Tag Archive for 'Digsby'

Digsby : Is this a great tool?

digsby_196x196 Having commented already on the installation of Digsby (see here),  this article will focus on my Digsby experience.

The first thing I had to do before being able to use Digsby was to create an account on Digsby website or directly from the Digsby application. I did not used the embedded account creation steps in Digsby application but I rather created my account from the Digsby website. Why? Because I fell I have a better understanding of what I sign for.  All right, yet again an additional account created. I stopped counting all the account I created trying out various applications or services.

My Digsby account being created, I configured Digsby Application: adding a couple of IM accounts, emails account and some social network accounts. It is only when I installed Digsby later on a second computer that I really realised that my accounts (IM, email, etc) were stored on Digsby server side which I’m not confortable with. Indeed, signing on Digsby application from the secondary computer pulled all the accounts AND settings of the Digsby Application I set up on my primary computer.  Some people could say: “It is great your Digsby profile follows you from one computer to an other.” A typical application of this is Work/Home. My position on this is that Digsby shall let the user decide if he wants the same config on each computer where Digby is installed (pulling from the Digsby server) or a specific config per computer (local profile taking over some/all settings of the pulled profile). To achieve this today you would need to create multiple Digsby accounts to create profiles on various computer.

Let’s go back and focus around the Disgby config being stored on Digsby server.  I’m not enthousiastic to have Disgby server storing accounts that doesn’t belongs to them on their servers. So I had a closer look at their Privacy Policy and Security Policy. They both seem fair. There is though 1 sentence that retained my attention in the Privacy Policy, section Collection of your Digsby Information: “… your DIGSBY information may includeinformation about contacts on your Buddy List (such as alias, SMS numbers, and email addresses)“. Mmmm… I found some clarification here (read the comments). I also asked clarification to Digsby by email. Here is the answer I got from them:

I sent : Could you please clarify the following (found in your Privacy Policy, section Collection of your DIGSBY Information) ?
“…Depending on how you use DIGSBY Products, your DIGSBY information may include … information about contacts on your Buddy List (such as alias, SMS numbers, and email addresses) ….”
What are the triggers for collecting alias, SMS numbers and email addresses of my Buddy List ? (does is cover also Contacts and Favorite group ?)
More importantly, what is the usage made by Digsby of these collected information ?

Steve Saphiro answered: In the IM window, if you click the “email” button in order to send the buddy an email right from the IM window, you need to enter that email address.  Digsby saves that email address so next time you click on them it will show the email address you entered.  It is the same thing with the “SMS” button in the IM window.  However, the first time you click “Email” Digsby guesses their email address based on their username (that info is not saved).  As for aliases, when you rename a buddy in Digsby it saves that info.  Lastly, if you have multiple IM accounts and you rearrange buddies, the order of the buddy list is saved so it is in the same order next time you log in.

Let’s talk about my experience with using Digsby now (using build 21443).

I set up a couple of  IM, email and social network account. Disgby now receives the updates from all of these accounts via its interface. In the past I had on my machine several tools installed and running to either chat or receive update from my email or social network accounts. I no longer need them. They might be still installed but at least their are not running on my computer anymore: Less processes,  less icons in the taskbar, less assle.

Digging into what does Digsby on your computer…

Digsby installed itself classically under “Program Files”, uses 58MB of disk space and has 2905 files in 316 folders.

Starting the application without logging on with your Digsby account, it uses 26,332 K. After my login, the memory usage grows to 30,900K (I had 3 IM accounts, 3 email accounts and 2 social network accounts defined when I mesured these). Having said that, every time Digsby shows from the side, its memory usage increases. (using Process Explorer and monitoring “Working Set” value). Could it be a memory leak problem ?

I also noticed using Process Monitor some interesting aspects. When starting Digsby from the shortcut created during the installation, Digsby.exe is first launched, then creates a new process (digsby-app.exe) and finally exit. digsby-app.exe creates also twice a cmd.exe process and they both ends shortly after being created. I wonder what these 2 cmd.exe executions are about. Any Idea ?

What features do I dislike about Digsby?

mythumbdownI feel that the conversation window is not minimal enough: too much space wasted. The default skin that approach the most to a minimal space usage is “Smooth Operator”. Though it doesn’t reach the minimalistic approach of Google Talk application for example.

I don’t like my profile to be pulled automatically from the Digsby server when I use Digsby from multiple computers. The IM, email or Social Network accounts  I setup on my personal computer might be different from what I want to see on my computer at work and vice-versa. As a matter of fact, I set up 2 accounts, one for my private environment, one for my professional environment. This might look “oldskool” but if you consider that IT policy can apply at work it makes full sense.

I didn’t like that “Join the “Fans of Digsby” group in LinkedIn” was set by default when adding my LinkedIn account. Opt In would be better.

What features do I like About digsby?

mythumbupBeing able to merge from multiple IMs into one single contact entry is really a plus. You don’t care if you contact is on Google or MSN or Yahoo or whatever, you simply start the discussion with your contact. I have one comment though they is no way to differenciate contact that are merged for those that aren’t. A specific icon would be a good idea.

I like the logo: fresh, colorful. I know it has nothing to do with how good or bad the application is but it is a factor that participate to the fact Digsby will stay or not on my computers.

I like the granularity of the options in the settings. This allow you to customize the experience you have using Digsby. I felt sad not to be able to customize the popup notification like with the conversation windows. It will not ruin my pleasant experience of this tool.

I like the “dock and hide on the side” feature. I recommand docking it on the left. When Digsby is docked and hidden on the right, if you move to genereously your mouse for closing a window that is maximized, Digsby will slide from the right. Pretty frustrating. That why I recommand docking Digsby on the left.

Conclusion:

Digsby is a real adding value tool for people having multiple IM accounts but also for those that whant to regroup their accounts from major IM, email and social network systems (AIM, MSN Yahoo, Google Talk, ICQ Jabber, Facebook Chat; Gmail, Yahoo! mail, Hotmail, POP email, IMAP email, AOL/AIM mail; FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter,LinkedIn).

Should you want to install digsby on multiple machines and uses them with the same Digsby account, the settings and IM,email and social network accounts will follow you as well. I understand this can be a great plus for many people. Though It is not something I want for myself.

I have adopted Digsby and I recommand giving it a serious try (without InstallIQ of course).

Installing Digsby without InstallIQ

Back in early 2008, I heard about Digsby. I didn’t tested it at that time but recently I’ve been told that Digbsy got awarded by WebUser. Eventually I decided to give it a try in 2009.

I naturally went on the digsby web site to download the installer. First visit to the Digsby website ever. The experience is *very* pleasant: colorful but not-flashy, engaging color theme with dynamic visual effect while hovering with the mouse over some areas of the home page.After reading through the various information from the home page I clicked on the big Free Download button, I liked to see it transforming into buttons for the supported OS’s (I realized though while writing this article that both Mac and Linux version are not available yet).  Clicking on the button representing the Windows’ logo redirects you to a clean page with yet again a bif “Download Now” button. Hey didn’t I just clicked once (euh actually twice because of the OS selector sequence) and it asks me again to click to install. This frustrated me a bit and I clicked on the big button waiting no more to start downloading Digsby installer.

Clicking on the Download Button causes Firefox to pop up with a download confirmation box.

digsby-ff-popup

Something bizarre just hurt my eyes. Did it to you ? Digsby.exe is downloaded from http://download.freeze.com ! My sensors are now awake. I’m turning into “proceed with caution” mode. I eventually accepted the download. 4.36MB, FireFox said in the Download History window. Mmmm, I bet it is going to be yet again a netinstaller rather that the real install program.

I launched digsby.exe and my second surprise was about the Publisher of digsby.exe: W3i, LLC.  Yet again my sensors were wide open. I eventually clicked on Run.

xp-open_file-security_warning

And now here was the surprise:

installiq-initializing_installation

Do you see something bizarre ? … Of course InstallIQ instead of Digsby!

Huh. I thought I was about to install Digsby. Bad feeling. What the heck is this?

Tadaaa…

digsby-installiq_first_screen

Waw. This first screen is rather crowdy. Digsby will be installed by InstallIQ. Mmm, Okay, so installIQ is the netinstaller. But the piece that definitely put me on hold is this:

I understand by Clicking “Accept” I am agreeing to the InstallIQ Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Why do I need to accept Terms and Conditions as well as Privacy Policy for InstallIQ when I install Digsby. Mmmm… This is rather bizarre. I’m not going to accept before some careful ready here.

I read these as well as the links Lean More and Why is this free?. This is really not smelling good:

  • Learn More told me that InstallIQ creates a key into the registry to uniquely identify you should you cross InstallIQ again that you may uninstall manually the created key. This makes me think that if you uninstall Digsby, that InstallIQ key is very likely to persist ensuring InstallIQ to uniquely identify you later on.
  • Why is this free? indicates that additional but optional software are going to be offered for installation.
  • Terms and Conditions refers to changing my home page and my default search engine to Freeze.com

That was enough for me –> I clicked Cancel. I’m not going to install Digsby on my machine and I’m not going to recommend to any one installing Digsby with such Installer in place.

Oh, by the way, I checked into the registry after cancelling the install (so not having accepted the Terms and Conditions and Data Privacy of InstallIQ)… Guess what!… InstallIQ created and entry with a unique ID in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Freeze.com\Installer !

UPDATE (from 09-July-2009): I received a comment from W3i telling this is not longer the case. I went through the same installation sequence again. Indeed, after cancelling the install, the Unique ID is not in the registry anymore but the “folder” HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Freeze.com\Installer still is.

Nevertheless being curious I googled to discover more about InstallIQ in the context of Digsby. The least I could read on the official Digsby forum is that a part of Digsby’s user community is not happy with the installIQ approach that Digsby took. Digsby’s developpers also posted on their blog a clarification about the installer.

More importantly I found a blog talking about this and providing a link to install Digsby without InstallIQ.

Should you want to install Digsby without InstallIQ netinstaller, see on this screenshot taken from Digsby’s download page or click here.

digsby_without_installiq-click_here

Now I may decide to install Digsby.