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It's back to Columbia Internet, "the friendliest, hardest-working, and most neurotic little Internet Service Provider in the world," for our third installment from the hit online comic, User Friendly. The cast: Quake-obsessed techies, self-absorbed sales staff, well-meaning execs, and assorted almost-humans. The background: too little office space, warring operating systems, and eternally clueless customers.
Tag along as geeks go camping, Mike finds a new use for silly putty, and Stef decides to beef up his Quake skills with the Acme Forced-Feedback Enemy-Denial Smackdown Ergonomic Game Chair.
If you've read the first two User Friendly editions from O'Reilly, you don't need an introduction to Greg, Jeff, Miranda, the Dust Puppy and the others. But if you haven't, welcome to the world of the hard-core geek, where humor--especially at one's own foibles--can be a survival skill. Since this is true of most work environments, chances are you won't have to know Unix or be able to log in as "root" in order to get the joke.
Illiad's community is truly global--the comic's one-million-plus readers log on from Israel, Brazil, Iceland, New Zealand, and Greece, among other far-flung locations. All kinds of people seem drawn to the strip-- from 8-year-old girls to 81-year-old women--a large, diverse, and very loyal community.