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America Online

AOL Trying To Unify AIM And ICQ Services 170

Nerftoe writes: "CBS Marketwatch is reporting that AOL has been quietly integrating its AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ products. This would create a combined user base of about 146 million." That's a lotta people.
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AOL Trying to Unify AIM And ICQ Services

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  • ICQ is peer-to-peer UDP with numbers as descriptors. AIM is client-server TCP with strings as descriptors. Please explain how the hell they can merge the two? :P
  • ICQ already allows you to have a nick name, the login name would probably remain the number, but the client would know to display a different name, say the nick name. I'm sure the biggest challenge would be reconciling differences between the protocals, like file transfers, offiline messages, etc.
  • I believe that AOL/AIM names must start with a letter. Unless people start making names like "l2345678" (note JonKatz-style lowercase 'L' in place of '1') to spoof people, it won't be a problem.
  • You could try buying one of those new-fangled answerphone thingies.
  • Doesn't really bear repeating, I suppose, but if you want to communicate with all those folks (and the yahoos, too) just use Jabber. Plus, it's not owned by a global media conglomerate...


  • A unified interface for two of the three major IM systems is exactly what the doctor ordered. Who cares about Microsoft.

    However where will this leave Linux users? I used to use Linux and I know there are a few ICQ clients made by individual users for Linux, and they're quite good too. I don't know how these were developed but I certainly hope Linux users can do the same for the new ICQ\AIM.

    Or perhaps we can just hope AOL will produce a version for Linux. Fat chance? Perhaps not. They're producing Netscape for Linux, hey?



    Daniel Zeaiter
    ICQ: 16889511

  • Actually, Barbados and Iceland are ahead of Australia. Medal Tally per Million Population [medaltally.com]
  • Gee, I can't wait to see what happens when they inteagrate two programs with horrible user interfaces and feature bloat. Could the combination be any worse?

    Sure, maybe it will take up more RAM, too!

  • I am "forced" to use both due to friends and co-workers who either. In any regard, I'm under the impression the reason why people use AIM instead of ICQ is because they like AIM functionality and the reason why they use ICQ instead of AIM is because they like IC functionality.

    ICQ has better developed features for moving files and other "advanced functionality". AIM on the other hand is geared to simplicity and simple chatting. In recent versions, this has started to blur but the roots are still there and there is still a clear division.

    I'm leary of any consoldiation like this if it sacrafices functionality of either AIM or ICQ. If they do, I can easily see a bunch of unhappy users who will be trying to resurrect, probably in an Open Source manner, the old client and server functionality. Then where will AOL be? Back where they were before they acquired Marbilis.
  • Considering the differences between the clients, and the fact that one-half of that combined user base would be irritated if their UI (with all of its nuances) was converted to the that of the other client's in the merger, I doubt the clients willbe integrated. Its even less likely that it would be one new client.

    Instead, I'm betting there will be some simple gateway within AOL's network borders that allows messages to jump back and forth between the two given the proper addressing.

  • As opposed to the only 80-85% provided by other leading brands? What a bargain! This sounds like the bargain for me!

    Warning: Gaim should not be inserted in the mouth or rectum. Please use only as directed.

  • I really like the fact that in ICQ you can switch between AIM-style and ICQ-style messaging. Personally I like the ICQ-style because there is not such an annoying blinking effect as with in AIM. That is one big reason why I want to use ICQ mainly.

    If anyone wants to petition AOL to make the blinking in AIM an option, or less annoying, please go here: http://www3.sympatico.ca/anthonyg/aimpetition.html
  • ...But, I .... *like* ICQ! I don't *want* to be an AOLuser! Aaugh!
  • "I can get an email from a friend who's all the way across the world in minutes."

    Wow, minutes! Yeah, that's really instant.

    "and spam free, and interoperable, and free and - well - its understood and well implemented everywhere."

    Please show me where the ads are in AIM and ICQ... I know there are small ads in the URL and File transfer for ICQ, but it's not like those stay up for more than 2 seconds (literally). ICQ and AIM are pretty much a standard.

    "so please tell me what I'm missing by using email as my 'instant messages'."

    You're too closed minded about it, so I'm not going to tell you. You'll just have to miss out, sorry. Stick to your "instant" 2 minute e-mails.
  • I hear tale Cliffy B. is hax0ring up his own IM protocol using openl33t...

  • wrong :) ICQ is peer-to-peer TCP and client-server UDP. That's not the point. If they keep the same interface to the system, and merge the two databases, then no matter what back end was used, it'd still be 'AIM' and 'ICQ'.
  • by ( 217783 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @05:37PM (#751753)
    If 146 million AIM/ICQ users typed on 146 million Packard Bells for 146 million years, would eventually one of them produce the entire works of Jon Katz?

  • Note to self: register the name "CmdrTaco" on AIM
  • I tried it and AIM let me on okay with my ICQ, but then kicked me off for already being online. Guess it detected my ICQ session, but I wonder why they go through the trouble?

    linkfilter.net [linkfilter.net] - Get that fresh links feeling in the morning.
  • Yeah, and we all know how reliable [slashdot.org]IRC can be. Some IRC networks, particularly the more [dal.net] popular [ef.net] ones, make AOL look stable.
  • I have about 8 screen names on aim myself.
  • You can use ODIGO [odigo.com]. It speaks ICQ and AIM, runs on windows though. (Unix/linux has Everybuddy, what an easy thing to install on my BSD box :> )

    Don't be fooled!
  • Use 99b instead of 98x. It allows for messages over 450 chars and it doesn't have the ability (AFAIK) to automatically upgrade like 2000x does.
  • Try odigo. It isn't feature-rich, but it does the job....I hate running both clients.

  • Although I'm not completely satisfied with icq, they have been pretty good about adding features and coming out with new versions fairly frequently. What will the new product be like, though? Are they going to take icq and "dumb it down" for aol users?

    I admit I've never used AIM, but I've seen others use it and it kinda reminds me of yahoo instant messanger. And I've had to manually remove it from every version of netscape I've had over the last couple years, which is a PITA.

    That said, I'm kinda weary over this new product...but I suppose as long as I don't have to recreate my contact list, and I can use the same message database (so I can browse through my same message history), and it doesn't put advertisements in the main window, then it should be okay with me.

    "It is well that war is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it."
  • by zephc ( 225327 )
    Fire.app for MacOS X (and its like) is very cool...does ICQ, AIM and Yahoo! chat :)

    Its only v 0.14b but seems to have lots of features (no block or warn yet tho!)

    I THINK is partially based on the GAIM codebase :)

  • In the newest version of the ICQ protocol, if you are in invisible mode, the servers don't inform other parties that you are online. And if you send them someone a message whilst you are invisible, it is sent through the ICQ servers, like an offline message. This way they can't get your IP anyway.
  • Also lots and lots of people have multiple ICQ/AIM accounts as well...

  • AOL has denied this rumor: "America Online Inc. has denied a report that it is quietly testing a way to link its popular instant messaging systems, which would have undermined arguments the company made to regulators probing its merger with Time Warner Inc"

  • I'm surprised the ads aren't any more invasive and came along as late as they did. [yahoo.com] I was expecting an onslaught within 90 days of ICQ getting bought out. Silly AOL.. always looking after the bottom line..
  • And, in addition to SSL from client to server, we have support for end-to-end message encryption using PGP or GPG.

    And we already unify support for AIM and ICQ (and Yahoo!, and MSN, and IRC), with our server-based "transports." Your client speaks one protocol--the Jabber XML protocol--and the server handles the translation. This can make Jabber clients much smaller than so-called "universal" clients; we're working on Java applet clients that'll be small enough to download over dialup connections without great pain.

    And Jabber can definitely be used for more than just instant messaging; we've been experimenting with a Jabber-controlled MP3 jukebox program recently. In conjunction with another Jabber-based "remote control," you can control the songs that are played on another computer across the room, or across the continent. You can even have two or more remotes controlling the same jukebox. All the specialized messages required for controlling the jukebox and getting its status are just XML extensions to standard Jabber messages. (It's just a little demo we whopped up, written in Perl; it's not too sophisticated, but it does act as a proof-of-principle.)

    Check out Jabber.org [jabber.org], JabberCentral [jabbercentral.com], and, of course, Jabber.com [jabber.com].


  • Getting the gnome version of jabber (the only working linux version, AFAIK) to compile is nearly impossible. Even after meeting all of it's insane library requirements it still likes to crap out on random errors.

  • Wasn't AOL the one who had the pathetic war with MS [slashdot.org] so they can't share between the two instant messangers? Seems like a case of corporate hypocrisy. Then again, what part of AOL do things far and square?
  • I think the poster wasn't being specific enough. What he meant to say is that if you are running ICQ and then log into AIM with that ICQ number, it will disconnect you from ICQ and give you the "Your ICQ number is in use at another computer" message. I've seen it several times in the past couple days while me and my roomates played with the system.

    "Sweet creeping zombie Jesus!"
  • Video and voice are right around the corner.

    Wow. That must be some long corner...

    Until ISP's/Cable companies/Telco's can solve the "last mile" problem by dropping a fiber loop into my back yard, everyone will not have access to the bandwidth needed to do video "chat." Even e-mail is faster than waiting for audio and video to creep down to my PC.

  • by Amon CMB ( 157028 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @05:18PM (#751773)
    http://www.somethingawful.com/spam/ [somethingawful.com]
    - Amon CMB
  • I stopped using ICQ a long time ago because I got tired of it...

    Then, about a year later, I reinstalled it. I looked up my number in their directory and miraculously remembered my password.

    As a result, my ICQ number is six digits long. The ones you get these days are eight (maybe nine?) digits long. When I give people my number, they think I've forgotten a digit or two.

    However, if I start seeing ads in my client, I'm dumping it. Soon I suspect it will be time to see if IMUnified has actually produced anything, or spend some time with the latest Jabber versions and see if they've improved any from when I last tried them.

    Oh well, since AOL bought Mirabilis, I've known the ad contamination was inevitable... Netscape, once one of the most respected and cutting-edge companies out there, now displays a pop-up ad on their homepage, the absolute limit of Bad Web Taste. At least they don't use the bright green (as in #00ff00, ow, ow) ones that seem to show up on AOL.com every time I have the misfortune to see it.

  • not sure why I was moderated to flaimbait; I was being perfectly serious in what I was saying.

    some of my windows friends (who are into this IM thing) bug me to get into it as well. I'm sorry but I just don't see the point. I have to open up more ports on my firewall, I have to trust new apps to be secure (I use qmail - and I know I can trust THAT).

    I guess there's nothing so urgent that I must have REALTIME comms on my system. then again, I don't even use the telephone all that much; I am perfectly happy with email.

    we don't need new modes of communication; we need people to better use what we already have. it IS sufficient. if you want instant email:

    % man procmail


  • E-mail is spam-free?

    ok - I see how laughable that comment of mine was. here's what I MEANT. my email CLIENT is spam-free. meaning: I don't need to look at banner ads, etc, etc. ELM or PINE, etc don't force banners down my throat.

    yes, you can get spam in your inbox. that's fixable. what is NOT fixable is when you're forced to use client apps that come with policy (ads) built-in.

    aol is a carrier. they should NOT be in the apps business. I never trust carriers to provide apps just like I don't trust app companies (micros~1 anyone?) to be carriers.


  • What's really funny is not that AOL has 146 million people spread across it's 2 services, but that it has triple the number users of the rest of the market combined!

    You'd be interested to know that CMGI and others are in Washington, DC lobbying against the AOL merger until they open their services. (which they claim to keep closed to protect member security and privacy. uuhhh... then why's the government so easily able to monitor it, huh?)

    kick some CAD [cadfu.com]
  • Well workes with the fbi... umm their head of security was a formerhead of the buroh
  • Well, you could use Odigo for ICQ listings, but its a pretty shitty client too.
  • hmm . . . I'm running AIM 4.1.2031 and it lets me use my UIN and associated password to log on to the ICQ network. I've known about the "feature" for a bit but it's rather useless. It lets you add other UIN's to your list, but other users are displayed by their UIN's, not the associated name.

    I personally use AIM for instant messaging since it seems to be the lightest client for Windows, and most of my friends use it. Occasionally I do logon to ICQ to stay in touch with some people who refuse to use AIM.

    On AOL trying to unify the two services, I'd say a more accurate assesment would be that AOL is trying to "ICQ-ize" AIM. AIM started off being solely an instant messenger, but AOL has slowly added features to make it comparable to ICQ, which set the bar for features. They've added file transfer, voice chat, direct connects, a file server, a news and stock ticker, and buddy icons. (Not that all these feature are useful but they're there.) The new beta adds supports for games, along with storing your buddy list on a central server.

    Granted AIM has become commercialized with banner ads, and AIM Phone, and probably some other things I haven't noticed, but for instant messaging, it has a large user base and it does what it's supposed to do.

  • Define "Big boys"...

    I get tired of comments such as "Like the big boys"...
    There aren't any real "Big Boys" of the Internet unless you count Slashdot known for the Slashdot effect... (And you just discounted them by recomending they folow "The big boys")

    What other big boys might you be refering to?
    Fortune 500 companys? Thies companys have glorifyed home pages running on Windows NT boxes.. Nither sereous about the net nore using Solarus...
    For what they are doing however a Commodore 64 running web server software would work so not even a sereous test..

    Maybe you mean the real e-commerce winners of Internet.. the porn industry... BSD...
    From what I understand they usually try Windows find it lacking.. try Linux find it's not quite there yet.. the go with BSD... and find BSD is everything they need.
    Ok not Linux but still open source and not Solarus.

    Maybe you mean back bones.. the Internet itself... well.. they DO use Solarus...

    But let's do some traceroutes before we blame Linux for Slashdots problems.. Thats right people the packets die at the back bone... on Solarus boxes.. It never reaches Slashdot...

    In the end one must realise however that unless you have an unlimited budget (like the big boys) you can't afford the same equipment "The Big Boys" use...
    Let's face if.. if your choices were between a Xeon and a Sun Sparc 1... You'd be a fool to pick the Sparc...
    On the other hand if your choices are between a Quad Xeon and a Quad UltraSparc 3... you'd be a fool to pick the Xeon...
    And that folks.. is hardware... Linux runs on Sparcs and Xeons...
    Just becouse it runs nicely on a i386 dosn't mean it sucks egges on hardware that is about 200 times more powerful...
  • A large corporation sees that mass conformity and unified services are the way to go! :). Maybe the American government should secretly "unify" with a communist society.. 1.25 billion users, er, people, now that's a big economygovernment!

  • This is a copy of an email I just sent to Carl Corry, the reporter to wrote the Marketwatch article. If others email him about Jabber, maybe it'll get some coverage. -- Mr. Corry, I read with interest your story on the latest developments in the instant messaging saga, titled "AOL reportedly uniting its IM services," located on the web at . However, I wonder if you are aware of Jabber? Jabber is an open source, distributed, non-proprietary instant messaging standard that inter operates with MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, AIM and ICQ. Both the server and client software is free, and there is no licensing required. I think this software is, unfortunately, a hidden treasure of the Internet, that is being continually overlooked by the media -- especially since the two major IM competitors are owners/partners of two of the major television networks. I don't work for any group associated with Jabber. The only thing I've done is sent e-mails to a developer requesting new features in the client software. But I'm a big supporter of the idea because it once again puts control of communications back in the hands of users -- and makes counting how many millions of users are signed up to a particular service an irrelevant issue. Thank you for your time. I hope you have some time to look into it. For more information, a good starting point is http://www.jabber.org/
  • Its 146 Usernames. 50% of them are mostlikely people who use both services, have multiple screen names, or don't use either of them at all anymore.
  • > I don't want to be interrupted at any hour just so someone can throw some small talk at me.

    I go "on-line" whenever I play UO. If you loose connection in the game, you need to be able to tell your friend(s) that you're link dead, so they can cast invisibility on you.

    > Besides, when I'm busy programming or almost any other form of hacking like setting up my LAN,

    If you don't want to get interrupted, just go on "invisible" mode. I have my 4 closest friends who can see me while I'm in invis.

    If you have people q'ing u ever 5 seconds, then don't respond to them. All the people on my icq list know to q me only if its important.

    > I know, get a cordless.

    I wasn't too big on having a cordless, but after a year, I'd say it's pretty cool. Get a cordless with a built in answering machine. Leave the handset by the phone. Screen all your calls, and only pick up if friends call. (Dam telemarketers, I just hang up on them now. "Are you interested in ... "No. *Click*")

    > But then I would always leave it on a table or shelf

    Just get into a habit of always leaving it on the table. Works for me ;-)

  • You are right about the bandwidth issue. When I mentioned technology getting better, I was speaking of the software end of it. Look at how the compression/quality has improved recently. Hmmm, there was talk of video phones in the 70's wasn't there?
  • umm |A|+|B|=|A|+|B|-|A intersect B|
  • If AIM and ICQ merge, college students won't be able to argue about which is superior any more! We'll just have to stick to the never-ending "soda vs. pop" debate!!
  • Actually, ICQ 2000 uses the OSCAR protocol, just like AIM. It's uses some custom packets to support the features ICQ has that AIM doesn't, but other than that, it's the same.
  • Hm, I was lazy, didn't compile it (Gabber)

    You might try "jarl" too (TK version) at jarl.sourceforge.net


  • Well over half the people I know who use an instant messanger service of ANY type actually use BOTH AIM and ICQ, so if the two really combine, I doubt the user base would actually be as high as was stated.
  • ICQ and AIM are also "technically" very different. ICQ uses client-server UDP-based communication, while it uses constant TCP connections with other clients for exchanging instant messages. OTOH AIM routes all messages through the server (security?!).

    The contact list in ICQ is stored at the client-end (so no roaming access, you have to re-build your contact list if you migrate). Most other IM service providers (MSN, Y!, AOL) use a server-based contact list.

    There are indeed loads of other such technical differences which make me feel that getting ICQ and AIM to interoperate will be quite a task. The good thing to do is to build a common IM protocol (and that's just what IETF is at). That will break the IM monopoly and there will loads of IM service providers all over the world (like Email).

    Interesting sites -
    ICQ Protocol [algonet.se]
    IM Unified [imunified.org]

    #define __mjplusplus

  • it's still extremely irritating that IM progs try to shove every feature in the world down your throat (who needs to find IM ppl via a web page, have web storage from the IM client, IM email, etc?) and have them all default=active, especially when it doesn't have the common courtesy to SAVE your existing settings when upgrading (thus forcing you to go back through every single preference menu and reset them).

    IM's suffer the worst from feature creep and needless bloating. Doesn't anybody believe in making a program do one thing only, and that well?


  • I don't think it's a PayPal deal, but AIMPhone may be on-target. The "AIM Pay" icon is a service icon - the kind that shows up next to your buddy, indicating what service they're using (AOL, AIM, ICQ, etc). So it would seem that "AIM Pay" is meant to be a distinct kind of service, not just a client feature. It seems reasonable that people who sign up for AIMPhone might be considered "AIM Pay" users, but I dunno. I still wouldn't put it past AOL to start charging a monthly fee to keep your AIM name active.

    For what it's worth, the "AIM Pay" cicn resources have been present since the 3.0 generation of Mac AIM clients. But if they don't plan on charging for AIM, you'd think they'd have removed the icons.

    BTW, if you think PayPal rocks, check out ProPay [propay.com]. They let you bill anyone, not just other (paypal|propay) users. Their fee is 3.5% + 35 cents/transaction. Not bad.

  • I can get an email from a friend who's all the way across the world in minutes. across the usa in seconds. that's instant enough for me.

    and spam free, and interoperable, and free and - well - its understood and well implemented everywhere.

    so please tell me what I'm missing by using email as my 'instant messages'.


  • Oh AIM is great for interruption avoiding! The place I work at is now using AIM for communications.

    So instead of ignoring a phone call, I can now ignore AIM, but see that someone wants to talk to me. Better than those 90 second voicemails, and no annoying rings. (turn off the AIM sounds)
  • And just what took them so long to figure this one out? I've been wondering why they hadn't.


  • noooo!

    its bad enough icq and aol are basically the same thing. but the 31337ness of icq will be deteriorated by the introduction of teenie bopping 12 year olds who chat about the color of blue lipstick they are wearing to english class tomorrow.


    "its the end of the world as we know it, and i feel fine"
  • "As it is, the phone loves to ring at the most pessimal moments, like right after I get home from work and sit on the crapper.

    I know, I know, get a cordless."

    I think it would be rather akward sitting on the crapper with a cordless phone, actually.


  • In the article I saw they counted downloads... i can say that myself, I've downloaded ICQ at least 10 times. Either for reintalls or my other PCs (notebook, work..etc). I also know people that rebuild their computer every week and ALWAYS just get a new ICQ number instead of using their old one.

    I'd be interested to know the actual number.
  • #1 AOL is fighting to keep their AIM protocol proprietary by rejecting 'unapproved' clients. I betcha they'll try to pull the same crap with ICQ's protocol. See 1 [slashdot.org] 2 [slashdot.org]
    #2 They might trash the UINs in favor of the AIM userIDs; FACETIOUSI don't wan't to lose my eleet 5-digit ICQ#./FACETIOUS
  • Ah. That makes it clearer. Safe to assume my previous suggestion is wrong. (I don't use AIM on any regular basis on any OS let alone Mac)

    3.5% isn't that great if it's going to be used for relatively 'major' transactions ($100+), might as well get a money order... unless it supports overseas payments or something.
  • I personally use both ICQ and AIM regularly, and I think it's pretty clear that a standard needs to emerge. For a long time ICQ was the clearly superior utility, but with each subsequent version a new plethora of unnecessary bells and whistles have emerged and the number of my friends and associates that use it as their primary messaging software has dwindled. Even though AIM has a vastly inferior UI, no easily navigable message history, and an inelegant identification scheme (Joe405867392, etc.) it's become the messaging method of choice for most people I communicate with.

    It's pretty clear, to me at least, that this is exactly the kind of project open source is meant for. Obviously different people want different things from their instant messaging software, and the flexibility that a great number of open source messaging clients communicating using a shared standard would offer is pretty staggering.

    AOL needs to make an intelligent decision (for once) and realize that the popularity (err...or at least LACK of negativity) they would receive by creating and releasing an all-purpose communication standard that incorporates the best of both technologies would far outweigh the few million bucks they could make off of sending banner adds to their proprietary client programs. I mean, who ever actually clicks on the stupid little things, anyways?

  • Does anyone else remember the days where 7 digit UINs where high and there were no add banners in the damn clients? I don't mind ad banners on web sites as much, they take up probably 2% of the viewable area, but these damn ads on ICQ are getting extremely annoying. AOL needs to cool its loins a bit on the ad banner spamming, I've never used AIM, partially for that reason, now they've put them in my precious ICQ. AARRGGGHHHH! I wonder if I can find any ICQ98 versions out there... AOL is too money hungry.

    "// this is the most hacked, evil, bastardized thing I've ever seen. kjb"

  • I just hope the combined client doesn't have 9800 useless features(all with hotkeys) like on ICQ 2000. It's ridiculous. I don't care about birthdays on my buddy list
  • by Tiroth ( 95112 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @06:17PM (#751814) Homepage
    I think the headline is overly hopeful. According to AOL's spokesperson, they have no intent to join the two services in the near future.

    "Primrose said the capability was a by-product of tests conducted by engineers at AOL who were working on how to interoperate with other services, but that it was not an effort to interoperate AIM and ICQ."

  • by ShaunC ( 203807 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @06:03PM (#751833)
    At least, so say the icons [shat.net] built into the latest Macintosh AIM client. There's a service icon for "AIM Pay" and "AIM Pay (Unused)."

  • E-mail is spam-free?

    If you believe that, then I've got some printer toner to sell you...
  • This is what Away Messages are for! Anyone who's been to college recently surely has a stable of witty auto-responders telling people they're in class or eating or away or what have you.

    If you don't want to be disturbed, set yourself away with a "please leave me alone" message. You can also set AIM to only accept IMs from people you specify. I screen my IM's all the time.

    <plug>For the anal-retentive, check out my comprehensive AIM Logger [sourceforge.net]!</plug>

  • I don't think it's been all that quiet. Sure, they haven't exactly advertised it, but you notice when you're connected to one server on port 5190 instead of every other friend you are talking to. I'm referring to ICQ2000, that is.

    Personally, I would love to see a system that has the nice features of ICQ, while having the reliability of AIM. I have never had to send a message twice on AIM. On ICQ? Two, three, four times... It's ridiculous.

    If they can integrate ICQ with AIM, I don't think there's a regulatory commission in the world that would believe they can't allow outside access, as long as competitors are present at the hearings.
  • by Dwindlehop ( 62388 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @06:28PM (#751841) Homepage

    Does no one understand the point of being able to have a conversation with these things?

    My girlfriend lives in another state. To prevent expensive phone bills, we use ICQ (though we could just as easily use AIM). It's that simple. It's a fabulous way to stay in touch.

    It's a sad day when I log on and see Flamebait modded up to +3.

    Jonathan David Pearce

  • HaR hAr mIstar sMArty man. yuO think you ar so vary k-Rad foR yuSinG thaT link.

    i'LL hAck yuo with the pOwAR of The Lniux mistaR fuNy man. IQC si for luusaRs liek ThRASH.

    -Jeff K [mailto]

    After 16 years, MTV has finally completed its deevolution into the shiny things network
  • I'm still using ICQ 98a. Why upgrade when there's no compelling reason? I've got my original 200000 range number as well, ICQ adoption was pretty early in the Quake community.
  • AIM Pay could also be some sort of PayPal thing for AIM users. They're adding all sorts of other stuff to AIM, it would make as much sense as anything else.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ..the ads that are slowly creeping into icq2000? Just recently I've noticed file transfer windows are showing ads, and they didn't before.
  • by pb ( 1020 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @05:25PM (#751854)
    ...but until that happens, and they release a Linux version without ads, there's always Everybuddy [everybuddy.com].

    In any case, I'll always be in favor of a universal, free client; I haven't tried Jabber lately.
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • You're forgetting that ICQ uses client-side security. Just apply a simple patch, and you can see people who are invisible, add people without confirmation, and do other kinds of things. I'll leave the research up to you -- you can start here [google.com].


  • by BMIComp ( 87596 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @05:25PM (#751857)
    I, personally, like AOL's AIM client, and I don't really care much for ICQ. However, a minority of my friends like to use ICQ, and refuse to use AIM at all. So, in order to talk to all my friends, I have to run both AIM and ICQ. I feel that integrating AOL and ICQ will make it easier for most IM users to communicate.
  • For the anal-retentive, check out my comprehensive AIM Logger!

    Either that, or just use TiK [sourceforge.net], which has logging built in. :)


  • ICQ has a wonderfull privacy feature. I make myself invisible to all but two people, who rarely come online, but when online, I want to be able to chat with. The rest all think that I'm disconnected. Very nice. :)
  • Hopefully they'll adopt the ICQ protocol which is WAY better than AIM.

    I certainly hope not! At least they better secure it if they do. Client-side security just doesn't work.


  • Yeah, but its for windows... so what good does that do me (and a bunch of other people around here)?

  • If you check the preferences, you'll notice that you can now unload those DLLs. It takes very little effort to disable those features. You can disable the hotkeys, too. It's extremely configurable. They set it up to do everything, because the inexperienced user won't know how to turn on the cool features their friends tell them about, but if you prefer it to be slimmed down, they make it very easy for you.
  • Who marked that as overrated? I'm still snickering...

    Unfortunately, I'm signed up for AIM and ICQ so I can talk to my friends outside of the Realm, so it'd be awfully cramped in there.

    Can we check which client they're using before we stash them in the cave?
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • by child_of_mercy ( 168861 ) <johnboy AT the-riotact DOT com> on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @06:43PM (#751874) Homepage

    As it is, the phone loves to ring at the most pessimal moments, like right after I get home from work and sit on the crapper.

    You go to the crapper just AFTER you get home from work?

    You mean you haven't discovered that few pleasures in the world to equal that of a long crap on company time?

  • by CMiYC ( 6473 )
    Okay well everyone is talking about ICQ2000 or 98 or whatever...and different versions of AIM... but how do the Linux/Unix clones work now? Can gaim or tik let you login to AIM using your ICQ info?

    And what does this unification mean for our beloved clones? Are we going to be stuck with that AIM client that AOL is working on now?

  • AMEN! I plan to get a mobile phone eventually, but it will also be off almost all the time. When I go out, I just don't want people to bug me - that's most of the reason for going out! It will be nice for emergencies and the like, but all the time chatting is annoying - not to mention rude. Don't you just HATE it when someone gets a call when you are out to dinner, and they don't bother to excuse themselves from the table?

    As for IM, setting yourself as N/A or some equivalent works well for me. I never turn my machine off, so when I go to work or class, I just set ICQ N/A and lock my workstation. If I am doing something important, I usually do the same. Many of my friends leave their IM clients on permanent N/A, and just periodically check the messages for important ones.

    BTW these days good cordless phones include belt-clips and hands-free kits. I wear mine around the house all the time, so I never have to stop and run to find the phone.
  • by Erbo ( 384 ) <.amygalert. .at. .gmail.com.> on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @06:47PM (#751879) Homepage Journal
    You should; the assortment of Jabber clients is growing by leaps and bounds. There are now at least two Linux clients (Gabber, for GNOME people, and Jarl, written in Perl/Tk...plus I've heard about Pybber, a Python client, that's up-and-coming), two Windows clients (JabberIM and WinJab) with more being worked on, Java applet clients under development, a Macintosh client (Jabbernaut), and it goes on and on...

    But Jabber can do more than just instant messaging. We're actually demoing a little application that consists of an MP3 jukebox program and a separate remote control program, both written in Perl and logging into a Jabber server as clients. The remotes send messages to the jukebox indicating which songs they want played, and the jukebox sends back, in its "presence" message, information about what song's currently playing. And all done via the standard Jabber protocol, extended in a standard fashion, because it's XML. (We wanted to do a Jabber-controlled robot, but we only had four days to rig up a demo :-). )

    Check out Jabber.org [jabber.org], JabberCentral [jabbercentral.com], and, of course, Jabber.com Inc. [jabber.com]


  • by generic-man ( 33649 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @05:26PM (#751880) Homepage Journal
    AIM and ICQ names/numbers are quite disposable -- if you want to get someone out of your hair, just create a new account and tell all your friends to message you on it instead. I personally have one ICQ number and as many as 4 AIM names (I've only ever used 2, but the other 2 never expired). I have known people who used upwards of 20 names in their lifetimes, plus more that I didn't know about.

    Please, don't believe the hype surrounding the enormous user bases. Many people have an AIM and ICQ account specifically _because_ the two services aren't seamlessly integrated just yet.
  • I switched to ICQ cause my nick was taken on AOL, and i just KNOW that AOL nicks will take the biased...

  • I really Gaim! [marko.net] It's chock full of wholesome goodness and meets 95% of your chat needs.
  • by ChicagoFan ( 125489 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @05:29PM (#751886)
    Besides, when I'm busy programming or almost any other form of hacking like setting up my LAN, it really annoys me to be interrupted in the middle of whatever I'm doing. As it is, the phone loves to ring at the most pessimal moments, like right after I get home from work and sit on the crapper.

    So ignore it. What people forget is that this stuff is there for *your* convenience, not the caller's. I ignore my phone all the time. My family knows to leave their message because I screen calls and will pick up if it's them. And even then sometimes I don't pick up. :-)

    Anyone who later complains "I was IM-ing you!" and gets pissed that you couldn't chat at that exact particular moment isn't worth knowing anyway. In my opinion, at least.


  • by generic-man ( 33649 ) on Tuesday September 26, 2000 @05:29PM (#751888) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, really. I hate it when people start to talk to me. It feels all icky and social. I'd prefer just to crawl into my little corner of the world, surrounded by blinking lights and little boxes that behave exactly as I tell them to.
  • Actually, ICQ is both peer-to-peer TCP and client-server UDP. You need the client-server stuff, obviously, but some features (like chat and file transfer) can only be done peer-peer. In many ways, it's the most screwball IM protocol in use today. AIM is client-server TCP and a bit more straightforward, but still can require multiple connections (as I understand it; though I've gotten intimately familiar with ICQ, I've only looked at AIM's protocol in passing--it's not my transport :-). )


  • Would ICQ's use of numbers to identify it's users conflict with AIM's use of screen names?

    I'm sure AOL has some way around it. Maybe they will do something like Everybuddy [everybuddy.com] to join the two services together? Or are they going to totally unify the service to it is transparent no matter what client you are using?

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