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Salon: Cartoon For Coders

Oct 27, 1999, 14:44 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Janelle Brown)

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"The new cartoon book "User Friendly -- the Comic Strip" begins with a Dust Puppy creating an artificial intelligence program named Erwin that hacks into the White House Web site. It closes with a parable about Linux and "Star Wars" that features Eric Raymond as Luke Skywalker. In between, disgruntled system administrators storm Bill Gates' office hoping to save the world from Windows NT; a Coke can sprouts legs and intimidates the tech support staff; and a geek who plays too much Minesweeper is hauled off to Techie Detox."

"Welcome to the world of "User Friendly" a smart and quirky cartoon born of the open-source movement and championed by geeks across the Net. What began two years ago as a doodle that was passed around the office of a Canadian Internet service provider is now a fledgling comic empire, with a popular daily Web site, a new book, a global readership and an upcoming army of cuddly plush toys and desktop tie-ins."

"User Friendly" takes you into the depths of a small ISP called Columbia Internet -- a place where tech support staff live on vile coffee and Quake frag-fests, where system administrators battle to prevent Microsoft software from being installed on their servers, and where stupid customer service calls are the bane of everyone's existence. "User Friendly" is equal parts open-source humor and everyday geek frustration -- a comic strip in which a real computer is a Pentium server running Linux, and hell is a pink iMac."

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