Software Stories

Notes for an Essay on Microsoft Word
Damn the paperclip to hell.
Saturday, February 5, 2000
Amiga 1000
A love letter to a little white box.
Wednesday, February 2, 2000
Software Story
Visions of Photoshop, visions of PowerPoint.
Monday, June 16, 2003
Seeing Sound/Synthesis
I was losing my mind thinking about sine waves.
Sunday, December 28, 1997
Geek Rhapsody
Laboring under the mysterious watchful eye of the Guru Meditation error.
Monday, December 8, 1997
More and More Like the Machine
Some miscellaneous thoughts on software and soul, which I will try to focus on forthcoming Mondays.
Monday, January 27, 2003
Getting Close to the Machine
A collection of quotes from a book by Ellen Ullman, prefaced by some good-natured technical meandering.
Thursday, January 30, 2003
Like Ezra Said
Notes from the night out.
Thursday, May 15, 2003
Processing Processing
Late night thoughts on little computer languages, the web as a form, and my own ignorance.
Tuesday, September 2, 2003
Experiments in Processing

Exploring the small computer language Processing.
2 sections.
Internet Culture Review
A reply to Thomas Frank's One Market Under God. A quick explanation of how Cyberculture transformed into the New Economy, and then into - poof! “TV news can be safely ignored forever.”
Tuesday, February 27, 2001
There are two kinds of distraction, at least.
Friday, October 14, 2005


PEEK is the website of Paul Ford and his pseudonyms. It is showing its age. I'm rewriting the code but it's taking some time.


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

If you have any questions for me, I am very accessible by email. You can email me at and ask me things and I will try to answer. Especially if you want to clarify something or write something critical. I am glad to clarify things so that you can disagree more effectively.


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© 1974-2011 Paul Ford


@20, by Paul Ford. Not any kind of eulogy, thanks. And no header image, either. (October 15)

Recent Offsite Work: Code and Prose. As a hobby I write. (January 14)

Rotary Dial. (August 21)

10 Timeframes. (June 20)

Facebook and Instagram: When Your Favorite App Sells Out. (April 10)

Why I Am Leaving the People of the Red Valley. (April 7)

Welcome to the Company. (September 21)

“Facebook and the Epiphanator: An End to Endings?”. Forgot to tell you about this. (July 20)

“The Age of Mechanical Reproduction”. An essay for (July 11)

Woods+. People call me a lot and say: What is this new thing? You're a nerd. Explain it immediately. (July 10)

Reading Tonight. Reading! (May 25)

Recorded Entertainment #2, by Paul Ford. (May 18)

Recorded Entertainment #1, by Paul Ford. (May 17)

Nanolaw with Daughter. Why privacy mattered. (May 16)

0h30m w/Photoshop, by Paul Ford. It's immediately clear to me now that I'm writing again that I need to come up with some new forms in order to have fun here—so that I can get a rhythm and know what I'm doing. One thing that works for me are time limits; pencils up, pencils down. So: Fridays, write for 30 minutes; edit for 20 minutes max; and go whip up some images if necessary, like the big crappy hand below that's all meaningful and evocative because it's retro and zoomed-in. Post it, and leave it alone. Can I do that every Friday? Yes! Will I? Maybe! But I crave that simple continuity. For today, for absolutely no reason other than that it came unbidden into my brain, the subject will be Photoshop. (Do we have a process? We have a process. It is 11:39 and...) (May 13)

That Shaggy Feeling. Soon, orphans. (May 12)

Antilunchism, by Paul Ford. Snack trams. (May 11)

Tickler File Forever, by Paul Ford. I'll have no one to blame but future me. (May 10)

Time's Inverted Index, by Paul Ford. (1) When robots write history we can get in trouble with our past selves. (2) Search-generated, "false" chrestomathies and the historical fallacy. (May 9)

Bantha Tracks. (May 5)

Tables of Contents