The Root of All Evil
By J.D. "Illiad" Frazer
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: August 2001
Pages: 144

It's back to Columbia Internet, "the friendliest, hardest-working, and most neurotic little Internet Service Provider in the world," for our third installment from the hit online comic, User Friendly. The cast: Quake-obsessed techies, self-absorbed sales staff, well-meaning execs, and assorted almost-humans. The background: too little office space, warring operating systems, and eternally clueless customers.

Tag along as geeks go camping, Mike finds a new use for silly putty, and Stef decides to beef up his Quake skills with the Acme Forced-Feedback Enemy-Denial Smackdown Ergonomic Game Chair.

If you've read the first two User Friendly editions from O'Reilly, you don't need an introduction to Greg, Jeff, Miranda, the Dust Puppy and the others. But if you haven't, welcome to the world of the hard-core geek, where humor--especially at one's own foibles--can be a survival skill. Since this is true of most work environments, chances are you won't have to know Unix or be able to log in as "root" in order to get the joke.

Illiad's community is truly global--the comic's one-million-plus readers log on from Israel, Brazil, Iceland, New Zealand, and Greece, among other far-flung locations. All kinds of people seem drawn to the strip-- from 8-year-old girls to 81-year-old women--a large, diverse, and very loyal community.

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oreillyThe Root of All Evil
 
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5.0

The Root of All Evil Review

By George Woolley of Oakland.pm

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly The Root of All Evil:

The User Friendly (UF) Comic Strip is about the saga of a cast of characters who work at or are somehow involved with Columbia Internet, a fictional Internet Service Provider.

This is the third of four (so far) book compilations of the User Friendly comic strip.

What did you expect from the book?

I was expecting still another compilation of User Friendly strips.

I was expecting lots of strips and lots of laughs.

I was also expecting much evil.

Did you get what you expected?

Yep, lots of User Friendly strips and a lot of good laughs.

And there's a healthy dose of evil too.

For example:

* Pitr strives to become "SUPER ADMINISTRATOR OF ALL BORG FUNCTION".

* Amazon tries to patent the letter "a", ".com", etc.

* The FBI renames "CARNIVORE" as "CARNY" and makes it available in software stores.

* AOL produces a CD that when played backwards says "DOMINATE!! DOMINATE!! EAT YOUR YOUNG AND AGGREGATE."

And the evilest creature of all, the Mirosoft paperclip thingy, also makes an appearance.

What else did you especially like?

Well, there were lots of really fun things including:

* the man/woman interations (or should I say geek/woman) between A.J. and Miranda.

* the hilarious tech support questions and also the responses by Mike and others.

* the similar minimalistic AI programs by Sid and Pitr.

* Sid's caustic old timer humor.

You can read more about A.J., Miranda, Mike and Sid

in the UF character gallery.

What was disappointing?

Illiad didn't show the source for the AI programs.

He didn't even say what language they were written in.

I would have enjoyed more evil and a greater presence of the most evil of the UF characters.

Who's the book for?

The book is appropriate for geeks and people interested in learning about geeks and geek culture.

(I know I said that in an earlier review, but, hey, that's still what I think.)

C.F. GUVF OBBX VF JNL XBBY!

 
5.0

The Root of All Evil Review

By Charles Borner

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly The Root of All Evil:

What can I say? If you love the UF strip, you've GOTTA have this dead tree. If nothing else, just to show all the weenies without net connectivity the stuff you're constantly giggling about.

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