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.

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