Chat request from 19

Some protocols, like HTTP and TCP/IP, are public, documented, and spoken by everyone, but some are private/proprietary and undocumented.AIM’s protocol, known as OSCAR (for Open System for Communic Ation in Realtime), was in the latter group. But what my boss and I could do was sign up for an AIM account and then watch the communications between the AIM client and the server using a network monitor, a development tool used to track network communications in and out of a computer.It is built on top of TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/internet protocol), the underlying protocol of the internet itself.Internet companies run servers that speak these and other protocols.

On the client side we’d meet to discuss what needed to be done, what kinds of features we wanted, what we could do and couldn’t do. I was 20 years old, the youngest person on the team, and very green.AOL had the largest user base, so we discussed the possibility of adding code to allow Messenger to log in to two servers simultaneously, Microsoft’s and AOL’s, so that you could see your Messenger and AIM buddies on a single list and talk to AIM buddies via Messenger.We called it “interop.” This wasn’t elegant, but it wasn’t that complicated, either.I was given little chunks of the project to work on at first, then bigger ones.I worked on the instant messaging windows: the “type your message here” window and the “transcript” window above it.

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A few years later they partnered with Apple to give early Apple PC users functioning programs, including Microsoft Word.

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