Twenty years ago, J.K. Rowling’s hit Harry Potter novels felt new and fresh, but a quick reread of any of the books reminds readers that Harry, Ron and Hermione go on their journey at the end of the 20th century when the world was just starting to connect to the Internet. Times have changed, and the imaginations of Internet-savvy readers have stepped up to modernize an important corner of Rowling’s world.
That’s where Jonathan Dart comes in. It started, as so many jobs do, with a first day that felt overwhelming and a little bit scary. For the muggle IT guy at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the day bled into a month of things that surprised, amazed, and sometimes terrified. The Setup Wizard has emerged as a delightful addition to Tumblr that Harry Potter fans are flocking to for a little whimsy and quite a bit of laughter. Here’s his first post:
It’s not clear who’s behind the Setup Wizard, which appeared a month ago, but many readers are reacting with a hearty chant of “One of us!” with each of his new posts. He finds the wizarding world a bit strange at times, with its moving staircases and spells that lack any logical purpose. Have you ever really thought about why the earliest wizards created a spell for turning an animal into a cup? Jonathan Dart has.
We learn through a quick read that wizards and Muggles have similar problems with technology. The headmaster can’t remember his password, for instance.
Dart also quickly learns that, much like their Muggle brethren, once online, the greatest security he has in the school is based around his power over the network.
As the blog has grown in popularity, Dart has taken on an assistant, a young half-blood named Emily Vargos. Her understanding both the Muggle and wizarding worlds have proven necessary just to keep poor Jonathan from slamming his Muggle head against one of those enchanted stone walls in frustration. You can follow their combined efforts to keep the students and faculty of Hogwarts online and connected to the outside world on The Setup Wizard.
Photo by Bill Smith/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Jason Reed