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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space Apps
This is not as much a hint as a bug, I think: iChat stores files you transfer and/or receive in its logs, which has the potential to lead to enormous log files. I realised this when I saw a backup that is usually a few MBs suddenly was several hundred MBs. I filed a bug with Apple on this (#4133542) issue, but they closed it with the explanation that it "behaves correctly."

If you don't agree with Apple on this, file a bug report. However, whether you think this is a bug or not, backup routines might need to be modified to handle this, especially if you pay for your own backup storage. If you find that your backups are taking much more space than you think they should, check the iChats folder in your user's Documents folder.

[robg adds: I think I'm siding with Apple on this one -- since the purpose of the chat logs is to look back at what you've done, it's nice that everything is there. However, the advice about checking the size of the chat logs is good. My iChats folder currently contains 4,581 items, taking up about 400MB of drive space. Note that logging is not enabled by default in iChat's preferences.]
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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space | 20 comments | Create New Account
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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: AaronAdams on Aug 29, '05 09:58:41AM

A bug is an error in code or logic that causes the software to perform an unintended or unwanted operation. This is not a bug. It may be an unwanted feature for some, but not a bug.



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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: dfbills on Aug 29, '05 11:10:38AM

I don't know why this was even posted. Seems like a lame rant to me. Just turn off logging, buddy.

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-d



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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: BlackPenguin on Aug 29, '05 01:01:24PM

Definitely not a bug. Nonetheless, I can see how this might be annoying. If you prefer to keep logging on (as I do), you can set up a shell script or AppleScript to automatically compress and store old logs. The periodic scripts that run at night do this with the system logs. Check out the manual page for "periodic".



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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: chych on Aug 29, '05 01:02:34PM

Funny that my Adium log folder is 10MB, for several years worth of logs...



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Text too!
Authored by: lullabud on Aug 29, '05 02:01:22PM

I love how Adium logs in text or html, which makes it easy for grepping. Of course, spotlight can handle the iChat logs, but that doesn't offer you the flexibility of writing a script to nab all URL's that you've shared in the last so many days, etc.. Adium rocks. =)



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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: Githon on Aug 30, '05 05:00:29AM

Funny that Adium also doesn't transfer images or files in its IMs. And depending on how much it likes you, it might not transfer anything except text IMs anyway

The reason the iChat log folders "balloon" is because it saves everything people send you. At the very least, images included.

That's like comparing the filesize of TextEdit and Appleworks just because they can both do word processing.

That said, everyone should be using Adium anyway.



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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: Faux Plastic on Aug 29, '05 01:29:42PM

Pure text could not take up anywhere near as much space as 400 MB, no matter how many chats you've logged. I don't buy it.

I say it's a bug.



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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: Githon on Aug 30, '05 05:03:56AM
That'd be true (Well, you could get 400MB of text... that's just a whooole lot of text), but it's lot logging just plain text, nor is Apple claiming that the text should be that big. If you actually read the "hint" before commenting, you wouldn't have claimed that the files were too big.

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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: Githon on Aug 30, '05 05:03:56AM
That'd be true (Well, you could get 400MB of text... that's just a whooole lot of text), but it's lot logging just plain text, nor is Apple claiming that the text should be that big. If you actually read the "hint" before commenting, you wouldn't have claimed that the files were too big.

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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: marook on Aug 29, '05 01:53:53PM

Well, the way to do it is this:

Chat in the chat window and drag files to transfer to the users icon in the buddy list. That way you keep the logs small and still use iChat to easy file exchange.. :-)

I have 644 logs at 6.6MB...

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/Marook



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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: CraigStanton on Aug 29, '05 03:31:59PM
I think this was covered in this 'hint'. It's logging the images you transfer too, so like another reply has stated, transfer images by dropping them on the contact list rather than into the chat, that way they don't get logged.

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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: Chas on Aug 29, '05 08:20:56PM

My iChats folder is 0kb. And I transfer files frequently.



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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: adrianm on Aug 30, '05 11:26:32AM

So you probably never enabled logging of chat.



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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: adrianm on Aug 30, '05 11:30:25AM

Whilst you're at it, raise a bug against Mail as it stores all images and attachements you send/receive too.

And TextEdit - it infects your files by turning them into directories filled with attachment files.

Pure evil.




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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: Chas. Schoenfeld on Aug 30, '05 12:55:02PM

If the option exists, why not file a feature request rather than a bug report? A preference checkbox to turn this behavior on or off seems like the easiest way to make everybody happy.



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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: eno on Aug 31, '05 02:52:38AM

I hope Apple pays no attention to you and your "bug" reports. This is a feature. If you don't like it, turn it off.



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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: david-bo on Aug 31, '05 04:22:29PM

Are you for real? Do you even know how to read and understand what you read?

I want the messages to be logged, and they would use up a negligable amount of space, but not transferred files (maybe a note of the transferred file but not the actual binary).

Btw, I know of no other IM client that stores the actual file transferred in their logs. This includes, but is not limited to, the following clients:

Skype
ICQ
Gerry's ICQ
GAIM
licq
GoogleTalk
micq

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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: MWB on Aug 31, '05 02:42:55PM

http://www.apple.com/feedback/ichat.html

For Feature Requests.



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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: david-bo on Aug 31, '05 02:57:52PM

Long time ago since I saw so many immature comments. The most sensible way a log in an IM-client would work is storing all messages (pure txt, html, xml, binary whatever) - the size of such log is neglible. However, storing transferred files is just plain stupid. A note in the log whenever a files is transferred "Aug 20 2004. File transfer 'My song.mp3' complete. A total of 4 500 000 bytes where transferred at 131 kB/s" - something like that.

If you receive a file in a IM-client most of the time you store it somewhere else on the HD so why keep redundant copies in, of all places, your IM-log? You don't keep copies of downloaded files in your browsers cache, do you?

I frequently send files that are 50-100 MB in size through IM, one of those transfers is bigger than my ICQ log just containing text but saved since 1997.

I think people put up with this just because they are novice IM-users and because iChat is from Apple and therefore save from criticism.

Face it, iChat and AIM is, for text based IM, a sub standard protocol and network. No offline messages - what's that? No meta data when you send files, contacts, messages etc.

iChat is good for VOIP and video conferencing (btw, these datastreams are not logged, why?) but that is all.

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iChat logs may use up large amounts of drive space
Authored by: Githon on Aug 31, '05 08:18:06PM

It doesn't matter how much you whine that we're wrong, it's still not a bug.



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