AOL 9 Broadband

At the weekend I was able to spend a little time playing with my Stepdad’s PC. It’s not a bad box and they decided to get broadband access so that they would be able to get a decent webcam link up with my sister in Canada via MSN. This all works OK (apart from the lack of sound on MSN which I’ve not got to work ever on anyone’s PC).

The problem I have with it is that they use AOL. Now, this is fine for them, but I have a few issues with it. Some are petty, sure, but I just wouldn’t be able to live with it.

For a start, you have to sign in. In practice this takes as long to do as it used to with a dial-up modem. This is not exactly very efficient now is it? I’m presently typing this on my PC back at home on an NTL cable connection and once my PC boots up (into either Windows or Linux, it matters not) the internet is available to me.

The AOL interface is totally obtrusive. It fills the screen full of “helpful” windows so that you can do everything you might want to do all on the same screen space. I found this very cluttered, but I can see why they’ve done it. For PC users that aren’t so familiar with getting around the internet, this might even prove to be pretty good, however I like to be able to see the delicious picture of Kathryn Heigl I have as my desktop wallpaper. Too much stuff for me I’m afraid, good for my mum and stepdad.

AOL really means “America On Line”. I’m just getting petty now and I’ve just realised that I have no idea what NTL means…

Anyway, if I was forced to use AOL all the time then I’d have to install Firefox and just minimise all that AOL crap on the screen. The lack of “always on” broadband is annoying too. Always on as long as you sign in eh?

That is all.

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