Happy new year
Aere at Dvorak-Keyboards.com
Wed Jan 1 20:43:59 UTC 2014
On 01/01/2014 12:34 PM, Israel wrote:
> I know this is rather nerdy, but....
Thank you for the clever graphic, done in characters. It's a "blast
from the past" like the graphics available to us when I originally
started programming (in the late 60's).
Since one good turn deserves another, I am contributing my parody on
Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven", written from the perspective of systems
programming back in the 70's, working on Univac Exec 8 mainframe systems.
"The Blocktimer's Lament"
(A parody on Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven")
By Aere Greenway
Once upon a mid-shift dreary, while I
pondered, weak and weary,
over many a strange and curious listing
of forgotten core--
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly
there came a clacking,
As the printer fiercely tapping-- spewed its
printout on the floor.
"Tis my SYSGEN," I muttered, "dumping
registers and core--
only this and nothing more."
Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in
the Dynamic Allocator,
and each stupid faulty COR-change wrought
its errors by the score.
Hopelessy I watched the panel;-- vainly
I had read the manuals
and my PROCS, and still I fail--
to allocate the D-bank core--
and patch a rare unseemly buffer which
my expool doth not store--
nameless here for evermore.
And each sudden bad uncertain flashing of
on the console; showed a thousand different
errors I had never seen before;
So that now to still the beating of my fist,
I stood repeating:
'Tis some interrupt receiving service from
Some ESI interrupt queued and waiting from
This it is and nothing more.
Eventually my fits grew meaner; placing
cards into the reader,
"@RUN" said I, "@START a @RUN and
crash no more;
But the fact was I was napping, and so
loudly the printer clacking,
and so faintly you were S$NAPing-- dumping
buffer space and core."
Always now the lights I'm watching-- for a
flash from channel 4:--
Darkness there and nothing more.
Deep into that darkness peering, long
I stood there wondering fearing,
routeing, klugeing patches no mortal
ever dared to patch before;
But the backlog was unopened, and the
flashing gave no token,
and the only words there spoken was
the run-log phrase "DAMCORE"...
This I whispered, and the console printed
back the word: "DALCORE"--
merely this and nothing more.
Then back to my manual turning, all I
ate within me burning,
Soon again I heard a clacking, a little
sooner than before.
"Surely," said I, "surely it is a glitch
in the control-unit;
Let us see, then, what there is, and
this circuitry explore;--
'Tis the disks, and nothing more.
Now out I pulled the ERR$ing module, when,
with barely a flit and flicker,
On there popped a shining light from
the failing channel 4.
Not the least abberance made it; not
a moment stopped or changed it;
But with will of control-unit and processor,
glowed there from sub-system 4--
glows there still, and nothing more.
Then this brilliant kluge beguiling my
false hopes into smiling,
at the grave commanding pattern of
the lights upon the board,
"Though thy states be badly shaken by
this PC-card I have taken, surely thou art not mistaken
ghastly grim and unknown algorithm wandering through
the ferrite core--
Tell me what thy unknown state is far within
the dormant core!
Quoth the system, ERR 004.
Much I marveled this ungainly foul machine to
see discourse so plainly,
though the error-code little meaning-- little
For we are reluctant in agreeing that no living human being
ever yet was cursed with seeing shining
light from channel 4--
Light within the deadlocked panel shining from
with such a state as ERR 004.
But the system, sitting lonely in that
big room, printed only
that one word, as if its reason for existence in that
one word did deplore.
Nothing further then it printed; not a
flashing light it flitted--
'til I scarcely more than booted.
"System errors I've solved before--
On the next load it will be working, as my
builds have @MAP'ed before."
Then the thing prints: ERR 004.
Startled at the horror hinted by reply
so aptly printed,
"Doubtless," said I, "what it prints is
its only stock and storage.
Dumped from some unhappy register
which reentrant disaster
swallowed fast and hung much faster til
its buffers one message bore--
Till the control units of its symbionts the melancholy
of error-- ERR 004.
But the SYSBLD still compiling all my
changes I'd been trying,
straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in
front of machine and console and core;
Then down in the chair sinking, I reduced
myself to LINK$ing, thinking
cryptic code of yore--
What this dim, unweildly, beastly,
un-commented and monotonous algorithm of yore
meant in printing ERR 004.
This I sat engaged in guessing, but no
jump-switch yet depressing
on the foul machine whose guard-mode light now
burned into my bosom's core;
The buffer still devising, my mind
still searched, reviling
as I beat upon the table while the lights
stare always o'er.
It shall run? No-- ERR 004.
Then methought, the air grew denser,--
with ozone told a sensor
caused by wiring and such whose arcing
crackles through sub-system 4.
"Wretch", I cried, "UNIVAC hath rented
thee-- By these Field Engineers it hath wrecked
Respite-- enter site and set jump-key, from
all control-units on channel 4!
Quaff, don't laugh-- but before the coming century,
let me complete this hopeless chore!"
Quoth the system, ERR 004.
"Be that word our sign of parting, thing
.OR. fiend!" I shrieked rebooting--
"Test-and-set thee stacked into the darkest regions of the
smelly hidden core!
Leave no jammed-printer as a token of
the lie thy console hath spoken!
Leave my processors unopened-- Turn
off light from channel 4!
Take thy @MARK from off my tapes, and
take thy plague from off my chore!"
Quoth the system, ERR 004.
And the system, never flitting, still is
sitting-- still is sitting.
Like the groveling ghost of babbage, light still on
from channel 4;
And its lights have all the seeming of a
down-machine that is dreaming,
and the room lights over it streaming
cast no shadow on the floor;
But my dump from out that shadow
that lies looping in memory 4,
shall be listed nevermore.
If you are very familiar with Poe's poem, you will notice that one verse is
missing. You might think of this omission as a 'parody error'...
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