The day after AOL restored service, the San Francisco Chronicle ran this editorial:

America Offline

Wednesday's 19-hour crash of America Online--and the widespread disruption it caused--was a red-flag reminder that computer networking has moved from the nerd fringe to the mainstream of business and personal communications.

With 6.3 million subscribers, AOL is the world's largest commercial online service that uses telephone lines to provide news, sports, entertainment, discussion groups as well as access to the Internet and e-mail.

The outage discommoded many and infuriated some who depend on their computers to communicate with friends and cusomters and expect the same reliability they have in their phone service.

In an excerise of ill-timed hubris, one AOL official just this week bragged to a Chronicle reporter that AOL computers are virtually immune to the kind of outage that laid the system low. He knows better now.

"I would like to be able to tell you that this sort of things will never happen again, but frankly, I can't make that commitment...." AOL Chairman Steve Case e-mailed his customers.

Case's remarks were oddly prescient. The system was offline again less than two months later.

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