Microserfs

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Microserfs, published by HarperCollins in 1995, is an epistolary novel by Douglas Coupland. It first appeared in short story form[1] as the cover article for the January 1994 issue of Wired magazine and was subsequently expanded to full novel length.[2] Set in the early 1990s, it captures the state of the technology industry before Windows 95, and predicts the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s.

The novel is presented in the form of diary entries maintained on a PowerBook by the narrator, Daniel. Because of this, as well as its formatting and usage of emoticons, this novel is similar to what emerged a decade later as the blog format.

Coupland revisited many of the ideas in Microserfs in his 2006 novel jPod, which has been labeled "Microserfs for the Google generation".[cite this quote]

Contents

Plot

The plot of the novel has two distinct movements: the events at Microsoft and in Redmond, Washington, and the movement to Silicon Valley and the "Oop!" project.

The novel begins in Redmond as the characters are working on different projects at Microsoft's main campus. Life at the campus feels like a feudalistic society, with Bill Gates as the lord, and the employees the serfs. The majority of the main characters – Daniel (the narrator), Susan, Todd, Bug, Michael, and Abe – are living together in a "geek house", and their lives are dedicated to their projects and the company. Daniel's foundations are shaken when his father, a longtime employee of IBM, is laid off. The lifespan of a Microsoft coder weighs heavily on Daniel's mind.

The second movement of the novel begins when the characters are offered jobs in Silicon Valley working on a project for Michael, who has by then left Redmond. All of the housemates – some immediately, some after thought – decide to move to the Valley.

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