As we reported yesterday, OS X users wanting to use Eric Peytonis excellent IM application, Fire, have been finding the going difficult. Fire has been updated three times in the days since OS Xis release, and each update has been blocked by AOL, meaning that OS X users have no native AIM client available.
While this is still true, Mr. Peyton posted a little tidbit on his site yesterday offering a temporary alternative until AOL allows Fire through, or they release an OS X AIM client of their own. According to Mr. Peyton:
Even better, paste this URL (http://toc.oscar.aol.com/aimexpress/content2.html) in to Applet Launcher.app (available in /Applications/Utilities) to run the Java version of AOL under OS X. It is usable ...
While the Java based AIM client is not perfect, it certainly does provide a usable alternative. Several Mac Observer staff members spent yesterday using OS Xis Applet Launcher and the Java version of IM with no problems at all. The program did not crash, speed was not blistering but certainly acceptable, and all of this is done from within the native OS X environment (no Classic) and offers an AIM client free of advertisements.
While this method may not be an ideal long term solution, it likely will not have to be. Hopefully Fire will be a usable option again soon, but if not we can probably expect an OS X AIM client from AOL sooner rather than later.
You can keep your eye on the progress of Fire to deal with the AOL blocks, and find more information about the product, at the Epicware Web site.