A no-symbology, no-pseudo-philosophical explanation / backstory of the Matrix movies from a programmer's perspective. [read the article]
The above article is pretty good and it explains a lot of the technical pragmatism that I use in explaining the Matrix. There are two points left out that I would jump in with, though. I believe both of these I've gone on about at greate length in previous posts, so I'll keep it short. First of all, many of the digg comments mentioned how the article refrained from mentioning the psuedo-religious symbology of the film. The thing I point out, and to me it was made obvious in one of the dialogues in Limbo (Mobil Ave Station), is that the programs use human religious symbolism in metaphorical terms, or to use a better term, they take on religious symbols as a part of their overall paradigm. We've already established that the machines aren't very creative: when trying to come up with a simulation world they simply borrowed large swathes of human (particularly American) history. So they don't make new names for their jobs as programs they simply assume names from religious and mythical archetypes. The best example is the Merovingian and his gang. The vampires were even watching a classic vampire film. The Merovingian himself makes it quite clear that he "enjoyed" taking on the "evil Frenchman" persona and that it made sense for his "business", as an illegal programs dealer program.
The second thing I would mention, that the article skips over, is the question "How was Neo programmed?". I get a kick of this one, but I believe the Merovingian gave it away. The primary metaphor for the machines to send programming to Humans appears to be Food. (Everytime food shows up in the films it has a fairly major relevance.) The makes great sense for a metaphor (you program a machine through its inputs, and the most obvious of Human inputs is food). It is also, interestingly enough, surprisingly ethical. In every case the person has the ability/choice to refuse the food, particularly when they know the food isn't real. Thus, Neo was programmed by a Cookie. (On a side note, its fairly obvious that the Zionists had no virus scanner to check for such programmatic inputs.)