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February 27, 2007

My New AIM Account

About a year ago I got a Google Talk account and made that publicly available to people, just in case they wanted to IM me or whatever. The problem with this is that not really all that many people have Google Talk, and since firing up Google Talk was a little bit of a pain (because I'm an idiot, I could never get it to work on Trillian), I hardly ever signed onto it, and now use it primarily to contact one particular person.

However, recently people have been asking if I'm even on IM, and -- provided I have some free time -- I'm not averse to chatting with folks. So I've gone ahead and made myself another public IM account, this time on the AOL Instant Messenger, which most people seem to have. Here's the screenname:


Simple. Feel free to add me to your buddy lists, and, if you see me online, feel free to likewise drop me an IM. Because if I'm on my public IM screenname, that means I'm feeling, you know, public.

(For those of you dying to know, yes, I also have a more private IM screenname, which I use primarily for business clients and family/friends of long-standing. I don't make that one public because it's meant to be a low-bandwidth thing. Please don't be offended if you don't know it; not a lot of people do.)

How often will I be on the ScalziOnAIM screenname? I dunno. Depends on how much free time I have. I'm on it now, though.

Posted by john at February 27, 2007 09:29 PM

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punkrockhockeymom | February 27, 2007 10:03 PM

Well, I don't have AIM. But I do have google talk. I didn't know you did.

Hmph. Is AIM free? Do you have to have AOL to have it? Because I don't have an AOL acct.

Jeremiah | February 27, 2007 10:05 PM

AIM is free. If you want something without all the bloat, you can get an old version at oldversion.com


I have version 4.8, and it works nicely.

Steve Burnap | February 27, 2007 10:08 PM

I've always liked gaim. Like Trillian, it supports all the IM protocols, but it's a bit lighter.

claire the librarian | February 28, 2007 12:30 AM

*sigh*. you mean you're not averse to chattin' with folks on IM, right, john?

im in ur comments
korektin ur inglish

Alex | February 28, 2007 12:44 AM

Upon reading this I immediately pulled up my Trillian to see how you do setup Google Talk. Couldn't figure it out either after an extensive(15 second) search. Not that I would actually want to talk to anyone on it mind you. Skype is actually the one I use the most these days. It's type/talk features are unbeatable, at least for me.

John Scalzi | February 28, 2007 12:44 AM

Fixed, claire. I hope you're happy.

claire the martyr | February 28, 2007 01:07 AM

john, i'll be happy when you're happy. i only want you to be happy.

Claire not the librarian claire | February 28, 2007 01:13 AM

One could now take the opportunity to give a lecture on the superiority of Mac's iChat, which supports Google Talk through Jabber and automatically logs you in to both that and your AIM account, and allows you to maintain as many identities as you need sans Trillian.

If one were a self-indulgent Mac prat, that is.

I'll just go over here in the corner with my iLife...

Kaytie | February 28, 2007 01:27 AM

I'd aim you but I don't have one, nor do I have anything specific to say, and I'd hate to be all,

*squees softly*

on you.

John Scalzi | February 28, 2007 01:32 AM


"One could now take the opportunity to give a lecture on the superiority of Mac's iChat, which supports Google Talk through Jabber and automatically logs you in to both that and your AIM account, and allows you to maintain as many identities as you need sans Trillian."

I use iChat when I'm on the Mac, thanks. It still doesn't negate the fact that I find Google Talk not very useful. I use both Mac and PC. If something cross platform doesn't work on both, it doesn't work for me. Also, I find Mac triumphalism profoundly irritating.

Therese Norén | February 28, 2007 05:52 AM

I bought Trillian Pro, because I wanted to use Google Talk. (As a bonus, the Jabber functionality in Pro is also useful for LJ Talk.)

Bill Blum | February 28, 2007 06:13 AM

I gave up on Trillian about a year ago, and switched to Gaim for the Jabber support. In worst-case scenarios, I'll resort to using the meebo.com service for IM needs.

Anna | February 28, 2007 06:57 AM

I used to use Trillian, but I never liked it all that much. Now I use Miranda, which I like much better. The initial setup was a bit of a pain, but I can do everything with it, including Google Talk, and LJ Talk, too (not that I ever USE LJ Talk, but...I got it set up). And it's free.

Ray | February 28, 2007 07:31 AM

Not sure if AIM is compatible with YahooIM of which I use. I know YIM is now compatible with MSN. I am not adverse to chatting with any "Whatever" regulars. I am in the CET timezone which means that when in my afternoon most of you'all are just waking and/or still asleep. But feel free to add me!
Yahoo IM ID: xxlotus8xx
Realname: Ray Allen

Steve Buchheit | February 28, 2007 08:01 AM

Cool. Thanks, John. You're on the list. I think on AIM I show up as laughingcoyote6 or something like that.

Nick Stump | February 28, 2007 08:31 AM

I speak into a phone. It's this really great invention. I can communicate long-distances without writing. It's just amazing.:-)

John Scalzi | February 28, 2007 08:51 AM

Actually, the IM is sometimes a better conversational medium because then you don't have to give it your full attention, and you don't appear rude if you don't. Unlike when you're talking on the phone.

Ray | February 28, 2007 08:51 AM

Nick Stump "I speak into a phone."
Please allow me to make that more complicated for you Nick by providing VOIP service for you. That way we can convert your legacy PSTN POTS voice line to IP packets! If you don't mind the occasional echo, or Cylon voice, or speaking underwater sound it works really really well..
Anyways, your reply made me laugh.

Steve Buchheit | February 28, 2007 08:55 AM

(said with humor) Yeah, Nick, but can you be on the phone, having three different conversations with three of your friends, all at the same time. And can they send you URLs and files over the phone? And can you be on the phone to your friends chatting away while at work? And can you tell you friends on the phone, "hey, wait a sec, I need to finish this up (3 minute lag)" then start talking again? Phones are great, but sometimes chat can work better. (phones are great, but not always the best)

Chang, father of pangolins | February 28, 2007 09:05 AM

I stayed up way too late last night IM'ing with some geeky writer from Ohio. And blogging. And editing. This is the modern age? My eyes are puffy and cranky from fatigue.

Kate | February 28, 2007 09:10 AM

**echoes Chang and goes back to hide under her covers**

Did you write an emo poem though, like I did? I'm so embarrassed!

Ray | February 28, 2007 10:04 AM

Oh well..
Yahoo IM and AIM are not friends. This inspires me to setup a private IRC server just for Whatever. But alas..It would just be another client to download and install AND configure for people. So instead. I think I will pour a Shnaaps, and stare out of my window. Half dark swollen storm clouds, half blue sky...

Shawn Powers | February 28, 2007 11:17 AM

So John Scalzi is now officially my buddy. Awe shucks. ;o)

(I'm pretending it's not creepy to add someone I've never had a conversation with to my buddy list... Dammit John, you've made me cross over from fan to groupie.)

John E. | February 28, 2007 11:25 AM

I'm also pretending that, Shawn. John, you're now on my list. My handle is EdwardsJ3. You might hear from me, or you might not; I know you're all a-tingle with anticipation.

Bill Blum | February 28, 2007 12:33 PM

I'm n9vls on various IM networks. The motivated can convert that into a missile address.

Kate | February 28, 2007 01:57 PM

Oooh are we giving out IM addresses? I'm anaedream on AIM.

Feel free to add me. If you don't. Hell, it's your loss. :)

MWT | February 28, 2007 03:11 PM

Ooo... IRC. If someone sets one of those up, I'm so there. :)

mara | February 28, 2007 04:06 PM

This is not IM, since it's open to the public, but you might want to try Yaplet.com. Enter http://www.scalzi.com/whatever/ in the box that says "chat on any website," and you can have a chatroom going on right here at Whatever.

Pablo Defendini | February 28, 2007 05:50 PM

I actually prefer IM, texting, email, or video chatting to the phone. As a matter of fact, I prefer almost any method of communication to the phone. There's something about the whole 'disembodied voice' thing that has always bugged me, even before the advent of teh intarrwebz. At least with IM and email you can moderate your conversation through text, emphasizing what you want, editing if necessary, etc. With video you get the facial expressions, body language, etc. I've had way too many awkward silences on the phone. Maybe that just says something about me, though...

Amanda J | February 28, 2007 06:35 PM

Add me to the "trying to pretend it's not creepy" list.

Scalzi, you're likely safe from me anyway, unless I'm glaring at the monitor at 3:00 a.m. and you pop on. Because then I'd be just tired enough not to be totally freaked out by turning into a total idiot fangirl.


Ray | March 1, 2007 01:37 PM

THAT is a great idea. Perhaps Mr. Scalzi might consider this.

Bryan Price | March 3, 2007 09:12 PM

Added. To my Family group no less! (I tend to ignore anybody coming and going otherwise). I'm ohbytehead/cmhbytehead. It took me five years to figure out what my old password to cmhbytehead. Uh-hum. I'm always on. As is the computer. But if I'm N/A, I'm probably N/A! :-P

LOL @ Amanda J

OK, I've rambled enough.

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