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Memoirs of a Virus Programmer

Pete Flies

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Stonegarden.Net Publishing

Published : 2005

Copyright : Pete Flies 2005

ISBN-10 : PB 0-9765426-8-4
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-9765426-8-1

Publisher's Write-Up

A high-tech satire, Memoirs of a Virus Programmer is the Candide of this century. Johnny Pepper dedicates his memoirs to his former girlfriend, Katya, to explain what drove him to become a virus programmer. As a software engineer at the illustrious Beamer Corporation, he begins his career with a naive disposition, assuming life will be nearly perfect. Eager to escape childhood poverty and to experience comfort, he forges his way into the office world with a blind and maddening optimism. The real world singes him time and again as he finds his world view impossible.

From Johnny’s faceless project manager, to his obnoxious cube-mate, to the desperate housewife next door, Johnny stumbles his way through his memoirs, making mud of his ideals. The only solace he finds is in his girlfriend’s love, and when he drives her away, he becomes consumed by his programming, losing himself, slowly becoming self-absorbed, isolated, and downright bitter.

The short chapters give an array of conundrums. Johnny Pepper’s memoirs careen like a driverless car between his love-hate relationship with technology and a more romantic era. Readers will enjoy Johnny's frantic descent into his inner criminal mind.

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (301106) Rating (9/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Rating 9/10
Living near Minneapolis, Johnny Pepper is a young software engineer who gets a job at the high-tech Beamer Corporation. He can’t wait to do some actual software engineering, but is told to read manuals until the right project comes along. His office mate is Danny, a very cynical person who spends his days reading news items off the Internet to Johnny, despite Johnny’s absolute disinterest, and in gabbing with a woman named Fillmore. Needless to say, Danny does very little actual work.

After three months of reading about Beamer’s WebCutter software, Johnny gets to actual code writing, fixing bugs here, and plugging holes there. It gets to the point where Danny and Fillmore give their work to Johnny, so they can continue gabbing and not-working. Eventually, Johnny is given his own project, to be included in WebCutter’s next release. He works on it day and night for 5 full months; just when he is ready to hand in the finished product, he is told that it won’t be needed, after all.

Meantime, outside of Beamer, Johnny is dragged by his roommate to what turns out to be a Christian party. There, he meets Katya, an anarchist who works in the pharmaceutical business. They see each other for a while, but the relationship eventually fades away. It doesn’t help when Katya finds Johnny in bed with a woman from across the street, who is separated from her husband.

Because of these things, Johnny decides to write the ultimate in viruses to affect WebCutter. He spends a lot of time on it, makes it look like it came from Danny’s computer, and records the whole story to explain to Katya why he did it.

This is a really good satire on modern, high-tech office life. It’s a pretty 'quiet' story, but, for anyone who has ever spent their days looking at pages and pages of computer code, it’s very much worth reading.
Paul Lappen (30th November 2006)

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