View Full Version : ichat without the cutesy aesthetic

May 7, 2010, 02:36 PM
The context: I am making a piece of multimedia theatre. For this, a performer and an audience member are able to have a text-based I.M conversation using two macbooks in the space.

The question: I need the two users to chat without internet. I know that two macbooks can chat via bonjour on ichat, but while this is perfect technically, the speech bubbles are not the right look. I am looking for an aesthetic more similar to a terminal/telnet window, no frills, just say your sentence and wait for the reply.

I thought maybe there was a way of creating your own chatroom using a local network, but I'm no computer expert and am hitting (virtual) brick walls everywhere. Perhaps there is also a way of doing this via bluetooth?

PS. To make matters worse, there's no budget left, so I'm limited to freeware generally.


May 7, 2010, 03:16 PM
Adium supports Bonjour chat.


In addition, there are a number of "Terminal" like message styles available.


May 8, 2010, 01:12 PM
the speech bubbles are not the right look

Turn off the speech bubbles with iChat/View/Messages/Show as Text ?


May 10, 2010, 05:17 PM
Turn off the speech bubbles with iChat/View/Messages/Show as Text ?


This. iChat offers a few ways of displaying messages. I'm not a fan of the speech bubbles myself, and have turned off.

May 10, 2010, 08:36 PM
Is Adium an option? You can customize that to your heart's desire.

May 11, 2010, 02:56 AM
Adium works through the internet. Not sure if it will work via local network with no internet access (if I understand the OP correctly)

You have to set up a local network either via wifi (Create Network) or just by connecting the two computers with an ethernet cable.

Then turn on screen sharing on the laptops (in System Preferences / Sharing). One will be the host, and share the screen with the other one.

When you get it working, you can then open up TextEdit or Terminal and type away and it will show on both screens.

An alternative is to use TeamViewer to share screens. It's free for non-commercial use. Download it to the two macs, and test it first with internet access to get a feel for it. It's really easy!

To use without internet access, make sure you turn on 'Accept connections from LAN' in TeamViewer preferences.

May 11, 2010, 12:35 PM
As I stated in my original response, Adium supports bonjour chat which will work via local network. On initial configuration, it will ask for the account type, select Bonjour from the list and entire a name for the account. Internet access is only required for internet based chat services like Yahoo, AIM, etc.

If iChat does not work for the OP even without the chat bubbles, Adium is a viable option and a simple solution.

May 12, 2010, 02:45 AM
As I stated in my original response, Adium supports bonjour chat which will work via local network.

Thanks for the correction. The other options I gave are still valid. The OP now has a wide range of choices. Wonder which you'll go for? Let us know. A pics of the performance or rehearsal would be nice too :)

May 13, 2010, 08:03 AM
Thankyou for all replies,

I have gone for calderone's plan - Adium with a 'terminal' skin - it looks fantastic without giving public access to my real terminal!

I'll be sure to post a pic of the show when it goes up, thanks again!