Strong The Power Is

I discovered today that ICQ 4.0 came out last week. It’s a replacement for ICQ Lite rather than ICQ Pro, as I imagine the former has proven more popular. I only downloaded it today, and so far it seems a bit odd. For a start, one of its major selling points is a term the ICQ website is plastered with: Xtraz! A new dentists opened in Dorridge recently and the sign boldly proclaims the name: Briter Smiles. Call me a snob, but both of these things irritate me. It’s not big and it’s not clever. If you don’t know how to spell, you won’t notice. If you do, are you supposed to be thinking “Hey, those guys spell phoetically! How unique! I’ll certainly be buying their product!”? [Andrew takes a (nother) pill] Apart from grammatical foibles, ICQ 4.0 has an improved message window in which you can see an image the other party has chosen. Can’t think where they got that idea 🙂 You can also invite the other party to join you in a game, or send them a greetings card. There’s also the welcome return of the birthday reminder, which before I started (then stopped) using Outlook, was an invaluable feature, particularly when combined with the greetings card option. Cheap? Me?

I’ve been running ICQ and MSN for a fair while, and am increasingly, despite my best intentions, using the latter. I started with ICQ years and years ago and do feel a kind of bizarre brand loyalty, but MSN is just so damn quick and easy to use it’s slowly drawing me away. Sure, it doesn’t store the history as well, the user info isn’t as comprehensive, it presumes to know your status if the screensaver conks out and it shares excessive information regarding the status of your chat window, but it has a certain charm…I feel like Anakin Skywalker between Episodes 2 and 3. I know it’s wrong. I know where I’m heading. But there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

I’ve also been playing with the Opera 7.5 beta which, contrary to my previous witterings, is quite good. I’ll elucidate later this week, most likely. I only mention it because while trying to solve a problem earlier, I looked up ‘opera 7.5 freeserve’ in google, and what was the first result? Me! Now I feel all paternal.

I’m feeling pretty crappy atm so am going to collapse in front of the tv for the rest of the evening. I’ve got various phone calls to return, a huge OU assignment due in next Friday and a writing project that’s been sitting around for two months, but I can’t face any of them.