A couple of days ago I noticed that I couldn’t add Azeem Azhar to my iChat AV contacts list. I kept getting returned “Feedbag Error 17” which seemed entirely unexpected and unpleasantly phrased. Was I a feedbag? Had iChat eaten Azeem? The mind boggled.
After several hours of consideration, another option occurred to me. Perhaps iChat was trying to protect me from excessive contact with Azeem! Maybe my beautiful new Pantherised beast was being defensive! “No, Tom!” It was going, “He’s bad news! He’ll tell you that you work in Marketing again and you’ll get all cross and defensive and make that ludicrous speech about being an artisan! Please! Please! Let me protect you from the embarrassment!” At which point, I assumed, feedbag laptop decided to chow-down on poor Mr Azhar’s AIM name with fierce hungry vengeance. I touted this theory around a few of my friends. General consensus, “It’s not a bug, it’s a feature!”
Well now I know that I’m not alone and that it’s nothing personal, Mr Azhar! My Powerbook loves you and iChat loves you and all I had to do was throw away a couple of my childhood friends who – frankly – are never online anyway and kind of sucked at web stuff. In the end the problem was all caused by having too many friends – apparently AIM can only handle 150 contacts – at least that is according to Mssrs. Unsanity, Rael and Webb.
But it occurs to me that there’s something slightly suspicious about all of this. A couple of days ago I tried searching for information about this error message, but it was nowhere. There was literally no information. Today, there’s a search result returned, and posts about the subject on three separate weblogs. So what’s happened? Is it a new error message or is it just we’ve all hit the limit at the same time? Or has the number of buddies available changed? I smell a mystery!