Don’t Use AOL 9.0 SE

AOL 9.0 SE Sucks

AOL 9.0 SE, the product that uses 2 processes that can’t be shut down unless you use Hijack This or blow your computer up, is back on my computer again. I can’t get enough of how badly AOL screwed this up. My processor is three times as fast as the one I had when I started writing this blog in 2005, my hard drive is three times as large, and my computer has four times as much memory, yet AOL still slows it down; other programs crash and the computer is unusable for anything except surfing.

Firefox has crashed twice since I installed AOL 9.0 SE a few days ago. POP Peeper, which I’ve used for about a year to collect email, also crashed twice. Now I can count in seconds how long it takes to launch an Explorer Window. They opened so fast before I installed this version of AOL, there was no waiting.

Here I am. I’ve put AOL 9.0 SE on a clean install of XP, on a much more powerful computer than I’ve ever had before, and it’s still killing it.

On AOL’s new 9.0 VR Help page, they tell you not to upgrade to AOL 9.0 VR because both programs are “the same.” Look at this crap:

Will AOL 9.0VR Work With Other Microsoft® Windows Operating Systems Besides Vista?

…If you are using Windows XP or earlier Windows operating systems, you do not need to update your AOL software to 9.0VR.

My foot you don’t need to upgrade. That’s the most inaccurate claim they’ve ever made. I’ve installed 9.0 VR at least 3 times since it came out, and it’s a thousand times smaller, sleeker, and less resource-hogging than 9.0 SE ever was.

To use the old 9.0 SE on Vista if you’re not familiar with how to clean Vista up after uninstalling something is just asking for trouble. Navigating Vista takes time to finesse — it’s nothing like navigating older versions of Windows: no folder trees and the weirdest Search Panel anyone’s ever seen. There’s nothing about it you can intuitively pick up from having used Windows before.

When I get 9.0 SE uninstalled, I’ll write a new tutorial on how to uninstall it from Add/Remove Programs and Explorer, perhaps with options to use regedit and such.