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It’s been a while since I posted here, many balls in the fire and irons in the air, so I thought I’d dig into my archives for an oldie, albeit one more of tin than of gold.

This one comes from a 1995 email from a co-worker who was forwarding something cute she’d found in a Delphi Forum.

The following was (per her email) “written by Gene Ziegler and posted to Delphi’s DTP Forum” (after almost 30 years, I have no idea what DTP might have stood for back then). Per the email, the piece, channels the old classic, Green Eggs and Ham, and is named:

A Grandchild’s Guide to Using Grandpa’s computer (Ode to Dr. Seuss).

Bits. Bytes. Chips. Clocks.
Bits in bytes on chips in box.
Bytes with bits and chips with clocks.
Chips in box on ether-docks.
Chips with bits come. Chips with bytes come.
Chips with bits and bytes and clocks come.
Look, sir. Look, sir. Read the book, sir.
Let’s do tricks with bits and bytes, sir.
Let’s do tricks with chips and clocks, sir.
First, I’ll make a quick trick bit stack.
Then I’ll make a quick trick byte stack.
You can make a quick trick chip stack.
You can make a quick trick clock stack.
And here’s a new trick on the scene.
Bits in bytes for your machine.
Bytes in words to fill your screen.
Now we come to ticks and tocks, sir.
Try to say this by the clock, sir.
Clocks on chips tick.
Clocks on chips tock.
Eight byte bits tick.
Eight bit bytes tock.
Clocks on chips with eight bit bytes tick.
Chips with clocks and eights byte bits tock.
Here’s an easy game to play.
Here’s an easy thing to say.
If a packet hits 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.
You can’t say this? What a shame, sir!
We’ll find you another game, sir.
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 RISC,
Then you have to flash your memory and you’ll want RAM your ROM.
Quickly turn off your computer and be sure to tell your mom!

§ §

For newcomers who don’t go back to the 1990s, Delphi was an online service provider that began as a national dialup service in 1983. They began hosting forums in the mid-1990s, and apparently those forums are still active, although they have long since migrated to websites.

As I mentioned, I have no idea what DTP might have stood for or why my co-worker was active in that forum, but it was obviously something computer related. A quick search turns up:

  • Dynamic Trunking Protocol (which seems unlikely)
  • Data Transfer Protocol (maybe?)
  • Document Transfer Protocol (maybe?)
  • Desktop Publishing (dubious and maybe too modern)
  • Development Tools Project (from Eclipse, so doubtful)
  • Disturbing The Peace (funny, but no)
  • Down To Pound (ditto)
  • Distributed Transaction Processing (hmmm, maybe?)

Honestly, I’m not seeing any that really hit the mark.

But whatever. The poem is still kinda cute and worth giving life after all these years. My thanks, and full credit and props, to Gene Ziegler, whoever and wherever you are!