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[techbooks] REVIEW: "NetSlaves: True Tales of Working the Web", Bill Lessard

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  • Rob Slade, doting grandpa of Ryan and Tr
    BKNTSLVS.RVW 991214 NetSlaves: True Tales of Working the Web , Bill Lessard/Steve Baldwin, 2000, 0-07-135243-0, U$19.95 %A Bill Lessard %A Steve Baldwin
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 10, 2000
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      BKNTSLVS.RVW 991214

      "NetSlaves: True Tales of Working the Web", Bill Lessard/Steve
      Baldwin, 2000, 0-07-135243-0, U$19.95
      %A Bill Lessard
      %A Steve Baldwin
      %C 300 Water Street, Whitby, Ontario L1N 9B6
      %D 2000
      %G 0-07-135243-0
      %I McGraw-Hill Ryerson/Osborne
      %O U$19.95 800-565-5758 905-430-5134 fax: 905-430-5020
      %P 248 p.
      %T "NetSlaves: True Tales of Working the Web"

      As it happened, while reviewing this book I read most of it in a
      public place. As is usual when you are reading in public, I got
      asked, a lot, if it was a good book. I don't know if it's a good
      book. It certainly isn't a great book. But it is definitely amusing,
      fun to read, and, for the experienced technical worker, occasions more
      than a few wry mutters of "Oh, how true."

      In fact, despite the subtitle, it isn't true. This is not a piece of
      social analysis, or even commentary. The authors have created a set
      of titles for eleven "castes" of Web or technology workers, mostly
      overworked, underpaid, and otherwise preyed upon. The stated purpose
      is to take the stars out of the eyes of those who think that by
      prepending an "e-" to something they will be well on the way to fame
      and fortune.

      Each caste is introduced with a brief description of this type of
      work, and a set of "General Characteristics." (This section has a few
      holes in it: total the "Percentage of NetSlave population" figures and
      you get roughly 200 percent.) The bulk of each chapter, though, is
      the story of a typical netslave for that caste, complete with very
      thinly disguised real companies. There is a pervasive feeling of
      looming disaster in all of these stories, but the subjects do tend to
      come out the other end pretty much intact, if not better off than when
      they started. Although it is easy to see that these stories aren't
      all true, they may very well be more realistic than the myriad
      articles in the trade magazines about how technical workers are in
      short supply, and every available body is being bought up with $100K
      contracts and generous stock options.

      Although technical workers will be able to recognize caste types
      across many fields, it is easy to see that the authors are, primarily,
      Web workers. Competent network managers, telecommunications workers,
      programmers, and engineers seem to be in short supply in the book.
      The company products tend to be heavily involved with entertainment or
      advertising, and light on usefulness. The characters all tend to be
      rather young: Gen-Xers or N-Geners, depending upon your choice of

      Technical workers will probably identify more than one co-worker in
      these pages. And, if you have the time to read it in the midst of
      your current death march, you may find a vague comfort in the illusion
      that you can survive this, and it will end some day.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKNTSLVS.RVW 991214

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
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