AIM 6.0

I’ve generally disliked the AIM client that AOL has been creating. I mean when it came out, it was decent, but sort of like IE, they just sort of let it sit there because they were everyone was using it. I’ve been using version 5.5 in conjunction with DeadAIM for who knows how long. It’s not because there hasn’t been new versions. AIM Triton came out awhile back and so did AIM Pro. AIM Pro was actually decent, but it was lacking features that I wanted. The feature I needed was logging, but AOL decided that feature wasn’t necessary version after version. Even AIM Pro just kept logs for 30 days or so before flushing them. Version 5.5’s UI was also pretty ugly. Honestly, the little ad doesn’t really bother me that much, especially when I’m running my screen resolution at 1920×1280. I also disable adblock on websites that I like and don’t have intrusive ads that take up half the screen. Adblock Plus has this feature you can disable the blocking on particular sites.

So RayAlome tells me about this new AIM 6.0 that was released a month or 2 back, and initially I just dismissed it as another AIM failure, probably worse than Triton (then again, nothing could really be worse than Triton). When I went back home this break, I removed Triton from my system and was going to install AIM Pro, but decided to give 6.0 a try. Honestly, I’ve found this newer version nothing short from amazing.

Remember back in the days of ICQ, where you can send offline messages and the person would get it immediately when they signed on. Well, that’s back! No longer needing to set alerts to see when people come on now (though the alert function is still good for stalking).

They also have their internal logging system. The file structure’s somewhat weird. DeadAIM broke the saved logs into directories by screennames. AIM 6.0 just puts all logs into one directory. But with indexers like Google Desktop Search, Windows Desktop Search, or even Lookout, you can have all these indexed and no real need to perform a long search.

Other features this new version provides include IM Grouping (which is really tabs, but on the side), ability to have 1,000 buddies (instead of the previous cap of 200), and some other neat stuff. They’ve also integrated it pretty well with their website (email, AIM Today, AIM profile, etc). AIM Today actually tells you how many IMs you’ve sent/received (actually somewhat scary) and other information you might be interested. I personally have that disabled from launching when I start AIM. You can also check out all your buddies’ info in one location without having to open a buddy info window for each one. Then there’s the AIM profile where you provide info about yourself and even add your Flickr, Digg, Blogger, LiveJournal, MySpace, YouTube, and even personal RSS feeds (which you can add at Buddy Network Settings).

So after I got back to Seattle, I did hit a really weird problem installing AIM 6.0 on my main box:
aim 6.0 broken UI

The problem appears that it’s unable to load the images for the buttons and skin, leaving a very ugly window. Interestingly enough, some icons do get loaded, but who knows what is going on. At first I thought it may have been a bad installation, but the UI (user interface) loaded fine on my other Windows accounts (not to confuse with AIM accounts). I thought maybe there was a setting, theme, or expression that wasn’t being correctly loaded, so I deleted my AIM user data and registry keys, but that didn’t fix it either. I had tried making myself an Administrator (thinking this program may be picky), but that didn’t fix it. I even tried uninstalling/reinstalling as an Administrator, but that didn’t do anything either. My computer back in LA is basically the same set up where I’m running as a user and not an admin and it worked fine. RayAlome suggested that it might be because of some UI tweak. I changed everything back into Fisher Price mode, but the AIM window didn’t change at all. I do tweak my settings a lot, but I have no idea what could be the problem here.

I ended up logging off and logging into my Admin account, renamed my “Documents and Settings” directory and logged back in to create a new profile as my default account, and guess what, AIM know has the correct skin. So it appears to be something in my registry since I’ve already uninstalled DeadAIM, the previous AIM client, deleted all AIM settings in my user profile and delete all the AIM registry keys in HKCU that I could fine. At first I thought I could deal with an ugly looking AIM, but today when I got home, I decided to just create a new profile and import the my data over. It actually wasn’t that bad. The most difficult part of creating this new profile was Outlook. Apparently there isn’t an easy way to export account settings. The data inside Application Data and Local Settings\Application Data are just your emails and calendar. Searching online resulted in this thread: Outlook 2003 Accounts File. Apparently Outlook account information since Outlook 2003 are stored in your registry. Therefore, I just exported: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem\Profiles\Outlook (thread tells you to use HK_USERS\{USER_SID}\, but if CURRENT_USER is just a shortcut to the current user’s SID. I then copied a bunch of other Application Data crap from my old profile to my new profile. Desktop and My Documents were a pretty easy move. Quick Start icons were somewhat hidden, but didn’t take me too long to figure out where they were stored.

So the things I did immediately was disabled Fisher Price mode and set it back to classic mode. Rearrange my icons and folder views. One thing that it did disable was my input languages (language bar), so I had to re-enabled all the ones that I used.

All this work to get AIM to look like this:
aim 6.0 working UI

For those that want to disable the ads, Aim Ad Hack for AIM 6.0 is available.

5 thoughts on “AIM 6.0

  1. I’m just wondering if there’s a way to import the DeadAIM logs into AIM 6.0 (as i too have been using AIM 5.5 along w/ DeadAIM for a lonnng time, i do not wish to lose any of my logs)

  2. I personally never use the log manager to search through logs anymore. With tools like Lookout, Google Desktop Search, Windows Live Desktop Search, etc, searching for logs of is as simple as just typing their screenname into one of these tools. You can also add in extra words for the specific log you’re searching for. At that point, you can sort by date, relevancy, etc. A much better tool than the original log manager that came with DeadAIM.

    //krunk (^_^x)

  3. Hey Krunk, It looks like you solved this Skin problem that alot of people are having. So did you rename the whole “documents and settings” directory or did you rename just your “Account Username” directory below it and created a new default username instead.

  4. You’ll have to login as another user (i.e. Administrator). If you don’t have another account to use, you’ll need to create another account with administrative powers.

    Once you login as this new user, just rename your personal directory inside of the documents and settings directory to something like username.old. Do note, all your customized settings will be gone, and I wouldn’t recommend this if you have no idea what you’re doing.

    Log out and log back in as yourself again. It’ll create a new folder inside documents and settings folder for you (now you’ll have username and username.old). AIM 6.0’s skin should work now, and you’ll have to transfer your stuff bit by bit back over (include “my documents”, desktop, program settings, program data, etc.)

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