I’ve worked on AIM Sniff for several years. It was the first stand alone open source program that I ever created and has been a great source of learning. My development on the project has greatly slowed down over the years due to new priorities and new responsibilities (aka, growing up). From time to time, however, I still lend a hand to when I can and even try to add new features and fix bugs. Last night, someone IM’d me for help and caught me in a generous mood. He wanted to customize AS for a specific task in his environment. He patiently waited while I fired up my development box, delved into the code, provided him a few wrong answers and then finally the right one. Without any provocation, he sent me $30 and thanked me for my help. It’s moments like this that remind me that open source is the way to go. It’s one thing to make someone pay you $30 for support and help, it’s much more satisfying when someone thinks that what you’ve just done for them is worth $30 and gives it to you. That $30 will be enough to spark my interests again and move AIM Sniff closer to the top of my ToDo list to push out some new features and fix a bug or two. His $30 donation will help the thousand or so folks who use AIM Sniff. I should be quick to point out that what’s most important is the gesture, not necessarily the amount. I’m grateful for the people who kick $2 my way from time to time as well.