Saturday, September 13, 2008
I was swept by a real blast from the past when I trashed all the old AOL disks
After my little disruption with the DSL, when I couldn't even find the old modem password when I needed it, I decided it was time to clean out the old box of computer stuff. A lot of these old packages spilled out. It was as if the entire and history of AOL marketing flashed before my eyes. 1045 hours free -- wow! Measuring online access in hours -- wow! AOL's nasty habit of conserving bandwidth by bumping people offline -- not so wow.
Online access for dummies -- including me.
AOL was an easy low-tech (or was it non-tech?) way to get online when we bought our state of the art, Windows 95 Sony Vaio desktop in the fall of '97. It was still chugging along ten years later, three years after a hard drive replacement, though by then as a backup for an iMac. We carried AOL over to the iMac, inadequate as it was, because it seemed silly to have to get an Ethernet modem for an obsolete PC and figured we'd go DSL when we got a second Mac, which we eventually did. But we stopped upgrading after AOL 5.0 because we didn't need all the marketing bloatware that just overtaxed the PC's modest capabilities. When we finally made the switch to broadband, we kept the AOL account temporarily -- until we got all our email transferred, we told ourselves. Of course, that hasn't actually happened yet because there's always something more important to do, but that's why it was there as a limited backup when the DSL went down. Agony. We really used to live with that? I really started blogging and posting photos on Flickr using dial-up access? Hard to believe. Inertia is such a powerful force.