From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 19:20:58 Pacific Time, Monday, 21 February 2005.

User Friendly

   by Illiad

    01 September, 1999


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Editorial description(s):
Yes, it's a cliché, but it's true enough to be worth repeating: User Friendly is to the open-source world what Dilbert is to 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. M.B.A.s and marketers drift in and out, as do
, 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 that exists 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." The new boss replies: "Very good. Now let's spend a few hours discussing why meetings make you u"" A comic that tilts at windmills and Windows, it's clear why User Friendly has developed such a strong online cult following. --Jennifer Buckendorff

Book Info
Presents the Comic Strip - User Friendly, that reveals the madness that exists within the high tech universe. Softcover.

Book Description
User Friendly tells the story of Columbia Internet, "the friendliest, hardest-working, and most neurotic little Internet Service Provider in the world." Take three techs, two salespeople, a designer, two executives, a couple of administrative staff, mix in a mischievous Artificial Intelligence and a "dust puppy" born from the innards of a mega server, put them all together in a crowded little office, and you have the makings of one of the most off-beat, original, and funny comic strips to come along in years. User Friendly reads like Dilbert for the open-source community. Already in syndication in The National Post, one of Canada's two leading national newspapers, and with a massive online following, it provides outsiders a lighthearted look at the world of the hard-core geek, and allows those who make their living dwelling in this world a chance to laugh at themselves.

Reader review(s):

One of the best, December 4, 1999
This book is a must not only for the computer geek (meant lovingly, of course) but also for the families that have to deal with computer geeks like me. After going through the first few pages, everyone will be able to associate with the hysterical situaions that are placed before us: the incessant need to finish that computer game, talking with :) and :P instead of (horrors!) real words, how geeks pick up women, and other stereotypes (and also realities) of those of us who are enfatuated with computers.

Whereas Dilbert requires an understanding of corporate life to really understand the humor, User Friendly requires only someone who has to deal with people whose lives revolve around computers - at work AND at home.

If there's a computer geek in your life, you need this book - for yourself as well as your significant cyborg.

Boring, unfunny rubbish, January 22, 2001
I work in the IT industry and the reviews of this book made me go out and buy it. What a complete waste of time and money. The so-called 'in jokes' are more or less all about the fact that Windows has the tendency to crash every now and then. Wow! we didn't know that, thanks for the info. The characters are boring non-entities that you just can't form a connection with. The strips are completely humor free and poorly drawn. I actually found the book quite depressing. I know humor is a very hit-and-miss subject where something makes you role on the floor laughing hysterically but your friend can't see the joke at all. This book, however, I find impossible to believe that anyone could enjoy. ... Stay well clear of it and buy some Dilbert instead.

Dilbert for ISPs, March 22, 2000
I was fortunate enoughto get hold of a copy of "USER FRIENDLY the comic strip". As a computer geek myself, I found many in-jokes and opportunities for a good old larf.

Charles Schultz (Peanuts) was a master of characterization. Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes) is a genius at representing theology, Scott Addams (Dilbert) at corporate culture. With User Friendly, Iliad has captured the geek ethic and programmer culture. He sees as a computer professional sees, plays Quake as they play Quake and eats sugar-rich foods as they do. In this anthology you'll expect to see Quake jokes, Microsoft jibes, corporate takeovers and accents that change more quickly than the bug list>for Windows 2000.

The only criticism I can raise is that having been spoilt by Gary Larson's "Prehistory of the Far Side", I would have liked to see some of the nuts & bolts behind the scenes, like a "Techniques" section or a "Ideas rejected by the editor" section.

Other than that, I sat and read it cover to cover. Every time I'd go to put it down, I'd hit another storyline and I wanted to see how it would end. The Star Wars storyline was my favourite. Yeah, Sith Lords *do* get the coolest lightsabers!

Everything it's cracked up to be!, November 2, 1999
The funniest damn book I've read in years! The humor is at such a high level and so sophisticated, it's absolutely brilliant. Get this book!

A Jewel For The 90s, October 31, 1999
Let me see... a funny, Microsoft bashing, Unix praising, Quake glorifying, Marketing hating, Star Wars fan, Lovecraft & Tolkien refering comic... What else is there to say ? Well, Dust Puppy is cute :-) Illiad is the best !

NT/UNIX whatever.. It ain't funny..!, February 25, 2001
Ok.. I read the rave reviews, and as a Windows/UNIX long-time user, it sounded great and i got the book.

BUT, geek or not, Windows/UNIX man or not, it simply is NOT funny. I'm sorry to break it to all the fans, but this book is NOT funny even to a techguy like me. Not to mention Computer newbies that will through this book away after a few pages.

So, techie or not, I simply found the humor to be NOT FUNNY!

Worth the money - easily, February 8, 2000
Out of all the cartoon books I've bought in my life, this is the only one to ever top Calvin and Hobbes on my list of favorites.

Didn't do it for me.., March 12, 2001
Nope, not funny at all. Nowhere near the likes of Dilbert. Being a computer professional and unix user, I've heard so many Microsoft-is-evil kinda jokes that its not funny anymore. But I never thought someone would actually write a 122 pages book repeating the same idea over and over and over and over again. A pathetic excuse of a comic book.

Buy Multiple Copies, May 24, 2000
I can't keep the book on my desk. Every IS person in the organization is borrowing, copying their favorites(sorry), and leaving "user friendly" messages on our customer computers. I have taken down my Dilberts in favor of Illiad's spot-on view of my world. When's the next one ?

A Geeky Masterpiece!, November 6, 1999
The UserFriendly book is great! All the old jokes and stories are here. It's a wonderful book for anyone who wants to immortalize the web comic.

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