GTalk is a very useful IM client for chatting. Useful because it's small in size, does not hogs bandwidth like Yahoo! messenger, simple to use and can be used without installing on a computer, so no more pesky warning mails from your sysadmin even though it has some very powerful feature like voice-chat with file sharing capabilities.
But there is a major drawback to GTalk, and that is privacy. Everybody who is on your "friends" list on GTalk would be able to see you online once you login, you cannot set your status to "invisible" like you can do on Yahoo! This can be quite annoying when in the middle of an important work something pops up on the middle of your screen and distraction sets in.
Although GTalk has a feature of showing your status as Idle, but that feature is automatic and is activated only if you do not use the computer for at least 10 minutes. Moreover, a single click or slight movement of the mouse sets your status to Available once again. If you have been bothered by these issues and wished that GTalk too had a feature where you could have set yourself on Idle when you want to, then I have got some good news for you. It can be done with a small piece of software called gAlwaysIdle.
gAlwaysIdle adds two new options to Google Talk, allowing you to change your status to be 'always idle' or 'never idle'. When your status is set to 'always idle', you'll appear idle to your Google Talk buddies even if you're sitting at your computer typing e-mails and sending IMs. gAlwaysIdle works on Windows XP and Windows Vista, although it does not support the 64-bit version. Since gAlwaysIdle is a Freeware, it does not have a dedicated support team. But in case something goes wrong, which is a rarity, you can always revert to their community forums and their FAQ list which are pretty comprehensive in solving almost any issues regarding gAlwaysIdle.
You can download gAlwaysIdle from here. In case you are still wondering how can you use GTalk without installing, well, keep reading The Chronicles of R, I would write about it pretty soon. And if you found this hack useful, then help me spread the word by giving it a Stumble and/or a Digg using the button below.