Well, I was able to manually patch Messenger 5.0, however, I was not able to get it working.
I realised I forgot to do the registry thing, so I did, but there was no “Server” entry there, so I added it myself. I got this error instead:
After mucking about with the Windows “hosts” file, I then get a different kind of error, and my Escargot address does show, so it (to me) looks like it was able to reach the Escargot servers, but did not support its newer encryption standards.
So yeah, I think it has to do with the encryption, because I wasn’t able to access the Escargot public site in both IE 5.5 and Firefox 2. I’m not sure if I should try updating to IE 6.
While I was trying to get Escargot working on Windows ME, I had the idea of creating a HTTP, SOCKS3, or SOCKS4 proxy that handles rerouting from the Microsoft servers to the Escargot servers. While I was browsing Wikipedia, I came across this page that lists the TCP/UDP ports and URLs Messenger used back in the day.
While I was trying to write a tutorial on how to do it (that I would have posted if it was successful), I ripped the “Patching instructions” from the Escargot public website, and copied it into a separate webpage that you can view on an old web browser, because my web server just happens to not have any encryption, but then, it doesn’t need to. Anyway, the page is here.
Update: I installed IE 6, and I still can’t sign in. Over on my XP laptop, Escargot does work fine in Messenger 7.5, and it has IE 8.
Actually, it probably works on versions older than XP using the “old MSN support”, but I did hear from someone (who I was chatting with in a Discord chatroom) saying that with that, the user can’t log on using the newer versions. I don’t know if this is correct or not.