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I'm using lanmessage on OSX to send messages on a local network.

I don't want to have to use a public service as such. LanMessage works, but it's not fantastically useable. I was wondering if anybody knew of an alternative that's a bit better.

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You can use Growl's remote capabilities to send notifications to other machines. growlnotify supports this from the command line. enter image description here

You can also set up a local Jabber server. This is an open messaging service similar to MSN or AIM, but you require no third party servers or internet connection for this. You can use e.g. Adium for the clients. This might be a bit much for your requirements.

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You can try Ip Messenger. ( We used this a lot in our University hostels and you dont need to setup a server for it)

    Features of Ip Messenger :-
  1. Multi Platform ( Windows, MacOS X and Unix ).
  2. Open source and Free download.
  3. Allows File and Folder transfer along the network.
  4. Supports Broadcast Messages to a range of IP address.
  5. You can lock your message with a password when its sent to other user.
  6. You can even set your status.
  7. Supports NIC extension in the latest version.
  8. Messages can be logged in case you accidentally close the message box.
  9. Shows the Ip address, login user, machine name of the other users.
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