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November 29, 2001

      With apologies to those of you, rare though you may be, that simply "love" AOL, I am gonna finally let some things out after some five or six years with AOL. So, if you are one of these…stop reading now.

     
Mr. AOL, I have gone through the hoops with you and your a building megalomaniac system of striving to show Mr. Bill Gates that you are the better man. I have been through AOL 3, 4, 5, 6 and now 7, with all the variations in between.

    
I have never missed a payment and never complained (but then, there is a reason for that as well as will be shown), in those years.

    
I tell you, right up front…if it were not for the two facts that 1) a lot of people depend on me being able to chat "live", and 2) you have me as a captive audience via the Chat Room availability…I would have been long gone.

    
Each time you have come forth with a new and improved version, I find all sorts of stuff that I do not need nor even want…and nothing fixed nor created that I would want. This last version, 7.0 takes the cake!

    
It signs on whenever it wants to, all by itself…even sometimes when I am already online. It signs off whenever it feels like it. When I sign back on, all the settings I once had are gone…and new ones that I never wanted in the first place are there, just happily humming along screwing everything up.

    
I sign on, and all the "options" that I chose not to load, somehow are loaded.

    
I sign on, and favorites that I have placed on the horizontal bars are gone, replaced by the options that I did not want, did not load, deleted..ad nauseum!

    
I sign on, and all of a sudden I am asked if I wish to continue loading AOL 7.0!

    
I sign on, and I am told the program is trying to find my modem so I can select my phone numbers to connect!

    
There are others, and I will perhaps name them as I go on. For now, I wish but to ask you…what in the name of whatever…are you folks doing? Do you have any idea? I was perfectly happy with 6.0 until 7.0 came out...and all of a sudden 6.0 somehow just did not work very well any more…duh! Now why is that, you suppose? A variation on programmed obsolescence, no doubt!

    
No, in fact, I am going to list them right now, these just happened and served to enthusiastically urge me to remove version 7.0 from my computer, much like a Cattle Prod! And, so I did, con mucho gusto, I can assure you!

    
The straw that broke the 7's back was, it have evolved to the point where every time I tried to switch screen names, it signed me completely off, only to appear under the Master Acct Name asking me to sign back on, and I NEVER use the Master Acct Name online.

    
It went online again of its own volition, with the joy of a liberated R2D2, for the last time I might add!!!!, and this time I was not around to catch it. Upshot? I came in to go online to find I was already there, and had 18…count them, 18, IM messages waiting for me…ranging from people who were concerned about my health because I would not answer; angry at me for ignoring them; extremely hurt that I did not answer them; worried that they had done something to me; and just plain confused!

   
I try to find a person to speak with: notice, I said person…and I find I have to go through a Security Clearance type routine about what kind of machine I use...when what I wish to ask or speak about has no…I repeat no, bearing on whether I use a Pentium or a paint brush! So, I go through the motions anyhow…and what do I get in response? A message asking me what my machine specs are! Argh!

    
I mean, look, I may not be the most intelligent bear in the woods, but I do not have Terminally Stupid tattooed across my forehead, either. I do not need 15 ways to get to a specific area, most of which I never use anyway.

   
Suggestion Box? LOL!

    
How about some ways to dispel with the opening screens that many have no use for….especially that inane Channel thing to the left...forget that. Hide Channels? Yeah, I would like to :hide: the channels, all right!

    
Try doing something original… oops, sorry…bad word that, eh?

    
Original…well, ok, how about having an option to turn off the Spam without having to list 87,000 people that you do need to hear from? Now, do not tell me it can not be done…after all, there are programs out there that do it.

    
How about ways to block all the XXX stuff that comes in unsolicited and unlike much of the other Spam…you can not so-called, be removed from the mailing list…which I might add, one never asked to be listed in the first place? Well, I can understand why you do not do that…money.

    
How about changing those insipid AOL TV commercials. I see them and I wince. Any one that tells me that they LOVE to hear "you got mail", has some reeeeaaaaalllllly big mental problems, and should be assigned many large guards!

    
How about this: Several months ago, you were offering a program that let one to renovate the look of their AOL online screen textures, colors, etc. This was a very nice program from what I was able to ascertain…certainly would have aided those of us with vision problems and handicaps. But no, you had to make us buy that didn't you; never mind that many simply can not afford the extra $7.95 or whatever it was. Instead, you blithely "give" us free options on things we do not want, or simply create havoc with our computers. Oh, I know, these New And Wonderful Free Option Programs are simply a way to convince us we need a new and more powerful computer in order to take advantage of such wonderfully updated new technology! Hey, I am all for backing the economy, but geeez, let us make our own decisions on how to do it, and when, eh?

    
Even faster and easier to use? Quite evident they have not come face-to-face with the reality of 7.0!

    
And tell me, why is it that when I was using 6.0 I signed on at 50,000 and with 7.0 I get 28,800 and 26,000? Could it be it is a Sign from the Omnipotent AOL, that I truly need to spend money I do not have on Super Lines?

    
Oh yes, more options to use Smiley Faces…just what we all need; sure makes my life easier. I mean, I have been just waiting for all these years just so I could put a Smiley Face somewhere on all my documents, etc.; hmmmm, "somewhere", just thought of a wonderful place to "put" the Smiley Faces…oh, well, come to think of it….never mind, this is a Family Oriented website, after all.

    
The fact is, you ignore the old adage do not fix what "ain't" broke. Thus far, AOL is the only entity I have seen that the more it is improved upon, the worse it gets.

    
Granted, you have a Captive Audience, me included…and I will remain cause I have aught else to go…but I surely do not have to like it, nor remain quiet.

   
So, go play with your mega-corp toys…since I know you will never see this, and could care less even if you did.

   
But, even so, I wish it to be known that while I first admired you when you went head-to-head against Bill Gates and his utterance of "burying you", as it were….I no longer do. And if there are no others in the entire world that know or realize that you have simply "sold out", there are two of us that do: you and I.

HEYA!


OUTHOUSE

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