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When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth, by Cory Doctorow (baens-universe.com)
70 points by duck 2133 days ago | hide | past | web | 14 comments | favorite



every time someone refers me to this I suffer, mostly because it reminds me of old-time optimism for the internet future, the Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace.

All we got now is a facebook nation and a lousy web 2.0.


I think that the thing that bothers me most about this story is how plausible it all is. That said, it's one of my favorites of his (although none of the rest come close to Printcrime: http://craphound.com/?p=573 ).


The thing that really makes it plausible is, and I think every sysadmin has felt this, the feeling you get when you're in a server room. Spend enough time isolated in there, and I bet you every sysadmin will start to daydream about how something catastrophic could happen outside and he wouldn't even know.


Wonderful story, but I kept wondering the whole time, why weren't they printing out every useful bit of survival and geographical and machine maintenance and biofuel making information they could find online in preparation for the generators running out of fuel?


Like all C. Doctorow's work it can be found in many different formats @ http://craphound.com/overclocked/download/

Quite an interesting read, I'd gladly read a sequel.


They are also available on feedbooks.com (the PDF version on craphound.com is 2-column, on feedbooks.com is 1-column)


This one hits a little too close to home. As a web developer and a father with a wife and son I almost wept at my desk after reading some bits of this story.


I love it! I was on my way to bed when i saw this on HN, 45 minutes later.. Woah. I would definitely read a sequel. This made my mind spin, not sure i'll manage to sleep now :-D

Makes you wonder though, would this actually be possible? And if so, how could we prevent it? Not that we can prevent the unpredictable, but too much of todays internet requires constant maintenance, we have the web 2.0, how about a internet 2.0 where some changes are made to keep it alive no matter what? (theoretically speaking, not suggesting this is a good solution).

Would have to be planned in the open too, making a open sourced new plan-spec of the new internet.


Great story. I didn't plan on reading it; 1 hour later...


I this in comic form and it is by far one of the best comics I own. It is an absolutely awesome comic, took me a while to find it as well!


is this a digital version you could link to..?


I don't know of a digital version of the comic.


Cory is always a pleasure to read.


"I had two hundred days of uptime on Greedo," Van said. Greedo was the oldest server in the rack, from the days when they'd named the boxes after Star Wars characters. Now they were all named after Smurfs, and they were running out of Smurfs and had started in on McDonaldland characters, starting with Van's laptop, Mayor McCheese. "Greedo will rise again," Felix said. "I've got a 486 downstairs with over five years of uptime. It's going to break my heart to reboot it." "What the everlasting shit do you use a 486 for?" "Nothing. But who shuts down a machine with five years uptime? That's like euthanizing your grandmother."

Cory rocks.




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