|Every Coder in Codeville liked objects a lot.|
"Tested," "Reusable,' that's what was hot.
But the Grinch of Reality sulked in his cave, Saying, "Hear them all talk
of the time that they'll save!"
|The Grinch hated Coders, and liked them to sweat.|
He thought, "I can make them unhappy, I'll bet!"
He read through 12 texts, then looked up with a grin:
"Why, this is as good as original sin!"
|He read with a chortle, "An object or class, |
Is like a black box hiding all that it has.
Its details invisible: All that you know
Is what should go in and what answers will show."
|He slunk to the West Coast and into a lab,|
Where chip engineers were at work at their fab.
He heard their boss saying, "Forget testing tricks:
This one is the same as a 486!"
|His chance had now come. From their math microcode, |
He struck out one line as it went to download.
And the Grinch watched with barely containable glee
As the chips with their bugs shipped across land and sea.
|And each of those chips went to some happy buyer,|
Where some just played games, but most were for hire,
Sending up spacecraft or buying up stocks,
Or predicting the timing of quake afterhshocks.
|Then the bug story broke! And the Grinch was alarmed.|
This news came too early! Too few had been harmed!
But the Grinch soon calmed down, as the months marched on by,
And the chip-making people continued to lie.
|"We fixed it!" they said, and now that was quite funny: |
You couldn't get fixed chips for love or for money.
"It's really no problem," they added in chorus.
"The errors are rare. Stop whining, you bore us."
|So everywhere, Coders were having to ask,|
"Just how does this chip do its float-divide task?"
Internals that they had been told to ignore,
Now had to be studied in blood and in gore.
|The leading bit patterns whose answers were wrong, |
And whether the errors were carried along,
All had to be thoroughly well understood
So the Coders could know if their answers were good.
|And the Grinch went off happy. He knew that they'd learned|
That quality output still had to be earned.
Beyond "Merry Christmas," they'd learned something greater:
"If you don't test it now, you'll just debug it later."
|-- From Peter Coffee, in PC Week|
| If a packet hit a pocket on a socket on a port,|
and the bus is interrupted as a very last resort,
and the address of the memory makes your floppy disk abort,
then the socket packet pocket has an error to report.
|If your cursor finds a menu item followed by a dash,|
and the double-clicking icon puts your window in the trash,
and your data is corrupted 'cause the index doesn't hash,
then your situation's hopeless and your system's gonna crash!
|If the label on the cable on the table at your house,|
says the network is connected to the button on your mouse,
but your packets want to tunnel on another protocol,
that's repeatedly rejected by the printer down the hall,
and your screen is all distorted by the side effects of gauss,
so your icons in the window are as wavy as a souse,
then you may as well reboot and go out with a bang,
'cause as sure as I'm a poet, the sucker's gonna hang!
| When the copy of your floppy's getting sloppy on the disk,|
and the microcode instructions cause unnecessary risk,
then you have to flash your memory and you'll want to RAM your ROM.
Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom.
|A COMPUTER WAS SOMETHING ON TV|
FROM A SCIENCE FICTION SHOW
A WINDOW WAS SOMETHING YOU HATED TO CLEAN....
AND RAM WAS THE COUSIN OF A GOAT.....
|MEG WAS THE NAME OF MY GIRLFRIEND|
AND GIG WAS SOMETHING YOU DID ON STAGE FOR MONEY
NOW THEY ALL MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS
AND THAT REALLY MEGA BYTES
|AN APPLICATION WAS FOR EMPLOYMENT|
A PROGRAM WAS A TV SHOW
A CURSOR USED PROFANITY
A KEYBOARD WAS A PIANO
|MEMORY WAS SOMETHING THAT YOU LOST WITH AGE|
A CD WAS A BANK ACCOUNT
And IF YOU HAD A 3 1/2" FLOPPY,
YOU HOPED NOBODY FOUND OUT
|COMPRESS WAS SOMETHING YOU DID TO THE GARBAGE|
NOT SOMETHING YOU DID TO A FILE
AND IF YOU UNZIPPED ANYTHING IN PUBLIC
YOU'D BE IN JAIL FOR A WHILE
|LOG ON WAS ADDING WOOD TO THE FIRE|
HARD DRIVE WAS A LONG TRIP ON THE ROAD
A MOUSE PAD WAS WHERE A MOUSE LIVED
AND A BACKUP HAPPENED TO YOUR COMMODE
|CUT YOU DID WITH A POCKET KNIFE|
PASTE YOU DID WITH GLUE
A WEB WAS A SPIDER'S HOME
AND A VIRUS WAS THE FLU
|I GUESS I'LL STICK TO MY PAD AND PAPER|
AND THE MEMORY IN MY HEAD
I HEAR NOBODY'S BEEN KILLED IN A COMPUTER CRASH
BUT WHEN IT HAPPENS THEY WISH THEY WERE DEAD
|Once upon a midnight dreary, fingers cramped and vision bleary,|
System manuals piled high and wasted paper on the floor,
Longing for the warmth of bedsheets,
Still I sat there, doing spreadsheets:
Having reached the bottom line,
I took a floppy from the drawer.
Typing with a steady hand, I then invoked the SAVE command
But got instead a reprimand: it read "Abort, Retry, Ignore".
|Was this some occult illusion? Some maniacal intrusion?|
These were choices Solomon himself had never faced before.
Carefully, I weighed my options.
These three seemed to be the top ones.
Clearly, I must now adopt one -
Choose: "Abort, Retry, Ignore".
|With my fingers pale and trembling,|
Slowly toward the keyboard bending,
Longing for a happy ending, hoping all would be restored,
Praying for some guarantee
Finally I pressed a key --
But on the screen what did I see?
Again: "Abort, Retry, Ignore".
|I tried to catch the chips off guard --|
I pressed again, but twice as hard.
Luck was just not in the cards,
I saw what I had seen before.
Now I typed in desperation,
Trying random combinations.
Still there came the incantation -
Choose: "Abort, Retry, Ignore".
|There I sat, distraught, exhausted, by my own machine accosted;|
Getting up, I turned away and paced across the office floor.
And then I saw an awful sight,
A bold and blinding flash of light,
A lightning bolt that cut the night and shook me to my very core.
The PC screen collapsed and died,
"Oh no -- my database", I cried.
I thought I heard a voice reply,
"You'll see your data-- Nevermore!"
|To this day I do not know|
The place to which our data goes
Perhaps it goes to Heaven where the angels have it stored.
But as for productivity - well,
I fear it has gone straight to Hell.
And that's the tale I have to tell -
Your choice: "Abort, Retry, Ignore".
|You just awake... your eyes are still shut|
Still cant quite focus.....still draggin your butt
You know you need coffee......can taste that first sip
You wait for the maker.....and put the mug to your lip
|The feeling is warm.... just what you need|
But you know you need more....and its something to read
The paper you say??? no...dont think so.. not it...
Its much more exciting... you cant wait to "click"...
|You boot up your puter.......you click that icon...|
Can't keep from grinning.... your really turned on!
When the voice says "Welcome"...your heart skips a beat!!
You know your addicted....all the friends that you'll meet.
|And then you see it.......you wait with a stare....|
The mail box lights up!! "you've got mail" waiting there!!
OH.. what a feeling!!.... you look with delight!
You hoped you'd have mail.... and you knew you were right!!
|So you go thru the mail..... knowing this is the "Best"..|
Reading this reading that....as you go thru the rest.
Some you give the "delete" key....others get your first click
You know you must hurry......you gotta be quick!
|It is then that you hear it.... You cant wait to see|
Your heart gets a flutter... who's name will it be?
And then there it is..... covering part of the screen
The sweet little sound....Oh..you know what that means!!!
|"Quick mail check" you promised....you said in your mind.|
But you just got an IM.... and your pressing for time!
You know that you want to.... and respond you will
So you stop what your doing.. and go for the thrill!
|You "LOL" and "BRB", give kisses and Hugs...|
You type and send words... refilling your mug
You give your good friend your attention and time
So that quick little mail check... turns to hours online!
|Every newbie in Newville loved Steve Case alot.|
But the Grinch who lived just north of New-ville did not.
|Oh he hated the service--all 10 million users.|
The lame and the looney, the lonely, the losers.
|Some say he'd struck out in his chat room romances|
That even the NetGirl had spurned his advances.
|It could be its logo was making him dizzy.|
A dial-up number perpetually busy...
|Or strange disconnects, but most likely of all|
Was the time he spent waiting on hold when he called!
|But whatever the reason, the bumps or the waits, |
He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating Steve Case.
|Staring down at his screen with a sour, net scowl,|
While Case sunned in VA with a monogrammed towel
|And he knew every newbie in Chat Rooms tonight|
Would now gather in private rooms clean out of sight.
|"And they're sending their IM's!" he snarled with a sneer.|
"While they tie up the phone lines, and buy Case's beer!"
|Then he scratched his green face in the monitor glowing,|
"I MUST find some way to stop AOL from growing."
Tomorrow, he knew...
|...All the AOL vandals|
Would wake bright and early. They'd rush for their handles
|And then! Oh, the spam! Oh, the Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam!|
That's one thing he hated! The SPAM! SPAM! SPAM! SPAM!
|They would forward chain letters and Dr. Seuss rhymes,|
A new virus-warning, that they'd dubbed "Good Times"
|And totems for luck or a new snowball toy.|
They'd collect business cards for a poor dying boy...
| And THEN|
They'd do something
He liked least of all!
|They'd launch with their modems that AOL call|
|They'd rush to their chat rooms, the old and the young|
the clueful, the clueless, the smart and the dum,
|And after they finished their e-mail reading,|
then IM to IM--the News would start breeding!
|They'd breed! And they'd breed! |
And they'd BREED! BREED! BREED! BREED!
|"It's all Steve Case's fault," the Grinch said with a tisk,|
"He's sucked up the market with all of those disks."
|And the more the grinch pondered the AOL thug--|
"I must stop the whole thing! I must pull the plug!"
|"Why I've suffered their spam since at least '94!|
And I won't suffer one piece of e-mail more!"
|"I know just what to do!" he said, stroking his chin.|
"I'll pull out their 19-hour routers again!"
|It was dark in Virginia, the home of the spam,|
As he crept past their now-silent parking lot cam.
|He passed a grey chimney, and quick as a whisk,|
he stole each and every last white floppy disk!
|As he reached the grey buildings, quite slowly he crept|
toward the humming computers where chat rooms were kept.
|And as up onto AOL's mainframes he climbed|
A well-known and tinkly sound file chimed
|He spun round to confront their security guards,|
But a Grinch-to-Case showdown was not in the cards.
|That morning a local school's tour passed through,|
and the Grinch stood called out by CINDY432!
|This Case fan stared accusing with watery eyes, |
and said "Why are you shutting down AOL? Why?"
|And so needing a dishonest answer to thrive,|
He said, "I'm on staff here, and I work for Tech Live!"
|"See, a sector near here will consistently fail.|
There's a sound file here that won't say "You've got Mail"!
|"And I merely stopped in to re-service this POP.|
(And on Wednesdays we schedule maintenance stops...)
|"So we're fixing the service with all our tech powers.|
The whole thing should just take a mere 19 hours."
|Then he roamed through the office park stealing their files--|
their CD's, and floppies, their modem and dials,
|Then the last thing he did--which they ill could afford--|
was to scarf up the service's last router cord!
|Then he ran to Virginia to gloat from a hill|
And he listened for Steve Case's crying so shrill.
|For he knew in the morning Case sat down to write |
his Community Update to send from the heights.
|Steve will find out his service was stripped in the night.|
His mouth will hang open, with nothing to write!
|And his stock options worthless, he'll cry "I am through!"|
Then the AOL users will all cry "Me too!"
|And they'll rush off to ISPs, all at one time|
and they'll savor the thrill of unlimited time
|On a POP with a dial-up that actually answers|
And with users besides just the chat room romancers.
| But instead the next morning, despite all his lies,|
the Grinch read in the papers they'd doubled in size.
|Though his newbies couldn't dial-in, they did something funny:|
They continued to give Steve Case all of their money.
|And he sulked in his Grinch cave, Virginia skies snowing--|
He hadn't stopped AOL's service from growing.
|"It came without UNIX.|
It came without phones.
It came without chatrooms.
Or Steve Case's tomes."
|All the New's kept on using those floppy disks pale,|
installing the software that came in the mail,
|Convinced that a service just couldn't be that bad|
(And deceived by blind faith from that George Jetson ad.)
|The Grinch pondered in horror the spams still to come. |
"Maybe newbies--real newbies--are just really dumb".
|"Maybe god made the clueless for Steve Case to fleece."|
Then he set up a filter and left them in peace.
|'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house.|
Not a creature was stirring, except Papa's mouse.
The computer was humming, the icons were hopping,
As Papa did last-minute Internet shopping.
|The stockings were hung by the modem with care|
In hope that St. Nicholas would bring new software.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of computer games danced in their heads.
Dark Forces for Billy, and Doom II for Dan,
And Carmen Sandiego for Pamela Ann.
|The letters to Santa had been sent out by Mom, |
|Which has now been re-routed to Washington State |
Because Santa's workshop has been bought by Bill Gates.
All the elves and reindeer have had to skedaddle
To flashy new quarters in suburban Seattle.
|After centuries of a life that was simple and spare, |
St. Nicholas is suddenly a new billionaire,
With a shiny red Porsche in the place of his sleigh,
And a house on Lake Washington that's just down the way
From where Bill has his mansion. The old fellow preens
In black Gucci boots and red Calvin Klein jeans.
The elves have stock options and desks with a view,
Where they write computer code for Johnny and Sue.
|No more dolls or tin soldiers or little toy drums|
Will be under the tree, only compact disk ROMS
With the Microsoft label. So spin up your drive,
From now on Christmas runs only on Win 95.
|More rapid than eagles the competitors came,|
And Bill whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.
"Now, ADOBE! now, CLARIS! now, INTUIT! too,
Now, APPLE! and NETSCAPE! you are all of you through,
It is Microsoft's SANTA that the kids can't resist,
It's the ultimate software with a traditional twist
Recommended by no less than the jolly old elf,
And on the package, a picture of Santa himself.
|Get 'em young, keep 'em long, is Microsoft's scheme, |
And a merger with Santa is a marketer's dream.
To the top of the NASDAQ! to the top of the Dow!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away - wow!"
|And Mama in her 'kerchief and I in my cap, |
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
The whirr and the hum of our satellite platter,
As it turned toward that new Christmas star in the sky,
The SANTALITE owned by the Microsoft guy.
As I sprang from my bed and was turning around,
My computer turned on with a Jingle-Bells sound.
And there on the screen was a smiling Bill Gates
Next to jolly old Santa, two arm-in-arm mates.
And I heard them exclaim in voices so bright,
Have a MICROSOFT CHRISTMAS, and TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.
Chaos reigns within. Reflect, repent, and reboot. Order shall return. Three things are certain: death, taxes, and lost data. Guess which has occurred. A file that big? It might be very useful, but now it is gone. Windows NT crashed. I am the Blue Screen of Death. No one hears your screams. Errors have occurred. We won't tell you where or why. Lazy programmers. Seeing my great fault through darkening blue windows, I begin again The code was willing. It considered your request, but the chips were weak. Printer not ready. Could be a fatal error. Have a pen handy? Server's poor response not quick enough for browser. Timed out, plum blossom. Login incorrect. Only perfect spellers may enter this system. This site has been moved. We'd tell you where, but then we'd have to delete you. Wind catches lily scatt'ring petals to the wind. Segmentation fault. ABORTED effort: Close all that you have. You ask way too much. The Web site you seek cannot be located but endless others exist. Stay the patient course. Of little worth is your ire. The network is down. A crash reduces your expensive computer to a simple stone. There is a chasm of carbon and silicon the software can't bridge. Yesterday it worked. Today it is not working. Windows is like that. To have no errors would be life without meaning. No struggle, no joy. You step in the stream, but the water has moved on. This page is not here. No keyboard present. Hit F1 to continue. Zen engineering? Hal, open the file. Hal, open the damn file, Hal, open the, please Hal... First snow, then silence. This thousand dollar screen dies so beautifully. With searching comes loss and the presence of absence: "My Novel" not found. The Tao that is seen is not the true Tao, until you bring fresh toner. Out of memory. We wish to hold the whole sky, but we never will. Having been erased, the document you're seeking must now be retyped. The ten thousand things. How long do any persist? Netscape, too, has gone. Rather than a beep or a rude error message, these words: "File not found." Serious error. All shortcuts have disappeared. Screen. Mind. Both are blank.
T.D.I. Microsoft Bashing
Bits and Bytes