I.M.

Yesterday, after many years of no contact, “Matt Mecham”:http://www.mattmecham.com contacted me again. Years and years back, Matt was part of the “YaBB”:http://www.yabbforum.com team. When he left he started Ikonboard, and more recently “Invision Power Board”:http://www.invisionboard.com, currently one of the most successful commercial bulletin boards in the industry (used by companies/people like nVidia, John Kerry and AMD). We talked a bit and when I wanted to add him to my contact list, it acted a bit weird. It said it added him, but he didn’t appear on my list.

Hmm?

I use “Psi”:http://psi.affinix.com as my IM client. Psi is a Jabber client. Jabber is an open XML-based instant messaging protocol. And knowing how much of an XML-beef I am, I had to start using it. One of its cool features is the concept of transports, which allow you to communicate to users using other IM networks like MSN, ICQ, AIM and Yahoo. The problem with this is that you end up with a common denominator. After logging in onto MSN using Microsoft’s MSN 6.1 client and trying to add Matt to my contact list, it said my list was full. Jabber has no concept of a full contact list (apparantly), and thus just didn’t do anything.

But wait a minute. List… full? I didn’t even know there was a limit to the amount of contacts you could have on MSN. But apparantly there is a limit of 150 contacts. 150, that’s still a lot. I don’t have that many friends, do I? After looking at my Jabber list of contacts (which merges the Jabber, ICQ, MSN and AOL ones) I saw I had over 250 people on there. Most of which I haven’t talked to in like three years or so. Yah, I know. I’m not the kind of person that tidies these things, like, all the time.

Looking through the list brought back some memories.

Most contacts on there were from my YaBB days. You know, when I was still popular (nobody wants to talk to me anymore these days), I had one certainty in life: when I’d come home from school (I was 17 at the time) and would launch ICQ I would get to hear “Oh, oh!” (ICQ’s incoming message sound) at least ten times. I’d like to say that it was because of my enormous popularity, but sadly it was a “Hey, can you fix my PC?”-kind of popularity. Everybody wants to be your friend if you can fix their PC. In this case it wasn’t a PC, but just a piece of software they couldn’t get to run on one: YaBB. Not because its installation procedure sucked, but because they didn’t know what an FTP client was. “What I click to do FTP?” Ehm, sure.

When I walked through this list of old “fans”, I honestly started to have doubts. Who the hell were these people? dennis21gay@hotmail.com, the_smoking_bear@hotmail.com, imnevergoingtoreadthis@hotmail.com, saddamsucks2@hotmail.com, holyskillz@hotmail.com, iamandarkangelfromhell@hotmail.com (an dark angel?), ja_flowerpower@hotmail.com? Mmmkay. Del del del del del. (If you were one of these: nothing personal.)

OK, reduced to under 150. So, if you’re still here: congratulations, you’re among my 150 closest contacts.

Just what you were waiting for.