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Communications Software Linux

aMSN 0.95 Released 213

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the not-many-free-things-are-still-ad-free dept.
An anonymous reader writes "After more than a year since their last update aMSN has published version 0.95. New features include 'webcam support, tabbed chat windows, improved skin plugin support, new file transfer protocol, many new plugins (like Ink and Nudge support), an improved bug report system, as well as LOTS of bug fixes.' In addition to many new features and fixes the aMSN site has been given a face lift to (hopefully) facilitate ease of use."
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aMSN 0.95 Released

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  • slow downloads (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    My download from sourceforge is going at 5kb/s, any mirrors aside from the official one linked on the amsn site?
  • by LinuxDon (925232)
    After having taken a look on their website, aMSN seems to support more MSN features than Gaim: File transfers, webcam.

    Anyone who knows more about the specific advantages?
    • I don't know about webcam support (I don't care for webcams, myself) - but Gaim has supported file transfers for a long time. Lately, these file transfers have even been able to get through my NAT firewall. Yes, even with MSN.
      • True, Gaims supports MSN file transfer, but not directly P2P (which is why they pass your NAT firewall fine).
        Unfortunately, sending a file trough a Microsoft MSN server makes the tranfer go *VERY* slow.

        It appears aMSN supports direct file transfers.
    • I use trillian. Personally I think this is one of the best im clients available. It works with everything. I have been using it for a very long time. Transfers from msn, never work for me through trillian, and it does not have the terminal services abilities of msn messenger.
    • by kevv (941499)
      This client also lacks in features that MSN Messenger has... I say this in a good way. No spammy tabs on the left, no advertising on the bottom, no tricking computer illiterate people in paying for smileys or other charging services.
    • I'm thinking the main reason that clients like aMSN, Psi, Xchat, etc., can become so much better than the Gaim version is that Gaim concentrates on a broad range of clients while aMSN can concentrate on only the MSN protocol. Better focus and whatnot.
    • It must've been a while since you used Gaim. File transfers are working nowadays (although still a bit flaky for large files).

      Never mind the latest and greatest. Although I may not be able to have webcam chats with all my contacts, at least I can contact them without cluttering my screen with 3 different messengers.

      Now that some new features have been built in into the open-source application aMSN, the source code for these features is available and I expect that other messengers, including Gaim, will soon
  • by mcg1969 (237263) on Monday December 26, 2005 @03:25PM (#14340945)
    this software is going to be able to keep its name if it gets even remotely popular. I can't help but think Microsoft will come down on him hard.
    • Remember that up till now, Microsoft has not really done anything harsh to any opensource project.
      And, since this is not commercial software, the odds are that they don't really care too much.
      Especially now, when they are having such a hard time with all of the monopoly lawsuits.
    • Easy. All they have to do is say that aMSN is an acronym for Alvaro's MeSseNger and that it has nothing to do with MicroSoft Network.
    • ..they would learn to embrace this project, and other open source projects. As it stands, this MSN messenger clone is better than the official Mac MSN client as far as feature implementation goes. Since it is written in TCL/TK, it doesn't run very well in terms of speed (I'm on a Mac Mini 1.42 Ghz/512 MB Ram). The official MSN client runs a lot faster than this clone. Of course, if they contributed to this project to expand it's user-base, but it would ultimately mean for them that someone will make a paral
    • ...Damned Alvaro's MesSeNger and see if the judge has a sense of humour.
  • Gaim? MS-messenger? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by glomph (2644) on Monday December 26, 2005 @03:27PM (#14340950) Homepage Journal
    What really is interesting is the islands of usage in the different IM systems. I use Gaim exclusively, have something like 250 buddies in the aggregate list, of which about a third are active. 90+% of them are AIM. Small number are Yahoo. MSN users countable on the fingers of one mutilated hand.
    • by WTBF (893340) on Monday December 26, 2005 @03:34PM (#14340993)
      In different areas different systems are popular. In Britain it seems as if MSN is used almost exclusively, and I know only two people who use different networks, although I am now using Google Talk with a few converts from MSN - so that is six more people off MSN messenger. However, I know a lot of American people that use AIM, and MSN seems (as you said) to be somewhat of a rarity.
      • by Justin205 (662116) on Monday December 26, 2005 @03:38PM (#14341010) Homepage
        Very true. Canada seems to be going much the same way as Britain. Most people I know in Canada use MSN messenger exclusively. Whereas more of the people I know online (mainly Americans) tend towards AIM and/or YIM.

        It's really interesting, actually... To talk to people all over the world you generally need AIM and MSN. Perhaps YIM, but the people who *only* use YIM are few and far between.
        • I wish people would stop making up statistics about IM usage based on their own country or aquintances. Stuff like this "people all over the world" means nothing. There are regions where they use YM almost exclusively, or Gadu-gadu or other stuff.
      • Well, I don't know about that.

        I'm in Britain; I don't have MSN; I do have AIM; loads of my friends have AIM and only a couple have MSN.

        Obviously my anecdotal evidence is no stronger than yours, but, I'm just saying...

        To be honest it's not always geographically based either. The reason I have AIM (and most of my friends have AIM) is because it seems the standard within the drum'n'bass community: if you want to send tracks to label bosses and DJs, you need AIM, simple as. Whereas none of them have MSN re

    • In Brazil, unfortunaly, there are lots of MSN users, and as far as I know it is very popular in France also. I believe that it got late in the IM business, but since it get bundled with windows it has conquered the places where the public didn[ t yet have a favorite IM.
    • by HishamMuhammad (553916) on Monday December 26, 2005 @03:38PM (#14341011) Homepage Journal
      It would be nice to make a map with the geographical spread.

      I live in Brazil. My only exclusively-AIM-or-Yahoo contacts are from people in the US. Most of my list is still ICQ because that was the "big one" here years ago, and I say "still" because most new users go to MSN and lots of the ICQ "early adopters" (me included) now have MSN accounts as well. So, I guess in order of popularity, it's:

      USA: AIM, Yahoo, MSN, ICQ
      Brazil: MSN, ICQ, AIM, Yahoo

      Other countries, anyone?
      • MSN is also disgustingly popular here in Argentina, as i hear it's all over Latin America.
        • Agree. I live in Venezuela, and while I don't use much IM, I don't think I have any link on my contact list that's from latin america and that uses anything other than MSN (I did use to get the odd random ICQ message/spam, but it's been years since I've gotten one of those). My mother (she is a heavy IMer) has installed yahoo messenger and MSN, but all of her friends (latinamerica and spain) use MSN only. The only reason she installed yahoo was one time trillian (what I use) was having problems connecting t
      • In most parts of Europe MSN dominates all other clients. Germany seems to be the exception. There ICQ and AIm are used a lot more. I don't have any numbers to back it up just experience :(
      • In Malaysia normal folks use Yahoo Messenger (mostly) or YM with MSN, and the crazy Microsoft wingnuts who daydream about fellating Bill Gates use MSN exclusively.
      • The area I live in (Western Kentucky), almost everyone uses MSN. They just love the nudges, "winks" (100x100 flash animated movies that pop up over everything, and dance around, etc. Why they are called winks, I will never know), and all the other bs that comes along with it. Almost nobody uses AIM or YIM.
    • MSN is amanzingly popular among the "average" users, and got really strong in Brasil after the launch of Windows XP. They did some TV ads too, but I think that the damn man-in-butterfly-costume scared normal people ;-)
    • What really is interesting is the islands of usage in the different IM systems. I use Gaim exclusively, have something like 250 buddies in the aggregate list, of which about a third are active. 90+% of them are AIM. Small number are Yahoo. MSN users countable on the fingers of one mutilated hand.

      Yes, I agree. However, if one wants to have some of the nice features of msn (no, not nudge!), like webcam or such, you have to use amsn on anything other thatn windows. I have not used amsn for some time, but the

    • That may be true in the US. However in Asia and Europe a lot of users are on MSN (all my friends in the US are on AIM/iChat while my European and Asian friends are split between Yahoo and MSN)
    • The A in AIM stands for America. MSN is used almost exclusively in most European countries. In fact, in the past, I knew about the existence of MSN, Y! and ICQ, but I only found out AIM after I started talking to American people online.
    • I live in Denmark, have ~100 contacts on my contact list and most of them are active. About half of them live in Denmark, a quarter in other parts of Europe and a quarter in other parts of the world. In that last quarter I have 2-3 Americans (country, not continent). They are the only one using AIM. Everyone else use MSN exclusively.
  • by vidarlo (134906) <vidarlo.bitsex@net> on Monday December 26, 2005 @03:28PM (#14340957) Homepage
    Really. They've got a nice website. But it requires javascript for downloading, it is broken [zet.no] in my Firefox, bypasses SF's default mirror system (which is bad in my eyes because it makes downloads potentially slower). So whilst I've not tested amsn itself, the website needs work.
    • by RoadkillBunny (662203) <roadkillbunny@msn.com> on Monday December 26, 2005 @04:19PM (#14341179)
      The mirror system is bypassed because the packages haven't been synced to all servers yet. If we were to use the mirrors, you would be getting mirror failed messages for most.
      • The mirror system is bypassed because the packages haven't been synced to all servers yet. If we were to use the mirrors, you would be getting mirror failed messages for most.

        Ok, but why use javascript to select download then? You could at least provide a go-buttion, for those without javascript.

        Besides, tabbing is nice. However, I found no way to switch tabs with keyboard, and stretching for the mouse is painful (yes, I do use ratpoison), it is ugly when running in smal windows (the buttons and such f

    • the website needs work

      By the sound of things, it needs less work.

  • Website Design (Score:4, Informative)

    by vectorian798 (792613) on Monday December 26, 2005 @03:37PM (#14341005)
    Something messed up with their JS? On Firefox their menu renders into the middle of the page, but it looks fine on IE...
    • On Firefox their menu renders into the middle of the page, but it looks fine on IE...

      Target audience:*nix users...
      Probability that said target audience uses IE: 0% (±0.00)

      Going IE is not always the best thing to do®, IMHO...

  • i don't get it... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by twiggy (104320) on Monday December 26, 2005 @03:45PM (#14341041) Homepage
    So, it's just a clone of MSN written by someone else, still for windows?

    Why is this a big deal?

    If it offered multiple clients like Trillian [trillian.cc] does, or had some snazzy features that MSN didn't already have, I could see it being big news...

    Strange indeed, seeing as MSN is probably the least popular messenger between AIM/Yahoo/MSN... I just don't understand the motivation behind writing a clone. Anyone see something I'm missing?
    • I don't know... just about everyone I know uses MSN... I prefer ICQ myself, though. I've got 90+ contacts through MSN... maybe three in AOL. But I'm Canada, so maybe that explains the difference?
    • by mikael_j (106439) on Monday December 26, 2005 @03:54PM (#14341080)
      Strange indeed, seeing as MSN is probably the least popular messenger between AIM/Yahoo/MSN..

      In the US perhaps.. In europe ICQ was pretty much "The" IM until Microsoft's bundling of MSN Messenger attracted the dimwitted hordes of teenagers, at this point anyone wanting to contact any of these people would use MSN Messenger (since before this point not a lot of people were using IM software) and this in turn led to a situation where only "nerds" were using ICQ and most of them ended up getting an MSN account just to be able to keep in touch with their friends..

      Now if only Microsoft could get offline messages for MSN Messenger I wouldn't mind this situation but it seems they think "E-mail = offline message"..

      /Mikael

      • by Anonymous Coward
        In europe ICQ was pretty much "The" IM until Microsoft's bundling of MSN Messenger attracted the dimwitted hordes of teenagers, at this point anyone wanting to contact any of these people would use MSN Messenge

        No, ICQ was popular until it started to become one giant bloatware piece of shit, and thats not microsofts fault
      • Re:i don't get it... (Score:2, Informative)

        by kingturkey (930819)

        Now if only Microsoft could get offline messages for MSN Messenger I wouldn't mind this situation but it seems they think "E-mail = offline message"..

        Actually I'm a beta tester for Windows Live Messenger (the next version of MSN Messenger) and one of the new features is offline messages. And for everyone saying AOL is the most popular, here in Australia MSN is the main one. I don't know anyone who uses any other client exclusively. I and a few others have Google Talk but MSN is the one used most.

    • Re:i don't get it... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Lisandro (799651) on Monday December 26, 2005 @04:00PM (#14341101)
      IIRC, the motivation was to write a complete MSN Messenger clone that would run outside Windows - i've tried it a few times on Linux, and while i like GAIM [sourceforge.net] much better, it really feels and behaves like the official client. It might help non-techincal users that need MSN to switch easier.
    • Re:i don't get it... (Score:2, Informative)

      by mqduck (232646)
      So, it's just a clone of MSN written by someone else, still for windows?

      The website's messed up, but you can get the linux version on the SF page: http://sourceforge.net/projects/amsn [sourceforge.net]
    • At least for me, trillian ended the which ICQ/msn/aol is better debate.

    • Popularity doesn't matter when the person you are trying to contact uses the least popular system.
      Plus, no one I know uses AIM.
      Maybe it's a US thing.

      I use GAIM most of the time (msn, in-house jabber server, jabber.org, yahoo messenger, and now google talk).
      Most of my friends I met in college use yahoo messenger and some jabber.org or google talk. People with no computer knowledge started using MSN around me, so I got a user. Plus, we use a jabber IM server at my job, because it's handy.

      But when you want to
    • Motivation for this? This works under Linux. Written in TCL. If I have to use MSN to talk to someone I don't have to reboot into my Winders partition.

    • aMSN is a great client, weather you run it from Windows or Linux (or whatever other platforms it supports). I'm not quite sure the reason why it's around, but, my girlfriend uses msn, and msn only. While trying to get her into Linux, i suggested GAIM, Kopete and other messengers, but she just wanted to go back to MSN Messenger. However, once i installed aMSN, that was it, it was exactly what she was looking for. Something that looks and feels like the official client, but works in linux.

      So, you may ask
  • ASL? lol u sux (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I'm not sure I want to chat with anyone that can't use an IRC or Jabber client and it's hardly as if I'm setting a high standard here.
    • I'm not sure I want to chat with anyone that can't use an IRC or Jabber client and it's hardly as if I'm setting a high standard here.

      I'm not sure I want to chat with anyone that can't speak Japanese or German and it's hardly as if I'm setting a high standard here.

      What's that, you aren't well-versed in foreign languages? Well then, you must be STUPID, and therefore not worth my time.

      Last time I checked both IRC and Jabber were rather confusing to the uninitiated. IRC has the concept of dozens of different n
    • You will die alone.
  • by pair-a-noyd (594371) on Monday December 26, 2005 @03:54PM (#14341077)
    Two, three other packages that support webcams? Where's Gaim in the webcam support arena?
    I like Gaim the best of all the packages but it's lack of webcam support is sad.
    BTW, what would be a good choice of webcam to buy for Linux that is likely
    to work well with whatever comes along? Something economical but solid.
    I don't want to waste $10 on a POS cheap cam but I don't want to spend $200 either..

    Come on Gaim, get with the program!!
    • by pdbogen (596723)
      A firewire card and an Orange Micro iBot is a pretty good deal. No integrated microphone, but firewire web cams give excellent quality and the iBot is pretty reasonably priced. Unfortunately, it's still at the high end of pricing (You're looking at around $100 for the camera, plus say $20 for the firewire card), but well worth the money. An equivalently priced USB webcam usually won't be anywhere near as good.
    • by lbbros (900904)
      Unfortunately this (along with file transfers) has been always labeled "low priority" by gaim developers, so unless someone starts contributing patches it's unlikely we'll see that support for a while.
    • The Logitech QuickCam Chat works on Linux, and works great with aMSN.

      Here's the QuickCam Chat [logitech.com]

      And, the kernel module (2.4/2.6) for it: http://mxhaard.free.fr/download.html

      Make sure you recompile ('make menuconfig') the kernel for Video On Linux support.

      After you compile the kernel module for your box, just modprobe it in before you start the webcam feature on aMSN.
    • You might be interested to know that there is indeed a project [sourceforge.net] to add webcam support to Gaim. That's their old website, the project is now merged with Gaim itself and aiming to be included in the Gaim 2.0 release (and hopefully Adium, Fire, and other libgaim-based messengers, once Gaim gets it working).

      You might also consider that Gaim supports a whole boatload of protocols whose official clients have webcam support (AIM, MSN, Yahoo for a start). It's one thing to get webcam support working on one protoc
      • by roju (193642)
        Wrong. There was a whole fiasco [osnews.com] with the gaim-vv and gaim 2.0 merge. In a nutshell, the guys working on gaim-vv submitted a big patchset, the lead gaim developer got hired by Google, and now, in a weird coincidence, the gaim-vv merge is cancelled to add Google Talk voice support instead.
  • by StonedRat (837378) on Monday December 26, 2005 @03:56PM (#14341084) Homepage Journal
    Here's working links to the aMSN download as the ones on the site seem dead...

    Linux Installer (need llibstdc++.so.6) [sourceforge.net]
    AutoPackage [sourceforge.net]
    Debian [sourceforge.net]
    Ubuntu [sourceforge.net]
    Fedora Core 3 [sourceforge.net]
    Fedora Core 4 [sourceforge.net]
    Mandriva 2006 (Formerly Mandrake) [sourceforge.net]
    Slackware [sourceforge.net]
    Archlinux [sourceforge.net]
    Gentoo [sourceforge.net]
    Other [sourceforge.net]
  • The screenshots exemplify why Linux struggles to gain mindshare amongst Windows users. Font rendering is still awful on Linux and I'm afraid it's looks that count with IM apps. The same is true of that great open source flagship, Firefox. I love using it on OS X and XP but on Linux Firefox can't render simple CSS borders nor line-spacing properly. Websites just look awful viewed with Firefox on Linux (Fedora) and aMSN suffers similar problems with its flaky text. Linux is a serer OS with a half-decent graph
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...how do you get an MSN chat account in the first place if you don't have a windows machine? I tried to get one with my linux box and it wouldn't let me even register. I'm sure it's something obvious I am missing, but would appreciate the trick for this one, if there is a trick to it. Thanks in advance!
  • A Linux client that has decent support for webcams (Video Over Linux) support!

    I ran modprobe for my webcam kernel module, downloaded the tarball, ran the Tcl script, and it picked up the fact I had VOL and the driver woke up in a second.

    Well done!
  • by tod_miller (792541) on Monday December 26, 2005 @06:33PM (#14341758) Journal
    You can now webcam chat with overweight IT geeks who can help you fix your probelms in return for flashing your belly button!

    The word is a better place.
  • ...try Mercury Messenger [mercury.to] for MSN+webcam support on Windows, Linux & MacOSX. Its done multi-platform webcam for awhile. It also supports receiving video conferences on Mac & two way video conferencing on Win/Linux. It also has a ton of other features.
  • It seems mirrors and SF download pages are slow or down... try downloading from :

    http://agoodm.plus.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=7 [plus.com]

    - or-

    http://amsn.amnestysalinas.org/ [amnestysalinas.org]

    Torrent links are available at :

    http://amsn.recordingground.com/viewtopic.php?t=10 3 [recordingground.com]
  • for those who didn't read the article.
    It appears MSN servers will block some words the example given is "download.php"
    I tested this and it appears to be true.
    sending download.php to a friend on MSN resulted in a message saying this message was not delivered.

    now this means that each and every line of text sent over MSN is parsed for content.

    it also means the msn server has a function built in to carry out a different action depending on what the parser found.

    The implications are that there are other phrases
  • As far as version release articles go on /., this is not a horrible one.

    But, since it wasn't explicitly mentioned, aMSN is an open source MSN Messenger IM clone.
    And, like many other /. product releases, I never saw it before today and I had no idea what it was for without researching it.

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