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Stories about families, friends, the past, the present, the future, the science of magic and the magic of science.


Firefly the pegasus foal loved magic. He loved spells, enchantments, magical objects and the way magic could be used to transform and animate objects, to make them more useful to ponies and to let ponies do what would otherwise be hard or even impossible. The only problem was that like most ponies Firefly could not cast a spell, and he never would, and that was just the way things were. When he grew up, Firefly moved to Ponyville and he decided that just because it had never been done didn't mean that it never could! The result changed Equestria forever.

This story is a compendium of my entries in Obsolescence's OC Slamjam contest of early 2015, in which I was runner up (my series are listed under "Firefly's Author"). Here are the links to the OC Slamjam contest and the OC profiles if you and interested, but these are not needed to read the story.

NOT A SPOILER: this story is very loosely based on the microcomputer revolution in the late seventies and early eighties, in which I was intimately involved (yes, this means I'm in my fifties). I hope this story will give the reader a bit of the feeling of what those heady days were like when the incredible power of computing escaped from an elite few into into the hands of even the most modest person, and of the very special people who had it in them to think different and make it happen.

Chapters (10)
Comments ( 52 )

I see you took out the fanfilly stuff, but you left in all the shyness and blushing. I would say it sounds a bit more like what Melon's author described, but still pretty far off (if only because you really didn't change all that much). Also, the wrinkles where you changed something are sometimes a bit too visible, like here:

Melon’s expression became neutral again. “You’ve met the Princess?!”

He shook his head. “Hey, I’m not name dropping, I swear! This is a small kingdom! Live here for a while and you’re likely to meet pretty much everypony!”

Lines like these now no longer makes any sense, even internally. The first because her expression doesn't match her dialogue, the second because it's nonsense with the changes.

So, coming from your thread in the group, I appreciate your efforts to make a semi-cohesive story—I appreciated it when you started obviously trying to do it during the competition itself, even. I just don't think you were able to make it work. Or, rather, I think what you did harmed your story within both contexts. Your entries for the Slamjam did indeed tend to struggle with their broader focus (as I think I've seen you say?), but they're still remarkably disconnected and unfocused compared to your average multi-parter.

Mind you, this multi-parter context does justify (or explain, at least) your propensity for giving more of the spotlight to Firefly than to your competitor's OC, but to me, that raises the question even more fully of why you didn't just write a cohesive story outside of the contest instead of fighting a losing battle against the contest's very nature to do it there. More than that, I have to say that—while we were competing—I felt like your idea to write a continuous story only occurred to you after your first or second entry, and to hear that you went into the contest with this cohesive Steve Jobs–inspired narrative in mind kind of underlines how unrelated the earlier entries feel.

And I guess it must have been very lucky that you managed to make it to the finals, huh? What would have happened to this whole narrative business if you'd lost after one of the first few rounds?


Melon blushes not because she's shy. She does it after she puts her hoof in her mouth, which she's doing continuously in the story. She knows she has problems communicating to others, and that she lacks the self discipline to watch what she says. She also does not like stuffed shirts, from which her negative reactions to name dropping stems. Both of these aspects of her character I took from her OC Profile. Firefly notices both these traits pretty early in the conversation which is why he gets so defensive about not coming across that way.

On the whole, this is a very prickly conversation between two self-acknowledged misfits, and the only reason it's a partial success is that it didn't end in an argument, as the Wake segment afterwards clearly relates was the result of the second date.

Thanks for the feedback on the improvements from the original and what I could still improve!


I wasn't necessarily saying that the blushing and the shyness are portrayed as a package deal, or something. Shyness comes up on its own:

She seemed like a different pony as soon as she started talking him about her trade, her discourse punctuated with shy little grins that made her look sweet.

Her shy smile returned.

And in regards to this…

She knows she has problems communicating to others, and that she lacks the self discipline to watch what she says. She also does not like stuffed shirts, from which her negative reactions to name dropping stems. Both of these aspects of her character I took from her OC Profile.

I'll just say that A.) neither of those things are anywhere on her sheet, B.) her character as described on the sheet doesn't seem the type that would care whether anyone likes her, and C.) it doesn't come off like she had any "negative reactions to namedropping" anyway—not that that's got anything to do with anything I brought up.


I did go into the contest wanting to do a consistent narrative, and I wasn't the only author in the contest to do so. In each story including the first two, Firefly's interest in Magic is a central element of his character, as stated in his OC profile submitted BEFORE the contest. Usually, in a multi-chapter story you can take the time needed to introduce the character, but that was not the case with this contest.
And as I said I my post, this was not going to be anywhere as tight or tidy to read as a more traditional setup, but the whole reason for me to participate in these contests is to push my boundaries as an author. The OC Slamjam contest delivered this in spades. Would I try to do this again in a future Slamjam, or just do completely discrete and unrelated stories? Probably the latter! But, still, I 'm glad I tried it this time. I learned a lot in the process!

Oh, if I'd lost early I would probably just have restarted from scratch using a more traditional approach. I had been thinking of doing Wizards of Everfree Valley for over a year before the OC Slamjam.


She seemed like a different pony as soon as she started talking him about her trade, her discourse punctuated with shy little grins that made her look sweet.
Her shy smile returned.

Both of those usages of the word "shy" are in Firefly's internal dialogue, and show what he thought her smile represented. Of course he could be completely wrong. Maybe she was just relieved to talking about something that interested her, but in both those cases the text is talking about how Firefly interpreted her expression in a way consistent with his personality.

I'll just say that A.) neither of those things are anywhere on her sheet, B.) her character as described on the sheet doesn't seem the type that would care whether anyone likes her, and C.) it doesn't come off like she had any "negative reactions to namedropping" anyway—not that that's got anything to do with anything I brought up.

A) What's in her profile shows she had a really rough foalhood, and was not accepted by her family. This type of thing has huge consequences on social development and relationship skills. And then it was reported her first employer threw her out when he couldn't put up with her attitude. In both cases no specifics are given as to any specifics behaviours that caused or these things. As an author I had to find some rationale for this, and what I put forward as a plausible reason is that Melon has severe interpersonal communication difficulties. This is the source of her anger at others: she just isn't understood by them, and has just as much difficulty understanding others. Her profession as a blacksmith forces her to deal with customers, so she's learned since how to engage in basic customer/vendor relationships, which has made her increasingly aware of her own deficiencies.

B) That's quite possible. We have no clue why she went on this date. Maybe Plate Cauldron has some form leverage on her ( i.e. she needs something from him, maybe his business contacts in Ponyville) . We just don't know. The only time she smiles is when she's talking about her profession, the only good thing in her life. That should have been a clue to Firefly, but he misinterpreted it.

C) The profile says that she gets along better with ponies who don't try to compliment her. She's obviously been hurt and is very touchy, so anything she interprets as trying to impress her is likely to make her suspicious. Firefly interprets this as her being sensitive to something he doesn't like, i.e. name dropping. And I brought this up in response to your statement that you found the interaction where Firefly says he isn't name dropping didn't make sense, even internally.

Well, I see how it's from the OC swap contest, given that each story has the other character as a prominent feature.

I do definitely like the second one more than the first one, even though it sorta leaves me hangin' when it comes to Gross Product's family drama... and normally it seems like the kind of thing that would be segue'd into.


When I wrote this chapter originally I thought that just having Ripple accept to talk with her dad was enough of a conclusion for a standalone story, but as a part of a multi-chapter story I also felt something was missing, which is why in the "wake" segment I make it clear that Ripple and her dad have resolved their differences.

Note: When you respond to someone's comment in a different chapter from the one in which they made it, they don't get notified. Further, when you comment on your story's main page, it defaults to placing the comment in the most recent chapter.

Both of those usages of the word "shy" are in Firefly's internal dialogue, and show what he thought her smile represented. Of course he could be completely wrong. Maybe she was just relieved to talking about something that interested her, but in both those cases the text is talking about how Firefly interpreted her expression in a way consistent with his personality.

Unreliable narrators only really function as such if we have some reason to believe that they're unreliable—"they're not omniscient" isn't really good enough in a case like this. How am I supposed to know whether or not Firefly is a good judge of what smiles mean? The default assumption is that he's telling me things I can take as being relatively close to objective fact, because there's nothing in the story that would lead me to believe he's not correct, or that it matters even slightly either way. And the way you wrote Melon Rind could be described at times as shy regardless of where the word itself actually appears, so it's coming off to me like you're grasping at the more debatable parts of what I'm saying but failing to broach my actual point(s).

As an author I had to find some rationale for this, and what I put forward as a plausible reason is that Melon has severe interpersonal communication difficulties.

So yes, you came up with that stuff yourself. And, thusly, you didn't "[take them] from her OC Profile." None of the rest of what you're saying in this portion has anything to do with my assertion that it wasn't on her sheet like you had claimed, so I might as well ignore it, but I will say that it doesn't seem like you characterized her as deeply as you think you did. Not in the story itself, at any rate.

And I brought this up in response to your statement that you found the interaction where Firefly says he isn't name dropping didn't make sense, even internally.

I was saying that it doesn't make sense because you futzed with the conversation!

The original:

Melon’s jaw dropped. “You’ve met the Princess?!”

He nodded. “I see her in the castle library all the time. […]”

“You’re not just pulling my leg?”

He shook his head. “Hey, this is a small kingdom! Live here for a while and you’re likely to meet pretty much everypony!”

Here, he's saying the "this is a small kingdom" line in response to her implied question of "you're really not lying to me that you've met the Princess?" It's a chain of dialogue that makes sense by the story's internal logic.

Your new version:

Melon’s expression became neutral again. “You’ve met the Princess?!”

He nodded. “I see her in the castle library all the time. She’s real eager to discuss magic.” He grinned sheepishly. “But then she’s so far ahead of me that her explanations often go straight over my head. Still, she tries.”

“She’d help some random pegasus just like that? You’re not pulling my leg?”

He shook his head. “Hey, I’m not name dropping, I swear! This is a small kingdom! Live here for a while and you’re likely to meet pretty much everypony!”

Now, he's saying the new line of "I'm not name dropping, I swear!" in response to… nothing. Her implied question is no longer "you're really not lying to me that you've met the Princess?" Instead, with the new wording of her response, it's "you're not lying that the Princess is the kind of pony who would help out random pegasi like you?" No question of him name-dropping is implied until he's suddenly claiming that he's not doing it.

If Firefly was voiced, what would he sound like?


I based the look of Firefly on the young Steve Jobs, and it's his voice I hear in my mind's eye when Firefly speaks.

So... seems like in this using your "natural" magic channeled through a different source is a pretty big risk for someone.

I'm not sure if it seems unfair or not that the device allows everyone access to specifically unicorn magic, but devices for pegasus or earth pony magic would probably be a bit more difficult to create... maybe. Maybe there's some way to make some magical false wings, or hoof adornments or something...

The amount of er... use of the other character is definitely different from the previous ones... and he seems to become a very large part of Firefly's life, but a small part of the story itself. I have no idea what the norm for the contest entries is, though.


The specific difference between unicorn magic and the magic of other pony tribes (as portrayed in the show - so far!) is that it is spell based - I.e. It can be abstracted into a series of actions and commands that can executed in a specified order, represented symbolically (in spell books), taught as a discipline, and can be imbued into objects (enchantments). It was these parallels with computer programming that gave me the idea to do a series of stories based on the emergence of the "personal spell caster" in Equestria.

EDIT: the danger to non-unicorns of using their magical wellsprings is that they do not have the naturally evolved limitations unicorns have against over-abusing magic (that being one of the functions of the unicorns' horn), hence they can cause themselves irreparable harm.

I also intend to do a series of stories on how, as a result of the broad usage of spell casters, unicorns now are involved in a much broader sense in equestrian society because they are the ones who have formal education in spell based magic - just as personal computing didn't result in the end of computer programming as a formal profession, but in fact took it out of the data center and spread into almost every facet of society. So pegasi and earth ponies will also become formally educated mages, but using spell magic along with unicorns. I also plan stories based on non-formally educated 'chanters (the magical version of hackers) who sometimes use magic in an unforeseen/sanctioned fashion to either wondrous or nefarious ends!

As to the OC Slamjam, it just became the vehicle which I chose to do Firefly's story and some world-building around it. I figured the episodic nature of each round of the contest would lend itself to doing a series of vignettes on Firefly's life. However the process of having to introduce a whole new character with each round was a lot harder than I had imagined. I wouldn't do it this way again: way too much work, both for me and the reader. I'm hoping that the glue material I've added in this compendium version will smooth some of that out for the reader, but I realize it won't come close to a fully coherent narrative that a more traditional structure would have provided.

6843979 You could always edit a streamlined version of the story later.

The idea of a "Personal Spell Caster Revolution" in Equestria is intriguing, since it give unique Equestrian twist by its magitek nature. But I wonder if we will see the Equestrian equivalent of others that contribute towards it, like Douglas Engelbart (check The Mother of All Demos).
Will we see an equivalent to IBM? The PSC version of Killer App like Visicalc was for Personal Computing?


This is just the first in a series of stories I've planned, and by the way there are two original chapters (not part of the OC Slamjam) coming up that go a lot more into the rest of the history of the PC revolution!

Isn’t Fern Moor the head of the Equalist culture movement?

“Wow, but isn’t he like a unicorn noble himself?”

Yes he is. So is Mr. Prench, the other co-founder of the club.

Hm... are those specific examples with real-life analogues, or are these other Slamjam characters that are bein' worked into the greater story?

“Being the Element of Magic’s number-one assistant, I have a lot of interest in magic and a better education in the subject that most unicorns! Not to mention that Firefly promised me an all-I-can-eat visit to Pony Joe’s for donuts, so don’t count those bits just yet!”

I remember having discussions about Spike's interest/disinterest in magic on some other story... there isn't actually a whole lot (possibly not anything) in-canon to indicate he's either interested in magic or destined to be an intellectual. That doesn't mean he couldn't have a eureka moment, where he suddenly is interested (like, say, casting a spell himself) but that it's an addition to his character.

I like the addition of that to his character, but it is just an addition.

Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Incantation Code

Only one changed word, huh?

I'd say it's been a long time since I've used BASIC, but I was working with VBasic for a project a couple months ago.


are those specific examples with real-life analogues


Spike's interest in magic

He was a capable assistant librarian, and was also present for much of Twilight's schooling, so he's likely no slouch, academically. As to his interest in magic, I picture him as getting far more interested as soon as he undrstood what the personal spell caster could really do. I have a degree in computer science, but started my academic career in physics. I discovered my love of programming by accident, when helping my girlfriend at the time (now my wife) write comments for the programming course her brother had convinced her to take!


I had intended to change more words, but the real ones just fit so bloody well with magic! Did you find the reference to IBM?

Really interesting so far with the references to Homebrew Computer Club, BASIC and IBM. I'm really curious about Trixie's appearance - for some reason I think that she is associated with Equestrian IBM (producers of Industrial-Level Spell Casters? The equivalents to Mainframes?)

And we know that the IBM PC in our reality became the PC standard...

Curious to see the Spell equivalent of Visicalc and Lotus 123! :raritywink:


Don't forget Multiplan, More, WordStar, and Context MBA!

Trixie as the Equestrian equivalent of Bill Gates?? :pinkiegasp: I didn't see that coming (though that she was an high raking employee of IBM!)!

I wonder how the gaming business for PCs will be and if we will see Celestia and Luna's (i hope favorable) reaction to this revolution...


As I mention in the author's notes, I think that Trixie would see the personal spell caster as a way for her to build fame and fortune based on her less than conventional approach to magic. Illuminated Business Mages is only going to recruit the crème-de-la-crème of graduates from Princess Celestia's School for Gifted Unicorns, something that rules our poor Trixie. This is also why she's hanging around with the fringe of unicorn society and Equalists like Fern Moor.

Because her background shows her as being able to cast a much greater number of spells than your average unicorn, and that she is obviously talented in not only their usage but in tying them together and modifying them to do her stage magic, I felt she was actually a very good candidate for being on of the pioneering enchanters of personal spell casters, and in particular becoming the founder of Microspell.

Of course, this isn't a literal retelling of the microcomputer revolution, so the parallels aren't meant to be perfect matches, or all-encompassing in terms of events.

As to Celestia's and Luna's reactions to all of this, that is for another story!

Rarity smiled. “Indeed, we go to him for sound business advice. He’s the real angel investor of our venture.”


I just... there are no words.

Echo this. Didn't see that coming.

Flight with spellcasters? Yess.

I hereby dub the ensuing culture: Alicorn Culture. Where everypony has all the magic kinds they want.


This is how spell caster culture differs from personal computer culture! Now, just think of what this means for immersive gaming and virtual online experiences... :rainbowwild:

Not as much as it means to have everyone able to literally fly. :derpytongue2:

Seriously, though. I was more like "It makes things easier for Unicorns, but it also means that the thing that made them 'special' was taken away uniquely." and now... it's busy taking everyone's specialness away.

Insert Syndicate (from The Incredibles) .gif here.

Except the idea that you just spread superscience (or, you know, spread unicorn or pegasi magic) to everyone is actually a really good idea. It wouldn't stop people from being heroes or being exceptional, it would just raise the bar for everyone. I'm sure there must be some kind of downside, but the "I was special before but now I am not" is not a good one.


This is where the personal spell caster revolution is strikingly similar to the personal computer revolution.

It used to be that only governments or the largest corporations could afford computing. That was the mainframe era. (BTW my first job after graduating from university was as a user services consultant for IBM 360/370 mainframe users at the computing centre of a major university.)

With the advent of PCs, computing became affordable for all. Now, with the www, cloud computing, and Software-as-a-service, any individual with a few bucks can set themselves up to use sophisticated applications (he same ones the big corporations use) and all the compute and storage space they need online.

Programming used to be a priesthood (and I was one!) You might say programmers are no longer that special, because huge numbers of people do programming now. In reality, the bar to being a "paid programmer" has just continually been raised higher. But "amateur" programming is everywhere now, and touching orders of magnitude more peoples' lives that it did when it was purely a mainframe based activity.

Yeah, I program for a living... it definitely has been raised.

A big deal, I understand, when you're not a small company consulting for a larger one at rather high speed (which is what we are doing at the company I'm at :raritydespair:) isn't just solving the problem anymore, but doing so in such a way that when something does go wrong, you or anyone else in the company can fix it.

With more power, the need for super efficient coding is reduced (although doing so is still very important for drivers, game programmers, anyone who needs to squeeze every bit of power out of their system). But clarity, agility, maintainability, extensibility are taking heavy importance nowadays. And by nowadays I mean "in the past decade."

I'm years of experienced now, and I still feel like I'm scratching the surface of what I should know.

... I feel like I digressed from the topic a little. :twilightblush:


Disgression is the better part of... something or other. :pinkiehappy:

Neat beginning. I assume from the way this prologue is written that this is Twilight's memoirs later in life. At a casual guess, I'll assume Firefly is suffering from pancreatic cancer or something close to it to create a parallel with Jobs.


Bingo! You got it!

The "wake" timeline is some ten years after Twilight's Ascension. I tell Firefly's story as a series of flashbacks to significant events in his life. This mechanism can be a bit disjointed, but I wrote most of the chapters of this story as submissions to a multi stage writing contest, the OC Slamjam.

As to Firefly's disease, one of the stories goes a bit more into the details. His life is an amalgam of several real-life pioneers of Silicon Valley, but it was meant as a reference to Steve Jobs.

A pretty decently cute slice-of-life-ish chapter I guess. Not too much to comment on. You do a decent job bringing the characters to life, though there could probably have been a bit more tension to start. It feels cheap if characters get along easily too quickly after one of them seems initially antagonistic.

7050106 Well, I have no idea about this OC Slamjam contest thingamajig, I'm reading this basically blind to any outward references, though I am semi-familiar with the history of Apple and Jobs (having read Walter Isaacson's biography).

Something just about any writer will struggle with is keeping 100% perfectly cohesive internal logic in a story. Cause-and-effect might not line up perfectly, or they write a character doing something and then forget to take that action into account for the next thing the character does (say, in the case of two ponies hugging, then before either pony does something else like turn around, they need to actually break the hug first). Sometimes as an author you know what's happening behind the scenes but neglect to write things that easily imply this for the writers. The reader can sometimes internally explain away inconsistencies (as I do below), but it's far better to have lines in the text that make supporting the reasoning a lot easier.

In the case of this chapter, part of the tension is Firefly showing up to the lecture and not realising what it would be about, which is important because he then gets called out by Gap which sets up for his later conversation with Ripple. However, right near the end of the chapter, Twilight tells the crowd what the next week's lecture will be about.

Now, I can assume that Gap's was a special lecture which was scheduled in abruptly and not weeks ahead of time. However, if that were the case, the 'large crowd' which is noted to be uncommon needs to be explained as well, and in a manner in which Firefly remains unaware of the lecture topic. It could be that the Apple family is there because they're friends with Gap, and word of mouth from them drew in more of their own circle of friends, which Firefly remained dense to. Twilight would likely be putting out a special notice or two about the guest lecture, again which Firefly would have to remain dense to.


You're right that the lecture was initially unplanned, and basically due to Gap planning a visit to Sweet Apple Acres.

Also, in the opening paragraphs Firefly complains about his busy workweek and precisely about not having verified what the lecture would be about. His assumption is that the lecture would be about magic itself, and is dismayed when it turns out to be about the economics of magic:

He chewed the tip of his hoof absentmindedly, wondering if maybe they knew something he didn’t. It had been a busy weekend in the weather brigade, and he hadn't been home except to sleep and eat for four days straight.

However, this chapter main objective was to bring in a bit more about Firefly's personality, his history and his motivation for wanting to do magic, as well as the circumstances leading him to Ponyville. The OC Slamjam contest's requirements was to have Firefly interact with Gap, a professor of Economics at Canterlot U. This is the scenario I came up with. Sure it's a stretch, but the circumstances were dictated by the contest. Also, each chapter has to be able to stand alone as a story, so I had to introduce the new OC (Gap), provide a rational for him and Firefly to meet, and a plausible interaction between them. All in 3500 words!

Hmm. Not having read ahead or anything, I wonder if the two incidents he has had here with overusing his magic for spells contributed to his later death, since what he died from wasn't ever actually specified earlier.

I understand you aren't doing a perfect parallel to Steve Jobs, but I'm mildly surprised Firefly was still working as a weather pony even with the Bevelmeiter device developed. Jobs and Woz were worth hundreds of millions within a couple of years of starting Apple I think, and billions within the decade (or at least Jobs was, not sure about Wozniak after he gave away a lot of his stock). I guess the Bevelmeiter can be explained away as the expensive experimental prototype, and the 'Cobbler One Personal Spell Caster' can be the equivalent of the transistor that allowed for phenomenal miniaturisation of digital devices compared to the old pneumatic computers.

Eh, can't say I really like the idea of a pony being displaced out of time by a thousand years through petrifaction, it seems a little bit cheap and of course a ripoff of Luna's background, but I guess you were constrained in that manner by the contest outlines. That said, you still do a good job with characterisation for the OCs.

I couldn't recall if Clover the Clever was ever actually canonically stated to be female or if it was something left up to the gender of the actor (Princess Platinum definitely had to be female, it's in the name right there, but for all we knew the other five characters in the Hearth's Warming Eve could've been males who were played by female actors). If not, well, I'm not fussed, artistic license is a thing for a reason.

I do catch pretty much all of the obvious references here, especially with the old Homebrew Computer Club. It differs here from real life since Firefly and MM are showing off something entirely new altogether, as opposed to the HCC which while pioneering, mostly built on existing work with new innovations (I think it was one of the guys in the HCC who came up with the idea for using an intermittent power supply rather than a continuous one, the model of which is used in most modern PCs).

I suspect Firefly will deviate from Steve Jobs in his exacting demand for standardisation and going so far as to use special screws to prevent others from modifying their Apple computers. Perhaps, going off her appearance at the end of the chapter, that will be what Trixie does.

Mild Manners and Trixie's conversation at the beginning gives me the image of them and Firefly and the other founders of big companies of being peretually toked up when they talk about their 'wild days' (which...really wasn't that long ago in the text here). Of course, that wouldn't be really far off from real life, when Jobs joined that one cult-like group in New York state where the other dude who also became a billionaire later in life owned an apple orchard.

I vaguely remember from my readings about issues Apple had with early moulds. Woz I think was OK with them but Jobs wanted them to be precisely identical. Didn't they hit up an electronics store too for all their earliest parts as well?


The time travel through petrification was part of character profile for Falcata submitted for the contest. For my entry I had to use what was in the profile - or at least not contradict it. Still, Falcata turned out to be my favorite OC of the contest because of the scope of the challenge of getting her and Firefly to have some meaningful interaction.

I researched the canon for references to Clover's gender and found it was completely ambiguous when Twilight or any other pony mentions the historical Clover. I've written Clover as male in another story of mine (Renaissance Pony), and the event of Clover petrifying Falcata to save her life is in Falacata's profile (although the romantic link between them is my own invention.)


Keep in mind that Firefly is really an amalgam, not meant to mirror Jobs in all particulars.

As to Trixie, well, there are more chapters coming. :trixieshiftright:


Jobs admitted that they all pretty much stole components from their various work places. Keep in mind that a lot of these were simply not accessible in single unit quantities at the outset of the microcomputer revolution. I used to go to a used minicomputer and terminal equipment reseller (Queens Electronics in Montreal) to scavenge parts for my own microcomputer projects (110 baud modem, keyboard for a ZX-80...)

And then a detour from the main story, but considering the narrative is ponies attending Firefly's wake, that's alright. Every person has his or her own life story and is a different character to different people.

(I actually lived in the Northwest Territories when I was a kid for a few years. Nice place, but 23.5-hour days in the summer and 22-hour nights in the winter are hell on the psyche)

Well, to go with the analogy, Firefly certainly lit up the world, and he'll go out before his shine has a chance to fade out. It's a good thing he wasn't born female, considering some female fireflies are incapable of flight.

And the end.

It's a good thing Firefly isn't a perfect Jobs parallel, else I wonder who he'd father a daughter with who he would deny the paternity of for several years,


I purposefully didn't want Firefly to be too similar to Jobs. First, as important as Jobs was, he wasn't the only person involved in the microcomputer revolution. Second, I couldn't help but imagine all the angst and flamecasts I'd be subjected to for having portrayed him OOC! As it is, it's the foundation for more stories I want to do drawing parallels between magic and the Information Age.

Thanks for commenting. I truly appreciate it when readers take the time to discuss my stories!


Is the title a pun on the Pirates of Silicon Valley?

Yes indeed! I originally called it Pirates of Everfree Valley, but none of my editors and pre-readers got the reference, so I changed it: :twilightoops:

Mind you, there's a certain line from a great and powerful mare that would have way more awesome if she had said "We were the Pirates of Everfree Valley..." :trixieshiftright:


I like the idea of Twilight not being immortal. I think the fandom took her becoming an alicorn the wrong way. This chapter though... It feels kind of tipsy. It's like you're spilling boiled water. I get this will all make sense later, but the atmosphere is rather humid. It could be that I'm thinking of it in the wrong way. I should probably read on and maybe I'll catch some interest.


With this chapter I wanted to contrast those beliefs about Alicorn immortality with the utter finality of a 'normal' pony's passing. I also wanted to set the stage for the wake, which provides the background for all the stories I wrote for the OC Slamjam. I look forward to your comments.

Image seriously super-good, but text was not very for me in my current moment. Still, I found it somewhat fitting how in this video (11:27) you can see idea of moving from personal (isolated) computer to networked (personal) computer .....

And of course I've read something like https://www.dougengelbart.org/pubs/augment-101931.html -

But another side of my experience has been with what people perceive about the possibilities stemming from these new technologies. And I am not so sure that we have moved all that far out of the Dark Ages in that regard.

I still don't see clear perceptions about what we humans can gain in new capabilities, or about how this may come about. There are constant, echoing statements about how fast and smart the computers are going to be, but not about how the enhanced computer capabilities will be harnessed into the daily thinking and working life of our creative knowledge workers.

I guess what I am hoping to see is the emergence of professional societies concerned with something like what I call a whole Augmentation System. And I'd like there to be special conference sessions and research efforts focused on pursuit of very high performance for teams of people equipped with integrated new technologies AND with new concepts, methods, roles, skills etc.

reading those words from (relative, +30 years since 1988) future, sitting behind very powerful networked machine running collective-effort OS (Linux) and watching and reading stories from all over the world and finally realizing all this communication power just faded at most important moment when humans failed to act ...ughm. Quite painful.

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