One of the things that I — and countless others — find annoying is the built-in adverts at the foot of the MSN Messenger contacts window and also the conversation windows. In the past you had to remove these yourself using an application such as Resource Hacker, as documented on my previous blog post: Removing adverts from MSN Messenger 7 and 7.5.
The Mess Patch for MSN Messenger 7.5.0324 puts an end to all that DIY hacking by allowing you to specify which features you wish to disable or add, and the patch utility does it for you.
As well as nuking the advertisement banners the Mess Patch also has a useful feature that users of Linux or Open Source instant messenger applications such as Gaim take for granted: the ability to distinguish between a contact being Away or Idle.
By default MSN Messenger blocks the transfer of a certain number of file extensions, such as
.exe files. This is for security purposes, seemingly. But I always objected to Microsoft deciding on my behalf what files I could or could not share with my friends. I always used to hack this setting by hand (it’s stored in the Windows Registry — details on request) but now this is possible to do by simply selecting the “Remove File Transfer Blocked Extensions” option in Mess Patch.
It is worth noting at this point that I also have the excellent Messenger Plus! extension for MSN Messenger installed, which adds a host of features including the ability to decide which contacts you will automatically accept downloads from, and which you have to authorize. My closest and most trustworthy online contacts (of whom there are currently 12) can send me pretty much any file they wish, everyone else has to wait until I give the go-ahead.
On final thing about the latest update of MSN Messenger: the
Help > About MSN Messenger window still shows last year’s date (highlighted in red below):
Copyright (C) 1997-2005 Microsoft Corportation. All rights reserved.
I’m no expert on how software is versioned or copyrighted, but if this is the most recent build then surely that should read “Copyright (C) 1997-2006”. You would think.