AOL Instant Messenger

While I never used AIM while it was at its height of popularity, I still have it installed on my older computers.

There is currently a project by the name of Phoenix AIM Server by Wildman Productions. These guys are also planning on reviving AOL Desktop 4.0 which is quite exciting, and I will definitely be writing about it once itís released to the public for testing.

The Phoenix AIM Server is really just as simple as signing up as a user on their website, downloading a compatible AIM client and pointing it to the custom server rather than the default server. Itís a really cool example of reverse engineering.

The one thing you obviously canít replicate is the user base. As more and more people turn to platforms like Discord or WhatsApp for group chats, it leaves a very small minority interested in using a platform like this. There are also obviously security/privacy concerns as the messages being sent are not encrypted and could be intercepted by anyone at any stage.

Itís still a bit of fun to get running and hopefully one day I can convince a friend to sign up!


Hereís what the sign on screen looks like on AIM 5.1 (the most compatible Windows version of AIM) running on Windows XP.

Letís try signing in! It wouldnít work for me for the last few days but finally it seemed to want to connect, maybe some downtime but no biggie.

Hereís my buddy list, although no buddies!

Hereís the buddy list in iChat on Mac OS X Tiger.

Having a chat with a bot in iChat.

I wonder if iChat AV will work. Old school Mac OS X video conferencing ala 2006?