Sunday, October 16, 2011

Updated Google Talk plugin for Slackware

I finally got around to checking if google voice was working any better than it had been in the past. When I first tried it last year, the quality was lacking, especially when compared to skype. Now that Microsoft has completed their acquisition of Skype, I thought that it was time to see if any improvements have been made to google's offering. I did some simple tests and I think it's now working on par with Skype. Yeah! That's good news because it allows free video calling from computers to other google users, and free voice-only calls from computers to real telephone numbers in the United States, and other voice calls to real telephone numbers at rates comparable, or cheaper than skype (YMMV). Skype offers the same, except at $0.02 for calls in the US, and other rates worldwide.

Getting it working
Here is the procedure I followed to get this working.

  • Downloaded the Debian 32-bit package from google talk/chat.

  • -- verify md5sum: c6d5d8f881960483f6cb9a84d955a8e9 google-talkplugin_current_i386.deb

  • Downloaded the slackbuild for Slackware 13.37, as maintained by Erik Hanson.

  • -- The slackbuild repackages the Debian package, and it worked without incident- including automatically building the version without modifying the slackbuild.

  • Installed the package, per the normal slackware drill

  • Restarted firefox, and voila, the talk plugin with video capability is now present in a google mail window (it is on the left, with the chat the sidebar

When firefox is restarted, you should see the google-talk addin listed:

Configuration tweaks
It can be tricky to find where to setup your devices, especially because the phone works as plugin within a browser. The phone is part of the "chat" component. I've seen it shown on the lefthand sidebar within two windows: google mail and google+ (when viewing "stream" content). To setup your devices, look for "options -> chat settings." You can change your device settings from that page.

By the way, I ran these tests while using a live USB version of Slackware 13.37. Let me know if you'd like my prebuilt package to apply directly to your devices.

  • 19faaaa2752fda7eaf555f67b2b931bd google-talkplugin-

Update: 2011-11-27 The talk plugin has been updated to version 2.5.6. The same installation drill applies. Also, let me know if you'd like a slack package.

  • fda69b2b6d1b59f080b9c5c84ae5f9cd google-talkplugin-

1 comment:

  1. What is a LIVE USB version of Slackware 13.37?

    Where can I get one?