ICQ 5 Sounds & NON-MSIE Browsers

ICQ Team wrote:

ICQ Support: now, to clear things up about the Opera browser:

You must have IE 5.5 or higher installed in order for ICQ to work properly.

it does not have to be your default browser at all, you can use whatever browser that you want.

Udo: This includes ICQ’s website.

We all remember this, as I have written about this issue very well, in this blog entry.
Yesterday, Udo announced the new ICQ Sounds page.

After users began to complain in the Expert Board that the page does not work properly in Firefox, suddenly ICQ fixed it.

Now only missing is a 100% solution for my beloved Opera browser. Because right now, it only works if I set the identity of Opera to Mozilla.

More about the compatibility issues with other browsers regarding the ICQ homepage and client can be found here.

Poor poor non MSIE 5 or up users :'(

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Open Xtraz API for ICQ

First of all, What is an API?
Let’s quote the above linked article:


Abbreviation of application program interface, a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. A good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks. A programmer puts the blocks together.

Most operating environments, such as MS-Windows, provide an API so that programmers can write applications consistent with the operating environment. Although APIs are designed for programmers, they are ultimately good for users because they guarantee that all programs using a common API will have similar interfaces. This makes it easier for users to learn new programs.”

Oh ok, “What is ICQ” is not needed, every reader knows what it is 🙂
And what are Xtraz? (mostly) Web-based features for ICQ, like webcam support, games, ICQ Mail client, a Status Manager, voice chat, etc.

So the thing is that the ICQ Team announced in September 2004 the release of a Public Xtraz API so that every normal ICQ User can create his own features (just like MSN has plugins).
Unfortunately on March, 16th, 2005 they said they have no plans to release it anymore!

This is bad! Since right now, only business partners of ICQ have an API can can code features for ICQ. But I think the ICQ Team should do what they promised and release the public API for everyone!

Incase you would like to fight for this (well, I am lucky for supporters!), there is a thread about it in the ICQ Focus Group.
So please if you want, join it and voice up in the thread, too!

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The Undocumented ICQ Error Number

Ia m using ICQ since quite some time, (January 2001 to be exact), but I have never noticed every before an error number that was nowhere written down and explained.
the ICQ Team even put up a Error Number List so that everybody knows what it means and what not, unfortunately the experienced 01001 is missing.

So let me quote a bit my friend AJ:

“Earlier, I was transferring files between myself (AIM for Mac v4.7) and a friend (ICQ 5.04 build 2321 on WinXP). Everything was perfectly fine until I attempted to send a file and it wouldn’t connect.

My friend’s ICQ reported an error code of 01001. Screen capture of the error is here. When looking up the error code in the ICQ knowledge database, 01001 doesn’t appear to be listed.

The problem, from what I can figure out, was that I had a backslash (“/”) in the filename, which is an illegal character under Windows. When I renamed the file, it transferred perfectly fine, so that seems to have been the issue.

Just mentioning it so that the error code (01001) can be added to the list.


So far 🙂

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ICQ Support Ticket – And they replied again!

The ICQ Support, i.e. ICQ Supporter replied again to my reply on a ticket:


Thank you for your interest with respect to the ICQ Services.
Please be assured that ICQ is constantly working to provide our users with new and improved services.

We will announce new features and products as they are released. We appreciate your patience. Please check the ICQ Web site from time to time regarding any new announcements and services.

Regarding the ICQ Universe, please note that we are looking into the problem and are working on a proper solution.

Please note, the ICQ Support Team is aimed to assist users who experience specific, technically related difficulties when using the ICQ software

Thank You,
Nick Slater,
The ICQ Support Team.”

What did he mean with the fist and last sentence? Simple:
I have asked wether ttehy consider putting the old status of old icq clients (occupied, free for chat, etc) in the ICQ Status Manager as suggested in the ICQ Focus Group.
So I was not supposed to ask that in my ticket, hmm, only technical questions/problems regarding ICQ and its services, ok!

But they replied that they will work on a fix of an issue I have with the ICQ Universe.
I cannot accept invitations from somebody, I click on “Accept” and simply nothing happens. by the way.. it’s the same for many other users too 🙁

So far, I will keep you updated about this last ticket running, too!

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ICQ Focus Group – Who Noticed The Change? :)

Who noticed the change in the ICQ Focus Group? I doubt that many did!
But infact, since a few weeks the Marketing Direcor of ICQ, Yeal Givon is no longer listed as operator there.
Is that one of the many strange “strategical” changes which they used to do in the past of the ICQ Focus Group?

Nobody knows, but I found it interesting!

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ICQ Support Ticket – Message History Converter

This blog entry is the successor of this blog entry.

Since I didn’t write in my latest reply to the answer from ICQ Supporter Michael Bing, that the Message History Converter works 100% for me now, it seems the ICQ Team thought it should calm me down in advance 🙂

Here’s the reply of ICQ Supporter Nick Slater:


Thank you for reporting the difficulties described in your ticket. Your feedback is important to us and we are looking in to the matter.

The ICQ Team works day and night to create new and improved features that will enhance the ICQ user experience.
The new version of ICQ History Converter will include improved features.
Some of the reported difficulties should be solved in this new version.

We apologize for the inconvenience.

Thank You,
Nick Slater,
The ICQ Support Team.”

As I said, it works for me. The old ICQ Pro (or “Classic ICQ”, that’s how the ICQ Team calls those old clients now) history of about 200 users from 2001-2004 got shrunken down from ca. 800 MB to incredible 70 MB!

But since the re-release of the Message History Converter does not work 100% for a small percentage of users, (see an example of such an user, here) they are forced to re-release it a 3rd time in an improved version to make it work for everybody.

You may wonder “why is this so complicated to make a silly easy History Converter, since the ICQ Team itself should be able to code this for their own product pretty easily!”, then you probably do not know how crappy the old message history system was. I have written a long post about this here.

Happy Reading! Get Some Popcorn! 😉

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AOL/ICQ Contacts On MSN’s Buddy’s List

Thanks to the new MSN plugin IMTiger which got released today in a new version, MSN users can now again put AIM/AOL9/ICQ contacts on the MSN Buddy List.
Concentrated readers will ask “Why does this crazy guy say “again””?!

Because thanks to my friend AJ who pointed this out to me, I can say, that in 1999, MSN Messanger was compatible with AIM, so Microsoft and AOL teamed up here.

Let me quote a bit from this news article:

“In 1999, when Microsoft launched MSN Messenger, the software allowed users to communicate directly with AOL Instant Messenger users. AOL, then the largest IM network, blocked MSN. The two companies proceeded to play a game of cat and mouse for months, until MSN finally said it would no longer access AOL to protect customer “security.””

Oh by the way: Yet, it does not support UNICode, yet

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Competition Pro. Joystick! 80’s/90’s vs. 2004/05!

As earlier mentioned I enjoy old computer games.
I have figured, that even digital joysticks don’t get better after 10-20 years.
Luckily, SpeedLinkhas a released a 1:1 re-production model of the legendary Competition Pro in an USB variant.
Since I am bad at reading schemes and soldering, I have asked my Mac Gyver-like grandfather to do it! You can see the joystick cable with 9 pin D-SUB plug which will be used to teplace the USB PC cable! 🙂

Competition Pro USB from 2004 (left) vs. Competition Pro 9 D-SUB from 1994 (right)! 🙂

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