familiarity of that frame
Tuesday, April 12 2005
In the past when I used to get people switched to using Mozilla it used to be a big enough deal that I would tell Gretchen about it later when I came home. Now, though, it's just a matter of course. My clients today had been using AOL for years and still payed for it even though it no longer provided them anything except for a colorful (though increasingly ad-cluttered) frame around their internet experience. What was important to them, at least superficially, was the familiarity of that frame. But once I'd given a demonstration of Mozilla Firefox and some basic information they'd been doing without for years (in particular, the key equivalents for copy and paste), they had the tools they needed to transcend their expensive AOL addiction.
About 30% of what I do is purely educational, and my motives are always pure. This may seem counterproductive for somebody who gets paid by the hour, but my goal is always the customer "learning how to fish" and hopefully never needing me again. Beyond my visceral sense of right and wrong, I figure in the long term it's to my advantage if my clients can see that I'm eager to share my wisdom (as opposed to concealing or obfuscating it as wizardry). Even if I was worried about matriculating my own competition, I'm confident that I know far too many tricks to impart without also getting rich in the process.
On the drive home from that housecall I took a right off Hurley Mountain Road and went to the banks of Esopus Creek on Fording Place, the road that actually features a ford of the creek (I even did it once when the water low). Due to recent spectacular flooding, Fording Place was badly damaged in a few places near the ford, but in my pickup I was able to get to the water's edge. That water was still brown and churning and somewhat above its usual level. But in its retreat from true flood levels it had left a great accumulation of rounded cobblestones, and I gathered dozens and dozens of these and loaded them into my truck to help with my ongoing drainage project.
This evening Gretchen and I went to the Curry House in Redhook for their Tuesday night buffet. Having attended it several times, we were familiar with their Sunday night buffet, but on this Tuesday (traditionally a quiet one at American restaurants) we didn't suffer as much from the authentic Indian experience of crushingly high population densities, particularly in the cramped room where the pots of delicious buffet foods are set out.
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