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Aquamentis12

Farewell AIM, it's been an awesome 20 years!

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So, AOL Instant Messenger, aka AIM, will be shutting down forever on December 15th, 2017. I still remember when it first came out as part of AOL, and then later became it's own independent product. After Yahoo developed a similar program that it offered for free I do believe. ;) And then eventually AIM had to go free too. Hard to believe it's been around for 20 years, but in a couple of days, it and all it's data will be no more. :( I've literally had thousands of chats with AIM over the last 20 years. Good and bad times, but it's been a good little program.

Anyway, there are a few people, very long-time friends, that I still keep in contact with via AIM, and I was wondering if anyone knows of any similar network? As Verizon has bought out BOTH Yahoo AND AOL, and will be turning them into a new identity, OATH. Both of those networks will be changing, hence why AIM will no longer exist.

I've been looking around, and I've come across some interesting sounding programs, but not sure about networks, as they seem to connect to OTHER networks, not have one of their own. Pidgin is one I'm going to "test-drive" tonight. I've tried discord, but I don't really like it as it messes with me having Firefox open, sometimes Steam as well. There are a couple other things I'm not big on for Discord either. If there's something that can connect to discord's network but not having to use discord's app, that'd be great.

Basically, I'm looking for something without a subscription fee, supports Instant messages, file sharing, like pics or video Works-in-progress that I'd like to share with someone, but not ready to be uploaded online for public display yet. Also something that doesn't take up the full screen or run inside of a browser window is preferable. And saving the chats to the computer is also a must. Not a mobile-app. I don't employ a smart phone, so phone-apps are no use to me. ;)

Oh, and I'm running Windows 8 as my OS.

Any suggestions?
Thanks guys!

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I like google hangouts.  It can run in browser, or if you use chrome, you can download a chrome hangouts app that will give it its own window, like AIM was (or at least like I remember it being 15 years ago when I used AIM).  I'm not sure it saves the chats to the computer, but it will save them to your google account, and you can search and read the archives from mail.google.com

Another major one is Skype.  That's a standalone application, not browser based.  As long as you aren't doing phone calls to someone's actual phone, it's free.  So free to chat or voice chat or video chat to someone else on Skype.  I think this should have the option to archive to the computer.  I don't use it anymore, so not sure.

Both of the above have phone apps, but they also work on computers.  So you can use them on your computer, and talk to people who may or may not be on their phones.

I've never used Discord, so I can't weigh in on that.

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Well, there is Yahoo! Messenger. (Yes, and for now, it is still around). Similar to AIM. Skype, already mentioned by balloongal247, is mainly known for video/audio chat, but can do text chat, too. Skype basically replaced MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger. WhatsApp, started out as a mobile app, can be used on the PC. I haven't tried it, but it could be more versatile, especially if you have friends that may be on their mobile phones more that their PCs. ICQ was popular back in the day and set the "standard" for IM apps like AIM. It, too, is still around. Personally, I haven't used it in ages, but it might fit your needs. Slack might be an alternative to Discord. Trillian could be an option, but the "free" version is ad supported, so might not be appealing. I haven't tried the last two, either, but just throwing out other "chat" clients you might want to look into.

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18 hours ago, Rometus said:

Do you use a phone or tablet?  There's an actual discord program thing, not in browsers, for computers!  I use that and it's so much better than anything else imo.

I use a PC. Windows 8. I have discord but it has several issues with Firefox and a couple other things that I really don't like. Now if there is a chat program that will connect to discord's network without having to use the program, that would be something I could use.

 

12 hours ago, balloongal247 said:

I like google hangouts.  It can run in browser, or if you use chrome, you can download a chrome hangouts app that will give it its own window, like AIM was (or at least like I remember it being 15 years ago when I used AIM).  I'm not sure it saves the chats to the computer, but it will save them to your google account, and you can search and read the archives from mail.google.com

Another major one is Skype.  That's a standalone application, not browser based.  As long as you aren't doing phone calls to someone's actual phone, it's free.  So free to chat or voice chat or video chat to someone else on Skype.  I think this should have the option to archive to the computer.  I don't use it anymore, so not sure.

I've never used Discord, so I can't weigh in on that.

As I recall.... AIM was originally created in AOL, then I believe they made it a standalone program for non-AOL users to connect with people who had AOL, but I heard you had to pay, unless you used AOL as your ISP, which we had to back then as there were no other ISPs in the area. After that though, when... I think it was Yahoo, made their IM program and made it FREE, then AOL had to follow suit with the standalone AIM program, making it free I mean. Since then AIM has been doing well I'd guess, and getting a number of revisions over the years.

I have skype, but I've only used it a couple of times as a video phone for a few important things. Can you save individual chats/logs with it? I mean if you use it just for instant messaging and not for the phone/webcam thing?

I'm not really a google fan, I have a couple e-mails with them for a few different things, and of course a youtube account, but I don't really like google's way of running things. That being said, I remember being in High School when I first heard of them. Although I almost always found what I was looking for using AOL.com's search page. Eventually they enhanced it with google, but before then, it was still more accurate for the things I was looking up than Google was. ;) I find that Bing is pretty good as far as search engines go though too.
 

56 minutes ago, Scoobert_Doo said:

Well, there is Yahoo! Messenger. (Yes, and for now, it is still around). Similar to AIM. Skype, already mentioned by balloongal247, is mainly known for video/audio chat, but can do text chat, too. Skype basically replaced MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger. WhatsApp, started out as a mobile app, can be used on the PC. I haven't tried it, but it could be more versatile, especially if you have friends that may be on their mobile phones more that their PCs. ICQ was popular back in the day and set the "standard" for IM apps like AIM. It, too, is still around. Personally, I haven't used it in ages, but it might fit your needs. Slack might be an alternative to Discord. Trillian could be an option, but the "free" version is ad supported, so might not be appealing. I haven't tried the last two, either, but just throwing out other "chat" clients you might want to look into.

Woah! Yahoo! Messenger is STILL working? Do you know if/when it will be turned off by Verizon?
*nods* Right, I had forgotten that Skype was Microsoft. Thanks for the reminder. WhatsApp? I haven't heard of that one. I'll have to look it up. Thanks!  I remember ICQ, Pidgin seems to be able to connect to ICQ, but I don't really know how to find a single person instead of a chat room. lol I'm really out of the loop since AIM has been there for so long. ^_^;;
Trillian, it would depend on the ads and how obtrusive they were. But it's another name I'll jot down and take a look at.

Thank you all, I'll start looking into some of those programs.

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Oh, I have used Trillian, I didn't notice ads, I do remember having to look online for a key, so maybe we didn't use the free version.  We just used it at my old work.  That one crosses systems, so you could talk to people who use different chat systems. 

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On 12/12/2017 at 2:17 AM, Aquamentis12 said:

And saving the chats to the computer is also a must.

Can you clarify this? You mean an export feature, or automatically saving? Although I get that it's nice to not depend on a server to have your chat history, overall having your chat history saved on the program's server is safer because even if your computer breaks you won't lose anything.

I don't recommend Skype (it once lost ALL my messages and even contacts, and it's a memory hogger) or whatsapp (the web version only works if you have it installed and running on your phone, and you don't have one).

If you use Facebook, their IM feature is pretty popular so it should be easier for you to find your friends there. It saves messages on their servers, but there's a way to export them to your computer (I did it once and it works fine, it just takes a bit of work). But it's also a total memory hogger. The IM I use is Telegram, it's great, lightweight and secure, but it doesn't have any kind of history export feature, although it does work with Pidgin. You could also try and make a bot that automatically saves your messages (since you only use stuff on your computer, it should be easy enough), but it's a stopgap. Plus you'd have to use the bot's account to chat instead of your own. But yeah, ever since MSN I haven't seen anything with automatic local history saving.

You could also ask for help with Discord! It never messed with anything I had, so your issues are probably fixable. There's a script that exports histories, although once again it's not automatic.

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On 12/14/2017 at 6:25 AM, ambra5555 said:

Can you clarify this? You mean an export feature, or automatically saving? Although I get that it's nice to not depend on a server to have your chat history, overall having your chat history saved on the program's server is safer because even if your computer breaks you won't lose anything.

I don't recommend Skype (it once lost ALL my messages and even contacts, and it's a memory hogger) or whatsapp (the web version only works if you have it installed and running on your phone, and you don't have one).

If you use Facebook, their IM feature is pretty popular so it should be easier for you to find your friends there. It saves messages on their servers, but there's a way to export them to your computer (I did it once and it works fine, it just takes a bit of work). But it's also a total memory hogger. The IM I use is Telegram, it's great, lightweight and secure, but it doesn't have any kind of history export feature, although it does work with Pidgin. You could also try and make a bot that automatically saves your messages (since you only use stuff on your computer, it should be easy enough), but it's a stopgap. Plus you'd have to use the bot's account to chat instead of your own. But yeah, ever since MSN I haven't seen anything with automatic local history saving.

You could also ask for help with Discord! It never messed with anything I had, so your issues are probably fixable. There's a script that exports histories, although once again it's not automatic.

I meant where you could individually/manually save a chat log to the computer. I haven't heard of Telegram.  I agree that skype and others are memory hoggers. Even AIM I saw using between 100-200megs of RAM when I looked in my task manager.

I did find a pretty good program though, it's called Miranda NG. It can connect to many networks initially, but there are dll files you can download and install through the program to connect to even more networks. I had some trouble getting it to connect to discord's network, so I tried downloading the file for the AIM network. I wanted to see if the problems connecting to discord were the programs or the network, because using the discord network, it was displaying snippets of old chats I had when using the discord app for PCs. So I tried connecting to the AIM with my Dad's old login info. Back in the 90s before AOL created instant messaging at all, we only had access to the net via AOL and their phone number for our dial-up modem. And he used that AOL login pretty much up until he passed away, I was TICKED to find that his e-mails have all been purged, even those in the saved mail folder. Kinda like I lost him again. :( Only it'd be worse if it weren't 6 years since.. Anyway, I was able to connect to AIM with his login info, and chat with myself on AIM. lol So I knew it was something with the program giving me heck dealing with Discord. The NEXT day, after AIM died, December 15th at 10:23pm NST, I tried opening Miranda NG and connecting to discord, and it WORKED! Perfectly! There are a TON of options in the program, and it's kind of overwhelming to figure out, but the only thing that's kind of an issue is if I'm idle in Miranda too long, my status gets turned to Offline. I just have to change my status and I'm back up and running. ALSO on the plus side, Miranda NG uses a TINY amount of memory! Between 4-8 megabytes! I kid you not! I have yet to see it's memory usage go into the double-digits when I'm looking in the task manager! It's at least 1/10th the memory usage of Discord's PC app, heck, probably a smaller fraction than that!
I haven't yet figured if there's a button or way to save a chat simply. But I can just select the entire chat log, paste it into a program like open office or something, and save it to a folder. I got in the habit ages ago when I'd get into arguments with a friend on AIM. Figured it was the best way to be able to settle an argument about the past. They save their chats too. So I know I'm not the only one. lol It's also how I know I've had hundreds of chats with AIM over the years. LOL Another good thing about saving chats, is for a log of events like if something bad happens, and you talk with someone and one of the chatters vents about some incident, well if anything legal comes up. Bam! You've got a chatlog with the date it happened and your initial telling of what happened. In the case of one of my friends, it's useful in such a way only just recently.

Anyway, thank you everyone for your suggestions. I'm about 95% satisfied with Miranda NG. If anyone is curious, I do believe it's open source, and it's free too. Here's the link if anyone is interested.
https://www.miranda-ng.org/en/

Thanks again!

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I was going to second the messenger (fb) one since you don't even need facebook to sign up but after reading your post on miranda NG it sounds more interesting xD I am glad it seems to be suiting your purposes!

I am sad to see AIM go due to memories, but I really REALLY missed msn communities / groups when that went away ;( Used to meet some amazing people there.

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