Reply To: TSN, INN – Screen Shots and memories

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(re: re: re: Source of images)

Hi Ken,
Thanks for the words of support 🙂 Yes, I remember when I first used TSN, it was at something like 2400 baud (I remember how color printers were so hard to come by, and 1GB hard drives were $2000! And there was no way that’d ever fill up… of course now I have almost half a terabyte of stuff).

I’d moved on, went to Harvard for my undergrad, and tucked TSN neatly into the back of my mind. As I near graduation though, I’d noticed how lonely my dad seems back at home, and how much he talks about missing TSN (even though it’s been some… 10 years?). So, I thought I’d give this a whirl and see where it went! :p

I’m coding the back-end in C++, and the front-end is being designed in Flash, and the two are being linked together via TCP/IP. Somebody had mentioned trying to purchase the original INN code from AOL, but to be honest I was a bit scared what it might look like 🙂 Realizing that much of it was designed when TCP was in its infancy, and that it was essentially a proprietary network, I was afraid that it would take forever to re-code. In some ways, I guess we have it easier today, because we have a pre-installed network built for us, and a very established protocol (sockets), plus multimedia front-ends like Flash that make graphics, animation, and interactivity a cinch compared to those DOS days…

Indeed, it’s scary about AOL and the patents. It reminds me of something I heard recently, about eBay being sued by a guy who insisted that he “invented” on-line auctions, and the ability to buy something at a fixed price on the Internet (what eBay calls Buy-It-Now). I understand the judge was quite perturbed over the case, but still awarded damages to the inventor. What was really ironic though, is that eBay bought the patents from the guy, after losing the case… Frightening, because if a court showed that the patents were indeed valid, it might prompt eBay to go after similar companies, and just focus on winning legal damages rather than innovating their product.

I had noticed that the trademarks on TSN are all dead, I guess AOL got tired of paying for them. And of course, they do own the copyright for the images and so forth. However, I imagine that the most they’ll ever do is ask me nicely to cease my project, since lawyer’s fees for getting an injunction don’t seem to be justified in shutting down a non-profit site which can’t compete or pose a threat. Besides, as an open-source project, we can always pass FauxINN on to another person who wants to take the legal risks in hosting it, and I’m sure AOL will lose interest eventually.

Well, I should probably get back to working on the server 🙂 If you ever get a chance, especially later, you might want to stop by some time, though… the website address is, and I’m hoping to have at least something up and running by June (when all my finals are over!!).

Best regards,