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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Sandbenders  
  A highly customized computer system; the opposite of a box from Gateway or Dell.  

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.

"I like your computer," she said. "It looks like it was made by Indians or something."

Chia looked down at her sandbenders. Turned off the red switch. "Coral," she said. "These are turquoise. The ones that look like ivory are the inside of a kind of nut. Renewable."

"The rest is silver?"

"Aluminum," Chia said. "They melt old cans they dig up on the beach cast it in sand molds. These panels are micarta. That's linen with this resin in it."

From Idoru, by William Gibson.
Published by Putnam in 1996
Additional resources -

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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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Idoru
  More Ideas and Technology by William Gibson
  Tech news articles related to Idoru
  Tech news articles related to works by William Gibson

Sandbenders-related news articles:
  - Calling All Sandbenders - PC Case Mod Contest!

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