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AOL is it the axis of evil?

By zlitocook ·
Aol let a few hundred people connect to the internet ( just joking it was a few thousand:) ) But there are countless web pages about how bad it is or how good. I use it because my wife loves it, ok you can crack the whip now hehe. But at first we used a local BBS to get to the internet then AOL came out with a huge down load. I am showing my age here, after my wife started using AOL I down loaded netscape and loved it! But she did not, is AOL even though it is so slow an addiction? Can I get government support to help my wife? I want to get DSL but she will only let me do it if she can keep AOL but I have heard that when you use AOL on DSL it will really slow the connection. Uh oh my wifes head is spinning around again. I best get the XP black book and restore cds to protect myself. Just a fun look at life and it's problems. Please do not take this post the wrong way.

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Smart Man!

by mlandis In reply to Are you married?

Lots of people are very comfortable with aol.

Before this I had never heard that using aol assures one of a good night's sleep. First time for everything, I guess!

Maureen

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Not married

by trockii In reply to Are you married?

Not married. I get to make all the decisions without consulting anyone else. I love it. lol but i am only 25 years old. I hope to be married sooner or later though. There goes all my freedom. j/k

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My Dad

by ProtiusX In reply to Hmmm.... pulls out his AO ...

He has been an ardent AOL user for more than 10 years now. I bought him a new computer last year for Christmas to replace his aging 486 that he has had since Moses first bought his first PC. The reason he accepted the new computer was that his 15-year-old monitor finally gave up the ghost and AOL would no longer support his version of AOL (I think he was on AOL 6 or something like that). So anyway I replaced his computer and tried to get him to give up the dial-up and go for DSL but he wouldn?t have any of that because he thought he would have to change his e-mail address and give up on AOL. So I did some research and I was able to install DSL in their house, hook them both up to a WIFI network and he was able to keep AOL. They were happy with the new speed and the fact that they could both be ?on-line? at the same time. Well, almost. AOL will not allow them both to launch an instance of AOL as when one attempts to get into AOL while the other has a instance of AOL running the first is kicked off AOL. Now from their perspective they think they are kicked off line and no amount of me telling them to use Internet Explorer to surf the web is going to change their minds.
Now my dad kept getting these pop-ups from AOL telling him that they had this really COOL new product that would increase his level of security and it was ?ABSLOLUTLY FREE? so he installed it. It took over their wireless router, changed the admin password and would only allow my dad?s computer to pass traffic. I think that?s called a ?feature?. Anyway after un-installing three different AOL applications and rebooting the computer fifteen million times I was able to restore some sense of normalcy to their network.
Have you ever called AOL support and talked to some guy from India who says his name is Mike or Carl? I mean come on. If your outsourcing your help desk you can at least not try to hide the fact and let them use their own names. What is AOL ashamed of?

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People whose judgment I trust use AOL.

by DC_GUY In reply to AOL is it the axis of evi ...

I have a friend who knows more about PCs and the internet than anyone else I've ever known. She is a professional troubleshooter with an MCSE and she has never failed to solve every problem I've ever handed to her. She is an AOL customer. If AOL is good enough for her it's probably good enough for anybody.

I personally don't use it because I'm cheap and NetZero is only a hundred bucks a year. But I used to be on AOL and I remember all the forums as being a nice built-in community.

If you're looking for an Axis of Evil, look at the company that built most of the software that probably runs on your PC -- with no thought to QA or security. Now THAT is evil.

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An Australian experience

by jardinier In reply to AOL is it the axis of evi ...

AOL was first introduced to Australia about 7 years ago, with version 4.

I tried it, and it was light years ahead of any Australian ISP at the time. Already there was 24/7 telephone support, as well as the very handy TechLive.

For me one of its best features is ease of installation. Back in those days, to connect to one of the major Australian ISPs took me 4 tech support calls, on each of which I had to wait about half-an-hour, to get moving.

With AOL it always has been simply a case of insert the disk, follow the on-screen prompts and Bingo ! You are online.

It is SO EASY to install that a computer illiterate woman to whom I had previously sold a refurbished machine, purchased a notebook and was able to connect to AOL with no tech support needed.

As I used to sell refurbished machines, I always encouraged my customers to use AOL. Why ? For the reasons stated above. Insert the disc, follow the prompts and you are online -- no tech support needed.

I find the email interface MUCH easier to learn and understand than Outlook Express.

We are up to version 7 in Australia. I have heard many reports (including from Australian tech support people) that version 8 is a disaster.

My broadband connection doesn't work too well, but that is probably primarily because I use USB connection because the ethernet card on my computer is apparently faulty.

I have always had a second ISP (for use if AOL is down for some reason). I cannot detect any difference in speed between the two ISPs.

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Outlook express? You must be joking.

by DC_GUY In reply to An Australian experience

Nobody uses Outlook Express. It's the biggest joke in IT. Outlook works, more or less, if you're willing to make your computer part of the worldwide Windows virus network. But Outlook Express does not work. It's a piece of orphan software that Grungeware picked up cheap and slapped their own name on. It has no relationship at all to Outlook.

Using Outlook Express as a straw man to judge all non-AOL e-mail servers is bogus. MozillaMail, MacMail, Entourage, Eudora, there are plenty of perfectly satisfactory e-mail programs out there.

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Until you consider

by awfernald In reply to Outlook express? You must ...

That the majority of AOL users don't have a clue to all the other email programs out there.

You get outlook express installed with your computer and get lost with it, then you join AOL and everything is soooo easy for you!

Regardless of the availability of easier, more reliable, or more powerful email programs out there, people who are not that comfortable with working on a computer will take the one with the lowest learning curve that they have available. And that one oftentimes happens to be AOL.

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There were technical reasons for hating AOL..

by TomSal In reply to AOL is it the axis of evi ...

Don't quote me on this , as I don't know if its still the case -- however, way back in the day (say around AOL 2.0 or 3.0) AOL used some kind of modified or non-standard TCP/IP stack. I forget the full dealio but because of AOL's non-standard way in using TCP/IP it made it useless for network gaming services, and if it wasn't completely useless it was a pain in the arse..if you used AOL as your ISP you'd have to install special "AOL" drivers or additional software to get the game to run, whereby everyone else (non-AOLers) would just run fine the first try.

That, I can tell you was one of several main reasons why a lot of hard core gamer types built up a hatred for AOL.

Then if you remember AOL had horrible busy signal problems (and maybe they still do for all I know)...connections would drop with greater frequency than with other providers as well. In other words, at least in the days when I toyed with the notion of using AOL -- their connection reliability simply wasn't there -- it sucked. On top of that with the TCP/IP issue not making it compatible with games, THEN on top of that AOL was never the cheapest either.

Add it all together and it makes you hate them..lol.

Now today, a lot of techie types associate AOL with "dumb users" who think the Internet *IS* AOL and that the content aol provides is only able to be found WITH AOL, finally its the mentality that AOL is such a "dumbed down" on-line experience that its for the crowd that needs a 10 page instruction book to turn on a monitor.


But then again...if it weren't for that crowd, it would kinda suck to be an IT professional right?

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Where do I begin?

by jkaras In reply to AOL is it the axis of evi ...

I used to support a dial up service as my first computer job. I hate this company with a passion. The thing that really steams me about them is that their "software" purposely apends an AOL extention to the TCP/IP protocol which makes connectivity to the internet possible, get where I am going with this? If you decide that you dont want their service and try another provider it sabotages it by it's append of AOL so the person gets frustrated that the new company sucks. If you view your TCP/IP protocol it will read TCP/IP/AOL, when it should just be TCP/IP. This tactic has cascaded to other providers to ensure subscriptions. Most of the times you can uninstall the protocol and re-install it without issue, but if it persists you have to wipe the hard drive and start all over. Also their software is nothing more than updating their advertisments that you have to weed through, not better service. AOL has babied people in their easy use software to auto surf, chat, and email that people become very familiar and complacent. Truth is you can figure out and automate your programs as you become more familiar and confident using the computer. Get DSL or cable modem its well woth it. Think of the money spent on additional phone line and service compared to just a DSL package that runs around $35-$50 for most subscriptions. Now at $15 bucks for an additional line phone line and $20 for the dial up account, how much are you saving? Dialup is 30 times slower for almost as much, its a waste of money. Once you go broadband you never go back, dial up is on the way out.

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