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Slackware-mascot.svgI reloaded Chrome on my Win 10 computer and all seems well for now. I use none of the Google services as all I am interested in is a fast browser that works simply as a browser. Google is one of those companies that wants to own and control my on line computer experience and in the meantime acquire as much personal information about me and my habits as possible. No thanks Google, Yahoo, FB, Microsoft, AOL and any other data mining operation out there trying to “help” me. I can do very well for myself, thank you.

If that sounds radical or fanatical, it isn’t. I use their services all the time. No one would be reading this if I were trying to live in isolation. I just like to make some decisions for myself.

In the early days of PC internet connection, I experienced a very bad and to me traumatic experience dealing with America On Line (AOL) who, after you signed up for their service, would load software that would totally take charge of your operating system, replacing many chunks of functionally so that you became dependent on AOL and paying their monthly service fees.

The only way out was a total reformat of my hard drive from scratch and reinstalling DOS or Win 95 and canceling the credit card they were billing me on. The AOL trick was I could not cancel the account over the phone as they said it could only be done while connected on line. That meant I would have to rejoin AOL to quit. DUH! I believe AOL faced some litigation over their early service tactics, but not brought on by me.

Microsoft was headed in the same direction of total PC computer control (but not monthly fees) until Uncle Sam had a discussion with Bill Gates. Some may ask what changed? Ha! Believe me there would be much fewer options today without that early regulation.

All those early day shenanigans led me to eventually (about 1993) using a little known rebel operating system called Linux. I learned UNIX programming on a Linux distro produced by a software company called Slackware. I still use Linux servers today for my 15 websites and a PC right here in my office.

So the AOL experience left a very bad taste in my mouth and I have never fully committed to any on-line “run my life” service and never will. Well, maybe I already have, if I think about it…

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