Author: Pete Flies
Living near Minneapolis, Johnny Pepper is a young software engineer who gets a
job at the high-tech Beamer Corporation. He can't wait to do some actual
software engineering, but is told to read manuals until the right project comes
along. His office mate is Danny, a very cynical person who spends his days
reading news items off the Internet to Johnny, despite Johnny's absolute
disinterest, and in gabbing with a woman named Fillmore. Needless to say, Danny
does very little actual work.
After three months of reading about Beamer's WebCutter software, Johnny gets to
actual code writing, fixing bugs here, and plugging holes there. It gets to the
point where Danny and Fillmore give their work to Johnny, so they can continue
gabbing and not-working. Eventually, Johnny is given his own project, to be
included in WebCutter's next release. He works on it day and night for 5 full
months; just when he is ready to hand in the finished product, he is told that
it won't be needed, after all.
Meantime, outside of Beamer, Johnny is dragged by his roommate to what turns out
to be a Christian party. There, he meets Katya, an anarchist who works in the
pharmaceutical business. They see each other for a while, but the relationship
eventually fades away. It doesn't help when Katya finds Johnny in bed with a
woman from across the street, who is separated from her husband.
Because of these things, Johnny decides to write the ultimate in viruses to
affect WebCutter. He spends a lot of time on it, makes it look like it came from
Danny's computer, and records the whole story to explain to Katya why he did it.
This is a really good satire on modern, high-tech office life. It's a pretty
"quiet" story, but, for anyone who has ever spent their days looking at pages
and pages of computer code, it's very much worth reading.
The above review was contributed by: Paul Lappen: CLICK TO VIEW Paul Lappen's Reviews