I lost interest in Miranda shortly after that, but I'm always impressed that a group has kept it going.
I also wrote the initial Miranda ICQ plugin for the new protocol as well, I think that was back in 2002.
Just thought I'd say hey.
I'm still on ICQ, via pidgin. There's just 'me' these days, but I'm holding the fort. So there :-)
Though with all the closing of networks these last years I sometimes neglect starting pidgin at all since I'll need some tabs open fore messaging regardless :(
Memory lane, eh?
Thanks for that.
A bit off topic, I guess, but I think the thing we most need now is a moderately low-level, easy to use, cross-platform UI toolkit. I don't want my desktop apps to take up 1 GB of RAM each and feel slow.
It seems that Miranda has forked into Miranda IM and Miranda NG, what are your thoughts about those two? Personally, I use Miranda NG because the Facebook plugin worked better in NG last time I compared the two.
A while ago I digged around in my computer and collected _all_ the chat logs I was able to find: Trillian, MSN, Pidgin, Empathy, Thunderbird, XChat, Facebook, and normalized them to plain text. They were in all sorts of formats: line-by-line XML, JSON, per file JSON, per file XML, text, HTML. (I had to exclude Skype due to it's binary log.) If you have any logs, do a similar normalization as soon as possible, it will only get more painful.
Anyway, the trillian logs were exceptionally ugly with with the line-by-line all data in attributes XML, but hey, the user interface and the connect to any platform was awesome.
Showed me how software should be. Useful, out of my way if not needed
Even preferred it over trillian and adium
Thanks a ton!
I remember these days when I studied (2002-2007) - before that the official ICQ client was the Go-To messenger. But as you said - people got annoyed by the introduced app. Then at university everybody had ICQ. It was the defacto communication mechanism - even between people that lived in adjacent rooms. And at some time all of those people started to move to Miranda at once, so you could probably find it on 1000s of PCs on the campus. New plugins came up all the time and were discussed.
I think we all greatly enjoyed the ability to show status/away messages on mouseover. And on the other side the ability to display a notification when someone has read your away message :) That lead to some very interesting usage patterns and conversations.
I don't know when I stopped using Miranda, but it was probably approximately when I started using Gtalk and encouraged the majority of my ICQ and AIM contacts to get Google accounts, too.
then some other friends discovered that it was a bot and that they could train it..... it didn't went well after that.
i still think about recoding megahal in pure JS and use it for the current hip chatbots.
thx for miranda (and the megahal plugin)
Haven't use ICQ in a long time but I still remember my ICQ number :)
Miranda was so beautiful!
I started to work at Mail.Ru in 2010, when Mail.Ru bought ICQ from AOL.
I was enjoyed working with ICQ backend code-base written by AOL (although to be honest not all code was high quality).
Here are some quick facts about ICQ backend infrastructure:
1) ICQ servers has over 2'700'000 lines of code which is written in C and C++;
2) ICQ has its own TCP/IP implementation which works in the user space;
3) Concurrency based on event-driven model (epoll), each instance handles many requests semi-simultaneously;
4) About 60 different interconnected internal services;
5) Each kind of backend service is a cluster of more than a hundred of instances;
6) C core-code is written in old-school style and I liked that;
7) OSCAR protocol is defined in TCL files. Our custom build system created C-functions which pack/unpack OSCAR messages;
8) Huge portion of core code-base was dedicated to create very scalable distributed server architecture;
Note that all publicly available information in the Internet about ICQ protocol describing legacy binary protocol called OSCAR. Native modern mobile client uses HTTP based protocol which supports recently added features.
According to Mail.Ru Group audited annual report, in December 2013 ICQ had 11 million monthly active users.
P.S. I would prefer not to discuss marketing/business side of ICQ because I personally had fundamentally different opinion from AOL/Mail.Ru product owners. I was quite happy with plain minimalist Pidgin ICQ client. Also, I'm not aware of new features this guy describing. Many things in code-base may be changed since I left the company.
How "old-school" are we talking? Like K&R-C style or what?
The core framework for ICQ was actually written by AOL long before ICQ was born. I.e. they developed general framework for scalable distributed systems.
So some comments in the code are dated as early as 1992.
I didn't mean formatting style but general flavor of how programs was written at these days. I can't put it into words, it's better to just see the code. Although, I'm not permitted to show the code.
Also, this code is part of AOL internal framework which is not directly connected to ICQ.
But, hum hum, What is considered non-old-school really modern C? Are there any new non-trivial C programs or systems anymore?
I look at the Linux kernel and some drivers occasionally, and possibly do some changes in some drivers and tools related to DVB and media, but I never look at "new" C code.
Hiding the struct like:
typedef struct foo_t foo_t;
/* ... */
Most of the time, I still keep struct definitions in header files, but API wise I always write functions or macros for anything that touches them and discourage direct access to struct members. Depending on the use case of course. Abstract types have their uses too.
Mind expanding a little bit why is that?
In early days, native TCP/IP stacks wasn't good at handling so many simultaneous connections as ICQ needed to handle.
So AOL just wrote their own TCP/IP stack (I think they used this implementation not only in ICQ).
In modern days, it's legacy.
I think they already removed this stack since I left company.
It was a bad thing to do from the beginning, but at least I learned something about life and after that I had an even bigger interest in computers and programming, as well as the idea of creating something instead of only doing bad things. Shortly after I had my first touch of programming (outside of copying a "Snake" game from a magazine) when I wrote macros for Ultima Online.
Thinking back to this time with ICQ and all of this is making me really nostalgic and I sort of wish I could sit in with my old self and talk about the future.
Your description matches "my friends" experience 100%
Back when hacking was more about pranking and fun.
I think that is basically how I got into the deeper end of 'computing': learning about IPs, TCP/IP, playing around with scripts and hacking together my own (or more usually hacking around someone else's code to make it do what I wanted it to do).
I sort of miss those days of the internet. I am not sure how to describe it but it felt more free and less restricted. People around me in real life weren't as familiar with it either so it had this weird vibe around it; a lot of it sounded like magic to them. Whenever you mentioned 'The Internet' there was an air of mystery around it.
If I remember correctly BO didn't have a GUI until they (Cult of the dead Cow) updated it to BO2k so it was easier for us kids to use Sub7.
I had a folder with a lot of these with virus that I could play with, it was fun, until my sister selected and executed all of them...
In my mid 20's, i'd come back from the pub drunk, login, search for girls online now near me and send them messages. Was usually somebody drunk at the other end, had a few fleeting relationships from that.
Nothing since, including Facebook, has had that same immediacy.
Anyway, it was more about talking than about romantic relationship. Not many people expected to ever meet their virtual friends.
You can definitely ruin that, for example, if you do not randomize well enough and a small subset of user base gets too much attention.
Remember, this was the internet back when men were men and women were men and children were FBI agents.
Also, I have this feeling that it's much harder to disguise your gender in Russian than it is in English. First of all, everybody has it as first language with all its nuance and can guess a lot of things about their penpal. Discussions are also deeper, making it harder to fake.
In other news, WebRings still exists as well.
Is there a particular reason for not revealing it?
As far as I know it's not possible to get one app that combines Google Hangouts, iMessage, Facebook Messager, WhatsApp, etc... into one place like you could with the old messaging apps. Now you have to leave 10 things running all the time just to keep your connections.
But, that's MS for ya! (Ducks and runs)
I seek you. I don't think I ever got that. And it was my primary messaging platform for a long time - I grudgingly made the move to AIM sometime around 2002. I felt that ICQ allowed more in-depth conversations; IM was much more call-and-response.
It actually originated from the French word sécurité, but in English-language countries it was quickly backronym'd to become an abbreviation of "seek you".
Previously, with Compuserve and BBSs, I've only been using asynchroneous communication forms like mail or forums. (I stayed away from chat rooms, but I don't remember why.)
Nowadays I don't even use any messenger app which shows the online/offline status. I just assume everyone is online all the time...
(Ah yes, ICQ# 188126. Lost my password before I found out that you could actually sell low numbers like that for good money.)
Gosh, I just logged in. Kudos for not auto-deleting my account for so many years.
I think the numbers started at 100000.
Prior to that, elementary school, I used PowWow and Mplayer to socialize with pretty much only Californians.. since everyone on the internet back then lived in CA. That was a weird time. I of course was 18 for.. oh, 10 years.
I believe I've met 2-3 people with lower numbers than mine.
edit: Wow, just signed in, been awhile. None of my friends online and the web app doesn't tell you their last time online. Not sure if the desktop apps still do.
Contact ICQ support and tell them that you no longer have access to that email. You'll confirm your UIN and a few names from your user list. It took about a day to get mine back.
I don't remember meeting anyone with a lower number than mine, although I was aware that, at least on the global user directory, there were 2 people in my city with a lower number, both related.
In my case I got last online times for several people (mobile app) but mostly all from 2015. I wonder if that's in any way related with the govt blocking WhatsApp that year...
141181 here btw, everyone is offline.
One friend used icq until maybe a year ago, offline now too.
Had some great times chatting to people all around the world on ICQ. I think I still have a couple of FB friends from that era.
I was bouncing an idea of an IRC like pager app around in my head in the months before I became aware of ICQ (but well after it was already developed).
[ Password field for current password ]
(i) Passwords must contain 8-16 symbols. They must include numbers and uppercase and lower case Latin letters.
[ New Password field ] [ Confirm Password field ]
(i) Get SMS code via mobile phone number to confirm new password
[ Country code selector ] [ Phone number field ]
[ Request SMS button ]
The forgot password thing then gave you access to the ICQ account.
It's a shame AOL ruined it with ads and overall crappiness, it could have been Facebook - a decade before FB was even a figment in Zuck's imagination. To be fair, it didn't help that MS did their "leveraging Windows" play; around 2002, I realized "normal" people had gone to Messenger because it was "just there" and it worked better with firewalls. But that was it, the IM scene was never as cohesive again -MSN, C6, Jabber, Yahoo, they all split the network.
edit: It says in the article that they do use encryption. However, the official website states something different:
> ICQ does not encrypt your communications. In addition, your communications may be routed through different countries - that is the nature of the Internet. ICQ cannot accept any responsibility for any unauthorized access or loss of Data.
Almost over night people were switching to (or adopting) MSNM, often reproducing online the cliques already existing in the local communities.
I think AIM was only ever popular in the US (America On Line after all).
The interesting period was when IRC was still popular even among non-techies. The girls in school would sit on the PCs in mIRC.
ICQ at school was really cliquey there was a lot of "I'm going to give you my ICQ number but you can't give it to X".
Teenage me was really happy when I got the ICQ # of a girl at school I had a huge crush on (This was pre mobile phones so you couldn't exchange text messages back then or snap chats or whatever the kids use to flirt with each other these days).
When I moved away from home and started university I stopped logging in lost touch with a heap of people as a result. I can't remember my ICQ no. nowadays...
Does anyone still use it?
It has died down almost completely by now though, thanks to whatsapp, skype and hangouts. I still log on with pidgin and there is at least one person in my list that does the same.
I will never forget my ICQ number, it is burned into my brain forever.
I don't have a need for Whatsapp - although I hear it's super popular outside of the US.
Now I mainly use Google Hangouts, but I always feel like it's lacking and isn't as nice as Skype or other alternatives (for both messaging and video).
This was so long ago I remember running a ICQ J2ME app on a 2G GSM phone
ICQ is specifically referenced in speeches by FBI and intelligence agency directors. So that's a pretty neat rep to have.
They were the competitors at a company I consulted for in mid-90's in India who I believe made a product equal or better than ICQ.
But the potential was never fulfilled due to founder personality quirks and right time/place issue. They had a gun video conferencing product in late 90's than worked quite well on ISDN lines and even on dial up.
The product was built in collaboration with the famous IIT-Chennai
I think I was introduced to ICQ when I started playing Ultima Online. Good times, better internets back then.
Which made it even better. Met a lot of cool people that way.
I remember one time I was playing as a girl and got somebody to "marry" me so they'd give me free stuff. Got a loooot of free stuff by being a girl on UO.
>7285081 - I still remember it 20 years later.
There's no reason whatsoever that I should remember my ID. I haven't used the service in at least a decade, probably more. I'm often astonished at how the brain tucks away (apparently) useless information that comes to the surface via a chance stimulus. For me, such bits are sometimes many decades old and AFAIK unreferenced since being acquired. At these times I've thought to myself "there's absolutely zero reason this memory should still be in my head, it's insignificant and useless." I'd think the brain would have better uses for its limited storage, even for coldline data.
Sadly I remember my ICQ number, 3522071, but have long since forgotten my password. Since at the time they either didn't bother with recovery email addresses or it was optional I also have no access to my account.
IM seems like such an established part of the internet now, it's easy to forget how amazing it seemed when I first saw it. Finally I could chat with my friends without us all having to be on IRC at the same time. It was also much easier to use than IRC, which brought in a lot of other friends I had who were less technically inclined.
I was 103477,2372 on CompuServe, but I'm guessing that my mom's credit card that I used expired about 25 years ago.
And looking it up reveals I was stupid enough to fill in my birthday correctly for it, which still displays publicly to this day.
There was a sense in "pride" when you gave someone your number and they would say "Isn't there meant to be a few more numbers?"
I don't think I have ever received or sent any messages, or met anyone else who used it.
On the plus side, my Slashdot number is under 7000, so that validates my life a little, and OH GOD THE RESET PASSWORD LINK EMBEDS YOUR OLD PASSWORD IN THE RESET URL IN THE CLEAR I need to wash my brain out now...
It was stolen because of a weak password on the account.
This is how I started my way in cyber security, thanks to the frustration and further research on how that happened.
Same sort of thing happens with low SteamIDs.
You're implying that there's a search page where you can search accounts. I forgot what's number of my account and am curious if there's anyone who that I know that still uses it.
Looks like my contact list was wiped at some point over the years, though.
And yes, I still can recite my 7 digit UIN.
Here I'm noticing few comments about how people met their significant others on ICQ. It seems, in those times, ICQ didn't face a "social awkwardness" as is faced by Omegle today.
Anyone know what the author means by "expensive" in this context? It's a six digit number, exclusive to ICQ, how could it be "expensive"?
>In 1994, a Delaware resident paid $182,500 for plate number 9. In Rhode Island, two brothers went to court in 1983 over their late father's three-digit plate. In Massachusetts, a recent auction of low-numbered plates raised more than $1 million for the state's 9/11 fund.
A few might have been sold for around $5000 or even more. I am not sure though... I just remember that it was an unbelievably high number....
It's good to see that they eventually added end-to-end encryption.
For some reasons I still remember my login number.
IRC? write? talk? CBBS?
I missed the low UIN boat on ICQ because I was solidly into FreeBSD back then and the ICQ client was only on Windows. It also looked sketchy as hell with the crudely drawn flower icon and public domain sound effects. I didn't join for years and ended up with a barely 7 digit UIN.
The typing and receiving may be similar, but the approach is different.
All of the above (save perhaps write) allow two users to converse freely, over a network. Sounds like a messenger to me.