Just wanted to pass the following information along, in case it might help someone.
For several reasons, some of us might not care for Skype. It's alright, but you might want the basic instant messenger functionality without the video/webcam, the billable calls (skype to skype calls are free) etc. If you just want the im funtionality, you can still get it.
If you install and old Windows Live Messenger, you will have to upgrade to Skype. But if you use a 3rd party client, like Pidgin, you can get just the im functions. The default settings in Pidgin will not let you connect to MSN Messenger, but you can connect with few changes. Press ctrl-A and modfiy your MSN account. Press the Advanced tab, replace the info in the Server box with an i.p. you can get from the list in www.ismsndeadyet.com
, leave the Port the same, 1863 and click save. You will connect to MSN Messenger!
Silicon_Toad told me today too, that another method will work. He simply clicked to use the HTTP method, in the Advanced tab, and used Port 443. This got him connected. Thanks Toad!
The webmaster says this will also work with the other 3rd party im clients, like Trilliam, Adium, etc.
Thank you to all!