Quick Start Guide

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How do I install aMSN?

aMSN is officially supported by many operating systems "out of the box". Here are some quick hints on how to install aMSN for various platforms.

  • Linux: You must have Tcl 8.4 /Tk 8.4 or greater. Your Linux distribution usually provides an installer for Tcl/Tk, so usually all you need to do is download a version of aMSN which has been made for your specific distribution (be aware that you must install from the source if there's none available for your distro). All available versions of aMSN for Linux can be found on the Linux download page.
  • Mac OS X: Just download the Mac OS X package on the download page. aMSN only supports Mac OS X versions 10.3.9 or greater, and as of version 0.96 Intel Macs will be fully supported.
  • Windows: The windows version of aMSN is provided as a simple installer. Just download the installer from the download page, and then run the downloaded file.

If aMSN isn't available for your distribution or operating system, you will have to compile it. This shouldn't be a big problem. However, if you're really lazy you could look on the Internet for pre-compiled packages made by someone else that suit your operating system.

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How do I start using aMSN?

Get a Hotmail or a Passport Account

You need to register with either Hotmail or Passport.NET to be able to sign into aMSN. Deciding on which service to register with is mostly irrelevant - neither is more supported or less by aMSN. The only difference is that only with a Hotmail account you can be notified of receiving new e-mail.

  • Hotmail: This is by far the most popular service used to sign into the MSN Messenger Network. Signing up for a Hotmail account gets you a mailbox, and you will also be given the discussable opportunity to sign up for newsletters.
  • Passport.NET: If you sign up for a Passport account you will be able to sign into MSN Messenger Network using your existing e-mail address. The only thing you miss are the notifications upon receiving new e-mail.

Create an aMSN profile

Now that you have an account, you need to create a profile in aMSN. Profiles are used by aMSN to keep logs and settings individually for each person that shares your computer.

Note that it is possible to use aMSN without creating a profile, but in this case you are not able to change any settings. It is therefore highly reccomended that you create a profile, as Bill Gates would say, to heavily improve "user experience".

To create a profile click on "Login as..." in the first screen that appears when you run aMSN. Then in the bottom of the new window that opens, click the button that says "Add New Profile". Enter the account that you're going to use with aMSN (ie the e-mail address you will use to sign into MSN Network - the Hotmail or Passport account). Now confirm by clicking on the button "OK".

Back in the "Log In" window, choose to "Login using an existing Profile". In the User field choose your account, and then fill the Password field with the password you set to your account (you may optionally choose to have your password saved by clicking the corresponding option). Just click on the "OK" button.

Voilà! aMSN will log you into the MSN Messenger Network! Now you are able to log your conversations and webcam sessions, and aMSN will remember any preferences that you may change.

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How do I add contacts to my Contact List?

Adding a contact

From the "Contacts" menu choose the option "Add Contact..." and type in your friend's e-mail address.

Deleting/blocking a contact

There are different ways to get the same thing done:

  • right click on the contact's name in the contact list, and choose the "Delete" or "Block" option;
  • on the contact's conversation window, choose the "Block/Unblock" item in the "Contact" menu;
  • on the contact's conversation window, click the block button next to the Display Picture (note that the exact location of the button may vary depending on the skin used).

Unblocking a contact

Again, you can do it on the contact list or right inside the contact's conversation window:

  • right click on the contact's name in the contact list, and choose the "Unblock" option;
  • on the contact's conversation window, choose the "Block/Unblock" item in the "Contact" menu.

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How do I change the way other people see me online?

Changing your Display Name or Personal Message

When you logged into aMSN you must see your Display Name at the top of the main window, and your personal message is displayed right below it. Your Display Name is the name that other people will see you in their contact list, and your Personal Message is displayed right beside or under your Display Name usually in an italic font. To change your Display Name or your Personal Message, click on it in the aMSN window, and a drop down menu will appear. Choose the "Change Nick..." option and a window will open which has input boxes for you to write your own Display Names and Personal Messages.

Changing your Display Picture

Your current Display Picture appears in the top-left hand corner of the Contact List. Click on it and choose "Change Display Picture...". Here, you can:

  • pick one of the default pictures;
  • have your picture come from a file on your hard disk;
  • mimic a friend using his or her display picture (aMSN caches those).

Using a default picture is simple: just click on it and confirm. If you want to pick a file on your hard disk (such as a photo or an image you've downloaded), click on "Browse..." and choose the image file. If you wish to mimic the Display Picture from one of your contacts, click the "Show cached display pictures" button in the window that opens, then scroll down to the bottom of the display pictures to choose from all the cached images your contacts have once set as their Display Pictures.

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