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Anything that appeals to the mass-market is open to snobbery. Certainly this was the case when AOL opened up the Internet to Joe Public. It's changed now in that it is no longer snobbery that causes people to decry AOL (or Windows ME and other things, come to that) but merely people who like to feel that not using AOL somehow makes them superior and can't help but let AOL users know of their feelings.
AOL users are often given the wisdom of Latchaco, Grobian comments like "I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole" & "I wouldn't let AOL anywhere near my machine." These comments are not useful or helpful. Indeed it seems to me quite ignorant and nasty even. It's a shame but some people are like that.
There was not a mass mass-market for ISPs when the WWW first became more available to people outside of academic institutions and businesses. AOL led the way for Joe Public to enter the WWW. Because of this AOL users were regarded as stupid by the former "exclusive" user base. AOL users did not know about command line driven tools eg, FTP, gopher, USEnet, Unix systems etc. Also of course these new users had no idea of netiquette and were so ignorant (of the rules) they often even typed EVERYTHING WITH THE CAPS LOCK ON. It is easier to understand where these people, with their obvious intelligence and ability for original thought were coming from rather than today's "jump on the AOL knocker's bandwagon".
Of course, as in the same way as Irish jokes, everyone now makes jokes about AOL users. And, as with the Irish jokes, mostly by people that are often not too smart themselves. I use AOL and so does my brother who is a doctor. If (god forbid) you ever need him to keep you alive, don't choose that moment to tell him he is stupid or that you feel superior to him.
I think it is a sad fact that AOL's marketing techniques have added fuel to the knockers fire. This is a shame because there are many AOL members who are quite happy with the service, and who are very knowledgeable in the IT field.
I know a lot of computer literate people who use AOL and also a lot of computer illiterate folk who have never used AOL. I know people with AOL email addresses, who are not interested in computers as a hobby as they choose to spend their leisure time doing other things, cricket, football, golfing, boating, gardening or working for a local good cause etc.
There's nothing with AOL you wouldn't find elsewhere on the web, but AOL does provide it all in one place and for many this is a good thing. Some folks seem to think that AOL's all-in-one package is too much like handholding, but for many people, it's just what they want.
I'm not saying that everyone who does not use AOL are the ones who have got it wrong.
Of course not but there cannot be any justification for anyone to continually knock something that someone else uses.
Occasionally these people will attempt to uphold their comments with "AOL takes over your machine". Well not as much as Microsoft does it?
Then there's the "you can't ever delete it from your machine" brigade. And as anyone with even a modicum of computer nous knows, that is utter drivel.
As for "it screwed up my machine". It can be seen from this helproom alone, there are not many programmes someone has said that about. And mostly of course it was not the fault of the programme anyway.
BT Yahoo, or any of the other ISPs, will never catch up with AOL.
To all AOL knockers I say: I use and like AOL and if that makes you feel superior to me I will learn to live with that and whether you drive a Skoda or a Seven Series BMW I will not knock you for your choice but please don't bump into my Bentley with your inferior little car.
To all AOL users I say: please don't be put off coming to this excellent helproom. You will (in the main) be made to feel as welcome as anyone else.
A very fine article, I hope that it will persuade all those "dim witted knockers" to find something more profitable to spend there time on. I have used AOL 7.0 since December 2002 and am now using AOL 8.0 and I am well satisfied. Incidentally have you upgraded to AOL Broadband yet if so how do you rate it?
I use AOL 8.0 and am on broadband. Truth to tell I only went BB so the phone could be used as well. I was quite happy with dial-up really as I found it to be quicker and more stable than other ISPs I have used but of course having now used BB I would not like to go back. It's as quick as turning on a light switch.
I have been with AOL since version five and I've tried others. For me there is no comparison but I have no reason to believe that others could be just as good for some people. Different things suit different people and for different reasons and that's how it should be.
I can see no other reason for this thread than to try and provoke an argument and discontent.
This is a Helproom. It says so in the title.
This thread helps no-one except, perhaps, the originator in venting some bile on anyone who disagrees with his opinion on a certain ISP.
I read your post, what's the problem with your computer?
Well you would say that, wouldn't you? It gives you the chance to defend your comments, at least. And you vent your spleen, by the way.
Think I'll change my name to 'AOL Hater hater.
Happy to be an AOL customer.
I used to use AOL many moons ago my daughter still does but:
I don't like the way it spreads its code throughout your computer (many people do not have, 'Computer Nous'). I don't like the way that you are tied into their e-mail program.
And I don't need all the gumph and that their portal has to offer I jus want to get on to the internet.
I don't like AOL, but then its a personal choice if your happy with it then why not just get on with it.
Well said graham√ - let's leave the editing to the Forum Editor.
I too am with AOL and can not fault it. It does everything it's supposed to do and a little more. I think many forum users would be surprised to know just how many forum users are with AOL.
I am also changing to Broadband shortly but like graham√, only to Free up the phone line, 56k dial-up is more than fast enough and as most will know, there are no time limits with AOL, very often I have been logged on for well over 14 hours and no dis-connections.
Most, (but not all) people who complain of problems with AOL are unjustly placing the blame in the wrong place! It is the system and O/S that are not set up correctly in the first place. j.
good thing about aol is the free back up service i am fed up of phoning to get support from other companies only to be told it is 50p or even worse 80p a minute
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