Sunday, September 17, 2006

AOL AOL

AOL: Scary stuff. First, I spent yesterday and today trying to get attachments from AOL. One client (A) sent them to another (B), who then forwarded them to me. AOL very kindly stripped them out and put in fakes that said they were a security violation. Then, I tried to respond, but because of the way my network is set up, I can't send to AOL because my reverse DNS doesn't work.

Somehow, I got one of the five photos I need when the send client sent them directly from AOL. But not the ones I needed. Then, client (A) sent them to a friend (C) on another network, and AOL kindly removed them from that email also. It is almost as if the company strips photos, etc. when going out fo the AOL network. I can't believe that they are that stupid, that would be the type of anti-trust violation that MSFT got itself into with tying Windows 95 to its version of DOS.

So, out of desperation, I tried signing up for a free AOL mail account. And I haven't seen a worse setup in my life. To start with the boxes are not big enough, so you can only see the top 3/4 of the text you type in. But then, you have to put in a bunch of biographic data. Fine. It is free, and I fake it. Then, you pick a "screen name", password (twice) and do something similar to Word Verification here, and submit. Except that it is in vivid color, and it is almost impossible to read. So, I asked for another one, and had to retype the passwords and month and date of birth and their WV characters.

Then I submitted it. Whoops, brucehayden was taken. How about bhayden13? Had to retype in the passwords, birth month and day, and WV characters. Oh, that one is taken too. How about softpats? Oh, "soats" is already taken. What? I must have mistyped. So, I went through the retyping the screenname of softpats, the two passwords, birth month and day, word verification, and resubmit. Still thinks I typed in "soats". One more try. Well, this time I can't read the WV, so ask for another one, and have to retype everything again. Still thinks I want "soats" instead of "softpats". Well, let's try the old one, copatlaw. Whoops, got the WV wrong. Try it again, and finally suceed.

Is it any surprise that these guys have to make it impossible to terminate service? I haven't seen as bad a user interface in years, and this is one of the biggest, if not biggest, ISP in the country.

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