This is rather interesting. Co-sponsored by Microsoft and Seagate, celebrated cartoonist Jordan Gorfinkle (now, there's a name that rolls off the tongue) has just launched a daily web comic that celebrates the unsung heroes of information technology.
Called Heroes Happen Here, this is very nicely done and the graphics are superb. In the episode I just read, a young (elementary school age) lad comes to his father and asks: "Dad, what do you do for a living?"
The father replies: "Well, son, I write algorithms we call code to build software packages and drivers that do everything from sending email and encrypting CDs to calibrating airplanes and lasers."
A little later we see the boy standing in front of his class at school pretending to read from his notes saying: "My dad drives an ice cream truck."
Ah, how true-to-life this is. You should ask my mom what I do sometime and see what she says (grin).
But we digress... Inspired by real world stories of IT pros and developers, the comic centers around four characters who are unexpectedly thrown together to chase down a rogue computer virus. Intrigue, drama and adventure follow, and the foursome must use their combined knowledge to solve the challenges that arise.
The smart, wisecracking dialogue is peppered with references to famous bugs, software code names and insider references that will appeal to technology fans everywhere.
Gorf (as Jordan is known) and his team are making an open call to developers and IT pros to submit stories for incorporation into the storyline. "As an outsider looking in, I'm counting on the IT community for ideas and support as this comic strip goes forward," Gorf declares. "I'm an eager student, and willing to learn."
Microsoft and Seagate say that they are co-sponsoring this comic strip "as a way to demonstrate their respect and appreciation for the IT community, and to celebrate these unsung heroes in a unique, fun and informative way." The "back story" is that the strip's debut is an integral part of the forthcoming February 27, 2008 release of three new products: Windows Server 2008, Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 (Click Here for more information on the launch).
Actually, this is pretty clever marketing. I remember that the first thing I used to do when a new magazine (whose name shall remain ... "nameless") landed on my desk was to flick through to read the "Dilbert" cartoon and have a bit of a chuckle. It was only then that I would return to the contents page to see what else the issue had to offer. So, I for one am going to sign up for the RSS feed on the Heroes Happen Here page in order to start each day with a laugh before plunging into the mire that is my usual working day.
Actually, I'm hoping Gorf can work in a small cameo role for a tall, dark, handsome (brave, noble, debonair, etc.) engineer called "Max" who's quick wit and legendary computing skills ... (don't get me started, I could go on for hours).
Questions? Comments? Feel free to email me – Clive "Max" Maxfield – at firstname.lastname@example.org). And, of course, if you haven't already done so, don't forget to Sign Up for our weekly Programmable Logic DesignLine Newsletter.