1995 Fools: Love Letter from Case

From tfinley@en.com Sun Apr  2 15:59:36 EDT 1995
Article: 6717 of alt.online-service.america-online
Path: bigblue.oit.unc.edu!concert!news-server.ncren.net!news.duke.edu!news.mathworks.com!uunet!news.erinet.com!en.com!not-for-mail
From: tfinley@en.com (Tom Finley)
Newsgroups: alt.aol-sucks,alt.online-service.america-online
Subject: Love Letter from Case
Date: 30 Mar 1995 17:01:17 -0500
Organization: The Q Continuum
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Look at this one:

March 28, 1995

Dear Members,

For many months now I have been plagued by the problem of adding Telnet
access to AOL.  Our programmers have been working for months on it, and
we've come up with many different options that you the user will decide
and vote upon which to implement.  As you know, we advertise ourselves
as the most "clickable" online service.  We were plagued on how to keep
that reputation with our telnet access.  We've come up with several
very exciting options, but there has been some discussion that America
Online doesn't deliver exactly what our customers want, so we will ask
you to vote on them

The first option would be very easy to implement, and we would keep our
reputation as the most clickable online service.  We would have a
window in which the text from the telnet session is being displayed --
however, instead of just typing it in, like you would normally, you
will have a graphical keyboard, so that you click on the keys and you
can type that way -- of course, we will have the option to activate the
normal keyboard if you so wish.

The second option is more complicated, but I believe that you as the
user would like it even more.  There will be many connect options --
when you connect, our supercomputers will find out what type of system
(computer type) that we are connecting to, and follow appropriatly. 
You will be asked to type in your name and password for the system, and
then, when you're logged in, it will read the output appropriatly.  If
it sees it's a UNIX system, it will have a scrollable list of buttons
that will input different commands such as `time,' etc.  Certain
commands, such as gopher, Usenet, mail, and FTP will not be availible
since they're availible on AOL and, as such, it would be a waste of
time to implement them.  WWW browsers such as Lynx will not be
implemented for different reasons.

Unfortunetly, due to certain limitations, we will not be able to view
what has come to be known as VT-100 terminal types or ANSI -- this
means that when connecting to a Unix system you may see characters like
^K or /305 sprinkled around, and the entire screen will pretty much
look rather like gibberish.  This problem will affect both of the above

There is very good news about this however -- our Telnet client, or
connector, will automatically block out certain words with ****s.  Our
TOS staff has selected them so that you never have to worry about your
child seeing them.  Parents can block out more words with keyword

Speaking of TOS, there has been some circulation of the TOS word list,
for things that you will be TOSsed for.  If you see anyone offering this
list anywere, report them in keyword TOS.  If you have this list, delete
it.  We've been getting fairly bad publicity on what is contained and
there have been several articles on hypocricy in newspapers.  Please note
that TOS allows guides to censor whatever they want, so such claims are

Some users have complained about the inability to delete messages, saying
that it's a risk in security to their mail, and there has been some
discussion that we are reading your mail.  Let me assure you that we are
working on it as fast as possible, and that the FBI will be done with
their inspections soon so user activity may return to normal.

That's all for now -- I'll update you again on April 1.


Steve Case

Transmitted: 95-03-29
        Tom Finley, tfinley@en.com
        "Friends don't let friends join AOL."
         "AOL is better than Prodigy; syphilis is better than AIDS."