Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

The cool thing about Jabber

Now that Jabber has suddenly become cool, thanks to Google, you may like to know about one of its coolest features – multiple instances of the same sign-in. You can log in to the same user account on many different clients, so instead of having a home ID and a work ID you could just have one ID signed in twice.
The way to differentiate between them is by using ‘resources’. This will usually default to the name of the client – ‘Gaim’ for Gaim, ‘Trillian’ for Trillian Pro, ‘Adium’ for Adium X and ‘Talk’ for Google Talk, but you can change it to something like ‘Home’, ‘Work’, ‘Laptop’ etc. When you sign in to multiple locations, your contacts can then choose which identity to speak to.
On other IM services, if you sign-in on another computer while already signed in elsewhere, you are signed out of the first computer. With Jabber, you aren’t.
In fact, Google actually makes this feature more powerful by appending a unique ID to each resource instance, so you can be signed in several times with the resource of ‘Talk’ without them overlapping. And you can even talk to your own resources, so if you were at work and wanted to put a reminder on your screen at home you could message yourself. Or if you have two computers and are feeling a bit lonely…


  1. Strange how Google can make anything cool, I used Jabber before.
    I know what Google is making next: Google Adding Machine. Written in VB, complete with Adsense!

  2. I still think they need to make a Calander/appointment/reminder app. I would switch to that in an instant!
    I remember someone saying a while back that Google was making an OS. I laughed at first. Now, with them making app after app, I am beginning to wonder…
    Also, Neil, is there a trick to knowing what the resource or unique ID is? I would love to be able to send my home machine little reminder messages for when I get home. I currently use my answering machine. 🙂 Thanks for the info on Jabber!

  3. Forgive my stupidity but what’s so great about being logged in at two PCs – especially if they are, as you say, home and work.
    Or is it just sheer laziness that you can’t be bothered to log out of one location when you leave (work)??

  4. You don’t think sending your home machine reminder messages is worth it?
    I also used to use it to tell if my home network connection was live. If the name used for my home account dissapeared from my friends list, I knew that the network was down. When I was on DSL and was having issues with them, that was a way I could put them to task.

  5. Nachtrag Google Talk II- Was ist so toll an Jabber

    Diesen Artikel habe ich auf Neil’s World entdeckt. Er beschreibt darin was die Besonderheit an Jabber ist. Jabber ist die Technologie auf der Google Talk aufbaut:

  6. This is a cool feature, but I’m having problems with it. I only found out about it because gaim crashed and logged on to another account with the same name. So right now I have 4 instances of an account running and I don’t know how to turn them off. Logging in and out doesn’t work either.