The Sysop's Night Before Christmas
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a peripheral was stirring, not even a mouse.
The modem was plugged to the phone line with care
In hopes that a download soon would be there.
Our pirates were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of unprotects danced in their heads.
And Mama in her kerchief, and I in my cap
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.
When up on the hard drive there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the monitor I flew like a flash,
Sat down at the keyboard, gave the spacebar a mash.
The sight on the screen, all a'flicker with snow,
Gave the luster of power surge to the menu below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But an autoexec.bat that seemed rather queer.
With a little print driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment I had seen a new trick.
More rapid than eagles the cursors they came;
My MIDI whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Format, now Rename, now Copy, and Enter!
On Num Lock, on Caps Lock, on Scroll Lock, and Printer!
"To the top of the page, to the top of the doc,
Now tab it and bold it and merge it and block!"
As utilities that build up the CPU speed
Clash with just the programs I need,
So up to the screen top the cursors they flew,
With a RAM full of memory and an expansion board too.
And then, in a twinkling I heard on the speaker,
The grinding of the hard drive growing much weaker.
As I tried to reboot and turn it around,
The attributes changed from blue into brown.
I hit the control, the alt, and delete.
The screen message it gave me, I cannot repeat.
It asked me to Ignore, Retry, or Abort.
It told me the parallel had become the comm port.
Its lights how they twinkled; its pixels how merry,
Its prompts were all scrambled, like a bowl full of cherries.
It sounded just like it wanted to blow;
The screen was suddenly white as the snow.
It scrolled its directory before my eyes
With programs I didn't even recognize.
It wouldn't see D:, it wouldn't see E:;
I couldn't get out of B: into C:.
Norton's tried to read it, finally finding the FAT;
But alas! The disk was faulty, and couldn't reformat.
Away flew the DBase; away flew the DOS-es;
Away flew the WordStar; right out with the Windows.
The spreadsheets were spreading; the footers were headings;
What once had been memory was close to forgetting.
When the grinding was over and the smoke had all cleared,
I looked at the hard drive; it was just as I feared.
The 600 meg wonder had crashed in the night;
I'll never be able to block out that sight!
So tell everyone you know to avoid my plight;
Back up your files! Merry Christmas! Good Night!