Snow Crash

There was a way that early Macs crashed that left a snow pattern on the screen. Hence, the Mac SnowCrashed. -- usually accompanied by machine-gun-like noises...

Ditto with CGA video cards on IBM PC clones.


Not just "early" Macs. My new Mac Mini (bought March 2009) also snow crashes. See the video at:


A seminal book by NealStephenson, where he introduces the MetaVerse, a world full of ThreeRingBinders, and HiroProtagonist.

From the JargonFile:

Stephenson's epic, comic cyberpunk novel is deeply knowing about the hacker psychology and its foibles in a way no other author of fiction has ever even approached. His imagination, his grasp of the relevant technical details, and his ability to communicate the excitement of hacking and its results are astonishing, delightful, and (so far) unsurpassed.

Review by SunirShah: If you call yourself a webfiend, if you like playing with (vs "on") online communities, get this book and read it. Do it. Do it now. Or be destined to always be a grainy black and white avatar.


One of the best books I ever read. One of the seminal CyberPunk works, but highly entertaining and even funny. This is a must have.

-- sg

It is a fun book (although the ending is pretty cheesy), but it is not one of the seminal CyberPunk books. SnowCrash was published in 1992, while CyberPunk, as a literary movement within science fiction, started around the end of the 70s and the beginning of the 80s. Neuromancer (probably the novel to which the description "seminal CyberPunk" is most applicable) was written in '84.

I totally disagree. I see Neuromancer and SnowCrash as bookends on the Cyberpunk movement. Remember that WilliamGibson didn't know squat about the technologies he was writing about. On the other hand, NealStephenson actually understands computers and crypto. I would look at the difference between the two as being like comparing "From the Earth to the Moon" by JulesVerne to "2001:A Space Odyssey" by ArthurCeeClarke. One worked more in the realm of pure ideas and speculation, not requiring grounding in reality, while the other was a technical extrapolation from existing knowledge.

Actually, you agree! By the dictionary definition of "seminal", Neuromancer is a seminal CyberPunk novel, while SnowCrash, good though it is, is not.


I just finished reading the TheDiamondAge, also by NealStephenson. Kind of reminiscent of Heinlein's StrangerInaStrangeLand. Very enjoyable - although as a projection of future society, I thought the lack of biological components to nanotechnology was a startling oversight. -- AndyPierce
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