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Re: Email Standards

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At the risk of being categorized as "cavalier", one suggestion would be to let your family members share the AOL account while you use a "regular" ISP. Since you are a structural engineer making big bucks :o), the $20/month hit shouldn't be too painful. Besides, I believe having your own separate account for business purposes would qualify it as a business deduction. You don't claim your AOL account your family members are sharing as a tax deduction, do you Frank?

Bill Allen

FLew98 wrote:

In a message dated 98-03-07 20:16:44 EST, nmends(--nospam--at) write:

> At some point, folks should be willing either to upgrade their software or
> live with the consequences if they don't want to.  ....We all know engineers
> pride themselves on never upgrading anything.   ....If a guy wants to
> continue doing his laundry by beating it on a rock, fine, but he shouldn't
> insist that the rest of us can't use washing machines because of it. :-)

Nigel is a bit presumptious and arrogant.  For AOL subscribers, it's not a
case of electing to use a better browser.  In fact, AOL subscribers have a
choice of using the "native" AOL browser, which is a modified version of IE3,
or the full MS version of IE3.  MSIE3 has more features and controls than the
AOL version, and is the one I normally run.  So, when it comes to benefitting
from 'current' standards such as html, AOL users aren't missing out.  The
problem stems from the manner in which AOL has implemented its e-mail server -
it doesn't properly display html e-mail.  I've been unsuccessful in trying to
configure Outlook Express to work with the AOL server.  Calls to AOL technical
help, on those occasions I managed to get a live body on the line, have
produced no solution.  They said they don't know how to accomplish it, either.

So, why do some folks who should know better still stay with AOL?  In my case,
it's because four other family members like AOL for other reasons, including
its proprietary content.  Three of them access AOL from computers in other
cities.  Because AOL allows an account to have five different password-
protected user IDs, those family members get a free ride instead of paying
$264 a year for their own accounts.  The only restriction is that two IDs
can't be on-line simultaneously, but since we are scattered in different time
zones, it's only an occasional and minor inconvenience.  We have no problem
handling and viewing attachments in other formats such as .pdf, .jpg, .xls,
and .doc, so AOL's inability to display html e-mail properly is only a slight
irritant that is more than offset by the savings.

I'm not a great AOLfan (and I don't own their stock) - it has other quirks and
limitations that may yet cause me to go to another ISP.  However, given its 12
million customers (and possible 60 million user IDs) AOL's outdated e-mail
module arguably remains a de facto alternative 'standard'.   Even on a
listserv like this one, with its computer literate subscribers, there appears
to be many AOL users.  These folks, whatever their reasons for remaining with
AOL, have needs that shouldn't be cavalierly dismissed, as Nigel suggests.

Dennis' recent post about Version 4, and how it can work with Outlook Express,
is a bit premature the last time I checked.  Even though AOL didn't call it a
beta version, that's what it is.  It restricted distribution to 50K downloads,
after which addtional download requests were denied.  I learned about it after
the cutoff.

Frank Lew, SE
Orinda, CA
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