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Thread: AOL? Why thousands are leaving AOL.

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Why some AOL Users Have Problems Registering.

    THERE MAY BE 2 OR MORE PAGES
    to this Topic!

    Make sure you click on the Page Number at
    the bottom and top of this Topic.




    It's an AOL problem and was reported last month.

    The way around it is to go to:

    http://www.ipiu.org/forums/

    And then manually click on the small button
    near the top of the page that says REGISTER
    and follow the exact instructions.

  2. #2
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    More AOL & Netscape problems.

    More websites are no longer using AOL and Netscape Browsers.

    Here's one solution:

    3. You May be an AOL User

    Solution: AOL users may experience problems with our site due to compatibility issues with the AOL browser.

    Solution: Please use a separate browser when viewing this site. Follow the steps below to open and configure your browser to effectively navigate our site.

    To use Internet Explorer:

    Click the Internet Explorer icon on your computer screen. Select "Tools," then "Internet Options"

    Click the "Settings" button in the center of the window. When the next window pops up, select "Every Visit to the Page" and then hit "OK"

    While still in the "Internet Options" window, choose the "Connections" tab, and then select "LAN Settings" at the bottom. In "LAN Settings" be sure no options are chosen.

    You should now be able to access many more sites with Internet Explorer.

    To use Netscape:

    Click the Netscape Navigator icon on your computer screen. Select "Edit" then "Preferences"

    Choose "Advanced" then "Cache." While in "Cache" click on "Proxies"

    Be sure "Direct Connection to the Internet" is selected and then hit "OK"

    You should now be able to access many more sites with Netscape Navigator.


    If you're having problems with registering for a password at the Private
    Investigators Forum, then do this:

    The way around it is to go to:

    http://www.ipiu.org/forums/

    And then manually click on the small button near the top of the page that says
    REGISTER and follow the exact instructions.

    If you are using NETSCAPE as a browser, then you have a bigger problem:

    NETSCAPE VERSUS EXPLORER:

    You may be using Netscape as a browser. We have
    been informed that since Microsoft released their
    new Explorer Browser Version 6.0 (available free)
    that many websites are not allowing Netscape
    browsers to access.

    Your Windows 98 has a free Explorer. Just
    activate the Explorer Browser in your Programs
    (and not use Netscape) and try registering again.

    Other hints:

    The first suggestion is to hit the F5 Key to
    REFRESH the page because of a "time out" on the
    connection. If your F5 key does not refresh, the
    Refresh Key can be found on the tool bar under
    VIEW (for Explorer Browsers).

    We have been told that NETSCAPE is now having
    severe problems with the internet, and we are
    suggesting to use Microsoft Explorer Version 6
    as your browser.

    If you are using EXPLORER for your Internet
    Browser, then make sure you are upgraded to
    Version 6.0

    To check your version, go to the tool bar and
    click on HELP, and then click on ABOUT INTERNET
    EXPLORER. The version will appear there.

    If you want a FREE UPGRADE TO EXPLORER VER 6.0,
    then go to the START BUTTON on your desktop, and
    scroll up to the top and click on WINDOWS UPDATE.
    It will automatically take you to Microsoft's
    website for updates. Choose the option titled
    PRODUCT UPDATES. It will then read your
    computer's components to determine any critical
    updates you should download, and give you options
    to include Version 6.0 Explorer.

    "PAGE DOES NOT DISPLAY" usually has to do with a
    down website, slow Internet traffic, Internet
    Worm, Internet Virus, or a poor Internet
    Connection from your computer to you local
    Internet Provide.

    While you have the Page Does Not Display up, go
    to the START BUTTON (Windows), then to PROGRAMS,
    then click on MS DOS PROMPT.

    This will load the MS DOS WINDOW UP. It will
    usually come up with the path of c:\windows

    Next, type in this phrase: tracert www.ipiu.org

    Hit the ENTER KEY once.

    You will then see your Internet Connection go
    through hops from your computer to your local
    connection to the state to the world and end up
    some place at the website you are tracing to. The
    last command will say TRACE COMPLETE.

    If you see any DOS commands that say "REQUEST
    TIME OUT" along the way, it means there is a poor
    internet connection from your town to the
    website.

    If you don't get ANY hops, it means you may have
    a down connection in your town, or you may be
    trying to use your company computer which may
    have a "firewall" at the connection to guard
    against employee use of outside connections
    without authorization.

    If your trace route is completed to the IPIU
    website, then try your application again.

    You may also try to go directly to their website
    at http://www.ipiu.org/forums .

    Your computer may also need rebooting to refresh
    it's memory after a long day.

    Another cause can be the virus and the worm that
    has been circulating the Internet. It may not
    affect your computer or IPIU's website, but it
    certainly can SLOW DOWN the Internet at times to
    a CRAWL, which can then cause PAGE DOES NOT
    DISPLAY.

    If you are connecting through AOL, it may be
    AOL's problem. None of the staff at IPIU uses AOL
    anymore because of several problems connecting to
    the Internet through the,. We suggest to save the
    $20 a month and go direct, or do DSL connection
    for speed. Everything AOL offers for a price is
    FREE on the Internet elsewhere.

  3. #3
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    AOL? Why thousands are leaving AOL.

    AOL uses the following:

    1) A phone line to dial into their system;

    2) Their own Internet Window to browse.

    The BEST is the following:

    1) Contact your local phone company and
    subscribe to their DSL line, or their local
    Internet Phone dial up connection. The dial
    up rate is cheaper than AOL, and you can use
    your computer's web browser EXPLORER which is
    the best in the world.

    2) If you're looking for similar content
    and entertainment items that AOL has, you
    will find ALL of these contents are available
    free on the worldwide web.

    -----
    Because AOL uses dial up connection, they
    are losing thousands of customers who are
    spending a few dollars more a month to use
    the high speed DSL line (which is at least
    10 times faster). Plus, DSL piggybacks on your
    existing phone line in the background so that
    you never have a busy signal when on the net.
    Or, you never have to bother paying for a
    second phone line for Internet.

    -----
    Many times our web links do not work in the
    AOL browser. It requires you to copy and
    paste the web links .

    -----
    The future:

    The Internet is only going to get more graphic
    with video stream, audio, and other high quality
    sites that require faster connection speeds.
    A dial up service will become so slow you will
    want to throw your computer out the door.

    CABLE Internet Connection is okay, but the
    more cable subscribers in your neighborhood,
    the slower your connection will become.

    DIRECTV Satelite 2-way Wireless Internet is
    a very good alternative (no wires, just point
    your dish to the sky and surf the Internet
    while your spouse watches the movie channels).
    But the equipment to ADD to your dish runs
    about $600, and the monthly service is about
    $69/month. Still, as competition gets stronger
    the prices will either come down, or inflation
    in the next few years will make $69 look like
    $20.

    DSL costs about $39-$49 a month, is ten times
    faster (so if you work on the computer your
    payroll time is worth the cost of the upgrade).
    A DSl modem is required and costs from $89 up.
    Installation and hook up fees can be free from
    some local providers.

    In either event, we are always concerned with
    members being able to load up the forum pages
    without having to wait 5 minutes.

  4. #4
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    Just a note here...

    AOL does have a DSL link (at least in the United States), but it's at quite an additional cost, and is on TOP of the basic service.

    Also, you don't have to use AOL's browser if you use AOL. As long as you have the internet connection through the AOL ISP, both IE (I use versions 5.0 and 6.0 with no problem) and Netscape work as they usually would.

    Not many people are aware they have their choice of browsers on any given service. The "trick" is that once you have logged on, simply minimize the ISP screen, and start up your alternate browser. In fact, I frequently multi-task, browsing one topic on AOL's browser, and another with IE, and just switch back and forth between them. As one is loading, I go to the other to read what was loaded.

    I do notice that this forum seems to run with less glitches using IE, though.

    I use dial up to AOL, and it can be slow, for sure, and the more graphics and streaming on the site you are URLing out to, the slower things get. But one of the reasons I prefer AOL is the email process is on THEIR computers (minimizing my exposure to worms, trojans, and other email nasties), and I don't have to depend on the highly virus-vulnerable Microsoft email softwares (Outlook, Outlook Express) to process my email.

    One other "tip" for AOL uses... watch the logon process as it is happening, and you will see that one of the "steps" reports the ISP Port Speed that you have connected to.

    If it's less that 14k, I just immediately disconnect and re-dialup. The port linking process isn't random, the fastest ports get filled first, but sometimes within 2 or 3 dial-up attempts during peak hours, you can catch a high speed (relatively speaking) open port that someone has just disconnected from.

    But if you can afford it, DSL is the best option for FAST internet browsing.

  5. #5
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    AOL,DSL,WINDOWS XP

    If your running Windows XP,have AOL and want DSL your going to have to download a patch from AOL to be able to log on.

    In my case,I found that I had to either keep my computer on 24-7 or download the patch everytime I wanted to log on.

    I was disgusted by this and cancelled the service. I still have AOL dial up but thats about to change also .

    Funny thing was, when I signed up for the service,which was about 4 months ago, AOL didn`t inform me of the compatability issues they were having at the time! It was only after I contacted them did did they say" Oh yeah were experiencing a compatability problem with XP right now blah blah blah"..

    My experience with the set up was not a good one so anybody considering DSL while running XP w/AOL as your ISP . . . good luck to you .
    John A. Fromm

  6. #6
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    Whew!

    John, that sounds just like what happened to me on a ME PC I got talked into buying from Dell! I had a ton of problems with that PC, and everytime I called tech support, I got the same thing as you did with AOL. "Oh, yeah... that's a known problem, you have to call Microsoft."

    The ME is definitely not a software development machine, and from what you say, it sounds like AOL DSL is definitely not an XP option! Thanks for the input!

    I'm wondering if anyone out there has had any experience (good or bad) with DSL and W2k PC's? Just in the event I can afford the switch later, I don't want to be the beta test.

  7. #7
    William R. Larson - is offline (Retired from Forum Activity)

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    W2K & Drugs, just say no!

    I have talked to a number of computer type gurus and they said if you are buying an OS, get either W98SE & WXP. They said all of the W2K OS' are not as stable as W98SE & WXP.

    DSL is available by many providers. I have MSN, and have been very happy.

  8. #8
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    I would definitely go with the XP.

    But just for the record, my W2k OS has been more stable than any other previous windows OS pcs. I've been using it for about 1-1/2 years, and I have yet to see one of those dreaded "This program has performed an illegal operation" errors. (Always hated those!)

    HOWEVER, this platform seems to be WAY more susceptable to hacking attacks. I just today finally shut down my net bios port, it was just getting too buggered all the time. It's a pain to think that everytime I'll need to use it, I'll have to re-enable it, do my thing, and disable it, but the constant badgering of my firewall and port monitors warrants it. Plus, I'm completely beleaguered with patches for this, patches for that, to prohibit the hacking vulnerabilities in this platform.

  9. #9
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    XP good AOL bad!

    XP has been very very good to me so far,my ISP was the problem.Just today,when I cancelled them,they told me that" 8.0 is due out this fall and all the bugs will be gone for sure .Think I`ll sit that one out.
    John A. Fromm

  10. #10
    William R. Larson - is offline (Retired from Forum Activity)

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    I have DSL through MSN and have had no problems, generally speaking. Occassionally MSN has issues that cause hiccups or downtime, but they are usually rectified fairly quickly.

    With a change to DSL or Cable, be sure to get an excellent Firewall and Virus protection program. Many other members, including myself, fell strongly on the quality of Norton products. There is a thread within this forum discussion anti-virus software, etc.

    I have Norton SystemWorks and Nrton Firewall. I can't believe how many attacks were blocked even on medium security settings! I bumped it up to the highest level. I figure I have at least a half dozen attacks or so every few days.

  11. #11
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    My two cents

    Just thought I would comment on what I have working here at home.

    I use Direcway from DirecTV for my internet. It is a two way satellite system, and I enjoy it very much. I am one of those people that live in a small town where DSL and Cable Modems are not available. The intial cost of the equipment was a good chunck of change, but after you make it through that your monthly bill is just about the same as DSL or Cable Modem, I pay $59.99 a month.
    I also have a second PC here at home that I have hooked up to a network, and it also connects to the internet through the satellite. They both work real well when two people are on them surfing at the same time. The only downfall is that some online games do not work because of the Latency factor involving the satellite.

    MY OS on my main PC is Windows XP, and the OS on the Second PC ins Win 98. The only problem that I have had since I upgraded to XP is very once in awhile my PC will all of the sudden start dumping physical memory. I still have not been able to figure that one out yet. It will dump the physical memory, then restart itself like nothing ever happened. I upgraded my memory to 256mb (I had 128mb) because I thought that was the problem but it still does it every once in a while.
    CRAIG PIFER
    Licensed Private Investigator (TN #5358)
    Eagle Investigations: http://eagleinvs.tripod.com


    "I am going to enjoy today more than yesterday,
    but not as much as tomorrow!"

  12. #12
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    earthlink dsl

    I use earthlink dsl and I love it. Earthlink has a no spam filter that I couldn't live without after having it. no more deleting 50 e-mails to read 5. I too am also an EX-AOL user
    Big Red

    It's not a job, it's a journey!

  13. #13
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    DSL....get ZoneAlarm

    I had dsl and loved it. However, the cost was too much, especially when your job is in uncertainty. I have had Norton and McAfee and didn't like neither. I used ZoneAlarm and had no problems with it. My brother has Norton on his dsl and he has gotten bit many times by viruses. Check out www.techtv.com and see what they recommend or ask local computer shops.

  14. #14
    Aloysio Botello Jr. Guest

    Good and bad about AOL

    well having aol you will have your ups and downs.

    The good about it is that you can use it for free for 3 months and after you try to disconnect they give you 2 more months to think it over.

    The bad, well i can give some of my own problems i had and some stuff i found out.
    you can erase aol from your system and for some reason it still there and your CPU start acting up, most of my tec friends say that AOL is a bad habbit that wont go away.

    When i first started to use AOL i found that the so called AOL adm and Tec where using my account. I intercepted an email that was sent by someone from admin to his little brother saying, how to hack into AOl accounts, thats when I turned off my service.

  15. #15
    Janice Foster's Avatar
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    DSL


    Being an ex Computer Consultant I've seen and used all the different Internet connections. I was a big Cable fan until I decided to go into this field. With a cable connection, there are many as in hundreds + some that are using the same connection. Because of that, nothing is secure if you have someone out there "playing" (hacking). So I have switched to DSL which is more secure. It is your direct connection if you want to put it that way, because you are using your phone line for the data to transmit across and you are the only one with "that" phone line (phone #). Granted, nothing is foolproof, but I find DSL more secure. As for dial-up connections, I'm just not a fan of any of them.
    Janice L. Foster
    Private Investigator

  16. #16
    AOL promotes email spam according to my grandmother, who is constantly getting the porn spam. Not good. I dont know what kind of spam filters AOL is using, but my grandmother says they don't work. I have cable and attbi is my server. Never had a problem..."knock on wood."

  17. #17

    Cool AOL (*ell)

    First, AOL is not an ISP, it is an internet access service.
    I used AOL for about 6 years before I learned better. I now use DSL through my local phone company. The connection gives me 1.2 MG download and 130K upload, which is much faster than any dialup and very stable. I am on an XP Pro machine that I built myself. Some of the problems with connectivity with DSL are inherrent wit XP Home edition.

    I also have used McAfee anti-virus and a hardware firewall. I have a subscription to McAfee clinic so that I get updates at least weekly. It has caught a few virus's over the last few years.

    For more info on DSL look on the web for DSL Reports.
    Or send me a private email and I will send you a link where you can get all the info you need.

    IMHO, your best bet is a private ISP either for DSL or Dialup. Then use Internet Explorer for your browser and Outlook for your email. You then set things the way you want them, not someone at AOL, MSN, Earthlink, etc.

  18. #18
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    ISP's

    I have moved around a lot and tried many ISP's and DSL services

    My overall experiences are--

    1) AOL offers DSL over the dial up but I believe the DSL charge is around $20 and the dial up is $21.35 - which makes it a compatible price - to regular DSL of around $49

    2) I get NO SPAM with my AOL account - I mean it - this AOL account and my old Earthlink account I have to say were the absolute best in eliminating spam. I have a @hotmail account and I used to have an @msn account and the SPAM is unbelievable -- to quote another entry on this topic you get 25 e-mails a day 5 of which you read.

    3) The absolutely worst DSL service in the world is Verizon. They still charged me or DSL service for up to 3 months after I cancelled and the could not disconnect it properly which stopped me from being able to get long distance service for the same amount of time.

    4) For speed I recommend cable modem

    5) Best search engine/most reliable e-mail is yahoo. I have stayed with that account the longest.

  19. #19
    There are millions of people on the Internet, and it seems nearly as many ways to connect to it. The way I see it, if you are happy with your connection history, you are happy. The grass can always look greener on the other guy's property, but he might be thinking yours is greener, too.

    I have experienced different methods of connection along with the different mentality of techs to go with them. Sometimes it isn't the connection type that is the problem, but the techs lack of knowledge.

    Personally, I am a Netscape person. I use it religiously, except for some places (like this forum). I have always been a Netscape person for years and years. This doesn't mean I.E. is bad, if you prefer it. I just prefer Netscape for various reasons.

    Cable over DSL is also a personal preference. It can also be a location thing. I have cable, and because I live in the cheap part of town (because I am cheap!), I don't have many neighbors who have cable connections. Sure, I guess they have cable TV, but not many computer savvy folks in my neck of the woods. Maybe someday this will change, but so far, so good.

    I do see a problem if you live in an apartment complex, or the like. This will likely be people who are not home owners and are willing to spend their money on fast Internet, fast cars, and maybe a fast lifestyle. Just one of the things you notice, when you get older, I guess.

    In an apartment complex you will be on the same cable connection as all of your neighbors and if you all happen to be on the same time schedule, all of you will be getting limited speed with your fast connections.

    DSL will stop this, but it isn't free from it's problems, either. Some areas don't even have DSL available, and if it is, there are usually multi vendors who will install it. If you don't know much about this, it can be a real nightmare. And, there are still problems in the older switching hardware that can cause problems.

    AOL isn't one of my favorites. I've never had it, but I have done tech support for people who do. It doesn't hold up, in some cases against your basic ISP. But, if you have AOL and like it, then who cares what is out there. We like things for a reason, and if you're happy, you're happy.

    Some DSL could be great in one city and lousy in another. Cable can be the same. There is an area of my city where the large cable company is getting competition from another cable company. That isn't the norm, you know. Like the other utility companies, they are usually the only method for you to get cable, and can charge what they want. So, we have a bit of a war that may soon take costs down and service up!

    Wireless is easy and it seems convenient. No wires or nasty drivers to mess with, and you can have computers and printers where ever you want them. But, watch out for outside connections to your hub. Wireless signals don't just go to your inhouse devices.

    The signal goes in a circular fashion from the source and anybody who has the ability can connect to your little home network. And, they will be connecting BEHIND any firewall you may have. They can then see your sensitive information, such as charge cards and bank records. Wireless can be great, as long as you take the necessary precautions to keep the riff raff out!

    Only time will tell what will survive in this ever changing technology. If you have been into computers for a while, you know nothing stays the same for long. You can be top dog with the latest gizmos, but that tends to keep your pocketbook empty.

    A few rules of thumb I have learned over the years.

    Don't get anything that is just coming out. Most new things can and probably will have bugs in it, and I like to let others find this out. I wait until the fix comes out and get that. It is much less likely to cause problems.

    Don't upgrade even the simplest things without backing up your present information. It may not ever be a problem, but that one time it is will drive you bats!

    Don't be tempted to go out and buy the latest speed horse, if you don't need it. Sometimes some additional RAM or a larger hard drive will work just as well, at a much cheaper cost.

    If you have a 24-7 Internet connection, I have 3 words for you...
    FIREWALL, FIREWALL, FIREWALL! There are crazy people out there, and they are looking for an open IP address to pilfer! Don't let it be you. ZoneAlarm is a nice free one, if you want to check it out (they hide the free firewall link at the bottom of the page). There are many out there to choose from, not just Zone Labs.

    When it comes down to the wire, we all live in different areas, and not all areas are created equal. We are all human, after all, and you know how humans tend to mess things up at times. This, coupled with some of the quarky technology we live with, and life can be very interesting.
    Last edited by Michael Whiteaker -; 12-10-2002 at 04:17 PM.

  20. My husband wanted to get a DSL line when it became available in our area two years ago. I wouldn't let him do it because one of my friends had a terrible time with hers. Her phoneline was cut off for two days.
    Also, I am not one to grab the hottest new software program the second it hits the shelves. The companies that develop these programs don't bother to weed out the bugs and incompatibilities before they market their product. This leaves the buyer to waste a lot of time downloading patches in order to solve that should have been fixed. I usually wait a year, maybe two before I invest in anything.
    As for my setup, I've been using AOL on my Mac for six years. Some days, it runs incredibly slow. IE is worse. My preference is Netscape. I don't have to rely on Shockwave or Flashplayer to upload websites. Like Lynne, I multitask between between servers, which saves an incredible amount of time.
    I've been thinking about converting to a PC, since the majority of the programs available are incompatible with a Mac. But hearing about all the hacking problems has made me leary. Then there is the cost of buying all the software, which is too big of an investment.
    The best safeguard against hackers that I can think of is to keep your personal information stored on an external hard drive. LaCie has some good ones.

  21. #21
    David Copeland's Avatar
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    Re: ISP's

    Originally posted by Christina Tedesco
    I get NO SPAM with my AOL account - I mean it - this AOL account and my old Earthlink account I have to say were the absolute best in eliminating spam.
    Yes, that may be very true.

    And because AOL has their SPAM filters turned up so HIGH, many IPIU members using AOL are not even getting their emailed assignments!

    AOL and other email providers have the choice in using a software titled Spam Assassin. As an example, if the email does not contain a full name of the person sent to, such as "Dear Christina Tedesco", then AOL may choose to BLOCK that email if other factors are also absent from the incoming email.

    Another "factor" they want is the full name of the sender, such as "Sincerely, David Copeland".

    There are thousands of "factors" that AOL can choose to BLOCK or not. And as a result, IPIU and all of their member agencies do not endorse it.

    As for YAHOO, they are better than Hotmail. They have a Spam Assassin tha allows you to determine if an incoming email is spam or not. And you choose to have it blocked. If using Yahoo, choose NOT to have it listed. If you want spam, then set up another yahoo box for just that.

  22. #22
    David Copeland's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Deborah Woehr
    IE is worse. My preference is Netscape.
    If you have not used IE since Ver 6 was released, then you may find it superior to Netscape.

    When Netscape was running Ver 4, none of the forum members could access the forums. Netscape then corrected it with a new version and has since gone to Ver 6+

    In the last 6 months, IE Ver 6 has had 27 critical updates (which is easily downloaded with a fast connection.)

    Windows XP with the latest IE is the preferred choice for IPIU, but the new Netscape seems to be good also.

    Cost for upgrades is free.

  23. #23
    William R. Larson - is offline (Retired from Forum Activity)

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    Originally posted by David Copeland

    Windows XP with the latest IE is the preferred choice for IPIU, but the new Netscape seems to be good also.
    WXP Home with the most recent IE updates is wonderful, running on MSN 8 DSL internet access!

  24. Originally posted by David Copeland

    If you have not used IE since Ver 6 was released, then you may find it superior to Netscape.

    When Netscape was running Ver 4, none of the forum members could access the forums. Netscape then corrected it with a new version and has since gone to Ver 6+

    In the last 6 months, IE Ver 6 has had 27 critical updates (which is easily downloaded with a fast connection.)

    Windows XP with the latest IE is the preferred choice for IPIU, but the new Netscape seems to be good also.

    Cost for upgrades is free.
    Hi, David!

    I'm not sure what the latest version of IE is for the Mac. I'll have to check that out. My system is due for a major upgrade soon because of the leaps in web technology.

  25. #25
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    Here is a very important new announcement on AOL:

    Click here: AOL Announcement Topic

  26. #26
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    I'm not clear on the new information. The posting from Legal Affairs is dated 10/30/02. Becky's posting below it is new - which shares her personal experience but it does not appear that the resolved issue has been reopened with AOL or that there are new problems specific to IPIU.

    Is there additional information that we need to be aware of?

    thx
    Chris

  27. #27
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    Originally posted by Christina Tedesco
    Is there additional information that we need to be aware of?
    The AOL is not just an IPIU issue. It is a worldwide issue.

    Yes, that posting was in October, and it appears no one trusts AOL anymore. They keep coming out with new versions of their own software, and they advertise heavily for dial up service, yet each time they have a customer that doesn't receive their email or cannot access a website using the AOL browser... they just ignore it.

    What's more, they just laid off thousands of employees and we suspect AOL customer service is going to get worse.

    For the life of me, I cannot understand why anyone would pay money each month for old dial up service on a browser that does not work half the time on the worldwide internet. I heard they are offering limited DSL service, but they charge on top of the monthly fee, which totals more than normal, and AOL members still have to deal with their goofy incompatible software and email screening issues.

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    Your personal views on AOL are respectable - however other persons might have had different personal experiences which I think falls in a different category then advertising it as a known issue across all systems. Don't get me wrong - AOL is not my cup of tea either - it is very slow and provides way too many pop up windows then my patience has to close every time I log on. However - fair is fair and I have never had any technical issues or problems with my computer with AOL - it's just a personal preference - or not - to use it. Everyone is on this site trashing AOL like it is the only ISP out there causing problems. Every provider has issues. Anyone working professionally from home obviously has to have DSL or a broadband connection to be able to function at all for an 8 hour day. The average cost where I live is $49.95 a month - that's for AOL and all other providers - which is a pretty penny anywhere you look. My point is if you want to recommend an ideal solution for IPIU users to access information the fastest and easiest way possible, which should be the point to this topic, you should research multiple providers and then post an accurate analysis on each. No 2 people have the same system and all applications you have loaded on your PC effect the performance and stability in addition to the operating system and internet access providers you choose.

  29. #29
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    Thank you for your comment.

    It may seem everyone is trashing AOL, but not really - especially here where we have over 7000 forum members, most of whom have no issue with AOL (hence the lack of their comments in this topic).

    I must admit you are correct in recommending a good source. For the record, we recommend to first contact the local phone company. They are registered with the state Public Utilities Commission, and customers have access to the president's office for consumer affairs if there are any service related problems with broadband. Going with a local unknown source may be a risk for escalating a trouble ticket to resolution.

    I also do not believe any "national provider" would be better in local customer service (given access to the president's office).

    On the other hand, AOL requires a change so dramatically in the computer's operating system, that a local telephone company set up is far less taxing on the resources.

    Thanks again for your comment, and I apologize if my comments seem to be personally bias.

  30. #30
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    it's all good advice

    The phone company is a great place to start. They usually offer some kind of $$$ deal in addition to the DSL service if you are a local customer so - good point - it is wise to check there first. I am sure all the complaints on AOL are valid and I can definitely appreciate the frustration that comes from your PC or ISP not working correctly. People sharing what they know in a place where others are looking for answers is always beneficial - regardless of the point of view. I know I appreciate all the information on this site regardless of whether I agree with it or not.

    thx
    Chris

  31. #31
    I used to work at a place where the company president came to us (not that computer literate, I might add), and asked what we thought of AOL. He was hearing of other options, and was wondering if he should leave AOL for another local ISP. Keep in mind, this was at least 5 years ago.

    My boss and I both gave several reasons why we didn't like it, from their Intranet setup to the problems of viewing web pages and graphics. My boss said his sister had it and he didn't know why she kept it, because he could see problems with it. I had never seen an AOL setup, but I had talked to many who had problems with theirs.

    The president took our AOL bashing with great interest, but after the dust had all settled, he asked if a local ISP could let him connect from a remote location. Obviously, this wouldn't be possible with a local ISP, so he chose to stay with AOL...at least that time. I guess AOL supplied an 800 number for out of area connections.

    We told him about Earthlink and other national ISPs that might also do that, but he said his family also liked the other things that AOL had to offer, and he wouldn't be able to get them to make a switch. Understand this is a president lf a midsized national company, and he wasn't the boss in his own home.

    I don't know if he is still with AOL, but all he seemed to want it for was so he could get his emails from anywhere. Maybe after his kids move out and go their own way, he would think of changing? I don't work there any more, so I don't know that answer.

    I have another friend who would always call me with questions, when he was connected. This has just been a couple years ago. He lived in another city, and I would take him step by step to different web sites, to help him get updated drivers for his audio and video cards, and that kind of thing.

    I noticed that AOL doesn't view web pages the same as other ISP connections, even making some 2 page connections compact into 1. It was difficult for me to help him, in some situations, because this wasn't a regular pattern, but was inconsitent in the amount of change, depending on the web page it viewed.

    My friend thought it was his inability to understand my directions, or something in his computer that was malfunctioning. Until he found out this was because of his AOL connection he has switched to another ISP.

    I sometimes send links to web sites in my emails to friends. Some of these friends have are AOL users. I have been told by these AOL friends that my links don't always work. I know they work for the other recipients, because I have asked. It is only the AOL folks who have problems.

    Unfortunately, the only help I get from my friends with AOL is "if the red heart shows up by the link, it will work". That was another thing that told me AOL was a breed all it's own.

    It seems to me that a lot of AOL users have grown to like what AOL gives them in the Intranet they offer. The buddy list and the different chat rooms, and the safe places for kids to browse create something of a friendly place for them to visit. And, when most of their friends are also AOL users (AOL to AOL seems to work fine), nothing seems to be wrong to them and all is well.

    It just goes to show you that when someone finds something they like, they stick with it. Only until it fails to do what they enlisted it to do, or what they thought it did, do they see a problem.

    And, it is not uncommon for people to pay more when they feel they are getting more for their money. And, it is also not uncommon for someone to stick with "an old friend", when they have been happy with the service for a number of years. I am sure not all AOL users have been having problems, or knew they were having correctable problems when they were.

    I also had the chance to work for Time Warner, in my city. They do the tech support for the cable ISP Roadrunner and because of their new AOL mother, they now do the connection work for the new DSL version of AOL. I had the chance to sit with a tech while he was doing his job. He was always busy, and always had calls waiting.

    He had a 21 inch monitor and such a small resolution that made it difficult for me to make out what some of the windows said. He said he needed that so he could use the extra space. He said the cable connections were bad enough to trace, but with the addition of the AOL to his job, he had to spend more time with each call. This backed up his quota, because he still would get the same amount of calls no matter if his solutions were quick or lengthy.

    And, this was a rather large room, full of cubicals. I was surprised to see so many of these cubes empty, on a mid-afternoon shift. And, I am sorry to say, they don't make very much money.

    Last year, there was an article on MSNBC.com that was interesting. Yes, I know the MS part of MSNBC stands for Microsoft and it is possible the article was slanted, but interesting, just the same.
    When AOL bought Netscape I didn't mind it much, because I heard the whole deal was that Netscape was going to stay an independent company, just under the wing of AOL. But, they were recently messing with it, trying to make it work with their AOL email and force the corporate Time companies switch to it.

    It seemed to only cause problems, being an email primarily for home use, and allowing small attachments. I also think ease of use was one complaint. They finally relinquished, and let everyone use the email of their choosing. But, it seems the deal of not messing with Netscape is no longer the plan?
    Last edited by Michael Whiteaker -; 01-02-2003 at 02:00 PM.

  32. #32
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    That was a very nice post, Michael.

    Our employer purchased WordPerfect in the last 1980's at a cost of $500. It included toll-free support for the life of the registered user.

    Eight years later in the mid-1990's, and after multiple upgrades, patches, fixes, and windows, we were forced to eliminate WordPerfect from all of our computers because of a conflict built into the Windows 95 and WordPerfect. It seemed everytime we ran WordPerfect on the same day we used Microsoft Word, our systems would crash and all work was lost.

    After 8 years of a fond relationship with WordPerfect, and after spending 8 years learning the entire program, it was not our choice to say goodbye. But if we wished to move forward then we had to say goodbye to our dear friend.

    Now that we are a Microsoft Family of compatible software and systems, we have never looked back.

    My point? If it's time to leave, then it's time to leave as sad as it may be.

    I also believe AOL (for the most part) is a very nice "casual" entertainment item for families who do not depend on always getting their email, or always getting into a business site, or always having compatibility. It is the choice of many who do not run a business. If you're looking towards your own website someday, then get your own .com name and ask IPIU for suggestions on where to host your .com for as little as $90 a year, including your own email .com too.

  33. #33
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    I also believe AOL (for the most part) is a very nice "casual" entertainment item for families who do not depend on always getting their email, or always getting into a business site, or always having compatibility
    I think this hits the nail on the head. AOL is designed for the new end user to get them involved with the internet. It is not designed for home offices or business purposes. It is what it is. And say what you want about it but I believe AOL is partially responsible for the popularity of the internet today. That's from the marketing that's from Time Warner and that is what TW's strong suit is - not business technology or e-commerce.

    Keeping this in scope- you can have a local ISP and still have a national e-mail address from any search engine (yahoo, hotmail, msn, lycos...) as long as you have the internet connection just log onto the web site - you can get e-mail from anywhere.

    The bad thing about local DSL/broadbands - is if you move frequently -you can't take it with you which may result in fees and surcharges.

    I have AOL because I am in between DSL services - it was much easier to just get connected rather then subscribe to yet another service temporarily. For the record - Time Warner Cable also supports Earthlink.

    http://www.aoltimewarner.com/compani...able_index.adp

  34. After 8 years of a fond relationship with WordPerfect, and after spending 8 years learning the entire program, it was not our choice to say goodbye. But if we wished to move forward then we had to say goodbye to our dear friend.
    I enjoyed WordPerfect as well and hated to give it up. But it was incompatible with Word, which everybody was using. So, I forked out the cash for MS Office.

    As for AOL, I've been a loyal user for over six years. Yes, I have my gripes and complaints. I'm noticing that AOL isn't expanding with technology. I've had all the problems that were mentioned above.

    We've tried several providers (such as Earthlink, Prodigy, etc.), and all of them have issues. That's why I stuck with AOL.
    Thanks for the suggestion about the phone company. I'll call them and see what kind of package deal I can get along with the DSL connection.

  35. #35
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    Originally posted by Christina Tedesco
    The bad thing about local DSL/broadbands - is if you move frequently -you can't take it with you which may result in fees and surcharges.
    My Christmas present took care of that.

    My new Dell Laptop with a wireless signal device connects me to a satelite internet site.

    And my new DirecTV dish has one setup for TV watching, and another connection for DSL connection to their satelite, which means wherever we move the dish and the Internet move along with us.

  36. #36
    Originally posted by Christina Tedesco
    Keeping this in scope- you can have a local ISP and still have a national e-mail address from any search engine (yahoo, hotmail, msn, lycos...) as long as you have the internet connection just log onto the web site - you can get e-mail from anywhere.
    If this was a reference to my last post, I agree with you. It is very possible to use Yahoo, etc., for a "local" email, from anywhere in the world, actually (I did that for years, until Yahoo started charging for allowing us to route our incoming and outgoing mail from a local program on our machines). But, if you will check my message, I noted the president of the company was not very computer savvy.

    It was never a good thing to try something new on him, even something as simple as this seems. And, he had so many business contacts, just that would have been a headache to change.

    On a bit of a side, his step son would install games on the home computer, and call the game tech support line and they would help him tweak the machine to play the games to the ultimate. Then, the prez would come home and the computer would basically be hosed, unless he wanted to play Doom or something.

    The next day, I would be requested to go restore the computer back into a normal working computer for the rest of the family. This happened more times than I would like to mention. Like I said, this guy was president of a mid-sized corpration, and he wasn't in charge of his own computer, or even his own home.

    Also, I totally feel a local ISP is going to do better by you than a national one will. Sure, if nothing ever goes wrong, you might be tickled pink with some national place. But, the first time you need to talk to tech support, good luck. There isn't any, except maybe some email address that doesn't let you ask your own question, but pick one of the questions they want you to answer.

    Even if you have a problem with your local ISP, you can at least go visit the office and talk to the person face to face. That will sometimes get their attention. The national guys know you have no idea where they are.

    I also agree that AOL's Intranet setup has a lot of its member's attention. With any other ISP, you just get a connection, and most of the rest is up to you. AOL people might see this as not getting their money's worth, after having the buddy list, chat rooms, and all the rest.

  37. #37
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    XP vs 98

    Hi

    I have used XP on three of my computers and have had more problems than I can count. All of the computers are Dell so it could be a bug in the Dell system.

    I had our tech install Win 98 and segragate the drives and they have worked much better and faster.

    As for internet access, we have a cable modem which we love. It is so much faster than the 56K we were using with AOL. During peak times, it does get bogged down a bit but I have found that if you reboot and unplug the cable modem we you replug it it gets right back up to speed.

    Caterina
    Caterina

  38. #38
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    Caterina,

    I do not like the Windows XP program. I find it very problematic. I tend to have good luck with the Windows 2000NT system and we have it running on all different computers in our facility.

    We also have 2 computers with Windows 98 and they work great.

    Thanks
    Gaetano Di Primo/#5597

  39. #39
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    Re: XP vs 98

    Originally posted by Caterina Christakos
    Hi

    I have used XP on three of my computers and have had more problems than I can count.
    Xp brand new out of the box requires over 23 free critical upgrades from your internet browser. Once completed, there have been no problems.

    Check for updates once a week to be free of bugs.

  40. #40

    Hi Lynne

    Originally posted by Lynne D. Perry
    Whew!

    John, that sounds just like what happened to me on a ME PC I got talked into buying from Dell! I had a ton of problems with that PC, and everytime I called tech support, I got the same thing as you did with AOL. "Oh, yeah... that's a known problem, you have to call Microsoft."

    The ME is definitely not a software development machine, and from what you say, it sounds like AOL DSL is definitely not an XP option! Thanks for the input!

    I'm wondering if anyone out there has had any experience (good or bad) with DSL and W2k PC's? Just in the event I can afford the switch later, I don't want to be the beta test.
    MT


    God's promises are like stars; the darker the night, the brighter they shine.

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