His Baroque Cycle trilogy(of which System of the World is part) is pretty much a 1600 page prequel to Cryptonomicon.

You get to meet and hang out with Isaac Newton and many other of the early Enlightenment thinkers and architects, You get to be familiar with the Sun King Louis XIV! And the adventures of Half Cocked Jack, King of the Vagabonds, will take you all over the 17th century world. The history of computers and money...

If someone ever asked me what the best books I ever read were...
Neal Stephenson is on the very top of the list.

Headcrash is available as a used paperback on Amazon for around $5.

They didn't just "goggle in"

A proctoprod was part of the immersive experience...

His second book "Zodiak" is a hoot too.
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"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." Oscar Wilde