Discussion:
2.1 million people still use AOL dial-up
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Roy
2015-05-08 21:47:08 UTC
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http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/08/technology/aol-dial-up/index.html
Jeff Liebermann
2015-05-09 01:03:30 UTC
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Post by Roy
http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/08/technology/aol-dial-up/index.html
Most of those have broadband connections at home and work and only use
the dialup account for traveling.

I have two customers that have been on AOL since the stone age of
computing. They've gone through the various stages of connectivity
over the years, progressing from dialup to the current mix of LTE,
wi-fi, U-verse in their office, and Comcast cable at home. Yet,
they've refused to give up their AOL program, despite the obnoxious
ads and security issues[1]. I've tried to move them to Thunderbird or
webmail, and failed. They like the user interface for both email and
browsing. Instead of learning something new, they want to continue
using AOL. I know several others with the same AOL addiction. I
don't understand but I can see why they like it. Whomever designs the
user interface, program functionality, and menus for AOL does it very
well.


[1] AOL is now offering Private WiFi VPN service for free to avoid
sniffers at public Wi-Fi hot spots:
<http://get.aol.com/privatewifi>
<https://www.privatewifi.com>
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Jeff Liebermann ***@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
(null)
2015-05-09 02:45:32 UTC
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Post by Jeff Liebermann
Post by Roy
http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/08/technology/aol-dial-up/index.html
Most of those have broadband connections at home and work and only use
the dialup account for traveling.
For that usage they could be getting 4G (bridged to WiFi) on NetZero for
half the cost of the $20/month AOL service. Or free with FreedomPop. I
suspect there's more to it than just travellers, perhaps people resistant
to learning new things such as your two examples. If that's the case
expect attrition rates to go up since it's much harder to find 56k modem
hardware these days.
Jeff Liebermann
2015-05-09 03:31:49 UTC
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Post by (null)
Post by Jeff Liebermann
Post by Roy
http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/08/technology/aol-dial-up/index.html
Most of those have broadband connections at home and work and only use
the dialup account for traveling.
For that usage they could be getting 4G (bridged to WiFi) on NetZero for
half the cost of the $20/month AOL service.
Check your AOL pricing:
<http://get.aol.com/plans/>
Even the lowest $7/month plan includes unlimited dialup.
Post by (null)
Or free with FreedomPop. I
suspect there's more to it than just travellers, perhaps people resistant
to learning new things such as your two examples.
Well, there's one more. I have a friend how has kept his AOL account
alive using some ancient $5/month plan as "bring your own ISP". No
dialup, but he gets his AOL fix whenever he can find an internet
connection. I'm not sure why or what he does with it, but it's there
when he needs it.
Post by (null)
If that's the case
expect attrition rates to go up since it's much harder to find 56k modem
hardware these days.
I sell a few USB modems for laptops and Chromebooks. Looking at my
records, about 5 per year average. Laptops used to have dialup modems
built in, but latest generation of Ultrabooks (flattops) have
eliminated the dialup modem port (along with the CDROM drive).
--
Jeff Liebermann ***@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
Peter Lawrence
2015-05-09 04:52:12 UTC
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Post by Jeff Liebermann
Well, there's one more. I have a friend how has kept his AOL account
alive using some ancient $5/month plan as "bring your own ISP". No
dialup, but he gets his AOL fix whenever he can find an internet
connection. I'm not sure why or what he does with it, but it's there
when he needs it.
I used to have that plan, but honestly it's not longer needed since one can
now subscribe to AOL and its services (including email) for FREE. One only
needs to pay if they want to partake AOL's dial-up capabilities.

As my email address shows, I still use AOL (but not as my ISP) but for one
my "public" email accounts since they have very good spam filtering. My
mother and one of my brothers also still use their AOL email address as
their main email address. As an email service, it's not that bad. Far
better than Yahoo email for sure.

But I have a couple of friends who live in the Owens Valley, east of the
Sierra, who do use AOL dial-up since they don't have readily available and
affordable broadband (be it DSL or cable) where they live out in the
boondocks. I suspect a lot of Americans who live out in the country
throughout the U.S. are in the same boat. Not everyone lives in the city or
suburbia. When you closest neighbor is over a quarter-mile (or more) away,
a broadband connection is often not practicable or even available.


- Peter
d***@11.usenet.us.com
2015-05-18 23:48:22 UTC
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Post by Peter Lawrence
boondocks. I suspect a lot of Americans who live out in the country
throughout the U.S. are in the same boat.
I gave a Verizon MiFi to a friend who only had dialup available. It only
worked hanging in one window of the house, so, there it hung by it's power
cord, hiding behind the drapes. It was 20 times the speed of her dialup,
and at $30, cheaper than AT&T dialup plus the extra phone line.
--
Clarence A Dold - Santa Rosa, CA, USA GPS: 38.47,-122.65
David Kaye
2015-05-09 08:44:02 UTC
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Post by Jeff Liebermann
Well, there's one more. I have a friend how has kept his AOL account
alive using some ancient $5/month plan as "bring your own ISP". No
dialup, but he gets his AOL fix whenever he can find an internet
connection. I'm not sure why or what he does with it, but it's there
when he needs it.
I can understand why people like AOL. I think it has an excellent portal.
It has everything the user needs in one place, one unambiguous place.
Post by Jeff Liebermann
I sell a few USB modems for laptops and Chromebooks. Looking at my
records, about 5 per year average. Laptops used to have dialup modems
built in, but latest generation of Ultrabooks (flattops) have
eliminated the dialup modem port (along with the CDROM drive).
Yeah, my Windows 7 laptop has no modem, so it would be useless online in
West Marin, the San Mateo Coast between Half Moon Bay and Pescadero or
around Davenport, etc.




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d***@11.usenet.us.com
2015-05-18 23:45:44 UTC
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Laptops used to have dialup modems built in,
I used to make a habit of testing the modem on a new laptop, even if I
never intended to use it. On the last couple, I haven't done that. I
think I stopped around the time that Windows stopped letting me send a fax,
or, maybe I just didn't care any more.
--
Clarence A Dold - Santa Rosa, CA, USA GPS: 38.47,-122.65
Tak Nakamoto
2015-05-09 03:28:09 UTC
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"Jeff Liebermann" wrote in
Most of those have broadband connections at home and work and only use
the dialup account for traveling.

----------

AOL is also a reseller of cable internet access. I have family who are still
on AOL, and use AOL dial up for business travel. The dial up accounts being
counted may not be independent of AOL cable accounts.

One family member is an information technology professional. I think that
the convenience of keeping the interface outweighs the potential risk for
them though they very well understand the issues as they deal with it on the
job.

Tak Nakamoto
Steve Pope
2015-05-19 16:13:04 UTC
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Post by Tak Nakamoto
AOL is also a reseller of cable internet access. I have family who are still
on AOL, and use AOL dial up for business travel. The dial up accounts being
counted may not be independent of AOL cable accounts.
AFAIK both of my DSL suppliers (Sonic and ATT) as well as my
other ISP (rahul.net) still provide dialin numbers -- rahul.net
contracts with a dialup reseller; I'm not sure if Sonic
has its own banks of numbers anymore.

I'm using an old enough laptop that it still has a telephone
modem and modular jack. But it's been several years since I've
made a point of noting possible dialup numbers when I travel;
and several additional years since when I've actually dialed in.
I'm going to say early-mid 2000's.

Steve

David Kaye
2015-05-09 08:40:53 UTC
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Post by Jeff Liebermann
I've tried to move them to Thunderbird or
webmail, and failed. They like the user interface for both email and
browsing. Instead of learning something new, they want to continue
using AOL.
Even we techies don't like to have to keep changing. I mean, heck, look at
us here on Usenet, the very first social network. It was obsoleted a good
15 years ago and yet we still use it.

I hate it when Yahoo keeps changing their interface. Thankfully they
usually allow the user to go back to a previous stripped-down version, but
Yahoo's email is weird depending on when the account was set up. Thus I
have 4 different Yahoo mail interfaces from the very graphic-heavy and
Java-driven to the very stripped down. I hate it. I want the quick-loading
stripped down version for everyhing. I don't care about stationery or any
kind of HTML in my email. I just want text email!

No, I have no problem with learning new things; it's just when the learning
curve is unnecessary that I get annoyed.




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Peter Lawrence
2015-05-09 20:31:32 UTC
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Post by David Kaye
I hate it when Yahoo keeps changing their interface. Thankfully they
usually allow the user to go back to a previous stripped-down version, but
Yahoo's email is weird depending on when the account was set up. Thus I
have 4 different Yahoo mail interfaces from the very graphic-heavy and
Java-driven to the very stripped down. I hate it. I want the quick-loading
stripped down version for everyhing. I don't care about stationery or any
kind of HTML in my email. I just want text email!
No, I have no problem with learning new things; it's just when the learning
curve is unnecessary that I get annoyed.
The best (and fastest) web mail interface I've seen is for (appropriately
called) Fastmail.com

Their web interface is a pleasure to use compared to most other web mail
implementations.

Though I prefer to use a dedicated email client, like Thunderbird, instead
when possible.


- Peter
Julian Macassey
2015-05-09 21:48:49 UTC
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Yet, they've refused to give up their AOL program, despite the
obnoxious ads and security issues[1]. I've tried to move them to
Thunderbird or webmail, and failed. They like the user interface for
both email and browsing. Instead of learning something new, they want
to continue using AOL. I know several others with the same AOL
addiction. I don't understand but I can see why they like it.
Whomever designs the user interface, program functionality, and menus
for AOL does it very well.
It was AOL who brought us eternal September, there will always be
users who like that aspect of the net. That place is now also filled with
AOL 2.0 known to the great unwashed as facebook.

AOL is profitable and like AOL 2.0 easy to navigate.
--
The systematic study of mass psychology revealed to students the
potentialities of invisible government of society by manipulation
of the motives which actuate man in the group. - Edward Bernays
Roy
2015-05-12 14:57:24 UTC
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Post by Julian Macassey
Yet, they've refused to give up their AOL program, despite the
obnoxious ads and security issues[1]. I've tried to move them to
Thunderbird or webmail, and failed. They like the user interface for
both email and browsing. Instead of learning something new, they want
to continue using AOL. I know several others with the same AOL
addiction. I don't understand but I can see why they like it.
Whomever designs the user interface, program functionality, and menus
for AOL does it very well.
It was AOL who brought us eternal September, there will always be
users who like that aspect of the net. That place is now also filled with
AOL 2.0 known to the great unwashed as facebook.
AOL is profitable and like AOL 2.0 easy to navigate.
And has now been bought by Verizon
David Kaye
2015-05-09 08:05:59 UTC
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Post by Roy
http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/08/technology/aol-dial-up/index.html
Did I mention that I had an elderly woman ask me what email services were
good to use? I was unsure why she was asking, but I suggested Yahoo and
gmail. She said that she had an AOL account and it just sounded
"old-fashioned". She wanted to keep current!




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David Kaye
2015-05-09 08:34:51 UTC
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Post by Roy
http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/08/technology/aol-dial-up/index.html
I have a customer with a cabin in western Marin County. She's too far from
AT&T for DSL, and there is no county mandate to run cable past her house, so
she uses dial-up. I convinced her to use Outlook to access her email
accounts because the web interfaces of most of the email services just send
out way too much junk for a 52kb modem to handle quickly.

Someone will do very well to create a browser that is compatible with
current HTML standards but allows for lots of things to be turned off such
as automatic downloading and playing of videos, graphics, etc.




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Jeff Liebermann
2015-05-09 15:04:24 UTC
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On Sat, 9 May 2015 01:34:51 -0700, "David Kaye"
Post by David Kaye
Someone will do very well to create a browser that is compatible with
current HTML standards but allows for lots of things to be turned off such
as automatic downloading and playing of videos, graphics, etc.
There are some text based browsers based on Lynx, but I found that
they barely work on todays overly complexicated web piles. Still,
they're worth a try for webmail, which is mostly text:
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Text-based_web_browser>

For a while, I was playing with Midori:
<http://midori-browser.org>
Mostly, it's Google Chromium without the bloat. Worth a try, but
don't expect blinding performance as it tries to run all the plugins
(Flash, Javascript, Acrobat, etc). I got good results when I
convinced web sites that I was on a mobile phone and was using a small
screen.
<http://m.yahoo.com> Works
<http://m.google.com> Doesn't work
<http://m.cnn.com> Works
<http://m.foxnews.com> Sorta works
<http://m.aol.com> Doesn't work

As the recipient of my hypocrite of the year award, Google demands
that web sites have a mobile version, but blocks attempts to force a
mobile screen for Google search and others. So, a plugin is needed:
<https://addons.mozilla.org/en-Us/firefox/addon/user-agent-switcher/>

I'm down to one (paying) dialup customer, who ocassionally drives to
my office for bulk updates via Comcast.
--
Jeff Liebermann ***@cruzio.com
150 Felker St #D http://www.LearnByDestroying.com
Santa Cruz CA 95060 http://802.11junk.com
Skype: JeffLiebermann AE6KS 831-336-2558
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