What is old is now here!

Finally, I have rescued all my old blog posts from 2007-2010 and imported them here.  If you are looking for old information on AIM, ICQ, AOL or AIM MusicLink, the posts are all here.  It was a trip going back to read all the things I worked on back then.  By now, Google should have re-crawled my blog and indexed the posts.

Happy surfing down memory lane.

What Happened to AIM MusicLink?

At peak AIM MusicLink had nearly 10M sessions per month on the AIM Windows client.  I am confident to say it was the most successful AIM plugin of all time.  Looking at the latest data, there are still a lot of people who are still using the plugin, for which I am thankful.  It was the community that drove me to make this plugin, and it was the feedback from my old blog that helped drive features.

Looking at the analytics from this blog, it is clear that people are still looking for info on AIM MusicLink.  So what happened to the plugin?  In the middle of 2009, when I was working on AIM, it was decided that we stop supporting plugins in the Windows client.  There were a variety of reasons for removing the support, but as soon as we did I stopped working on the plugin.

So what started out as a test for OpenAIM 1.0 in the JAMS plugin package, became a real user favorite.  I even got a designer to give me a fancy icon for the plugin see at the top of the post.  Before there was last.fm, Pandora, Ping and music scrobbling, there was MusicLink.  Hopefully it made the experience of sharing music with friends a little bit more interesting.

You can still download the latest AIM MusicLink plugin here.

Why I am Grateful for Google Chrome

Over the past few weeks I have gotten a couple of new computers.  I have an iMac at home, and at Clearspring I have a MacBookPro and the set up for the machines could not have been easier.  Years ago when I would get a new Windows machine and when I was writing AIM Windows or the core cross platform IM library, the level of pain to get the machine set up was unbearable.

The biggest change, beyond not having to install all the developer tools like Visual Studio and corporate tools like Microsoft Office, is that most of my tools are via the browser.  Now before this sounds like a complete infomercial for Google Chrome, know that this is more of a thank you note to the Chrome team.  Installing Chrome on each new machine all of my bookmarks and plugins easily synced.  Total set up time, 15 minutes…

While Xmarks and other tools could have solved this issue with Firefox and other browsers, it was painfree with Chrome.  Let’s not even get started with IE, which at both AOL and Clearspring we still see users with IE6.  In the case of Safari, one would think Apple could make this work via MobileMe, but how many people want to pay money each year for a feature that Google gives away free.

New AIM Gallery Apps

We are starting to see some cool results with the Top Coder Open AIM competition where we are giving $100,000 in prizes and some t-shirts as well. Recent additions to the AIM Gallery include an IM Whiteboard plugin, a very cool mashup that allows you to chat with buddies while watching videos, and a neat bot that tests your skills in math and logic. You can find these submission and a bunch more at gallery.aim.com. The site also is host to many other Open AIM plugins, clients, bots and mashups that the community has built. Check out all these apps and more here.