Sunday, June 7, 2015

Wizzywig, by Ed Piskor

If you were a teenager or older when the first PCs came out for home use, you might get a kick out of the graphic novel Wizzywig.  I never had the brains, resources, or patience to get into the world of hacking.  The closest I came was seeing Matthew Broderick hacking away on War Games.  Ed Piskor's (autobiographical??) hero Kevin Phenicle, aka Boingthump, is living the hacker dream, exploring (and abusing) the limits of hacker culture.

He rigs electronics, pirates games, and sets a computer virus on the loose.  Piskor captures the culture of the 70s and the growing subculture of hackers and BBS users (that's bulletin board system users).  Many of them were punks, up to no good.  But, frankly, we owe much about the way we work and communicate to the trails these guys (almost inevitably guys) blazed for us.  Wizzywig might be a walk down memory lane for computer nerds, but it's a history lesson for everyone else.

Just a harmless, annoying little virus. . . .

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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