Pass me my coaster…I mean, my *other* AOL disc.

AOL 9.0Surprise! Edition

AOL stopped sending discs out to everyone in mid-2006…everyone, that is, except me. It’s probably a test to see who I am: “She’s the only person we’ll send this disc to; if she writes about it like she did the other onebingo.”

Well, I always thought AOL knew who I was, anyway.

They don’t use the all-time-greatest-hits hard plastic case anymore; now it’s in a tiny, neutrally-tinted, yawn-inducing clear plastic sleeve. There’s no version number on the outside, either. It’s a surprise! You must open it to find out! This was just as exciting as peaking under the tree on Christmas Eve. So I popped the disc into my computer (the disc doesn’t have the version number on it, either! It really is a surprise) and AOL’s underwhelming software began walking me through one sign-up window after another.

First I was offered a month free, with $24.95 billed next month. When I canceled that another window opened: how about a month free, with $9.95 billed next month, for dialup? Hmmm. I was tempted, just so I can be the next Vinnie Ferrari when I try to cancel AOL, but I have dialup, and I’m not Vinnie (who has deleted his post about canceling AOL and his account on Digg!) so I canceled that window, too, thinking I’d never know exactly what software they tried to locate me with this time.

“Oh well,” I said. I took the case and fulfilled my prophecy (“If you guys ever send me another disc I’ll burn it, break it, and…”) by biting it as well. Someone with me was so impressed he grabbed a (very bad) camera and snapped away. Another dumb moment, thanks to AOL.

I turned back to the computer and lo and behold, AOL had another surprise for me: after making me input my (fake) name, (fake) address, (fake) phone number, trying to get me to sign up for 2 different plans, and otherwise tormenting me in a million annoying little ways, they were now offering me AOL for free. That’s right, now that they had enough info to create an FBI dossier on me, if I would just enter the captcha and input my birth date (1928) the software was mine to use, for free, forever.

Grrrrr. It turned out to be AOL 9.0 VR, which I’ve already tested for an uninstall tutorial (it sucks). Where the hell is my (complimentary) copy of Helix? I need a new version of their software to rip apart for Anti-AOL.