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'Twas The Night Before Y2K

'Twas the night before Y2K,
And all through the nation
We awaited The Bug,
The Millennium sensation.

The chips were replaced
In computers with care,
In hopes that ol' Bugsy
Wouldn't stop there.

While some folks could think
They were snug in their beds
Others had visions
Of dread in their heads.

And Ma with her PC,
And I with my Mac
Had just logged on the Net
And kicked back with a snack.

When over the server,
There arose such a clatter
I called Mister Gates
To see what was the matter.

But he was away,
So I flew like a flash
Off to my bank
To withdraw all my cash.

When what with my wandering eyes
Should I see?
My good old Mac
Looked sick to me.

The hack of all hackers
Was looking so smug,
I knew that it must be
The Y2K Bug!

His image downloaded
In no time at all,
He whistled and shouted,
Let all systems fall!

Go Intel! Go Gateway!
Now HP! Big Blue!
Everything Compaq,
And Pentium too!

All processors big,
All processors small,
Crash away! Crash away!
Crash away all!

All the controls
That planes need for their flights
All microwaves, trains
And all traffic lights.

As I drew in my breath
And was turning around,
Out through the modem,
He came with a bound.

He was covered with fur,
And slung on his back
Was a sackful of virus,
Set for attack.

His eyes-how they twinkled!
His dimples-how merry!
As midnight approached, though
Things soon became scary.

He had a broad little face
And a round little belly,
And his sack filled with virus
Quivered like jelly.

He was chubby and plump,
Perpetually grinning,
And I laughed when I saw him
Though my hard drive stopped spinning.

A wink of his eye,
And a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know
A new feeling of dread.

He spoke not a word,
But went straight to his work,
He changed all the clocks,
Then turned with a jerk.

With a twitch of his nose,
And a quick little wink,
All things electronic
Soon went on the blink.

He zoomed from my system,
To the next folks on line,
He caused such a disruption,
Could this be a sign?

Then I heard him exclaim,
With a loud, hearty shout,
Happy Y2K to you all,
This is a helluva night.

If anyone can advise authorship we will be delighted to acknowledge this. Please e-mail Readout with details.

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Last changes to this page: 2/7/2009
Poetry Corner

Instrumentation has been instrumental in the flourishing of a few poets on the net. Here are some samples which where possible are attributed.

There is also a page of Computer Poetry

If you like this page you'll love automation.com's cartoons!

The Chemical Worker's Song (Process Man)
By Roy Angel.

And it's go boys go
They'll time your every breath
And every day in this place your two days near to death
But you go...

Well a process man am I and I'm tellin' you no lie
I work and breathe among the fumes that tread across the sky
There's thunder all around me and there's poison in the air
There's a lousy smell that smacks of hell and dust all in me hair

Well I've worked among the spitters and I breathe the oily smoke
I've shovelled up the gypsum and it neigh 'on makes you choke
I've stood knee deep cyanide, got sick with a caustic burn
Been working rough, I've seen enough, to make your stomach turn

There's overtime and bonus opportunities galore
The young men like their money and they all come back for more
But soon your knocking on and you look older than you should
For every bob made on the job, you pay with flesh and blood

Well a process man am I and I'm telling you no lie
I work and breathe among the fumes that tread across the sky
There's thunder all around me and there's poison in the air
There's a lousy smell that smacks of hell and dust all in me hair

  • Song of the Year 2000 is another poem on the Millennium writtem by Martyn Thomas.
  • The Consultant is from the pen of Dick Morley, pioneer of the PLC.

  • If! some soothing words for the control engineer from the pen of John Pietila.
  • Ode to a Maillist
    Thoughts on The Control Group Controversy. Modesty forbids the publication of the author's name :-)
    What If Dr. Seuss Did Technical Writing?

    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 to RAM your ROM.
    Quickly turn off the computer and be sure to tell your mom!

    This originally appeared on the Automation Newsgroup posted by Brad Taylor 22nd June 1995. The earliest attribution I have is from Jack Grenard who advises the piece was headed SUE BLUMENSCREID at TERF in 1994. If anyone can clarify authorship more clearly we will be delighted to acknowledge this. Please e-mail Readout with details.

    Though this is not poetry it has a certain appeal and even a familiarity which transcends national and literary boundries. It's called Boom and Bust and appeared in the August 2002 issue of Read-out.

    Jim has published his Automation Unplugged Pinto's perspectives, pointers & prognostications and more recently Pinto's Points: How to win in the automation business! which contains many of his poems.
    From the prolific pen of the doyan of I&C Poets, Jim Pinto formerly of Action Instruments.

    Now that the Fieldbus Wars have been settled (?) it's time for another war. Is it Wireless? Jim thinks so and his muse has struck once again with The Industrial Wireless Quadrille. Read and enjoy!

    The Fieldbus Quadrille This piece appeared in the May/Jun'95 issue of Readout
    At the start of 2000 he returns to this subject: "It seems unbelievable that anyone could vote to make 8 non-interoperable industrial networks a "standard". I felt that this somewhat comical paradox should best be described in poetry.... " The Fieldbus Vote.
    Net du Jour - a bemuzed look at selecting platforms!
    This first appeared on the Control Mail-List as did the following.
    Open SayaMe, Closed SaysaYou! looks at confusion on open and closed systems in the various fieldbus platforms. Bill at the Gates of Hell is yet another spell binder which hit the streets in late 1997. This lead to a follow-up St Bill which places him in a perhaps happier situation.
    Here is another satirical piece from Mr Pinto's pen called MS Fieldbus Takeover as is The Legal Mugging of Microsoft composed after a legal finding in November 1999.
    Millennium Meditations is perhaps a final farewell to the 20th century and hello to Y2K.
    Never say never and of course the Automation Bard has come up with another Y2K offering with the The Y2K Raven.
    The Wreck of the Mike Bonsignore - though not a Jim Pinto poem it does appear on his web site and marks the end of an era in Honeywell.

    No beating about this Bush! - We don't usually stoop to politics on this site, but we are Irish and it's in the blood. We also like Jim Pinto and as a native of the most populous democracy on the globe he also enjoys a good political wrangle. So whether you support Clinton, beloved of the Irish, or O'Bama, or, perish the thought, you are a republican and support McCain, enjoy this acidic work from the pen of the Automation Laureate We think he must have some Irish blood in him somewhere as this is worthy of Jonathon Swift! Now read The Iraq War - 5-years anniversary Bush Lied or see his illustrated version on utube!
    Pinto the Guru! - After all that warmongering and politics how about looking at the gentler side of Pinto!

  • The site is mantained by Eoin Ó Riain and any suggestions or thoughts are more than welcome.
    Suggestions should be mailed to readout@iol.ie. Other Contact Details

    The Signpost has been honoured to receive a number of awards.