October 26, 2004

IM, You Know I Am

-Warning, crazy geek rant oncoming, feel free to disregard.-

Stinking stinking stinking AIM. I just can't stand it, and I especially can't stand AIMexpress, but it appears that I'm stuck with it for a while. Why am I stuck using the stinking instant messenger from AOL, you might ask? I'm stuck using it because, for some unknown reason, Trillian stopped functioning at work. It stopped working about a month or two ago, and I've been trying to figure out some work-around to get it back working since then. I've been unsuccessful.

You see, I don't like AIMexpress for a couple of reasons. The number one reason is that it's clunky. By clunky, I mean that it takes up a lot of screen space, and it's not very adjustable. I have to have a browser window open for the buddy list (and I can't stand the word 'buddy'), and another window for my chatting. The darn windows aren't resizable, which means that I have to minimize them (because the buddy list is huge), and then I don't ever see who's online, and I still have the stinking thing in my taskbar, which bugs me.

Then, there's the ads. I don't want to see advertisements. Yes, I understand that it's a free service, but there are plenty of other (better) free services that -don't- have ads...they just don't work on my computer right now. Stinking advertisement when I log on, stinking ad in the buddy list at all times.

I'm a guy that doesn't like to have too many windows open, or too many things on my taskbar. If I can minimize it, and it goes over into the little system tray thing on the right, I'm a -very- happy man (Outlook 2003, Trillian, Winamp, they all do this). AIMexpress does not let me do this.

And there's the whole AOL thing. I just can't feel good about using a product from this company, because I'm a geek, and geeks can't do this kind of thing. Both my mom and Keleigh's mom use AIM, now...seriously, how super-geek-cool can you feel when you've got your mom talking about this new feature that she found. Seriously, I'm supposed to be uber-hip, and this is slowing me down.

And finally, I just don't like the fact that AOL tries to convince people (successfully in many cases) that AOL=Internet. There's a commercial out for AOL that says, "When one of our customers comes to us with an idea to make the internet better, we listen." AOL can't make the internet better, all it can do is make AOL better (and, really, they should get on that). They don't own the internet anymore than I own Blogger.com.

Please, I must find a way to get port 5190 working again, or whatever it is that's stopping me from using Trillian. I must have my geekness back.


At 5:08 PM, Kyle said...

I'll try to be coherent this time around.

I agree with you. I'm not a very big fan of AIM or AIMExpress, especially since AIM started bundling all this WeatherBug and Tangent plug-in junk. I mean, you can tell it not to, but it requires you to actually read install options and unclick a couple checkboxes, and no seems to ever do that.. but that's just a small part of a bigger problem, which is that these applications are much less graceful than they should be. Maybe check out DeadAIM. I hear good things.

As far as AOL making the internet better, I think, in a way, it can. Because AOL is, really, a filter. When you use the internet with AOL, all of that content from the world wide web has to funnel through the AOL framework, and they can do whatever they want with it, which, I think, does give them an ability to change the way their users use the internet.

Of course, you're right. If you connect to AOL, minimize the program and then go launch Internet Explorer, there's not much they can do. But their aim is to get you to use the internet using their tools, their browser, their framework, and if, as an AOL customer, you do that, then they really can make the "internet" better. They can block pop-up ads. They can kill spyware. They can stop kids from seeing inappropriate material. I mean, at that stage, they have just as much control, if not more, than your web browser. I mean, they kind of are your web browser.


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