After months and months of using iChat, we all know the basics of the software. Many of us will most likely also know it inside-out. But, there are a few nifty things I want to share today. Some are open, while others are workarounds created by me and my friends 🙂

Firstly, links in iChat work very well. For the most part. If parts of your link show up as smileys in iChat, don’t worry. The link will still work when you click it. On the other hand, if your link includes a port number ( for instance), the link will not work. The workaround here is to select “Add Hyperlink” from the Edit menu (command-K), and then paste the link in.

Now, iChat is stupid in some ways – buggy in others. A very common problem is the fact that when you keep the application in the background, it will not signal you when you receive a message. For Forcer, this quickly became an annoyance (for me anyway – quit editing movies all the time Forcer!) – and “we” (dunno who of us), found a simple solution: send the user a file, any file, and then stop the transfer. This will bring up a error dialog for the other user, and this will get his/her attention.
Another problem that I experienced with Swedentom the other day, was that he could no longer receive messages from me. I could type and type, for ages, and all the text appeared on my side – but not on his. What to do? I could send him an email, or an SMS – but that would be the un-l33t way. Here is what I did: made a new empty text document on my desktop (could be any file really, but another bug with iChat is that it locks up if the file is too big. NEVER try sending a user your hard drive, I did), renamed the file “TOM – YOUR ICHAT BUGS – RESTART ICHAT”, sent it to him, and then again canceling the transfer. After a few seconds, we were up and running again. So you see now, why file transfer is one of the most important features of iChat.

Now, why there are still a whole bunch of (imho, rather serious) bugs in iChat, even after a few updates shortly after release, I do not know. Rumors say we will see video/voice chat in Panther, which I can say I cant wait to try. I would still like to see current bugs being fixed first though. Why does “chat” in french mean “cat” btw? Are they stupid or something?…


2 Responses to “CSIT: Common Standard iChat Tips”  

  1. 1 Swedentom

    “I could type and type, for ages, and all the text appeared on my side – but not on his.”

    My iChat behaved rather strange when this happened. The input field in the chat window disappeared, but no message was displayed. :/

  2. 2 Forcer

    Another solution to make a link with a port number work is simply to add a at the end.. for example


    No such file or directory