Coupland, Douglas Microserfs

ISBN 13: 9780060987046

Microserfs

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9780060987046: Microserfs

Narrated in the form of a Powerbook entry by Dan Underwood, a computer programmer for Microsoft, this state-of-the-art novel about life in the '90s follows the adventures of six code-crunching computer whizzes. Known as "microserfs," they spend upward of 16 hours a day "coding" (writing software) as they eat "flat" foods (such as Kraft singles, which can be passed underneath closed doors) and fearfully scan the company email to see what the great Bill might be thinking and whether he is going to "flame" one of them.

Seizing the chance to be innovators instead of cogs in the Microsoft machine, this intrepid bunch strike out on their own to form a high-tech start-up company named Oop! in Silicon Valley. Living together in a sort of digital flophouse --"Our House of Wayward Mobility" -- they desperately try to cultivate well-rounded lives and find love amid the dislocated, subhuman whir and buzz of their computer-driven world.

Funny, illuminating and ultimately touching, Microserfs is the story of one generation's very strange and claustrophobic coming of age.

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Review:

Microserfs is not about Microsoft--it's about programmers who are searching for lives. A hilarious but frighteningly real look at geek life in the '90's, Coupland's book manifests a peculiar sense of how technology affects the human race and how it will continue to affect all of us. Microserfs is the hilarious journal of Dan, an ex-Microsoft programmer who, with his coder comrades, is on a quest to find purpose in life. This isn't just fodder for techies. The thoughts and fears of the not-so-stereotypical characters are easy for any of us to relate to, and their witty conversations and quirky view of the world make this a surprisingly thought-provoking book.

" ... just think about the way high-tech cultures purposefully protract out the adolescence of their employees well into their late 20s, if not their early 30s," muses one programmer. "I mean, all those Nerf toys and free beverages! And the way tech firms won't even call work 'the office,' but instead, 'the campus.' It's sick and evil."

About the Author:

Douglas Coupland was born on December 30, 1961, on a Canadian NATO base in West Germany. He grew up and lives in Vancouver, Canada.

Girlfriend in a Coma  reestablishes Douglas Coupland as one of the most talented, engaging and important writers of his generation. Profoundly moving, darkly comic, this eerily prescient novel exploring questions of faith, decency and existence is set against the backdrop of a society hurtling toward the end of the century. As People  magazine so deftly put it, "His voice still resonates with the generation he named."

He is the author of Generation X, Shampoo Planet, Life After God, and Microserfs.

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