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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • a few years ago, in my previous job, I got a phone call transfered from the EE Dept's main office. It was a woman in Texas (I'm in St. Louis) who had an ostrich farm and wanted to set up a web site. She called the Dept because her deceased husband had been an alumn there and she didn't know who else to call... she knew nothing about the web other than that folks told her she needed a website.

    I suggested that a good first step was to get an internet connection at home (she had a computer) and told her a few places to look for modems, and looked up a few phone numbers of ISPs in her area. My reasoning was that she would know better what she wanted to buy if she had some familiarity with the media. Otherwise, it'd be like buying a yellow page add without ever using the yellow pages: you wouldn't have any sense of what the different options were, or what their value might be to you. You'd be setting yourself up to pay too much for something you don't want.

    So, she said thanks and went off (I presume) to buy a modem and get an ISP.

    Two weeks later I got a check for $20 addressed to me at the EE Dept office. Not bad for a ten minute call. That's almost a quarter million a year, if only I could answer easy questions for 40 hours a week ;)

    -matt