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MSN sends RISC OS clients packing

By Chris Williams. Published: 16th Oct 2003, 17:51:09 | Permalink | Printable

Only one lone survivor [Updated]

MSN carried out last night their desire to lock out third party clients from the MSN instant messaging network. By switching to a new protocol and requiring an SSL based login system, MSN ideally wanted "unauthorised" clients to be barred from their popular instant messaging system. Their network, their bandwidth, their rules, you might say.

Where does this leave RISC OS clients? Phil Hardy's MSN client cannot log into the MSN network at all now, although he has released the client's source code under a BSD licence so that people can attempt to fix the client and bring it up to date.

The Natter developer hasn't returned our email yet, but the free demo version fails to connect to the network. Natter author Russell Palmer seems unconcerned however, as the Natter website reads: "I will be focussing my efforts on updating natter to work with the latest MSN protocols, and see no technical reasons why natter will not continue to work after the changes are introduced".

R-Comp's Grapevine has seemingly escaped unscathed after users received an SSL update earlier this month. A few users initially reported login problems to us, but the majority of people emailing us have confirmed Grapevine is still working as usual.

"My understanding is (at the time of writing), MSNP7 and earlier have been disabled, and of the three RISC OS MSN apps, only Grapevine is still working", R-Comp's Andrew 'so modest' Rawnsley told us earlier.

Russell Palmer of Natter fame got in touch with us and had this to say: "I am working towards solving the issues, but unfortunately I cannot give you a date by which I expect to have finished. It will be a matter of weeks, rather than days. Of course, ICQ operation is still completely functional!"


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Grapevine certainly isn't working here.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 16/10/03 6:30PM
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Does that mean you can't logon ? Which version are you using ?

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 16/10/03 6:42PM
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How many lone survivors can there be, exactly?

 is a RISC OS Userrob on 16/10/03 7:00PM
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IMJ - I'd be interested to hear what version number of GV you have, and let us know the particulars of the fault - email rcomp@rcomp.co.uk please, or reply to the last upgrade you received. I can confirm I've been chatting to other GV users on Grapevine all day, so it *should* work. If you're having trouble, then obviously we'd like to get you sorted. Bear in mind it is the show this weekend, however, so it will be next week before we can reply.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 16/10/03 7:00PM
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I've got version 1.16 and it won't log in to MSN. It appears to connect to the server but won't log in.

Also, it does funny things to some icons on the iconbar. For example, it's just made the fresco icon go invisible! :-O

 is a RISC OS UserMENTAT on 16/10/03 8:44PM
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Well MSN's attempts are ideal seeing as I use a third party client on my PC called Easy Message. It's only 200k (compared to 6m of MSN 6) which is excellent and it works fine. I'm sure that when all clients support the latest protocol, they'll work fine too. -- Smiler - :D Alex Melhuish

 is a RISC OS UserSmiler on 16/10/03 8:44PM
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I'm also running the 1.16 version which was sent out just recently - login just doesn't.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 16/10/03 8:54PM
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Hmmm, Grapevine 1.16 works perfectly here. No problems with login at all nor any disappearing iconbar icons.

 is a RISC OS UserGrek1 on 16/10/03 8:56PM
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Grapevine 1.16 works just fine here also. -- Victor Shears, Maidstone

 is a RISC OS Uservshears on 16/10/03 9:06PM
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I am using Grapevine 1.16 and I am having the same problem as mentat with the iconbar and it's icons. Also when I right click to load the msn part it hangs the computer and I have to use Atl-Break to stop it.

 is a RISC OS Usercfrog on 16/10/03 9:32PM
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Guys, please read above - we need reports via email, NOT here. It is the wrong place. If you contact us via email, we can actually sort your problems, and get traces and so on. So, please no more "me too" posts (either way!). When emailing, please include details of machine spec, and software running.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 16/10/03 9:52PM
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Probably the only good thing about Microsoft making their changes is more people going out of their way to buy Grapevine. :)

 is a RISC OS UserSnig on 17/10/03 11:05AM
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Or just use irc, open, free, better. [link]

 is a RISC OS Usermavhc on 17/10/03 5:24PM
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Tssk. Define 'better' in this context.

 is a RISC OS UserMENTAT on 18/10/03 12:49PM
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This is an article about MSN clients working/not working. So clearly there will be "me too" posts here - can't be helped :)

I've emailed too, now, though. Me too! :P

 is a RISC OS UserMENTAT on 18/10/03 12:52PM
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Could I just add (a) when Microsoft announced they were changing the goalposts the clock started ticking furiously - most software development doesn't have a specific deadline by which it has to be ready at all costs, and (b) the Grapevine mailing list is a better place to raise problems than here.

 is a RISC OS Userinchiquin on 20/10/03 3:28PM
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inchiquin: See my previous post re. comments innit. :-p

Also - woo, version 1.17 has arrived in the email. Now I just have to survive ROUGOL and get home to see if it works.... *crosses fingers and stuff*

 is a RISC OS UserMENTAT on 20/10/03 5:36PM
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And 1.17 looks prettymuch as bust as 1.16 ... still sits there trying to log in.

 is a RISC OS Userimj on 20/10/03 6:09PM
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Well, 1.17 helps several of the people above, IMJ. Perhaps because you never reported your problem to us (via email, as instructed), and therefore never completed a trace, your problem isn't fixed???

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 20/10/03 11:29PM
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Appologies if the above sounds a little "grumpy", but clearly we can only sort problems that are reported through the normal procedures. That's how the other issues have been dealt with :-)

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 20/10/03 11:33PM
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As with 'imj', 1.17 doesn't work for me either :(

Trace file sent to grum^h^hem R-Comp... ;)

 is a RISC OS UserMENTAT on 23/10/03 5:29PM
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We're testing a 1.17a at the moment which copes with more oddities in the multi-stage login process. Some of the problems seem to be due to very slow responses from some of the servers in the chain....

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 23/10/03 10:54PM
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The odd thing is that Yahoo has started this 'Me, mine, and nobody else' attidute with 'their' client a few months before Microsoft made this similar decision.

Oh well. IMHO we are better off with IRC. If those lamers just learned to use proper standards then we didn't need this bulls***.

And as someone else mentioned. Lucky that ICQ still works correctly perhaps in time ppl will realise this and start using that more (untill they decide the same).


Manu T

 is a RISC OS Userepdm3be on 24/10/03 8:10PM
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Woo. First success (for me). 1.17a logs me in - most of the time. Exhibits some interesting behaviour though. Am looking forward to a non-beta version ;)

Still, well done R-Comp.

 is a RISC OS UserMENTAT on 26/10/03 11:15AM
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