Interoffice communication is crucial to a productive work environment, and yet the busier we become, the less time we have to communicate; this is why there are so many tools at our disposal to help us with this task. If your small business cannot invest the time and resources into setting up something like a Jabber-based server, you might try a simple solution for interoffice communication called BeeBEEP.
BeeBEEP's features include:
- File sharing on a local area network
- Minimize on System Tray
- Jabber XMPP support
- Number encoder
- Text Marker plugin
- vCard (profile), HTML code in messages, and Rainbow Text Marker plugin
- Clickable URL and email links
BeeBEEP is incredibly easy to use and doesn't require any installation (that includes server installation). BeeBEEP is developed for Windows, but I have successfully and easily run the app on Linux with the help of Wine. Let's explore how to use this great LAN-based communication tool.
Installing BeeBEEPDownload the latest zip file, unpack the contents of the file, and run the beebeep.exe launcher. When the main (and only) window opens, you will be prompted to create a nickname (Figure A). Enter a unique username and click the OK button. Figure A
Click the image to enlarge.
You will be prompted to enter a password. You can either accept the default (no password) and make your chat available to anyone connected to the LAN or enter a password to secure your chat. If you enter a password, you will have to distribute the password to the users you want to include in your LAN chat.After you enter the password, you will be in the main BeeBEEP window (Figure B). You are now able to chat with anyone on your LAN who has BeeBEEP running on their desktop. No installation and no server needed. Figure B
BeeBEEP is running on Linux, thanks to Wine. (Click the image to enlarge.)
Sending files through BeeBEEP
Follow these steps to send files through BeeBEEP:
- Right-click the user you want to send the file to.
- In the pop-up window, click the File icon (Figure C).
- Navigate to the file to be sent.
- Click Open to send the file.
You can also open a private chat with this user or change the color of the user from this pop-up. (Click the image to enlarge.)
Before a file can be sent to you, follow these steps to configure the download directory for BeeBEEP:
- Go to Main | Download folder.
- Navigate through your directory structure and select the folder you want to use for Downloads.
- Click the OK button.
Click the link in the File Transfers screen to open the file. (Click the image to enlarge.)
Saving chats with BeeBEEPAll chats are saved in HTML format, so they can be viewed with a number of tools. As you can see in Figure E, the formatting of BeeBEEP chats makes them quite easy to follow. Figure E
A brief chat between me and myself about an upcoming project. (Click the image to enlarge.)
BeeBEEP has other features that might make chatting easier to follow. From the Settings drop-down, you can enable timestamps for each message, enable HTML tags, enable/disable file sharing, and more. A note on the HTML tags--this is for the receiver. By default, the sender could enter a line like Do you see <b>this</b> as bold? without enabling HTML tags, but the viewer must enable HTML tags in order to view the tag. You do not need to use tags for links in chats, as they are already added as hyperlinks (you do not have to include the http:// at the beginning of the link).
BeeBEEP is a great tool to enable easy interoffice, LAN-based chats for your SMB. Give this software a shot; I think it's one of the easiest internal chat solutions available.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for Techrepublic and Linux.com. As an avid promoter/user of the Linux OS, Jack tries to convert as many users to open source as possible. His current favorite flavor of Linux is Bodhi Linux (a melding of Ubuntu and Enlightenment). When Jack isn't writing about Linux he is hard at work on his other writing career -- writing about zombies, various killers, super heroes, and just about everything else he can manipulate between the folds of reality. You can find Jack's books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Outnumbered in his house one male to two females and three humans to six felines, Jack maintains his sanity by riding his mountain bike and working on his next books. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website Get Jack'd.