I was on Facebook Messenger chatting with my old friend, ex-colleague and fellow parent-teacher-association pioneers of SJK(C) Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Chinese primary school), Dr. Margaret Liew today. She lives in the USA & told me that I could get her on Telegram much more readily than FB Messenger. She did not like Whatsapp because she gets too many messages especially from groups that might mask/push down friends’ crucial messages.

Off I went to put back Telegram on my Android powered Xiaomi Note 3. The installation via Google Play was fast and event-less. But I got stuck when I tried to register my mobile phone with Telegram’s server. “member_occupy_primary_loc_failed” was played out. I repeated the registration, getting yet another SMS with the required code from Telegram’s server and yet there was the same error message. Then I proceeded to reboot my mobile phone. Same frustrating error message came out. Then I remember, this was the very reason for me to give up on Telegram in the first place.

Not being a person who gets defeated so readily, I went on Google to find clues on how to solve this “Telegram mystery” and was somehow pointed to a site (I guess it is Telegram’s own) that provided desktop versions of the mobile messaging software in API format. There, I found not only the usual Windows version of the desktop app, there were even 64 and 32 bits for Linux too.

I use LXLE, a lighter version of the popular Linux distribution named Ubuntu (yeah, I prefer Linux which is faster and safer to Windows and my older computers can run just as fast as the new ones on LXLE). Of course if you are using Windows, the .exe file that you can download will self install when you click it and you need not bother with fiddling with the decompression of the file etc. set out below for Linux users.

I faced a slight problem. The Telegram API for Linux did not come in the easily installable format of “.deb” which I could just download and click (much like the “.exe” files for Windows). Instead it was a compressed file that needed me to use the terminal and commands to decompress and activate. After several sites which gave me the wrong instructions, I found a site that gave the correct instructions. I followed the “old fashion” way as listed in this site and viola, Telegram Desktop version was working on my laptop.

Good, clear & concise instruction to handle compressed file to install Telegram api.
Good, clear & concise instruction to handle compressed file to install Telegram api.

I then proceeded to successfully register for an account with Telegram’s server after giving my mobile number. This solved the issue of registration. But it still did not solve my problem with registering Telegram on my mobile phone. Just when I was about to give up, I received the first message from Telegram itself. There was a code given that I was instructed to use on my mobile phone to link both the desktop and mobile versions of the app. The moment this code was keyed into my mobile phone’s Telegram app, the problem was solved. Telegram actually worked on my mobile!

screenshot-telegram-msg
A message with a linking code was sent to the desktop version for me to link up this account to my mobile app… Problem Solved!

For Whatsapp users, Telegram has most of the features that one will need including Groups, profile etc. What it has that is a bit unique is the feature to allow one to put in a username. It will generate a link that you can share with your contacts. This comes handy if you are not willing to give your mobile phone number to someone and it makes adding new contact very easy. In my case I did not have Dr. Liew’s US mobile number and I just use FB Messenger to share my username link with her and 10 seconds later we were connected!

The desktop app for Linux means that unlike Whatsapp, I do not need to open a tab on my browser each time I switch on my laptop and do the QR Code scanning etc., this makes using Telegram on desktop that much easier.

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