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MSN and the Scrollz textmode IRC-client

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Chat with MSN users on your Linux box in only 5 steps

ScrollZ is a great textmode IRC-client. It looks a lot like BitchX and Irssi. However, ScrollZ comes loaded with built-in functions and does not require Perl.

I have used ScrollZ for quite some time now. It has proven to be a very stable IRC-client. My shellserver is always running a ScrollZ-session, connected to one or more IRC-channels. With the use of GNU Screen I log in into the shellserver, attach to the Screen-session and switch to the ScrollZ-window.

Get great uptimes of your IRC-client

ScrollZ displays its own uptime. It is not uncommon for my ScrollZ-session to have uptimes of more then 100 days. That stable it is.

I have used ScrollZ on different kinds of hardware:

  • i386 systems (several generations of Celeron processors)
  • PPC systems (several Apple boxes, both G3 and G4 processors
  • Foxboard (after porting ScrollZ to it)

I use ScrollZ both in Debian environments (PPC mostly) as well as in Slackware environments (i386 shellserver, workstations and laptops).

On all these kinds of hardware and distros ScrollZ has proven to be a reliable textmode IRC-client.

Bitlbee and ScrollZ

Bitlbee is a great find! It acts as a bridge between your IRC-client and the IM-world.

Bitlbee works right out of the box. You don't have to be an Unix expert to get it working.

5 steps to MSN chatting

  1. Install the software:On our Debian or Ubuntu boxes this is easy with apt.
    apt-get install scrollz bitlbee
  2. Start ScrollZ and connect to your local host: Bitlbee works as a local daemon. Start ScrollZ and issue the command:
    /server localhost 6667
  3. Identify yourself to Bitlbee: type the command
    register <password>
    This is the password you have to choose for Bitlbee only. This password protects your account-data (usernames and passwords for MSN, ICQ etc.)
  4. Add your MSN-account to Bitlbee: type the command
    account add MSN <username@hotmail.com> <password>
  5. Connect to MSN:
    account on 0

You are now ready to chat on MSN. To start a chat-session with one of your buddies, type the command

/query <buddy nickname>

MSN and ICQ accounts and Bitlbee

You can have more then one account. So if you add another account this will be account 1, the next account 2, etc.

You can ask bitlbee which accounts you have added:

account list

Retrieving your account information

After wasting some time chatting on MSN or IRC at some point in time you have to stop ScrollZ. The next time you start ScrollZ you don't need to enter your account data again in Bitlbee. This is why you had to register first.

The next time you connect to Bitlbee (/server localhost 6667 in your favorite IRC client) issue the command

identify <password>
This is the password you have chosen when registering at Bitlbee.

Some nice ScrollZ commands

Some commands that make life in ScrollZ so much more:

  • /stamp max: puts timestamps in your conversations
  • /chanlog on *: set log on all channels
  • /sve: save your settings (these will be loaded the next time you start ScrollZ)