TNT is a client for AIM.
AOL’s ‘AIM’ service may be accessed with either:
Oscar - This protocol has never been “officially” documented. It’s the protocol AOL uses to provide “enhanced” functionality through their native client. Any cloned clients that use Oscar are reverse engineering the protocol. AOL has never stated that the protocol was a set standard and have periodically changed it just to keep everyone on their toes.
TOC was released by AOL to provide a supposed ‘open’ standard. Their Java client uses it. TOC does not have as many features as Oscar. It’s missing things like file transfers, buddy icons, and some of the “fancy” stuff like that.
There is some clouded history around AIM. For some period of time, AOL was agressively trying to keep AIM clones from working. In addition (or possibly related), AIM has some availability problems. It’s not clear if this is problems with the TOC protocol, the reverse engineering of the Oscar protocol, stability problems with the AIM servers themselves, or some combination thereof. It’s certainly true that AIM has had serious availability problems in the past. It still has some noticeable downtime even now (as of 08 Dec 2002).
However, for the most part, I (DougAlcorn) find TNT to be stable and usable. I notice TNT disconnecting and reconnecting. Sometimes (one a month or so) it has problems reconnecting but then finally does. I wouldn’t let AIM’s stability problems stand in the way of using TNT. I find TNT to be the most convenient InstantMessaging solution around.
Does anybody know how to break trough the firewall using TNT?
Here’s to wishing for Yahoo! Instant Messaging protocol support! – DougAlcorn