AOL Instant Messenger Server

With the AOL Instant Messenger service closing on December 15th, I went looking to see what instant messaging service I could still use on Windows 95, and if I could somehow keep using the AOL messenger client (I like the look and feel of the old versions). I happened to come across a project on Planet Source Code, where someone created a basic AIM server in VB6. I tested it out and it works, except for a couple bugs. I've tinkered around with it a bit, but I'm not much of a programmer, so I couldn't get the bugs sorted out. If anyone could help me get this working, I'd appreciate it!

The specific bugs are:
1. Buddy lists are only updated once during sign-in. If S/N A signs in and S/N B is already signed in, S/N B won't see that S/N A has signed in, unless the client asks the server if S/N A is signed in (like when adding S/N A to S/N B's buddy list).
2. The first message in a new IM session sits in limbo until a second message is sent, then both messages go through. Then it works fine after that.

Here's a link to the source code:

Someone also created a basic MSN Messenger server that works even better than this one, but MSN is a pain with all the different client/server versions. Plus as you can see from my avatar, I'm an AOL fan (don't shoot me!).


  • That AIM Phoenix sounds neat. I'll have to play around with it a bit and see how it works. Maybe the few friends I still chat with on AIM will move there. Thanks for the links!

  • edited November 2017

    If your hope is for normal people, perhaps consider just sticking something like bitlbee and irssi on a server and connect to it with PuTTY? You can use modern protocols that way.

  • Well, I couldn't call them "normal". hehe. I just thought it would be fun to have my own AIM server, or at least be able to use the old software again on occasion. I was planning on a setting up a few accounts with throwaway passwords on an old NT server just for the hell of it. Don't really need anything super secure.

    Maybe I'll try XMPP. I think I have server software for that somewhere.

  • AOL sucked really lol, best chat service was before it was closed, I have the full source to mplayer but it was a mix of windows and solaris servers so very hard to get up and running it would be nice to get server ends recoded into windows based servers in place of sparc servers but am no c++ coder ha

  • I disagree, I think AOL had a very stable, easy-to-use system with a lot of features. Their business practices sucked, but I think the service and software worked well. I was able to use the same AOL software to check my e-mail and chat with people until 2017. It even worked on Windows 95.

  • I guess for messanger it was ok but I always liked the community style systems were you were able to play games, I used to use MSN/ICQ alot back in 90s also on 98SE ha man them were days

    here screen shot of mplayer :)

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