Microserfs: A Novel
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They are Microserfs—six code-crunching computer whizzes who spend upward of sixteen hours a day "coding" and eating "flat" foods (food which, like Kraft singles, can be passed underneath closed doors) as they fearfully scan company e-mail to learn whether the great Bill is going to "flame" one of them. But now there's a chance to become innovators instead of cogs in the gargantuan Microsoft machine. The intrepid Microserfs are striking out on their own—living together in a shared digital flophouse as they desperately try to cultivate well-rounded lives and find love amid the dislocated, subhuman whir and buzz of their computer-driven world.
to prerelease is a high status issue. But I must say, there's something timeless about the false sincerity and synthetic goodwill of meetings, the calculated jocularity and the simian dominant-male/subordinate-male body language. At least the presence of Karla, Susan, and Amy saved us from the inevitable stripper jokes. Karla pointed out how in marketing meetings at Microsoft, everybody was trying to be fake-perky, and trying to fake having ideas, while at CES, everybody's trying to be
is fanatical in his devotion to Microsoft. It's as if the more they ignore him, the more rabidly he defends their honor. And if you cherish your own personal time, you will not get into a discussion with him over the famous Look-&-Feel lawsuit or any of the FTC or Department of Justice actions: “These litigious pricks piss me off. I wish they'd compete in the marketplace where it really counts instead of being little wusses and whining for government assistance to compete. . . .” You've been
I was sitting by the pool with Michael, watching him watch the R2D2 pool cleaner. I mentioned last night's machine/progress notion. He was eating a Snickers leftover from Halloween trick-or-treating, and said, “If you can conceive of humans developing a consciousness more complex than their own, then BINGO, you believe in progress whether or not you even think so.” So I guess I believe in progress. Michael was staring into the clean blue fluid, an anti-Narcissus, and he twiddled his index
dismantle itself about fifty times, frame-by-frame. Mom was in the breakfast nook typing a letter to her sister on an IBM Selectric and we got into an argument about whether anybody made them anymore. Maybe in Malaysia. WEDNESDAY Dusty is now working with us! Michael hired her under the condition that she devote herself to the company and confine her body experimentation to off-hours-as well as to forgo aerobic instruction moonlighting altogether until shipping. “And no smart drugs!”
third weekend, he showed up, and I tried to be so casual. And we talked, and we got really deep really quickly-that scary kind of deep you experience when someone has you entranced. “And he asked me to go for a drive with him. And so ask me, did I go?” “Did you go?” asked Michael. "Oh yeah. We drove around for an hour in his pickup and we talked and drank Bud Light, and I kept waiting for it to go somewhere, but my problem was I didn't know what it was, or where it was supposed to go . . .