***again, I have Laura Langford guest reviewing for me. This time it is purely because her review of this book is much more entertaining than mine was***
First, wow. Just wow.
You'll have to forgive me (or not). I only just read this. The book has been out for some time (publishing date of 2007 per the page that covers that sort of thing. I live under a rock, so it took some time for it to reach me) but, having just been introduced, I must say I am in love. If it were possible to stalk a book until it agreed to marry me, I would stalk this book. Until it agreed to marry me. Or got a restraining order.
The opening sequence, "Installing Linux on a Dead Badger" felt familiar. Where had I...yes...the endless online "it's stupid simple: install Ubuntu on your old ancient Commodore 64" stuff I had fallen for and tried, over and over, until ready to scream Bill Gates' name in the heat of passion. The story read, tongue firmly in cheek, like a tech manual that left me laughing until the distro actually worked and the badger functioned with full video and audio. I mean, come on! No Linux distro works out of the box without having to install the proprietary video card drivers, and forget sound...you will NEVER achieve sound!
But I digress...
This story is beyond awesome, written with real wit and tech savvy. Enough to actually make one forget it is, after all, not truly instructions to install yet another Linux distro (I would kill for a version of Red Hat that actually came with the VuDu package, though. Maybe that's why the sound works out of the box). The author moves on from a seemingly dry installation how-to to various articles about the aftereffects of this new technological breakthrough. Who needs Windows indeed? Surely Windows never utilized alternate dimension Aethernet networking.
The slow, brilliant build up of effect shines like good science fiction should. It should give one pause. First Teen Linux gangs, then corporate networking to the nth degree. The evolution of installation on a dead badger to the perfect unskilled undead laborer and middle-management vampire overseers...the social commentary doesn't bang you over the head like a hammer but makes it's point firmly. Succinctly.
So, read it damn you! It's well written, entertaining, and I finished it in one long night (so I stayed up until 4am on a work night - read it on a weekend, I'm not your babysitter!).
reviewed by Laura Langford