Internet Black Holes

My previous post was about preserving MSN Messenger versions, and since that post I’ve been trying to collect yet more to record and test. It turns out that the internet is transient (who knew?) and so many links have been broken. Various files removed from their previous homes, various FTP servers no longer operational, and various websites long gone, to be replaced by holding pages and parked by web hosts.

Some versions were leaked or betas but functional, and so archived to some extent by the MSN community. Others were less fortunate, being leaked but non-functional, or only briefly available, to be replaced by more functional (and officially available) versions, these are more difficult to come by. What use is there in keeping a piece of software that only existed for a week and didn’t work anyway?

Despite this, I have managed to collect more versions, towards what is probably one of the largest collection of MSN Messenger/Windows Messenger/Windows Live versions anywhere. If it’s not, I shall be very disappointed, as I’m running out of places to look for these versions.

Now to the fruits of this endeavour:

Three interlinked blogs listing all of the versions I’ve managed to find, of MSN Messenger, Windows Messenger, and Windows Live Messenger respectively. Technical details and screenshots are included where possible, and when I get over the ludicrous amount of installing, uninstalling, reinstalling, screenshotting, and recording protocol information, I may add more data to these pages. I don’t expect it to be useful to anybody, but there it is, my input into preserving the history of MSN Messenger and its descendants.