GNU project flagship product.

The program's purpose is to "produce a familiar, friendly greeting. It allows nonprogrammers to use a classic computer science tool which would otherwise be unavailable to them."

In other words, it prints out "Hello world"... and also checks your mail, making it better than the competition.

Actually, the program is intended to be a practical illustration of GNU Coding Standards. It also serves as an example of how to make a Debian package.

Hello is an instant messaging program for Windows developed by Picasa, Inc. (formerly Lifescape Solutions). It is designed to solve the problem of sharing the increasingly large number of digital photos people store on their computers. Most methods of achieving this goal have critical flaws that make them less than ideal:

  • Email: Free email services that most people use have/had1 small inbox allowances and limited attachment sizes. It is also very one-directional, as feedback may not arrive for days.

  • IM file transfer: The increasing need for NAT and firewalls causes problems with file transfers over these protocols.

  • Web: Most Internet users do not have their own web sites. It is also a hassle to have to upload files, give somebody the address, and wait for them to download them.

Hello overcomes all these hurdles by sending photos directly to the recipient, working its way through NAT and firewalls with no configuration, and having a relatively simple interface designed to make new users feel comfortable.

How it Works

To send photos to someone, they must be running Hello and logged in to their account. A chat session is started in a new tab where you can send text to each other. To send images, you simply choose which photos you want and click Send. You can choose whether to save all pictures automatically or to only save those you choose.

Perhaps you'd rather post your photos on your online journal instead. Assuming you use Blogger, sending photos to BloggerBot will automatically resize them, save them on Blogger's server, and post them with captions. BloggerBot supports multiple journals and lets you customize how you want the photos to appear (thumbnail size, borders, etc.).


Although both can be used standalone, Hello is designed to be used with its sister program Picasa. Picasa is a photo organizer and editor that makes it extremely easy to select a number of photos, send them to Hello with a single click, then pick which of your friends to send the selection to.


Of course, Hello isn't perfect. The biggest problem is that few people have heard of it, much less use it. If the number of users grew, Hello would be a very convenient way to send images to anybody.

(1) Gmail is now changing this with its 1000MB inbox and 10MB attachment limit, which forces other mail providers to adapt. As of 2005-01-20, Yahoo offers a 100MB inbox with 10MB attachments and Hotmail offers a 250MB inbox and 10MB attachments.

Hel*lo" (?), interj. & n.

See Halloo.


© Webster 1913.

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