I continue to be operating under the impression that this is the correct forum to ask about iChat problems. This time it’s general flakeness over the past week or two. Examples:

  1. I came back from lunch last week and found that iChat was spinning. Jenny left me a bunch of notes, none of which showed up before I force-quit (past tense: forced-quit or force-quited?) it.
  2. iChat at home decided to start trying to sign on while I was at work for no apparent reason.
  3. iChat has been dying quite a bit, especially around file transfers.
  4. When I add someone to my buddy list, they immediately go offline (from my perspective) until I sign off and back on

My paranoid, unsupported by any evidence hypothesis is that AOL has been tweaking the AIM network and since Apple will be supporting Jabber in Mac OS X Server and iChat when 10.4 (X.IV) comes out AOL hasn’t been keeping Apple up-to-date on their changes.
Jabber is an instant messaging system that is not controlled by any one company, so it’s a threat to AOL’s IM business. Jabber is to AOL IM what internet email is to the AOL email in the early 90s that only let you email other AOL users.
Now that I have a hypothesis I need data points to support it, so iChat has been bugging out more than usual for you too, let me know in the comments. If not, you should probably comment so I’ll know that they got to you first.

9 responses to “More iChat Problems”

  1. fluffy says:

    I have not been having any such problems with iChat. Have you tried just reinstalling it? Maybe a framework or two got corrupted.
    Also, I’ve noticed lots of weird crap happens between unrelated apps which all have a menu extra, because they all go through SystemUIServer. Like, iSync loves to freeze SystemUIServer if I initiate a sync when my cellphone is visible and my iPod is docked but not mounted, and it stays frozen until I undock my iPod. This is whether I actually have the iSync menu extra visible or not. I have many times thought that it was a lot earlier than it actually was because the date/time menu extra was frozen!
    (My solution was to just always start iSync by docking the iPod. Meh.)

  2. Brian says:

    I haven’t had any iChat problems. I usually just leave iChat open all the time and let it negotiate primary interfaces across several networks (work, library, etc., home), which it has done, and continues to do without problems. Another data point 🙂
    What alternate IM software are you using? I’d like to explore an iChat alternative, but would really miss how well it integrates with Address Book and Mail.

  3. I use Adium in addition to iChat and it integrates really well with Address Book. I’ve only benefitted from Mail’s iChat integration once, when I saw that someone I was about to email was on AIM, so I don’t really notice the lack of Mail support.
    I think 10.4 will be a good excuse to do a clean install.

  4. Davidissimo says:

    Since I last updated my system, I’ve had several strange problems with iChat. The strangest is when I drag and drop a file from one folder to another but pass over an iChat window. The beach ball appears and iChat crashes. It also won’t close on shutdown sometimes, despite my ‘OKing’ it’s closure. Again, spinny beach ball and crrrash.
    I hope for a day when I never see that spinny ball. I will admit that with the hotness, it spins for a shorter amount of time.

  5. Gabe says:


  6. Another indicator of a possible Apple / AOL breakdown is the fact that the iChat AV icon in Tiger no longer includes the AOL-Man logo. Seen here in the ‘Features’ menu.

  7. Dave: Yeah, I saw Joi Ito got blocked. I wonder if there’s some sort of new managment for the AIM division that is shaking stuff up.

  8. Noah John says:

    Yeah, I notice added contacts instantly signing off all the time, except that sometimes if I mess with a current buddy, they’ll disappear, then appear to sign back on as well.

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