In my everlasting quest for the best multi chat protocol client, I decided to check out Centericq. The Centericq chat client, despite its name also supports aim (and .mac accounts), yahoo, jabber (and therefore peripherally talk.google), irc, gadu gadu (the polish chat protocol), and msn. The client is purely terminal based. After trying Centericq for a few days, I must conclude that there are a few things left to be desired. I didn't enjoy the annoying key combos to bring up menus (Esc-Esc [wait then] b for the basic menu) or the mislabeled menu keys that obviously are already assigned in OS X (F9, F2 etc). To change between chat conversations, the key combos actually work on OS X (Ctrl-B or Ctrl-N to scroll forward or backwards).
The msn compatibility, incidentally, is broken on OS X and other BSD systems for some reason: no m$ chat for you! Other downsides for Centericq are the lack of accented character support (even though my terminal supports it) and some irc anomalies. All things considered, I've decided that Centericq is the most stable and intuitive terminal based chat client.
Read on for installation instructions particular to OS X after the jump.