Why the hell would anyone actually use AOL???

Summary:Just a brief rant here, folks...I talked a while ago about my superintendent and how he used AOL extensively for calendaring and communication.

Just a brief rant here, folks...I talked a while ago about my superintendent and how he used AOL extensively for calendaring and communication. Basically, I came to the conclusion that if we don't provide users with a range of tools to satisfy their needs, they'll bring crappy ones onsite that we'll need to support (like AOL).

I didn't realize just how horrific AOL was, though, until I started poking around with it tonight. The other day, I simply installed it on my machine (and was promptly billed $24.99 for my "free trial"), figured out where it was running into troubles with our new firewall, updated the firewall configuration, and then went on with my life.

Tonight, before I uninstalled it (and attempted to get my money back), I figured I'd give it a go-round. Ever used AOL before? Don't bother. It's slow, there are windows everywhere, the settings are buried in a large index, the cartoonish buttons aren't intuitive and yet still manage to insult our intelligence, and the whole thing made other applications on my system sluggish.

This is running under Windows Vista on a MacBook with 4GB of RAM and a 2GHz Core 2 Duo. Even Windows Vista is fast on this machine. AOL 9.5 shouldn't be a problem with no other applications running, nor should the basic settings of this replacement browser portal dashboard thing be indecipherable.

That, of course, is what AOL is. It's supposed to be a replacement browser that takes you somewhere that meets all of your communication needs. I have something like that, too. It's called Firefox with a couple tabs open.

Do you realize that there are people on this planet who actually pay for AOL services even if they don't need the dialup services it offers? People with honest to goodness broadband who pay to have their computers run slower and access web services through in interface that reeks of Netscape Navigator.

Sorry, I know this has nothing to do with Ed Tech. Not a bloody thing. It just floored me that someone might pay for this miserable bit of software.

If anyone out there cares to admit it, can you explain why you might install AOL? Thanks in advance.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Microsoft, Networking, Windows


Christopher Dawson grew up in Seattle, back in the days of pre-antitrust Microsoft, coffeeshops owned by something other than Starbucks, and really loud, inarticulate music. He escaped to the right coast in the early 90's and received a degree in Information Systems from Johns Hopkins University. While there, he began a career in health a... Full Bio

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