I use AOL; why do images on web pages sometimes look funny?

AOL recompresses graphics files from web sites to reduce the load on their servers. Their system actually downloads a copy of popular web sites, and saves the text and pictures internally. This way AOL saves bandwidth and provides faster service.

The goal of this recompression is to reduce the file's size, which may result in a loss of image quality. AOL even resizes some types of graphics. While a user's PC can be set to not compress images via AOL's Preferences, another solution is to connect with AOL and then minimize their browser to use Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator directly.

May 2002

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