Saturday, October 7, 2006

Juberti has signed off.

It's been almost 10 years since I came to AOL, and almost 9 years since I started working on AIM. It's been a great ride, with a lot of great moments (especially Open AIM), but alas, today is my last day at AOL. I start Monday at Google's Kirkland, WA office.

I hope this blog was valuable - I had fun writing it (when I had time). For the latest AIM information, I highly recommend Greg's AIM blog; you should also check out the blogs of Justin2 and Gus from the AIM team.. If you really liked this particular blog... there will be a new blog at

If you would like to keep in touch, you can look me up on LinkedIn, or email juberti at gmail dot com.

All the best,

Friday, October 6, 2006

The Forgotten Easter Egg

When I first started working at AOL back in 1997, one of the things that I worked on was "aoltray.exe" for the AOL 4.0 software. aoltray didn't do too much, other than launch the AOL software, but it seemed like a clever place for an Easter egg. I discussed this concept with the product manager for AOL 4.0 (codenamed "Casablanca"), and he gave me the go-ahead to implement an easter egg. (It was the late 90's, when products like Word, Excel, and IE had elaborate easter eggs. But I digress).

So, I got together with a pair of artists and we came up with the idea of having the tray icon AOL logo split open, revealing a dancing running man, all set to a techno music score. The artists did the illustrations and the music, and I coded it up into the aoltray code. This shipped out in some of the AOL 4.0 beta builds, and we all thought it was pretty cool. Well, almost all of us.

Eventually somebody showed it to one of AOL's senior executives, who was most displeased with it. The exact reasons why he didn't like it were never known, but the message was sent down that this sort of tomfoolery was a fireable offense. My career at AOL could have been very short, but fortunately my management chain played dumb and didn't give up my name (thanks!).

Anyway - Jason, Erik, and I thought this thing was pretty cool, and it's a shame that only a few people ever saw it. So here it is, for your viewing pleasure. If you run this application, you'll see an AOL icon appear in your system tray. Hold down "A", "O", and "L", and double-click the icon. Then sit back and watch! (See the 3 screenshots to the left to get an idea of what happens. Note that this thing does play sound, so you might want to turn down the volume if you're in an office environment)

Update 10/07/2006 2:08 PM PDT:
Some people have reported that it doesn't work for them. I forgot, back when we originally did this we noted that some keyboards would not indicate properly that 'A', 'O', and 'L' were all being held down. So I have uploaded a new version, where you can just hold down Ctrl and double-click the AOL logo.
The entire app is contained in the EGGTRAY.exe file, which is only 43 K - to uninstall, just delete the file.
If you can't seem to get it to work, you can check out the (somewhat less cool) web version of the easter egg.


A few of us have been working on a new AIM client that demonstrates what you can do with the Open AIM SDK and the Boxely UI toolkit we've developed here at AOL. It's fast, light, and has some great features - including IM logging, SSL encryption of your communications, and support for plugins (including AIM Gadgets).

Check it out at the AOL Greenhouse New builds will be posted on a regular basis, so let us know what you think!

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

New AIM Gadgets 2.8 (AKA JAMS 2.8)

A new version of AIM Gadgets (the plugins formerly known as JAMS) is out. This latest version, 2.8, has a number of small but important improvements. Greg did the tedious job of allowing individual installation of all 12 gadgets - so if you only want EzLogger and Colorizer, you don't have to install 10 other plugins you don't want. Greg also made some improvements to EZLogger, including adding a preference for where the logs are stored and fixing a bug with Unicode text display, and I fixed the issue that was keeping Colorizer from working properly with recent Triton builds.

Monday, August 28, 2006

SecurID/AOL Passcode plugin for Thunderbird

Got wind of a new Thunderbird plugin today that makes using AIM Mail with SecurID/AOL Passcode much easier. Basically, it means you only have to enter your SecurID code one time a day as long as you keep Thunderbird open. Check it out at

Monday, June 12, 2006

AIM SDK 1.1 Released

Today we released the latest version of the Open AIM SDK, at Highlights of this release:
* AIM Bots - turn any screenname into a bot that has higher rate limits and cannot be warned
* AIM Location Services - see where your AIM buddies are in real life
* Improved support for AIM Talk voice calls
* Support for custom clients and bots on Mac OS X, Linux, and Pocket PC
* Support for custom clients and bots written in Java
More sample code, including VB.NET and Java samples

Also, be sure to check out the stuff that people are building with the AIM SDK:

AIM Gadgets (formerly known as JAMS)
AIM Location Plugin
Nalsoft IM Logger

Custom Clients
AIM Triton
Go PowerTools
PCD Music Lounge
Super Computer International

Monday, May 15, 2006

PCD Lounge

Some more cool Open AIM news - the startup Doppelganger just announced a new client called the PCD Lounge that lets you hang out and chat with people in a virtual nightclub, and it's integrated with AIM. There's nightclub lighting and kicking music going the whole time - definitely captures a club feel pretty well. Definitely worth checking out - but make sure you have a fast computer.

Here's a screenshot: