I mentioned that my mother was having some quirky problems with AOL. It appears that there are two separate problems interacting:
1. Every few minutes, her DSL provider (Frontier) drops service for a few seconds. It isn't exactly regular, but it is pretty consistent. So tomorrow, I'll try to get someone at Frontier to dig through their logs and try and understand the source of this.
2. It appears that when AOL's software loses the DSL service, it gets confused, and throws AOL error AC-0000. If I use AOL's sinf program to reset all the connection information (which probably includes DHCP lease info), and then restart AOL, everything works again.
I am a bit surprised (well, okay, maybe not--this is AOL) that a loss of connection would be so fatal. It isn't smart enough to say, "Whoops, I lost my connection, let's renew DHCP?"