Happy new year
israeldahl at gmail.com
Thu Jan 2 14:17:55 UTC 2014
This is great! I wish I was better versed in Univac Exec 8 mainframes!
Thanks for sharing this!!
On 01/01/2014 02:43 PM, Aere Greenway wrote:
> 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
> mount-requests outstanding
> 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
> sub-system 4--
> Some ESI interrupt queued and waiting from
> sub-system 4.
> 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
> relevancy bore;
> 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
> sub-system 4
> 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
> message bore,
> 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
> what this
> 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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