You can’t escape those AOL CDs


One of my colleagues was unpacking one of those $30,000 quad-processor more-memory-than-you-know-what-to-do-with super-server computers. The kind that require their own electrical substation.

And it came with an AOL CD.

It's like buying a Lexus and finding a 35-cents-off coupon in the glove compartment.

Apparently, one of the questions AOL tech support asks when people call in complaining that they can't get their AOL CD to work is, "Do you have a computer?" [Opening Panel Round, second question] because so many people who don't have computers stick the CD into their stereo or DVD player and can't get it to work.

[Raymond is currently on vacation; this message was pre-recorded.]

Comments (15)
  1. ricom says:

    >because so many people who don’t have computers stick the CD into their stereo or DVD player and can’t get it to work.

    Today’s challenge: Get AOL up to actually run on my CD player :)

  2. ricom says:

    Alternate challenge: Use correct grammar in at least one sentence today :)

  3. Miles Archer says:

    If this is the case, they should put an audio track on it saying to put it in a computer, not a stereo.

    It’s not like it could be full or anything.

  4. tod weitzel says:

    I remember a Former Life when I worked at a hollywood video and for a few months we had to put AOL cd’s in everyone’s bag. The CDs they gave us were 3" CDs in about 49 square inches of packaging that said "WE DID IT! WE PUT THE WHOLE INTERNET ON A CD THAT FITS IN THE MIDDLE RING OF YOUR CD DRIVE!!"

    The contents of the CD? A 400KB .exe that downloaded about 8 megs of installer over your 28.8 modem.

  5. AOLs floppy/CD mass distribution campaign is downright shameful. It disgusts me to think how much landfill space they are taking up. I’m assuming most people do with them the same that I do, immediately throw them away.

  6. Mike says:

    At least the floppies could be reformatted and used. Those CD’s have been absolutely useless ever since we bought a real set of coasters.

  7. Daniel says:

    They aren’t useless, you can make all kinds of living room furniture with them…

    http://stupidco.com/aol_throne_finished.html

  8. GoochRules says:

    Brian Friesen:

    > AOLs floppy/CD mass distribution campaign is

    > downright shameful. It disgusts me to think

    > how much landfill space they are taking up.

    > I’m assuming most people do with them the

    > same that I do, immediately throw them away.

    Mike:

    > At least the floppies could be reformatted

    > and used. Those CD’s have been absolutely

    > useless ever since we bought a real set of

    > coasters.

    I’ve found they’ve saved me a small bit of money, as they make great targets when we go shooting down at the county dump… with the exception that a bullseye and a miss are indistinguishable.

  9. CD’s are one thing… but have you ever tried to cancel AOL?

  10. sgcu says:

    if we could only persuade AOL to give away their "software" on a CD-RW i’d be happy

  11. Tony says:

    So I guess no one has heard of AOL’s alternate name. The Great American Coaster Company. I have a nice collection on my coffee table.

  12. Charlie T. says:

    I was round at a friend’s house a few years back, and he’d just bought a magazine that came with a CD-ROM, with a warning not to play it on your stereo because it would destroy the speakers.

    So my friend stuck the CD-ROM in his stereo anyway, just to see what would happen.

    A voice appeared saying "Now we told you not to play this, but since you did anyway, I might as well tell you what’s on the disc!"

  13. Daniel says:

    To my mind, this is the equivalent of installing Windows Advanced Server and finding an Outlook Express icon on it. Why is installing an email/news client on a server the default option???

  14. Stern says:

    An old game for the Sega Saturn had an audio track that went something like "this game is intended only for the Sega Saturn console, please remove it from your CD player immediately.. or kiss your tweeters goodbye!"

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