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The Best of the Joy of Tech

by Nitrozac and Snaggy. 192 pp. O’Reilly, 2004. $14.95

The Joy of Tech has long been my favorite web comic. Nitrozac and Snaggy (their real identities are revealed in an introduction by David Pogue) revel in poking fun at the Mac, Unix, science and science fiction communities in their several-times-weekly cartoons posted at www.geekculture.com. No tech or pop culture target is safe from their laser-sharp and occasionally off-the-wall wit.
The Joy of Tech’s artwork is simply beautiful. It’s no surprise that Nitrozac and Snaggy met in art school. Dead-on caricatures of techie stars like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates share space with geeks of all sorts in their natural habitats and techno-talking babes who are perfect in every way. (Keep dreaming, guys.)

Anyone who has “sipped the rainbow colored Kool-Aid” (that now-anachronistic term for die-hard Apple devotees) will get a charge out of the geek who asks for time off from work to “make a pilgrimage to my temple of worship” - his Mecca, of course, is Macworld Expo. Beleaguered tech spouses will feel the pain of “modem as anniversary gift.” And where else can you find a geek crooning a torch song for Apple’s dropped Happy Mac start-up icon? Even user groups make their appearance, from the Klingon Mac User Group Meeting to my favorite, the guy who takes his girl to meet his “family: – his Macintosh User Group!

For extra fun be sure to read the JoyPolls collection at the end of the book. JoyPolls are online polls published to the web with every Joy of Tech. These enhanced JoyPolls include notes by the authors, comments, and the occasional geeky tidbit.

If you follow the Mac world, The Joy of Tech will make you feel like an insider – most of the time. (Some of the Unix cartoons go waaay over my head.) Even if you don’t, The Best of the Joy of Tech is too much fun to miss.

– Elsa Travisano
Copyright ©2004 by Elsa Travisano. This review appeared in the April 2004 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.