Remember This? The AOL Trial CD

There was a time, not so very long ago in the latter part of the 1990's, when America Online (AOL) was using 100 per cent of the worlds CD-ROM production resources - a remarkable statistic.

The result of all this production capacity was a constant stream of AOL trial CDs in the mailboxes of potential customers. At that time, most people would use a dial-up modem to gain any kind of Internet access, and AOL catered to all of us in that position. The CD allowed you to enter a trial period of access to AOL's "walled garden" approach to the Internet, and millions of us did.

For the younger reader - the "You've got mail" sound bite came from AOL (not from Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks - the movie came a little later, in a canny piece of product placement). Regardless, the CDs seemed to keep on coming, and it got to the point where people would use them to make things as they were just so ubiquitous.

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