The Software Paperweight

There, I did it. I’ve set my away message on AIM to, “On Skype (as Broofa)”, and am quietly tucking it into a dusty corner of my desktop. Possibly, hopefully, never to be used again.

Okay, okay, I’m not quite that serious about it. Heck, this’ll probably only last ’til my next reboot, but still. It says something about how marginalized this once must-have service has become. There’s an entire column waiting to be written about why I find myself deprecating the service that most of my buddies are on. But the short explanation is four IM services is three more than one person should have to have running. Skype has been my de-facto IM service, so AIM is getting a gentle heave-ho.

I’d quit out of it altogether, but this away message is important – I need to tell people that I’m not gone, just over on a different service. So I find myself having to keep it running for no purpose other than maintaining my online presence as “On Skype…”. Kind of sad, actually. Especially since it’s a bit of a memory pig (see screenshot) compared to Skype, which is easier to use, has a better UI, and offers more functionality.

In effect, AIM has become a 20-30MB paperweight on my desktop. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

P.S. Since I probably won’t get around to writing that column about why I’m not using AIM, the least I can do is include the screenshot I’d use. This is AIM circa 1999. Look familiar? It should, because for day-to-day use it’s pretty much exactly what you get in the latest version of AIM. Sad.