9781565926738 / 1565926730

User Friendly: The Comic Strip


Publisher:O'Reilly Media



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About the book:

Yes, it's a cliché, but it's true enough that it's worth repeating: UserFriendly is to the Open Source world what Dilbert is to the swarming hives of Windows cubicles. Set in an ISP company that keeps getting bought and sold, the constant remains a team of cynical, hilarious techies. MBAs and marketers drift in and out, as do CEOs, often making statements like "I can't surf the Web. I think the Internet is broken." For anyone who's dealt with similar situations, User Friendly is the ultimate in-joke.

To be fair, the comic is pretty basic in layout and execution. No one will confuse this book with a graphic novel, since the visuals basically exist only to further the punch line. (Think of a stripped-down Bloom County and you're getting close.) Lots of the jokes involve goofy, clichéd rants about the beauty of Quake, Linux and Star Wars--the holy trinity for a white, wired, 18-26 year old male audience. But when the author, Illiad, nails the bloated bureaucracy found in the tech working world, it's a laugh-out-loud payoff. In one comic, a new "suit" walks into the tech den and asks what's "one thing that makes your job difficult, and we'll see about eliminating that." The chorus erupts: "Meetings." Their new boss replies: "Very good. Now let's spend a few hours discussing why meetings make you unproductive." A comic that tilts at windmills and Windows, it's clear why User Friendly developed such a strong online cult following. --Jennifer Buckendorff,

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