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In the Artemis Fowl series, Artemis uses a PowerBook throughout the series. (A PowerBook is a type of Mac) Yet, when The Last Guardian was published in 2012, PowerBooks were old and antiquated. Why did Eoin Colfer still make Artemis Fowl use a PowerBook?

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    My personal guess would be that large sections of the books were written years before (but got edited out) and were then simply recycled into future books.
    – Valorum
    Sep 27, 2014 at 22:33
  • @Richard True, but Eoin Colfer tweeted somewhere that he had writer's block, so this might not be the case.
    – user33236
    Sep 27, 2014 at 23:54
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    My guess is that he builds his own computers and used the powerbook as the skeleton for it. Sep 28, 2014 at 0:02
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    Maybe it's an intentional "parachronism", like the long telephone cord in "Napoleon Dynamite". Sep 28, 2014 at 0:17
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    Given the extent of Artemis' genius, the fact that he has access to Foaly's technology, it seems positively unrealistic to be expecting him to use a commercially-produced-by-humans computing device. Most likely he started out with a powerbook, and since then he's been using powerbook casings for his custom devices.
    – Shisa
    Sep 28, 2014 at 3:49

2 Answers 2

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For the first few novels, a PowerBook seems perfectly reasonable, as it was fairly common back then. But, he built the C Cube withing a few years of discovering fairy tech. After having it fall into the hands of Jon Spiro, his memory is erased, so he goes back to using his PowerBook. But if his memory was later restored, why keep using a PowerBook? Artemis was most likely haunted by his memories of almost blowing open fairy civilization. Rather than create something from their tech which could fall into the wrong hands, why not just use good old-fashioned human tech?

If you've never had the chance to use a PowerBook from the late 90s, then you should know that it still runs brilliantly. It's a tough piece of machinery that, with some technical know-how and a bit of money, can be upgraded to be a reliable machine in the modern day, capable of doing anything from playing Minesweeper to cracking a fairy code. Most importantly, though, it's 100% human-made. If it gets in the wrong hands, the only thing that'd be of any use would be behind layers of encryption, and as Artemis has proven, cracking his encryptions is essentially impossible.

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Your observation is totally correct. For the kind of nerd prodigy that Artemis Fowl was, a notebook running Linux or BSD would have been surely more apt. He had several patents registered to his name at the age of 12, so learning how to operate a geeky operating system would have been a piece of cake. Now unfortunately, authors aren't technologists or programmers, they know a little bit of all fields. Though, I'm pretty sure that if Eoin Colfer had created Artemis in 2011 instead of 2001, he'd have made him use something like Linux. It would have also opened a whole lot of plot options. For example, he could have used open source linux tools like nmap and metasploit against Foaly and the fairy network's constant surveillance on him.

Edit

But despite power books, I still think that Eoin Colfer did make a much better and detailed use of technology in fiction than say J.K. Rowling (though he wasn't as commercially successful in scale).

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  • This seems to be more an explanation of why he shouldn't have used a PowerBook than an answer to the question of why he did.
    – F1Krazy
    Sep 20, 2017 at 12:52
  • I did answer that as: authors aren't technologists or programmers, they know a little bit of all fields. Though, I'm pretty sure that if Eoin Colfer had created Artemis in 2011 instead of 2001, he'd have made him use something like Linux.. Maybe, Colfer didn't know that power-books were soon going to be very outdated in 2001. SciFi authors can hardly be expected to know about tech business, right? Sep 20, 2017 at 12:59

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