Happy new year

Nio Wiklund nio.wiklund at gmail.com
Thu Jan 2 18:56:26 UTC 2014

2014-01-02 10:06, Michael Rawson skrev:
> On 01/01/14 20:43, 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
> Happy new year to everyone.
> That was rather beautiful, Aere! (Who says geeks can't write poetry?)
> Best wishes,
> Michael

+1 from Nio

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