"I received a nice letter the other day from the Dalai Lama. He had read 'The Nine Billion Names of God'. It is about a computer at a Tibetan monastery."
Gibson's characters, the ones who are most interesting, always express themselves with interesting artifacts. The Sandbenders are a colony in Oregon; they make one-of-a-kind artifacts that are exactly the opposite of the computers to which we're all accustomed.
Not even on Ebay. The Jargon File also notes that a sandbender is a person who works in the area of silicon lithography and the physical design of a computer integrated circuit chips. Silicon, of course, is what sand is mostly made of.
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