Once upon a midnight dreary,
coffee cold and vision bleary,
all night sat there writing COBOL,
coding spread across the bed sheets,
changing syntax for the mainframe,
having checked my final line,
I took the floppy from the drive.
Typing with a steady hand,
I then invoked the SAVE command,
but there below my effectuation,
appeared the cryptic communication,
"Abort, Retry, Ignore" and nothing more.
To remedy the situation,
the command I quickly reinstated,
appeared darkness there and nothing more,
the thing got even by merely stating,
"Abort, Retry, Ignore", and nevermore.
Is this some maniacal intrusion?
reaching for a system manual,
thumbing through for drive disruption,
all I saw was hapless jargon,
here were choices never spoken,
now decided, I must choose one,
Carefully, I weighed my options.
With fingers wet and trembling,
slowly toward the keyboard bending,
hoping for a solution pending,
praying all would be restored,
ultimately I pressed a key,
but on the screen what did I see?
my evil system reiterated,
"Abort, Retry, Ignore", and that was all,
I cried abuse towards the system,
believing this to be my saving.
I tried to catch the thing off-guard,
I pressed again, but twice as hard,
my system out to seek revenge,
I got again the reprimand,
typing now with desperation,
now just trying combinations,
still there came the incantation,
"Abort, Retry, Ignore", and nevermore,
now the line consumed the screen,
my code had gone or so it seemed,
Now in state of ghostly fear,
by my own machine I had been thwarted,
getting up I turned away,
then paced across the floor again,
but then I saw an awful sight,
a bolt and blinding flash of light,
a lightning bolt across the night,
zapped and killed the power supply.
I saw the screen collapse and die,
"No - my code", I cried,
I thought I heard a voice reply,
"You'll see your source code nevermore".
So here's the morel of the story,
Windows won't hack multitasking,
cursed by ancient rule of function,
using but one secondary device,
where disk and drive are seen as one,
changing disks may end your fun.
Should you receive this age old war cry,
revert the action of disk expulsion,
heed this or forever live with,
a doorstop there, and nothing more,
I am the website administrator of the Wandle industrial museum (http://www.wandle.org). Established in 1983 by local people determined to ensure that the history of the valley was no longer neglected but enhanced awareness its heritage for the use and benefits of the community.