honestpuck writes "Even Grues Get Full is the fourth and latest collection of cartoons from User Friendly. I got this collection because a friend said the third collection was brilliant 'from cover to cover.' I have to say that this collection did have some exceptionally good moments, but 'from cover to cover,' I think not." Honestpuck's review continues, below.
To start, I didn't find the inside title page even worth a smile, the only joke 'Even Grues Get Full' had already been on the front cover and I'd noticed its repetition on the back one as well.
To investigate a little further I read the 'Foreword' by Wil Wheaton. OK, it did have one good Wesley joke but mostly it seemed to be saying how much he didn't mind Iliad making fun of him in the strip.
Then we get to the strips. Yeah, some are funny. I laughed a bit. Iliad certainly knows a good tech joke when he draws one - even if he does seem to make a lot of jokes at the expense of the Windows operating system -- which seems to be a combination of shooting fish in a barrel and politically incorrect making fun of the crippled and lame. However some things are just not funny, Mr Frazer.
What about those cartoons from page 78 to 83. To start off, no self respecting Lego geek with two hundred and seventy million dollars would buy two million sets of Lego Mindstorms. I'd only (sorry, I mean 'He'd only') buy one and a half million to leave cash left over for buying a couple of hundred thousand Lego models of the Millenium Falcon -- I mean, "D'uh!" Oh, and about the cartoon on page 82: missing a 16-wheel cog to complete your project is no laughing matter you know. I don't see what's so amusing about building a missile silo out of Lego either -- I'm going to build a carry box for my cat when I can get enough blue 12 x 1 bricks.
Then there's the series about the visiting MBA. No real geek would fall in love with a woman merely because her name, 'Pearl,' was a homonym for a scripting language - get real. If her name had been 'See' or 'Jarvah,' maybe. But not funny, Iliad.
Frankly, I think this book is full of the usual 'User Friendly' rubbish. Jokes at the expense of those poor users (hey, they don't know any better), clueless management (hey, they don't know any better) and socially disadvantaged and deprived geeks (hey, we don't know any better.) Joking about the outstanding, well-informed and upright citizens that work in the sales and marketing departments of our IT firms and ISPs? Shame on you J.D. Oh, and poking fun at poor Larry Ellison just cause he isn't as rich as Bill is just downright mean.
I think Tim O'Reilly should be ashamed to publish this book. I guess the only reason he does is that Iliad hasn't poked fun at him (yet).
I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone. It's just chock full of jokes that only a Linux-loving geek could find funny. Cartoons full of references that only a Perl programming geek would understand. I didn't learn a single thing about programming in C# for .NET ot the latest protocols used in Active Directories -- a totally useless tech book, really.
Look, just go to the User Friendly web site and see some more recent examples from this deeply disturbed cartoonist, or go to the O'Reilly book page and check out a few strips from the book itself and you will agree with me.
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