Products > Vintage Computing

Mirabilis ICQ Proxy Server

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Halcyon:
So, for fun, I decided to try running my own ICQ server (that chat program from the late 1999's/early 2000's). More specifically, ICQ Groupware, which was a version of the original ICQ client that was designed for companies to run on their LAN. From my understanding, there was only ever one version of ICQ Groupware Server released (which is 1.12 Beta). And it works great, even on a "modern" operating system like Windows 7 (with a little tweaking).

Last night, I did a test and poked a hole through the firewall to UDP 4000 (which ICQ uses to communicate) and actually managed to communicate back and forth with a friend over the internet, with one caveat; ICQ by default tries to deliver messages peer-to-peer, in that it tries to connect directly to the other user's client through their WAN IP. Obviously, most of us are behind firewalls and private routers, so machines don't have direct connections to the internet via IPv4.

Eventually, the message sending times-out and asks whether you want to send it through the server, which of course works. However you can't change this behavior. There is no option in the ICQ Groupware client to "always send messages through the server". I also tried the regular versions of ICQ (98a and 99a/b) which allow you to specify a custom server (aside from default icq.mirabilis.com) but it seems there is a protocol mismatch and it won't register or logon to the Groupware server. Versions of ICQ after 99b don't allow you specify another server.

After poking around a bit, there appears to be a vague reference to an ICQ Proxy Server (see screenshot), which links to a URL that is long dead. I spent hours trawling archive.org for the executable but have turned up empty handed. The original URL was www.mirabilis.com/icqproxy.

It's a long shot, but does anyone have a copy of this software, or any other suggestions on how I can get this to work properly over the internet? There is the option of specifying a SOCKS4 or SOCKS5 proxy server in the client, which I haven't messed around with yet. You can also specify a specific range of ports which ICQ will attempt to use, but that would involve opening those ports up on the firewall, which at that point it just starts to get messy and I want to avoid that.

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