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RISC OS MSN clients paralysed, briefly

By Chris Williams. Published: 18th Nov 2002, 04:25:42 | Permalink | Printable

Problem fixed. Pesky IP changes.

If you've recently tried using !MSN to connect to the famous MSN Messenger network for some instant messaging fun, you've probably experienced an error that's lead to you being unable to log on to the MSN service. Well, cue a sigh of relief - the problem has now been fixed.

The connection problem was due to a change in the IPs that the MSN servers use. The low level networking code employed by !MSN expects a given IP to resolve to a hostname, like the way the IP resolves to drobe.co.uk. The new MSN servers' IPs do not resolve back to a hostname (unlike the previous ones) which caused the software upset. !MSN author Philip Hardy was, however, able to track down the problem over the weekend and release a fixed version on Sunday night, version 0.20a.

We're told by Philip that the RISC OS shareware instant messaging client Natter also suffered the same problem as !MSN but that's too been fixed. We just like to mention that drobe.co.uk likes this kind of efficiency among developers.


!MSN 0.20a

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Interesting, GrapeVine was not affected (1.03).

 is a RISC OS Userdanielbarron on 18/11/02 12:28PM
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Sounds like a design flaw in MSN, or the specs that Philip followed.

 is a RISC OS Usernunfetishist on 18/11/02 1:42PM
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It was to do with the authors cutting corners as far as I can tell. They appear to have missed out the dispatch server

 is a RISC OS UserSober on 18/11/02 10:04PM
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Or not. As the article sez, the software component !MSN and Natter use to do low level networking was trying to resolve the new MSN server IPs to fully qualified domain names, which it couldn't do. This is also why Grapevine was unaffected.

"Cutting corners" is a rather misleading statement, imo.

Chris, drobe.co.uk

 is a RISC OS Userdiomus on 19/11/02 6:33AM
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Sober> the IP address of the dispatch server changed from the one that MSN was originally using. And this new IP wouldn't resolve to a hostname. I guess the only reason Grapevine was unaffected was it was already using the new dispatch server (unless there's actually a protocol way for MSN to update where the dispatch server is located which MSN/Natter don't support).


 is a RISC OS Useraardvark on 19/11/02 12:50PM
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I'm not going to spend my time explaining the cause of the problems. Suffice it to say that the (main) reason Grapevine isn't effected is that it doesn't use the excellent EasySockets module.

I assure you that !MSN never, ever "missed out" the Dispatch Server.


 is a RISC OS UserPhlip on 19/11/02 7:43PM
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Oh, and what Alex said is mostly correct. So as far as I can tell you appear to have been cutting corners diagnosing the problems.

 is a RISC OS UserPhlip on 19/11/02 7:52PM
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Personally I thought it was a top-notch job done by all the developers for the RISC OS MSN clients. It's great that it took only a small amount of time to get the problems sorted.

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 19/11/02 9:15PM
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It is just that from what I found, messenger.hotmail.com still seemed to work before and after the server changes. That then still dave out the address of the notification server.

 is a RISC OS UserSober on 20/11/02 7:03PM
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