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I need an alternative to Skype (I know of ekiga, but there is a problem in that anyone can join your ekiga room, and the rooms are not persistent as far as I know. If I am wrong, please let me know in a commment or answer, I'd be happy to be wrong (very happy)). IRC is fine too, but I would need instructions on how to do it (freenode?). Whatever you suggest needs to be:

  1. free
  2. persistent
  3. crossplatform

Thanks in advance ;)

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

By filling in the "Room" field with a non-existent room, you can create a chat room. I used Pidgin for this screenshot. To get to this dialog box I clicked "Buddies" then "Join Chat". Hope this helps.

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thanks I was just trying this out :D! – RolandiXor Nov 30 '10 at 17:43
I knew about doing this with the bonjour/avahi service before, but this is awesome now I know how to do it. – RolandiXor Nov 30 '10 at 22:53
You're welcome! I just had to use that about 10 minutes before I found your question, so I'm glad I was able to explain it well enough. – James Dec 1 '10 at 19:07

IRC will probably offer you the best featureset and platform support at the cost of having to find a good network, get involved with the services (register your nick, room, etc).

What about our very own chat here? It's not private and everybody will have to register but it's cross-platform and a doddle to setup once you're registered.

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LOL!!! ;D Oli you're too funny :D – RolandiXor Nov 30 '10 at 17:43
btw I think IRC is looking like a good plan B, thanks :) – RolandiXor Nov 30 '10 at 18:24

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