Salon: Cartoon For Coders

“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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