In Praise Of

(And Not Just To Drive Ken CRAZY!!!)

Part One

Actually, Ken asked me to present a “dissenting” opinion, as someone whose opinion on such things he could tolerate.

Well, since the beginning of my internet tenure, many years ago, I've been an AOL subscriber, and have generally been quite pleased with all the different aspects of their service. And as I've grown more experienced, I really see no need to change servers. Do I like the fact that AOL is the most expensive ISP? No. But frankly, the ease and convenience of their services mitigates the cost. A good part of the full access monthly fee goes for dial-up; if you have your own, or connect through a different cable access company (like Adelphia), you can get AOL content and email service at a reduced price. I do a LOT of travelling in the US, and have only come across one state (MAINE), where I couldn't take my computer – not because AOL didn't have local access numbers, but because where we stayed didn't have local phone service, or even phones in the rooms.

Why did I start with AOL? Because back then, they might not have been the largest, but there were by far the easiest, and also one of the few available for the (pause for gasps and shudders of disbelief) MAC format. Yes, I was an evil MAC-er , too. Oh, the shame. Well, there were good reasons. Which don't really matter, now.

The point is, now, as then, AOL was and still is the easiest ISP to “configure,” both for WIN and the MAC. Sure, there is a great sense of accomplishment when you perfectly set up all the parameters of a browser and email client and dial-up from the spotty info that a cheap ISP may supply you with, but I'd much rather let AOL install and configure everything for me, and, if I'm a newbie, literally walk me through the set-up procedure. Sure, you can mess it up if you really try, and overthink the options, but if you go slowly and answer the questions simply, it does all the hard stuff for you, whether you're adding an exisiting account to a new computer or starting a whole new shebang.

Pop-up Fix For Win Me/xp

Many people have complained about a recent brand of Pop-Up, a grey box that sometimes actually tells you it's getting in through MSMSG (MS Messenger), then directs you to an anonymous site to sell you ad-blocker software.
You're all smart enough not to go there, but there is an easy way to stop these devils.

Win ME and XP have intentionally left MSMSG turned on and launched as a default value, from the moment you boot up your system (it's a perverse networking feature for businesses).

Follw me through a few steps:

Scroll down and select MANAGE
Navigate to “Services and Applications”
Expand “Services and Applications” and SELECT “Services”
In the Right Window Pane scroll down and SELECT MESSENGER
Under this, in SERVICE STATUS, click STOP.

You'll probably need to Reboot, just to make sure the changes are accepted.

I used to get a bantha load of these grey pop-ups, even though I'm using AOL, and almost never use MSIE or Netscape. I didn't connect it with the activation of a Passport.Net account for my webcam. Now, I never get any pop-ups unless they're presaged on links I go to.

Give it a try, and let me know if it helps.