I recently covered a great LAN file sharing tool called Giver (see my article "Easily share files on LAN with fellow Ubuntu users using Giver"). I wanted to take that idea a little further and cover a similar tool that allows you to chat with fellow users on your LAN WITHOUT have to add them to a buddy list. Giver is such a tool. Once started it will auto-discover users and allow you to chat away. Giver is simple to install, a breeze to use, and free. A no-brainer for anyone who prefers to chat with their co-workers without having to bother to leave the confines of your desk.
Although not a HUGE list, the features of iptux are really impressive.
What I like most about iptux' shared resources is that you can password protect your shared resources. And you can easily add/remove files to the resource management. This way you can add files to your shared management that have a password, share them, remove them, and then add files that do not have a password. A nice feature would be to enable the ability to have both password protected and open files in the same manager. That's not there yet, but would be very handy in a company environment.
The installation is simple. Just follow these (fairly standard) steps:
To start up iptux click Applications > Internet > iptux. This will fire up the main window (see Figure 1) where you will quickly see anyone who happens to be on line and also using iptux. As you can see iptux gives you the "Pals" name and ip address. An unconfigured "Pal" will only list their username. Naturally you can configure iptux to display any name you like. But first, let me show you how to send a message and set up resources.
To send a message double click on the Pal you want to communicate with to open up the chat window (see Figure 2). The actual chatting is fairly straightforward. Type and click Send.
To create resources to share with users click Tools > Shared Managment. In this new window
(see Figure 3) you add files and/or folder to your shared resources. If you want to password protect your shared resources, click Set Password and enter your password.
To request shared resources from a Pal simply right-click the Pal in your main window and select Request Shared Resources. NOTE: When you accept a shared directory, you download the full directory. You can not traverse the directory and choose only particular files. So choose wisely when you share a directory.
When you request shared resources that are password protected, you will be prompted for the password even before you see the listing of files and folders. Once you reach the shared resources window (see Figure 4) you can select what you want to download and where you want to download it to.
The iptux application is an ideal little tool for collaborating with fellow workers. It's simple to use, allows you to create shared resources, and is very unobtrusive. Take advantage of this handy application to make your work life much easier.
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