WorldStart
Email: Password: Remember me

Now I’ve been snuggling up with computers since I was about 10 years old, I figure, but it wasn’t until my first time logging onto a BBS (Bulletin Board System) that I truly considered what I was getting myself into. Seeing that “Username/Password” screen spring up in ASCII text felt like somebody saying to me, “Here’s the world; will that be paper or plastic?” Through my BBS experiences I chatted with folks from Australia via Telnet and played the first massively multiplayer role-playing games, called “MUDs” with friends I would eventually have the pleasure of meeting in person. Heck, my best friend was one of the first people I met off there.

At the time of my bulletin board prominence the consumer Internet as we know it was still in its infancy, relatively speaking. Prodigy was the first “official” service I remember toying with, but it really wasn’t until America Online started their software saturation campaign that things really began to heat up. When I think back, they must have delivered at least 30 of those stupid floppy discs a week to my folk’s house.  Eventually, there were so many you couldn’t give ‘em away! Our local Salvation Army Store even had a separate section for unused AOL floppy discs. Only 10¢ each! At least when they switched to sending  AOL on compact disc you could put them in the microwave for a quick fireworks show. I don’t recommend doing this unless you’re a stupid 15 year old boy, however.

But think about it for a second. How many of those discs actually did get installed? How many people “logged on” for the first time and saw the potential wealth of knowledge and slacking that stood before them? Now think about how many people those people told, and how many people bought a computer because they wanted to get in on the fun. This was magical, akin to the invention of  TV and the Radio; and where computers were just glorified calculators and word-processors before; the Internet made them a staple of life. And what made this possible? Yep, you guessed it; America Online and their shotgun advertising blitz.

I talk all kinds of smack about AOL, mainly because I think there are simply better ways to access the Internet, yet I have to give them credit, because without them where would we be?

There’s a bad side to this, and it’s a personal one for me, but I’ll save it for another entry. In the meantime, have a good argue with someone about it and get back to me.

~Andy

10 Responses to “You Can Thank AOL”

  1. Kathy says:

    I am still in the dark ages on dial up because of the stupid place where we live. I have AOL as my only menas of accessing the internet. I here other people that use other services and they have as many issues as anybody else. I love chatting on AIM have to laugh Yahoo and AOL don’t always mix well. But my niece received a virus from her Yahoo messenger.

  2. Sharon says:

    I started out on AOL and still have friends I made using there site. One bad thing about AOL is they are so loaded down when you load them on your computer. sooooo it is still slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. I have a new laptop with Windows 7 and it is fast. I now and have for 3 years been using MSN and love it. I did load and try AOL after I got my new laptop…yep AOL is still loaded down. So took every bit out.

    It used to be so bad I called them…AOHELL! I know you cannot get AOL lovers to move from there and thats okay, there is a provider for everyone.

    I really got started all because my son Steve was home on leave from his base in Hawii…Ten years ago, and yep mom got the bug : )
    Oh I am going to be 76 in June… and it is true using a computer keeps your mine active and sharp.

    Have a great day and evening all of you.

  3. lyn says:

    The first computer I trained on was a Univac III and I had never heard of the internet. It took a sanitary room with airlocks, maintained temperature and everyone work a white sterilized uniform. Whew !!

  4. Sharon says:

    Oh yes I know about Yahoo, I have family who have Yahoo so I gave it try, and was so sick of the trouble there as well, so MSN it is, I have had trouble with them in the past 3 years.

    Lyn that is going way back for computers…Are we all not very happy what AOL started? I know I am, the infomation highway is wonderful.

  5. Nadine says:

    I am like Steve.. I did the BBS thing in college and our local place we all logged in to “chat” was in the next city from me and it was FUN!
    I agree AOL IS AOHELL.. Tried to get my friend to get something new but like someone else on here; she can’t GET anything else. But if it wasn’t for AOL and BBS systems.. I don’t think the internet would be what is is today..

  6. Nadine says:

    Sorry not Steve ANDY!! (bad day at College :(

  7. Kercelia Fletcher says:

    AOL was my first venture into computing – period. Thanks to AOL I discovered a way to find answers to the millions of burning questions that had been floating around in my brain for so long. I have since moved up to DSL, but I have fond memories of my time with AOL.

  8. Chuck says:

    Well I had AOL and then I moved into the country and no AOL so went to a local Dial-Up net. In June of 2009 I switched to Hughes.net satelite. To be honest I could never go back to dial-up and oh yes I am 78 and just built my new computer with the help of Newegg.

  9. TOM BOYLEN says:

    AHHHHH, YES, THE GOOD OLD DAYS.
    I LEARNED A LOT ON AOL AND DIAL UP. HAD A 34 FORD COUPE WHEN I WAS 19. SO LIFE GOES FORWARD IN BOTH AREAS. I AM NOW ON AT&T DIAL UP. ITS GREAT. AS FOR THE “FREE DISKS” FROM AOL. I HAVE A PILE OF THEM. I GLUE THEM BACK TO BACK, PUT A SMALL HOLE IN EDGE AND HANG IN TREES AROUND PROPERTY TO CATCH THE SUN. KINDA PRETTY IN AFTERNOON AND MORNING SUN . WELL, AT LEAST I DID NOT JUST THROW THEM AWAY.
    HAVING A COMPUTER HAS MADE MY LIFE MUCH MORE EXCITING. I CATCH A LITTLE “FLACK” FROM THE WIFEY. WHEN I GET A PHONE CALL, I HEAR HER TELL CALLER “WELL YOU KNOW WHERE HE IS” I REALLY ENJOY THE ACCESS TO SOO MUCH KNOWLEDGE AND IT GIVES ME THE PRIVILEDGE TO TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD RIGHT HERE AT MY DESK. ONE THING FOR SURE,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I WONT GET BORED SITTING IN MY CHAIR WATCHING SOME “ACTION MOVIE” WITH 4-LETTER WORDS LACED THROUGH IT . I WILL BE 83 IN SEPTEMBER AND MY MIND IS STILL CLICKING WITH JUST A FEW “ERRORS” IN IT………………LOVE THIS BLOG……….TOMMY BOYLEN
    P.S. YOUR COLUMN HAS HELPED ME TO LEARN MORE AND I APPRECIATE YOUR HELP, STEVE!

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

Computer Tips with MS Office Tips Newsletter

  • Computer Tips Daily - Run your Windows PC like a pro! No matter what your skill level, beginner or advanced, you'll find tons of valuable tips, tricks, and ideas in every issue (plus great software deals). Become the computer guru you've always wanted to be! The tip you've just read was in this newsletter!

  • Computer Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Computer Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • Software Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Software Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Software Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.


Enter Email Address:


Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Categories:
February 2010
M T W T F S S
    Mar »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
Archives:
Facebook Twitter