Course Outline and Requirements     AOL FIX

If you connect to the Internet via AOL, you may have problems accessing the online material in this (or any other) course and in online databases, programs, and research sources.  You may also experience being BLOCKED by AOL form CUNY websites and CUNY email.  AOL has difficulty in resetting its security programs that often identify addresses as sources of spam and viruses and so AOL will stop access to  The best remedy is to use another internet service provider (ISP).  If you do use AOL as your ISP then at least use another web browser such as IE or Netscape or Mozilla.  But the best advice as of 2006 is to remove yourself from AOL as your ISP and as your email address.  There are others available at no cost.  Best of all is to use your college email system with your name in the address as a respectable address that identifies you to your faculty and class mates.

Here are some ways to avoid these problems in AOL if you are remaining with AOL as your ISP.

Begin by creating an AOL private chat room that you leave open and minimize. This window will be interpreted by AOL as activity between your system and AOL, which will stop AOL from automatically disconnecting you after a ten-minute "time-out."
(To create a private chat room,

click the word People on top,

click More,

click Start Your Own Chat,

click Private Chat.

Type anything into the Name box,

and then minimize the Private Chat box--do not close it; just minimize it by clicking the box with the Underline in its upper right corner.)

Connect to the Internet

minimize AOL (by clicking the box with the Underline in it in the upper right hand corner of the AOL screen).

Open Internet Explorer,

use Explorer to access our course (and all other online web sites).

Internet Explorer (and Netscape Navigator) may produce strange errors once AOL 6 has been installed on a system, so if you're thinking about upgrading to AOL 6 DON'T

Regardless of which AOL you have, you may still experience "time-out" disconnect problems. To end these, download and install the utility WizOn, a program that destroys the AOL time-out timer and Buddy problems. It's available free at If you use WizOn, you don't have to minimize AOL, since WizOn does this for you automatically.

If the graphics in your browser seem fuzzy, murky, blurry, it's AOL's fault. AOL subscribers are not directly wired to the Internet. Access to the web is through a series of AOL proxy servers that filter what you see. When the AOL filter detects a graphic image, the artwork is automatically sent to an AOL compression computer before sending it to you. On an average day, this compression saves the AOL subscriber just over two seconds of wait time to view a a 25k image file on a 28.8 modem and five seconds for a 50k image file. The cost of saving these precious seconds is the destruction of amazing art that web designers take days to create. However, you can disable AOL's graphics compression. (If after disabling AOL compression, you feel the wait for art to load is now too long, you may re-enable AOL graphics compression at any time.) Here's how to disable AOL's graphics compression:

After you have logged onto AOL, go to the Task Bar at the top of the screen and find the icon button which says "My AOL" and click it.

Click on "Preferences."

Click on "WWW."

Click on "Web Graphics."

Unclick "Use Compressed Graphics" to disable the compression software that distorts art in the AOL browser.

You must close and restart AOL for the changes to take effect.

by Wolstan Brown

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