Happy new year

Israel 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....
>>
>>
>>
> Israel:
>
> 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
>      thee!
> 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.
>
>
> P.S.
>
> 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'...
>
> -- 
> Sincerely,
> Aere


-- 
Regards

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