Aardvark Daily
Xtra's CD causes concern
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It's small, greeny-black on one side and the traditional rainbow-silver on the other - but why is it causing such a stir in Net circles?

A growing number of readers have expressed concern about reports that the CDROM being mailed out by Xtra to many individuals and businesses, is causing problems with their computers.

There are alleged cases where running the software from the CDROM has caused user's existing Internet configurations to be altered such that they can no longer connect to their existing ISP.

Several ISPs are unhappy with the extra support burden associated with sorting out the machines of customers who have "tried" the CDROM. Don Campbell, Web World's support manager said "Almost without exception, customers who don't even intend to use Xtra, but wanted to see what was on the CD, caused their current software setup to be overwritten. This has caused an extremely unwelcome load on the support people."

Web World has gone so far as to offer its subscribers a $5 credit for "handing in" their Xtra CD. The goal is to eliminate the potential problems which could be caused - and no doubt - to create a "bit of a stir".

Perhaps as a method of relieving some of the frustration associated with trying to compete against Xtra's huge marketing budget, a new sport has developed amongst some Net users. "101 things to do with an Xtra CDROM" is the name of the game and some people are stretching their gray-matter to capacity in an attempt to come up with an innovative application for these disks.

Most popular use at present is as a drink coaster - not too original.

Despite the problems associated with its use, Xtra have at least tried to make the task of "getting online" easier for prospective customers, it's just a shame there are some bugs in the system which adversely affect those who are already connected. Is this deliberate or just an unfortunate side-effect of rushed development? - opinions vary.

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