Ode to a Machine

Ode to a Machine

(Apologies to Lewis Carroll)

You are old father Vax, the young Sun said,
And your hair has become very white.
And yet you incessantly compute in your head,
Do you think at your age it is right?

In my youth, Father Vax replied to the Sun,
I feared it might injure the brain.
But now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
Why I do it again and again.

You are old, said the Sun, as I mentioned before
And have grown most uncommonly slow.
Yet you spin your old disks behind their closed doors
Pray, why is this so?

In my youth said the sage as he shook his grey leads,
I kept all of my chips very supple,
By the use of these disks – ten dollars the box
Allow me to sell you as couple.

You are old, said the Sun and your circuits too weak
For anything tougher than Basic
Yet processing the data was quite a good feat
Pray how did you manage to fake it?

In my youth, said old father Vax, I took to the code
And processed each batch in the night
And the impression it made, upon my diodes
Has lasted the rest of my life.

You are old, said the Sun, one would hardly expect
That your bytes were as steady as ever.
Yet you processed that data with no error in sight!
What made you so awfully clever?

I have answered three questions and that is enough,
Said old father Vax, Don’t try to be flash
Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
Log off or I’ll reprogram your cache!

– Kim Lester 1987