Friday, October 6, 2017

Time Marches On

I was wondering what to write about for this Friday, and contemplating something silly like "how high can you jump from a cliff on LOTRO before you die from the fall", but then I saw this come through the interwebs today:

AOL Instant Messenger Will Be Discontinued


For some reason, I didn't see this coming. I'm not surprised, per se, but I am kind of sad about that.

My D&D group started playing on AIM back around 2001, when AIM was (roughly) at its height. I knew about AIM --anybody involved in tech knew about it-- but I really had no reason to use it until that point.* We spent about a decade on AIM, killing virtual baddies and working our way through two major adventure lines, until some of the changes AIM made on things such as saving our transcripts and whatnot forced us away and eventually landing us on Google.**

But for that decade I had AIM fired up alongside my work IM.

I'll miss AIM purely for the nostalgia, because I'd not logged into AIM in about 5 years.

But to balance out the sadness, here's Avenged Sevenfold performing a cover of one of my favorite songs:

*I was far more fond of Usenet back in those days, before it got overrun by trolls and spam, and the people who made Usenet great migrated to more gated discussion forums to keep the discussions on topic. You used to be able to find some of my posts on FAQs for groups such as rec.arts.sf.written.robert-jordan (yes, I was a Wheel of Time fan back through A Crown of Swords), but a lot of those have gone away as Usenet has declined and The Wheel of Time finally (!) was completed.

**A few of us have argued that we should use some of the sites such as Roll 20 for our platform of choice, but our DM is infamously a computer luddite and refuses to migrate off of a regular IM platform into something more modern.


  1. I saw that too, but I have little nostalgia for AIM. Of the three instant messengers I used back in the day (ICQ, AIM and MSN Messenger), AIM was always my least favourite.

    1. At the time, I avoided MSN because of the big Microsoft monopoly case; I was definitely on the side of the little guy (Netscape back then), and the monopoly case was a big topic of conversation even in our UNIX development house. How things change these days: Sony dominates the console wars, Apple and Google dominate mobile, and Red Hat is on (roughly) equal footing with Microsoft in the server market.

      I never used ICQ, so I have no opinion on the matter.

  2. It's funny for me, as just this year I cleaned up and deleted a bunch of old email & IM accounts. MSN Messenger had been long gone, but I had some AIM, Yahoo, and ICQ accounts that needed work. I was surprised I still had account names and passwords. I did keep my 6 digit ICQ account for nostalgia's sake, but I don't use it. No one I know or knew still signs on to that. :/ Skype and Discord are the main channels now, for me.

    Ah, Usenet. :) I used to be a FAQ maintainer for I miss the content you could find on Usenet, but so few even know about it these days.

    1. Wow, another Ultima fan! I still have the box for Ultima V, complete with cloth map. I played IV on my roommate's Commodore 64, and while I do have VI I never got a chance to finish it.

    2. They don't make feelies like they used to. At least, not for anything under $100. :/ My original Ultima experiences were on an Apple II, though the disks I had were the ubiquitous pirated copies floating around the Comp Sci students. I did eventually collect the games in their original versions when eBay first started going. (Back when going to eBay was a deal.)

      Ultima is a game series I wish EA would restart. While Shroud of the Avatar, etc., are nice, I'd like a solid single player Ultima using today's technology.

    3. Yeah, you couldn't be at a university and not see pirated C64 or AIIe disks around.

    4. Oh, and yes, I'd love to see Origin/EA restart Ultima.