April 29, 2001
We just got another of the ubiquitous AOL CDs in the mail. Usually we toss these without even thinking about it. But this one caught my eye. It offers 1000 "free" hours in the first 45 days of usage. Wow! 1000 hours. A "meg." Hubba hubba.
Wait a minute... Just how many hours are there in 45 days? Hmmm. 24 * 45 = 1080. Oops. AOL can "give" you all this free time because you don't have this much free time. They aren't giving you anything at all. Plus, they are banking on the fact that you will forget to cancel if you don't want the service, and if you do remember to, the calls and trouble to do so will prevent you from completing the task. Thereby gaining them a new customer for free.
80 hours of sleep for 45 days. That's less than 2 hours per day.
Update: I installed it just to see. I originally started using the internet via AOL 1.0. It fit on one diskette. This thing takes over 20 meg when it is installed.
By the way it is a nasty install - it changes settings in your copy of IE 5.5. Un-installing it doesn't remove the residue. Editing the registry helps but still doesn't get rid of the footprints. AOL SUCKS. But then, we knew that...