Defrag is a weekly technology humour column by Kerrie Murphy which appears in The Australian's IT section on Tuesdays. Murphy writes under the alias 'Defrag' and uses the column to take satirical pokes at the funnier side of the IT industry.
DEFRAG reorganises the hard drive of the industry by taking the lost files of silliness and displaying them on the screen saver of ridicule, while working in gratuitous references to professional wrestling wherever possible. Defrag has never won a Walkley, but Linus Torvalds suggested Kerrie Murphy was on drugs after she theorised the Linux penguin would lose a deathmatch against the BSD Deamon (sic).
-- from The Australian's web site

Aside from the main column, Murphy compiles several regular sidebars, to wit:

  • Ask Defrag, where readers' letters (often of questionable authenticity) are printed and responded to;
  • Quote Of The Week, where something stupid someone (often a Microsoft spokesman, or Larry Ellison) said this week is made horribly public;
  • Top 10, where Defrag enumerates the ten best responses to a question posed the previous week ("Having completed his probation, legendary hacker Kevin Mitnick is allowed to connect to the internet for the first time in eight years. Send us the top 10 things Mitnick does when he logs on."); and
  • Fragmented Minds, where an amusing move by a marketroid or member of middle management is mocked in true Australian style.
Murphy has several pet phrases that she uses in nearly every column, such as "hang on a minute, Defrag." She also likes to use highly contrived metaphors, eg. "sitting on the couch of naivete wrapped in the toasty warm blanket of delusion," and frequent references to professional wrestling. While these can get tedious at times, mostly they add to the satire.

I make sure I read Defrag over breakfast every Tuesday, just like I do the Dilbert strip that appears in the same section; laughing at the foibles of the IT industry is a good way to start the day, and Defrag usually does it admirably.

It is available online at,7202,columns_defrag,00.html

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