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Site Constructed on
November 11th, 2008

Well it looks like AOL did it again. Another sneaky move. The Hometown pages all seem to have disappeared. I left AOL years ago, but only after moving all my pages and images to a better place. Mainly my computer. But many folks have not done that, and after years and years of building pages, adding images, relying on it always being there, AOL pulls the rug out from under.

I was surprised that my pages were still there on their server. I just left them, ignoring AOL, since they were saved. I only discovered this morning that AOL pulled the plug on Oct 31st, 2008. I was redirected to the Hometown page where it was announced. After reading all the entries from enraged users and seeing no answer from AOL, I decided to put this little page together. I hope the info here will help everyone save their files. Here's why I think it will work.

I had 7 usernames for a total 436 files (60 html pages and 376 images), 8.8 megs altogether. All now blocked by AOL. Being a webmaster, I always had FTP setup for fast easy access. AOL's My Place FTP setup sucked.

If you already have a good FTP program installed, just jump to the FTP setup step, otherwise follow the steps given below .

1. Get a good FTP program. There are lots of free ones available. I suggest FTP Commander.

Freeware with a 4 cow rating on TuCows. Just type "ftp commander" in their search box, scroll down.

2. After it's installed, click the New Server box to set up access to the AOL server.

Here's an image of the FTP Commander's setup box. Let's say your AOL username is "abc". The Name box is any name you want to use to identify it on the server list. The FTP Server box entry should include the exact IP shown with /abc/ at the end. This is just for example. Be sure to use your username instead. For Password, use the left parenthesis "(", which will show as * .

Save the settings, select it from the server list, then click  

You should see your files and folders, depending on how you had your AOL directory set up. Then all you have to do is select your files on the right pane, choose the directory on your C: disk you want them to go to. You can select and move multiple files by selecting any file, hold down the Shift Key and select the last file. All files in-between will be highlighted (selected). Then click the blue arrow pointing left. Bingo, your file (or files) will be saved to that directory. The example below would only move one file (3demail.gif) to the Ebay Prospects directory.

This method only allows downloading to your computer. There are no admin (upload, rename, or delete) privileges on the server. Should it not work for you, your files may be stored on another server with a different IP. At least it's worth a try.

I was with AOL for about 6 years, left them about 5 years ago. My files are still there using the above method.

There is so much negative press on AOL. Blogs are filled with complaints, especially now. I have to say one good thing about them, they were great in the beginning, very user friendly. When I left, they didn't delete the many files and pages I had, they instead left them available for viewing, but with limited access (as shown above). So, in reality, my page hosting has been free all these years. Can't complain about that.

I noticed that my first visitor to this page was America Online themselves, they spent 4 hours. And still, weeks later, limited access to the server exists. If they wanted to, they could have changed that, so they are not all that bad. Better get your files while the getting is good.

Good luck.

Joe

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Special thanks to both..........

Joe Manna -

Marie Marah -  

......... for spreading the word.

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