This is a long poem, drawing heavily upon EXEC8 development & operation
terminology, which any of you who have been through it may remember:

A Univac 1108 Computer "The Blocktimer's Lament" (A parody on Edgar Allen Poe's "The Raven") By Aere Greenway Copyright C 1992 Once upon a mid-shift dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, over many a strange and curious listing of forgotten core-- While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a clacking, As the printer fiercely tapping-- spewed its printout on the floor. "Tis my SYSGEN," I muttered, "dumping registers and core-- only this and nothing more." Ah, distinctly I remember, it was in the Dynamic Allocator, and each stupid faulty COR-change wrought its errors by the score. Hopelessly I watched the panel;-- vainly I had read the manuals and my PROCS, and still I fail-- to allocate the D-bank core-- and patch a rare unseemly buffer which my expool doth not store-- nameless here for evermore. And each sudden bad uncertain flashing of mount-requests outstanding on the console; showed a thousand different errors I had never seen before; So that now to still the beating of my fist, I stood repeating: 'Tis some interrupt receiving service from sub-system 4-- Some ESI interrupt queued and waiting from sub-system 4. This it is and nothing more. Eventually my fits grew meaner; placing cards into the reader, "@RUN" said I, "@START a @RUN and crash no more; But the fact was I was napping, and so loudly the printer clacking, and so faintly you were S$NAPing-- dumping buffer space and core." Always now the lights I'm watching-- for a flash from channel 4:-- Darkness there and nothing more. Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering fearing, routeing, klugeing patches no mortal ever dared to patch before; But the backlog was unopened, and the flashing gave no token, and the only words there spoken was the run-log phrase "DAMCORE"... This I whispered, and the console printed back the word: "DALCORE"-- merely this and nothing more. Then back to my manual turning, all I ate within me burning, Soon again I heard a clacking, a little sooner than before. "Surely," said I, "surely it is a glitch in the control-unit; Let us see, then, what there is, and this circuitry explore;-- 'Tis the disks, and nothing more. Now out I pulled the ERR$ing module, when, with barely a flit and flicker, On there popped a shining light from the failing channel 4. Not the least abberance made it; not a moment stopped or changed it; But with will of control-unit and processor, glowed there from sub-system 4-- glows there still, and nothing more. Then this brilliant kluge beguiling my false hopes into smiling, at the grave commanding pattern of the lights upon the board, "Though thy states be badly shaken by this PC-card I have taken, surely thou art not mistaken ghastly grim and unknown algorithm wandering through the ferrite core-- Tell me what thy unknown state is far within the dormant core! Quoth the system, ERR 004. Much I marvelled this ungainly foul machine to see discourse so plainly, though the error-code little meaning-- little relevancy bore; For we are reluctant in agreeing that no living human being ever yet was cursed with seeing shining light from channel 4-- Light within the deadlocked panel shining from sub-system 4 with such a state as ERR 004. But the system, sitting lonely in that big room, printed only that one word, as if its reason for existence in that one word did deplore. Nothing further then it printed; not a flashing light it flitted-- 'til I scarcely more than booted. "System errors I've solved before-- On the next load it will be working, as my builds have @MAP'ed before." Then the thing prints: ERR 004. Startled at the horror hinted by reply so aptly printed, "Doubtless," said I, "what it prints is its only stock and storage. Dumped from some unhappy register which reentrant disaster swallowed fast and hung much faster til its buffers one message bore-- Till the control units of its symbionts the melancholy message bore, of error-- ERR 004. But the SYSBLD still compiling all my changes I'd been trying, straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of machine and console and core; Then down in the chair sinking, I reduced myself to LINK$ing, thinking what this cryptic code of yore-- What this dim, unweildly, beastly, un-commented and monotonous algorithm of yore meant in printing ERR 004. This I sat engaged in guessing, but no jump-switch yet depressing on the foul machine whose guard-mode light now burned into my bosom's core; The buffer still devising, my mind still searched, reviling as I beat upon the table while the lights stare always o'er. It shall run? No-- ERR 004. Then methought, the air grew denser,-- with ozone told a sensor caused by wiring and such whose arcing crackles through sub-system 4. "Wretch", I cried, "UNIVAC hath rented thee-- By these Field Engineers it hath wrecked thee! Respite-- enter site and set jump-key, from all control-units on channel 4! Quaff, don't laugh-- but before the coming century, let me complete this hopeless chore!" Quoth the system, ERR 004. "Be that word our sign of parting, thing .OR. fiend!" I shrieked rebooting-- "Test-and-set thee stacked into the darkest regions of the smelly hidden core! Leave no jammed-printer as a token of the lie thy console hath spoken! Leave my processors unopened-- Turn off light from channel 4! Take thy @MARK from off my tapes, and take thy plague from off my chore!" Quoth the system, ERR 004. And the system, never flitting, still is sitting-- still is sitting. Like the groveling ghost of babbage, light still on from channel 4; And its lights have all the seeming of a down-machine that is dreaming, and the room lights over it streaming cast no shadow on the floor; But my dump from out that shadow that lies looping in memory 4, shall be listed nevermore. P.S. If you are very familiar with Poe's poem, you will notice that one verse is missing. You might think of this omission as a 'parody error'... - Aere