. I'm talking about things we do on the computer for fun. There are several things right? Games, myspace, email etc. I'm going to talk about instant messaging! We all have our favorites right? My cousin and my brother like Yahoo messenger, while some of my friends prefer ICQ or IRC. Personally, I'm an MSN guy myself. So what are you supposed to do? Install three or four instant messenger clients on you computer? You can, but then they all eat up resources and eventually slow your computer down.
No, the solution is to get a client that will handle multiple Instant messaging services all bundled into one client. There are a few out there, Trillian is one, but to get all of the good fetures you have to pay for it. Let me introduce you to Pidgin. You may have heard of it by it's former name, GAIM. Pidgin services multiple instant messaging services ( AIM, Gadu-Gadu, Group Wise, ICQ, IRC, MSN, QQ, SILC, Simple, Sametime, XMPP, and Yahoo). Of course, like everything else I write about it is 100% free.
The only problem I see with Pidgin is that there is no video conferencing support like with the new MSN Messengers (More accurately Windows Live Messenger), or Yahoo messenger. The old version of the program, Gaim had a version that supported video and voice conferencing. That version is called Gaim-VV and is currently only available for Linux.
So do the math; multiple IM clients equals multiple processes running simultaneously which equals slower computer. Less Clients equals less processing power requirements which equals faster computing. If you are looking to consolidate IM clients, and aren't concerned with video conferencing, then you should probably check out Pidgin.