No Fancy Name
Saturday, June 12, 2004
me, and the product diffusion curve
For someone who constantly reads about cutting-edge technology on the market and enjoys it immensely, I never fall in the "innovators" category, and only rarely fall into the "early adopters" category. For some things I happily fall in the "early majority" but for other things, I surprisingly fall in the "laggard" area, or at the very least, "late majority". For example, I own a laptop with a 17" monitor, and would pretty much wither up and die without it, but I do not own a VCR, DVD player, nor do I have digital cable. But that doesn't mean I don't want those things...I think it's a money issue. I'd rather spend moola on groceries and/or paying the bills and/or debt I have stacked up; if I really, really want to watch something on DVD, I have friends I can beg.

So when it comes to cool new technology, I go for the free things. In this case, the Mozilla products. I used the first few versions of the Mozilla Web browser, way back in '98 and '99, and loved them quite a bit. But then I switched back to Netscape when the late version 6 and first version 7 came out, and I use that whenever I can, which is most of the time (unless some dummy has created a Web-based tool that I have to use for something work-related, and it only works in IE because they use non-standard client-side scripting....not that it's a peeve or anything....).

On a whim (that, and someone I know uses it), I decided to try Firefox. It installed fine, launched fine, worked fine...but what it was missing was the extra edge that would make me uninstall Netscape 7.1, and I didn't find it. Pages were rendered the same, and as quickly. The memory usage on my machine was the same, and sometimes was larger for Firefox (strange, I thought, but whatever). Everything that I do in NS 7.1, I could do in Firefox, with no discernible difference in the speed or execution of the tasks I perform on a daily basis. So, I uninstalled it.

Then I felt bad, because I want to support the Mozilla folks, so I installed Thunderbird (email and news client). I have been perfectly happy with my email client, The Bat, for the last three years or so that I've used it, but I retired The Bat and am now using Thunderbird. The feature set is virtually identical, and in some cases even the menus and helper text are identical, but the footprint for Thunderbird is slightly less, and the Mozilla folks are local, so they get my support. That has to be one of the silliest reasons for switching email clients, but when the pro list and the con list is identical, things like that become the tiebreakers.


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