I use bitlbee for talking on MSN
and other IM protocols. It is a irc to IM gateway so I can use my
normal irc client to talk to people that insist on using silly
protocols. (Predictably I use irssi) The reason I use bitlbee over
something like gaim that when I used to use gaim or kopete I found
that having a second window to check for activity meant that I would
either ignore stuff on irc or on msn while talking on the other.
Using bitlbee fixed this problem as an MSN chat just appeared as
another privmsg. Plus I could use the same logging system for both.

For the last few months I’ve been using a public bitlbee server at
im.bitlbee.org, which had been working perfetcly find until the tail
end of last week when it kept getting connection refused.
Suddenly on Saturday morning, that machine changed from running a
bitlbee server to running an ircd for the Net24 irc network. As
bitlbee works by joining you to your own private #bitlbee channel
where you talk to a bot to control the client, when a proper ircd
appeared, everyone using that server suddenly joined the global
#bitlbee and several people auto-authenticated to the channel,
revealing their passwords.

It’s times like this when I’m glad I never get round to doing things
like setting up auto-identifying to bitlbee.