What happened?!?!?

You may have noticed my absence from the Escargot community starting around late 2017. I’ve looked a little more into Escargot again (instead of actually doing work) and notice the lovely new theme designed by Spriteclad and brought to life by Maigol, both of which did an excellent job.

I’ve noticed some cool people celebrated my anniversary last June, and I thought that was pretty cool to be remembered like that.

 

Above all, I noticed Escargot Spaces has risen from its grave, and now people get to see 2017 me again. It has also changed hands from Michael to 45gratest (OhHelloThereImTheGuy on the MessengerGeek forums), and while I’m a little sad about the discontinuation of Groups (it could’ve been used in a pretty interesting fashion to chain together blogs) overall he’s a great guy and is doing an excellent job with the site. I’m very much looking forward to a new theme; Emesen looks and feels slapped together by someone with no WordPress development experience. And it was! Notice how I just burned myself?

 

How have I been doing since my hiatus? Well, I’ve been focusing on other projects and stuff on my Neocities website, dotcomboom. Of course, also, schoolwork has been keeping me pretty busy. I don’t tend to go by Nintel anymore. I’ve been listening to a lot of chiptunes, linked is a nice one I’ve been putting on repeat recently.

 

I can’t guarantee I’ll be nearly as active in the Escargot community as a year ago, but I am here to pop in and say hi. Thank you for the support when I worked on Emesen, and especially thank you to the people who made all this happen. I owe you one.

It’s here!

I’m happy to be able to announce that Emesen (0.2.2) is now the default theme for Escargot Spaces! And as such if you notice something wrong with the theme by all means yell at me or make a new issue on GitLab. 🙂

If you have an existing blog you can set the theme manually in Appearance > Themes.

When you sign up for a new blog, I believe it’ll give you the new theme automatically.

And as always, you can find the source code on the GitLab repo. Thank you for all your support!

Emesen 0.2 – Better comments and styling

The new version of Emesen has better comments from Near Nothing, styled block quotes, more spaced out margins and it loads faster directly from the php/css file because everything’s embedded into Base64!

Grab it here. If you want to use the MSN logo as a custom logo use this:

To keep it transparent skip cropping. It’s already sized correctly.

Emesen 0.1!!

Two things on my checklist last time were completed: Custom logo support + text fallback, and removing those stubborn bullets from the sidebar. As it seems, like magic, BuddyPress looks just like it’s supposed to now, which wasn’t the case before:

I haven’t done anything with the comments section at this point, yet:

Another thing to look into is to make the theme 100% standalone. Right now it hotlinks a bunch of files from Archive.org which definitely isn’t a good way to do things.

Emesen 0.05 (still not 0.1)

And I didn’t think I’d continue working on it. Crazy, now it’s actually shaping up to be a “real theme!”

Now the header (replacing the search bar due to it hanging out and laziness on my part when it comes to fixing it) and footer menu bars are functional and you can assign menus to them. How the actual content is laid out is kind of… meh, but there’s not much I can do at the time being. I keep trying to remove those darn bullet points from the sidebar, but nothing I’ve tried works. I’m probably missing something critical.

The MSN logo now links to the homepage of your site, and the admin bar actually shows up properly this time around. If you want to try it out for yourself (maybe fix it a little?) get the latest changes from GitLab. Maybe this theme will get to a point where it’s decent enough to be used on Escargot Spaces, who knows.

To do list as of the moment:

  • Remove the bullet points from the sidebar once and for all
  • See what I can do for making comments and BuddyPress not look bad
  • Change the MSN logo to the blog title or something, or find a way to get the set blog logo

Unsuccessfully trying to use MSN Messenger on ReactOS 0.4.5

Spoiler, none of the versions of MSN that was on Escargot’s site worked on ReactOS.

Woah, that setup was fast.

No, seriously, it took like 3 minutes for me to set ReactOS all up. Or it would’ve, if it didn’t freeze while booting the second time around. It did boot properly when I chose the Debug option at startup time though, and afterwards through the default option. Weird.

ReactOS prompted to install a couple drivers for networking and audio, but it couldn’t find any. I searched online and found that I needed to set the networking card to PCnet-FAST III. I set the card to that and networking worked fine.

I went to install Firefox from the applications manager because it didn’t come with a browser. (probably to keep the download size small, and my 1.5 mbps connection and I appreciate that!) While Firefox was downloading, I messed around in Paint a bit.

Firefox was downloaded, and when I opened it it asked to import Internet Explorer data, heh. The control box wouldn’t display, so that was kind of weird.

So here comes the part you’ve all been waiting for: actually installing MSN. I went to Escargot’s site and downloaded the pre-patched 7.5.0324 installer. And…

It didn’t work. I was unable to sign in because the textboxes were broken. May be a font issue. I’d hate to end it here though, so I kept trying and going through each of the versions on the Escargot website. To avoid issues, I decided to go from oldest to newest, from 5.0 to 7.0.

To get rid of 7.5 I used Jonathan Kay’s ZapMessenger, which worked well after I installed 7-Zip (to open the archive) and .NET Framework 2.0. I installed 5.0.0575, but when signing in it gave me this error:

I didn’t get any option to log the connection, so I can’t pinpoint what the exact problem was. But I moved onward, to 6.2.0208. It kept my login information from 5.0.0575. It gave me pretty much the same error, but with an error code of 0x80004005 this time.

I tried a couple more times, getting the same error code. That brings us to 7.0.0820, which again saved my login info from 5.0 and 6.2. Guess what, yep, another error, with the error code of 800701f4. The second time the code was 80072efe.

I then tried again with logging enabled, but the log file still had nothing but the default comment saying “this has personal information, blah blah.”

Update (8:00 PM): As part of a complete coincidence, the Escargot server was down when I ran these tests originally. I’ve tried 7.0.0820 again and it did login, but fonts and profile pictures are kind of messed up:

I decided to try 7.5.0324 again because my login info was saved, and I wasn’t able to enter that info in that version the first time. Unfortunately, that info wasn’t carried over when I installed 7.5 again.

I’ve tried these same versions on WINE with similar results, so I think it’s safe to say that it’s not possible in the time being to run MSN Messenger on ReactOS or through WINE.

Uh oh

It was a fluke!

When I installed Windows 7 on Parallels, it was an OEM System Builder license. This is why moving it around from Parallels to VMware to VirtualBox upset Windows Activation; you’re only allowed to use that license on the first “motherboard” you install it on, in this case the virtual motherboard Parallels gave the virtual machine.

I’ll look into other options for running MSN. First of which being to try installing it into a ReactOS VM. All the versions of MSN I’ve tried won’t work in Wine, so I’m skeptical.

VirtualBox Followup

Apparently, loading up my vmdk file worked without a hitch. Booorriing. Last time I tried to load it in VirtualBox Windows Activation locked the entire VM unless I used another key or switched back to VMware, but apparently that wasn’t the case this time around.

So yeah I can use MSN again, woo!

Add me as a contact: c/o\o/l\t/i\l/e\@/s\d/f\./o\r/g

So hey!

This is my new blog now, pretty cool huh?

About Escargot/MSN, I haven’t been able to go online because I haven’t set up my virtual machines up again since reinstalling macOS. Previously I’ve been using Ubuntu as a stick-it-to-the-man sort of thing, using VMware Player for my virtual machines. However, I went back to macOS and VMware Player isn’t available, so in order to use my virtual machines I’d need VMware Fusion or risk making Windows’ activation unhappy by using VirtualBox.. We’ll see how that goes.