Sunday, October 7, 2007

Earthlink Sucks.

It's this reporter's opinion, of course. But still, Earthlink sucks.

In an effort to bring my mother into the 20th century (mid-1990's, to be precise), I set up a Gmail account for her to use as she starts up her own small business. She's been on AOL for the last million years, and I wanted to wean her away. AOL also sucks, but in different ways. As part of the Outlook setup process, which she's never used and is a little frightened of, we discover The Devil That Is Earthlink. She doesn't use Earthlink, but it came with her DSL. When we try to get rid of it, I learn that the 20th century might be a bit ambitious.

First of all, The Devil That Is Earthlink is nearly impossible to remove from your computer once you've installed it. If you try to add/remove it, a portion of the software stays buried in your system and gets Windows Installer to try to reinstall it every, oh, 10-15 seconds. Complete with pop-up windows. I go so far as to tremulously walk her through a registry edit (makes me nervous just saying the words) trying to wipe it.

Despite the title of the post, this isn't really about The Devil That Is Earthlink, about which you have now been warned. It's about my mother.

"Tell me what's happening on your screen now," I direct.

"Nothing - I think it's frozen."

"Try hitting ctrl-alt-delete," I tell her.

"Still nothing. Do I have to hit them all at the same time?" she responds.

Okaaaaay. "Let's just turn the thing off. Press and hold the power button."

"Alright, I did. The computer's still making sounds though," she tells me.

"Hmm, it shouldn't be. Did the screen go black?" I ask.

"Yes, the screen is black."

"You pressed power on the screen, didn't you?" I say wearily.

"Oh, oops. Which one is the power button for the computer?" She finally presses and holds the correct button. "Oh no," she mutters, making her signature mom-tsst sounds of worry.

"What, what's going on?" I ask, concerned.

"Well, now nothing's happening!" she says, tsst-ing.

"Because you just TURNED THE COMPUTER OFF!" I holler.

I suspend my disbelief. "Mom, you are why the Indian tech support people always start by asking if the computer is plugged in."

No comments: