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AIM is back, but it doesn't remember you

AOL's dead Instant Messenger platform has been resurrected as the fan-built AIM Phoenix.

aol-shuts-down

AIM is gone, but a group of hobbyist programmers has brought it back.

AOL

Do you fetishize your old messaging platforms? Sure, who doesn't. I remember those old AOL chat days. AOL Instant Messenger is, alas, long gone. But some fan service has been done to resurrect the client for anyone who wants to LARP the '90s on a laptop, according to a report from Motherboard. The new name is AIM Phoenix.

It's been re-created by Wildman Productions, a group of hobbyist programmers that previously made a free online version of the classic game Populous. The new client, based on the old code, is running all over again on a server. It doesn't have your old user names or buddy lists. You'll have to start over, if you're curious.

Now playing: Watch this: Logging off AIM: Our fondest AIM memories
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And of course, who knows how all this is being run, so tread cautiously with data. The sign-up page to install AIM Phoenix looks pretty sketchy, and makes lots of caveats that bugs abound. A high price to pay for nostalgia, I'd say.

Much like with the programmers saving Pebble watches from extinction, maybe this is the age where old software never truly dies. It just might not remember who you are.