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Tuesday, 18 November 2003


Version:1.50b (beta)
File Name: DevilInstall_1.50b.exe (download size 3220kb)
or if you have a previous version...
DevilUpgrade_1.50b.exe (download size 1063kb)
System Requirements:
Windows 98/2000/NT4 (XP maybe, maybe not)
Ram 32MB
[Devil Messenger]
[Devil Messenger - Download]
[Devil Messenger - Skins]
[Devil Messenger - Help]
[Devil - Privacy Policy] and [Devil - Terms & Conditions]

I have a love/hate relationship with [Devil Messenger] and while I'm hoping it will improve I suspect it could be one (that over time) will be kicked to the curb... at least as far as my computer is concerned. I'm not saying the messenger is a dead duck for everyone, it might work just fine for some of you but my experience with it has been a walk on the wild side.. with me being the one getting wild ;-)

It's been a long hard battle beating Devil into submission and it's not like I wanted (or expected) it to climb mountains.. all I wanted it to do was send an IM that was legible :-

In fairness, at the time I was running version 0.84b (current version is 1.50b) so if you've tried to use Devil before and experienced problems then trot back to [Devil Messenger] and grab the latest version as it seems some of the issues have been resolved. The problem I (and some others around here) experienced is pictured to the above. The text we sent to eachother appeared to be fine, we could view it perfectly in our our own IM windows but for the receiver it was a completely different story... as you can see it was almost illegible as it was bogged down in the html tags.. decoding it was a challenge and a frustration. Our emails and screenshots to their tech support department went unanswered which of course added to the frustration... perhaps they are up with the "elders" after all ;-) There was no informtion regarding this at [Devil Messenger - Help] which is why we sent in emails, then emails with screenshots.. then a couple of [bug reports].. then we gave up and Devil gather dust on my hard drive until I stumbled across it again during some system maintenance. [Devil Messenger - Help] seems extensive.. until you run into a problem. The information provided is "basic" and perhaps more of an information centre for the features rather than a resource for working through a problem. Connection was also an issue for some.. when we hit [Devil Messenger - Help] we had high hopes of being able to resolve this with the information that we felt would be provided.. alas we were no better off. [Devil Messenger - Connecting to the Devil Server] was a waste a text...
1.4.1 Normal connection
Try this option first. If the program can not talk to Devil by this method, then it will let you know.
1.4.2 Behind a firewall connection
If the program can not talk to the Devil server by the usual method, it will let you know and suggest that you select "strict firewall". This is a more general method that works in any situation where you can use a web browser. If this still does not work, you may have to select "I am using a HTTP proxy server". If this is the case, you need to enter some information into the settings dialog box. Contact your ISP if you are unsure of what to put here.

Zane was not behind a firewall or proxy so this was little help. A quick swap of computers him back on track (both had identical system specs and using the same ISP) but it didn't take us long to figure out that we had run head first into the problem others had found.. that being illegible text.. which has thankfully been resolved with the latest version 1.50b

Devil has most of the features you'll find in with other messengers...
- Skins/Themes
- Chat (groups of friends as opposed to one on one)
- File Transfer
- Active links (send a clickable url)
- Search option (web)
- Server based friends list
- Message History etc

It has all the essentials.. or does it?

As at version 1.50b it doesn't have...

- Web Cam support. For those of us with a webcam this can be a pain if you rely heavily on it. Would it be enough to put you off using it?

- Advertising. Like most of IM's around today Devil is freeware but the lack of advertising is what makes it stand out from the crowd. Their [homepage] proudly states...
"Devil software is totally free. You will never be charged for downloading and using Devil. And unlike most free products on the Internet, you will not have to endure being exposed to advertisements whilst using our free software"
Can they sustain this? I guess time will tell but it certainly would be nice if they could although I have to stay that personally I'm not bothered by the other IM adverts :-)

- Smileys... a bit of a shock to the system but then when you step back the days of the IM elders they too lacked smileys/emoticons. Devil has provided us with "moods" instead... a good start but IMHO you really do need the good old reliable smileys to put your comments in the right context.

What's Cool...
Devil offers a dinky skin feature which definately gets the thumbs up from me. You'll find a small collection (7) available from their site [Devil Messenger - Skins] which are pretty cool... the cow caught my eye ;-) The cow is perhaps the main reason why I've persisted with Devil... and that you really have to take your hat off to them for leaping into the IM war. Unlike the "elders" Devil has stepped outside the rectangle box with their skins to provide us with shapes.. a nice change. You'll also find that you can set a transparency level for your skins which is handy for when you have a cluttered desktop or a wallpaper your particularly fond of... a nice touch.

The Familiar...
Your status is a click away and you'll find the stock standard ones are available... including offline messages support which like ICQ, Yahoo etc will deliver your messages the next time you log on. You can set a personalized message for Away, Not Available and Do Not Disturb.. with N/A and DND you can also set it bounce the message back which is just dinky.. would be nice if Yahoo could adopt this feature.

With Devil you also get a "user list".. pretty cool as it allows you to quickly drop a buddy into either Visible, Invisible or Ignore. Right click their name, select Ignore/Visible Modes and your away. Visible is the default and everyone that you add to your list starts out here so take it as "standard". Invisible.. the people you throw into here CAN see your status when your set as Invisible.. so if you're brassed off with your mother and don't want her to see that you're online simply drop her into this one ;-) Ignore.. as it implies.. they can't contact you at all, so if you're b/f or g/f really ticked you off and you don't want to boot them off your list altogether (this will prevent communication/status views) then drop them into this category.. once they've done some groveling then just move them back to the default ;-)

Devil is a huge download for what you get (or rather don't get) and it certainly takes some patience using it but if you're keen to try something new then don't hesitate to take it for a spin. Personally, it won't be the first or even the 3rd launch once I've logged on to the net but it will be thrown up every now and then so it's a "keeper" for me.. at least for now.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 May 2007 )

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