Yahoo Emoticons for MSN Messenger..

This is a long overdue post 😛 .. I was busy with CCNA and some other things so I could post it earlier.. Anyways, Here it is.

Being a Yahoo Messenger user for years, I am used to Yahoo Messenger emoticons. And after some of my friends decided to shift to MSN messenger, I had to become a regular on MSN Messenger too .. But I missed Yahoo’s emoticons. And add to it that MSN Messenger’s emoticon looks ugly to me. So I decided to utilize MSN Messenger’s Custom Emoticon feature to add Yahoo emoticons to MSN Messenger.
I have released it as a custom emoticon pack, and if you want to import Yahoo emoticons to MSN Messenger, you have two choices. The first is to manually copy and paste custom emoticons to your messenger folder OR Use MSN BackitUp. I’ll explain both methods one by one:

  • Method 1: Manual Copy Paste:
    1. Download and extract the archive. You will get a folder called CustomEmoticons with around 80 .dat files. Right Click on the folder and select Copy.
    2. Now in your Windows drive ( C: on most systems), navigate to Application Data folder. For ex: C:\Document & Settings \ YourUsernameOnTheComputer \Application Data\ Microsoft\ MSN Messenger\ ARandomNumberString\.
    3. There may be more than one folders in your MSN Messenger directory if you have multiple MSN IDs on the same computer. You have to open the folder which corresponds to the ID that you wanna have Yahoo Emoticons.
    4. Paste the CustomEmoticons folder here that you downloaded.
    5. Run MSN Messenger .. 😛 .. You have YMSN Emoticons as your custom emoticons.
  • Do NOT use this method if you already have many custom emoticons as this may overwrite your existing Custom emoticons.

  • Method 2: Use MSN BackUp:
    1. Download and extract the archive. Note that this one is different from the archive above.
    2. Download and install MSN Backup. Its a great program to backup your MSN Messenger settings. We’ll use it to import custom emoticons.
    3. Run the program and enter your MSN Id in the textbox given. You will need to be running MSN Messenger too.
    4. In the right hand pane, navigate to the folder where you extracted the downloaded archive.
    5. It will take a while to load all the custom emoticons. After they have loaded, Enable the checkbox next to Emoticons in the right side pane.
    6. Click on the Install Objects button. The custom emoticons will be imported within in a minute.
    7. You may get one or two errors and two or three emoticons out of total 82 wont be imported. (I have no idea why some of them does not get imported..)
  • Most emoticans use the same format as Yahoo Messenger but for some emoticons you will need to put an extra : to make them work. For example use ::| for 😐 .

    I’ve tested it with Windows Live Messenger and I hope they work with previous version of MSN Messenger too. I hope you will like it. 🙂 …

    And yeah .. These emoticons are copyrighted by Yahoo. So you should agree to their terms of use if you wanna use these emoticans. ….

[HowTo] Make Spymac mail work again.

      Beginning February, Spymac decided to withdraw support for Pop3 for free users. It came as a blow for unsuspecting users like me as I was using Spymac as my default email for more than two years. And they were giving a good service indeed. I checked all their support forums and found that so many users have decided to quit Spymac against this move.

      Anyways .. To come to the point, there is still a way to make Pop3 working with Spymac again. This is an old trick, but very handy. Fortunately, Spymac have provided Mail Forward feature to all free users. So, you can forward all your Spymac mails to an account which does have Pop3 feature. The best service for this purpose, I believe, is Gmail all because with Gmail you can send emails as different “From: ” addresses. So the idea is to enable Pop3 on your Gmail account, Forward all your Spymac emails to your Gmail account. And with Gmail, you can send emails with your Spymac Address as “From :” field. So, to make it all work, do this :

      First login to your Gmail account (If you don’t have a Gmail account, you may post a request here).
      –>Now click on Settings.
      –>Click on Accounts.
      –>Click on Add another email address.
      –>In the Name field, put Spymac, and in Email Address field, type your Spymac mail address.
      –>Click on Next Step.
      –> In the next screen, click on Send Verification.

      Now login to your Spymac webmail. You should’ve got a confirmation email from Gmail. Complete the verification by clicking on the link provided in the mail. Now you can send messages from Gmail as your Spymac address. Now to enable Pop forwarding in Spymac:
      –>Click on Preferences > Account Preferences in Spymac’s webmail interface.
      –>Click on Mail Settings tab.
      –>Type in your Gmail address in the Forward To Address field.
      –> Click on Save Settings.

       With this, all your mails to your Spymac account will be forwarded to your Gmail address to which you can have Pop3 access. To configure Pop3 access to your Gmail account, check this. And to send emails from your Spymac account, you will need to use Gmail’s web interface (I tried all settings to make it work with email clients but it doesn’t work ). To send from a Spymac address, just click on Compose and select your Spymac address in From: address field. You should also tweak some settings in Gmail for better usage:
      –> Click on Settings.
      –> Click on Accounts.
      –> Under the When I receive a message sent to one of my addresses: field, select the option that says Reply from the same address the message was sent to.

       All this pain is necessary if you were using Spymac as your default email address and / or have more than one Spymac addresses (Just like I have ) .. So forward your emails from all your accounts to a Gmail address and use the Pop3 feature of Gmail to check your mails. However to send emails, you’d still need to login to web interface of Gmail (or you can login directly to Spymac too, but as I am writing this, webmail of Spymac is down and is doing this like for a week now). I hope Gmail will release some feature for users so that they can send mails from their email clients using different From addresses.

Windows OneCare Live Beta Reviewed

Its been a while since I last posted. Anyways most of people know how busy I was these days. These months are very important for my career so I was paying more attention to the job at hand. And now when I got some time, I decided to write this review. I got the invitation for beta testing Windows OneCare Live a while ago but I didnt get time to mess around system settings so decided against it. But when recently my system got screwed and I installed a fresh copy of WinXP, I decided to give it a go.

Windows OneCare Live: What is it ? :

Its the new security software from Microsoft. Its currently in beta testing stage, so you if you want to try it, you need to get an invite (available easily). The speculations of Microsoft entering the antivirus arena started when Microsoft bought antivirus firm Sybari early in 2005. With Windows XP Service Pack 2, the firewall was already built in the operating system and Microsoft testing an antispyware software, most people (including yours truly) were expecting Windows OneCare Live to have an integrated system of all these. So, when Microsoft started sending out invitations to beta test it, I also applied for it. And soon enough I got the invite. Continue reading Windows OneCare Live Beta Reviewed

How to write in Hindi without any IME

This text written in Devnagri (Hindi).. You will need Unicode support in your Operating system and browser to view it. So If all you get is boxes after this text, your system is Unicode non compliant.

Chatting in Hinglish has become a normal routine for Hindi speaking people.. And with advent of Unicode support in most operating systems and browsers, it has become easy to write in Hindi easily.. The recent versions of MSN Messenger and Yahoo Messenger support Unicode so now you can chat in Unicode with your friends easily ..

Earlier the only way to do this was either to install an IME on both ends and then communicate or write the text in a transcripter program such as Baraha and copy paste in your IM window .. Well … No more such troubles now .. Now you can directly write in your favorite program in Hindi .. and no fonts installation required .. (Well some installation is required though 😉 .. )

हिन्दी में लिखने के लिये आपको जिस software की जरुरत है वह है HindiWriter Keyboad Map. ईसे आप इसके डेवेलपर के वेबसाईट से डाउनलोड कर सकते हें। इसको इन्स्टाल करना काफ़ी आसान है। ईस कमाल के सोफ़्टवेर को बनाया है देवेन्द्र पारख ने।

So, to use HindiWriter, you’ll need to install complex script support on your computer. On Windows XP, you can do so by going to Control Panel and opening Regional and Language options applet. On the Language tab, Enable the option of Install files for complex script and right to left languages. Click on Apply. You may need your XP Cd to complete the installation. Here is a screenshot :
Screenshot of XP Regional Options

For Windows 2000, Goto Control Panel and click on Regional Options. Click on General Tab. Enable ‘Indic’ Click on Apply. You may need your Windows 2000 cd for comleting the installation.

Now the tougher part is over. Just download HindiWriter and install it. Now to type in Hindi, just run the program and press Shift Pause. Hindi keyboard map will be activated and whatever you will type will be converted to Devnagri automatically. It’s a phonetic font so if you want to write श , you can do so by typing sh . So if you can type in Hinglish, you can type in Hindi too .. We are using it successfully with MS Word, Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger too .. And you can write in Hindi on Unicode compliant browsers such as Maxthon, Firefox or Opera too …

तो जनाव, इन्तेज़ार किस बात का है ? आज से हिन्दी में बात करना शुरु कर दिजिये !

[Update as on 28 May 2008] Seems like Devendra Parekh’s original website is no more. I’ve updated the download link to SoftPedia now.

Windows Live Messenger 8 Beta Reviewed

Its raining Betas everywhere .. Soon after Microsoft announced that new version of MSN Messenger will be called Windows Live Messenger, they released the program for Beta testers .. The download size is huge, double the size of previous versions but I still decided to test it. So I downloaded it and installed it.. Here’s my experience with it …
Whats New ..?

  • The interface: It clearly says “The Future of MSN Messenger” in the main window. They have redesigned the interface yet again .. I said “Wow ..!” when I first looked at it ..! Its more colorful (You can customize the colors) and its more sleek.. You can find most of the common task in the main interface without right clicking .. Just hover over a contact and most useful tasks are visible ..
    Windows Live Messenger Main Interface

Continue reading Windows Live Messenger 8 Beta Reviewed

A User’s Guide to Instant Messengers – II

To continue with my earlier post , Now I will discuss what I want to have in the Instant Messenger of my choice .. Though some proceedings made me to modify my original post. Earlier I had decided that I will point out features separately for both messengers, but now as both Yahoo Messenger and MSN Messenger will start supporting each other’s networks, I guess the ultimate messenger program they will release around June 2006 will support both program’s features . . .So I will make an ambiguous list that is relevant to most clients. 
A disclaimer: People like me usually chat on text mode. This partly due to chatting with many people at once, being a fast typist and, not wanting to appear as I am talking to my computer for that matter :D..
So, most of the features that I want are related to text conversations …
Continue reading A User’s Guide to Instant Messengers – II