AOL Instant Messenger – Triton, Norton, Password problems

So I thought I’d forgo using my GAIM today, even though it's totally working correctly... and even though it completely connects to all my instant message accounts... and see if the new AOL Instant Messenger called Triton did anything interesting. It turns out it does not. The thing hardly even works. Ugh. Why do I even bother?

Frustration # 1

When I installed it, it left my old AOL messenger in there instead of just upgrading that one.

Frustration # 2

I couldn’t figure out which ports to open on my Norton software firewall. Even though I explicitly gave AIM6.exe permission to access the Internet, it was trying to use some odd port that I don’t have opened. I’m afraid it’s too new for the port info to be out in the wild yet. This one’s a deal-breaker for me, but it gets worse.

Frustration # 3

I had forgotten my password so I clicked the “forgot password” link which brought me to https://my.screenname.aol.com/ where I was able to answer some pre-determined security questions and then change my password. However, while the screens there reminded me to only use letters and numbers for the password, the web form neglected to check for other characters.

So without realizing this restriction, I used a symbol in my password. Of course when you get into AIM Triton (with no firewall of course), it keeps coming back that your username/password is incorrect. Because it sees that symbol and freaks out. This one stumped me for a good few minutes. You have to go back and change your password to not use any funny characters. This is form validation 101 people. Filter input. And give appropriate error messages.

Back to GAIM I go.

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