Set up Messages for ICQ

ICQ is the granddaddy of chat environments. Born November 1996, it is the first Internet-wide instant messaging service. ICQ is currently owned by AOL and is still used my millions world-wide. Up to now, you needed the now long-in-the-tooth ICQ client or some other chat client, such as Adium.

There’s nothing wrong with Adium. It’s a fine piece of software. I’ve used it for years. But if you like to keep your application collection lean and mean, Apple Messages can be configured to handle the load – albeit with a little bit of prefs tweaking. Here’s how:

1: Make sure you have your ICQ number and password ready.

2: Open Messages, then choose Preferences under the Messages menu item. Click on Accounts.

3: Click the “+” (add account) button at the bottom left of the dialog and enter as follows …

icq

Account Type: AIM
Account Name: Your ICQ number
Password: Your ICQ password

4: Click Done

5: Go back to Messages -> Preferences -> Accounts select the newly created ICQ/AIM account and select Server settings (last tab).

Enter the following:

Server: login.icq.com
Port: 5190
SSL is unchecked.

6: Quit Messages

You’re still not done …

For some reason, your ICQ messages to others will appear to them in raw HTML code. So you’ll need to also do the following …

7: In the Finder .. hold the OPTION key down as you select the “Go” menu .. select “Library”

8: Open the Preferences folder and and find the com.apple.iChat.AIM.plist file. Duplicate the file and move the copy to your Desktop (just in case).

9: Open the original com.apple.iChat.AIM.plist file (CONTROL- or RIGHT click it, you will get a menu – choose “Open With” .. and choose TextEdit or your text editor of choice)

10: When the file opens in your text editor, search for “ForceICQPlainText”

11: Set ForceICQPlainText to TRUE

It should look something like this

<key>ForceICQPlainText</key>
<true/>

 

12: Save the file

13: REBOOT IMMEDIATELY (if you skip this, the setting will reset to FALSE)

That’s it. You are ready to use Messages for ICQ chats.

Note: the above reads harder than it actually is.