Is there a way to use AIM at my work with something that can hide it from being visible on my desktop and systray?
February 14, 2007 6:41 AM   Subscribe

Is there a way to use AIM at my work with something that can hide it from being visible on my desktop and systray?

Is there a way to use AIM at my work with something that can hide it from being visible on my desktop and systray?

Thanks!
posted by cheero to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Try Meebo.com - allows you to log into AIM on a web page.
posted by kdern at 6:56 AM on February 14, 2007


Use gaim-text inside screen(1) on a remote Unix machine. Requires a remote Unix machine, and a reason for you to have a connection to one open on company time, but something similar works for me!
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 6:56 AM on February 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes. You might already know you can minimize it to your systray so it doesn't display on your task bar. There's a few ways to make AIM not visible on the systray, but that's also dependent on your security restrictions in the first place

Last I checked, aim.com has an online version (aim express) you can use. I've never used the meebo.com version.

I hope you realize going to task manager will show your AIM program.
posted by jmd82 at 6:57 AM on February 14, 2007


Meebo is ridiculously cool. I've got it embedded as a tab on my Netvibes page, so the browser window wouldn't even show that it's Meebo.
posted by mkultra at 7:14 AM on February 14, 2007


If you want added security and/or are crazy paranoid, you might try running your messaging program (whichever one you choose) off of a USB flash drive. I've loaded a flash drive with Portable Apps launcher from www.portableapps.com.

They have Gaim and Miranda on the apps page, but any portable IM client can be loaded with it...Wikipedia has a nice list of portable apps.

Disclaimer: I am viewing this page with Firefox Portable, loaded off a USB drive. It's blissful to be able to take your programs and settings with you, leaving nothing behind for others to find/poke/prod/steal.
posted by gaiamark at 8:06 AM on February 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


You realize any web based aim will still be visible to your IT group regarless of the actual visibility on your machine, right?

If you really want it, get a data plan for your phone or log into your computer at home and use it from there. Still you'd need a reason for connecting to your home PC, but I think that's easier to explain than AIM.

Engadget did some how to's on it last year and so did Lifehacker, try looking there.
posted by eleongonzales at 8:53 AM on February 14, 2007


Oooooh, Netvibes is cool! I've just spent an hour playing with this new toy. Since I can name my page anything I want, I can call it YEAR END REPORTS. When it's minimized in my systray, it looks like work, work, work.
posted by Corky at 8:58 AM on February 14, 2007


When I worked on a PC in the corporate world, DeadAIM was my favorite tool ever.

Its main selling point is that it can tab your messages so they're all in one window. But the best part, and more importantly, you can set it so that any new incoming messages would by default appear hidden or minimized.

There's nothing more embarrassing then having a friend IM you something off-color, and it remains open on your screen for the world to see.

This app seems to answer your question. It's a plug-in that uses the AIM app, but tweaks it so that it runs more "hidden."
posted by donguanella at 9:02 AM on February 14, 2007


You realize any web based aim will still be visible to your IT group regarless of the actual visibility on your machine, right?

This is not true. Unless your department is sniffing for requests o specific domains (e.g. meebo.com), it's going to look like any other web traffic, because that's what it is.
posted by mkultra at 11:25 AM on February 14, 2007


I've got a buddy that runs trillian on his home box then logs in to it from work to avoid the loggers his office uses.
posted by subtle_squid at 12:04 PM on February 14, 2007


logs in to his home machine that is with a remote desktop app.
posted by subtle_squid at 12:05 PM on February 14, 2007


nthing meebo.
posted by mittenedsex at 3:25 PM on February 14, 2007


@mkultra: "This is not true. Unless your department is sniffing for requests o specific domains..."

No, that's not true. They don't need to actively sniff it out, and they don't need to note specific domains. It is trivially easy to log all web requests in a corporate environment, and if that's being done, it's equally trivial to have a usage report sent daily. I know the IT manager (aka my boss) gets one nightly of the top users by data and by number of requests, and the top websites by data and number of requests.

I tried Meebo at work. In under an hour, it sent over 700 requests to Meebo.com. Another hour of use would have secured my place in the top 10 list, and using it all day would have landed me square at the top. And I wasn't using it heavily, mind you -- I was chatting with one person.
posted by CrayDrygu at 6:16 PM on February 14, 2007


Indeed, XP pro and remote desktop. Its what I use not only for IM but for all my non-work related browsing (e.g. Metafilter). It may suck up a lot of data traffic but its encrypted and I'm good friends with the IT guys.
posted by SirOmega at 6:43 PM on February 14, 2007


I use a great solution called Hide Windows Hotkey. It completely hides any open programs or individual windows with a press of F8 or clicking both mouse buttons at once. If you're using the newest AIM you will also be able to close your one tabbed messaging window, all with one button press. That's a lot faster than closing your chat window and then closing your buddy list. It can even mute all sound when you press F8 so you don't get busted by an incoming IM. That's at www.elongsoft.com. Shareware.

Hiding the system tray icon is trickier, but a workaround is to "customize notifications". Windows automatically hides the systray icons you aren't using often, but you can easily set it to always hide or always show certain programs. Just right click that little < arrow beside the system tray and choose customize notifications. then change aim to always hide. you'll have to click that little arrow to see your aim icon, so it's not gone, but at least it's hidden from plain sight.br>
With both of these selected, you just press F8 when you need to hide it and your AIM will essentially disappear... at least until you unhide by pressing CTRL-F8 to bring it all back.
posted by XSteveMurphy at 7:07 AM on February 16, 2007


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