Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Ok I know it was stupid but I downloaded the America Online (AOL) software to my computer. Yes... and soon regretted it.

I use Time Warner Cable as my ISP. They have been great in my opinion, no problems whatsoever. Time Warner bought AOL a while back thus anyone with Time Warner can have a an AOL account as well as a RoadRunner account. A bit redundant but people like to have a choice.

My old computer had AOL on it, as I used AOL (as did most of the world) for my ISP for a long time. For awhile, AOL was the biggest and best ISP; everybody was using it. I learned the art of internet browsing and chatroom lurking from AOL. I remember when you had to pay by the minute with it, causing many people to default on their phone bills (all dial-up then) with huge AOL connection fees. It is safe to say the AOL instant message system spawned the huge market for Yahoo, Google and other IM software. Talking to the world in real time was pure science fiction. It worked pretty well, but it had its moments. When it would fail or act up the service became "AOHell".

Over time AOL, as have a lot of pioneers, got fat and lazy and soon found itself challenged by Yahoo, Google, and then cable. Membership dropped and they found themselves floundering. I dropped AOL as my primary ISP when cable internet came to Grain Valley in the late 90's. But, since the software was on the computer, I really was never rid of it.

Until this past week. A wild hair got me to reload the software on the new computer. Easy enough as I had my old account name and password, it was free. Why not?

AOL had not changed much, now 9.0vr whatever that is. I was a veteran of AOL 4.0 and the amazement that came with each new version. I poked around, checked out chatrooms (a lot duller than they used to be)cleared 20 junk emails from my box (It still shouts "You've Got Mail" in all its ungrammatical glory) and let it be, to be used whenever I wanted to see what was up over there.

This AM upon signing on through my regular channels, I could get my Firefox home page to come up but no bookmarks or links. Google seemed ok however. It was the same story using Internet Explorer. So I looked to see if AOL was working. Yep, signed on, and lo and behold, I could access any website I wanted using AOL. Not so on Firefox or IE. Hummmmmmmm????

There was a new icon on my desktop a folder "AOLDNLD". I got rid of it. Rebooted the computer, all sorts of error messages saying "Closing Program" came up as she shut down. Restarted everything is fine. Then Real Player told me it was no longer the default audio player. Hummmmmm.....

Thus, AOL was banished...forever. I blamed it on them, who else?? Everything else was screwed up and AOL worked fine?? Hello!!, they took over. Danm them. I should have known better.


Zaine Ridling said...

You are not alone:

Now you know.

Next, get Gom Player to replace Real Networks and your computing life will be much safer, faster, and sweat free!

PS: This is why people run "Virtual Machine" software (like Altiris SVS) on their computer these days. It installs things like that in a separate, protected space, where it has no access to the kernel, and thus can't make system changes. And when you go to delete it, it was never really "on" your system, because it was installed in a virtual space on the HD.

Anonymous said...

Deleting the aoldnld folder didn't get AOHell off your PC (I wish it were that easy!). I forget what that folder does but it's not essential to AOL's functioning, and chances are the file you found on your desktop was just a second copy of it, anyway.

You should check Add/Remove Programs, Program Files and Common Files for more AOHell, then check if you find it still lurking in your PC.